Home > Hermeneutics > Deity hesitates not to take as one of His titles “the Lord God of recompences” (Jeremiah 51:56), and has shown, all through His Word, that He deals with sinner and saint as such

Deity hesitates not to take as one of His titles “the Lord God of recompences” (Jeremiah 51:56), and has shown, all through His Word, that He deals with sinner and saint as such

Deity hesitates not to take as one of His titles “the Lord God of recompences” (Jeremiah 51:56), and has shown, all through His Word, that He deals with sinner and saint as such. Unto Joshua He said that if he gave His Word its proper place, meditated in it day and night, that he might observe to do according to all that is written therein, “then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (1:8, and cf. Job 36:11; Proverbs 3:1-4). On the other hand, He said to wayward Israel

“Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, He hath also forsaken you” (2 Chronicles 24:20).

That is an unvarying principle in His government. Of Uzziah we read,

“as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper” (2 Chronicles 26:5).

The judgment of God even upon Ahab’s kingdom was postponed “because he humbled himself before Me” said God (1 Kings 21:29). Contrariwise, He told David that the sword should never depart from his house “because thou hast despised Me” (2 Samuel 12:9, 10). The New Testament teaches the same thing.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

“If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (6:15);

“with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (7:2).

“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee” (Revelation 3:10).

God has established an inseparable connection between holiness and happiness, and it is no small part of the expositor’s work to point out that as our ways please Him His smile is upon us; but when we are wayward, we are greatly the losers; to show that though God’s people are not under the curse of the rod they are under its discipline; and for him to note scriptural illustrations of that fact. It is one thing to have our sins pardoned, but it is quite another to enjoy God’s favors in providence and nature as well as spiritually, as the lives of biblical characters clearly exemplify. God does not afflict willingly (Lamentations 3:33), but chastens because we give Him occasion to do so (Psalm 89:30-33). When we grieve not the Holy Spirit, He makes Christ more real and precious to the soul; the channel of blessing is unchoked, and real answers are received to prayer. But alas, how often we give God occasion to say “your sins have withholden good things from you” (Jeremiah 5:25). Then let the preacher miss no opportunity of proving from Scripture that the path of obedience is the path of blessing (Psalm 81:11-16), and demonstrate that God orders His ways with us according to our conduct (Isaiah 48:10) — He did so with Christ Himself (John 8:29; 10:17; Psalm 45:7).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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