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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Knowing The Secrets Of God

Those who truly fear the Lord hear the Lord’s voice speaking words of truth and mercy that they can venture to utter words of faith and hope. There are times when, in the face of His silence, they who fear Him cannot advance nor speak to the Lord. And when they have presented their suit, they look up for an answer in peace. This the Lord often gives them by a word in season spoken to their heart. It is wise, however, to remember sometimes, He may not give any intimation of His acceptance of their prayer till the time for granting their request has come. Dr. John Kennedy writes:

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” – Psalm 25:14

The Spirit, who makes known and applies the provision of the covenant, and who, in doing so, first quickeneth the dead, hath given unto these the peculiar knowledge which they have. Their knowledge, therefore, is spiritual; not merely because the Spirit gave it, but because they were made spiritual in order to receive it. It is the spirit born of the Spirit that takes knowledge of the things of God. It is the life of God in their understanding that perceives the mind of God in His Word. That same life in the heart seeks the enjoyment of what is known. This desire accords with God’s gracious design; for His people have been enlightened to know, just in order to partake of the things of God. They are, therefore, helped to receive them by faith. And their faith is not exercised in vain. The fullness of covenant grace in Christ is reached and communicated, and out of that fullness they receive, “and grace for grace.” (John 1:16) As the High Priest in heaven pleads, “Sanctify them through thy truth,” so, under His government and by His Spirit, they on earth receive; and “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,” they ” are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 4:18)

But is there nothing more intimate than this in God’s intercourse with His people? Is this all that is implied in the secret of the Lord being with them that fear Him? Is this peculiar privilege exhausted in their receiving a saving knowledge of the covenant of grace as revealed in the gospel? Is this all the proof given of their being the favorites of heaven? Is it what is barely necessary for their salvation alone God gives to His beloved people? Giveth He no assurance to them of His love to themselves individually? Do they remain ignorant of His mind in reference to the cases which they carry to His footstool, and there spread out before Him? Is God silent when they plead for others? Does He altogether hide from them, as He does from the world, the bearings and coming issues of His providence? Surely they are deceived who think that these things are so. And yet how many there are who would evacuate the communion of the Lord with His people of all special proofs of how near and dear to Him they are, and who regard the privilege, referred to in the text, as enjoyed merely in attainment of what is essential to salvation. . . .

He often maketh known their election to them who fear Him. He acquaints them with His everlasting purpose to save them; yet this is not directly revealed. The fact of the election of any particular in not found written in the Bible; and yet by means of the word in connection with His work of grace, He, by His Spirit, maketh it known to believers. The secret of His everlasting purpose of mercy is thus with them that fear Him. Of His special covenant love to themselves individually they are made assured, but in a manner very different from that in which they are persuaded of His good will to men. Tokens of that love the Lord giveth to His people; but His way of doing so is a secret hid from all who do not receive them.

Thus, too, by means of the written word, does God often reveal to them who fear Him the issues to which He will bring their cases when they deal with Him by prayer. Applying to their case a word in season, He excites an expectation of such a result as that word doth indicate, and thus His purpose of dealing with them in a particular way is made known. They are thus enabled to anticipate an event in their own spiritual history, without receiving any revelation of God’s unfulfilled purposes apart from the light of Scripture. (“The Secret of the Lord”)

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