by F.B. Meyer
Thou madest him to have dominion - Psalm 8:6
Yes, broken, beaten, fallen, O child of man, thou wast made to have dominion. Not only over cattle, birds, and fish, but over thine own wonderful nature. Within thee there is a realm as full of multitudinous life as Paradise was when God brought the animals to Adam that he might name them; and over all this thou wast meant to rule. Yea, thou wert made to have dominion also over the wicked spirits that are thy sworn foes. A royal, regnant, victorious life was that which thy Creator inbreathed. There is no reason, on God's side, or in thy original constitution, why thou shouldst not exercise thy dominion. Remember, thou wast made to have dominion.
We see not yet all things put under us. There is open revolt and anarchy within. The will resembles the ancient kings whose sway was limited by proud and strong barons. The animal creation largely defies us, and is in this the symbol of our loss of authority everywhere. But look away to Jesus. This old psalm is fulfilled in Him. His glorious nature rose, by its inherent glory, to the right hand of power. All authority is his in heaven and on earth. And in proportion as we identify ourselves with Him, and receive his life, we regain our lost dominion. He makes us kings and priests unto God. We share a life which neither death nor the devil can master.
What shall we say of the excellency of his name, who is not only our Creator, but our Redeemer, and who at such great cost to Himself has replaced on our brows the crown that sin tore from them? He made us to have dominion by the word of creation. He made us kings unto God by his blood. His name shall, therefore, be honoured through all the earth.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee - Psalm 9:10
We do not trust, because we do not know. If we were once to know God, it would seem as absurd to doubt Him as to fear that we should fly off at a tangent from the surface of the earth. Men complain of their little faith: the remedy is in their own hands; let them set themselves to know God. We may know about God, and yet not know Him. We may hear what others say about Him, but have no direct and personal acquaintance. "That I may know Him," said the Apostle.
The materials for the knowledge of God are all around thee; make use of them. Think of the promises by which God has bound Himself to succour those that come to Him; of the record of his gracious interpositions for his saints; of the necessity that He should maintain his character and reputation in the face of the universe.
Above all, argue, as Jesus bade, from your own heart. Would you give stones to hungry babes, and scorpions into childish hands? Would you desert a forlorn and hunted soul that trusted? Would you insist on a certain measure of agony before stepping in to deliver? Would you take delight in inflicting needless anguish? And will God? Trust may be read as the superlative of true. To trust is to count God true, though circumstances belie; to count Him truer than the melancholy forebodings of our hearts; to count Him our truest and tenderest Friend. "Yet let God be true, though every man is proved to be a liar."
But for all this, you must make time. You cannot know a friend in hurried interviews, much less God. So you must steep yourself in deep, long thoughts of his nearness and love.
Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? - Psalm 10:1
Men in sorrow do not always speak wisely; and they ask many questions which God does not answer. Here is one. God does not stand afar off and hide Himself in times of trouble. As the psalmist sings, in a happier mood, "He is a very present help in time of trouble." But He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure; that we may be brought to an end of ourselves, and led to discover the treasures of darkness, the unmeasurable gains of tribulation. No cross, no crown. No pain, no gain.
We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. The form of the Fourth may be hard to distinguish, but it is there in the fire. It may be that we shall only see Him when the trial is passing; but we must dare to believe that tic never leaves the crucible. Our eyes are holden; and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth. It is dark - the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest. But He is there, deeply touched. Let us not rely on feeling, but on faith in his unswerving fidelity; and though we see Him not, let us talk to Him in whispers as though we could detect Him.
"I take the pain, Lord Jesus, from thine own hand,
The strength to bear it bravely, Thou wilt command."
Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, as being literally present, though his presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow, keeping watch upon his own. Do not be afraid of the darkness. Behind the cloud, the sun is shining. Little child, your Father is as near when you journey through the dark tunnel as when under the open heaven! Go nearer, and you will feel Him!