29 FEBRUARY (PREACHED ON 28 FEBRUARY 1794)
When he hides his face
‘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: Psalm 13:1–6
When he hideth. Here it is supposed that the Lord may hide his face from those to whom he has once given quietness. This for wise reasons:
(i) to show them what is in their hearts. When the sun sets, beasts come forth.
(ii) to keep them from spiritual pride.
(iii) to make them value peace the more.
(iv) to teach them how to walk with others.
(v) to chastise them for unfaithfulness in their walking.
When he does hide his face, who can behold him? We can then gain little help from:
(i) knowledge. We may speak, read, hear of divine truths, but there is little life and comfort in them till the Lord returns.
(ii) experience. We think in our happy times, ‘Sure I shall never forget this.’ But we may be left to doubt of all.
(iii) helps from men. All are then found miserable comforters.
For a close: this is scriptural, agreeable to the experience of the most—in this path you may see the footsteps of the flock. Be not surprised if some talk otherwise, but keep close to your Bibles. I would press believers to assurance, but not to be strong in themselves as if they had a stock of grace and comfort within. Our strength is in the Lord.
FOR MEDITATION: See the necessity of walking humbly and closely with the Lord in his ways. Not as the condition of salvation—this is in Christ alone—but as the means of keeping the evidence clear. If thus with the Lord’s people, what must the sinner and ungodly expect? To believers, though the streams fail, the fountain is sure. But O if the Lord should hide his face in death, or frown upon from his judgement seat.
SERMON: JOB 34:29 [2/2] [ON THE FAST DAY]