“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant.”
“The secret of the Lord” (that is, present possession) “is with them that fear him; and he will shew them” (that is, something future) “his covenant.” This shews, that while all the people of God, who fear his name, have the secret with them, that is, a measure of the secret, yet all the people of God have not the covenant revealed to them at the same time with the secret. The “secret” is in the present tense; the “shewing of the covenant” is in the future.
It is very sweet to see how the Holy Ghost has discriminated between these blessings. If, for instance, it had run thus, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he shews to them his covenant,” some doubting, desponding child of God might say, “How can I be one of those that fear God? for it says, God shews to them his covenant, and he has not shewn it to me yet.” But being put in the future tense, “he will shew to them his covenant,” it takes the form of a promise, and so is just adapted and sweetly suited to their wants. This covenant is the covenant that “stands fast for evermore;” the everlasting covenant of grace, which stands in the Person, love, blood, and work of the Son of God; the covenant made by a Triune Jehovah, on behalf of the elect, before the world was.
What a suitable foundation for a poor tottering heart! The Lord in shewing this covenant unto them that fear him, shews them that it is all of grace, and therefore meets all their unworthiness and superabounds over all the aboundings of their sin; that it is more than a match for their aggravated iniquities, and will land them safe in glory, because God has determined to bring them there. Nothing but a covenant of grace can suit a poor exercised soul, who knows his helplessness and worthlessness; and the Lord shews this to them that fear him.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869