The Young Levite; Or, Rich Content
Judges 17:1-13
And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.…

His morals were bad, but his spirit of general contentedness was good. Can it be said of men now that they are content? How much unrest is there all around us! The discontented spirit is easily discovered. The merchant, in his office or on the market, makes certain profits, but frets himself that he has not made more. The tradesman bitterly complains of the badness of trade, and the artisan of slackness of work. When he has succeeded in finding employment he will be found quarrelling with the rate of payment. Nor is the discontented spirit confined to the town; it is found in rural districts too. Speak with the occupier, and what a string of complaints he has about home or weather; speak with the wife, and she complains of her wayward family; with the son, and you find that he is weary of country life, and longs for the excitement of a city; with the daughter, and she is annoyed that school life has to be followed by what she terms "home drudgery." You may go away from such a place of beauty in complete disgust. The appearances have completely belied the reality. Even the Indian, for whom a blanket and weapon would appear to suffice, is ofttimes discontented because game is scarce or his maize plot unproductive. It is difficult to find any person who is without some reason for discontent, or any position which places a man beyond its reach. The joy of the early Church (Acts 2:46) grew out of its contentedness. Its first experience of the results of religion was so joyous that it was a foretaste of millennial bliss. It lasted, unfortunately, too short a time, and yet long enough to show what should be the ideal of life.

1. This "simplicity of heart," this contentedness of mind, is not always inherited, does not always come by nature, but may be obtained. It can only come fully when the heart is at peace with God through Christ. The man is "alive to God." He gives all his affection to God, because he lives in the love which God has to him. His greatest desire is to have his whole nature subdued to Christ, and serve Him in "singleness of heart."

2. Again, this state is not one which comes to all suddenly. Indeed, it comes to most gradually. Paul, the apostle, only attained it by degrees.

3. There is a temporary advantage in discontent. But for dissatisfaction with our spiritual state and progress, we should not strive to make any advance.

4. Look at some of the results which follow the attaimnent of the contented spirit.

(1) There will be a readiness to make the best of any position in which we may be placed. There was a schoolmaster among the Cumberland Hills, of whom Robertson speaks in one of his lectures — a man who rested content with a very small school, small salary, and small house; though his abilities would have obtained for him a position much higher in the eyes of the world, but who refused every inducement to remove. He said, "I reckon that the privilege of living amid beautiful scenery much more than compensates for a large salary with work in the stifling atmosphere of some town." It is possible, therefore, to gain contentedness in respect to position, and the more surely if we can have the assurance that Christ has taken up His abode in our hearts.

(2) Where this spirit obtains, there will be a more cheerful view of life cherished. A little girl once inquired, "Mamma, did the cheerful God make all the beautiful flowers?" The child's idea of God was far higher than of many Christians. Her expression, which was apparently bold, was one indicative of sweet simplicity and "singleness of heart." Would that we could be in spirit as that little child.

(3) Where this spirit of content obtains, there will be a more earnest performance of any duty that may fall upon us. That which our hands find to do we shall do with our might. We shall ever search out occasions of usefulness. If we see any wrong, we shall not be content to let it rest. If we see ignorance and sin around, we shall strive to remove it.

(4) Where there is this rich content and true "singleness of heart" there will be a clearer and yet clearer perception of God's truth and will. There is a clearness of vision following on "singleness" of desire.

(5) Moreover, there will be perfect willingness to leave everything in God's hands. Much of the fret and worry of life will thus be saved.

(F. Hastings.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

WEB: There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

The History of a Man-Made Ministry
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