Stop, and Consider

Let us look to the Scriptures, and consider.

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God’s Traveling Preachers

One of my favorite texts that I have penned to my heart is Psalm 19.  Many of us are familiar with the opening words of David, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”  Among the many uses of the Hebrew word translated here as ‘proclaim’, it can be found in Job 1:15, 16, 17, and 19 as “to tell.”

Charles Spurgeon comments on this text by saying that the sun, the moon, and the stars are “God’s traveling preachers.”  The sun travels from end to end, day after day, and there is ‘nothing hidden from its heat’ (v.6).  And after jogging back to left field this week for our home half of our softball game, the sun was just beginning to set and I meditated upon Psalm 19, silently reciting the words into my glove as I waited.

Too often, I find myself moving quickly through life without ever stopping to notice the setting of the sun; that there is nothing hidden from its heat, and that this reflects the truth of God’s provision, his meticulous providence, and his steadfast love that covers my life.  There is nothing of me hidden from the Son’s heat — which causes me to bounce to words like, “Your steadfast love for me, O Lord, reaches further than the heavens” (cf. Psalm 36:5).

God Commands You to Consider

In order to consider something, you must slow down.  And to slow down in the world is one of the closest things to foolishness in the eyes of the world, but God has so delighted to call us to slow down, to stop, and to consider.

On your walk to the office, your trip down the hall, your drive on the freeway, or you stroll to left field — stop, and consider what God has set for you to consider:

  • Are you being crushed under the stone of work and wealth?
    • Luke 12:27, Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
      • Have you read 1 Kings or Ecclesiastes?  For fun, Solomon didn’t plant hanging petunias on his front porch or built a birdhouse; he planted forests (Eccl. 2:6) and constructed fleets of ships (1 Kings 9:26).
      • And yet, the Lord Jesus here says that the Father’s care for simple flowers is greater and incomparable to the provisions of Solomon’s wealth.
    • Christian, consider the lengths of God’s provision for you: He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
      • His saints, what is fitting, shall ne’er be denied,
        So long as it’s written, the Lord will provide (Matthew Smith)

 

  • Are you walking through suffering, pain, and death?
    • James 5:11, “Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
      • Job’s life was thrashed, to say the least.  The Lord afflicted him greatly (Job 1:21-22; 42:11).  I cannot fathom the pain, the confusion, and the extent of the ugly feelings that arose to Job’s heart and mind.
        • But, we consider from the lens of the New Testament what the Spirit says to us: God’s purpose, his design, was mysteriously compassion and mercy.  The Lord afflicts to heal, he wounds to bind (Hosea 6:1).
      • After the death of his child, John Calvin writes a letter to his friend expressing these words, “The Lord has certainly inflicted a severe and bitter wound in the death of our infant son. But he is himself a Father, and knows best what is good for his children.
    • Job 5:18, “For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.”
      • His purposes will ripen fast,
        Unfolding every hour;
        The bud may have a bitter taste,
        But sweet will be the flower.  (William Cowper)

 

  • Do you have a rebellious, stumbling son?  Is there a coworker who is at enmity with God and you?  Do you think about the supposed hopelessness of their salvation?
    • 1 Corinthians 1:26, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.”
      • Brothers, consider your calling — the resurrecting, effectual call of God on your life was not you.
      • You were not righteous, good, or wholesome in your devotion to God; you did not have it all together, and some brothers were more rebellious than those they plead to be saved.
        • Until we can say with Paul that we are the worst sinner we know (1 Timothy 1:15), we will feel hopeless.
      • Consider your calling, brothers and sisters.  God sovereignly and omnipotently resurrected your dead heart and made you alive together with Christ (Colossians 2:13).
    • Christian, you are the living example of God’s saving power and sovereignty over dead, rebellious sinners — yet he saved you!
      • No list of sins I have not done,
        No list of virtues I pursue,
        No list of those I am not like
        Can earn myself a place with You.
        O God, be merciful to me–
        I am a sinner through and through!
        My only hope of righteousness
        Is not in me, but only You. (Eric Schumacher & David L. Ward)

 

Stop and consider the Lord’s commands.  His traveling preachers and faithful servants are for your good.  Let us look to the Scriptures, and consider.

 

 

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