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October 30, 2016

“She gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.”                              Ruth 2:3

           Her hap was. Yes, it seemed nothing but an accident, but how divinely was it overruled! Ruth had gone forth with her mother’s blessing, under the care of her mother’s God, to humble but honourable toil, and the providence of God was guiding her every step. Little did she know that amid the sheaves she would find a husband, that he should make her the joint owner of all those broad acres, and that she a poor foreigner should become one of the progenitors of the great Messiah.  God is very good to those who trust in him, and often surprises them with unlooked for blessings. Little do we know what may happen to us to-morrow, but this sweet fact may cheer us, that no good thing shall be withheld. Chance is banished from the faith of Christians, for they see the hand of God in everything. The trivial events of to-day or to-morrow may involve consequences of the highest importance. O Lord, deal as graciously with thy servants as thou didst with Ruth.

         How blessed would it be, if, in wandering in the field of meditation our hap should be to light upon the place where our next Kinsman will reveal himself to us! O Spirit of God, guide us to him. We would sooner glean in his field than bear away the whole harvest from any other. O for the footsteps of his flock, which may conduct us to the green pastures where he dwells! This is a weary world when Jesus is away-we could better do without sun and moon than without him-but how divinely fair all things become in the glory of his presence! Our souls know the virtue which dwells in Jesus, and can never be content without him. We will wait in prayer until our hap shall be to light on a part of the field belonging to Jesus wherein he will manifest himself to us.                                                                                              —Charles Spurgeon

“I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you?”   Neh. 6:3

            My soul, a very blessed instruction is held forth to thee, in these words. Nehemiah met with sad interruptions in his service, while building the Lord’s house. Various were the attempts made by the enemies of God and his cause, to call him off from his labours. But this was his answer to all. Now, my soul, thou hast many enemies also, both from within and without; the world, and the powers of darkness, and thine own corruptions, are all in league to interrupt thy pursuit of divine things. When, therefore, the Sanballats and the Geshems of the day invite thee to the villages, in the plain of Ono, here is thine answer: “Why should the work of the Lord cease, when the King’s business requires dispatch?” Wherefore should the body, with all its corrupt affections, drag down the soul? Is it reasonable; is it proper to be concerned for the things of a day, while regardless of eternity? Wilt thou for ever be as little children, amused with toys, and taken up with playthings, when Jesus is calling thee, and proposing himself to thee, for thy constant, unceasing, present, and everlasting delight? Oh! for grace and strength from the Lord, to be able, like Abraham, to fray away those fowls which come down upon the sacrifice! Oh! do thou, Lord, drive both the buyers and the sellers from thy temple! Take my whole heart and soul, and all my affections, and fix and centre them all on thyself! Every vanity, every robber, like Barabbas of old, will be preferred to thee, thou dear Emanuel, unless thy grace restrain and keep under, what thy grace hath taught me to know and feel that I carry about with me, a body of sin and death, which is forever calling me aside from thee. Oh! let thy grace make its way through all the swarms of vain thoughts and interruptions which surround me, and make my soul “as the chariots of Aminadab!” Let no longer these “dead flies spoil the excellent ointment,” made fragrant by the rich spices of thy blessed Spirit; but when saluted even by the most innocent call, like that made to Jesus himself, of his mother and his brethren being without, desiring to speak to him, Oh! for grace, that, like my Lord, even then, I may not suffer the higher claims of my God and Saviour to pass by, nor the work of the Lord and the concern of my soul to cease, whilst I come down to them!           —Robert Hawker

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.                                                           Jeremiah 23:6

She came to prove Solomon with hard questions.

1 Kings 10:1

            When the Queen of Sheba came to King Solomon, she came asking him hard questions. Only Christ, our Lord and King in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, has the answer to these hard questions.

            The following is taken from an article by C.H. Spurgeon in which he deals with one of these hard questions.     

          How can a man be a new man, and yet be constantly sighing because he finds in himself so much of the old man? The Holy Spirit guided the Apostle Paul to instruct us upon this matter. There is the new man within us, which leaps for joy because of the heavenly life; but, alas! there is also the old man. Paul calls it “the body of this death.” There it is, and you know that it is the older of the two, and that it will not go out if it can help it. It says to the new nature, “What right have you here?” “I have the right of grace,” answers the new nature; “God put me here, and here I mean to stay.” “Not if I can prevent it,” cries the old nature; “I will stamp you out, or I will smother you with doubts, or puff you up with pride, or kill you with the poison of unbelief; but out you shall go somehow.” “No,” replies the new nature; “out I never will go, for I have come to stay here.

            I came in the name and under the authority of Jesus; and where Jesus comes, he comes to reign, and I mean to reign over you.” He deals some heavy blows at the old nature, and smites him to the dust; but it is not easy to keep him under. That old nature is such a horrible companion for the new nature, that it often makes him cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” But even while he is thus crying out, he is not afraid of the ultimate issue; he feels sure of victory. The new nature sits and sings; even, as it were, within the ribs of death, with the stench of corruption in its nostrils, it still sits and sings, “I thank God though Jesus Christ our Lord,” and triumphs still in him. We are not going to be overcome, beloved. “Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” But, my brethren, it is a tremendous struggle; and if our Lord had not instructed his servant Paul to tell us about his own experience, some of us would have been obliged to cry, “If it be so, why am I thus?” Christ knows all about the inner life of his people, and his Word explains what may appear mysterious to you; so, when next you feel this conflict raging within your spirit, you will understand it, and say, “It is not because I am dead in sin; for, if I were dead, I should not have this struggle.