A WORD TO THE WEARY……J. Wilson Smith

Let me quote the verse from which these words are taken: “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned (the instructed) that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” (Isa. 50:4).

1st. Who speaks the word in season

Who is that “Me” who is instructed by the Lord God for a service so precious and so deeply needed?

It is He who (as the same passage states) asks the question: “Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? . . . I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.”

In His hand is all that power. He can redeem; He can deliver; He can darken the face of the sky; in His hand is omnipotence—a truly wonderful Person is He!

And yet He it is who is qualified to do a service so infinitesimal as to drop a word of comfort into the ear of the weary. What vast extremes are in His service!

He who covers the heavens can comfort a poor weary heart here below. And He does!

2nd. How did He acquire this ability?

How, in what school, did He receive this learning? How comes He to act in sympathy and to feel the sorrows of His afflicted people? The answer is given us in Hebrews 2 and 5. There we read that He “took part in flesh and blood”; He became incarnate; He stooped from Godhead glory into the fashion of man; as man He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. He who had hitherto commanded, who “spake and it was done,” now learns obedience in suffering, as each of the four divinely-given biographies of His perfect life makes known to us; it was in this school—that of weariness and weeping, of hunger and poverty) of contact with every phase of human misery and woe, the tears of the doubly bereft widow and the desolated home of Bethany, the painfully visible effects of sin and the groan of a convulsed creation—in this familiar school and not in the unruffled dignities of heaven He learned the art, rare and precious, of sympathy and of speaking a word to the weary. His sympathy is the result of dearly-bought experience, and is, therefore, ever efficacious.

He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. “He was tempted in all (note the word) points like as we are, yet without sin” (sin wholly absent).

3rd. The Word spoken is seasonable

His word to the weary is spoken, we read, “in season.” That is, He knows the exact moment when to whisper into the wearied ear, and just when to support the breaking heart.

It was in a moment of physical crisis in my own career, that I learned the meaning of His rod and staff comforting me. I had, till then, attached the idea of support to that staff. Now, I discovered that there was also “comfort.” So says the charming pastoral psalm, where we find the sheep drifting down through the valley, but, even there, comforted by the shepherd’s rod and staff! Yes, but this makes the dreaded valley a very easy journey when you find that such comfort is yours in it, and that beyond its shadow is the House of the Lord for ever!

Christ’s ministry is always seasonable, never out of season. It may not assume an audible form, as it oft-times did in days of old, as, for instance, to Abraham, Moses, the prophets, or to Paul, once and again, but in some sweet and suitable way by the Word, or otherwise—a psalm, a hymn, or a spiritual song—the patient service and comfort of the living Lord, is proved by the weary.

4th. Who are the weary?

Well, such a question is superfluous today . . . Who is not weary?

“And they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah” (Jer. 51:64)—a striking statement at the close of this significant prophecy, but not very dissimilar from the “groan” of Romans 8. Wearying and groaning are, did we only allow the fact, the chief features of humanity today. The frivolity of nature can only be accounted for by its insensibility. The awful fact is that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not,” and this diabolic obfuscation of mind, on the part of all such, is the reason of this sad phenomenon. Did every one feel as he should that he “must give account of himself to God,” how different would be his thoughts and habits! But “God is not in all his thoughts,” and hence the trifling.

But not so is the weary. To him God is real, and needed, and obeyed, and loved. He follows in the blessed steps of his Master and Lord. He realizes the contradiction to God on all hands. He is oft-times weary, rightly so, and he it is who receives and enjoys “a word in season” from Him who has power to redeem and to deliver, as well as to cover the heavens with blackness, or do what He will in the armies of heaven.

“Thy sympathy how precious,
Thou succourest in sorrow.”

