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Alicia Blackwood :: Jehovah Jirah—The Lord will provide

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Part I. "THE NAME OF THE LORD IS A STRONG TOWER."

JEHOVAH JIREH-THE LORD WILL PROVIDE

A strong Tower indeed is this wonderful Name!-The Song of Angels is here-"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men…for unto you is born this day a Saviour which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:14).

The Lord "saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor-therefore His arm brought Salvation!" (Isaiah 59:16). Yes! "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16).

"Abraham, Abraham, lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him" (Genesis 22:12). This was the type, Jehovah Jireh would provide, the Antitype. "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be seen" (Genesis 22:14), and it was seen and shall be seen forevermore. For "I beheld," says St. John, "and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain" (Revelation 5:6), and its praises shall be heard for evermore.

"And I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing," and every creature heard I saying, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him [Jehovah Jireh] that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever" (Revelation 5:11-13). Yes! it shall not only be seen but heard for evermore. For the echo of the voice of him that cried in the wilderness is heard and shall be heard throughout Eternity. "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

But, who is this Lamb of God?

It is Jesus, the promised seed of Abraham!

Even He who declared "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God! A body hast thou prepared me" (Hebrews 10:5).

It is Jesus, in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed; He who came to bring Salvation to poor fallen guilty man.

It is Jesus, He who took not upon Him the nature of Angels, but was content to be made lower than they. For as the children were made of flesh and blood, He also Himself took part of the same (Hebrews 2:14-16). He took upon Him the seed of Abraham that He might be the provided "Lamb of God."

It is even He, who hath by one offering of Himself, by His own blood, "perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14).

And to this end and for our sanctification hath Jehovah Jireh also sent down His Holy Spirit from above to change the deceitful and desperately wicked heart of man, that he might believe this report! This wonder! And thus come and be cleansed in the blood of this Lamb which He hath provided, and embrace the great and precious promises of His love towards us all; and by that Holy Spirit be enabled to serve Him in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life.

Let us then enter this Tower, and magnify the Name Jehovah Jireh.

Behold the side posts and lintel of the door are besprinkled with blood, and the inscription over it is thus:-

"I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved" (John 10:9).

Yes! It is by the blood of Christ, that Lamb of God, that a full and perfect atonement is made for us. It is by that blood only that we are reconciled unto God, and Salvation is given unto us.

This is the Lamb of God provided before the foundation of the world. This is the Lamb of God, prophetically spoken of to Isaac, "My son, God will provide Himself a Lamb" (Genesis 22:8). Yes! all was foreseen by God, and all was provided.

"Search the Scriptures" said this Lamb of God, those holy records from the beginning of the world, "They are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head" (Genesis 3:15). Clothing through vicarious suffering was provided.

Behold, the ark, when the flood of waters swept the universe-there, and there only was there refuge in that awful day. These show forth the Saviour of the world.

And what of Israel, that chosen nation, oh that marvellous history of Jehovah Jireh! Written for our learning! Did Israel not know this strong tower?

Think of Joseph whose death his brethren sought, now sent before them into Egypt to preserve their life! Think of Moses, the provided future Lawgiver raised in Pharaoh's court that he might become Israel's deliverer, leader and commander. Think of Israel's wanderings in the wilderness with the pillar of cloud, and the pillar of fire to defend. And the Angel of Jehovah's Presence to guide them! Surely the Lord was "kind to the unthankful and to the evil;" (Luke 6:35). Abraham's Jehovah Jireh never left them.

Did they lack bread? He gave them bread from Heaven, they ate angels' food (Psalm 78:25). Did they lack water? Behold He smote the Rock and the waters gushed out (Numbers 20:11).

Yea! forty years did Jehovah Jireh sustain them, so that they lacked nothing: their clothes waxed not old, neither did their foot swell! (Deuteronomy 8:4).

Did they need a leader to conduct them to the promised land? "And the Lord said unto Moses: Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him…at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in" (Numbers 27:18; 27:21).

David found a Shepherd who would not let him want (Psalm 23:1), he never saw the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread! (Psalm 37:25).

