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Free Books » Muller, George » Sermons and Addresses by George Muller

Chapter 6 - Underneath are the Everlasting Arms Sermons and Addresses by George Muller by Muller, George


Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.

A Sermon preached at Bethesda Chapel, Great George Street, Bristol, on Sunday Evening, July 25th,1897·


There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in His excelIency on the sky.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the ever­lasting arms: and He shaIl thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shaIl say, Destroy them.

Israel then shaIl dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also His heavens shaIl drop down dew.

Happy art thou, 0 Israel: who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy exceIlency! and thine enemies shaIl be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.-Deuteronomy xxxiii., 26-29.

THERE is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in His ex­cellency on the sky." "Jeshurun" is the name for the Israelites; it means "the righteous ones." They are accounted thus on the ground of the work of the Mes­siah. In themselves most ungodly, very ungodly, often and often open idolators, and yet by reason of their union to the Messiah, they are called, "The righteous nation." In the first part of the chapter we have the blessing of each of the tribes. "Thy Thummim and thy Urim" (verse 8). Through their instrumentality, which was fixed in connection with their movements from the very first, the Israelites knew which way Jehovah would have them to go, how to act, and what to do under particular circumstances, when they desired to know the mind of God. "Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one."

After each of the twelve tribes of Israel had been in­dividually blessed through the instrumentality of Moses, for the whole of Israel, the whole of Jeshurun (commencing with the 26th verse), there is a blessing pronounced. "There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun." This is what our hearts continually say re­garding the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only true and living God. "There is none like unto Thee;" and this should fill our hearts with great comfort, that we have to do with one, Who is alone by Himself, with Whom no one can be compared, Who is almighty as to power, Who is infinite as to love; wisdom, grace, mercy, long-suffering, forebearance, and in Whom every blessing is to be found. None like Him! "None like unto the God of Jeshurun!" Then, of Him it is said as to His power, "Who rideth upon the heaven," and He does it "in thy help." One Who rideth upon the heavens as almighty. It is only He can do it, and He does do it for our help. How precious! We are, there­fore, beyond the power of our enemies, for on our side is He Who is able to ride on the clouds for our help! Who can do everything for our benefit-for that is the meaning of it. "Who rideth upon the heaven in thy help," or for the sake of helping thee; "for thy help."

"And in His excellency on the sky." In His almighty power, in His majesty, He rides on the sky. If this were continually before us, how peacefully we should pass on, remembering that our friend and helper in heaven can do everything, and not only can do everything, but is willing to do everything, for sinners who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation! The great business of life, therefore, in the first place, is to be reconciled to God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and, in order that this may be the case, we have to own that we are sinners, that we deserve nothing but punishment, and then put our sole trust for salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. The moment we do so, we are regenerated, we obtain spiritual life, we become the children of God, and as such the heirs of God, and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ; and this blessing we receive for eternity -it will never be taken from us, as assuredly as we put our trust in Jesus for salvation.

"The Eternal God is thy Refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms; and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, 'Destroy them!' " How precious again! "The Eternal God is thy Refuge," or thy dwelling-place. We are in Him, one with Him, shall not be separated from Him, because we dwell in Him; He is our dwelling-place. Just like what we read in the 90th Psalm. The Eternal God is our Refuge, our dwelling-place is found in Him, and underneath are the everlasting arms to protect us, to shield us, to keep us from harm, of every kind­-for, in reality, we are kept from harm of every kind.

Sometimes it appears as if we had been injured, physically, mentally, spiritually; but it is often only in appearance, and nothing but in appearance. In reality we are watched over, cared for, looked after, and shielded and protected by the almighty power, and the eternal, unchangeable love of God, by which He has loved us in Christ Jesus. 0, how precious! How pre­cious this! And just in the degree in which we are enabled to realise it, to enter into it, and to appropriate it to ourselves, the result is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. There is no trembling then, no fear then, no anxiety then, because we can say to ourselves, "God is on our side, God is for us; who can do us any harm?" Weak though we are, His everlasting arms are under us, to shield us, to watch over us!

"And he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, 'Destroy them.'" We have here especially to notice that before the Israelites ever got into the promised land, this was stated regarding them, and thus it came to pass. It was not their sword that obtained the land for them finally; but it was because God was on their side. "He thrust out the enemy from before them," and in a variety of ways this was done. Among all the ways, all the means used, was that God sent hornets against their enemies to drive them out and to destroy them. "He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee." And so it came to pass that they obtained the land, though they had to fight against seven great and mighty nations; but these seven nations could not stand before them, because God was against the enemies of the Israelites. God was for them, fighting habitually their battles, and appearing on their behalf at all times and under all circumstances. When there was a battle, great hailstones of the weight of more than one hundred pounds were smitten down on their enemies, whereby they were destroyed, so that more by the power of Jehovah, in one way or another manifested for the benefit of the Israelites, than by the sword of their own hand, were the enemies destroyed. "He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee." So He did, and so He destroyed them; because He spake the word, therefore it came to pass.

"Israel then shall dwell in safety alone." The enemies destroyed, the Israelites were left, and they occupied the land; but notice particularly this word, "Shall dwell in safety alone," because the real, true safety of the Israelites consisted in that they were separated from the Canaanitish nations. The moment they mixed up with the Canaanitish nations, their safety was at an end. And this is particularly to be noticed-­that real, true spiritual blessing consists in separation from the ungodly. If we would really be in safety, we have to live in separation from this present evil world, and not needlessly mix up with the ungodly. In all temporal affairs, it may be necessary now and then that we meet with them and mix with them; but in all spiritual matters we should seek to walk in separation from the ungodly. In this, and in this alone, consists our real, true spiritual safety.

