Monday, December 28, 2015

"That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee."  Proverbs 22:19

     On this verse observe the following things:—
     1. The particularity of address,—"to thee, even to thee."  In the days of prophetic inspiration, it was no unusual thing for the servants of God to receive express commissions to individuals, in which they alone were concerned.  But the whole Book of God,—the entire "word of His testimony,"—should be considered by every one as addressed to him; —as much so as if there were no other human being besides himself, and as if it had been "given by inspiration" to himself alone.  There is no room for any saying, as Jehu did of old,—"To which of all us?"  The answer would, in every case, be—To each of you all—to thee—to thee—to thee.  Not that there is no such thing as "rightly dividing the word of truth;" not that there are no portions of it that have a special appropriateness of application to the characters and circumstances of individuals.  Still, the great truths of the Word are alike to each and to all.  And speedily a man may be placed in one or other of the peculiar situations to which the different portions of it are adapted!  I know of nothing more important than for every individual to bring divine lessons home to himself.  Too often, alas! we forget personal amidst general application of particular truths.  We think of them as intended for men, and forget that they are designed for us.  Would you then profit by what you hear?— keep in mind, that what is addressed to all is addressed to each—"to thee, even to thee."

     2. Mark the emphasis on the time—"this day."  We set a mark, in our minds, on days that have been rendered memorable by events of special interest.  Would Noah, think you, ever forget the day of the year on which he and his family entered the ark, and when "the Lord shut him in?"—or the day on which he again stepped out of it upon the green earth, to be the second father of mankind?  Would the shepherds ever forget on what night of the year the angelic messengers, amidst the light of the glory of the Lord, announced to them the divine Saviour's birth, and when "the multitude of the heavenly host," bursting on their sight, "ascended jubilant," saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men?"  Or would Cornelius ever forget the day and the hour when the angelic visitant directed him to that instruction whereby he and all his house should be saved?  You, it is true, have many times heard the words of truth.  Let me, however, remind any of you who have thus often heard, and who still neglect them, of the importance to you of each day that you enjoy the privilege.  Every time you thus hear them, your eternal all depends on the reception you give to the message of God.  This day may be important indeed, for it may be the last on which divine truth shall sound in your ears.  O that it may be a day to be sacredly and joyfully remembered by every sinner now present, as the day on which he first felt its inestimable preciousness to his soul!  If you thus hear, and thus improve the opportunity, the day will not be obliterated from your memory by the lapse of eternity.  There is one thing of which with emphasis it may be said to each individual sinner—It is ''to thee, even to thee:''—I mean the message of the Gospel—the message of free mercy through the divine Mediator.  There is no exception; there is no difference.  The Law speaks to each—"to thee, even to thee"—its sentence of condemnation.  The Gospel speaks to each—"to thee, even to thee"—its offer of free, full, immediate, irrevocable, pardon on the ground of the universal atonement.  To every fellow-creature we can say—An adequate atonement has been made for all; therefore for thee—"for thee, even for thee;" and on the ground of that atonement does divine mercy come near to thee—"to thee, even to thee"—with the offer of forgiveness, acceptance, and life.  "This day" is the message of life again "made known" unto thee, sinner; and there is no obstacle to thine acceptance and enjoyment of it, but what is in thyself;—none in God; none in Christ; none in the atonement; none in the divine offer of its virtue to mankind.  "To thee is the word of this salvation sent;" and "now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation."

     3. Mark the design:—"That thy trust may be in the Lord."  Can there be a design more gracious?  It is connected with the sinner's present and eternal happiness.  "They that know thy name," says David, "shall put their trust in thee:" then it follows—"for thou, Lord, hast never forsaken them that seek thee."  No.  God "keeps them by His power, through faith unto salvation."  God is revealed, to be trusted in:  and He is worthy of all confidence.  To trust in God is to trust in His perfections, as made known in the gospel,—in His mercy as it there appears in union with the justice and holiness of His character and government, and in His faithfulness to all the "exceeding great and precious promises" of His covenant, which are "yea and amen in Christ Jesus."  All may thus trust in Him.  I say to each hearer—"To thee, even to thee'' is God in Christ made known, that thou mayest trust in Him.  This trust arises from the knowledge of him as in Christ the God of salvation.  Mark the testimony—"Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God," I Peter 1:20-21.  A blessing is ever represented as accompanying and flowing from it; while the language dictated by it is that of unmoved tranquillity, and fearless joy—"O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation," Isaiah 12:1-2.          
                                                                                                                                     Ralph Wardlaw  

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