Advertisements

“Free” Yet “Subject”……H.J. Vine

It is often just this lack of true balance which brings in disaster upon the path of service. Liberty is claimed and subjection refused, or subjection is pressed and freedom in service disallowed. “Am I not free?” asked the apostle in 1 Corinthians 9:1. I am “free from all” (v. 19), he said, in regard to the work with which he was entrusted, though he made himself servant of all for their good. Nevertheless he was truly subject: “not as without law to God, but as legitimately subject to Christ” (v. 21, N.Tr.). No servant enjoyed greater freedom! Indeed, some sought, he tells us, “to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage” (Gal. 2:4); yet he served the Lord in a consistent manner, for he knew that one “is not crowned unless he contend lawfully” (2 Tim. 2:5). It is the Son who makes us “REALLY FREE,” for the Son is free; but He took upon Him the form of a servant, and said Himself, “I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment even so I do.” When we meditate upon both His freedom and His wondrous subjection, we learn what is acceptable to God.

A MOTHER’S PRAYER

Lord, I am satisfied tonight to be
A mother, in a world gone mad with hate;
Here in this hour of earth’s agony,
I do not ask that I might do some great
Magnificent achievement, bringing fame;
I do not covet larger fields to roam;
I only want to keep alight the flame
Of God’s love, shining from a Christian home.
I thank Thee for the children, if the way
Should lead to heartbreak grant me courage, Lord.
I will remember that there was a day
Thy mother’s heart was pierced, too, by the sword;
Thy grace will be sufficient now — as then.
I am glad to be a mother, Lord — Amen.
(Composer unknown)

THE CROSS – OT – NT…..J.G. Bellett

“”If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Col.3:1)

THE BOOK OF JOB gives us the saga of a saint in patriarchal days the
account of his trials through which he was to learn the common lesson
according to the common calling that we are a dead and risen people.

Although Job came before Abraham, he did not come before this lesson,
for it had been taught from the beginning; Adam and Abel, and the line
of Seth through Enoch and Noah, had already learned it. And Job, after
them, is set down to the same lesson, only engraved in deeper and darker
lines!

The Book of Job exhibits a soul set to learn through trials and sorrows
the common lesson, the power of our calling; that our hopes are neither
in this world nor from the flesh, but in living position with the Lord Jesus
Christ—beyond all that is here.

The events themselves are deeply touching, but they are all ordinary,
or such as are “common to man.” Thieves carry off his oxen and
asses. Lightening destroys his flocks. A high wind blows down his
house and kills his children. And, at last, a sore disease breaks out on
his body from head to foot.

Each of these might have happened to his ungodly neighbor as well
as to him. In the mere matter of these afflictions, there was nothing
that distinguished him as a child of God. They were not the sufferings
of a martyr. but still they were all under the exactest inspection and
measured control of his heavenly Father, all in the way of appointment
and of discipline flowing from heavenly interests and divine relationships.

Resurrection has from the beginning been an article of the faith of God’s
people; and being such, it was also the lesson they had to learn and to
experience–the principle of their life out of death. The Genesis fathers
had learnt the lesson, Moses learnt it, David was in the power of it,
the whole nation of Israel were taught it, again and again.

The Lord Jesus, “the Author and Finisher of our faith,” in His day, realised
this lesson to all perfection. And each of His growing ones is set down
to it every day, that we may “know Him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings being made conformable unto his
death.” (Phil. 3:10)

The leading purpose of the Book of Job sets forth a child of resurrection,
in early patriarchal days, learning the lesson of resurrection–life out of death.
His confession tells us that the resurrection was understood by him as a
doctrine, while the whole account tells us that he had still to know the
reality of it in his life. It was an article of his faith, but not yet the principle
of his life.

And a sore trial it was to him, hard indeed to learn and digest. He did not like
(and which of us does?) to take the sentence of death into himself, that he
might not trust in himself, nor in his circumstances in life, nor his condition
by nature—but in God who raises the dead. “I shall die in my nest” (Job 29:18)
was his thought and hope. But he was to see his nest rifled of all with which
nature had filled it, and with which circumstances had adorned it.

This honored and cherished saint had to learn the power of the calling of
all the elect, practically and personally–the life of faith, or the lesson of
resurrection. And it may be a consolation for those of us who know our-
selves to be little among them, to read in the records which we have
of them that all have not been equally apt and bright scholars in that
school; and that all, in different measures, have failed in it as well as
made progress in it.

