"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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    Psalm Four: In Peace I Will Lie Down and Sleep

    The Lord of life lay down and slept; but God raised him up to a new and glorious day, and brought salvation to his people! This we saw last time, in Psalm Three; but what happens when, after the dawn of that new day of life, the shadows lengthen, the evening approaches, further troubles arise, and the time again is near to lying down?

    Such a time came again for David, after God had given him relief in his distress; and although he was angry, with just cause, yet he did not sin, but searched instead his own heart, and commended himself to God, and was silent. And then, instead of his anger over the blasphemies of the wicked, God gave him joy surpassing their own, even in the times when their grain and wine abound – for he realized that the day of their triumph would certainly pass, but his eternal victory was hastening on the way. And so, with this meditation ringing in his heart, he lay down and slept once again, saying, “Only you, O Yahweh, make me dwell in safety”.

    But wait a moment longer, oppressed saint! Did you not see that one great truth in the middle of the Psalm, which turned David's heart from anger over the wicked to joy in God's salvation? It was this blessed remembrance, the sure foundation of his hope and peace – that the Lord has set apart the godly One for himself; and therefore, the Lord will hear David's cries for help.

    Who is this godly One? It is no one but the Son of David, Jesus Christ the Savior. This great representative of the people, the Chasid, is set apart to God; and therefore, all who are in him are likewise sanctified and set apart, and God will hear and answer them. He has sanctified himself for our sake, so that we too might be sanctified by the truth (John 17:19). This truth sustained David, after another hard day, so that once again, no matter what troubles had arisen, he could lie down in joy and peace, and know his eternal safety was certain. And what troubles could confront you, dear Christian, that will not likewise dissolve away at the remembrance of so blessed a truth?

    Are you one of the many who say, “Who will show good to us”? Then remember the godly One, whom the Lord has set apart for himself, and you will be able to ask with confidence for his sake, “Lift up upon us the light of your face, O Yahweh!”.

    Are you angry when men turn your honor into shame, and run lustfully after lies that are designed for your hurt? Then remember him who endured the greatest shame of the cross, even though he deserved the greatest honor of all – remember that he, God's Chasid, was set apart to God, not for his own sake, but for us, that we might have access with boldness to all his treasuries of grace (Heb. 4:14-16). Then you will put your trust in the Lord, and rejoice more than all the wicked, and lie down in peace and safety.

    And so, dear Christian, I wish you another good night, as you rest in the promises of God, which he has made firm in his godly One, the Chasid, set apart for your salvation.

    Posted by Nathan on May 18, 2010 11:27 AM

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