Elijah drank of the brook Cherith though neither rain nor dew had fallen in Israel, and ravens brought him food! (1 Kings 17:3-6). He wandered in the wilderness wearied and famished-but lo! an Angel touched him and said "arise and eat, and behold a cake baked on the coals, and a cruise of water at his head" (1 Kings 19:5-6). Have we not heard of the widow whose barrel of meal wasted not, nor did her oil fail, according to the Word of the Lord (1 Kings 17:14-15).

Had Joash no aunt to hide him from the murderous Athaliah? (2 Chronicles 22:11) or Jeremiah, lacked he an Ebedmelech to lift him from the miry dungeon?

Did not the Son of God walk in the midst of the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:25).

Was there no angel to shut the lions' mouths for Daniel? Oh, Scripture is full of the providence of Jehovah Jireh! Nay, is not Scripture itself provided for our instruction in righteousness that the man of God maybe perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:17). Are not all these things written for our example, for our comfort, for our hope?

And when the legal dispensation had passed away, and the middle wall of partition was broken down, and now that the Gentiles have come to the light, is there no more Jehovah Jireh? Have we no one to provide for our necessities!

Oh, sevenfold more blessed are we on whom the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ hath shined and doth shine. To us has appeared the Lamb of God Himself. The long promised Messiah in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

Yes! to us the Redeemer has come, the Friend and Saviour of poor sinners, the Physician to heal, the Brother born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24), He who is even closer than a brother! the true Leader and Commander (Isaiah 55:4).

"Follow me!" "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

He who gave the manna in the wilderness is Himself Our Bread of Life. The Rock that poured forth waters to assuage the thirst of Israel, is the Fountain of living waters unto us! Oh, rich provision for our souls! Let him that heareth say, "Come! Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).

And did Jesus not heed our natural wants? The marriage festival in Cana lacked not wine. "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat, and I will not send them away fasting lest they faint in the way" (Matthew 15:32), and seven loaves satisfied four thousand.

Was tribute money needed? Peter, "go thou to the sea, and cast an hook and take up the fish that first cometh up and when thou hast opened his mouth thou shalt find a piece of money, that take and give for me and thee" (Matthew 17:27).

St. Paul "was instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need. But what is his testimony? "I have all and abound" (Philippians 4:18). Oh, can we not say "Time would fail to tell" of all the providential care and blessings which we unceasingly experience from Our Jehovah Jireh! Such He is indeed to us. And more, He is the Provided Sympathizer in all our woes, Partaker in all our afflictions. "Oh, Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come" (Psalm 65:2).

And do we turn to creation, this beauteous world which thou hast made. "Oh Lord, our Lord how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth! who hast set Thy glory above the heavens" (Psalm 8:1). "Thou hast made Thy wonderful works to be remembered…they are sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" (Psalm 111:2; 111:4). Everything around us teems with the glory of the Creator. Shall we consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained? (Psalm 8:3). "Let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth" (Genesis 1:15).

In this our earthly state we need to mark time and Jehovah Jireh hath made two great lights to divide the day from the night, the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night" (Genesis 1:16); and who can tell the number of the stars? Who can bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?" (Job 38:31). All are appointed for signs and for seasons, and for days and years. And blessed be the Lord "for the precious things of Heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath; and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon" (Deuteronomy 33:13-14). Oh, thus doth all nature rejoice. The lily of the field, the tree of the forest, "grass for the cattle and herb for the service of man" (Psalm 104:14). Every leaf and every blade has its use and nutriment provided. The tender bud sheltered in its covering calix ere it bursts into blossom. Every tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself.

Oh, Lord, Thine eyes are upon all. Thou watchest over all. The ravens are provided with food. "The lion hunts his prey and the appetite of the young lions is filled" (Job 38:39). Yes! these all wait upon Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest Thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every living thing" (Psalm 104:27-28).

Like Job must we confess, "I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee" (Job 42:2).

"All Thy works shall praise Thee, and Thy saints shall bless Thee" (Psalm 145:10), for on them hast Thou breathed Thine own breath! and man is made a living soul! and what in all creation can compare with man, "For in the image of God made He man," and "the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding" (Job 32:8).

