“Return unto thy rest, O my soul: For Jehovah hath dealt bountifully with thee” Psalm 116:7
The Psalmist had been in great trouble. The “cords of death” had compassed him; the “pains of Sheol” had laid hold on him. But God was with him in that trouble. For the people of God that makes the difference between despair and hope. “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower; The righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10).
“Then called I upon the name of Jehovah…and he saved me.” How amazingly sure and sufficient is the grace of God in the time of urgent need! “Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and he will sustain thee: He will never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22) . Return unto thy rest, O my soul: For Jehovah hath dealt bountifully with thee.
How restful, how satisfying, it is to meditate upon the goodness of God. Nothing is better suited to quiet the anxious heart of the believer than the contemplation of God’s loving works and words.
Bountifulness in Creation and Providence
In all the works of his hands, in all the arrangements of his providence, we can perceive a royal munificence. All his gifts to us are kingly, and are poured down to us with a profusion that speaks of a source which can never be exhausted, and of a Hand that is never weary. He blesses us with powers of mind and body, with mental endowments and spiritual qualifications, that exalt us above the beasts of the field and that enable us to walk amid the delights of nature with an appreciating eye and with a thankful heart.
How matchless is the work of the sovereign Creator! The roll of golden plains; the steeps of the mighty mountains; the array of sun, moon and stars adorning the azure canopy; the laden clouds that drop fatness upon our heads; the beauties of a sun-lit horizon that tingles with inspiration like an angel’s harp; the produce that ripens in green summer; the fruit of crimson autumn.
Much of the beauty and wonder in nature is hidden away, waiting to be found. It is recorded somewhere that Maude Royden once went into a hall where Sir J. Arthur Thomson was lecturing with lantern slides. She entered at the moment when he was showing on the screen what at first appeared to be the rose window of a Gothic cathedral, it was so beautiful. But she soon learned from his words that it was the picture of a transverse section of the spine of a sea-urchin.
Bountifulness in Grace
It is in the economy of grace that the riches of Divine goodness are especially manifested. We are sinners, and by our sin we have forfeited all right to the use and enjoyment of God’s bounties. In nature we receive what is not our own. Still more so in grace do we receive what is not our own. The extremes of God’s bountifulness are shown in the dispensation of his mercy in Christ Jesus. By the gift of God’s Son believers receive a new title to all the gifts of God’s providence. Moreover, in the realm of grace we receive gifts infinitely more valuable, inconceivably more precious, than anything in the works of nature.
Hence, the apostle exclaims, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:13). No language can express all that is treasured up for God’s people in Christ. He is the plant of renown, the pearl of great price, the Son of the Highest, the delight of the Father, the chiefest among ten thousand. Think of a prince giving to the lowliest and most unworthy of his subjects the richest jewel in his crown. Unparalleled generosity, you say. But then think of the Sovereign of the universe giving his only-begotten Son to redeem a guilty race.
And how bountiful is that Son! He is represented in Scripture in every relation necessary for our welfare and happiness. He is a sun and a shield, a rock of defense, a master, a shepherd, a way, a husband, a friend, a prophet, a priest, a king. He is the physician who heals. He is the one advocate who has never lost a case. He is all things unto his people and they are complete in him. He is our guide, his Spirit is our Comforter. He is the Captain of our salvation. His blood cleanses us from all sin.
Truly the Lord has dealt bountifully with us. Let us, then, not only say that we are thankful, but let us testify our gratitude by walking in holiness before him.