By Edgar F. Reibetanz
was the mercy of God. We see something of this in verses 5 and 6 of this Psalm: “ Gracious is Jehovah, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. Jehovah preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he saved me.” You can .see, then, that it is out o f this experience of his own sinfulness and the realization of the graciousness of God that David utters this cry—“ What shall I render unto Jehovah for all his benefits toward me?” Let us face the question. What is it possible for us to render? I f we search the Scriptures, we will find very little encouragement to make us believe that there is anything we can render. For example, God’s Word makes clear to us that there is no righteousness in us. It plainly tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags before God. There is no understanding; there is no seeking after God. We have all turned aside unto our own ways, and we are together become unprofitable. We are told that there is none that doeth good. The record of God’s Word makes it clear that we were weak, we were ungodly, we were dead in trespasses and sins. We were “ separate from Christ, alienated from- the common wealth o f Israel, strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” This is the record of the Word o f God, not our word. These things being true, what then could we possibly render unto God for all His benefits toward us? Someone asks, “ What about church membership? What about being active in the affairs of the church? What about teaching a Sunday school class, or taking part in the work of the women’s missionary society? What about being chari table? What about living a good, clean, moral, upright life?” What about these things? They are all works—and the Bible declares that a man can never be justified before God by works. In the matter o f salvation God is not at all inter ested in what we do until we are interested in what He has done. And what has He done? He has given the Lord Jesus Christ, .His beloved Son, to be the propitiation for our sins; He has laid upon Him the iniquity o f us all, in order that we, through faith,in Christ as our sin-bearer, may be freed from the guilt and the penalty which is rightfully ours, and that thus we might stand justified before God. There is nothing— absolutely nothing — that we can render unto God for all His benefits toward us. What, then, can we do? The continuing words of the Psalmist give us the answer. “ What shall I render unto Jehovah for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation” ! “ I will take the cup of salvation” ! That cup—how-signifi cant it is! It speaks of suffering; it speaks of shed blood; it speaks of death. God provided that cup, filled to the brim with the suffering of Calvary, and Christ drained that cup for you and for me. We are all familiar with the incident in the Garden of Gethsemane when our Lord went apart and kneeling down, prayed, “ Father, if thou be willing, remove this' cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” That cup, dear friends, had within it the treachery o f one of His own inner circle of friends. Into that cup was poured the shame and humiliation of Pilate’s hall. Mingled with al], else were the thorns that cut their way into His brow. In that cup were the lashes across His back, the mocking, the purple robe of scorn, the scepter o f .derision. Into that cup were the nails that drove their cruel way into His precious hands. Into that cup was poured the railing of the thieves, the cries o f the mob about the foot of the cross. Into that cup went the spear that brought blood and water from His wounded side. Into that cup, beloved, were your sins and my sins, and the sins of the whole world! And what happened? The Lord Jesus Christ, the gift of God’s love for your redemption, drained that cup to its bitter T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
L ift not up your horn on high; Speak not with a stiff neck.
For neither from the east, nor from the west, Nor yet from the south, cometh lifting up. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and lifteth up another. For in the hand of Jehovah there is a cup, And the wine foameth; It is full o f mixture, And he poureth out of the same: Surely the dregs thereof, A ll the wicked of the earth shall drain them, And drink them. (Psalm 75:5-8 ASV.)
S OME time ago I had an opportunity to hear the funeral service of a very high-ranking clergyman in a large eastern city. The one who was in charge o f the service prayed fervently for the soul of the departed, calling upon all the host of heaven to intercede for him. In the midst of all the pleading he quoted the words of David from the 116th Psalm: “ What shall I render unto Jehovah for all his bene fits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of Jehovah.” Now, this rather startled me. While pleading for the peace o f the dead, this man had quoted the words of one who sang o f God’s grace and mercy. It was difficult to understand. “ What shall I render unto Jehovah fo r all his benefits toward me?” These words are taken from a Psalm which is described as a thanksgiving for deliverance from death; and we have to concede that they are very appropriate words for a funeral service. However, I wonder if their tremendous import was realized that day by the man who used them. Truly David was a man after God’s own heart, and he sought to serve -God. And yet, David knew what sin was in his own life. He had experienced the fearful consequences of sinning against God. Because of this he saw how utterly ineffectual were his own efforts to be right before God—and this led him to see how great was the grace, how marvelous
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