It is good for me to draw near - We have already seen that those who are far off shall perish; therefore, it is ill for them. Those who draw near - who come in the true spirit of sacrifice, and with the only available offering, the Lord Jesus, shall be finally saved; therefore, it is good for them.
I have put my trust in the Lord God - I confide in Jehovah, my Prop and Stay. I have taken him for my portion.
That I may declare all thy works - That I may testify to all how good it is to draw nigh to God; and what a sufficient portion he is to the soul of man.
The Vulgate, Septuagint, Ethiopic, and Arabic, add, in the gates of the daughter of Sion. These words appear to make a better finish; but they are not acknowledged by any Hebrew MS.
But it is good for me to draw near to God - That is, It is pleasant; it is profitable; it is the chief good. For myself, happiness is to be found in that alone; there I find what my nature pants for and desires. Others find, or attempt to find, happiness in other things; my happiness is found in God alone. This is the result to which the psalmist came after all his perplexity. With all his doubts and difficulties, his real desire was to be near to God; his supreme happiness was found there.
I have put my trust in the Lord God - I have truly confided in him; he is my portion and the sole ground of my reliance. The doubts which he had had were not, after all, real doubts about the claim of God to confidence. There was an underlying trust in God in the midst of all this. He had not desired to cherish such doubts; he did, on the most calm reflection, still trust in God.
That I may declare all thy works - That I might make known thy doings toward the children of men. I have desired rightly to understand thee and thy government, that I might vindicate thy name, and assert thy claim to the love and confidenee of mankind. His doubts and perplexities had not really been because he was an enemy of God, or because he desired to cherish doubts in regard to him, but because, when appearances were against the equity of the divine government, he wished to see how the things which occurred could be explained consistently with a proper belief in the goodness and justice of God, in order that he might go and explain the matter to his fellow-men. Such perplexities and doubts, therefore, are not really inconsistent with true love for God and genuine confidence in him; and it is well when such doubts are made the means of enabling us more clearly to explain the divine dealings - it is well when, under all such doubts and difficulties, we can still find evidence that we truly love God.
We are now a strong people, if we will put our trust in the Lord; for we are handling the mighty truths of the word of God. We have everything to be thankful for. If we walk in the light as it shines upon us from the living oracles of God, we shall have large responsibilities, corresponding to the great light given us of God. We have many duties to perform, because we have been made the depositaries of sacred truth to be given to the world in all its beauty and glory. We are debtors to God to use every advantage He has entrusted to us to beautify the truth by holiness of character, and to send the messages of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin. CET 204.2Read in context »
We feel every day a most earnest desire for a more sacred nearness to God. This is my prayer when I lie down, when I awake in the night, and when I arise in the morning, Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee.... 1MCP 219.8Read in context »
I send this message to the workers in the publishing house.... I am intensely desirous that they shall draw near to God, that He may draw near to them. His light and presence will be recognized and appreciated by all who seek Him with the whole heart. Please read these words to the workers. Tell them that as they become one with Christ, they possess the riches of His grace. They walk in His footsteps. They follow His example of love and sympathy, helping those who needed help, lifting up the hands that hang down, and strengthening the feeble knees, directing the gaze to Him who gave His life for the life of the world.—Letter 54, 1902. PM 83.3Read in context »
Show Points of Truth, Not Only Illustrations—The canvassers are not obtaining that healthful experience in their work which they should have. In their handling of the books they are being educated to present before the public the beautiful cover and many illustrations rather than the points of truth contained in the books. In doing this they are patterning after the world, and they fail to make God their dependence and trust. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” God asks (Jeremiah 23:28).—Manuscript 131, 1899. PM 303.3Read in context »