An Ark for All God's Noahs in a Gloomy Stormy Day or,

The Best Wine Reserved Until Last or,

The Transcendent Excellency of a Believer's
Portion above All Earthly Portions

by Thomas Brooks, 1662

"The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore
I will hope in Him." Lamentations 3:24

II. Upon what GROUNDS their title unto God as their portion is founded and bottomed
; and they are these that follow:

(1.) First, The free favor and love of God, the good will and pleasure of God, is the true ground and bottom of God's bestowing of himself as a portion upon his people, Deut 7:6-9; Ezek 16:1-15. There was no loveliness nor desirableness in them that should move him to bestow himself upon them. They had neither portion nor proportion, and therefore there was no cause in them why God should bestow himself as a portion upon them. God, for the glory of his own free grace and love, has bestowed himself as a portion upon those who have deserved to have their portion among devils and damned spirits, in those torments that are endless, ceaseless, and remediless.

The heathens thought that their gods and goddesses loved some certain trees, for some lovely good that was in them; for Jupiter loved the oak for durance, and Neptune the cedar for stature, and Apollo the laurel for greenness, and Venus the poplar for whiteness, and Pallas the vine for fruitfulness. But what should move the God of gods to love us, who were so unworthy, so filthy, so empty, so beggarly, that were trees indeed—but such as Jude mentions, "corrupt, fruitless, twice dead, and plucked up by the roots"? Jude 12. The question may be resolved in these words--he loves us because he loves us. The root of all divine love to us lies only in the bosom of God. But,

(2.) Secondly, Their title to God as their portion is founded upon God's free and voluntary donation of himself to them in the covenant of grace, Ezek 11:19; Heb 8:10-13. In the covenant of grace, God has freely bestowed himself upon his people. Jer 32:38,40, "And they shall be my people, and I will be their God—and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." The covenant of grace is the great charter, it is the Magna Charta of all a saint's spiritual privileges and immunities. Now in this great charter, the Lord has proclaimed himself to be his people's God. Jer 10:16, "The portion of Jacob is the former of all things; the Lord Almighty is his name." He who is the former of all things, even the Lord Almighty, is the portion of Jacob; and he is Jacob's portion, by virtue of that covenant of grace--which is a free, a full, a rich, and an everlasting covenant—a covenant that he will never break, nor alter, nor falsify; a covenant that he has sworn to make good, as you may see by comparing the scriptures in the margin together. [Psalm 89:34-35; Isaiah 54:9-10; Psalm 111:5; Psalm 105:9; Mic 7:20; Heb 6:13-19; Luke 1:73]

That covenant of grace, whereby God gives himself to be his people's God and portion, he is bound to make good by his oath; and, therefore, certainly God will never commit perjury. The Egyptians, though heathens, so hated perjury, that if any man did but swear "By the life of the king," and did not perform his oath, that man was to die, and no gold was to redeem his life. To think that God will not make good that covenant that he has bound himself by oath to make good, is blasphemy, yes, it is to debase him below the very heathen. All laws, both divine and human, have left no such bond of assurance to tie and fasten one to another, as that of an oath or covenant; which, as they are to be taken in sincerity, so they are to be kept inviolably. Certainly, the covenant and oath of the great God, is not like a gypsy's knot, that is fast or loose at pleasure. He will be sure, faithfully and inviolably to keep his covenant and his oath with his people. But,

(3.) Thirdly, Their title to God as their God and portion, is founded and bottomed upon that marriage union that is between God and his people, Jer 3:13-14. Hos 2:19-20, 23, "And I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one.' I will say to those called 'Not my people,' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.'" This threefold repetition, "I will betroth you," I will betroth you," I will betroth you," notes three things,

[1.] First, the certainty of their marriage union and communion with God.

[2.] Secondly, The excellency and dignity of their marriage union and communion with God. And,

[3.] Thirdly, The difficulty of believing their "marriage union and communion with God. There is nothing that Satan does so much envy and oppose, as he does the soul's marriage union and communion with God; and therefore God fetches it over again and again and again, "I will betroth you unto me," etc. And so in that Isaiah 61:10, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." And so, Isaiah 62:5, "As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you."

I have read of five sisters, of the same birth, pedigree and race, whereof one was married to a knight, another to an earl, a third to a gentleman, a fourth to a mean man, and the fifth to a filthy beggar. Though they were all alike by birth and descent, yet their difference did lie in their marriage. We are all alike by creation, by the fall, by nature, and by the first birth; it is only our marriage union and communion with God that differences us from others, and that exalts and lifts us up above others. Look, as the husband is the wife's by marriage union and communion, so God is the believer's God and portion, lay virtue of that marriage union and communion that is between God and the believer. And let thus much suffice for the second thing.

III. I shall come now to the third thing, and that is, to make some PRACTICAL APPLICATION of this blessed and glorious truth to ourselves.