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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : May 22nd - Numbers 31; Psalms 75-76; Isaiah 23; 1 John 1

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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 May 22nd - Numbers 31; Psalms 75-76; Isaiah 23; 1 John 1


[img align=left][/img] Text/Audio: [url=]Numbers 31[/url] / [url=]Psalms 75[/url] / [url=]Isaiah 23[/url] / [url=]1 John 1[/url]


"They are very many. When a soul is first brought to Christ, he enjoys a peace in believing which he never knew before; and not only so, but he is quickened from the death of trespasses and sins into a life which he never knew before—he knows the blessedness of living to God. But even with all this joy, there is an awful feeling of loneliness; for when he looks round upon the world, he feels just like Ezekiel, set down in the midst of a valley full of dry bones. He is alive himself, but this world, once all his joy, looks now like some ancient battle-field, where the remains of the dead are all lying exposed on the open field; and he feels a solitary thing in a world of dead. This world appears now like one vast charnel-house, where whole generations of dead meet, and are jumbled together- all alike fit only for the burning; and he feels himself a solitary living thing, moving over heaps of slain. He feels like Elijah on the Mount of God, when he complained: "Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars, and I, even I, am left alone." He feels like our blessed Lord, who was a light shining in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. He feels as if he were a feeble "light in the world, holding forth the word of life"—a lamp suspended in the densest darkness, whose oil is all supplied by grace from on high, and whose rays seem only to make the darkness more visible. He feels like Paul at Athens; for his spirit is moved in him, to see the whole world given over to idolatry. He feels like Paul at Rome, when he complained: "I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state; for all seek their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ's." He feels like John, when he said so sweetly, yet so sadly: "We know that we are of God, and the whole world beth in wickedness," To the eye of sense, O what a happy living world this is, with its shops and markets—its compliments and companies—its visits of ceremony and visits of kindness—its mirth and its melody! how living and life-like is the whole world, from morning's dawn till midnight. But to the eye of faith, what a lonely wilderness is this world! for "the whole world lieth in wickedness." Is it not so, believing brethren? Is it not like Egypt in that dreadful night when there was a cry heard from every dwelling; for there was not a house where there was not one dead? Oh! it is more dismal far; for in every house there are many dead souls, and yet there is no cry. Look into your own family—look among the families of your neighbours—look into your native town—are not the many all dead, dead souls? The most are dead, dry bones. Nay, look into the Christian Church- look among our Sabbath keepers, and those who sit down at sacraments—O, brethren! is it not true that, like the members of the Church of Sardis, most have a name to live and are dead? Do not the most of you live lives of pleasure? and is it not written: "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth?" Do not most of you show no love for the brethren? and is it not written: "He that loveth not his brother abideth in death?" O yes, the most are dry bones! Truly, then, "they are very many." -Robert Murray McCheyne


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