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The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
A Woman's Logic
We say usually that woman has instinct and man has logic. That is an ingenious definition to save the masculine face. For really instinct is logic without its forms, and you have only to look at this text to see that the woman's instinct and logic are alike sound and convincing.
I. The Promise in Nature. Now let us first take this question: If the Lord had been pleased to kill us, would He have shown us all these things? We may ask this question in respect of this present life, and its anxieties. We are often full of trouble about our future life in this world. We are full of misgivings, full of solicitudes, full of apprehension. Now when we are thus tormented would it not be a good thing to put to ourselves: Would God have shown us all these things (these things that He is displaying to us, say, in this royal summer-time), would God have shown us all these wonderful things of our personal experience if He had meant to starve us, to degrade us, to forsake us, and leave us to nakedness and despair? All the riches and splendours of nature assure us that God is going to take care of us in the days to come as in the days that are past.
II. The Promise in Life. And you may take the same argument about the greater life beyond this world. We are doubtful sometimes, we are troubled with perplexities about the unknown future, and we are tempted to say that we shall perish utterly. If God had meant to destroy us would He have acted as He has with us, brought us into this world, and schooled us only to dismiss us to the dust? After all the grandeur of the world of which we are the chief object, the splendour of our faculties, the excellence of our education, the rich treatment received at the hand of heaven, all declare that life has an immense perspective, that God is contemplating generous things, and after laying His large foundations He is going to put on the superstructure and the topstone of perfection, of immortality.
III. The Promise in Revelation. Another question, Would the Lord have spoken to us all these things if He had meant to kill us? He has not only shown us wonderful things, but He has spoken to us great words. God has not left Himself without witness; from the beginning there have been His messengers speaking great words of light, of true righteousness, and hope to the various nations. And (depend upon it) God will continue to vindicate Himself and utter His great words. And what is all this for? For what end? Has God spoken to us through the Jewish nation, and spoken to us through His Son, and is it likely now that He is going to annihilate us, to desert us, to leave us in darkness and despair? It is not like Him. The very fact that He has spoken to us is full of promise and full of prophecy.
IV. The Promise in Grace. Finally, would God have shown us all the grace which He has shown us if He had meant to destroy us? Think of what God has given us in His Son; of the love He has expressed to us in His Gospel! God has spoken words to you that He will justify and accomplish.
W. L. Watkinson, The Christian World Pulpit, Vol. lxv. 1904.
References. XIII. 22, 23. H. J. Bevis, Sermons, p. 186. J. Keble, Sermons for Sundays after Trinity, part i. p. 95. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxiii. No. 1340. XIII. 23. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. viii. No. 440. XIII. 24. I. Williams, Characters of the Old Testament, p. 149. XIII. 24, 25. Bishop Alexander, The Great Question, p. 145.
Deeds of heroism are only offered to those who have been, for many long years, heroes in obscurity and silence.
History proves that the majority of men who have done anything great have passed their youth in seclusion.
Reference. XIII. 25. J. Clifford, Daily Strength for Daily Living, p. 97.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Judges 13". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany