THE GOD WHO LOADETH US WITH BENEFITS – DAILY
The text saith, “He daily loadeth us with benefits.” [Psalm 68:19] Let us keep to the English version just now. Take the words of it. What is it that He gives us? Benefits. We have a very beautiful word in the English language—benevolence. You know that means good wishing, bene volens. He may be a benevolent man who is not able to do any act of kindness, to give any of his substance away for lack of any. But God’s goodness to us is not merely bene volens, in which He wishes us well, but it is beneficence or good doing. His gifts and benefits are deeds of goodness, acts of goodness. He doth to us that which is good. He doth not only wish us well, and speak to us well, and direct us well, but He doeth well unto us. He doth not only say, “I pity thy last estate,” but He delivers the lost out of their ruin. He doth not say, as the churl doth, “Be thou warmed, and be thou filled,” and do no more, but, wishing us well, He doth well unto us; he warms our hearts with His love, and fills them with His mercy, and sends us on our way rejoicing.
It is true God speaks us well. What more could He say than, to us, He has said in His blessed Word? It is true He wishes us well. “As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, but had rather that he turn unto me and live.” But the essence of His goodness lies in this, that He goes beyond wishes and words into acts.
Begin, brethren, with the greatest of His acts. “He spared not His own Son, but freely delivered him up for us all.” In that gift He hath already given us all things, and from that blessed pledge He has never gone back, but He has given us all that we want for this life, and for the life to come, for ye have grace and glory, and hath abounded in each. The upper springs fail not, neither do the nether springs. If Christ is our perpetual bread and wine, so, too, our common bread, in answer to our prayer, is given us according to His assurance, “Thy bread shall be given thee, and thy water shall be sure.”
Will you try to think of the benefits which you have received, dear brother, dear sister? Turn them over now in your mind—the benefits that you have actually yourself received—not only read of, and heard of, and had promises of, but that you have received. Oh! the benefits of early education! the being restrained from, sin. Oh! the benefits of conviction! of being enlightened and made to see the guilt of sin. Oh! the sweet benefit of being led to the Saviour! made to stand at the foot of the Cross, where the blood speaks better things than that of Abel. Oh! the benefit of perfect pardon and of righteousness, which covers us and justifies in the sight of God!
What an unspeakable benefit is regeneration! Who shall prize the benefit of adoption? Who is he that shall describe the benefit of daily education in the things of God—of preservation from falling into final, vital sin—of sanctification carried on from day to day? We have benefits that we know of, but we probably have ten times as many that we know not of. Some of them come in at the front door of the house; some of the richest of them seem to steal in at the back door. They are among the most precious bounties that fly in with so soft a wing that we hear them not when they come. Ye shall sooner count the hairs on your head, or the dust upon the sand beach, than you shall be able to estimate the number of His benefits.
Leave that word then, and note the next. It is said in the text concerning God’s benefits, that He loads us with them—loads us with benefits. He does not put a little upon us of His goodness, but much; very much, until it becomes a load. Have you never known what it is to be bowed right down with such goodness? I have, I freely confess it—I have desired to praise Him, but a sense of love so bowed me down that I could only adopt the language of the psalmist and say, “Praise is silent for Thee, O God, in Zion.” It seemed as if “words were but air, and tongues but clay, and His compassion’s so divine,” that it was impossible to speak of them. His mercies, as our hymn said just now, come as think and as fast as the moments do. In fact, it is literally so.
Every moment needs heavings of the lungs, pulsings of the blood. The slightest circumstance might prevent one or the other. God’s continued benefits come to us even in the simple form of preserved life. We are constantly exposed to peril. “Plagues and death around us fly.”God preserves us from perils to the body. Our thoughts—whither might they go? They might in a moment lead us into heresies and foul blasphemies. It is no little thing to be preserved from that spiritual pestilence that walketh both in darkness and the noonday. Glory be to God, who sends us temporal and spiritual benefits so numerous, and each one so weighty, that eye cannot say less than this, “That He daily loadeth us with His benefits, until we seem bowed down to the earth under a joyful sense of obligation to His mercy.” “He loadeth us with benefits.”
