We May Speak for God
Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth. (Jeremiah 15:19)
Poor Jeremiah! Yet why do we say so? The weeping prophet was one of the choicest servants of God and honored by Him above many. He was hated for speaking the truth. The word which was so sweet to him was bitter to his hearers, yet he was accepted of his Lord. He was commanded to abide in his faithfulness, and then the Lord would continue to speak through him. He was to deal boldly and truthfully with men and perform the Lord’s winnowing work upon the professors of his day, and then the Lord gave him this word: “Thou shalt be as my mouth.”
What an honor! Should not every preacher, yea, every believer, covet it? For God to speak by us, what a marvel! We shall speak sure, pure truth; and we shall speak it with power. Our word shall not return void; it shall be a blessing to those who receive it, and those who refuse it shall do so at their peril. Our lips shall feed many. We shall arouse the sleeping and call the dead to life.
O dear reader, pray that it may be so with all the sent servants of our Lord.
“Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof; so he that waiteth on his master shall be honored” (Proverbs 27:18).
He who tends the fig tree has figs for his pains, and he who waits on a good master has honor as his reward. Truly the LORD Jesus is the very best of masters, and it is an honor to be allowed to do the least act for His sake. To serve some lords is to watch over a crab tree and eat the crabs as one’s wages; but to set ye the LORD Jesus is to keep a fig tree of the sweetest figs. His service is in itself delight, continuance in it is promotion, success in it is blessedness below, and the reward for it is glory above.
Our greatest honors will be gathered in that season when the figs will be ripe, even in the next world. Angels who are now our servitors will bear us home when our day’s work is done. Heaven, where Jesus is, will be our honorable mansion, eternal bliss our honorable portion, and the LORD Himself our honorable companion. Who can imagine the full meaning of this promise: “He that waiteth on his master shall be honored”?
LORD, help me to wait upon my Master. Let me leave all idea of honor to the hour when Thou Thyself shalt honor me. May the Holy Spirit make me a lowly, patient worker and waiter!
“The LORD thy God will turn thy captivity” (Deuteronomy 30:3).
God’s own people may sell themselves into captivity by sin. A very bitter fruit is this, of an exceeding bitter root. What a bondage it is when the child of God is sold under sin, held in chains by Satan, deprived of his liberty, robbed of his power in prayer and his delight in the LORD!
Let us watch that we come not into such bondage; but if this has already happened to us, let us by no means despair.
But we cannot be held in slavery forever. The LORD Jesus has paid too high a price for our redemption to leave us in the enemy’s hand. The way to freedom is, “Return unto the LORD thy God.” Where we first found salvation we shall find it again. At the foot of Christ’s cross, confessing sin, we shall find pardon and deliverance.
Moreover, the LORD will have us obey His voice according to all that He has commanded us, and we must do this with all our heart and all our soul, and then our captivity shall end.
Often depression of spirit and great misery of soul are removed as soon as we quit our idols and bow ourselves in obedience before the living God. We need not be captives. We may return to Zion’s citizenship, and that speedily. LORD, turn our captivity!
It Becomes Mutual
“I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Corinthians 6:16).
Here is a mutual interest. Each belongs to each. God is the portion of His people, and the chosen people are the portion of their God. The saints find in God their chief possession, and He reckons them to be His peculiar treasure. What a mine of comfort lies in this fact for each believer!
This happy condition of mutual interest leads to mutual consideration. God will always think of His own people, and they will always think of Him. This day my God will perform all things for me; what can I do for Him? My thoughts ought to run toward Him, for He thinketh upon me. Let me make sure that it is so and not be content with merely admitting that so it ought to be.
This, again, leads to mutual fellowship. God dwells in us, and we dwell in Him; He walks with us, and we walk with God….
Oh, for grace to treat the LORD as my God: to trust Him and to serve Him, as His Godhead deserves! Oh, that I could love, worship, adore, and obey Jehovah in spirit and in truth! This is my heart’s desire. When I shall attain to it, I shall have found my heaven. LORD, help me! Be my God in helping me to know Thee as my God, for Jesus’ sake.
My Choice Is His Choice
“He shall choose our inheritance for us” (Psalm 47:4).
Our enemies would allot us a very dreary portion, but we are not left in their hands. The LORD will cause us to stand in our lot, and our place is appointed by His infinite wisdom. A wiser mind than our own arranges our destiny, The ordaining of all things is with God, and we are glad to have it so; we choose that God should choose for us. If we might have our own way we would wish to let all things go in God’s way.
Being conscious of our own folly, we would not desire to rule our own destinies. We feel safer and more at ease when the LORD steers our vessel than we could possibly be if we could direct it according to our own judgment. Joyfully we leave the painful present and the unknown future with our Father, our Savior, our Comforter.
O my soul, this day lay down thy wishes at Jesus’ feet! If thou hast of late been somewhat wayward and willful, eager to be and to do after thine own mind, now dismiss thy foolish self, and place the reins in the LORD’s hands. Say, “He shall choose.” If others dispute the sovereignty of the LORD and glory in the free will of man, do thou answer them, “He shall choose for me.” It is my freest choice to let Him choose. As a free agent, I elect that He should have absolute sway.
