I. OUR ENJOYMENT OF WHAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR US IS DEPENDENT UPON OUR CONFIDENT BELIEF AND EXPECTATION.
1. Separation from the old for the new life involves a struggle with self, with circumstances, with fellow-men.
2. The future must be laid hold of. We must believe that the better place is prepared for us, that the will of God is good.
II. WE GAIN THE VICTORY OVER NATURAL FEARS, DOUBTS, AND DIFFICULTIES WHEN WE SIMPLY LOOK AT THE FACTS AS GOD HAS SET THEM BEFORE US, BOTH IN HIS WORD AND IN HIS PROVIDENCE. The men were deceivers. The facts, the wagons, the good things, the blessings plainly sent of God, earnest of the future, would not deceive.
III. THE TRUE FAITH IS THAT WHICH GRATEFULLY ACCEPTS THE INVITATION OF DIVINE GRACE, ACTING UPON IT, BOTH BY THE DECISION OF THE WILL AND BY THE DEVOTION OF THE LIFE. "It is enough, I will go.
IV. THE REWARD WHICH IS PREPARED FOR THE TRUE OBEDIENCE IS MUCH GREATER THAN WE CAN ANTICIPATE. To see Joseph was the patriarch's anticipation. The purpose of God was much larger for him. Joseph and Jacob met in the abundance of Egypt. The earthly pilgrimage leads to the true Goshen. It is enough. We follow the voice of our God. It hath not entered into our heart to conceive what is before us. - R.
See that ye fall not out by the way.I. THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHRISTIANS. They are brethren.
II. THE COURSE OF CHRISTIANS. On their way from Egypt to Canaan, from house of bondage to Father's house above.
III. THE DANGER OF CHRISTIANS. Falling out by the way — disagreeing, quarrelling, separating.
IV. THE DUTY OF CHRISTIANS. To watch against this danger. Why?
1. Because brethren.
2. Because travelling to a place where there is no falling out.
3. Because you can't fall out without falling down — lowering Christian character.
4. Because you can't fall out without disobeying your Father, who tells you to love one another.
5. Because you can't fall out without giving your enemies occasion to triumph. Fall out with yourselves, and with Satan, but not with one another.
(J. F. Smythe.)
II. PARTAKERS OF THE SAME GRACE. Forgiven ourselves, we are to be forgiving.
III. ASSOCIATES IN THE SAME SERVICE. Concerted action is required of us.
IV. TRAVELLING TO THE SAME HOME.
(J. F. Poulter, B. A.)
1. Be humble. The more you are aware of your own failings, the more allowances you will make for those you live with. The less you will be disposed to fret at their selfishness and pride, the more heartily you are vexed at your own.
2. Be not selfish. Next to pride, if it be not the very same thing, stands selfishness, as the fruitful source of ill-temper. "'Look not," then, "every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (Philippians 2:4).
3. Set in watch over your lips. And when an angry thought arises, for a while be resolutely silent. Words are to anger, as air to kindle flame. Without them it soon dies for want of vent.
4. Avoid whatever you have found to be your usual provocations to anger.
5. Take, then, in the last place, this one direction more, "Overcome evil with good." "A soft answer turneth away wrath."
(E. Blencowe, M. A.)
1. Because ye are brethren.
2. Because ye are passing through an enemy's country.
3. Because ye are the bearers of precious treasure.
4. Because ye are representative men. All these thoughts will apply to the Church of Christ.
(A. F. Barfield.)g: — How well he knew human nature! They were going home with news which would reveal to their father that they had been the cause of their brother's disappearance, and had imposed on him with a deliberate falsehood; and for anything they knew, he might turn upon them and upbraid them with their cruelty and deceit. What so likely, therefore, as that they should begin to accuse each other — that crimination should lead to recrimination, and words to blows? Reuben might say again, "It was not my fault, for I sought to save his life, and I went back to the pit hoping to find him and restore him to our father." Judah might respond, "But for me he would have died, and it is to my happy suggestion to sell him to the Ishmaelites that we are indebted for all the good fortune that seems now to be coming to us"; while the rest, conscious of their share in the nefarious transaction, might have sought to still the upbraidings of their consciences by uttering bitter things against each other. All that might have happened on their journey home, and so Joseph was not giving unnecessary counsel when he said, "See that ye fall not out by the way." And they heeded his advice, for they reached home in peace; and it may be that, so far from quarrelling, they spent some of their time as they rode in conversing on the marvellous manner in which, in spite of their antagonism, and without their consciousness of anything in the least degree out of the way, the dreams of their brother had been fulfilled, and they had done obeisance at his feet.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
(L. N. Stretch.)
New Handbook of Illustration.When Caesar solicited the consulship he found Crassus and Pompey at variance, so that he could not apply to either of them for help, lest he should make the other his enemy. He determined to reconcile them by representing that if instead of fighting against each other, and thus raising enemies that might be formidable against them both, they would act in concert, by their united counsels and interest they might subdue all opposition. The scheme was successful, and Caesar by their help attained a pinnacle of power; and though neither Crassus nor Pompey gained any particular advantage by the league, if they had but used their united power wisely they might have affected great good. He who can bind together those who are at variance may procure for the state or for the Church a marvellous blessing. Never is a foe so ready to advance as when he sees those who should be one to attack him wounding and slaying each other. The battle of the sects has not only provoked ill blood in the Church of Christ, but has weakened her for offensive movements, because when she ought to have been increasing her armaments and completing her equipments for an aggression on the enemy's territory, she has rather been engaged in quarrelling over some trivial point of doctrine, or perhaps some piece of church furniture, to her own dishonour and the enemy's triumph.
(New Handbook of Illustration.)
Homiletic Encylopoedia.Dr. Cannon was once appealed to by a certain church where there was a great commotion in regard to the point, whether in newly painting their church edifice the colour should be white or yellow. When the committee had stated their case, and with an emphasis, not to say acrimony, which gave sad proof of the existence of a fearful feud upon the unimportant question, the doctor quietly said, "I should advise you, on the whole, to paint the house black. It is cheap, and a good colour to wear, and eminently appropriate for a body that ought to go in mourning over such a foolish quarrel among its members."
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