Endued with intellect and reason, designed to hold communion with his God, for God made man upright" (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

And in his person how wonderfully and fearfully made! Every member adapted to its service, and supplied with all its need. Think for a moment of the eye, that marvellous receptacle of light! But what if there were no light? Or what would light be to us, had we no eye to behold it? Or hear, what would the loving voice of a friend be? What would music be or the sound of birds singing, amongst the branches, had we no ears to hear or having ears, what if sounds were lacking?

Again, all things are made subservient to man and provided for his use, but ah! how little is this recognized? We weave our garments, but whence cometh the material? We eat our food but whence cometh the provision? We sow our seeds, but who giveth the increase? And whence cometh the wisdom to apprehend these things? Men are proud of their intellect, their knowledge, their attainments in science. But did they bestow these things upon themselves? Some treasure up their gold and silver, but it is not theirs.

A man's wife, his children, nay his own life, all are but lent: everything that a man has he but holds in trust. It is Jehovah Jireh who provides; and should "He but blow upon them they shall wither and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble" (Isaiah 40:24). We possess nothing that we have not first received from Him, therefore must we bend low before his footstool and ask, "give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11).

And now that through sin, death hath entered into this world, who shall give us life?

"Gather my saints together unto me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (Psalm 50:5). "I have found a ransom" (Job 33:24). God hath provided Himself a Lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God, and He is the Life of the world. Jesus is come that "we might have life, and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

Oh, Jehovah Jireh be Thou our Strong Tower. If in Thee we have found the Lamb of God, the Light and Life of the world, then let us come to Thee as our "personal" Saviour. "My Saviour."

This is the crowning point of all!

Oh, what blessings, what riches are provided and reserved in heaven for "me!"

"An inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not away" (1 Peter 1:4). A spotless robe of righteousness woven in the loom of the perfect and finished obedience of that Lamb of God, the wedding garment, lacking which, none can be a guest at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Clothing of salvation in which to join the glorious company of Angels and sing with them their song of triumph, "Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation 19:6).

Oh, Lord, Thou art in truth Jehovah Jireh! God the Father! Jesus our Saviour, the Holy Ghost our Comforter! what a Trinity of Love, and Mercy and Grace is here provided.

Oh, come under the shelter of this Tower, come at all times, come in joy, come in sorrow, come to praise, come to pray. And the Lord will answer "Come, and whosoever will, let him come" (Revelation 22:17). "Come ye, buy and eat; yea come buy wine and milk without money and without price"(Isaiah 55:1). But above all, Behold the Lamb of God, the substitute, the Redeemer, the Saviour. It was for this the Lord provided for himself the Lamb.

JEHOVAH JIREH

Oh, Lord of Heaven, and earth, and sea,
To Thee all praise and glory be;
How shall we show our love to Thee?
Giver of all.

The golden sunshine, vernal air
Sweet flowers and fruits Thy love declare;
Where harvests ripen, Thou art there,
Giver of all.

For peaceful homes and healthful days,
For all the blessings earth displays,
We owe Thee thankfulness and praise,
Giver of all.

Thou didst not spare Thine only Son,
But gav'st Him for a world undone,
And freely with that Blessed One
Thou givest all.

Thou giv'st the Holy Spirit's dower,
Spirit of life and love and power,
And dost His sevenfold graces shower
Upon us all.

For souls redeemed, for sins forgiven,
For means of grace, and hopes of Heaven,
What can to Thee, O Lord, be given?
Who givest all.




Part II. JEHOVAH JIREH-THE LORD WILL PROVIDE

VICISSITUDE - PERSONAL APPLICATION

Under the shelter of this Tower, dear friend, Why is your spirit so sad? Why such depression on your heart? Here our walls and bulwarks are salvation! (Isaiah 26:1)-appointed by Jehovah Jireh!

Is your vineyard gone? Have the fruits of your orchard failed? And the roses withered on your path? Has the gold you grasped vanished as a shadow? And are all your worldly prospects blighted?

Come then, let us approach this Tower, and behold the garden of the Lord, and take of the flowers which never fade-here is a vintage on which the spoiler cannot fall. An orchard of pleasant fruits, with leaves which are for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2). Also, there are mines of wealth more to be desired than gold-even the fine gold of Ophir!

