‘He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom.’ Isaiah 40:11
Suggested Further Reading: Nehemiah 13:23–27
There is another flock in the world—the devil’s flock. It is not easy for a Christian man to associate with the world without feeling the influence of it. The worst form of ill association is ungodly marriage. I do not know anything that gives me more satisfaction than to see our brethren and sisters, who have walked in the faith of God, united in marriage—the husband and wife, both fearing and loving God. It is a delightful spectacle, and bids fair to be the means of building up the church with a generation which shall fear the Lord. But a very fruitful source of ruin to church members is that of a young man or a young woman choosing an ungodly partner in life. They never can expect God’s blessing upon it. They tell you sometimes they hope to be the means of their friend’s conversion. They have no right to hope such a thing; it so seldom occurs. The much more likely thing is that the ungodly one will drag the other down to his level, than that the godly one shall pull the other up. We are fearful, I say, for the lambs, for we mark some of them that were as earnest as they well could be, and apparently as loving to their Lord and Master, but another love came across their path, and where are they now? Perhaps the house of God sees them no longer, and the theatre or the ballroom is now their delight. When we think of some cases of this kind that have occurred, we tremble for the lambs, and lift up our hearts in prayer to God for them, that they may be kept.
For meditation: We say ‘As wise as Solomon’, but no one was a bigger fool when it came to marriage. He should be a terrible warning to any Christian contemplating marriage to an unbeliever (1 Kings 11:1–11). Some Jews failed to heed the warning (Nehemiah 13:26) and some Christians think they know better than God. ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers’ (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Sermon no. 540
15 November (1863)