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But notice its particular application

But notice its particular application. “Yet hath he made with ME an everlasting covenant.” Here lies the sweetness of it to me, as an individual.

                      “Oh how sweet to view the flowing

                               Of Christ’s soul-redeeming blood

                                                                  With divine assurance knowing

                                                                  That he made my peace with God.”

It is nought for me that he made peace for the world; I want to know whether he made peace for me: it is little that he hath made a covenant, I want to know whether he has made a covenant with me. David could put his hand upon his heart and say, “Yet hath he made a covenant with ME.” I fear I shall not be wrong in condemning the fashionable religion of the day, for it is a religion which belongs to the crowd; and not a personal one which is enjoyed by the individual. You will hear persons say, “Well, I believe the doctrine of justification; I think that men are justified through faith.” Yes, but are you justified by faith? “I believe,” says another “that we are sanctified by the Spirit.” Yes, all very well, but are you sanctified by the Spirit? Mark you, if ever you talk about personal piety very much, you will always be run down as extravagant. If you really say from your heart, “I know I am forgiven; I am certain that I am a pardoned sinner;”-and every Christian will at times be able to say it, and would always, were it not for his unbelief-if you say “I know in whom I have believed, I am confident that I have not a sin now recorded in the black roll; that I am free from sin as if I had never transgressed, through the pardoning blood of Jesus,” men will say it is extravagant. Well, it is a delightful extravagance, it is the extravagance of God’s Word, and I would to God more of us could indulge in that holy, blessed extravagance. For we may well be extravagant when we have an infinite sum to spend; we may well be lavish when we know we never can exhaust the treasure. Oh! How sweet it is to say, “Yet hath he made with ME an everlasting covenant. It is nought that you talk to me of my brother being saved. I am very glad that my friend should get to glory, and I shall rejoice to meet you all; but after all, the thing is, “Shall I be there?”

Shall I amongst them stand

To see his smiling face?”

Now, Christian, thou canst apply this personally. The covenant is made with thee. Man, open thine eyes; there is thy name in the covenant. What is it? It is some plain English name, perhaps. It never had an M.P. Nor an M.A. After it, nor a “Sir” before it. Never mind, that name is in the covenant. If you could take down your Father’s family Bible in heaven,- you would find your name put in the register. O blessed thought! My namepositively mine! Not another’s. So, then, these eyes shall see him, and not another’s for me. Rejoice, Christian; it is a personal covenant. “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

First, David rejoiced in the covenant, because it is divine in its origin

Now let us notice these words as they come. First, David rejoiced in the covenant, because it is divine in its origin. “Yet hath HE made with me an everlasting covenant.” O that great word HE. Who is that? It is not my odd-father or my odd mother who has made a covenant for me-none of that nonsense. It is not a covenant man has made for me, or with me; but yet hath HE made with me an everlasting covenant.” It is divine in its origin, not human. The covenant on which the Christian rests, is not the covenant of his infant sprinkling: he has altogether broken that scores of times, for he has not “renounced the pomps and vanities of this wicked world,” as he should have done, nor “all the lusts of the flesh.” Nor has he really become regenerate through those holy drops of water which a cassocked priest cast on his face. The covenant on which he rests and stands secure, is that covenant which God has made with him. “Yet hath HE made.” Stop, my soul. God, the everlasting father, has positively made a covenant with thee; yes, that God, who in the thickest darkness dwells and reigns for ever in his majesty alone; that God, who spake the world into existence by a word, who holds it, like an Atlas, upon his shoulders, who poises the destiny of all creation upon his finger; that God, stooping from his majesty, takes hold of thy hand and makes a covenant with thee. Oh! is it not a deed, the stupendous condescension of which might ravish our hearts for ever if we could really understand it? Oh! The depths! “HE hath made with me a covenant.” A king has not made a covenant with methat were somewhat: an emperor has not entered into a compact with me, but the Prince of the kings of the earth, the Shaddai, the Lord of all flesh, the Jehovah of ages, the everlasting Elohim. “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” O blessed thought! It is of divine origin.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

David had confidence in the covenant

II. But secondly: David had confidence in the covenant. Oh! How sweet it is to look from the dullness of earth to the brilliancy of heaven! How glorious it is to leap from the ever tempest-tossed bark of this world, and stand upon the terra firma of the covenant! So did David. Having done with his “Although,” he then puts in a blessed “yet.” Oh! It is a “yet,” with jewels set: “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

