“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Sage counsel is this Word of God!
Written by an old man whose years were filled with experience! In Verse 25 David writes: “I have been young, and now am old…” The old adage is well-known: Age speaks from experience. So often it is the bitter experience of youth that it rashly disregards the advice of old age. In short-sightedness they think they know better, and often have to bear the fruits of their misdeeds. Like the prodigal, when they come to their sense and have grace to see, they become more ready to admit that they are sorry the did not listen to sound advice. Well, the Psalmist was just such an old man. And the entire Psalm bespeaks ripened wisdom and autumnal calm of age. The dim eyes have seenand survived so much. Therefore what he observes and exhorts demands our eye and ear and heart, that we may give heed to words of wisdom, instruction, and comfort. To listen and take heed is true wisdom, and leads to peace and tranquility of spirit!
Commit thy way unto the Lord!
That is, roll thy way on Jehovah! The Holland translation is the correct one: Wentel uwen weg op denHeere; i.e., roll your way on the Lord.
This is, of course, figurative language. A way, in the most literal sense, is a well-beaten path, a road over which one may travel to reach a certain destination. It denotes the course to be used to get to a certain place. In the figurative sense, one’s way is his mode of living, the whole course of his life. It signifies the manner in which one lives, one’s conduct and behavior, one’s lot. It is all that one experiences in this world. Our whole life is compared to a way; a way, which begins at birth and ends in eternity. It is given to us by God. It is given to both saint and sinner alike. Man is like a pilgrim; he travels a very definite way and to a very definite destination. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are each one on his own way to a certain destiny, and we are always on the way.
Our way has a two-fold aspect. It has an outward manifestation which is motivated and principled by an inner propulsion. Outwardly our way is our relation to our family, our church, and this world. It includes our relation to our work and our recreation. It includes our relation to state and government, as well as our relation to existing circumstances in the mundane and even spiritual spheres of life. This outward manifestation of our way is motivated and propelled by our inner walk of life, by our thinking, willing, and desiring. One’s inner life is displayed in all his outward relationships. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” “Out of the heart are all the issues of life.”
Now the way concerning which the Psalmist gives exhortation is not the way of the ungodly, but of the child of God. As they are by nature, their way is no different than that of the ungodly. But when grace is given to them, their way is changed. With the regenerated heart the inward way of the godly is dominated by the love of God. He desires once more to be pleasing to God, and to keep His commandments. True, it is only a small beginning of new obedience; nevertheless there is a different motivating principle. And this is revealed also in his outward walk of life. He actually strives to keep the law of God. He fights the battle of faith. He is humble, meek, and lowly in heart and mind and walk. His way is manifested in moral purity, and it ends in peace.
However, because he is all as described above, his is a way of adversity, of sorrow, and pain. He is not loved and esteemed in the eyes of men. He is vexed not only with the filthy conversation .of the wicked, but he is also burdened with the knowledge of his own sins and shortcomings. Moreover, he is also often pressed down with the extra burdens meted to him in the providence of God: his sons go to war; he lies on a bed of languishing; he is poor and often truth; his crops are rained out or die of thirst. Like Job, he is found often on the ash heap; and those who should come, to bring him comfort only add to his misery. His way becomes so heavy that he cannot proceed on it. To such an one is the exhortation of the text directed.
Roll your way upon Him!
You, who are suffering and laden with care and anxiety; you, who seem to have no days of sunshine and gladness; you, who often feel like giving up in despair; you, who also realize that your sins are great, and the good that you would you do not, and the evil that you would not that you do; you, who are weary and heavy laden; you, whose way is too heavy for you to bear;—hear the Word of God: Roll that way on Jehovah!
Jehovah, only trust-worthy Object!
Not only is He Lord and Sovereign, but He is also the Immutable, Covenant God,—the faithful “I am that I am.” He fulfills His promises, and finishes what He begins. He never forsakes the righteous; and though He often chastises those whom He loves, He does so in His unchangeable love. He, Who revealed Himself in His Son in our nature, and under the Name Jesus stood before us in the flesh and cried: “Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He, Who cried out: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” He, Who took the burden of all our guilt, our sicknesses and pains, and carried them,—standing under the wrath of God until it was completely burned out,—so that peace as a river could flow unto us. He is Jehovah, upon Whom we are exhorted to roll our way.
Trust also in Him!