WITHOUT FEAR OF MAN
“And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee” Deut. 28:10
Then we can have no reason to be afraid of them. This would show a mean spirit, and be a token of unbelief rather than of faith. God can make us so like Himself, that men shall be forced to see that we rightly bear His name, and truly belong to the Holy Jehovah. Oh, that we may obtain this grace, which the Lord waits to bestow!
Be assured that ungodly men have a fear of true saints. They hate them, but they also fear them. Haman trembled because of Mordecai, even when he sought the good man’s destruction. In fact, their hate often arises out of a dread which they are too proud to confess. Let us pursue the path of truth and uprightness without the slightest tremor. Fear is not for us, but for those who do ill and fight against the Lord of hosts. If indeed the name of the Eternal God is named upon us, we are secure; for, as of old, a Roman had but to say Romanus sum, I am a Roman, and he could claim the protection of all the legions of the vast empire; so every one who is a man of God has omnipotence as his guardian, and God will sooner empty Heaven of angels than leave a saint without defense. Be braver than lions for the right, for God is with you.
Presence of Mind
“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (Proverbs 3;25-26).
When God is abroad in judgments, He would not have His people alarmed. He has not come forth to harm but to defend the righteous.
He would have them manifest courage. We who enjoy the presence of God ought to display presence of mind. Since the LORD Himself may suddenly come, we ought not to be surprised at anything sudden. Serenity under the rush and roar of unexpected evils is a precious gift of divine love.
The LORD would have His chosen display discrimination so that they may see that the desolation of the wicked is not a real calamity to the universe. Sin alone is evil; the punishment which follows thereupon is as a preserving salt to keep society from putrefying. We should be far more shocked at the sin which deserves hell than at the hell which comes out of sin.
So, too, should the LORD’s people exhibit great quietness of spirit. Satan and his serpent seed are full of all subtlety; but those who walk with God shall not be taken in their deceitful snares. Go on, believer in Jesus, and let the LORD be thy confidence
Established and Kept
“But the LORD is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
Men are often as devoid of reason as of faith. There are with us still “unreasonable and wicked men.” There is no use in arguing with them or trying to be at peace with them: they are false at heart and deceitful in speech. Well, what of this? Shall we worry ourselves with them? No; let us turn to the LORD, for He is faithful. No promise from His Word will ever be broken. He is neither unreasonable in His demands upon us nor unfaithful to our claims upon Him. We have a faithful God. Be this our joy.
He will stablish us so that wicked men shall not cause our downfall, and He will keep us so that none of the evils which now assail us shall really do us damage. What a blessing for us that we need not contend with men but are allowed to shelter ourselves in the LORD Jesus, who is in truest sympathy with us. There is one true heart, one faithful mind, one never changing love; there let us repose. The LORD will fulfill the purpose of His grace to us, His servants, and we need not allow a shadow of a fear to fatal upon our spirits. Not all that men or devils can do can hinder us of the divine protection and provision. This day let us pray the LORD to stablish and keep us
Fear to Fear
“Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:8).
Whenever fear comes in and makes us falter, we are in danger of falling into sin. Conceit is to be dreaded, but so is cowardice. “Dare to be a Daniel.” Our great Captain should be served by brave soldiers.
What a reason for bravery is here! God is with those who are with Him. God will never be away when the hour of struggle comes. Do they threaten you? Who are you that you should be afraid of a man that shall die? Will you lose your situation? Your God whom you serve will find bread and water for His servants. Can you not trust Him? Do they pour ridicule upon you? Will this break your bones or your heart? Bear it for Christ’s sake, and even rejoice because of it.
God is with the true, the just, the holy, to deliver them; and He will deliver you. Remember how Daniel came out of the lions’ den and the three holy children out of the furnace. Yours is not so desperate a case as theirs; but if it were, the LORD would bear you through and make you more than a conqueror. Fear to fear. Be afraid to be afraid. Your worst enemy is within your own bosom. Get to your knees and cry for help, and then rise up saying, “I will trust, and not be afraid.”
“I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).
This world is dark as midnight; Jesus has come that by faith we may have light and may no longer sit in the gloom which covers all the rest of mankind.
Whosoever is a very wide term: it means you and me. If we trust in Jesus we shall no more sit in the dark shadow of death but shall enter into the warm light of a day which shall never end. Why do we not come out into the light at once?
A cloud may sometimes hover over us, but we shall not abide in darkness if we believe in Jesus. He has come to give us broad daylight. Shall He come in vain.’ If we have faith we have the privilege of sunlight: let us enjoy it. From the night of natural depravity, of ignorance, of doubt, of despair, of sin, of dread, Jesus has come to set us free; and all believers shall know that He no more comes in vain than the sun rises and fails to scatter his heat and light.
Shake off thy depression, dear brother. Abide not in the dark, but abide in the light. In Jesus is thy hope, thy joy, thy heaven, Look to Him, to Him only, and thou shalt rejoice as the birds rejoice at sunrise and as the angels rejoice before the throne.