The Equanimity of the Believer
Isaiah 28:16-17
Therefore thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone…

If you observe attentively the works of God you will perceive what may be called a leisurely growth. But this ill accords with our natural inclinations. We would fain be at once what we can only become by degrees. Neither is such a remark limited in its application to matters which are wholly terrestrial. It may be said to hold good in a still greater degree when spiritual concerns are brought under review. But God, who precisely knows what is most for our advantage, has determined against any sudden transition. Many of the most brilliant promises of the Bible are made to those who "wait upon the Lord."

I. THE CHRISTIAN THRIVES BETTER FROM NOT BEING PERMITTED TO MAKE HASTE IN ACQUIREMENTS. The passage is directed against anything of hurry or bustle. It does not so much declare that the believer can never advance rapidly, as that he shall never move with that agitated step which betokens insecurity. It does not denote a sluggish pace to be unavoidable, but simply implies that what is hasty and sudden will not be allowed. And s little reflection will convince you of the advantages which result from such an arrangement. It holds good in almost everything, that what is done hastily is seldom done well. In mental acquirements the more especially, that which is speedy is likely to be showy rather than solid — so that what is gained in time is lost in strength. The case is just the same in regard of religion. Where the Spirit of God actually, and in good earnest, takes a man in hand, it will not allow him to make haste through the preliminaries of righteousness; he shall be brought down to the dust, so as to abhor himself for his countless iniquities; he shall be reduced to the position of one who is thoroughly conscious that, unless God interfere, he must eternally perish. And it will ordinarily be after this process that the Gospel in all its beauty is expanded before him. This is for the advantage of the believer. Take the experience of Christians, and you will find that where progress has been most rapid, the commencement has been most arduous. And neither is it only at the beginning that the Christian thrives better from not being allowed to "make haste." Take him at any other stage of his course, and you will find that he advances rapidly by walking slowly. Suppose him under affliction, then patience must have its perfect work.

II. EXAMINE CERTAIN OF THE COMFORTS AND ENJOYMENTS WHICH ARE ENSURED TO THE BELIEVER BY THE PROMISE THAT HE "SHALL NOT MAKE HASTE." We reckon as chief amongst these that he has a Protector always at hand, so that in seasons of emergency he need not run to and fro in search of succour. "God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble." The believer has nothing to hasten from, for he is shielded against every assault; he has nothing to hasten to, for he is already enclosed within a rampart of security. It is only by bartering away or forgetting my rights or my duties as a Christian that I can possibly make what is termed a false step. The believer ought to take no step without prayer; and if he ask God's counsel, he shall not go wrong. Then, in respect of the termination of life, the believer may feel it far better to depart and be with the Lord. He may sometimes be tempted to long for the time when the earthly house shall be taken down, in order to be. rebuilt for eternity; but he cannot forget that his times are in God's hands; that it would not be good for him to die whilst his heavenly Father sees it fit that he should live; and thus he keeps down what is impatient in desire, and makes not haste to be emancipated from the flesh. He longs, moreover, for the final triumph of Christianity, the time "when the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord and His Christ." But there will be mixed with this longing no fraction of impatience

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

WEB: Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. He who believes shall not act hastily.

The Equanimity of Faith
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