Let us rest here, and we will reason together, for behold it is written, "The Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11); "they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing" (Psalm 34:10).

Yes, dear friend, all you say is true. All is changed, and now I sit like Job; but God be praised, I think as I rest in the atmosphere of this garden, I can say as Job did, "Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). "The heart, indeed, knoweth its own bitterness," but here, in this peaceful retreat, "a stranger doth not intermeddle with my joy" (Proverbs 14:10).

Then rest, my soul, upon the Lord,
Believe and plead his faithful word
He will be with thee, He will guide,
And for thy every want provide;
O trust his faithful love and power
In every gloomy, trying hour!

Therefore, will I look up, for it is the Lord who hath brought me low, and He will increase my faith so that I may be able to say, "The Lord is righteous in all His ways" (Psalm 145:17). He hath done this that he may exalt me in due season to Himself. This shall be my prayer. But let us, as you say, "reason together," for I know that though "there is gold and a multitude of rubies (Proverbs 20:15), yet the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel."

Well, then, dear friend, since you are reminded of Job, let us take to heart the goodly words of his true Comforter, for "All Scripture is profitable for correction and instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).

Elihu's words were "perfect in knowledge" (Job 36:4), and in tenderness he reproves, for he would not have Job cherish bitterness in his heart towards his Maker; for though we may strive against Him, the tempter is ever watchful, and in all our adversities and troubles is ready at hand, inciting us to murmur and question, "Why has God done this?" Thus Elihu instructs us, "Surely God will not do wickedly (Job 34:12-13; 34:21; 34:23), it is he who hath disposed the whole world, for his eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all their goings," and "He will not lay upon man more than is right," for who teacheth like Him, who hath enjoined him His way, or who can say, "Thou hast wrought iniquity?…Therefore, remember that thou magnify His work" (Job 36:22-24).

And thus He has looked upon you in love, and if He have withdrawn your perishable gold, it is that He may exchange it for that which can never perish, but make you rich throughout eternity!

"His work is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4), and "whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; and He doeth it that men should fear before Him" (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

It is well at all times, but especially in seasons of trial, to rest in the garden of the Lord and contemplate His words.

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2). The earth can yield no true or lasting joys; it is full of fleeting days; and is now, since our fall, but a vain world, and the fashion of it passeth away. "We are but of yesterday and know nothing, because our days on earth are a shadow" (1 Chronicles 29:15). "We may lean upon our house, but it shall not stand; we may hold it fast, but it shall not endure" (Job 8:9; 8:15). But the word of the Lord tells us of a "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1). An inheritance that fadeth not away, reserved for all "who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation" (1 Peter 1:4-5). Have we not here Jehovah Jireh?

The Lord would teach us that happiness is not found in wealth. Wealth is a snare, and few can resist its temptations. "How hardly shall they that have riches enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:23) was said by our Saviour Himself. "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; for when goods are increased, they are increased that eat them" (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11). Have you not found it so?

When plenty filled your garners, were you then left desolate? Those that in your time of wealth surrounded you, Where are they? The gay, the rich, the fascinating? Have they also vanished? Have they who professed such friendship and admiration left you to sit in silent solitude?

Ah! dear friend, this is the lesson we have all to learn.

"The rich have many friends, but the poor is hated even of his own neighbour" (Proverbs 14:20). And it is to sift you from such chaff that your heavenly Father has sent you this trial, to deliver you from the society of those worldlings who have their portion in this life; and that you may acquaint yourself with Him, "the friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24), and who will never leave nor forsake those that put their trust in Him. He saw you in a snare, and He would deliver you from the net of the fowler (Psalm 91:3).

