When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hides his face, who then can behold him?…
It is no small blessing to enjoy quietness in a world like this.
I. THIS QUIETNESS. It is not a freedom from outward afflictions. We often notice, that so far are Christians from being exempted from sufferings, that it is just the most advanced Christians who are the most deeply tried. It is not a callous indifference to our own sufferings or the sufferings of others. It is not hardness or selfishness. By purifying the heart, and destroying its natural and miserable selfishness, Christianity renders the affections far more strong and enduring. Nor is this quietness a freedom from conflict. Indeed, only the true Christian knows what this conflict between the flesh and the spirit is. Everyone who reaches heaven in safety is, and must be, a conqueror. Yet there is a quietness of spirit which the Christian enjoys. A calmness of spirit which arises from faith and confidence in Jesus Christ, in His perfect atonement, His finished work, His precious blood, His living person. This quietness is something unworldly, something that comes from above, and so it is a state of mind which endures. Notice whence and how it comes. "When He giveth quietness." It is a gift — a free gift of God. The channel is Jesus Christ. Real peace, real quietness of spirit, can only come to sinners as we are through a mediator. We lack quietness of spirit when we do not depend fully and simply upon Christ. But it is not always at the commencement of the Christian course that God gives "quietness." Sometimes it is bestowed nearer its close. It is the result of a holy walk with God, with increasing acquaintance with Him.
II. THE SEASONS WHEN GOD GIVETH QUIETNESS. We need not speak of seasons of outward prosperity. Then it is, and only then, that the world enjoys its worldly quietness. But that quietness, what an empty thing it is! The quietness which God gives, He bestows in largest measure in seasons of trouble. It is just when outward comforts fail, when the world looks very dark, it is then that inward consolations abound, and the believer's cup runs over..."Who then can make trouble?" It is a bold challenge! Bold, whether addressed to Satan, the world, or our own hearts, all of which are so mighty to make trouble. The true Christian can meet even death with quietness of spirit.
Parallel VersesKJV: When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only: