The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"In his favour is life."—Ps. xxx. 5.
Oh for grace to keep this always in view, for then, thou dear Lord, I should never consider my dead frames, or dead feelings, since I well-know that thou ever bearest favour and good-will towards thy people. For if thy providences frown, or seem to frown, do I not know that behind that aspect thy countenance is the same, always gracious, always favourable, and that thou art invariably pursuing the everlasting happiness of thy people? Let it please thee, my Lord, to grant me this morning such views of thy favour, that I may henceforth trace it in every thing. Was it not this favour that first opened a source of salvation? Was it not this favour that brought me into a participation of it? Was it not this favour that begat me to the knowledge of it—that quickened me to an enjoyment of it—that opened the communication of it, by which thy grace became imparted to my soul? And was it not the same favour that kept alive the incorruptible spark, and maintained it through all the attempts of sin, and the world, and the powers of darkness to extinguish it? Nay, blessed Jesus, what is it now but thy favour that secures me in thy love, and gives me all the inexpressible felicities of mercy, pardon, and peace now, and everlasting glory hereafter? And is not thy favour, then, better than life? Is it not more precious than rubies? Can there be aught desirable like it? Truly, Lord, in thee and thy favour I have life, for thou art both my light and my life; my heart trusteth in thee, and I am helped. "Remember me then, Oh Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people, Oh visit me with thy salvation.
"Jehovah-nissi."—Exod. xvii. 15.
Jehovah-nissi, is the suitable inscription for every undertaking. The meaning is, "The Lord is my banner." And how blessed is it to set this over us in all the conflicts of our warfare, because it appeals to God, and calls in God to our help in all emergencies. Hence the church cries out, "We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we wilt set up our banners." Ps. xx. 5. And how lovely is the church described, when strengthened in the Lord her God, "looking forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners Song vi. 10. But this inscription hath a yet more special reference to Jesus. The history to which it belongs, gives us an account of Amalek, with whom the Lord declared "he would have war from generation to generation." Now as Joshua was a type of Christ, so Amalek became a type of the devil. There is nothing neutral in this war; "He that is not for us, is against us;" but what a blessed relief is it to the soul, that the issue is not doubtful! While Christ is our banner, and Jehovah-nissi the glorious name under whom we fight, we shall be more than conquerors through him who helpeth us. The cause is his, the glory of God in salvation his, the everlasting issue of it his, and the whole termination his. Hence we go not forth as to a thing doubtful, but already sure. Sit down, my soul, this evening, and write Jehovah-nissi upon all that concerns thee. The Lord is engaged for thee in this holy warfare. The Lord hath sworn that he will have war with all the enemies of his Christ, from generation to generation. Hence he will have a suited grace, and a suited strength, proportioned to the wants of all his people. The name, the person, the work, the righteousness, the finished salvation of the Lord Jesus, is, and must be a banner for triumph, because of the truth. Therefore, as David, who, long before he had possession of the kingdom, enjoyed it by faith; so in Jesus, our Jehovah-nissi, we may with confidence cry out as he did, "Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;" Christ is mine, and heaven is mine; yea, all things are mine; for "Christ is the strength of my life, and my portion for ever."