"The fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also His heavens shall drop down dew." Not merely a land of corn and wine, but a fountain given beside. There was to be plenty of corn and wine in a land where everything was that was neces­sary. Water also, and dew also from heaven; and all this was given to the Israelites not because they deserved it, but as a token of their Father's love to them. And up to this present day is God thus going on with regard to His children. Everything that they really need, everything that is really good for them, everything that would truly prove a blessing to them, He is ready to give to them. And so, in our case, if the land of corn and wine were a blessing to us, it would be given to us; whatever is a real, true blessing God bestows, God delights to bestow, on His children. It is the very joy of His heart to do them good, at all times and under all circumstances; and He not only is willing to give them, where there is plenty of corn and wine, and plenty of water, but He also is ready to give them the dew in addition to these, so that everything may be there that tends to fruitfulness. All this for the purpose of making them as happy as they are capable of being while yet in the body.

Now, the result of all this. "Happy art thou, 0 Israel; who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency; and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places." "Happy art thou, 0 Israel." Now, the solemn, momen­tous question here is, "Are we happy?" We should individually ask ourselves at this moment, "Am I happy? Am I truly happy? Spiritually happy?" Not merely, "Have I enough of the necessaries of life?" Not merely, "Have I enough so that I am not at present in great trouble and difficulty?" But, "Am I spiritually happy?" That is the momentous point; and this real, true happiness is alone to be obtained through faith in Christ. We have to own before God that we are sinners, deserving no happiness; we have to own before God, that we are sinners, deserving nothing but punishment; and then to put our trust alone in Jesus Christ for the salvation of our souls. This brings about spiritual happiness. At first it may be only in a small degree; but the more we ponder what God has done for us in Christ, the more we feed spiritually on the Lord Jesus Christ, the more this peace and joy in God will increase. But there must be, first of all, a beginning made; and the question therefore is, "Have I the beginning of real, true, happiness in my soul? Do I know the Lord Jesus Christ? Have I come to Him for the salvation of my soul? Do I simply look to Him for salvation?" For without this, there is no real, true happiness to be had!

"Happy art thou, 0 Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord?" Are we saved by the Lord? That means, in other words, Do we comply with the conditions which God lays down in His Holy Word to save people? Do we put our trust in Jesus for the salvation of our souls? In doing so, the end will be peace and joy and happiness in a little degree; and the more we live on Christ, the more this real, true peace, joy, and happiness will increase. "Who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the Lord?" Who among us is able to say, "I am saved by the Lord; if the Lord Jesus were to come round, I should be found a saved one; if the Lord Jesus should take me now out of the world I am a saved one?" Who among us is able to say this? By the grace of God I am one of those who are able to say it; and it is just this which makes me truly happy. Without knowing this, there is no such thing as real, true happiness. "0 people saved by the Lord!" Then of Jehovah it is further said, "He is the Shield of thy help." He protects us. The shield was particularly for the sake of warding off the blows of the sword, or the power to harm of the dart; there­fore the shield was used to protect. And so, for our protection, we are spiritually shielded, and God Him­self is the shield.

"Who is the sword of thy excellency." That is true! It is God Himself Who is our sword, power, might, strength, and no accidents will come to us. It is not by our sword. It is not by our power, but by the arm of God, the power of God; and Him we have for us. He is on our side, and throughout eternity He will be on our side, if we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. "And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee." That is, shall be overturned, overthrown, conquered, shall have no power over thee, but thou shalt have power over them. "And thou shalt tread upon their high places"--that is, shalt drive them out, shalt overpower them, shalt overcome them. In their high places they make their boast; but thou shalt take their high places, and conquer them.

Now, once more, the great point is to know Christ, to be a believer in Him, to be found in Him. Now by far the greater part of those here present have found Him, and are believers in the Lord Jesus. Still there are a few present who are not yet believers in the Lord Jesus; and, therefore, real, true happiness and safety are not found as yet in them. But they may secure the like happiness which we who are believers in Jesus Christ have obtained. For we did not give it to our­selves, it was not by our goodness, merit, and worthi­ness that we came to what we have come, but by the mercy of God, through the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ wrought in us by the power of the Holy Ghost. And just as we, in the way of grace, obtained this blessing so any, in the way of grace also, may obtain a like blessing. No one has to say, "I am too far from God." They cannot be! "I am too great a sinner." This cannot be! Because there is power in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ over all sin; and every sin of which we have been guilty may be forgiven us through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 0, how precious that no one need despair!

Everyone who seeks salvation in God's own ap­pointed way, that is by alone resting on Christ for salva­tion, after they have confessed to being sinners, will obtain the blessing. But if in the least degree we depend upon ourselves, and think that we have to save ourselves, or to do something in order that we may be saved, we are holding a grievous error, and we shall never obtain the blessing. By the mercy of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, the oldest sinner, the greatest sinner, may obtain blessing; and, there­fore, no one need despair as to the salvation of his soul. Let us go hence, if we are not believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, under the deep conviction that we, individually, may obtain the blessing, and that there is nothing to hinder us. Once the blessing is obtained, little by little we shall be led on, by the grace of God, and by the help of God's Holy Spirit. God grant us individually a blessing according to our need.