O thou who art tried in thy children-that prayer can remove thy troubles

But furthermore, recollect this, O thou who art tried in thy children-that prayer can remove thy troubles. There is not a pious father or mother here, who is suffering in the family, but may have that trial taken away yet. Faith is as omnipotent as God himself, for it moves the arm which leads the stars along. Have you prayed long for your children without a result? And have ye said, “I will cease to pray, for the more I wrestle, the worse they seem to grow, and the more am I tried?” Oh! Say not so, thou weary watcher. Though the promise tarrieth, it will come. Still sow the seed, and when thou sowest it, drop a tear with each grain thou puttest into the earth. Oh, steep thy seeds in the tears of anxiety, and they cannot rot under the clods, if they have been baptized in so vivifying a mixture. And what though thou didst without seeing thy sons the heirs of light? They shall be converted even after thy death; and though thy bones shall be put in the grave, and thy son may stand and curse thy memory for an hour, he shall not forget it in the cooler moments of his recollection, when he shall meditate alone. Then he shall think of thy prayers thy tears, thy groans; he shall remember thine advice-it shall rise up and if he live in sin, still thy words shall sound as one long voice from the realm of spirits, and either affright him in the midst of his revelry, or charm him heavenward, like angel’s whispers, saying, “Follow on to glory, where thy parent is who once did pray for thee.” So the Christian may say, “Although my house be not so with God now, it may be yet.” therefore will I still wait, for there be mighty instances of conversion. Think of John Newton. He even became a slaver, yet was brought back. Hope on; never despair; faint heart never winneth the souls of men, but firm faith winneth all things; therefore watch unto prayer. “What I say unto you, I say unto all, watch.” There is your trouble, a small cup filled from the same sea of tribulation as was the Psalmist’s when he sung, “Although my house be not so with God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

The Wednesday Word: “Getting in!”

“Behold, thy days approach that thou must die” Deuteronomy 31:14

Many years ago, a preacher, Dr Charles H. Berry, had, at a young age received the highest honours his denomination could confer. His fame as a preacher was as wide as the English-speaking world. But he was a theological liberal. He, at that stage of his life, didn’t believe in the fundamentals of grace, the blood and substitutionary atonement. He told the following story of his conversion to his friend, Dr J. H. Jowett.

“One night there came to me, a Lancashire girl, with her shawl over her head, and with clogs on her feet.”

“‘Are you the minister?’ she said.

“‘Yes.’

“‘Then I want you to come and get my mother in’

“Thinking it was some drunken brawl, I said, ‘You must get a policeman.’

“Oh, no,’ said the girl, ‘my mother is dying, and I want you to get her into salvation.’

“‘Where do you live?’

“‘I live at so and so, a mile and a half from here.’

“‘Is there no minister nearer than I?’

“‘Oh, yes, but I want you, and you will have to come.’

“I was in my slippers, and I did all I could to get out of it, but it was of no use. That girl was determined, and I had to dress and go. I found the house, and upstairs I found the poor woman dying. I sat down and talked about Jesus as the beautiful example and extolled Him as a Leader and Teacher. I talked about His kindness and how we ought to be kind. She looked at me out of her eyes of death, and said:

“‘Mister, that’s no good for the likes of me. I don’t want an example. I’m a sinner.’

“Jowett, there I was face to face with a poor soul dying and had nothing to tell her. I had no gospel; but I thought of what my mother had taught me, and I told her the old, old story of God’s love in Christ’s dying for sinful people, whether I believed it or not.

“‘Now you are getting at it’ said the woman. ‘That’s the story for me.’

“And so I got her in, and….. I got myself in. From that night,” added Dr. Berry, “I have always had a full gospel of salvation for lost sinners.”

What a marvelous little story. The preacher and listener saved by the same message!

Dr. Berry discovered that theological liberalism is not for the sick, the dying and the desperate. It can’t “get people in.”

Theological liberalism is very ensnaring as it subtly whittles away at the cross. In its teaching, the atonement becomes nothing other than a sublime example of selflessness. Christ is reduced to the status of only a man. There is no saving blood sacrifice. There is no gospel. In theological liberalism, the Bible is torn to shreds! There is no life in that—death, only death.

Let me ask you a personal question. If you were called to a death bed and the dying person was urgently concerned about their salvation, humanly speaking, could you “get them in”?

Do you know that although death is like a giant scorpion, for the believer its sting is removed? As William Romaine rightly observed, ‘Death stung himself to death when he stung Christ!’