The world would have you on a pedestal, and the Lord has taken away the stand on which you rested; He saw you setting your eyes on that which is not, for riches certainly make themselves wings, they fly away! (Proverbs 23:5). There is nothing here on earth that we can grasp, and say "This is mine, and none can take it from me." "Men heap to themselves riches, and know not who shall gather them" (Psalm 39:6). Leave them behind they must, for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7). Again, "What saith the Scriptures. Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked." The Lord blessed Israel His people. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, and filled him with all good things; but Israel fell. When so enriched he "forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation" (Deuteronomy 32:15). "They were filled, their heart was exalted, therefore have they forgotten Me," saith the Lord. And let us ask, Are we better than they? No; in no wise-their nature is our nature, their temptations are our temptations. Let their reproofs be our warnings. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24) is our Lord's word to us. Therefore, "Let the rich rejoice in that he is made low" (James 1:10).

All that you say, dear friend, is true, but my heart was set on doing good.

That we will not doubt, for your heart is tender and your nature generous. Your intentions may have been pure and excellent, but dangers may have surrounded you which you could not foresee, and "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9). There is but One who knows it; and He, with unerring wisdom, searches it. He also knows the subtleties of Satan, and will not suffer His children to be tempted above that they are able; nor will He suffer any to pluck them from His hand (John 10:28).

Doubt not that your Heavenly Father knew your intentions toward Him. Be sure your labour of love is never forgotten. But when He sees our heart's desire to serve Him, He would have us wait on Him, and ask, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). "Show me Thy ways, O Lord, teach me Thy paths" (Psalm 25:4). Let me not set myself "in a way that is not good" (Psalm 36:4).

Be sure if this be your prayer, and your heart's desire, your Heavenly Father will not leave your energies long to lie dormant. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday" (Psalm 37:5-6). Oh! there are many ways in which to do good and serve the Lord without money. "Silver and gold have I none," said Peter; but the Lord gave him power to serve him, and do good far beyond the gift of money. For, indeed, who knows the evil we may do to others oftentimes, by indiscriminate charity or gifts? The Lord rules the universe, and knows the circumstances of every man upon it. He knows the use he will make of all that is committed to his stewardship, and to how many are gifts of money only goads to destruction-bestowed with a ready and generous hand, perhaps, and full of kindness of heart-but unwisely. Therefore, the Lord would hinder His children from doing harm on the one side, and on the other, keep them from harm, through flattering deeds of charity. He would not have you as the Pharisee, even to giving tithes of all you possessed; for what can we offer to God that we have not first received from Him? We can only return Him that which is His own? for "the silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts" (Haggai 2:8). And what can we offer to Him which we have not defiled by sin? Oh! consider our thoughts, words and deeds, and we find the trail of the serpent is over them all. Therefore, must we first come ourselves to Him for cleansing, and beseech our Father to look upon the face of His anointed, and accept us and our service through Him. Then will He unite our hearts to fear His name and "glorify Him evermore" (Psalm 86:11-12).

"But after all, will you not admit it is sad to be poor?"

I will admit that your change of circumstances has caused you to think so. But "What would it profit you to gain the whole world, and lose your own soul" (Matthew 16:26). It is not well that the finger should point at you with, "Lo! this is the man that made not God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches" (Psalm 52:7). And thus, our tender, loving Father teaches us what we are, and shows us what we trust in. But, dear friend, none are poor who have the Lord for their God. He is their Jehovah Jireh, and they will never be left to want. "I have been young," saith the Psalmist, "and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" (Psalm 37:25).

Worldly gold may be withdrawn from us, but think how soon we shall he withdrawn from it! and if such were all our possession, oh! then we should be poor indeed!

There was One who possessed all the riches of heaven, and held all the wealth of earth in His Hand and yet emptied Himself of all. Do you ask who might this be?

The Babe of Bethlehem, laid in a manger! There was no room for such as He in the inn and none gave place to the poor, suffering mother in her throes of nature's anguish.

He by Whom all things "were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, whether thrones or dominions, principalities or powers" (Colossians 1:16). "He, even He who provided holes for the foxes, and nests for the birds-for Himself had not where to lay His head! Yes! He who was rich, left His glorious Majesty on high, and "for our sakes became poor." "He took upon Him the form of a servant; He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:7-8).

Can we then crave to be richer than He? Shall the servant be greater than his Lord? "Whosoever will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me" (Mark 8:34) is spoken to us as it was to the disciples of old, "who left all, and followed Him."

