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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 501-503 (Whetstones - Weighty)

F.E. Marsh :: 503. Weighty Words of Comfort

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  1. The “shall not” of sin. “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Here we see the devil’s lie. The Lord had said in the previous chapter (Genesis 2:17), “Thou shalt surely die.” Man fell by believing the devil’s lie.
  2. The “shall not” of safety. “When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you” (Exodus 12:13). They were safe because the blood was sprinkled on the door-posts and lintel; and they were sure of it, because they had the word of God for it. Every believer in Christ is safe because resting in the work of Christ, and sure of it because resting in the Word of God.
  3. The “shall not” of separation.Shall not eat of them” (Lev. 11:4, 8, 11, 41, 42). The children of Israel could only eat of clean things; of beasts, only those that chewed the cud and divided the hoof. The divided hoof speaks to us of the separate walk; and chewing the cud, of meditation upon the Word. We are only to feed upon those things in a spiritual sense that will enable us to walk in separation from all that is evil.
  4. The “shall not” of freshness. “His leaf also shall not wither” (Ps. 1:3). The Lord’s trees are all evergreens, and always fruit-bearers. This is the result of separation from the world and its worldliness, and meditation in, and practice of the Word of God.
  5. The “shall not” of remembrance. “For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever” (Psalm 9:18). The wicked may flourish for a time, and many of God’s saints may be, and are poor as far as this world’s goods are concerned; but if it is only Christ and a crust here, there is the unchanging inheritance hereafter.
  6. The “shall not” of stability. “The Lord…is at my right hand: I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8; 62:2). The realised presence of the Lord beside us is the cure for unstableness. He is beside us as the Strength to uphold, as the Companion for fellowship, as the Friend to counsel, as the Guide to direct, as the High Priest to succour, as the Comforter to cheer, and as the Teacher to instruct.
  7. The “shall not” of supply. “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). If—and it all depends on the if—the Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want for rest, good, satisfaction, guidance, restoration, renewing, righteousness, companionship, defence, care, comfort, provision, anointing, joy, goodness, mercy, and a home for ever, as the above Psalm testifies.
  8. The “shall not” of Fatherly care. “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (Psalm 34:10). Alexander Peden, in a sermon of his, says: “I remember as I came through the country, that there was a poor widow woman, whose husband fell at Bothwell. The bloody soldiers came to plunder her house, telling her that they would take all she had. ‘We will leave thee nothing,’ said they, ‘either to put in thee or on thee.’ ‘I care not,’ said she; ‘I will not want as long as God is in the heavens.’ That was a believer indeed.”
  9. The “shall not” of courage. “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time” (Psalm 37:19). We read in Isa. 50:7 of the Lord Jesus saying in prophecy, “Therefore have I set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” As Christ was not ashamed to go to the cross for us, although He despised the shame of it, so let us not be ashamed to take up the cross after Him, and boldly, yet humbly, confess Him.
  10. The “shall not” of preservation. “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand” (Psalm 37:24). “Do you believe in the perseverance of the saints?” was a question that was once asked. “No,” was the reply; “but I believe in the preservation of them.”
  11. The “shall not” of protection. “God is in the midst of her: she shall not be moved” (Psalm 46:5). God in the midst, or the Holy Spirit in the believer, is the power for walk, worship, warfare, witnessing, and work. He is also within us as the Spirit of Life, Light, Liberty, Leading, and Love.
  12. The “shall not” of confidence. “He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defence: I shall not be moved” (Psalm 62:6). Three precious things the Lord is to us here—(1) Our Rock for stability; (2) our Salvation for safety; (3) and our Defence for security. Verily, if He is this only, we shall not be moved.
  13. The “shall not” of trust. “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord” (Psa. 112:7). The one whose heart is stayed upon God is above circumstances, and in all disappointments he takes away the “D” and puts the “H” in, and says they are His appointments.
