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12

On their hands they will bear you up,

so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.


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12 They shall bear thee upon their hands. He gives us a still higher idea of the guardianship of the angels, informing us, that they not only watch lest any evil should befall us, and are on the alert to extend assistance, but bear up our steps with their hands, so as to prevent us from stumbling in our course. Were we to judge indeed by mere appearances, the children of God are far from being thus borne up aloft in their career; often they labor and pant with exertion, occasionally they stagger and fall, and it is with a struggle that they advance in their course; but as in the midst of all this weakness it is only by the singular help of God that they are preserved every moment from falling and from being destroyed, we need not wonder that the Psalmist should speak in such exalted terms of the assistance which they receive through the ministrations of angels. Never, besides, could we surmount the serious obstacles which Satan opposes to our prayers, unless God should bear us up in the manner here described. Let any one combine together the two considerations which have been mentioned, — our own utter weakness on the one hand, and on the other the roughness, the difficulties, the thorns which beset our way, the stupidity besides which characterises our hearts, and the subtlety of the evil one in laying snares for our destruction, — and he will see that the language of the Psalmist is not that of hyperbole, that we could not proceed one step did not the angels bear us up in their hands in a manner beyond the ordinary course of nature. That we frequently stumble is owing to our own fault in departing from him who is our head and leader. And though God suffers us to stumble and fall in this manner that he may convince us how weak we are in ourselves, yet, inasmuch as he does not permit us to be crushed or altogether overwhelmed, it is virtually even then as if he put his hand under us and bore us up.




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