Therefore, may we repeat, "Let the rich rejoice in that he is made low" (James 1:10); it is but walking in the Saviour's steps, and, as did Moses, let us esteem "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt" (Hebrews 11:26) or the world.

Oh! "give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me" (Proverbs 30:8). "They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, for the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Too often it "blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous" (Exodus 23:8); "but godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6)-that is the "blessing of the Lord which maketh rich, and He added no sorrow with it" (Proverbs 10:22). That is the blessing which strengthens us to flee from worldly things-to flee from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and to follow after righteousness, and lay hold on eternal life. This is the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, who says to such as press forward to attain it, "I know thy work and thy poverty, but thou art rich; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:9-10).

Jehovah Jireh has provided all things for us, both in this world, and in the world to come. And as a friend* has written,

"Unless God Himself be our portion, and His love the joy of our hearts, earthly possessions will bring us no true blessing and gladness. God wants us to be rich; nay, He wants us to possess all things. But the way to riches is to give up all, even ourselves. He who looks upon himself as his own, has nothing, however rich he may appear; but he who looks upon himself as not his own, but bought with a price, the servant of Jesus Christ, can say, 'all things are ours, whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas or the world, or life or death, or things present, or things to come-all are ours, for we are Christ's, and Christ is God's, and God is our Father in heaven, who gives-who gives all, who gives Himself, and for evermore.'"

* The late Dr. Adolph Saphir-The Lord's Prayer. Pp. 274-275.

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee,
Naked, poor, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I've sought, or hop'd, or known,
Yet how rich is my condition,
God and heaven are still my own.

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Saviour, too;
Human hearts and looks deceive me,
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
And while Thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate, and friends disown me,
Show Thy face, and all is bright.

Go then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn, and pain,
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favour, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, Abba, Father,
I have set my heart on Thee;
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather,
All must work for good to me.

Soul! then know thy full salvation,
Rise o'er sin, and fear, and care,
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee;
Think what Father's smile are thine;
Think that Jesus died to win thee;
Child of heaven, canst thou repine?




Part III. JEHOVAH JIREH

PERSONAL APPLICATION-IN BEREAVEMENT

Has Jesus called your treasure to Himself? Has your loved one gone before? Is your cherished prop laid low? And are your joys and hopes now buried in the tomb? And are you left-the desolate-the seemingly alone? Oh, not alone! dear friend, not alone! The "Brother born for adversity is here" (Proverbs 17:17)-The Comforter is nigh-The broken heart is God's most cherished dwelling place!-"Thy Maker is Thy husband!" (Isaiah 54:5).

Weep, dear friend, you may; the disciples of the Lord were never forbidden to weep, or mourn for their dead; nature demands it-The Lord would have it so; it is not well "that the righteous perish, and the merciful be taken away, and no man lay it to heart." (Isaiah 57:1). Death is solemn, and it is sorrowful, and as the wages of sin, it was intended so to be.

"The body is dead because of sin"-but look behind that cloud, and see, "The Spirit is life because of Righteousness" (Romans 8:10).

"No trial or chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11).

Yes! dear friend, weep you, may-Martha wept, Mary wept-and Jesus wept! (John 11:35). He above all others sympathizes with us; for-in all the afflictions of His people "He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them-in His love and in His pity He redeemed them" (Isaiah 63:9). Oh Jesus was in all things made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest-and "in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:17-18). "For Jehovah has anointed Him to bind up the broken-hearted; to comfort all that mourn-to give to all that mourn in Zion beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!" (Isaiah 61:1; 61:3).

Oh! The Lord God has in Jesus provided for all our necessities.

But dear friend, are you so heart stricken and inconsolable for one who has entered the realms above, and joined the company of saints made perfect?-perhaps now singing with the ransomed throng, "Blessing and honour, and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever" (Revelation 5:13).

"Oh! give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, and hath redeemed us from our enemies, for His mercy endureth for ever" (Psalm 136:1: 136:24).

