The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).


“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isa. 53:4).  

Out of his own anguish of heart Job declared to his three friends, “I would strengthen you with my mouth, and THE MOVING OF MY LIPS SHOULD ASSUAGE YOUR GRIEF” (Job 16:5).  Both grief and griefs involve the understanding being obscured, and particularly from the perspective of eternity.  Grief takes place in the mind and in the heart of men. For the godly grief can be nurtured and assuaged by a proper understanding of God and His purpose in Christ Jesus. 


GRIEF CAN BE ASSUAGED (made more bearable) by the moving of lips that possess knowledge and understanding of God’s ways and purpose in Christ.  Think of the Savior Himself, how that the moving of His lips has been as been the source of everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.  When the Lord Jesus Christ was praying in the garden of Gethsemane, an angelic messenger appeared “strengthening Him” (Lk. 22:43), and the moving of his lips assuaged the grief of the Savior, no doubt, bringing to His mind and heart anew the blessed prospect of “the joy that was set before Him” (Heb. 12:2).

David cried, “Mine eye is consumed because of grief” (Ps. 6:5; 31:9).  Grief often produces tears and affects spiritual vision.  The example of Jacob’s grief.  “. . . Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: ALL THESE THINGS ARE AGAINST ME” (Gen. 42:36).  The example of Christ. “And said unto Me, Thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I HAVE LABOURED IN VAIN, I HAVE SPENT MY STRENGTH FOR NOUGHT, AND IN VAIN: yet surely My judgment is with the LORD , and My work with my God” (Isa. 49:3-4). 


Griefs (plural). “Griefs” is not frequently used as a plural word.  Normally, grief is something that is endured by men one at a time, or possibly two at a time.  But manifold and diverse were the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree.  GRIEFS would be the best word to describe the pain and anguish that our sins inflicted upon Him.  He was oppressed and afflicted (Isa. 53:7), He was being watched [as it were for entertainment] (Mt. 27:36), He was despised and rejected of men (Isa. 53:3), He was forsaken of His God (Ps. 22:1), He was forsaken by His disciples (Mt. 26:56), He was mocked (Lk. 22:63), He was spitted upon (Lk. 18:32), He was scourged by Pilate (Mt. 27:26; Mk. 15:15; Jn. 19:1), He was betrayed by Judas (Mt. 10:4), He was crucified (Mt. 27:38), He was chastised by His Father for our sakes (Isa. 53:5), He was smitten of God (Isa. 53:4).  All of these things had the effect of causing innumerable griefs to the Holy Son of God (Lk. 1:35).

God Causing Grief in Chastening. “For the Lord will not cast off for ever: but THOUGH HE CAUSE GRIEF, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies” (Lam. 3:31-32). 


The Prophet Jeremiah here is speaking of grief that is for the purpose of correction and healing.  It is grief that is that proceeds from the wellspring of God’s compassion and mercy.  It is grief imparted because imparted out of necessity.  “. . . He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence” (Eph. 1:8).  The ravages yet remaining in our old man from the entrance of sin into the world oftentimes make it necessary for God’s dealings to be severe.  Sin, iniquity, and transgression are of such a grievous nature to, yea, such a flagrant disregard for the God, who so loved the world, that He is left with no other recourse but to deal with severity.  But for those who are in Christ, it is translates to grief that is unto correction and perfection.
When the Lord God laid upon Jesus the iniquity of us all, this was a causing of grief like none other.  This was grief that only Christ, as “our Passover” (I Cor. 5:7) and “our Lord” (Heb. 7:14), was able to bear and recover from to the glory (Phil. 2:11) and satisfaction (Isa. 53:11) of God the Father.  We’re speaking here of griefs that only a Member of the Godhead could bear.  And these were sorrows that only God, in the Person of His Son, could carry away.  “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (II Cor. 5:19).

With the Lord Jesus Christ there was no need for correction. With Him there was need for perfecting, but it was perfecting, not in His essential Person and Character, but rather perfecting unto His ability and capacity to be a “merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God” (Heb. 2:17). 


Bearing and Carrying.  Both were unto the satisfaction of the Divine righteousness and justice.  It was essential not only that the sins, iniquities, griefs and sorrows be borne, but that they also be carried away forever from God’s Presence.  This could either be accomplished by laying the sins upon the sinners, and casting them away from His Presence forever, or by God devising means (II Sam. 14:14) that His Banished (Christ, and all who are in Him, Christ, and all who have believed on Him) be not expelled from Him.
Bearing (speaks of endurance) Griefs, and Carrying (speaks of duration) Sorrows.  That which sin most certainly causes, produces, and eventuates in (namely, griefs and sorrows), is here, in a figure, substituted for the sin itself (the effect for the cause).  Iniquity, trespasses, offenses, transgressions, and sin are all words that speak of violations of, and contrariness to, the good and perfect will of God.  They are things which grieve “Him at His heart” (Gen. 6:6), and ultimately they stir Him up to jealousy and wrath.   He is “of purer eyes to behold” such things, and things which He cannot look upon (Hab. 1:13).
From this perspective sin, iniquity, and transgression, as well as griefs and sorrows, are in some respects very similar.  Christ bore our griefs, and carried our sorrows (Isa. 53:4), when He “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (I Pet. 2:24).  Sins and iniquities are things that are readily apparent to God [they grievously affect Him, they anger Him], whereas griefs and sorrows are things which are the more readily apparent to men.  Men, in their fallen condition, must be instructed about the grievous nature of sin and transgression, because of its effect upon the One who made them and, to this day, sustains them. --Editor


"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).