Do you hear the supplication of the Psalmist in this prayer? Do you find yourself joining in prayer with him in your inner man as you read it? Do you take great comfort in knowing that you are kept because the Lord remembers and is faithful to His word (Luke 23:42; Ps. 106:4-ff)? The earnest supplication of the Psalmist reveals the only sure confidence of every believer. It is the word of God. The word of God is our only confidence and hope at all times. God breathed out His word through the Psalmist as a supplication from every child of God. The Psalmist is every believer (Rom. 15:4; 2 Cor. 1:20). It was the LORD who made him hope on His word. Believers lean for life and peace and joy and comfort and all their desire on this foundation. He trusted God’s word alone. In so doing, He trusted God our Savior alone. Though enemies within and without are numberless and powerful, though his own strength is weakness, He found comfort in what the Lord had said. His word was his standing. It persuaded him that the Lord Himself was all of his trust, all of his expectation, all of his hope. Having made him to thus hope, the Psalmist now, out of soul need and desire, makes supplication to his God and Savior, asking Him to do what He had said (2 Sam. 7:25; Ezek. 36:37; Ps. 106:4-8).
God gave His word to His people. It is a mercy that He did so! He makes them hope in Him through it. Their reciprocal response is God-given precious faith, by the Spirit of Christ, which moves them to ask the Lord to remember His own word to them. It is His word. He makes it all their hope.
What a gracious and faithful work this is! The LORD Himself gave His own unalterable, unfailing word to His people. That word is Christ alone (John 5:39; Heb. 10:7; Luke 24:25-27). He is all of our salvation (Isa. 12; Luke 2:30)! He instructs us in His word. He persuades us of the truth of it (John 3:33; Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5)! He makes His word our only trust and stay, producing in us a longing for what He determined in His eternal will. He makes His word our confident expectation. In soul distress and supplications to Him, He draws out our trust in His word, to the praise of the glory of His grace (Eph. 1:6,9,11-12). He holds us up by causing us to hang on His word. He upholds us by making His word our only confidence, comfort and hope. Indeed, our great God and Savior is faithful and gracious to us!
And what is that “word on which Thou hast caused me to hope?” It is that Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Lord of glory, the Creator of all things, the worship of heaven’s host, the Upholder and Administrator of all things, has been made our sin-bearer (Heb. 1:1-8; Isa. 12:1-3; 53:4-12; Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24). He has taken away God’s just wrath against us (Ps. 85; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Col. 1:21-22; Eph. 2:3-4). He made satisfaction for our sins (Ps. 85:10; Lev. 16:30; Heb. 1:3; 9:26; Isa. 53; Gal. 1:4; Titus 2:14). He fulfilled God’s righteous law for us (Isa. 42:6; 49:8; Matt. 3:15,17; 5:17; Heb. 10:5-7; John 19:30; Heb. 13:20; Matt. 26:28; Rom. 10:4). The word on which we hope is that Christ and His work is our only trust, all of our desire and all of our expectation for glory (2 Sam. 23:5; Php. 3:9-10; Rom. 8:1-4; 31-39; Col. 1:27). It is a bold thing to say so, but His own word gives us warrant. It even commands us to so lean upon Him (Isa. 45:22; Heb. 10:14-23; 1 John 3:23; Matt. 11:28; John 6:37)! He has applied His Gospel to our conscience with the hyssop of God-given faith, sprinkling us with the sin-atoning blood of His own dear Son as our atonement before God (Heb. 10:22; Rom. 5:11; Heb. 9:14; John 3:14-15; 6:63; Rom. 8:1-4; John 8:1-11; 1 John 1:7). Christ is now all of our salvation (Col. 2:9-10). We could not know or believe Him thus, had it not been revealed in His word. We could not trust Him had He not persuaded us that He saves great sinners with many and great sins (Ps. 25:11; 1 Tim. 1:15; Eph. 3:8; 1 Cor. 15:9-10; Rom. 7:13-25; Luke 7:42,47). I would never venture to trust Him had He not commanded me to do so, and persuaded me that He looks only to His Son and receives His people by what He finds in Him (Isa. 45:22; Rom. 10:4-13; John 3:14-15; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Eph. 