Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations.
.....behold the contrast which Moses, the man of God, discerns with gratitude,
"Thou art not our tent, but thou art our dwelling-place. Though we are uneasy here,
though we are tossed from side to side by troubles, though we travel through a wilderness,
and find it a rough pathway, though when we sit down here we know not what comfort
means, O Lord, in thee we possess all the comfort which a house can afford, we have
all that a mansion or palace can give the prince, who can loll upon his couch, and rest
upon his bed of down. Lord, thou art to us comfort, thou art a house and habitation."
Have you ever known what it is to have God for your dwelling-place in the sense of
comfort? Do you know what it is, when you have storms behind you, to feel like a
sea-bird, blown to the land by the very storm?.....Do you know what it is, when you
are tossed on the waves, to go down into the depths of Godhead, there rejoicing that
not a wave of trouble ruffles your spirit, but that you are serenely at home with God
your own Almighty Father? Can you, amid all the uneasiness of this desert journey,
find a comfort there? Is the breast of Jesus a sweet pillow for your head? Can you,
lie thus on the breast of Deity? Can you put yourself in the stream of Providence and
float along without a struggle, while angels sing around you -- divinely guided, divinely
led -- "We are bearing thee along the stream of Providence to the ocean of eternal bliss!"
Do you know what it is to lie on God, to give up all care, to drive anxiety away, and
there -- not in a recklessness of spirit, but in a holy carelessness -- to be careful for
nothing, "but in every thing by supplication to make known your wants unto God?"
If so you have gained the first idea; "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place
throughout all generations.”
.....My hearers, what a pity it is that we have to divide our congregation, that we
can not speak to you in a mass as being all Christians. This morning, I would I could
take God's word and address it to you all, that you all might share the sweet promises
it contains. But some of you would not have them if I were to offer them. Some of you
despise Christ, my blessed Master. Many of you think sin to be a trifle, and grace to be
worthless, heaven to be a vision, and hell to be a fiction. Some of you are careless, and
hardened, and thoughtless, without God, and without Christ.....
One word by way of warning. Do you know, poor soul, that you have not a house
to live in? You have a house for your body but no house for your soul. Have you ever
seen a poor girl at midnight sitting down on a door-step crying? Somebody passes by,
and says, "Why do you sit here?" "I have no house, sir. I have no home." "Where is
your father?" "My father's dead, sir." "Where is your mother?" "I have no mother, sir."
"Have you no friends?" "No friends at all." "Have you no house?" "No; I have none.
I am houseless." And she shivers in the chill air, and gathers her poor ragged shawl
around her, and cries again, "I have no house -- I have no home." Would you not pity her?
Would you blame her for her tears? Ah! there are some of you that have houseless souls
here this morning. It is something to have a houseless body; but to think of a houseless soul!
Methinks I see you in eternity sitting on the door-step of heaven. An angel says,
"What! have you no house to live in?" "No house," says the poor soul. "Have you no
father?" "No; God is not my father; and there is none beside him."...."Have you no house,
then?" "No; I am a houseless soul." But there is one thing worse about that -- houseless
souls have to be sent into hell; to a dungeon, to a lake that burns with fire.....Poor houseless
soul, dost thou want a house? I have a house to let this morning for every sinner who feels
his misery. Do you want a house for your soul? Then I will condescend to men of low
estate, and tell you in homely language, that I have a house to let. Do you ask me what is
the purchase? I will tell you; it is something less than proud human nature will like to give.
It is without money and without price. Ah! you would like to pay some rent wouldn't you?
You would love to do something to win Christ. You can not have the house then; it is
"without money and without price." I have told you enough of the house itself, and therefore
I will not describe its excellences. But I will tell you one thing -- that if you feel that you are
a houseless soul this morning, you may have the key to-morrow; and if you feel yourself to be a
houseless soul to-day, you may enter it now. If you had a house of your own I would not
offer it to you; but since you have no other, here it is. Will you take my Master's house on a
lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and
serving him forever? Will you take Jesus, and dwell in him throughout eternity? or will you
be content to be a houseless soul? Come inside, sir; see, it is furnished from top to bottom
with all you want. It has cellars filled with gold, more than you will spend as long as you live;
it hath a parlor where you can entertain yourself with Christ, and feast on his love; it has tables
well stored with food for you to live on for-ever; it hath a drawing-room of brotherly love
where you can receive your friends. You will find a resting room up there where you can rest with
Jesus; and on the top there is a look-out, whence you can see heaven itself. Will you have the
house, or will you not? Ah! if you are houseless, you will say, "I should like to have the house;
but may I have it?" Yes; there is the key. The key is, "Come to Jesus." But, you say, "I am too
shabby for such a house." Never mind; there are garments inside.....
If you feel guilty and condemned, come, and though the house is too good for you, Christ
will make you good enough for the house by-and-by. He will wash you, and cleanse you,
and you will yet be able to sing with Moses, with the same unfaltering voice, "Lord, thou hast
been my dwelling-place throughout all generations.”
Charles H. Spurgeon