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Sermon #2268 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “The Lord hath
been mindful of us.”
Text: Psalm 115:12
Subject: God’s Mindfulness of Man
Date: Tuesday Evening — March 29, 2016
Readings: Cody Henson and David Burge
You will find my text and the title of my message in the 115th Psalm — Psalm 115.
(Psalm 115:1-18) “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. (2) Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? (3) But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. (4) Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. (5) They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: (6) They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: (7) They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. (8) They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. (9) O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. (10) O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. (11) Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. (12) The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. (13) He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. (14) The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. (15) Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. (16) The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. (17) The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. (18) But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.”
Here’s my text and my subject…
(Psalm 115:12) “The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.”
“The LORD hath been mindful of us.” — I find that astonishing. Don’t you? — “The LORD hath been mindful of us.”
Š God is great. Man is nothing, less than nothing and vanity.
Š God is holy. Man is sin.
Š God is our rightful King. Man is a treasonous rebel.
Š God is light. We are darkness.
Š God is purity. We are corruption.
Š God is love. We are enmity.
Yet, though we are ever unmindful of him, God is mindful of us. The great God is mindful of us! Does that not astonish you? It astonishes me. And astonished David...
(Psalm 8:1) “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”
(Psalm 8:4) “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
God’s mindfulness of man astonished the inspired author of the Book of Hebrews too. Quoting David, , in Hebrews 2:6 we read…
(Hebrews 2:6) “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” — Let every heart be humbled and every mind attentive as we seek to know something of this wondrous fact. — “The LORD hath been mindful of us.” — “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” When Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist stood before Mary, she said, Who am I “that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43). When Mephibosheth bowed before David, he cried, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” (2 Samuel 9:8). How much more shall God’s elect, prostrate themselves before his throne, astonished by his grace, overwhelmed with his love, ask, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?”
This is a subject too big for my puny brain to fathom, or for my heart to comprehend. Certainly, my tongue cannot begin to describe it. But let me try to show you something of God’s mindfulness of us. If you leave here knowing that “the Lord hath been mindful of us,” I will have accomplished, by the Spirit of God, what I came here to accomplish. My message will have been blessed of God to you. — I want us to see, rejoice in, and be overawed by the fact that…
Proposition: The God of glory is ever mindful of us. — He has his mind fixed upon his people, fixed upon us from eternity.
God’s mindfulness of his people to do them good is not something that began yesterday. There never was a time when he did not have our interests at heart. God’s mindfulness of us is co-eternal with himself (Psalm 103:17).
(Psalms 103:17) “The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”
God’s mindfulness of us did not begin yesterday. And it will not end tomorrow. God’s mindfulness of us to do us good is eternal, immutable, unconditional, and indestructible. God has been mindful of us, he is mindful of us, and he shall forever be mindful of us, to do us good. He says, “I will not turn away from them to do them good” (Jeremiah 32:40).
1st — God’s mindfulness of us is seen in the decree of election. — We were chosen of God in Christ to be the heirs of grace, salvation, and everlasting glory before the world began (John 15:16; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).
(John 15:16) “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:13) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
(1 Peter 1:2) “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
Oh how I rejoice in electing love! This act of God’s sovereign love is the source and fountain head of every other blessing of grace. Redemption, justification, regeneration, faith, perseverance, and glorification are the fruits of election.
Augustus Toplady wrote, “Election is the tree of life, whose leaves and fruit are for the healing of the nations.” (See Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-6).
(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
(Ephesians 1:3-6) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
2nd — God’s mindfulness of us is revealed in the everlasting covenant of redemption and grace (Hebrews 8:8-12; 10:15-17; 13:20-21).
(Hebrews 8:8-12) “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (9) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (11) And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
(Hebrews 10:15-17) “Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
Having determined to save a people for the glory of his own great name, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost entered into a solemn compact of grace, each pledging to the other all things necessary for the recovery of the chosen from the fall.
