Treasures and pleasures!
(Thomas Watson, “God is His People’s Great Reward“)
“I am your exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1. God Himself is His people’s reward! In what way is God the reward of His people?
God is a satisfying reward. God is a whole ocean of blessedness, so that the soul, while it is bathing in it, cries out in a divine ecstasy, “I have enough!” Here is fullness — but no excess. Psalm 17:15, “I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness.” That is — when I awake out of the sleep of death, having my soul embellished with the illustrious beams of Your glory — I shall be satisfied. In God there is not only sufficiency — but redundancy; not only the fullness of the vessel — but the fullness of the fountain! In God, this Ark of blessedness, are all good things to be found. Therefore Jacob, having God for his reward, could say, “I have enough!” or, as it is in the original, “I have all!” Genesis 33:11. God is all marrow and fatness. He is such an plenteous reward as exceeds our very faith. If the Queen of Sheba’s heart fainted when she saw all King Solomon’s glory — what would it have done to have beheld the astonishing and magnificent reward which God bestows upon His favorites!
God is a suitable reward. The soul, being spiritual, must have something comparable and suitable to make it happy — and that is God. Light is no more suitable to the eye, nor melody to the ear — than God is to the soul. He pours spiritual blessings into the soul, Ephesians 1:3. He enriches it with grace, feasts it with His love, and crowns it with heavenly glory!
God is a pleasant reward. He is the quintessence of delight! He is all beauty and love! To be feeding upon thoughts of God is delicious. Psalm 104:34, “My meditation on Him shall be sweet.” It is delightful to the bee to suck the flower. Just so, by holy musing, to suck out some of the sweetness in God, carries a secret delight in it. To have a prospect of God only by faith is pleasant. 1 Peter 1:8, “In whom believing you rejoice.” Then what will the joy of vision be — when we shall have a clear, personal sight of Him — and be laid in the bosom of divine love! What a delicious reward will God be in heaven! This will be better felt — than expressed. The godly, entering upon their celestial reward, are said to enter into the joy of their Lord, Matthew 25:21. Oh, amazing! The saints enter into God’s own joy! They have not only the joy which God bestows — but the joy which God enjoys!
God is a transcendent reward. The artist, going to paint the picture of Helena, not being able to draw her beauty — drew her face covered with a veil. Just so, when we speak of God’s excellencies — we must draw a veil. He is so super-eminent a reward, that we cannot set Him forth in all His luster and magnificence. Put the whole world in scale with Him — and it is as if you should weigh a feather compared to a mountain of gold. God is far better than all other things put together! He is better than the world — and better than heaven! He is the original cause of all good things. Nothing is sweet without Him. He perfumes and sanctifies our comforts!
God being an infinite reward, there can be no defect or scantiness in it. There is no lack in that which is infinite. Some may ask, “Is God sufficient for every individual saint?” Yes! If the sun, which is but a finite creature, disperses its light to the universe; then much more God, who is infinite, distributes glory to the whole number of the elect. As every person enjoys the whole sun to himself — so every believer possesses the whole God to himself. The Lord has land enough to give all His heirs. Throw a thousand buckets into the sea — and there is water enough in the sea to fill them. Though there are millions of saints and angels — there is enough in God to fill them. God is an infinite reward, and though He is continually giving out of His fullness to others — yet He has not the less. His glory is imparted — not impaired. It is a distribution, without a diminution.
God is an honorable reward. Honor is the height of men’s ambition. Aristotle calls it the greatest of blessings. What greater dignity than to be taken up into communion with the God of glory, and to possess a kingdom with Him, bespangled with light, and seated with Christ upon His throne, above all the visible orbs!
God is an everlasting reward. Mortality is the flaw of all earthly things. But God is an eternal reward. Eternity cannot be measured by years nor ages. Eternity makes glory, weighty. Psalm 48:14, “This God is our God forever and ever!” Oh, saints of God, your praying and repenting are but for a while — but your reward is forever! As long as God is God, He will be rewarding you! Hosea 2:19, “I will betroth you unto me forever.” God marries Himself to His people, and this admits of no divorce. God’s love for His elect is as unchangeable as His love for Christ! Psalm 73:26, “My portion forever.” This portion cannot be spent — because it is infinite; nor can it be lost — because it is eternal.
In God are treasures which can never be emptied — and pleasures which can never be ended!
“You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!” Psalm 16:11