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Quiet Talks On Prayer by S. D. Gordon

Through the Book to God.

With us the training is of the inner ear. And its first training, after the early childhood stage is passed, must usually be through the eye. What God has spoken to others has been written down for us. We hear through our eyes. The eye opens the way to the inner ear. God spoke in His word. He is still speaking in it and through it. The whole thought here is to get to know God. He reveals Himself in the word that comes from His own lips, and through His messengers' lips. He reveals Himself in His dealings with men. Every incident and experience of these pages is a mirror held up to God's face. In them we may come to see Him.

This is studying the Bible not for the Bible's sake but for the purpose of knowing God. The object aimed at is not the Book but the God revealed in the Book. A man may go to college and take lectures on the English Bible, and increase his knowledge, and enrich his vocabulary, and go away with utterly erroneous ideas of God. He may go to a law school and study the codes of the first great jurist, and get a clear understanding and firm grasp of the Mosaic enactments, as he must do to lay the foundation of legal training, yet he may remain ignorant of God.

He may even go to a Bible school, and be able to analyze and synthesize, give outlines of books, and contents of chapters and much else of that invaluable and indispensable sort of knowledge and yet fail to understand God and His marvellous love-will. It is not the Book with which we are concerned here but the God through the Book. Not to learn truth but through truth to know Him who is Himself the Truth.

There is a fascinating bit of story told of one of David's mighty men. One day there was a sudden attack upon the camp by the Philistines when the fighting men were all away. This man alone was there. The Philistines were the traditional enemy. The very word |Philistines| was one to strike terror to the Hebrew heart. But this man was reckoned one of the first three of David's mighty men because of his conduct that day. He quietly, quickly gripped his sword and fought the enemy single-handed. Up and down, left and right, hip and thigh he smote with such terrific earnestness and drive that the enemy turned and fled. And we are told that the muscles of his hand became so rigid around the handle of his sword that he could not tell by the feeling where his hand stopped, and the sword began. Man and sword were one that day in the action of service against the nation's enemy. When we so absorb this Book, and the Spirit of Him who is its life that people cannot tell the line of division between the man, and the God within the man, then shall we have mightiest power as God's intercessors in defeating the foe. God and man will be as one in the action of service against the enemy.

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