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Grace Notes

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“THY PATHS DROP FATNESS”
by Philip Owen

“Thy paths drop fatness” (Psa. 65:11b).  In the process of reading several psalms, I was struck afresh with this clause.  Turning to Spurgeon’s Treasury of David for commentary, I was surprised that of the seven commentators he cited on the eleventh verse, five made no comment on this portion of the verse (at least that Spurgeon felt worthy of recording), and of the two remaining, only one gave more than a single sentence to the thought of our text.  Yet these few words offer explicit observation, implicit invitation, both of which elicit exhortation.

 

Observation.  One of the themes permeating the Word of God is that goodness belongs to the Lord alone, that He alone is full of grace and mercy, and that every good and perfect gift comes from Him.  David has observed that theme in the Word; moreover, he has observed those promises working in his life and the lives of those around him and expresses the truth in a simple yet powerful figure of speech here.  The more literal rendering would be:  “thy cart tracks or thy wagon tracks drop fatness.”  Kidner suggests that the figure is of a farm cart so laden with the abundance of harvest that as it rocks along the path to the barn the excess produce spills over every side onto the ground.  David, who had walked with God as few men, had observed this blessedness first hand.  “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psa. 16:11), he observed in an earlier psalm.  The path of the Lord is one that is filled with a blessed richness that is not only unsurpassed, not merely unequalled, but not even approachable.  The Lord is the repository and source of every blessing and generously bestows that blessing on all who follow in His path.

 

Invitation.  Can we doubt for a moment that the reason these inspired words have found their place in eternal writ is that the Lord intended them to be a means of attracting us to Him?  We could never believe that God is holding up some wonderful thing before us to mock our poverty, saying this is what I have, but it is not for you.  No, we must conclude that these words beckon us with all the authority of a command performance and all the love of a gracious God to get on God’s path leading from His field to His granary.  He is inviting us not only to salvation but to service.  For the one who sows and cultivate also harvests.  And God’s harvest is abundant and rich, more than the oxcart can contain.  Is there a bump in the road?  The grain spills off, reminding us of the rich blessing of the Lord.  Is there a rut in the road?  The overflowing cart tips and grain spills off reminding us of the abundant grace of God.  Throughout the countryside the cart meanders, spilling its abundance in every direction.  “Come into the Lord’s field,” it proclaims.  “Come under His gracious wings,” it pleads.  The Lord has “handfuls of purpose,” it promises.

 

Exhortation.  And with such rich blessing and powerful pleading from none other than our loving Heavenly Father and His gracious Son, how can we not feel the exhortation?  How can we not stop and question where we are going and what we are doing?  Thy paths drop fatness”—not ours.  Too many of us are pursuing our own wealth, comfort, and advancement.  Those paths do not drop fatness.  Oh, they may produce what looks like a rich harvest.  But before we ever get it to the barn, it will rot in the hot sun or be stolen by someone lurking near the path.  Only God’s path drops fatness.  Are you laboring in God’s field today?  You say, but I have my business to attend to.  Then you are occupied with leanness.  Your crop in the field may promise abundance, but drought or flooding are about to destroy it.  Only God’s path drops with fatness.  He alone provides peace, comfort, and joy for time and eternity.  These words of mine are poor.  But will you take the Words of holy Scripture—“thy paths drop fatness”—and make them the focus of your meditations and prayers beginning today that you might be who the Lord wants you to be, what He wants you to be, and where He wants you to be?  Sooner or later, all who pursue their own paths come to regret it, but no one who follows in His train has ever regretted it.  Can you appreciate a Lord who could demand obedience and force service, but chooses to woo us with such loving enticements?  What could possibly be so deceitfully attractive that we would shun such a God for the empty rottenness of our own desires?  Draw me nearer, blessed Lord.

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