The people that do know their God shall be strong. — Dan 11:32
Every believer understands, that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian.
Knowledge strengthens his FAITH. Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures, as being people who are enlightened and taught of the Lord. They are said to “have an anointing from the Holy One,” and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith.
Knowledge strengthens LOVE, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door and then through that door we see our Savior! Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait—then we love Him. We cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus—what He has done for us, and what He is doing now—we cannot love Him much. The more we know Him—the more we shall love Him!
Knowledge also strengthens HOPE. How can we hope for a thing—if we do not know of its existence? Hope may be the telescope but until we receive instruction, our ignorance stands in the front of the glass, and we can see nothing whatever; knowledge removes the interposing object, and when we look through the telescope—we discern the glory to be revealed, and anticipate it with joyous confidence.
Knowledge supplies us reasons for PATIENCE. How shall we have patience—unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father sends us?
There is not one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge. How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace but in the “knowledge” of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands. — Hag 2:17
How destructive is the hail to the standing crops, beating the precious grain upon the ground! How grateful ought we to be when the grain is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer unto the Lord thanksgiving.
Even more to be dreaded are those mysterious destroyers—blight and mildew. These turn the corn into a mass of soot, or render it putrid, or dry up the grain and all in a manner so beyond all human control, that the farmer is compelled to cry, “This is the finger of God!” Innumerable minute fungi cause the mischief, and were it not for the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon scatter famine over the land. Infinite mercy spares the food of men but in view of the active agents which are ready to destroy the harvest, right wisely are we taught to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We have constant need of the blessing.
When blight and mildew come—they are chastisements from God, and men must learn to hear the rod, and Him who has appointed it.
Spiritually, mildew is a common evil. When our work is most promising, this mildew appears. We hoped for many conversions, and instead—a general apathy, an abounding worldliness, or a cruel hardness of heart! There may be no open sin in those for whom we are laboring but there is a deficiency of sincerity and decision sadly disappointing our desires.
We learn from this—our dependence upon the Lord, and the need of prayer that no blight or mildew may fall upon our work. Spiritual pride or sloth will soon bring upon us the dreadful evil, and only the Lord of the harvest can remove it. Mildew may even attack our own hearts, and shrivel our prayers and pious exercises. May it please the great Gardener to avert so serious a calamity. Shine, blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the blights away!