Thursday, August 26, 2010

Edwards Offers Encouragement to The Fearful

One of Edwards' sermons that I read this week was titled "God's Care for His Servants in Time of Public Commotions," and it seemed so timely. His central doctrine in the sermon is, "In the time of great public commotions and calamities, God will take thorough and effectual care that his servants shall be safe." I have been thinking a great deal about the notion of America and just how rooted and invested we as the church should be in her survival, and in her persistence. I may talk a bit about these things at a later time, but what I want to suggest is that the fear which many I know within the church have regarding the coming years, economic tumult, fears of social disorder, the stockpiling of guns, bullets and gold... all of these things reflect a fundamental distrust that God will preserve his church, and as such, Edwards' words are profoundly helpful to the wavering and fearful saint:
God's covenant with them is more stable than the foundation of states and kingdoms. 'Tis an everlasting covenant that is “ordered in all things, and sure” (2 Samuel 23:5). God has once sworn by his holiness, and he won't alter the thing that is gone out of his mouth (Psalms 89:34). He has often promised that he will preserve them safe and happy through all changes and troubles. Isaiah 3:10, “Say ye to the righteous, it shall be well with him.” In Psalms 91:4, he promised that he will do with them in times of public commotion and calamity as a bird does to shelter her young in her nest from the rain in a time of storm: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

He has promised that when they pass through the waters, he [will be] with them, and through the rivers, and they shall not overflow them; and when they walk through the fire, they shall not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon them (Isaiah 43:2). If there comes a time of famine or a time of dreadful calamity and destruction by war, God has promised to preserve them from the power of the sword, and from men that are furious as the wild beasts of the earth, and from all destruction. Job 5:19-22, “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.”

These promises stand here, and cannot be removed. God's covenant will remain not only when states and kingdoms are overthrown, but when the everlasting mountains and perpetual hills are removed. Isaiah 54:10, “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.”

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