It will be profitable to read the rest of the psalm which furnished us with our last lesson. May the Holy Spirit sweetly bless it to all of us.
The divine poet now sings of the Lord’s mercy to sailors in time of tempest.
What a pity that they had not prayed before! What condescension on the Lords part to hear them now! However long we may have neglected prayer, it is never too late. If the ship is sinking we may even then cry to God.
He does it all. He commanded the stormy wind to blow and he bids it cease. Some wise men attribute all this to abstract laws. The wisdom which puts God further off is wretched folly; our bliss lies in feeling him to be near.
Sailors should go to the house of God as soon as they land, and unite with the general praise. It is to be feared that many who prayed on the sea curse on shore.
The song now treats of the various changes of human life and the mercy seen in them all.
God who turned the fruitful land into a wilderness, also transforms the wilderness into a garden. He can bless or curse most effectually. Who would not be, agreed with him? If we are in the worst condition, let us have hope, for the Lord turns dry ground into watersprings.
This contrast is continually dwelt upon in Scripture, and is especially noticeable in the songs of Hannah and Mary. The Lord casts down the high and lifts up the low: let his name be praised, for thus he rectifies the wrongs of this evil world.
The psalm is a spiritual riddle, and those who are taught of God will spy out the meaning. Providence also is often an enigma, but faith interprets it, and sees the love of God in everything.
Amidst the roaring of the sea,
My soul still hangs her hope on thee;
Thy constant love, thy faithful care,
Is all that saves me from despair.
O Lord! the pilot’s part perform,
And guide and guard me through the storm;
Defend me from each threatening ill,
Control the waves, say, “Peace—be still!”
Though tempest-tossed, and half a wreck,
My Saviour through the floods I seek;
Let neither winds nor stormy main
Force back my shattered bark again.