Would you then have your loved one cease that song? and quit that glorified assembly of the redeemed to take again the soiled garment of the flesh, with all its temptations, trials, sorrows and pains? Nay! Nay! Love cannot be so selfish! and if such could even be-it could not gratify a loving heart's desire! Weep, dear friend, weep you may, but murmur not. 'Tis Jesus needs what He but lent to you. Let joy, let inward peace and joy be mingled with your tears. Say rather "It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good" (1 Samuel 3:18). Is not Jesus the provided Saviour? And if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so "them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him" (1 Thessalonians 4:14), and you may meet again.

Meanwhile, we live by faith and not by sight. And to us all the Saviour saith, "Have faith in God." In this your trial strive to exercise that faith. Obedience always brings a blessing, and faith is so happy, it giveth such peace and joy! Rest your heart in all the loving words of Christ, and know that He is Truth! "Lord increase my faith" (Luke 17:5) is such a happy prayer. And the trial of your faith so precious. Indeed, perhaps every trial of our faith may some way also be beneficial to others.

Are not the Scriptures full of such examples? And as such we are to take them for our instruction and for our comfort, that we may hope, and thus be able according to our desire, to "comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Let us remember again the poor starving widow of Zarephath, the "bread winner" gone-the famine in the land-and she about to prepare her handful of meal, and little oil, for a cake, her last hope of life for her son and herself. But, was she left with her own flickering life to watch the dying embers in her only son? Oh! no! Jehovah Jireh was at hand. "Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widows trust in Me" (Jeremiah 49:11).

He that remembered her, will also remember you.

But it may be a darling child is gone! You mark the vacant place, and miss the tender call! and the heart's deep sigh asks "Whither art thou gone?" Ah! could you see beyond the veil, how soon would the spirit of heaviness give place to the song of praise, and "Bless the Lord, O my soul" (Psalm 103:1) would be upon your lips. But we live not yet by sight-Faith is not yet swallowed up in vision. Therefore do nature's tears flow-never as we exercise that faith, so do we clearer see it is but a transient cloud that hides a "little while."

But again to Scripture lessons. "Abraham, take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him up on one of the mountains that I shall tell thee of" (Genesis 22:2).

Ah! dear friend, no such trial as that is yours! Of none since Abraham, has such a test of faith and obedience been demanded! But of what blessing has not that faith of Abraham been to us? How often in the moment of our deepest misery, as it was with him, has the cloud parted, and Jehovah Jireh has poured down mercies unthought of through Christ the promised seed. Therefore should we say "Why art thou cast down, Oh my soul, why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance, and my God" (Psalm 42:5).

You will reply "But my heart is overwhelmed, how can I rise and give thanks?"

I know it, dear friend-I know it is so, and you cannot of yourself. But the Lord waiteth-He waiteth ever to be gracious, He it is who will dry your tears-He is by your side, Himself the Man of Sorrows-therefore draw nigh to Him, and say "I am poor and sorrowful, let Thy salvation, O God, set me up on high! I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou, in faithfulness, hast afflicted me" (Psalm 69:29). These are the prayers which faith teaches us to pray, for our trust is in God, and in that Salvation we greatly rejoice, "though for a season, if need be, we are in heaviness" (1 Peter 1:6). And be sure that there is a "need be," for the Lord is our teacher, and "if so be we have been taught of Him" (Ephesians 4:21), we shall know something of that love which "passeth knowledge," and know that all our sorrows are His sorrows, and all are sent in love. How often do we see it written "And Jesus had compassion?" Oh Jesus is full of compassion! And if in the unerring wisdom of Him who sees the end from the beginning, it seemeth good to Him to call our dear ones to Himself we can, if we will, hear the "weep not." "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter" (John 13:7). He is ever near the sad and sorrowful. Was He not near the widow of Nain? Did He forget her? Ah, no! He was in the way as they carried forth the only son of that weeping widow-there was comfort provided, while there was a "need be" both that she should weep-and that her weeping should be turned to joy-not only for the restoration of her son, but that she should know Him, whom to know, is Eternal life. And but for that compassionate love and divine power, how could she have known in those days, that Jesus was her Lord, and her God, the true and longed for Messiah. Thus, was there not a "need be" that the poor widow should find a Saviour, that tender High Priest so touched with her sorrow, and that God should be glorified?

