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16/01/2021 / Test All Things

A Seasonable Word In Trouble

I shall never forget one memorable season of trouble that I was in many years ago. I cannot tell the depths of distress I was plunged into. I wished to have done with time and sense, weary of life, longing to be gone, feeling I could not bear it. I was in such a way I cannot describe it, and all at once this passage dropped upon my heart: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee” (Isaiah 41:10). All my trouble left me, all was gone; peace and light and joy and gladness filled my heart. It was enough – “Fear thou not; for I am with thee”; and I felt the LORD was with me.

“How could I sink with such a prop as bears the earth’s huge pillars up?” I could have gone to heaven then. The LORD was with me. “I will be with him in trouble.” And the LORD says more: “I will deliver him” (Psalm 91:15). O what a precious promise! Whatever the trouble be, “I will deliver him.” Deliverance is from the LORD. He not only supports and sustains us in the midst of trouble, keeps our head above water, but He can actually deliver us out of it. He can cause us to stand on dry ground. He can raise us up out of the horrible pit and the miry clay where we are sunk, and set our feet upon a rock, and establish our goings. “I will deliver him.” Have you no deliverances to record, no mercies of any nature? Can you not look back and see when and how the LORD delivered you? “therefore will I deliver him. I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” (Psalm 91:14) – on the top of the rock, and then the waves may dash and beat their fruitless efforts at his feet. They cannot move the rock. The immovable Jehovah set me on the rock that is higher than I, and higher than these floods, and higher than the range of men and devils. I will raise him up out of the reach of all his foes; they shall not be able to come near unto him. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1); “It shall not come nigh thee” (Psalm 91:7). O precious promises! I remember that word once on a memorable occasion coming to my soul: “It shall not come nigh thee.” There was a trouble hanging over me like a thick thundercloud, and that word gave me much quietness: “It shall not come nigh thee.” I shall never forget how the word came to me in a dream of the night. Now, I am not for dreams and visions in a fanciful way, but I had this dream at this particular time. It seemed as though a cloud was over the whole face of the heavens, and at length it burst into a most awful storm and tempest. The lightnings flashed and the thunder roared, and a thunderbolt fell at my feet, but I was as calm and unmoved as I am now. This word seemed to drop at the very moment, and I had no fear; no, not the slightest. I shall never forget the time and the sweet effects. They were with me when I awoke, and continued for days. “It shall not come nigh thee.”

When Noah was shut up in the ark – Noah and the favoured few – you know how they were tossed about, the rains coming down from heaven, the waters rushing and dashing below. The windows of heaven were opened, and the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and while they were thus dashed upon the waters, not a drop came in unto them that were within. “It shall not come nigh thee.” So you see the believer may be surrounded by these troubles, and yet: “It shall not come nigh thee.” And there is something more in the expression used in reference to the making of the ark: “Thou … shalt pitch it within and without with pitch” (Genesis 6:14). Now, it is a most remarkable fact that the word pitch in Hebrew signifies also atonement. Now see, the slime or pitch with which it was daubed within and without kept every drop of water out. Now, this very expression for slime or pitch in the Hebrew signifies also atonement, and is it not the atonement that keeps out the water? Is it anything but the atonement that can keep the soul from the waters of God’s wrath, and from the floods of vengeance that shall sweep away the world of the ungodly? It is nothing but the atonement. It bears them up, and keeps out every drop of rain.“It shall not come nigh thee.”

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.” (Psalm 32:10)

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:11)

God cannot exact payment twice for the debt. He is satisfied; He has declared that He is well pleased with the righteousness of His beloved Son. He exacts no more; His justice demands no more; and therefore fury is not in Him. “I will set him on high…. I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)


J.C. Philpot

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