Our lesson opens with the declaration that the child Samuel “ministered unto the Lord before Eli”; that is to say, he was a servant of the Lord by virtue of his being a servant to Eli, who was the Lord’s representative and priest. The Word of Jehovah was precious in those days; that is, it was seldom that God sent messages at that time. Perhaps that of the angel of the Lord who appeared to the father and mother of Samson, probably fifty years before, was the last direct communication between the Lord and any of His people Israel. “There was no open vision”–visions and revelations were not then being given. The Divine Plan was hidden. The Urim and the Thummim answers of the Lord to the inquiries of the people had ceased.
Posts Tagged ‘ meat in due season ’
Weaned Christians, who use meat rather than milk, “have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14). Christians have needed the basic principles in every stage of the gospel Church, and the weaning of the Isaac class pertaining to character development has been taking place throughout the Gospel Age. Weaning is a separation (1) from milk to meat and (2) from carnality to spirituality. Spirituality is the opposite of carnality.
We get the most good from the experiences of fleshly Israel by seeing through them as types, figures, illustrations, the Lord’s providences toward Spiritual Israel. Thus Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage corresponds to our deliverance from the bondage of sin, condemnation and death. Their deliverer, Moses, corresponds to our deliverer, Jesus. Their trial and testing at the Red Sea correspond to the test of our full consecration to the Lord at the beginning of our journey—the entrance upon the narrow way.
The same generous heart which had compassion upon the multitudes, declaring that they were as sheep having no shepherd, and following blind guides, and about to fall with them into the ditch of Israel’s great calamity, and who taught them, healed them and fed them, is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Fasting, like baptism, may either be a mere form, injurious rather than beneficial, or it may be observed with spiritual profit. Just as a man might be sunk five fathoms deep into the ocean without being baptized, so he might voluntarily die of starvation without having fasted from the divine standpoint. No honest person, for instance could have the least sympathy for the man who affected an outward countenance of the Lenten restriction to one cup of coffee by providing himself on the occasion with a bowl which really held two cups. And this is but an illustration of how forms of godliness are observed while the heart is far from a fasting attitude in the Lord’s sight. To the class called in the Scriptures, “New Creature” in Christ Jesus, the essence of fasting in any event must be measured in the Lord’s sight by the condition of the heart.
The object of these parables, then, was not to depict to our minds what the Kingdom would be like after it has been established in the world, but rather to picture before our minds something respecting the processes of development by which the Kingdom-class would be selected from amongst mankind and made ready for the Kingdom which is to be set up at the second coming of Christ in power and great glory,— when he shall establish that Millennial Kingdom for the very purpose of granting a judgment or trial to all the families of the earth—peradventure under the favorable opportunities of knowledge, etc., then granted unto them, many may choose life through obedience to God and attain it.