This point is, of course, that whereas the horse is charging to be off a long run, the mule is very slow. We are like either the horse or he mule! But the Lord wants to change all that and bring our lives under His gracious ordering control. This is what gives pleasure to Him.
But we are fallible men and women, we are very prone to wander, and we frequently fail. The wonderful thing is, therefore that God foresees all this and He make provision for our failure. But more than that: He actually guarantees that He will bring us through our times of failure and protect us until the journey’s end.
- The possibility of God foresees.
I cannot express in words my gratitude for verse 24! I have so often failed and fallen, and here the Lord says to me and to all of us who have to acknowledge him that we have sinned:
“Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down.” I am a “good” man, in that I am trusting not in my own goodness but in the goodness of Jesus Christ my righteousness, but for all that, I know only too well that I often fail and fail. And God has made provision for my failures. These things can never please Him, but He knows about them; and here in verse 24, He promises that when we fall a prey to the snares of the world without, or when we are bowled over by the Devil and are helpless and broken-hearted because of our failure, He has made provision for our cleaning and our restoration. His gracious words to us are ever true, as they are recorded in proverbs 28:13 and in 1 John 1:9.
I have never been able to agree with those who teach that it is possible for a Christian to reach some pinnacle and experience of sanctification whereby His own nature is completely eradicated, and where from now on it is not possible for him to sin against the Lord in any way.
I would like to believe that there is victory provided in our Lord Jesus Christ and by the in dwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit, but it is exercised by faith, and as we reckon upon the victory which has been secured for us, that “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom. 8:3-7). Having said all this however, I believe that even though we fall, because the Lord loves us so much, He will bring us safely to glory. This actual fact is the next glorious truth embodied in our text, and perhaps this would be the word for some who are in need because they have failed the Lord in some special way.
- The Protection God Guarantees.
“Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down”. What wonderful words these are! Abraham fell, but he was restored. Jacob fell, but he was renewed in faith. David fell, but God forgave him and lifted him up. Samson fell, but God restored him and use him in judgment upon his enemies. How grievous and dishonoring these “falls” are to the Lord! But thank God, we are His children and He loves us. He is patient with us, and he will never let us go. We are the Lord’s sheep, and sometimes we wonder and behave foolishly. Listen to His gracious word.
All who belong to the Lord may rejoice in the Lord’s own guarantee of their protection for time and eternity, as Jude 1:24-25 assures us, where we read that He “is able to keep you from falling, and to prevent you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. “If this is so, how does God keep us secure? This is the last truth included in our key verses.
- This last phrase literally reads: “The Lord puts His hand under him.” He did this, for example, when Peter was sinking, and “he Cried, saying, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him” (Matt 14:30-31)
“The Lord upholdeth him with His hand.”
What wonderful hands they are, the hands of the Lord! And every Christian is in those hands now and always.
One occasion, a mountain guide was leading a party across a precipitous slope. One lady suddenly lost her nerve and was unable to go on. The guide turned to her, and lifting up his strong hands, he said, “Madam, these hands have never lost a life! Place your hands in mine and I’ll take you across safely. “By a simply act of faith, she placed her hands in his; she trusted him to do for her what he had offered to do, and he took her safely over the precipitous path.
The hands of our Lord have never lost a life. How safe it is to trust ourselves to Him! How foolish we are if we try to go it alone!