He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the Pit.
fool of the Bible is usually the strongly self-willed man, who accepts no guidance or control, but persists in following the devices and desires of his own heart." Such a man is sure to bring trouble upon himself. It is true that all men are tempted into self-will at times; but the case introduced here is that of men who are persistent in their self-will, and let it fashion their course of conduct, their habit of life.
I. AFFLICTIONS ARE THE NATURAL CONSEQUENCE OF WILFULNESS. Because the willful spirit is sure to lead to acts which involve trouble. The world is ordered according to the will of God; and it keeps the order when man's will is in harmony with God's will. Illustrate by the peace of a country, and welfare of all its inhabitants, when the will of the people and the will of the governing body are in harmony. Every self-willed citizen spoils the harmony for the whole, and brings trouble on himself. So in God's kingdom. The self-willed (foolish) man is a disturbing element; and the king, all law-abiders, and all the arrangements of the kingdom, must be against him. He cannot get his own way; he must "bring affliction on himself," and not on himself alone. It is a searching and humbling inquiry - How many of our earthly afflictions are the direct result - the natural consequence - of our willful persistence in wrongdoings? The humiliation of the review of life is the discovery of how many troubles were our own fault, and might have been avoided by mastering our self-will. "Many sicknesses are the direct result of foolish acts. Thoughtless and lustful men, by drunkenness, gluttony, and the indulgence of their passions, fill their bodies with diseases. Men, by a course of transgression, afflict themselves, and are fools for their pains."
II. AFFLICTIONS ARE THE DIVINE AGENCY FOR BRINGING WILFUL ONES TO REASON. Perhaps it is true that God's afflictions are never "judgments," in the sense of mere vindicatory punishments. But they are not always "judgments" in the sense of "chastisements." They are - certainly they are for the persistently willful - "judgments" in the sense of "humiliations." Their design is to break men away from their self-confidence. And therefore the affliction is so directly connected with the sin, and men are compelled, humiliatingly, to admit that they have brought their troubles on themselves. - R.T.
He sent Him word, and healed them.
I. SOME OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD.
1. It was Divinely inspired.
2. It is necessary to discover unto us most important truths.
3. It is most profitable unto men, for the doctrines which it teaches, for the precious effects which it produces on the hearts of men, and for the reformation which it is calculated to accomplish in the world.
4. The written Word of God may be considered as a sacred trust committed to Christians, to be improved by themselves, and conveyed unto others.
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH THE WORD OF GOD, WRITTEN AND PREACHED, HAS BEEN SENT TO MAN, and how it ought to be sent by us to the heathen, that they may be healed, and delivered from their destructions.
1. The Word of God, written and preached, was sent to man by God Himself.
2. The Lord sends His written and preached Word by the ministers of the Gospel.
3. The Lord sends His Word accompanied with the Divine Spirit, who renders it effectual to salvation.
4. The Word of God should be sent unto the heathen, accompanied with much fervent prayer for its success.
III. OBSTRUCTIONS WHICH THE WORD OF GOD IS CALCULATED TO REMOVE. The Word of God is excellently adapted to —
1. Remove out of the world, and from the hearts of men, darkness, ignorance, and superstition.
2. Heal division, and to promote the peace and happiness of civil and religious society.
3. Heal the soul of those injuries which, by sin, it sustains.
4. Produce hope in the soul.
Delivered them from their destructions
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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