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trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.” The enemies of David came to swallow him up, but he encouraged himself in the Lord his God. He attended to bis orders. He considered the word which was spoken to him. He depended upon it, and had reason to praise God for his faithfulness: for God fulfilled it unto him. There was
in it a
PROMISE, as well as a command-do this
and I will be with thee. The promise is always made good to them who keep the command in faith. The one is our divine warrant to fight; the other is our encourage ment to fight, in certain hopes of victory. Attend, O my soul, tò the promise, and fear not the accomplishment of it : “ In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee, shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and
that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise in judgment against thee thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” Thou art here forewarned of thine enemies: they shall gather against thee. But the Lord is not with them. He is thy defender and mighty deliverer, and he will bring all opposition to nought for thy sake. However numerous their hosts may be, yet they shall fall. Whatever weapons of war they may form, yet none of them shall prosper. This is the certain heritage of all believers. Their righteousness and their strength is of me, saith the Lord-I will fight their battles, and I will never leave them nor forsake them: I will make them daily conquerors ; and behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised them; I will make them more than conquerors.
Is this, O my soul, the infallible word of promise ? Has the Lord of hosts undertaken to stand by his people? Has he engaged to lead them out to war by his wisdom, to defend them in battle by his power, and to give them eternal victory to the praise of his own grace? O what motives are these to strengthen thy beart and thy hands. What hast thou reason to fear, since the almighty is on thy side? The battle is his. If hosts of enemies oppose, yet following his orders, and trusting to his strength, thy victory is infallibly sure: for then thou wilt fight against them strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; and thou wilt be invincible
IN THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD. This armour is the provision which God has made for the safety of his soldiers. He puts it on them, and he keeps it on them. It is a whole armour, a complete defence from head to foot. In great mercy, their God who provided it has revealed to them the use of every part. In the sixth of the Ephesians, the apostle has described it at
large. He supposes them to be acquainted with the Christian doctrines, and to have walked in the comfort of them, and he calls upon them to bring them into practice in their daily warfare : “ It only remains, my brethren,” says he," that ye be strong in the Lord,”—for no strength less than his can keep you" and in the might of what he is able to do,”—by faith relying upon his promise, and trusting to his power-"putting on the whole armour of God,”-that being strengthened mightily by the Spirit in the inner man, ye may be preserved dependent upon the Lord, and enabled to engage his strength, and to conquer to his glory. Unless you thus rely upon his word and arm, you will not be able to stand against the wiles of the devil : for we wrestle not only against flesh and blood, but also against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places : therefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be enabled to withstand, in the evil day, against the combined
legions of earth and hell, and after
have done all, to stand conquerors in the field of battle, when your enemies are driven out of it. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth--this is the first grace in use
SAVING KNOWLEDGE, which the holy. Spirit teaches. He guides believers into all truth necessary for their salvation. As the military girdle went round the loins, and bound all the armour together, so the knowledge of the truth, as it is in Jesus, binds together all the graces. It is of the essence of every one of them—it is light in the understanding to discover what they are, that they may be received into the heart in love, and that in obeying the truth, their influence may operate upon the life and conversation. When a man is thus taught of God, then he sees his need of the breastplate of righteousness, and he puts it on; namely, the IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS of the God
The breast-plate was armour for the vital parts--so is the righteousness of Christ.