Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. — Eph 1:11
Our belief in God’s wisdom, supposes and necessitates that He has a settled purpose and plan in the work of salvation. What would creation have been—without His design? Is there a fish in the sea, or a fowl in the air, which was left to chance for its formation? Nay, in every bone, joint, and muscle, sinew, gland, and blood-vessel—you mark the presence of a God working everything according to the design of infinite wisdom. And shall God be present in creation, ruling over all, and not in grace? Shall the new creation have fickle free will to preside over it—when divine counsel rules the old creation?
Look at Providence! We know that not a sparrow falls to the ground without your Father. Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. God weighs the mountains of our grief in scales, and the hills of our tribulation in balances. And shall there be a God in providence and not in grace? Shall the shell be ordained by wisdom and the kernel be left to blind chance. No! He knows the end from the beginning. He sees in its appointed place, not merely the corner-stone which He has laid in fair colors, in the blood of His dear Son but He beholds in their ordained position—each of the chosen stones taken out of the quarry of nature, and polished by His grace! He sees the whole from corner to cornice, from base to roof, from foundation to pinnacle. He has in His mind a clear knowledge of every stone which shall be laid in its prepared space, and how vast the edifice shall be, and when the top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings of “Grace! Grace! unto it!”
At the last, it shall be clearly seen that in every chosen vessel of mercy, Jehovah did as He willed with His own; and that in every part of the work of grace—He accomplished His purpose, and glorified His own name!
So she gleaned in the field until even. — Ruth 2:17
Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of grain, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the ordinances, and hearing the Word to gather spiritual food. The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little—so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them. Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation.
The gleaner keeps her eyes open—or she would have no load to carry home rejoicingly at eventide. I must be watchful in pious exercises, lest they become unprofitable to me. I fear I have lost much already—O that I may rightly estimate my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence.
The gleaner stoops for all she finds and so must I. Proud people criticize and object but lowly minds glean and receive benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving Word is not received, except with meekness. A stiff back makes a bad gleaner; down, master pride, you are a vile robber, not to be endured for a moment.
What the gleaner gathers she holds—if she dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day’s work would be but scant. She is as careful to retain as to obtain and so at last her gains are great. How often do I forget all that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head, and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing! Do I feel duly the importance of storing up the truth?
A hungry belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no grain in her hand, there will be no bread on her table; she labors under the sense of necessity, and hence her tread is nimble and her grasp is firm. I have even a greater necessity. Lord, help me to feel it, that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so plenteous a reward to diligence!
Morning and Evening - August 2
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.