And again, "Lord, behold he whom Thou lovest is sick" (John 11:3). But Jesus abode two days in the same place. Strange, was it not? For Jesus loved Martha and Mary, and Lazarus-yet two days He delayed to notice it! Then it was-"Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died!" (John 11:21).

Had Jesus forgotten the message? Had He no compassion? Let us look at it. It was necessary for Lararus to lie in the grave, that God might be glorified! and that Martha should hear-"I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). And was this said to Martha only?

Have we no interest in those blessed words? Ah! was there not a "need be" that Lazarus should die? Is not that to us as a resurrection rock to which to cling; but for those blessed words given us by our great Jehovah Jireh, where would be our consolation as we lay aside our beloved ones in their resting place? Oh, indeed, the death of Lazarus was a "need be" provided for our uncomfort.

Jesus knew the sorrow of Martha and Mary, and as He sees to all eternity, He saw the sorrow which befalls us all; therefore to us as to Martha, He gave those words-"because of the people which stand by"-"that they may believe that Thou hast sent me!" (John 11:42). Oh yes! Jesus knows our sorrows, and provides our comfort, and to all He saith "Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die!" and lovingly asks "Believest thou this?…I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25-26). Jesus knew we needed such words!

Oh Lord Thou hast not covered Thyself with a cloud "that our prayers should not pass through" (Lamentations 3:44; 3:56). Jesus hides not His ear at our breathing. No! not a cry, not a prayer, is lifted up towards Him in vain. He hears, and is touched with our sorrows, and pities our griefs. He is the Lamb, the sympathizing Saviour to comfort us all our lives. And all Scripture testifies to the loving compassion of the Son of God. Do we not see Him as the Angel of the Covenant, His presence ever with His people, protecting, guiding and helping them. Jehovah Jireh never left them as they wandered to the promised land, and their history is ours. "He will never leave nor forsake us" (Hebrews 13:5). He is the same now as then. He guides His people now, as He did in the days of old.

Circumstances are different it is true, they needed an external demonstration of the power and presence of God, and He spoke to them "At sundry times and in divers manners" (Hebrews 1:1). Also at the first coming of our Lord, the first introduction of Christianity, it was needful to attest its truth by miracles-by healing-and the restoration of the dead to life. But miracles are not needed now, for the Father would have us walk by faith, and not by sight, and to this intent He, through His own beloved Son, has given us an inward manifestation of Himself, "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you for ever! He dwelleth with you, and, shall be in you!" (John 14:16-17). This is the promise to us, and we know it is so, for "The Spirit beareth witness with our spirits" (Romans 8:16). And with that Comforter within, assuring us of the Father's tender care and the sympathy of Jesus, shall we dispute His will or doubt the love and wisdom of His acts? Stay, dear weeping friend, would not that betray that your affections were set on things below, that there was your treasure not in heaven, where our affections should be set? Oh! blame not your Heavenly Father if He have taken your idol to Himself, listen to His Word-"I will not give my glory to another" (Isaiah 42:8). Pray rather-"Show me Thy ways, O Lord, teach me Thy paths" (Psalm 25:4). Oh, go to that Fountain of love and tenderness, the sweetest waters flow richly from that Rock, for that Rock is Christ! Believe on Him, and believe in Him; know that He is the Jesus to you that He was to them of old. Believe His words, cast your care on Him. Weep your sorrow, as it were, on Him, He will never bid you go hence. Though now in the Highest Heaven, exalted at God's right hand, yet He is still our great High Priest, ever "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15) and "ever living to make intercession for us" (Hebrews 7:25). Wait, oh wait on Him, and He will say-"I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears" (Isaiah 38:5); "My Grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9). I am Emmanuel. I am Jehovah Jireh.

Beloved, 'it is well!'
God's ways are always right;
And love is o'er them all
Though far above our sight.

Beloved, 'it is well!'
Though deep and sore the smart,
He wounds who knows to bind
And heal the broken heart.

Beloved, 'it is well!'
Though sorrows cloud our way
'Twill make the joy more dear
That ushers in the day.

Beloved, 'it is well!'
The path that Jesus trod,
Though rough and dark it be,
Leads Home to Heaven and God.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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