  14. The “shall not” of holiness. “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called ‘The way of holiness;’ the unclean shall not pass over it” (Isaiah 35:8). What is holiness? 1. Position—“highway”—“sanctified in Christ.” 2. Separation—“way of holiness”—sanctified by blood. 3. Purification—“The unclean shall not pass over it”—“Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
  15. The “shall not” of unerring. “But it shall be for those (margin, ‘for He shall be with them’): the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” (Isaiah 35:8). How can they err when, as the margin puts it, He is with them? They have to submit to, and trust in their God, and His is the responsibility to bring them safely through.
  16. The “shall not’s” of Christ as the perfect Servant” “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench; He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged,” &c. (Isaiah 42:2-4). In the first, we have the humility of Christ; in the second, the patience of Christ; in the third, the tenderness of Christ; and in the fourth, the perseverance of Christ.
  17. The “shall not” of presence, promise, and protection. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isaiah 43:2). He is between us and the danger, as He was with Daniel in the lion’s den; or He is with us in the danger, as He was with the three Hebrew young men in the fire.
  18. The “shall not” of faith. “For the Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded” (Isaiah 50:7). Here we hear the Lord Jesus as the Confident Man speaking. He is the Prince and Pattern of faith, and it is our privilege to trust in God as He did.
  19. The “shall not” of food. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). These words the Lord Jesus spake to and overcame Satan by. The Word of God is the Christian’s food, and if we would be strong in soul, useful in service, victorious in conflict, and glorify God, we must continually feed thereon.
  20. The “shall not” of endurance. “And I say unto thee, thou art Peter” (a stone), “and upon this rock” (the Rock—the Christship of Jesus) “I will build My Church; and the gates of hell (hades) shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). What a contrast we get in Rev. 1:18! Although the unseen world could not prevail against Christ, He has prevailed against it.
  21. The “shall not” of continuance. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). What consolation this brings to the believer in Christ! but what consternation it ought to bring to the unsaved! See the following Scriptures, where we find the words, “It is written”:—Sinner (Rom. 3:10-18); Saviour (Heb. 10:7); servant (Rom. 10:15); child of God (1 Peter 1:16); neglecter (Isaiah 65:6).
  22. The “shall not” of reward. “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward” (Mark 9:41). The least thing done to any of Christ’s, He reckons as done to Himself.
  23. The “shall not” of communion. “Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). The Lord did not find fault with Martha for serving, but He did find fault with her for being cumbered with it, and commended Mary for putting Him first. The Lord wants of us the worship of Mary, and the work of Martha.
  24. The “shall not” of provision. “But there shall not” (’not, not, a double negative’—Newberry) “an hair of your head perish” (Luke 21:18). We may well sing—
    • “He who has fed, will feed;
    •  He who has led, will lead;
    •  He who has kept, will keep;
    •  He who has saved, will save.”
  25. The “shall not” of no condemnation. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). The very things that God would have had to judge the believer for at the great white throne, He has judged in Christ on the cross.
  26. The “shall not” of illumination. “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Darkness symbolises sin, unbelief, and ignorance; and light, holiness, faith, and knowledge. If we are following Christ, we shall be like Him, trust Him, and know Him.
  27. The “shall not” of freedom. “Sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). To say that we have no sin, is to contradict the Word of God. To say we must sin, is to destroy the whole work of Christ, and to utter a gross libel upon the indwelling Spirit. To say that we need not sin, is to state a blessed privilege.
  28. The “shall not” of confidence. “Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be put to shame” (Romans 10:11, R.V.). If God be for us, there is no fear of being put to shame; for our interests are His.
  29. The “shall not” of glory. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51). The Lord Himself coming for His people, was a truth the Old Testament knew not of, but it is the mystery now shown to us, if we have eyes to see it.
  30. The “shall not” of liberty. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). There will be purity of heart and life, confidence towards God, and power with men, if we are walking in the Spirit.
  31. The “shall not” to the unsaved. “The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Psalm 1:5). Who shall be able to stand in the Lord’s presence? Only those who are standing in His grace (Rom. 5:2). All others will be banished from Him. If hell is nothing else, it is this—eternal separation from God, and from all He is and has to give.
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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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