Golden Text:—"The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting
to everlasting, upon them that fear him."—Psa. 103:17 .
OUR TEXT is a forceful reminder of our studies in the past quarter. It was a lack of reverence for the Lord that permitted mother Eve to be deceived and to become the first transgressor. It was a lack of reverence for the Lord that led our father Adam into disobedience, into practical suicide, because of his love for Eve, and because he had not yet learned the proper reverence for God which would have led him to be obedient and to trust the results of Eve's disobedience to divine wisdom. It was lack of reverence for the Lord which operated in Satan to an evil ambition, and thus to his fall. It was lack of reverence for the Lord and for his rules of government that permitted the angels of the first dispensation to leave their own condition, and thus to get into sin with humanity. It was a lack of reverence for the Lord on the part of the world in general that caused the world to be full of violence and ready for destruction in the flood.
It was a proper reverence for the Lord that controlled Noah and his family, and kept them separate from the evil of their time, and that brought to them ultimately the divine blessing and preservation through the flood. It was a proper reverence for the Lord that enabled Abraham to forsake home and country in response to a divine promise, and that guided him throughout his pilgrimage and kept him separate from the Sodomites and the evil influences of that time. Similarly, on Isaac's part, it was reverence for the Lord which kept him in his father's footsteps; and we have just seen how fully Jacob was imbued with this reverence for divinity, and for all the gracious promises by which the Lord represented himself to him. We have seen the hand of the Lord with all those who had this reverence, and that even though they passed through numerous and severe trials, difficulties, etc., they were not forsaken, but upheld.
On the other hand, we have seen Lot's insufficiency of reverence, which permitted him to associate with evil-doers, and which ultimately brought upon him a share of their trouble. We have seen Ishmael's lack of reverence, and Esau's lack of reverence, and how these though not injured of the Lord, nevertheless missed greater blessing which a different course might have brought to them.
The lesson for us is that which Joshua expressed to Israel later, saying, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve; as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." (Josh. 24:15.) Let others reverence whom and what they will; we, who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, we, who have come to know him through his Word, and through his providences, and through the power of the spirit by which we are begotten again to newness of life—we can do naught else than [R2873 : page 285] reverence our God; and reverencing him we must trust him implicitly; and trusting him implicitly we will gladly walk in whatever way he may mark out for us; and thus trusting, and thus walking we are content, whatever lot we see, since 'tis his hand that leadeth us. And let us be assured that following the true Shepherd after this manner, we shall ultimately reach the heavenly fold. In these assurances we have joy and peace and blessing of heart, even in the house of our pilgrimage, before we reach the heavenly city.