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Light and Truth: The Old Testament: Chapter 50 - The Love and the Deliverance

By Horatius Bonar


      "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him.'' -- Psalm 91:14

      THIS is one of the psalms of Messiah; and Satan's quotation of the eleventh verse shews that it was accepted as such by the Jews, and by Jesus Himself. (Matthew 4:6.) Yet it is not (one verse excepted) spoken by but to Messiah. It contains the Father's proclamation to Him, and to men regarding Him; and still more, the Father's assurance to Him of fellowship and protection while dwelling in the land of strangers and enemies. It contains some of the words poured into his ear morning by morning, when he wakened his ear to hear as one that is taught (Isaiah 50:4). For as man he was counselled, comforted, strengthened, cheered, taught of God.

      The first and second verses are the introduction or key to the whole. In the first the Father, as the Son is about to enter on his mission on earth, amid all the diseases, troubles, hatreds, strifes, conspiracies of this fallen state of danger and sorrow, proclaims, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty;" i.e., he that "enters into the chambers" (Isaiah 26:20), or takes up his abode with God in his "pavilion" (Psalm 27:5), shall be under the protection of the Almighty. Or rather we may say that the Father pours these words of cheer into the ears of the Son, making known the secret, the one secret of the security of creaturehood. In the second verse the Son, in words of happy confidence, replies, "I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in him will I trust." Then the Father, from the third to the fourteenth verse, pours into the filial ear words of blessed assurance. Deliverance, security, protection, victory over enemies and dangers, power over evil, angelic ministry,--these are the assurances given by the Father to the Son in entering on his awful work in this fallen world. "Be of good cheer, for I am with you, and there shall not an hair of your head perish," is the substance of the assurance thus so fully given. And if ever such assurance was needed it was then, when the three and thirty years' battle was to be fought with sin and hell.

      Then at the fourteenth verse the Father proclaims to the whole world,--to men and angels,--the grand principle of His dealings with His Son; what He did for him, and why He did it, that we may know why and what he does for us. Deliverance and exaltation are the two special blessings promised; the reason of these is (1.) he set his love upon me;

      (2.) he knew my name. Let us inquire, 1st, into the deliverance; 2nd, into the love.

      I. The deliverance. Messiah was always in danger, and always crying for deliverance,--"Deliver me, O my God." How often that word was on His lips! See Psalms 22, and 40, and 69. Enemies surrounded Him, as Saul did David, and sought His life. Death took hold on Him. Our iniquities (he calls them mine!) took hold on him. The snares of hell took hold on Him. The grave took hold on Him. Innumerable evils compassed Him about. But when He was sinking in deep waters, God sent and drew Him out. When sore pressed on every side, God fought for Him, and put His enemies to flight. He, the poor and needy one, was delivered!

      II. The reason for it. "Because he set his love on me." God would not suffer one who loved Him so much to be overpowered. Love like his must be honoured! Love like his must not go down before his enemies. God's desire is to be loved, for He is infinitely loveable! He never found one before that loved him as Christ did, and could do. For Christ loved him with a divine strength! Oh how gloriously was the commandment fulfilled in Christ, when he loved him with the whole of the divine strength, that infinite capacity for loving which belonged to him. God honours Christ's love by granting him continual deliverance. He loved, and he was delivered for his love! Learn,

      (1.) That God wants to be loved. He desires the love of creaturehood. He made us to love him, and he cannot be satisfied without our love. Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart, is not merely a command, but a thing of earnest desire. God is not indifferent as to our love, nor heedless of our coldness. He asks love, and he feels the refusal of it. "Love me" is his message to us; "give me thy heart." He gave us his heart when he gave his Son, and now he asks ours in return.

      (2.) He is infinitely worthy of it. He is the infinitely loveable and glorious one; just such a being as to command our entire affection, and fill our souls. The only question would seem to be, Are we permitted to love such a glorious being? for if so, then let us pour out the whole fullness of our hearts upon him. Who are we that we should be allowed to love him; nay, commanded; nay, punished for not loving?

      (3.) He blesses and rewards them that love Him. The crown of life hereafter is to them that love him; and the present blessings of deliverance, support, defence, comfort, is to those that set their love on him. No good thing will he withhold from them that love and fear him. He is their light, their joy, their staff, their shield, their tower, their arm, their strength; he compasses them about with songs of deliverance.

      Let us learn to love him. For what he is in himself; for what he has done, and has promised to do for us. Let us love him for his love and for his loveableness. We love him because he first loved us. He has set his love on us, let us set our love on him. God's love to us, and our love to him, Is not this the essence of true religion? What poor, empty, shrivelled things are these hearts of ours unless filled with the love of God? What a poor thing is life, if not consecrated, gladdened, brightened with this glorious love!

