Daily Devotionals

Devotional: October 24th

" The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away." - Job 1:21.

But if he gave, why should he take away? Why does he resume what he has transferred to another? But he has transferred nothing to another in such a sense that it has ceased to be his own. The most exalted of created beings has nothing whatever in this sense. The kingdom of God is a kingdom where every inch of the soil belongs to the sovereign, where all the property belongs to him, and where he is ever at perfect liberty to dispose of everything as he will. And this arrangement is not arbitrary, but gracious. He disposes of all things with reference to the happiness of all.

Men insist upon being the sovereigns of what has been committed to them. They hold it for themselves and not for him. Then when they lose it they gnash their teeth; they are with out consolation. What is worse than their loss, they see a tyrant upon the throne of the universe. As far as their own misery is concerned, this tyranny is a real one. Viewing God as a tyrant, and being ever in bitter conflict with his government, it is the same to them, in respect to their wretchedness, as though God were a tyrant. Therefore Christ says in the parable: " Thou knewest that I was an austere man, gathering where I had not strewed." Oh, what torment, what an ante-past of future woe do men give unto themselves, when they malign God in their thoughts!

On the other hand, they who look upon all their possessions as strictly speaking the possessions of God, and who cherish a perpetual readiness to yield everything at his command, sustain no losses. They do not perhaps get broken into the habit of parting company with loved and familiar things without a pang; but with the pang there is the consolation of knowing that God has taken his own for some sufficient reason, and that a God of boundless goodness still sits upon the throne of the universe.

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