Trust not in man whose breath is in his nostrils. Trust not in organizations and unions of men who cannot really carry your burden. Seek not to roll your way upon your pastor who also is often burdened with the way he has to carry; nor upon the church, who, sympathetic though she may be, must also heed the exhortation of the text. No,—our help is only in Jehovah Who made heaven and earth. We are advised to trust only in Him.
To trust is to rely upon, to confide in one implicitly. It is the practical side and principle part of faith. Not only is faith an assured knowledge that all God has revealed to me in His Word is true, but it is also a hearty confidence that He will work all things for my eternal welfare. O, to be sure, to trust one it is necessary that you know him. You do not put your confidence in one whom you do not know. To trust Jehovah means that you know Him as the God of your salvation in Christ Jesus. But then you also trust in Him you entrust your way completely to Him.
That you roll your way on Him, trusting in Him, implies that He is very near to you. In fact, the text suggests that He is at your side, with you on the way. It implies that you want Him to carry your way because you cannot carry it any longer.
And He will bring it to pass!
Not only will He carry your way for you, but He promise is clear. It signifies that He will work it out to its very end. He will accomplish it for you. Yes, He will make your way perfect. Not only will he see to it that your way will run its course, but He has determined to finish it perfectly. And this, by implication, brings to you and me a most beautiful truth.
It implies that our way is really His way. In the first place, He planned it in His counsel. Nothing comes to us by chance, but all is directed by His hand and goodness. He decided each one’s way. He laid it out for us, and even planned all the obstacles we were to meet on that way, Secondly, it implies that He gave it to us, so that when we walk our way, we walk His way. He gave it to us with all that it contains. He therefore knows our way, not only in its beginning, but also in its entire course and final destination. Thirdly, it implies that we also give it back to Him. He makes it so that we cannot carry it, in order that through faith we may wholly entrust it to Him. Indeed, the beginning, the experience, and the finishing of our way is all His work. He is truly the Author and the Finisher of our whole life and salvation.
Objectively He always brings our way to pass. It is not so that His finishing depends on our rolling, nor is it so that He must wait until we give it back to Him. If we truly understand the Scriptures, then we also understand that nothing of our salvation and the realization of our way depends on our will. Rather, Jehovah works from beginning to end His good pleasure concerning us. It is like the Psalmist expresses it in Psalm 73: “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”
But He also realizes His promise to us in a subjective way. He does not drag us to heaven, as it were, against our will. Rather, He realizes our way for us through our consciousness, so that we consciously and willingly roll that way upon Him. And when we are reluctant to roll our way upon Him, as so often is the case,—for we are stubborn and have only a small beginning of new obedience,—then He makes our way difficult. He sends to us in His providence and in His grace adversities, troubles, hardships, so that we cannot carry the load and are forced to flee to Him. Most of us remember our childhood when winter came and we saw the first of the fallen snow, We took a handful and pressed it together to make a little ball, and then laid it on top of the snow and began to roll it until it became a huge ball that we could no longer roll. So it is in the experience of life. We roll our way until we cannot roll it any farther, and just then the Lord says to us: “Roll it on Me; and I will bring it to pass.”
That His may be all the glory!
That is the purpose of His promise!
When by and by we come to the end of our way, when our way is perfected in glory, none of us shall have room for boasting in self. That somehow by our patience, endurance, longsuffering, we merited the crown of glory that fadeth not away. That somehow the Lord ought to be pleased with us that we did not falter in the way, that courageously we pressed on to bring our way to its completion. This will never happen.
Nay, rather, Jehovah will see to it that all the glory that shall come to us at the end of the way shall all be His. Oh, indeed, we shall come to glory as His counsel directs, but it shall not be that glory which we have merited. It shall be His glory in which He has purposed that we shall be bathed.
In that glory we will joyfully acknowledge that we have been saved by grace through faith, and that not of our work, lest any should boast. It is all of Him Who from everlasting has chosen us in Christ, Who ordained and planned our way, Who made that way so difficult that we could not do anything but despair, Who directs us by faith to roll it on Him in order that He might complete it and receive all the glory.
And so, my brother and sister in affliction, believe this faithful promise of Jehovah!
Roll your way upon Him, trusting that He is able and willing to bring your way to the glorious end He has planned for you. Thus you shall experience the solid comfort you need in your affliction, and presently shall behold the glory of your Redeemer in which glory He has purposed you shall forever share.