‘And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.’ Ruth 2:14
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 1:22–2:3
God has ordained certain mealtimes for his reapers; and he has appointed that one of these shall be when they come together to listen to the Word preached. We, of ourselves, cannot feed one soul, much less thousands; but when the Lord is with us, we can keep as good a table as Solomon himself, with all his fine flour, and fat oxen, and roebucks, and fallow deer. When the Lord blesses the provisions of his house, no matter how many thousands there may be, all his poor shall be filled with bread. I hope, beloved, you know what it is to sit under the shadow of the Word with great delight, and find the fruit thereof sweet unto your taste. Where the doctrines of grace are boldly and plainly delivered to you in connection with the other truths of revelation, where Jesus Christ upon his cross is ever lifted up, where the work of the Spirit is not forgotten, where the glorious purpose of the Father is never despised, there is sure to be food for the children of God. We have learned not to feed upon oratorical flourishes, or philosophical refinings; we leave these fine things, these twelfth-cake ornaments, to be eaten by those little children who can find delight in such unhealthy dainties: we prefer to hear truth, even when roughly spoken, to the fine garnishings of eloquence without the truth. We care little about how the table is served, or of what ware the dishes are made, so long as the covenant bread and water, and the promised oil and wine, are given us.
For meditation: Those who reject truth and sound doctrine will listen to unsound preachers who say what they want to hear, end up believing in fables (2 Timothy 4:3–4) and get carried away by new-fangled winds of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). ‘Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life’ (John 6:27).
N.B. ‘Twelfth-cake’—a cake traditionally prepared for Twelfth Day (epiphany). Festivities were held seeking good crops in the coming year.
Sermon no. 522
2 August (1863)