Oh! are any of you inclined to murmur? Do you think God deals hard with you? Well, you are what you are by His grace. Though you are not what you wish to be, yet remember you are not what, if strict justice were carried out, you would be. In the poor-house you might be—few admire that residence. In the prison you might be—God preserves you from the sin that would bring you there. In the lunatic asylum you might be—better men and women than you are have come to that. At the grave’s mouth you might be—on the sick bed, on the verge of eternity. God’s holiest saints have not been spared from the grave. In hell you might be—amongst the lost, wailing, but hopelessly wailing, gnashing your teeth in utter despair. O God, when we think of what we are not, because Thy grace has kept us from it, we cannot but say, “Thou hast loaded us with benefits.”
But then think of what you are, you Christians. You are God’s children; you are joint-heirs with Christ. “All things are yours”; ay, and “things to come,” you have guaranteed too—preservation to the end, and you have, after the end of this life, glory without end. The “many mansions” are for you; the palms and harps of the glorified are for you. You have a share in all that Christ has, and is, and shall be. In all the gifts of His ascension you have a part; in the gifts that come to us through His intersession at the right hand of God, you have your share; and in, the glories of the Second Advent, the grand hope of the Church of God, you shall partake. See how, in the present, and in the past, and in the future, He loadeth you with benefits. There are two great words already.
But the next word is equally large. “Blessed be the Lord, who DAILY loadeth us with benefits.” A poor man shall call at your door, and you shall give to him all he wants for food, and cover him, and give him something to make glad his heart withal. If you do it once, you reckon that you have done well. Supposing he should call again to-morrow, you might find it in your heart to do the same. But suppose he called upon you seven days in the week: I am afraid that by degrees that would become seven times too often, for we count, when we have done men a good turn, that someone else should see to them next time. If we load them especially with benefits, we say, “Don’t encroach; don’t ride a willing horse too fast. You must not come again so often. You weary me.” Ah! this is man; but look at God. He daily loadeth us with benefits. How many days has He done that with some of us? Thirty years? “Ah!” saith one, “I can talk of sixty years”—yes, and some of you of seventy and eighty years. Well, He has loaded you with benefits every day. You have never been above the rank of a pauper, so far as your God is concerned.
But I will put it differently. You have been a gentleman commoner upon the goodness of God all your life. It has been your lot, like that of Mephibosheth, to sit daily at the King’s table and give a portion from him. And yet you murmur. You have been unbelieving, proud, idle; all sorts of ill-tempers have you shown. Yet has he daily loaded you with benefits. It has sometimes seemed to be a wrestling between our sin and God’s love, but up to this hour His love has conquered. We have drawn mightily upon His exchequer, but that exchequer has never been exhausted. The load of mercy which was used yesterday won’t do for to-day. Like manna, it must come fresh and fresh, and the blessing is that it does come fresh and fresh.
When God draws the curtain and stands in the sunlight, mercy streams in on the sunbeam; and when He shuts the eyelids of the day and the evening comes, it is mercy that puts its finger upon our eyelids and bids us rest. He “daily loadeth us with benefits”—every day; and He loads us with benefits not only on bright days, but on dark days. When we are sick, and tossing to and for upon the bed, He still is loading us with benefits, only in another form. He sends sometimes His choicest mercies to us in black-edged envelopes. The very brightest gems of heaven come to us, and we know them not. They sparkle not until faith’s eye has seen them. Nature has not perceived their excellence.
How He loadeth us with benefits on Sabbath days! There is a dear brother who is almost always here, who, when he sees me on Sunday mornings, generally makes use of some such exclamation as this, “Every day is good to me, but the Sabbath day is seven good days in one. It is blest seven times over.” And, indeed, it so is. He loadeth us with benefits on the Sabbath. But then we have our Monday mercies and our Tuesday mercies too; and right on to the close on Saturday night the Lord continues to heap on His mercies one after another, that He may make us feel that we shall sooner weary with thanking Him than He will weary in giving us cause for thankfulness.
Thank you Lord Jesus!