Let me talk to you, now, about the everlasting covenant. It is important that we understand the teaching of Scripture regarding it, because everything God does, has done, or will hereafter do is because of this covenant.
Š It is not a family covenant.
Š It is not a church covenant.
Š It is not a national, political covenant.
Š It is not a works covenant.
Š This everlasting covenant is a covenant of grace, pure, free, sovereign grace.
Š And it is a blood covenant.
(Hebrews 13:20-21) “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (21) Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
This covenant of grace was made in anticipation of the fall. —— Now, hear me carefully. —— The sin and fall of our father Adam did not take God by surprise. For reasons known only to himself, God decreed the fall. Yet, God’s decree of the fall in no way suggests or implies that he caused it, or that he is the author of sin (James 1:13-14).
(James 1:13-14) “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
Many say, “If you believe that God predestinated everything that comes to pass and works all things after the counsel of his own will, then you are saying that God is the author of sin.” You may make such a conclusion if you dare, I do not. I never heard or read a statement like that from a gospel preacher. The only people who talk so foolishly are ranting, will-worship Arminians who would rather charge God with sin than bow to his sovereignty! We believe exactly what is written in the Scriptures, no more and no less.
Are all things predestinated by God? Without question they are (Romans 11:36; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 1:11; Jude 4).
(Romans 11:36) “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
(2 Corinthians 5:18) “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
(Ephesians 1:11) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
(Jude 1:4) “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Is God the cause and author of man’s sin, unbelief, and eternal condemnation? He absolutely is not (John 5:40; 3:18, 36; Matthew 11:25-30; 23:37-38).
(John 3:18” “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
(John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
(Matthew 11:25-30) “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 23:37-38” “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
Does God overrule and use the sin and unbelief of men and demons for the good of his elect and the glory of his own name? He most certainly and wisely does (Psalm 76:10; Romans 8:28).
(Psalm 76:10) “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”
(Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Š The Lord God did not make Pharaoh pursue Israel; but he used it and ordained to use it.
Š God did not make Satan torment Job; but he used it and ordained to use it.
Š God did not make the Jews crucify his Son; but he used it and ordained to use it.
Š God did not make Adam sin and fall; but he used it and ordained to use it.
We must not and will not second guess our God. We simply bow before him in reverent adoration of his wisdom, justice, sovereignty, and goodness, and worship him. Neither will we alter his Word to please men and women who despise his glorious sovereignty.
This blessed covenant of grace was ordered in all things and sure from eternity (2 Samuel 23:5).
(2 Samuel 23:5) “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”
It was in anticipation of the fall, grace was given us in Christ, the Surety of the covenant, before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9-10).
(2 Timothy 1:9-10) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Š The fall was as sure and certain as the recovery of God’s elect from the fall (Genesis 2:17).
Š The crucifixion of Christ was as sure and certain as the redemption accomplished by it (Acts 2:23).
Š And the eternal ruin of the reprobate was as sure and certain as the salvation of God’s elect (Romans 9:21; 1 Peter 2:8; Jude 4).
Š But the cause of the fall is in Adam. The cause of our recovery is God.
Š The cause of Christ’s crucifixion is in the Jews. The cause of redemption is God.
Š The cause of unbelief is in man. The cause of faith is God.
Š The cause of eternal ruin is the sin of man. The cause of eternal salvation is the grace of God.
You can argue with that and fuss about all you want, the fact still stands — “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Š Sin is my work. Salvation is God’s work.
Š Misery is my doing. Mercy is God’s doing.
Š Guilt is mine. Grace is God’s.
3rd — God’s mindfulness of his elect is seen even in the fall of Adam. — We have a proverb that says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” But in this case that proverb is altogether wrong. Had it been best for sin never to have entered the world, sin would never have entered the world. God would not have allowed it. Had it been best for Adam not to fall, God would not have permitted the fall.
