Benhar Evangelical Church
THE BENHAR BANNER
‘Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it
may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.’
6th June 2020
Previous Banners are available here
A CALL TO PRAYER
We would ask God’s people to pray for the revival of His church, the awakening of the lost, and a merciful deliverance from the Coronavirus Pandemic at 3 pm, in their own homes, on the Lord’s Day.
SERMON FOR SUNDAY
The following is chapter fifteen and sixteen of the Rev. William S. Plumer’s book, ‘The Christian.’
XV. THE CHRISTIAN’S HOPE
‘…hope thou in God…’. Why should I not? I need just such a friend. He has all power and strength, and I am very weak. I cannot even think a good thought of myself. Nor do I know how to pray as I ought. If the Lord does not help my infirmities, I shall do nothing aright. But I can do all things if He will gird me with strength. I will hope in God.
He has, too, all the knowledge to understand my whole case, and all the wisdom necessary to direct everything concerning me. He makes no mistakes. He is never deceived. He is never outsmarted. He knows all things. He knows my weaknesses. He knows my sorrows. He knows my heart. And He is so wise that He takes the cunning in their own craftiness. His wisdom never fails. He is never confounded or perplexed.
He has as much mercy and kindness as I need. His loving-kindness is so great that human belief has never seen to the top or the bottom, to the length or the breadth of it. The ocean of the Divine love is boundless and inexhaustible. God's love is strong. It passes ‘…the love of women.’ It is infinite. It produces the most amazing results. It fills all pious hearts with joy. It fills heaven with hallelujahs. Oh, I will hope in God.
Nor could I desire more truth and faithfulness than are found in God. They are unchangeable and immeasurable. They reach unto the clouds, yea, above the heavens. They are unto all generations. ‘God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?’ He has never broken covenant with any of His creatures. His mercies are rich and free. That is a blessed truth, but it would be powerless if we could not also say that His mercies are sure. Oh, I must and will hope in God.
If I hope not in God, I will be apt to look to myself, and I am a fool and a sinner, a worm and blind, crushed before the moth, and unworthy of the very least of God's mercies. Who has at any time trusted in himself that he was righteous, or wise, or strong, and has not come to shame? I dare not lean to my ‘…own understanding’, nor rely on my own wisdom, nor put any hope in my own righteousness. Lord God of hosts – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, give me grace to hope in Thee.
Nor dare I look to any man for help. All bad men are fools and sinners; all godly men have said that they are not worthy of any weighty trust. The best of them cry, out, ‘…I am undone…’, ‘…I am a sinful man…’, ‘O wretched man that I am…’. I dare not look to such for any effectual aid. I must hope in God.
Nor dare I make angels the objects of my hope. They have no wisdom, goodness, or power, except what they derive from the Lord. Left to themselves, they would utterly fail. They are not clean in God's sight, and He charges them with folly. As God's servants they may minister to me, and by His power and at His command help me. But it is of the Lord's mercies, not of the mercies of angels, that we are saved. I cannot worship angels. I hope in God.
I would hope confidently. My heart is in this matter. I would not falter here. I am ashamed that I am so slow to cast my anchor here and nowhere else. I will set my hope in God.
Hoping in God—I shall never be disappointed. All will come out right in the end. Mercies may be long delayed, but they will come at the very nick of time, the very best time, the time chosen by infinite wisdom and goodness. Look at the generations of old and see if any did ever trust in the Lord and were disappointed. All the saints in glory are unanimous in saying that God fulfilled to them all the engagements He ever made. I will hope in His truth, His mercy, and His power.
Nor is it presumptuous in me to hope in God. He has bidden me to do it. It is always safe and right to obey the will of the Lord and to hearken to His commands. This is in itself a very pleasant duty enjoined on me. If I were bidden to despair of help from God, the very thought of such a thing would freeze my soul with horror. I may lawfully come to God with boldness. I may come even to His mercy seat. I may fill my mouth with arguments. I may call Him my God, my Father, my Shepherd, my Rock, my Friend, my Portion, my exceeding Joy, my everlasting All. Oh, I will hope in God, if He will but help me to do so.
