28 FEBRUARY (PREACHED ON 28 FEBRUARY 1794)
He gives quietness
‘When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him?’ Job 34:29
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Job 34:21–30
True quietness and peace is not our portion by nature (Isaiah 57:21). It is the gift of God and, as the first communication, so the continuance depends upon him—if he hideth. The way in which he gives (for it is a free gift) we are taught in Isaiah 32:17. See also Psalm 29:11 and 85:8. When the righteousness of God by Jesus is made known, approved and received by faith, the effect is quietness. All can witness it is not to be found in the ways of sin, or in attempts to establish our own righteousness—or, if a seeming peace, it is not solid such as will bear examining. Therefore such are angry. But God’s peace—the more lived by his word, the more confirmed. As this quietness depends upon God, so upon him only—no matter who frowns, if he smiles (so Romans 8:31). It will stand the brunt against all charges: the law cannot disturb—an answer is prepared and the soul can admit every charge and yet plead Jesus; indwelling sin cannot remove it—this causes mourning, but the blood and grace of Jesus are effectual; changes of frames—these for a season occasion great searchings of heart and are always cause of humiliation, but, as faith grows, it can rejoice in an unchangeable God; temptations—these indeed are war, but the Lord can give peace in the midst of war; much less, outward afflictions—hear the Apostle who drank deep of this cup: Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
The tempter, who but lately said,
But JESUS pitied my distress,
I soon shall be his prey;
He heard my feeble cry;
Has heard my Saviour’s voice and fled
Revealed his blood and righteousness,
With shame and grief away.
And brought salvation nigh.
O wondrous change! but just before
Beneath the banner of his love,
Despair beset me round;
I now secure remain;
I heard the lion’s horrid roar,
The tempter frets, but dares not move
And trembled at the sound.
To break my peace again.
SERMON: JOB 34:29 [1/2] [ON THE FAST DAY]