As to Gadabouts
Jeremiah 2:36
Why gad you about so much to change your way? you also shall be ashamed of Egypt, as you were ashamed of Assyria.…

The illustration by which this prophet of tears deplores the vacillation of the nation to whom he wrote, is a homely one. Now they wanted alliance with Egypt, and now with Assyria, and now with Babylon, and now they did not know what they wanted, and the behaviour of the nation reminded the prophet of a man or woman who, not satisfied with borne life, goes from place to place gadding about, as we say, never settled anywhere or in anything, and he cries out to them: "Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way?" Well, the world has now as many gadabouts as it had in Bible times. Gadabouts among occupations, among religious theories, among churches, among neighbour. hoods, and one of the greatest wants of the Church and the world is more steadfastness and more fixedness of purpose. It was no small question that Pharaoh put to Jacob and his sons when he asked, "What is your occupation?" Getting into the right occupation not only decides your temporal welfare, but may decide your eternal destiny. Last summer a man of great genius died. He had the talents of twenty men in surgical directions, but he did not like surgery, and he wanted to be a preacher. He could not preach. I told him so. He tried it on both sides of the sea, but he failed, because he turned his back on that magnificent profession of surgery, which has in our time made such wonderful achievement that it now heals a broken neck, and by the X-ray explores the temple of the human body, as if it were a lighted room. For forty years he was gadding about among the professions. Do not imitate him. Ask God what you ought to be, and He will tell you. It may not be as elegant a style of work as you would prefer. It may be callous and begrime your hands, and put you in suffocating atmosphere, and stand you shoulder to shoulder with the unrefined, but remember that if God calls you to do one thing you will never be happy in doing something else. All the great successes have been gained through opposition and struggle. "Hard pounding," said Wellington at Waterloo, — "hard pounding, gentlemen; but we will see who can pound the longest." Yes, my friends, that is the secret, not flight from obstacles in the way, but "who can pound the longest." The gadabouts are failures for this life, to say nothing of the next. There are many who exhibit this frailty in matters of religion. They are not sure about anything that pertains to their soul or their eternal destiny. Now they are Unitarians, and now they are Universalists, and now they are Methodists, and now they are Presbyterians, and now they are nothing at all. They are not quite sure that the Bible was inspired, or, if inspired, whether the words or the ideas were inspired, or whether only part of the book was inspired. Gadding about among religious theories, and never satisfied. All the evidence is put before them, and why do they not render a verdict? If they cannot make up their mind with all the data put before them they never will. If it is a good book, your eternal happiness depends upon the adoption of its teachings. Once and forever make up your mind whether it is the book of God or the book of villainous pretenders. So, also, many are unfixed in regard to their spiritual condition, and day after day, and year after year go gadding about among hopes and fears and anxieties. Why do you not find out whether you are His or not? There are all the broad invitations of the Gospel. Accept them. There are all the assurances. Apply them. This moment you have all the information pointing to the road that terminates at the gate of the Golden City, and the voyage that anchors in the haven of eternal rest. Why go on guessing when you have all the facts before you? My text also addresses those who in search of happiness are going hither and yonder looking for that which they find not. Let all the gadabouts for happiness know that in kindness and usefulness and self-abnegation are to be found a satisfaction which all the gaieties of the world aggregated cannot afford. Among the race of gadabouts are those who neglect their homes in order that they may attend to institutions that are really excellent, and do not so much ask for help as demand it. One bad habit these gadabouts, masculine or feminine, are sure to get, and that is of scandal distribution. Such gadabouts have little prospect of heaven. If they got there they would try to create jealousy among the different ranks of celestials. Therefore let us resolve that we will concentrate upon what is right thought and right behaviour, and waste no time in vacillations and indecisions and uncertainties, running about in places where we have no business to be. Life is so short, we have no time to play with it the spendthrift.

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.

WEB: Why do you go about so much to change your way? You will be ashamed of Egypt also, as you were ashamed of Assyria.

The Plea of Innocence a Culminating Sin
Top of Page
Top of Page