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Christ; having come to God, through faith in him, they are divinely authorised to adopt the words of the text, “ This God is our God!"
In ancient times, long before the brighter discoveries of the gospel were afforded, we find some eminent believers distinguished as having a special interest in God. Jehovah, who, by his sovereign grace, called Abraham from among the idolaters of Chaldea, was pleased to style himself “the God of Abraham." By this name he made himself known to Moses at the burning bush, when he was about to deliver the posterity of Abraham from their bondage in Egypt. He called himself also, at the same time, “the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Exod. iii. 6); and thus he encouraged the children of Israel to expect that the promises made to their fathers should certainly be accomplished. In like manner, New Testament believers are more clearly taught to expect a future and eternal inheri. tance in Heaven; "wherefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city” (Heb. xi. 16): as if it had been said, God would be ashamed to be called their God, if nothing more than the good things of this life were given them ; especially as it is the lot of far the greater part of them to be poor and afflicted in the present world; but, having "prepared for them a city," a glorious habitation, even "a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ;" he is not ashamed,—he thinks it no dishonour to be, and to be called their God and Father. “ This," saith he, as if exulting in the relation, “ this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” Exod ii. 15. God's relation to his people is what he will ever remember, let us then never forget it; never neglect to take the comfort, nor to give him the glory of it.— It is God's memorial ; let it be
We find Moses, the faithful servant of the Lord, glorying in his relation to God (Exod. xv.2), “The
Lord is my strength and my song, and he is become my salvation; he is my Cod, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.” As this was part of the song composed on occasion of the Israelites passing through the Red Sea, Moses may perhaps allude to the name of God, as“ the God of Abraham ;" such indeed he proved himself to be, to his posterity. Thrice happy is he who, celebrating a still greater salvation than that of Israel, can sing—“He is my God, and my father's God; I will exalt him!”
In the book of Psalms, we frequently meet with this sweet appropriation of the name of God. The Psalmist speaks thus-“thou art my God, from my mother's womb;"_“ I trusted in thee, I said,
Thou art my God;"_“I will sing praise unto thee;"_“I will extol thee, my God, O King, and bless thy name for ever!"
Daniel, also, had good reason to own his relation to God, when the king, who had caused him to be thrown into the den of lions, asked, with a lamentaable voice, “ O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?" The praying man of God replied, "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lion's mouth.' . Such was the impression produced by this exertion of divine power in behalf of the prophet, that Darius required that all his subjects" should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.”
We might multiply instances of this kind ; but let us rather pass on, and shew more particularly that the several attributes of the blessed God, which have been surveyed in the preceding sermons, afford abundant occasion to the believer to rejoice in his relation to Jehovah, and triumphantly to say, “ This God is my God!"
Our God is Almighty. Is any thing, then, too hard for him? Whatever he hath promised he is able to perform ; and he hath performed such won
ders in the fulfilment of his promises to his ancient people the Jews, and to all his believing people ever since, that unbelief may blush to suspect he will ever fail to accomplish with his hand, what he hath spoken with his mouth. Remember his mighty works in the creation of the world ; in the preservation and government of the world; and in his marvellous interposition in behalf of his people: the waters shall not drown, the sun shall not set, the fire shall not burn, lions shall not devour, when he forbids; and if he give the word of command, bread shall descend from Heaven, water shall flow from the rock, devouring birds shall feed the prophet, five loaves shall satisfy five thousand people, and the dead shall come forth from their graves. What cannot he do for his friends ? and should they not say, This God is our God; and, If God be for us, who can be against us?
Our God is wise—he is Wisdom. What a pri. vilege then it is to be under his direction ! and this is the privilege of his people, as it follows immediately after the words of our text-"He will be our Guide, even unto death ;" he will direct our steps through this mazy wilderness, nor forsake us when we die, but conduct us safely through Jordan to the possession of the promised rest. Well may we
cast our cares upon him," if we believe that he careth for us.”
• Since all the downward tracts of time,
God's watchful eye surveys,
And regulate our ways ?”
Our God is HOLY ; unlike the pretended deities of the heathen, who were abominably impure, the patrons and patterns of infamous vices ; so that we may say with exultation,“ Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods ? who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness ? ” A wicked man, wishing to indulge his sins, might wish that God were like him. self, and would wink at his impurity ; but a Christian rejoices in the holiness of God; it keeps him low in his own eyes; it makes him hunger and thirst after righteousness; and encourages the hope that his holy God will, by all his ordinances and all his dispensations, make him“ a partaker of his holiDess."
Our God is just. Shall he not then always do right? It is the glory of the gospel, and that which renders it peculiarly satisfactory to the mind, that therein God has manifested his justice no less than his mercy-" he is just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." The Christian, then, has nothing to dread, but every thing to hope from this attribute. He who said to Abraham, on leaving his native land," I am thy shield,” said also, “ I am thy exceeding great reward.” Nothing can possibly be lost by adherence to Christ and his cause ; God is not unrighteous, so that he should forget the work of faith and the labour of love ; he that sow. eth to the spirit shall reap of the spirit ; and God, the righteous Judge, will, at the great day, bestow the crown of righteousness on every one who was faithful unto death. How joyfully shall every conqueror, on receiving that crown, exult, This righteous God is
God! Our God is OMNIPRESENT. Pleasing reflection to the Christian ! Wherever he is, God is there, --in the closet, in the church, in the world ; at home, abroad; by sea or land; amongst friends or foes, Christians or Infidels ; in prosperity or in adversity, God is there. The salutary thought bridles the un. ruly tongue, restrains the rovings of the eye, repels the intruding thoughts of sin, and quenches the fiery darts of temptation. It stills the rising murmur of impatience, corrects the mistakes of unbelief, and enables the soul to endure, " as seeing him who is invisible.”
Our God is PATIENT. It is well for the world, it is well for us, that he is so. It was justly remarked, by an old divine, that if the most tender-hearted man in the world were to sit down on the throne of God, for a single hour, and behold, as God continue ally does, the provoking abominations committed by men during that hour, he would undoubtedly, in the next, set the world on fire and destroy it. “But he is God, and not man, therefore we are not consumed.”
Let us not abuse this amiable perfection by continuing in sin, but rejoice that this patient God is our God, and learn from him to be patient too.
Our God is SOVEREIGN ; he doth as he pleaseth, among the armies of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. Let us glorify him as such ; even when we cannot account for his sovereign proceedings. Thus did the apostle Paul, when he had contemplated the calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews, with their future restoration“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! And how much reason has every believer to admire the divine sovereignty, for to this he ascribes his personal salvation.
of God I am what I am.” He alone " made me to differ” from the most abandoned wretch on earth; O to grace how great a debtor am I! “ bless thou the Lord, O my soul ; and all that is within me, bless his roly name!
Our God is GOOD, and doeth good. Well may man say so; man so highly favoured in his structture, in the powers of his mind, in his superiority over the creatures, in his immortality, and above all, in his redemption by the Son of God. God is indeed in a vast variety of respects “good to all ;" “his tender mercies are over all his
works,” and « the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” O that men, O that all men, would praise the Lord for his goodness ; but let them especially do so, who have-a special interest in his favour ; let them shout for joy, and say, This good God is our God, for ever and ever!