1:6-7; Col. 1:20-23). I could not legitimately hang the weight of my eternal soul on Christ alone had not Jesus, for His people, satisfied God for all their sins and fulfilled all of God’s law for them (Rom. 3:24-25; 4:25; 8:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:24; Col. 2:9-10; Jer. 23:5-6; Isa. 43:25-26; 45:21-25; 53:10-12; Heb. 10:14-18). That word on which our great God and Savior has caused me to hope is that He is able and will most assuredly save to the uttermost, for His name’s sake (Heb. 7:25; John 6:37-40). By His one offering, He has perfected forever all God gave to Him (Heb. 10:14; Jude 1:1). He will finish His own work (Php. 1:6; 2:12-13; Isa. 26:12). He will fulfill that perfection in me (Rom. 6:14; 8:29; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Heb. 13:21; Jude 1:24; Eph. 5:25-27). He cannot fail (Isa. 42:4; Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5). Though my sin is great and my sins are many, though my understanding of spiritual things is limited to what little I know of Christ and Him crucified -- the salvation of His people to the glory of God -- yet my confidence and hope do not depend on my righteousness or my knowledge, or even the faith He has given to me, but on His word alone (1 Cor. 1:17-31; 2:2; 3:11). He has persuaded me that I am a great sinner and nothing at all, but that Jesus Christ is my all in all (Col. 2:9-10; 3:1-4,11; John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:3,6). He is my only standing. His word is as sure as He is God (Heb. 6:17-20; Ps. 138:2). His word is indistinguishable from His own Son. He is the “Word of God” (Rev. 19:13). Not one of His words can fall to the ground (1 Sam. 3:19).
I find no reason -- absolutely none -- in myself for confidence. But I find no reason to doubt -- absolutely none -- that God will keep His Word (Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; Deut. 31:6; Isa. 46:9-11; Eph. 1:11)! The word on which He has caused me to hope reaches to this most precious promise: “He has said, ‘Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you,’ never” (Heb. 13:5, LITV)! He is very emphatic. He uses three negatives here to emphasize that He will not at all, will not forsake, will never leave His people (Deut. 31:6; Josh. 1:5). No! No!! No!!! He will not leave nor forsake His people! He will not fail them. This is His covenant that He made with them in Christ (Isa. 42:6; Rom. 5:12-21; Eph. 1:3-7; 1 Cor. 15:22; Jer. 32:40; John 10:27-30; Matt. 28:20)!
John Gill delightfully draws out the force of these words on which we hope from his commentary on Heb. 13:5:
“He will not leave them to themselves, to their own corruptions, which would overpower them; nor to their own strength, which is but weakness; nor to their own wisdom, which is folly; nor to Satan, and his temptations, who is an over match for them; nor to the world, the frowns and flatteries of it, by which they might be drawn aside; nor will he leave them destitute of his presence; for though he sometimes hides his face, and withdraws himself, yet not wholly, nor finally; nor will he forsake the work of his own hands, in them, but will perform it until the day of Christ; he will not leave or forsake them, so as that they shall perish; he will not forsake them in life, nor at death, nor at judgment.”
God will not forget His word to His Son and to His people in Him (2 Cor. 1:20). Yet He speaks to us in the language of men, through a man, by His own Spirit, to comfort us by these words. “Remember the word on which Thou hast caused me to hope” (Ps. 119:49). It is to His glory that He causes us to thus lean on Him and supplicate to Him out of His word! He puts His word in our hearts and in our prayers. What would we have to pray were it not for His word! What would our confidence be, our hope, without His word?! Oh dearly beloved of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:13-14), pray that God would so hide His word concerning Christ in your heart, and make it your trust and desire and the supplications of your heart and your lips! When He does, He will glorify Himself in saving you for His great name’s sake, according to that word on which you trust and hope and pray (2 Sam. 7:25; Ps. 106:4-8; Ezek. 36:37; Rom. 10:17; Ezek. 20:9,14,22,44; Hosea 14:1-4,8; Ps. 80:17-19)!