Saturday, May 31, 2014

Praise on an empty bough

Praise on an empty bough

February 19, 2014 at 8:36am

Birds sing 
on a bare bough.
Believer, cans't not thou?
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation...
~ Habakkuk 3:17-18

The prophet looked back upon the experiences of the church in former ages,
and observed what great things God had done for them,
and so was not only recovered, but filled with holy joy.
He resolved to delight and triumph in the Lord;
for when all is gone,
his God is not gone.
Destroy the vines and the fig-trees,
and you make all the mirth of a carnal heart to cease.
But those who, when full,
enjoyed God in all,
when emptied and poor,
can enjoy all in God.
They can sit down upon the heap of the ruins of their creature-comforts,
and even then praise the Lord, as the God of their salvation, the salvation of the soul,
and rejoice in Him as such, in their greatest distresses.
Joy in the Lord is especially seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in the world.
Even when provisions are cut off, to make it appear that man lives not by bread alone,
we may be supplied by the graces and comforts of God's Spirit.
Then we shall be strong for spiritual warfare and work,
and with enlargement of heart may run the way of His commandments,
and outrun our troubles.
And we shall be successful in spiritual undertakings.
Thus the prophet, who began his prayer with fear and trembling,
ends it with joy and triumph.
And thus faith in Christ prepares for every event.
The Name of Jesus, when we can speak of Him as ours,
is balm for every wound, a cordial for every care.
It is as ointment poured forth, shedding fragrance through the whole soul.
In the hope of a heavenly crown,
let us sit loose to earthly possessions and comforts,
and cheerfully bear up under crosses.
Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come,
and will not tarry;
and where He is, we shall be also.
~ Matthew Henry

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