The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams. — Isa 33:21
Broad rivers and streams produce fertility, and abundance in the land. Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of their plants and their plentiful harvests. God is all this to His Church. Having God—she has abundance. What can she ask for—that He will not give her? What need can she mention—which He will not supply? “In this mountain the Lord Almighty shall make unto all people a feast of fat things.” Do you need the bread of life? It drops like manna from the sky. Do you need refreshing streams? The rock follows you, and that Rock is Christ. If you suffer any lack—it is your own fault; if you are straitened, you are not straitened in Him but in your own affections.
Broad rivers and streams also point to commerce. Our glorious Lord is to us a place of heavenly merchandise. Through our Redeemer we have commerce with the past: the wealth of Calvary, the treasures of the covenant, the riches of the ancient days of election, the stores of eternity—all come to us down the broad stream of our gracious Lord. We have commerce, too, with the future. What galleys, laden to the water’s edge, come to us from the heavenly glory! Through our glorious Lord we have commerce with angels; communion with the bright spirits washed in blood, who sing before the throne; nay, better still, we have fellowship with the Infinite One.
Broad rivers and streams are specially intended to set forth the idea of security. Rivers were of old a defense. Oh! beloved, what a defense is God to His Church! The devil cannot cross this broad river of God. How he wishes he could turn the current but fear not, for God abides immutably the same. Satan may worry, but he cannot destroy us; no galley with oars shall invade our river, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. — Prov 24:33-34
The worst of sluggards only ask for a little slumber; they would be indignant if they were accused of thorough idleness. A little folding of the hands to rest is all they crave, and they have a crowd of reasons to show that this indulgence is a very proper one. Yet by these littles—the day ebbs out, and the time for labor is all gone, and the field is grown over with thorns!
It is by little procrastinations—that men ruin their souls. They have no intention to delay for years—a few months will bring the more convenient season. Tomorrow they will attend to serious things; but the present hour is so occupied and altogether so unsuitable, that they beg to be excused.
Like sands from an hour-glass, time passes. Life is wasted by driblets, and seasons of grace lost by little slumbers. Oh, to be wise, to catch the flying hour, to use the moments on the wing! May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom, for otherwise a poverty of the worst sort awaits us—eternal poverty which shall lack even a drop of water, and we shall beg for it in vain.
Like a traveler steadily pursuing his journey, poverty overtakes the slothful, and ruin overthrows the undecided—each hour brings the dreaded pursuer nearer; he does not linger along the way, for he is on his master’s business, and must not tarry. As an armed man enters with authority and power—so shall poverty come to the idle, and death to the impenitent, and there will be no escape!
O that men were wise and would seek diligently unto the Lord Jesus, before the solemn day shall dawn when it will be too late to plough and to sow, too late to repent and believe. In harvest, it is vain to lament that the seed time was neglected. As yet, faith and holy decision are timely. May we obtain them this night!