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See Also:
   Preface
   Chapter 1 - The Old and New Creation
   Chapter 2 - The Link Between Being and Non-Being
   Chapter 3 - A Happy World
   Chapter 4 - The Sin, the Sinner, and the Sentence
   Chapter 5 - Man's Fig-Leaves
   Chapter 6 - Expulsion and Re-Entrance
   Chapter 7 - The Blood of Sprinkling and the Blood of Abel
   Chapter 8 - The Way of Cain
   Chapter 9 - The Man of Rest
   Chapter 10 - Going Out and Keeping Out
   Chapter 11 - The Shield and the Recompense
   Chapter 12 - Liberty and Service
   Chapter 13 - The Day of Despair
   Chapter 14 - The Blood of Deliverance
   Chapter 15 - How God Deals with Sin and the Sinner
   Chapter 16 - The Fire Quenched
   Chapter 17 - The Vision from the Rocks
   Chapter 18 - The Doom of the Double-Hearted
   Chapter 19 - Be Not Borderers
   Chapter 20 - The Outlines of a Saved Sinner's History
   Chapter 21 - Divine Longings Over the Foolish
   Chapter 22 - What a Believing Man Can Do
   Chapter 23 - Song of the Putting Off of the Armour
   Chapter 24 - The Kiss of the Backslider
   Chapter 25 - The Priestly Word of Peace
   Chapter 26 - Human Anodynes
   Chapter 27 - Spiritual and Carnal Weapons
   Chapter 28 - Divine Silence and Human Despair
   Chapter 29 - Jewish Unbelief and Gentile Blessing
   Chapter 30 - The Restoration of the Banished
   Chapter 31 - The Farewell Gift
   Chapter 32 - God's Dealing with Sin and the Sinner
   Chapter 33 - God Finding a Resting-Place
   Chapter 34 - The Moriah Group
   Chapter 35 - Diverse Kinds of Conscience
   Chapter 36 - The Soul Turning from Man to God
   Chapter 37 - Man's Dislike of a Present God
   Chapter 38 - True and False Consolation
   Chapter 39 - Gain and Loss for Eternity
   Chapter 40 - Man's Misconstruction of the Works of God
   Chapter 41 - The Two Cries and the Two Answers
   Chapter 42 - The Knowledge of God's Name
   Chapter 43 - Deliverance from Deep Waters
   Chapter 44 - The Excellency of the Divine Loving-Kindness
   Chapter 45 - The Sickness, the Healer, and the Healing
   Chapter 46 - The Consecration of Earth's Gold and Silver
   Chapter 47 - The Gifts of the Ascended One
   Chapter 48 - The Speaker, the Listener, the Peace
   Chapter 49 - The Believing Man's Confident Appeal
   Chapter 50 - The Love and the Deliverance
   Chapter 51 - The Sin and Folly of Being Unhappy
   Chapter 52 - The Book of Books
   Chapter 53 - The Secret of Deliverance from Evil
   Chapter 54 - The Voice of the Heavenly Bridegroom
   Chapter 55 - The Love that Passeth Knowledge
   Chapter 56 - The Vision of the Glory
   Chapter 57 - Man's Extremity and Satan's Opportunity
   Chapter 58 - The Day of Clear Vision to the Dim Eyes
   Chapter 59 - The Unfainting Creator and the Fainting Creature
   Chapter 60 - The Knowledge that Justifies
   Chapter 61 - The Heritage and its Title-Deeds
   Chapter 62 - The Meeting Between the Sinner and God
   Chapter 63 - God's Love and God's Way of Blessing
   Chapter 64 - Divine Jealousy for the Truth
   Chapter 65 - Divine Love and Human Rejection of it
   Chapter 66 - God's Desire to Bless the Sinner
   Chapter 67 - The Resting-Place Forgotten
   Chapter 68 - The Day that Will Right all Wrongs
   Chapter 69 - The Glory and the Love
   Chapter 70 - False Religion and its Doom
   Chapter 71 - No Breath No Life
   Chapter 72 - Every Christian a Teacher
   Chapter 73 - Work, Rest, and Recompence
   Chapter 74 - Human Heedlessness and Divine Remembrance
   Chapter 75 - Lies the Food of Man
   Chapter 76 - The Love and the Calling
   Chapter 77 - The Anger and the Goodness
   Chapter 78 - Darkness Pursuing the Sinner
   Chapter 79 - Jerusalem the Centre of the World's Peace
   Chapter 80 - Jerusalem and Her King
   Chapter 81 - Looking to the Pierced One
   Chapter 82 - The Holiness of Common Things
   Chapter 83 - Wearying Jehovah with our Words
   Chapter 84 - Dies Irae

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