Satan did not sneak into the garden unnoticed. He did not overpower Omnipotence and snatch Adam from the hands of God. He tricked mother Eve, caught father Adam in a snare, and polluted our race. But he did not trick God, catch him in a snare, or disrupt his purpose.
The Triune God was mindful of us when we fell in the Garden. He ordained our Adam fall because he had something better in store for his elect than we could ever have known in Eden.
We could never have known the grace and glory of God in Christ as we now know it, and shall know it in heaven, had we never fallen in Adam. In the garden, in the first creation, in Adam, God made man a little lower than the angels. But in the new creation, in regeneration, in Christ, he has crowned man with glory and honor that can never be known by the angels.
Š I might envy the angels of heaven, because they have never known sin.
Š But the angels of heaven might envy me, because they have never known redemption, grace, salvation, and forgiveness.
So mindful was God of us in the fall that he would not expel our fallen parents from the garden until he first preached the gospel to them and showed them how he would redeem us (Genesis 3:15-21).
(Genesis 3:15-21) “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (16) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (17) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; (18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; (19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (20) And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. (21) Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
Š The Lord sought and found the fallen pair. — “Where art thou?”
Š He promised a Redeemer and Redemption.
Š He stripped them of their fig leaf aprons.
Š He killed an innocent victim for them.
Š He clothed them in the skins of the slain sacrifice.
4th — God’s mindfulness of his elect is set before us most wondrously in blood atonement by the death of his darling Son as our Substitute (Hebrews 2:1-18).
(Hebrews 2:1-18) “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (2) For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; (3) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (4) God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (5) For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. (6) But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? (7) Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (8) Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (10) For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (11) For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (12) Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (13) And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (17) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.”
4th — God’s mindfulness of us was proved by his patience and providential care of us throughout the days of our sin, rebellion, and unbelief (Jude 1).
(Jude 1:1) “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”
During the whole time of our unregeneracy, though we were not mindful of him, “The Lord hath been mindful of us.” He preserved us for Christ, by special providence, unto the appointed time of our calling and conversion by his almighty grace. Every elect sinner is immortal in this world until he is born again!
Š The Jailor (Acts 16:27-31).
Š Gomer (Hosea 2:8).
Š Onesimus (Philemon 1-16).
Š The Prodigal (Luke 16).
Since Our Calling
And 5th — how God has been mindful of us since the time of our calling! — He was mindful of us in old eternity, mindful of us when we fell in Adam, mindful of us in redeeming us by the precious blood of Christ, mindful of us throughout the days of our rebellion until the time of our calling from death to life by the almighty, irresistible power and grace of his Spirit. But since that day, our God has constantly been mindful of us. He declares, “I will not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15); and he never has!
God’s mindfulness of us is seen in his maintaining his work of grace in us and carrying it on, infallibly, unto the perfection of everlasting glory. Our faithfulness to God is the result of his mindfulness of us.
Š He preserves us amidst the corruption of our hearts, the temptations of Satan, and the allurements of the world.
Š He remembers that we are dust and gives us grace sufficient for every need.
Š He is even mindful of us when we fall (Mark 16:7). — Peter — He restores!
(Job 5:19) “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.”
(Psalm 34:19) “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
(Psalm 37:24) “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”
(Proverbs 24:16) “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
But there is one thing God is not mindful of. Blessed be his name forever! God is not mindful of our sin, because he is ever mindful of the blood of his dear Son! (Romans 4:8).
God is mindful of us, not because of anything in us, but for his own name’s sake. We love things because they are lovely. God loves us to make us lovely! —God is mindful of us. Let us ever be mindful of him.
Š Mindful of His Truth.
Š Mindful of His Love.
Š Mindful of His Word.
Š Mindful of His Ordinances.
Š Mindful of His Providence.
Š Mindful of His People.
Š Mindful of His Will.
Š Mindful of His Honor.
(Psalm 115:12) “The LORD hath been mindful of us: (therefore) he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.”