Am I, as a believer, safe as the Lord's property, and in the Lord's keeping? Yet must I expect that the wicked, the ungodly, as the instruments of Satan, will not cease to distress me. The Psalmist had before alluded to this trial, as driving him to his refuge. And, indeed, this is the constant character of the believer's walk—enduring the enmity of the ungodly, and seeking his refuge in the word of God—in that hiding-place of safety to which the word directs him. How striking is the proof of the irreconcilable variance between God and the world—the world encouraging all that is contrary to God, and persecuting His image in His people! Yet the word opens to us a sure defense. If our "soul is among lions," cannot we testify to the astonishment of the world, "My God has sent His angel, and has shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me?" We hear indeed the roaring of the winds and waves; but we hear also the voice hushing the storm to rest, "Peace, be still."
The experience of this trial and support beautifully illustrates the promise, "He who believes shall not make haste." He whose hope is firmly fixed on that "tried corner-stone," which God Himself has "laid in Zion as a sure foundation" "shall not be greatly moved;" no—he "shall not be moved" at all, by the wicked waiting for him to destroy him. In the hour of difficulty, instead of perplexing himself with successive expedients for his safety (sought more from human contrivance, than from asking counsel at the mouth of God) he "possesses his soul in patience," and calmly commits all events to the Lord. Such a man "shall not be afraid of evil tidings! his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." 'This trust is grounded on the word of God, revealing His power and all-sufficiency, and withal His goodness, His offer of Himself to be the stay of the soul, commanding us to rest upon Him. People wait on I know not what persuasions and assurances; but I know no other to build faith on but the word of promise. The truth and faithfulness of God opened up His wisdom, and power, and goodness, as the stay of all those that, renouncing all other props, will venture on it, and lay all upon Him. "He who believes, sets to his seal that God is true:" and so he is sealed for God; his portion and interest secured. "If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established."'
But it is the considering of the Lord's testimonies that draws out their staying support. The soul must be fixed upon them, as "tried words, purified seven times in the fire." And in this frame, I will, under all distresses, all circumstances of trial, or even of dismay, consider Your testimonies. I will consider the faithfulness of those blessed declarations, "There shall not an hair of your head perish. Touch not My anointed." "He who touches you, touches the apple of My eye." With this armor of defense, I shall not be afraid, even should I hear the "evil tidings," that the wicked have waited for me, to destroy me. Or even should I be destroyed, I know that Your testimonies cannot fail—that my rock is perfect, "that there is no unrighteousness in Him;" and therefore, "though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident." Whether, then, I am delivered from the wicked, and live, "I live unto the Lord;" or whether I fall into their snare, and "die—I die unto the Lord;" for I will consider Your testimonies, assured that all Your purposes shall be accomplished concerning me, as You have said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
They were like wild beasts crouching by the way, or highwaymen waylaying a defenseless traveler; but the Psalmist went on his way without considering them, for he was considering something better, namely, the witness or testimony which God has given to the sons of men. He did not allow the malice of the wicked to take him off from his holy study of the divine word. He was so calm that he could "consider"; so holy that he loved to consider the Lord's "testimonies"; so victorious over all their plots that he did not allow them to drive him from his pious contemplations. If the enemy cannot cause us to withdraw our thoughts from holy study, or our feet from holy walking, or our hearts from holy aspirations, he has met with poor success in his assault. The wicked are the natural enemies of holy men and holy thoughts; if they could, they would not only damage us, but destroy us; and if they cannot do this today they will wait for further opportunities, ever hoping that their evil designs may be compassed. They have waited hitherto in vain, and they will have to wait much longer yet; for if we are so unmoved that we do not even give them a thought, their hope of destroying us must be a very poor one.
Note the double waiting—the patience of the wicked who watch long and carefully for an opportunity to destroy the godly, and then the patience of the saint who will not quit his meditations, even to quiet his foes. See how the serpent seed lie in wait as an adder that bites at the horse's heels; but see how the chosen of the Lord live above their venom, and take no more notice of them than if they had no existence.