They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness.
There is, I am persuaded, no greater evil committed by any of us than a practical forgetfulness of the common mercies of life, mercies which, because of their commonness, cease to be regarded as mercies. The Psalmist, you will remember, calls upon us to "forget not all God's benefits," and he thus indicates our perpetual danger, a danger which he himself felt and against which he had to guard his own soul. There are two great causes which may be said to account for our forgetfulness of the mercies of God which are new every morning.
I. THE HAND OF THE GIVER IS INVISIBLE. He is a Spirit, and He can only manifest Himself to the senses of His creatures by such physical operations as appeal to their senses. To ask that we may see God, and see Him with our eyes, is to ask that He may cease to he what He is, namely, an infinite Spirit; or else it is to ask that we should cease to be what we are. We forget, when we wish to see God who giveth us all things richly to enjoy, that we do not even see each other. My friend may give me presents, but I do not see that in my friend which these presents express and reveal. I can only infer that he loves me because of what he has given me, and of he should send me gifts every day and every moment, I should still only infer the same. And if he were some unknown friend — that is, a person whose face I had never seen at all, but who for some reason or other should supply me with all the necessaries of life every day — the fact that I had never seen him would not impair the value of his gifts, nor would it diminish the gratitude which I should feel towards him. It may be, too, that the gifts of a friend might come to me through a chain of a thousand hands, some of which I might see, and some of which I might not see; but no matter how long the chain of intermediate agents through whom the blessings come, they would still he the gifts of a friend. Nay, if the chain were long, so far from our forgetting the friend, or being ungrateful for his gifts, we should see in every separate link of the chain a fresh proof of his regard, and should say, how much he must love me when he takes so much pains that his gifts shall not miscarry, but provides agents at every step to hand on the gifts until they reach me in safety. This is what God does. He is this friend, except that though unseen He is not unknown. He is our Father in heaven Who loves us and cares for us.
II. Another cause of our forgetfulness of our mercies as gifts of God is THEIR CONSTANCY, OR REGULARITY. This is strange, and sad as well as strange, that the very faithfulness and constancy with which God's blessings come down to us should create forgetfulness, and should lead us to undervalue them. He has made them constant that we may never lack, has remembered us always that we might always remember Him, has given, us perpetual mercies that we might give Him perpetual praise; and we forget Him, forget Him because His mercies are new every morning. What if they were not? What if they were intermittent? Let us look at a few.
1. Take as the first illustration, sleep. I venture to say that there are thousands who never kneel down and thank God for sleep. While it visits us unwooed, unsolicited, even unsought, and sometimes even unwelcomely, it takes its place without any distinct recognition among the regular facts in the order of nature. "We sleep"; of course we sleep; we sleep as we stand, or walk, or eat, or think, so much, is it a matter of course! Happy they who can speak thus; happier still if they Knew the priceless value of this boon, and happier still if, with the breaking day, they have a heart to bless that God from whom sleep cometh. It is a mercy which no money can buy, which no rank can command. I call you, then, today to thank God for the common blessing of sleep, which is new "every night."
2. Look at another of these common mercies which are too often forgotten. I mean our reason. The value of this gift is practically disesteemed from the very fact of its commonness. We need at times to see men and women bereft of their reason, that we may see by comparison with these sad foils how much we need to bless God that our intellects are preserved. To see a man once sound in brain and rich in faculty, with high powers of reasoning and of speech, wild and wandering, the victim of strange and delirious fantasies, turning his heart away from those he has most deeply loved, and sometimes blaspheming the very God whom it has been his joy to worship and to serve; this is a spectacle to fill one with grief and horror. But should it not also awaken in us a perpetual wonder that we have been preserved from such a calamity; and should it not stir us up to daily thanksgiving to Him whose mercies are new to us every morning?
3. Look at another common mercy — the power of motion and action and speech, or, in other words, that general energy of body which constitutes the great part of our daily outward life. Have you ever thought of this? Has not its very commonness hidden its value and meaning from you?
(E. Mellor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.