‘The root of the matter is found in me.’ Job 19:28
Suggested Further Reading: Ezekiel 34:1–24
There are many young Christians who have been made to suffer for years through the roughness of some more advanced believers. Christian! you that are strong, be very tender towards the weak, for the day may come when you will be weaker than he. Never did bullock push with side and shoulder the lean cattle of the herd when they came to drink, but what the Lord took away the glory from the fat bull of Bashan, and made him willing to associate with the very least of the herd. You cannot hector a child of God without making his Father angry; and though you be a child of God yourself, yet if you deal harshly with one of your brethren you shall smart for it, for the Master’s rod is always ready even for his own beloved children when they are not tender with the sons and daughters of Zion, who are kept as the apple of God’s eye. Remember, too, brethren, that the day may come when you will want consolation from the very friend whom you have treated so roughly. I have known some great people—some very great people, that have at last been made to sit at the feet of those whom before they called all sorts of ill names. God has his ways of taking the wind out of men’s sails. While their sails were full, and the wind blew, they said, ‘No, no; we do not care about that little port over yonder; we do not care to put in there; it is only a miserable little fishing-village.’ But when the wind came howling on, and the deep rolled heavily, and it seemed as if the dread artillery of God were all mustering for the battle; ah! how with the reef-sail they have tried to fly, as best they could, into the little harbour!’ Do not speak ill of the little harbour. Do not be ashamed of little Christians. Stand up for the weaklings of the flock.
For meditation: Maturity in the faith is expressed by a humble and gentle attitude towards believers who have even further to grow (Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:6–7; 1 Peter 5:2–3). In the kingdom of God ‘the great’ serve the rest, not vice versa (Matthew 20:25–28). The words ‘minister’ and ‘deacon’ both mean ‘servant’.
Sermon no. 505
12 April (1863)