Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from All Things for Good.
The grand reason why all things work for good, is the near and dear interest which God has in His people. The Lord has made a covenant with them. “They shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Jer. 32.38). By virtue of this compact, all things do, and must, work for good to them. “I am God, even thy God” (Psalm 50.7). This word, “Thy God,” is the sweetest word in the Bible, it implies the best relations; and it is impossible there should be these relations between God and His people, and everything not work for their good. This expression, “I am thy God,” implies,
(1) The relation of a physician: “I am thy Physician.” God is a skilful Physician. He knows what is best. God observes the different temperaments of men, and knows what will work most effectually. Some are of a more sweet disposition, and are drawn by mercy. Others are more rugged and knotty pieces; these God deals with in a more forcible way. Some things are kept in sugar, some in brine. God does not deal alike with all; He has trials for the strong and cordials for the weak. God is a faithful Physician, and therefore will turn all to the best. If God does not give you that which you like, He will give you that which you need. A physician does not so much study to please the taste of the patient, as to cure his disease. We complain that very sore trials lie upon us; let us remember God is our Physician, therefore He labours rather to heal us than humour us. God’s dealings with His children, though they are sharp, yet they are safe, and in order to cure; “that he might do thee good at thy latter end” (Deut. 8.16).
(2) This word, “thy God”, implies the relation of a Father. A father loves his child; therefore whether it be a smile or a stroke, it is for the good of the child. I am thy God, thy Father, therefore all I do is for thy good. “As a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee” (Deut. 8.5). God’s chastening is not to destroy but to reform. God cannot hurt His children, for He is a tender-hearted Father, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him” (Psalm 103.13). Will a father seek the ruin of his child, the child that came from himself, that bears his image? All his care and contrivance is for his child: whom does he settle the inheritance upon, but his child? God is the tender-hearted “Father of mercies” (2 Cor. 1.3). He begets all the mercies and kindness in the creatures.
God is an everlasting Father (Isa. 9.6). He was our Father from eternity; before we were children, God was our Father, and He will be our Father to eternity. A father provides for his child while he lives; but the father dies, and then the child may be exposed to injury. But God never ceases to be a Father. You who are a believer, have a Father that never dies; and if God be your Father, you can never be undone. All things must needs work for your good.
To be continued next week.