The Great Reward
‘In keeping of them there is great reward.’—Ps. xix. II.
NOT, * Because I keep them I shall have a great reward;’ but ‘In keeping of them there is great reward.’ God Himself wants us to keep them, because He loves us. He says: ‘O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them’ !1 This reward is an indisputable, though too often not fully recognized, fact of every Christian’s experience. That we may have to keep His commandments in the very teeth of trial, loss, opposition, or distress does not touch the matter ;2 for, nevertheless, not afterward, but in the keeping of His words, He takes care to keep His word that there shall be great reward.
If there is not great reward, it only shows that there is not real keeping. The essence of true keeping of God’s commandments is love.3 (See how many times keep and love are joined together in all parts of His word.)* Now, if we have only been obeying in mere form and letter, because we were afraid to disobey, this is nol the heart-obedience which is always crowned with blessings. So, if we cannot quite set to our seal that God is true to this promise,5 let us be quite sure that it is because we have not fulfilled His condition. And let us now, at once, ask Him to write His laws in our hearts,* and so to shed abroad His love in us by the Holy Ghost,7 that we may begin at once to keep them for very love to our glorious Lawgiver and Mediator.8 Then we shall know for ourselves that they are not grievous,9 but that they are ‘for our good, always.’10
1 Deut. V, 29. 2 Matt. xix. 29, 3 John xiv. 24.
4 Ex. XX. 6; Deut, xi. i; John xiv. 15, etc. 6 John Hi. 33.
* Heb. viii. 10. ^ Rom. v, 5. 8 Deut. v. 27.
8 I John V. 3. l*’ Deut. vi. 24.
Yet surely we may appeal to the experience of every one of the King’s servants, that, however feeble and imperfect our obedience has been, we do know something about ‘great reward,’ not for it, but in it. As in the days of Hezekiah, when the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king, the result was great gladness, great joy, great blessing, and great prosperity, so is it now in the spiritual reign of our King.1 Not outward and visible reward, though even that He very often adds, far more exceeding; but inward and spiritual reward.
Not in general only, but in minutest particulars. Having pledged Himself to this, He is ‘not unrighteous to forget ‘2 the least act of Spirit-wrought obedience. Sometimes he puts such wonderful sweetness into the doing of or the refraining from some little thing for His sake, that we wonder what makes us so happy about it, and cannot but be conscious that it is not exactly one’s mere natural feeling. Is not this a precious experience of’ great reward,’ all the greater because it came through some very little thing?
Let us put together into a bright bit of Biblemosaic the scattered gems which are part of this great present reward, ‘the promise of the life that now is,” the hundred-fold which we are to receive ‘now in this time’ :*—i. Strength: ‘Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments . . . that ye may be strong ;’s for ‘the way of the Lord is strength to the upright!1
1 2 Chron, XXX. 12, 21, 26; ib. xxxi. 10, 21; Job xxxvi. 11.
2 Heb. vi. 10. 3 I Tim. iv. 8. 4 Mark x. 30. 6 Deut. xi. 8.
2. Safety: ‘Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing,” much less be hurt by it! 3. Liberty: ‘I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts.’3 Every commandment kept is a fetter of Satan broken by the grace and might of the ‘stronger than he.’* 4. Peace: ‘Great peace have they that love Thy law. ‘5 And in proportion as we hearken to His commandments, does our peace flow as a river.6 Disobedience dries it all up instantly. 5. Life and Health: Perhaps more literally than we suppose; for it stands to reason there is less friction and wear and tear even of our nerves and physique when we keep His peacebearing commands to trust and not be afraid,7 to be without carefulness and anxious thought.8 ‘Let thine heart keep My commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’* ‘It is your life.”0 ‘It shall be health.’11 ‘I know that His commandment is life everlasting.’18 6. Knowledge: ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.”3 ‘If ye continue in My word, … ye shall know the truth.’ 7. Answered Prayers: ‘Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments.'” 8. Gladness: Again and again we find this the result of seeking out and keeping the commands of God.15 9. The Father’s Love: ‘He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be
1 Prov. X. 29. 2 Eccles. viii. 5. 3 Pg, cxix. 45. < Luke xi. 22, 5 Ps. cxix. 165. 6 Isa. xlviii. 18. 7 Ps. Ixii. 8.
8 I Pet. V. 7; I Cor. vii. 32; Matt. vi. 25-34. ^ Prov. iii. i, 2.
10 Deut. xxxii. 47. ” Prov. iii. 8. ^2johnxii. 50.
13 John vii. 17. 14 John viii. 31, 32. 15 i John iii. 22.
loved of My Father.’1 10. The Manifestation of Jesus: ‘And I will love Him, and will manifest Myself unto Him.” 11. The indwelling of the Triune God: ‘And we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” 12. The Witness of the Spirit to this indwelling: ‘He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.’4
‘What shall I more say ? ‘5 Verily, in keeping of them there is great reward!
Ps. cxii. I.
1 Neh. viii. 14,17, etc. 2 John xiv. 21.
3 John xiv. 23. 5 I John iii. 24. 6 Heb. xi. 3