Not as though the word of God has taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:…
I well remember a time when this truth was brought home to me by the ease of one to whom I was permitted to minister during the closing days of his life. He was one who had stood foremost among the thoughtful and wise of this world; but he did not feel the full power of the Word of Life. I felt considerable anxiety. I thought that much depended on the way in which, in these closing scenes of life, I presented to him the vital and saving truths of Christianity. If presented in any over-confident way by one whom, perhaps, he would have considered less cultivated than himself, I felt — and I remember the anxiety with which I felt it — all ministrations might have done harm. I humbly conferred with my own poor heart, and I thus reasoned with my anxiety; "Let me read from God's Word some more than usually appropriate portion in such a case. But let me read God's Word alone, and leave that Word to work in this heart. My words, I am confident, will be as nothing. I will read alone the Word of Life." The portion I chose was that contained in the last seven or eight chapters of St. John's Gospel. I read perhaps about twenty verses at a time — not more; and I added only the very simplest comments where comments seemed to be necessary; and I remember well — it is a memory ever pleasant with me and that often encourages me — how the words seemed to find their way into the sick man's heart; how I saw shadows on the brow passing slowly away; how often the common human eye could observe the mystery of God's Word finding its way to the heart. I remember once or twice humbly testing whether it was so by staying away almost purposely, and found, on my return, that not I, but the reading of the Word of Life, had been sadly missed. I read onward and onward, and I am confident — I am speaking now with carefully chosen words — that those words of life brought that soul very close to our saving Lord. The incident produced a very great effect upon me; and I never hear any one speak lightly of what is called "the mere reading of the Word of God" without having this as a proof that there is in this blessed Book alone, without word or comment, a power and a force that no human language can describe.
Parallel VersesKJV: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: