Ps. 130:4

Robert Hawker

"But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared."–Ps. cxxx. 4.

My soul, this is a golden psalm, and every portion of it more ponderous in value than the choicest gold of Ophir; and this verse is as the tried gold, to ascertain the purity and value of all the rest. The cries of a truly broken heart, from the depth of sin to the depth of divine mercy, with which the psalm opens, prove the work of the Holy Ghost, imparting the words with which the humbled soul comes before the Lord. And the blessed consolations which this verse contains, in the view of the mercy-seat, and the mercy there (which is all-precious Jesus, the first-born in the womb of mercy; yea, mercy itself) as plainly prove the leadings of the Holy Ghost to him, who alone can say, "Oh Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help!" Ponder, my soul, these precious words: "But there is forgiveness with thee." Is it not as if thou wert to say to thy God and Father, when under deep searchings of heart by reason of conscious sin, There is Jesus with thee; he is my propitiation; he is my propitiatory, the mercy-seat, between the cherubim of glory; in whom, and from whom, thou hast promised to speak to thy people! And shall I doubt thy pardoning love and favour, as long as I behold Jesus with thee? Shall I for a moment question my acceptance in the beloved, while I behold "the man at thy right hand, even the Son of man, whom thou madest strong for thyself?" Shall I fear coming to a God in Christ for pardon, so long as I am interested in the forgive, ness that is with thee, in God the Son's righteousness and atoning blood; and God the Father's covenant engagements in him, got the display of the glory of his grace?' Oh, how unanswerably strong, conclusive, and satisfactory, to a poor burdened conscience, is this view of Jesus, the propitiatory; Jesus the propitiation! But what is the meaning of the expression in the latter part of the verse; "there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared?" Would not the verse read better if it were said, that thou mayest be loved? Oh no; "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." And although "perfect love casteth out fear," that is, the fear of hell, the bondage fear of unpardoned sin; yet, the child-like fear, which a sense of pardoning love begets in the soul, is among the sweetest exercises of the renewed nature. Devils fear and tremble, and feel despair and horror; but the affectionate fear of a dutiful child is the reverse of this, and only manifests itself in the most earnest desire never to offend. And the sense of God's forgiving love, and of Jesus always on the propitiatory, becomes the great preservative from sin. Hence the Lord himself saith, "I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me," Jer. xxxii. 40. My soul, fold up this sweet portion, and take it with thee to thy pillow, that it may lie down with thee, and rest in thine heart; that Jesus, thy Jesus, thy propitiation, is with Jehovah, that thou mayest fear him; and he may be thy exceeding joy and confidence, both now and for ever. Amen.


Robert Hawker

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