How unworthily of it, for instance, did Abraham behave; how little like a
dead and risen man, a man of faith, when he denied his wife to the
Egyptian. Yet how beautifully did he carry himself, as such, when he
surrendered the choice of the land to his younger kinsman, Lot.

We are encouraged and consoled to know that our present lesson, as
those who have died and whose life is hid with Christ in God, has been
the lesson of the elect from the beginning–that on many a bright and
hallowed occasion they matriculated in that lesson to the glory of their Lord;
that at times they found it hard, and at times failed in it. This tale of the
soul is well known to us. Only we, living in New Testament truth, are
learning the same lesson in the still ampler page and after the clearer
method in which it is now taught us in our death and resurrection with
the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is some difference (and distance) between a righteous and devoted
believer. The measure of devotedness may be said to be according
to the energy one is exercising as being dead and risen with Lord Jesus.
At the beginning of his history, Job was a righteous man. He was well
spoken of again and again, in the very face of his accuser. But he was
not yet a devoted man. Accepted he was as a sinner who knew his
living and triumphant Redeemer; godly and upright beyond his fellows,
but as to the life that wrought in his soul, he was not a dead and risen
man.

Such also was the writer of Proverbs 20:1-9. He was godly and of a
lowly, self-judging spirit. He makes a good confession of human
blindness and depravity, of the unsearchable glories of God, the
purity and preciousness of His Word, and of the security of all who
trust in Him.

He was a man of God and walked in a good spirit, but he was not a
devoted man. He did not know how to abound and how to suffer need.
He dreaded poverty lest he should steal, and riches lest he should
deny God. He was not prepared for changes. Neither was Job. But
Paul was. He surrendered himself to the Lord Jesus, as they had not.
He was ready to be “emptied from vessel to vessel.” He was instructed
both to be full and to be hungry. He could do all things through Christ
strengthening him.

See that devoted man, that dead and risen man in the closing chapters
of Acts (20 to 28). He is in the midst of a weeping company of brethren
at Miletus, and in the bosom of a loving Christian household at Tyre.
But were those able to detain him? No. Even there he carried a heart
thoroughly surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He could not be held, and on from thence he goes, along the coast of
Syria up to Jerusalem and then for two long years, apart from the brethren,
in perils by sea and land, under insults and wrongs, a single heart and
devoted affection bearing him through all. Mere righteousness will
not take such a journey. There must be that singleness of eye to the
Lord Jesus, that principle of devotedness which reckons upon our
death and resurrection in Him.

Job was righteous but he was not prepared for such shifting scenery as
this. He loved the green spot and the feathered nest. Changes come,
and changes are too much for him. But God, in the love wherewith He
loved him as his heavenly Father , puts him in school to learn the lesson
of a child of resurrection–to be a partaker of His holiness, the holiness
not merely of a right or pure-minded man, but the holiness that suits
the call of God, the holiness of a dead and risen man; one of the pilgrim
family, one of God’s strangers in the world. (Heb. 12:9,10)

Job was chastened to be partaker of such a holiness as this. Not that
trials and troubles, like this, are essential to the learning of this lesson.
A very common method it is with our heavenly Father in His love and
wisdom. But Paul set himself daily to learn and live that lesson,
without the instructions of griefs and losses in either body or estate. (Phil.3)

A dead and risen believer will have neither his springs nor his objects here.
His principles of action will be found in the Lord Jesus. He is taken out
of all the advantages and adornings of the flesh into the righteousness
and life of God in Christ–and then, livingly and practically, progresses
up the hill, having in spirit left the low level of the world. He has taken leave
of the course of the world. He has taken leave of the plain beneath, and
has ascended in spirit above–hid with Christ in God.

He lets the world know that it could never provide him with his object. In
the midst of its kingdoms and delights he is a stranger still. He can, like
his Master, hide the glory to which God has appointed him and be nothing
in the present scene here below. Abraham did not tell every Canaanite
whom he chanced to meet that he was the heir of the country.
–J.G. BELLETT (Selections from the Patriarchs)