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THE LORD PROVIDES.

“I HAVE been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” – Psalms xxxvii. 25.

This is the individual experience of David, the servant of the Lord. His words in this Psalm set forth his trust in the Lord for all things needful in time and in eternity. He exhorts the saints not to fret because the wicked seem to prosper in this world. He is told not to be envious against the workers of iniquity. David assigns the reason why he should forbear from envy when the wicked seem to prosper: “For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” From David’s viewpoint it is all important to the children of God to trust in the Lord. “Delight thyself also in the Lord.” He seems to mean from this that the child of God should find delight in submitting himself to the reverses of providence that seem to be against him. It is a self-sacrifice to the natural mind to “commit thy way unto the Lord.” Again and again, here and elsewhere, David says, “Trust in the Lord.”, Do we always heed his words? In our journey through life are our minds resting on these words, and are our actions showing absolute trust in Him? To offset future providential reverses, are we planning some scheme to outflank the way of the Lord when reverses come? Do we do as the prodigal son, join ourselves to a citizen, or citizens, of our country for relief in famine instead of looking to the Lord? It seems to me that the noblest work of man on earth is to praise the Lord. We know that man is helpless in this work; but the Lord does sometimes fill his soul with praises, and this holy desire and willingness to praise the Lord ought to move his tongue, feet and hands to show forth the praises of God, who calls him out of darkness into his marvelous light. Men often say in tempting a child of God, Do not wait for Providence to bless you with a competency, just give us a little money regularly and we will provide largely for your future. David, the servant of God, says, “Rest in the Lord, and Wait patiently for him.” Which man shall We take heed to, the man of the world or the man of God? It seems an easy matter for a true believer to decide, but do all believers follow David’s instructions, to trust in the Lord, and wait until “he shall bring forth the righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday”? The child of God often falls into the error so prevalent among men, like this: God is so slow, it will not do to wait so long, and maybe it is by my own energy that I must succeed, in this life at last. Now, I may use the words of David at the head of this letter: “I have been young, and now am old,” which is personally true. To-day I wish to speak of material things, for I believe that in the twenty-fifth verse, as above, David meant material things primarily. A spiritual interpretation of the text no doubt will hold good. David was in this world, and he had need of earthly things, principal of which was bread. All saints have been, or will be, in this World, for surely a saint is a sinner sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Jesus Christ and called with an holy calling. During their stay in the flesh, or this world, they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, or until deliverance. This must cover all their time in this world. Does God provide essentials for the maintenance of the natural lives of his saints? Who will answer no? None, I think. Then let us live as though the Lord knew all our needs without our fretting when the para sites come to our doors representing secret orders and insurance companies, holding out wonderful inducements that guarantee a future harvest for a small investment. Bear in mind the words of an inspired apostle: “But my God shall supply all your needs, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Phil. iv. 19. Giving does not impoverish the Lord, nor does withholding from giving enrich him, for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof, so that he weighs the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance, and measures the sea in the hollow of his hand; he also takes up the isles as a very little thing. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” – Psalms xxiii. 1, 2. David here shows his confidence in the full provision of the Lord by showing how he rests in the midst of abundance, lying down in green pastures (or tender grass), and of being slowly led, as it were, by still Waters, or waters of quietness. These words indicate a trust and a waiting upon the great Shepherd for all his needs, making him to feel like seeking none other to supply his need. David, knowing that the Lord was his Shepherd, could say in his old age that he had not seen the righteous forsaken. “The righteous” in this connection could not mean any other than those who believe that God is supreme, above all gods, who are enabled to trust in the Lord for all things. Do not God’s saints embrace the words of Job in his adversity? “What! Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” The righteous may be forsaken, but David had not seen him forsaken nor his seed begging bread. “His seed” here no doubt means the “holy seed,” or chosen generation, peculiar people who believe on the holy name of the Lord. This “holy seed” may be cast down, in distress, in darkness through poverty, crying for mercy, yet they are not forgotten by the Lord, hence not forsaken. Hear the Lord in his dealings with his “chosen.” “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” The “small moment” that the face of the Lord is bid from us may seem to us months, or years, yet with the Lord it is but a moment, “for the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever.” The care and the keeping of the saints by the Lord evidently embrace the times of their lives on earth, and the very minutest detail of their sustenance, or else could Jehovah know their times of dissolution? I have been a great sinner all my life, yet the Lord has blessed me with life, bread and many comforts, all of which I am unworthy. Then grace from first to last is my only plea.

In hope of immortality,
J. F. BEEMAN.
TIAWAH, Okla., Aug. 2, 1914.

Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 17.
September 1, 1914