HOPE ON, HOPE EVER!
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
In religious literature, both inspired and uninspired, we find much concerning hope. Let us consider a few specimens of the former class.
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,’ – Peter.
‘Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.’ – Paul.
‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.’ – Jeremiah.
XVI. THE CHRISTIAN’S TRUST
In his darkest days, Job said, ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…’. That was a noble purpose, a blessed resolution.
1. It was called for. There was need of it. Job's circumstances were trying and demanded that he should take his stand firmly on right ground. It met his case exactly. He knew not what might come; but come what might, He would cleave to the Lord.
2. It was prompt. In it was nothing dilatory. He did not require time and argument to work him up to the good purpose. He uttered it as soon as it was called for. He delayed not but made haste to flee to God.
3. He had doubtless often said as much before. It is of the very nature of piety to cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart. As one said at a later day, ‘…Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.’ There is no piety without hearty confidence in God.
4. It was unfeigned. Job meant what he said, and he said what he meant. He was sincere. No hypocrite under like circumstances would have used such language but would have given up in despair, would have cursed (or renounced) God and died.
5. It was a wise resolution. We never act so foolishly as when we withdraw our confidence from God. ‘…the fearful…’ are in Scripture said to have their portion with ‘…the abominable, and murderers…and all liars…’ (Revelation 21:8). The reason why men do not trust God is because they are wicked. They do not know Him, nor love Him. They hate Him. We never act so wisely as when we ‘Cast…’ our ‘…burden upon the LORD…’.
6. It is true, the man of Uz acted strangely. God's people are a peculiar people. They are not of this world. They savour the things that are of God and not of men. They are born from above. They are taught of God. There was something quite unusual in Job's conduct. Not many of his contemporaries, nor many of any past age, have imitated Job. It is not commonly regarded as wise to risk life and all things on one's faith, one's faith in God.
7. So Job's purpose must have been gracious. By the grace of God, he said what he did. In himself Job was as weak as other men. He abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes. But the Lord was with him and enabled him to witness a good confession. He had help from heaven. It was ‘…Not by might, nor by power, but by (God's) spirit…’ that he chose his ground.
8. His resolution was kept. From it he never swerved. Though he said some things that did not befit him, yet he never drew back from God. The best resolutions, if broken, are good for nothing. To the last Job denied the charge of a base hypocrisy. To the last he stuck to the Lord his God.
9. His purpose and action on it turned out well. The Lord approved in the main Job's conduct. He said to his three friends: ‘Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.’ ‘So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…’. He did not trust in vain. All ended well. ‘…Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.’
10. The darker our way, the more we should trust. God does sometimes slay His people. He kills and He makes alive. He has ‘…the keys of death and of hell.’ Job thought the Lord would probably cut him off with pining sickness. But yet he could not and would not forsake the Rock of his salvation.
Reader, will you follow Job's example? You cannot do better. To go backward from the Almighty is ruin. To distrust Him is excessive folly. There is not one virtuous feeling involved in departing from the living God. To renounce Jehovah is death. If you trust Him, let no other trust intrude. Renounce all else. Some make ‘…gold…’ their confidence; ‘Some trust in chariots, and some in horses…’; some in bows and some in some in swords; some in native powers and some in acquirements. But wise and godly men trust only in the Lord their God. (Job 31:24; Psalm 20:7; Psalm 44:6; Isaiah 40:30-31).
And all should trust in the Lord, even the widow, the ‘…fatherless…’, the friendless, and the man that is ready to perish. (Psalm 22:9; Jeremiah 49:11; Psalm 65:5; 1st Timothy 4:10).
