Joe Williamson - Hebrews 6, Psalm 91 - Guildford Special Meetings - October 1953

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God.” During the year I have given this verse much thought, and what is the foundation of repentance. We cannot have any other foundation and when we have laid this foundation, we turn to God from our own ways. Anyone who professes and there is not this turning, then I don’t think there is ever a beginning. When we make a right start, we get power from God to walk in His way.

When the Gospel was preached in Nineveh, God looked down and saw that every man great and small turned from his own evil way. Even the king put off his robe and put on sackcloth and ashes and we would not feel very important. Some people we were trying to help and when I asked how they felt in the meeting, they said, “We feel like nothing and we feel we have no part in the things you speak about.” There may be some here who feel like that, and who are strangers to the Christ life in their own hearts.

The king, when he put off his robe, showed this repentance. Men of office always like to wear their state robes but when they put it off, they feel they have no place. When John the Baptist preached, he turned men to Christ. “Behold the Lamb of God that beareth away the sins of the world.” All true preachers turn their converts to Jesus. Two of the converts heard him speak and followed Christ. Jesus turned and asked a searching question, “What seek ye?”

We might ask ourselves, “What seek ye?” “Why are we here and what is our motive?” They answered, “Where dwellest Thou?” and He said, “Come and see.” We must have a dwelling place, somewhere to rest and refresh ourselves. The circumstances of life often bring a man home very tired and discouraged and if his wife is wise, she will be able to refresh and encourage him, so he can go back to face his responsibilities with fresh hope.

The Christ also must have somewhere to dwell and when the disciples found out where He wanted to dwell, they went and said, “We have found Him of whom the prophets wrote. Is this not the Messiah?” Can we go to others and say, “We have found Him. Come and see?” We have reason to rejoice and be glad when we find Him.

The 91st Psalm says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Where is the secret place of the most High? We can say what God wants me to do, and you to do, is a secret but as we do what He asks us to do, then we abide under His shadow. A man who has worked in the heat of the day often feels his strength waning as the day goes on, but if he can get in the shade of a wall or tree then after a while, his strength comes back again.

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress.” These verses are written in the present tense. “The Lord is my refuge.” He was that to the Psalmist. What is He to us? When I went to school, my teacher was very patriotic and he often spoke of the British Empire and especially of the fortress at Gibraltar, because it was made of rock, and then no enemy could penetrate it. The soldiers were safe on the inside.

“Surely He will deliver me from the snare of the fowler.” Many years ago when snares were used, anyone who got caught in them became helpless because they lost their liberty. The world, flesh, and devil can be a constant snare to us but the Lord will deliver. Whenever I see a hen spreading her wings and calling her little ones, I love to watch her. She does it to keep them warm and when the little chick is up against its mother under her wing, it is the nearest it can get to her heart. God wants us near to His heart. The love He has for all His children is beyond all comprehending. “His truth shall be my shield and buckler.” The truth is Jesus and as we abide in Him, He will shield us so that nothing can harm.

“Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror by night.” We may have fears and doubts but perhaps you have noticed they seem worse at night. He can overcome the fear we have. “... nor the arrow that flieth by day because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most high thy habitation.” Twice the psalmist speaks of the Lord as being the “most High.” The promise is that He will give His angels charge over you.

“Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder.” Satan is a lion, going about the earth seeking whom he may devour. There is always roaring before the lion springs upon its prey. This is done to frighten its victim but we can put him under our feet. “He hath set His love upon me therefore I will deliver him. He shall call upon me and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him and with long life will I satisfy him and shew him my salvation.” The long life that satisfies is His life in this world and in the world to come. This is everlasting life. One of our Friends gave his testimony and said, “I hope I can remember these things when I go home and get into working clothes.” Do you know what he means? I hope we will all remember the words of Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”