To help those who are dying we need to know that Christ has settled the sin and death problem. Do you know this? Could you tell a dying person this as you urge them to trust in Christ? We need to ask ourselves, therefore, do we believe the gospel or is it just a theory. Or, do we from the depth of our being trust that Christ Jesus is the One who has already, thoroughly and finally dealt with sin and death? (see Hebrews. 1:3; 9:26; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

Christ Jesus alone is the One who is to be trusted and relied upon for salvation.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

What must I say to any of those who are thus tried and distressing in estate and family?

Before we leave this point: What must I say to any of those who are thus tried and distressing in estate and family? First, let me say to you my brethren, it is necessary that you should have an “although” in your lot, because if you had not, you know what you would do; you would build a very downy nest on earth, and there you would lie down in sleep; so God puts a thorn in your nest in order that you may sing. It is said by the old writers, that the nightingale never sang so sweetly as when she sat among thorns, since say they, the thorns prick her breast, and remind her of her song. So it may be with you. Ye, like the larks, would sleep in your nest did not some trouble pass by and affright you; then you stretch your wings, and carolling the mating song, rise to greet the sun. Trials are sent to wean you from the world; bitters are put into your drink, that ye may learn to live upon the dew of heaven: the food of earth is mingled with gall, that ye may only seek for true bread in the manna which droppeth from the sky. Your soul without trouble would be as the sea if it were without tide or motion, it would become foul and obnoxious. As Coleridge describes the sea after a wondrous calm, so would the soul breed contagion and death.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

If ye have family troubles, there are others who have borne the same

But, Christian men! Ye are not alone in this. If ye have family troubles, there are others who have borne the same. Remember Ephraim! Though God had promised that Ephraim should abound as a tribe with tens of thousands, yet it is recorded in 1 Chronicles 7:20-22: “And the sons of Ephraim, Shuthelah and Bered his son, and Tahath his son, and Eladah his son, and Tahath his son, and Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead, whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew, because they came down to take away their cattle. And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.” Abraham himself had his Ishmael, and he cried to God on account thereof. Think of Eli, a man who served God as a high priest, and though he could rule the people, he could not rule his sons; and great was his grief thereat. Ah! some of you, my brethren in the gospel, may lift your hands to heaven, and ye may utter this morning these words with a deep and solemn emphasis-you may write “Although” in capitals, for it is more than true with some of you-”Although my house be not so with God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

But I imagine that the principal meaning of these words of David refers to his family-his children

But I imagine that the principal meaning of these words of David refers to his family-his children. David had many trials in his children. It has often been the lot of good men to have great troubles from their sons and daughters. True, we know some households that are the very image of peace and happiness where the father and mother bend the knee together in family prayer, and they look upon an offspring numerous or not as it may be, but most of them devoting their hearts to God. I know a household which stands like a green oasis in the desert of this world. There be sons who preach God’s gospel, and daughters who are growing up to fear the Lord, and to love him. Such a household is indeed a pleasant halting-place for a weary soul in its pilgrimage through this wilderness of life. Oh! Happy is that family whom God hath blessed. But there are other houses where you will find the children are the trials of the parents. “Although my house be not so with God,” may many an anxious father say; and ye pious mothers might lift your streaming eyes to heaven, and say, “Although my house be not so with God.” That first-born son of yours, who was your pride, has now turned out your disgrace. Oh! How have the arrows of his ingratitude pierced into your soul, and how do you keenly feel at this present moment, that sooner would you have buried him in his infancy; sooner might he never have seen the light, and perished in the birth, than that he should live to have acted as he has done, to be the misery of your existence, and the sorrow of your life. O sons who are ungodly, unruly, gay, and profligate, surely ye do not know the tears of pious mothers, or ye would stop your sin. Methinks, young man, thou wouldst not willingly allow thy mother to shed tears, however dearly you may love sin. Will you not then stop at her entreaties? Can you trample upon your mother? Oh! Though you are riding a steeplechase to hell, cannot her weeping supplications induce you to stay your mad career? Will you grieve her who gave you life, and fondly cherished you at her breast? Surely you will long debate e’er you can resolve to bring her grey heirs with sorrow to the grave. Or has sin brutalized you? Are ye worse than stones? Have natural feelings become extinct? Is the evil one entirely your master? Has he dried up all the tender sympathies of your heart. Stay! Young prodigal, and ponder!

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

What man is there of all our race, who, if he had to write his history, would not need to use a great many “althoughs?”