The benefits of such trust are many.
a. This is the only way to great spiritual prosperity. ‘…he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.’ (Proverbs 28:25). Compare Psalm 31:19.
b. This is the great cure of that fear which brings the soul into bondage. ‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid…’. (Isaiah 12:2). Compare Isaiah 50:10.
c. If we trust not in the Lord, we cannot expect any fixedness of joy or stability of character. ‘They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.’ The upright man’s ‘…heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.’ (Psalm 125:1; 112:7).
d. Safety is found in no other way than in pious confidence. ‘…he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.’ ‘…whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.’ (Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 29:25). Compare Daniel 3:28.
e. Our usefulness and comfort depend on our confidence in Jehovah. ‘Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.’ (Psalm 37:3).
f. Trust in God is the great solace of old age. So the Psalmist found it. ‘For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.’ ‘Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not…’. (Psalm 71:5, 18).
A HYMN OF HOPE - Tune
God, my supporter and my hope,
My help for ever near,
Thine arm of mercy held me up,
When sinking in despair.
Thy counsels, Lord, shall guide my feet
Through this dark wilderness;
Thine hand conduct me near Thy seat,
To dwell before Thy face.
Were I in Heav’n without my God,
’Twould be no joy to me;
And whilst this earth is my abode,
I long for none but Thee.
What if the springs of life were broke,
And flesh and heart should faint?
God is my soul’s eternal rock,
The strength of every saint.
Behold, the sinners that remove
Far from Thy presence die;
Not all the idol gods they love
Can save them when they cry.
But to draw near to Thee, my God,
Shall be my sweet employ;
My tongue shall sound Thy works abroad,
And tell the world my joy.
A CALL TO PRAYER
Continue to pray for the revival of His church, the awakening of the lost, and a merciful deliverance from the Coronavirus Pandemic at 3 pm, in your own homes, on the Lord’s Day.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
Pray for our Queen, our governments, our National Health Service, our key workers, our country, our community, our church, and our families.
Pray for churches, missions, missionary organisations, and the persecuted church.
‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.’ (Matthew 5:4).
11. What are God’s works of providence?
God's works of providence are His most holy (Psalm 145:17), wise (Isaiah 28:29), and powerful (Hebrews 1:3) preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions (Psalm 103:19; Matthew 10:29).
QUESTIONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA (PART ONE)
1. What was Rahab to tie to her window?
2. At what act did the waters of the Jordan part?
3. Where was the first passover in Canaan kept?
4. How did the Lord reveal Himself to Joshua?
5. How many times did Israel march around
Jericho on the
6. Whose sin incurred God’s anger against
Israel and defeat
7. Where was Joshua when the sun stood still at his command?
ANSWERS FOR LAST WEEK’S QUIZ
- Two or three (Deuteronomy 19:15)
- He was under God’s curse (Deuteronomy 21:23)
- Idolatry (Deuteronomy 27:15)
- Listen to God’s voice, and observe and do His commandments (Deuteronomy 28:1)
- Forty (Deuteronomy 29:5)
- Greatness (Deuteronomy 32:3)
- In a valley in the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 34:6)
“The promises of God are inexhaustible!”
 Psalm 42:5 & 11
 2nd Samuel 1:26
 Numbers 23:19
 Proverbs 3:5
 Isaiah 6:5
 Luke 5:8
 Romans 7:24
 Cowper, W. God Moves in a Mysterious Way 1774
 1st Peter 1:3
 Romans 15:13
 Lamentations 3:26
 Psalm 119:49
 Psalm 119:166
 Job 13:15
 John 6:68
 Psalm 55:22
 Zechariah 4:6
 Job 42:7
 Job 42:12
 James 5:11
 Revelation 1:18
 Psalm 118:8-9
 Plumer, W.S. The Christian 1878
 Watts, I. God, My Supporter and My Hope 1719
Rev. Ian S.D. Loughrin
The Evangelical Manse, 59 Baillie Avenue, Harthill, North Lanarkshire, ML7 5SY