I. The Psalmist says he had sorrow in his house- “Although my house be not so with God.” What man is there of all our race, who, if he had to write his history, would not need to use a great many “althoughs?” If you read the biography of any man, as recorded in the Sacred Word, you will always find a “but,” or an “although,” before you have finished. Naaman was a mighty man of valour, and a great man with his master, but he was a leper. There is always a “but” in every condition, a crook in every lot, some dark tint upon the marble pillar, some cloud in the summer sky, some discord in the music, some alloy in the gold. So David, though a man who had been raised from the sheepfold, a mighty warrior, a conqueror of giants, a king over a great nation, yet, had his “althoughs” and the “although” which he had, was one in his own house. Those are the worst troubles which we have in our own household. We are not an evil beast abroad, but we hate the lion most when it prowls upon our own estates, or cruncheth on the floor of our dwelling. The greatest trouble with the thorn is when it lieth in our bed, and we feel it in our pillow. Civil war is always the fiercest-those are foes indeed who are of our own household. I think, perhaps David interceded, when he said “Although my house be not so with God, to speak partly of his affairs. If any man else had looked at David’s affairs-the government of his country-he would have said, “David’s government is the mirror of excellence.” His house was so rightly ordered, that few of his subjects could murmur at him; but David recollected that a greater and keener eye than that of man rested on him; and he says, speaking of his empire and his house-for you know the word “house” in Scripture often means our business, our affairs, our transactions, (Set thine house in order, for thou must die, and not live,”)-he says, although before man my house may be well swept, and garnished, yet it is not so with God as I can desire. Oh, beloved, there are some of us who can walk before our fellow-men conscious of innocence; we dare defy the gaze of our fellow-mortals; we can say, “Lord! Thou knowest I am not wicked.” We are blameless before this perverse generation: we walk amongst them as lights in the world, and God has helped us, so that we are clean from the great transgression; we are not afraid of a criticism of our character, we are not fearful of being inspected by the eyes of all men, for we feel that through God’s grace we have been kept from committing ourselves; he has kept us, and the evil one toucheth us not. But with all this conscious innocence-with all that dignity with which we stand before our fellows-when we go into God’s sight, how changed we are! Ah, then, my friends, we say not, “Lord! Thou knowest I am not wicked;” but rather we fall prostrate, and cry, “Unclean, unclean, unclean;” and as the leper cools his heated brow with the water running in the cool sequestered brook, so do we lave our body in Siloa’s stream, and strive to wash ourselves clean in the water and blood from Christ’s river side. We feel that our house is “not so with God;” though in the person of Jesus we are free from sin, and white as angels are: yet when we stand before God, in our own persons, we are obliged to confess, that honest as we may be upright as we have been, just and holy before men, yet our house is “not so with God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

These be the last words of David

Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me

an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: for this is all

my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”-

2 Samuel 23:5.

THESE be the last words of David, so we read at the commencement of the chapter. Many have been the precious sentences which have fallen from his inspired lips seraphic has been the music which has dropped from his fingers when they flew along the strings of his harp; but now that sweet voice is to be hushed in death, and now the son of Jesse is to sleep with his fathers. Surely it were well to press around his bed, to hear the dying monarch’s last testimony; yea, we can conceive that angels themselves would for an instant check their rapid flight, that they might visit the chamber of the dying mighty one, and listen to his last death song. It is always blessed to hear the words of departing saints. How many choice thoughts have we gained in the bedchamber of the righteous, beloved? I remember one sweet idea which I once won from a death-bed. A dying man desired to have one of the Psalms read to him, and the 17th being chosen, he stopped at the 6th verse, “Incline thine ear unto me and hear my speech,” and faintly whispering, said, “Ah, Lord, I cannot speak, my voice fails me, incline thine ear, put it against my mouth, that thou mayest hear me.” None but a weak and dying man, whose life was ebbing fast could have conceived such a thought. It is well to hear saints’ words when they are near heaven-when they stand upon the banks of Jordan. But here is a special case, for these be the last words of David They are something more than human utterances; for we are told that the Spirit of the Lord spake by him, and his word was in his tongue. These were his closing accents. Ah! Methinks, lisping these words he rose from earth to join the chorus of the skies. He commenced the sentence upon earth and he finished it in heaven. He began, “Although my house be not so with God” and as he winged his flight to heaven, he still sang, “yet hast thou made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure,” and now before the throne he constantly hymns the same strain — “yet hast thou made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.” I hope, my friends, there are many of us who can join in this verse this morning, and who hope to close our earthly pilgrimage with this upon our tongue.

We shall notice first, that the Psalmist had sorrow in his house “Although my house be not so with God.” Secondly, he had confidence in the covenant — “yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” And thirdly, he had satisfaction in his heart, for he says — “this is all my salvation, and all my desire.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855