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are true to Christ, and trust in his promise. If they do not want courage they shall not want words.
Chap. xii. ver. 13–30.
HE WARNS AGAINST COVETOUSNESS.
divider over you
13. And one of the company said unto hiin, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14. And he said unto him, Man, who made ine a judge or a
? 15. And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness : for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
That is a worldly spirit, which sets up its rest here, however it may be cloked over with a show of worldly prudence. The happiness of man's life does not consist in outward things of any kind. These are not our life, or the things for which we were made, but the knowledge, fear, and love of God.
16. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully;
This parable is a searching one : and by God's blessing, it
inay serve to enlighten our minds.
17. And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits ?
18. And he said, This will I do; I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
Who would not have thought and done as he did ? Who may not,
in a proper sense ? Take notice, therefore, that what he did is right, or wrong, according to the bent of his heart. And if you would know when all is wrong within, hear what he says.
19. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be inerry.
Observe : his covetousness did not consist in this, that he thought he could never have enough. He seems to have been content with what he had, and was a prudent, a very prudent man, according to the wisdom of this world. The mischief was, it was a wisdom only for this world ; his heart was shut against another, and he had no thought of anything but of enjoying bimself here. We cannot reasonably doubt, but that he had some show of religion, and sometimes said his prayers.
20. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided ?
Let us think of what kind that happiness is, which a man cannot be sure of retaining, even for one moment ; let us consider whether or not God does not know best who are fools. To whom shall thy goods go, when thy possession of them and the enjoyment of them is gone, and with them thy all for ever ?
21. So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Who maketh anything his treasure, and gives the strength of his heart to it instead of God.
22. And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
The apostles were to depend wholly upon God for a maintenance; others, in the way of their own endeavours, without carking care, or anxiety. “ Take no thought," means, take no uneasy, distrustful thought; as if there was no God, or no other world, of which we were to think.
23. The life is more than meat, and the hody is more than raiment.
24. Consider the ravens : for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn ; and God feedeth them: how inuch more are ye better than the fowls ?
25. And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit ?
26. If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
27. Consider the lilies how they grow : they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will be clothe you, O ye of little faith ?
29. And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
Strictly speaking, “seek not ye what ye shall eat,” was said only to the disciples. “ Neither be ye of doubtful mind,” as to the care of God, in his providence, for you,
is said to all.
30. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after : and
your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. The world seek after all these things, as their treasure. A worldly heart, in God's account, makes a heathen. If we have a worldly heart, it is of little consequence what we call ourselves, or in what part of the world we live, the estimate of God respecting us remains the same.
Chap. xii. ver. 31–48.
EXHORTATION TO WATCHFULNESS.
31. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Seek ye the kingdom of God, in the first place, and as you seek nothing else. Resolve to have your lot in the kingdom of God's grace here, by faith and obedience, that you may be admitted into his everlasting kingdom in heaven. Is it so indeed, now, while we are reading ? O Jesus, speak this to our hearts! For if thou art not our portion, whatever we get, we lose all. “Food and raiment” shall be added unto you. Christ engageth for nothing else: nor indeed, for that, to the idle, or the thriftless.
32. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
How good a Father! How precious a gift! And what are we, if we have not wills to receive this kingdom ?
33. Sell that ye have, and give alm3; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
The apostles had left all: and for special reasons, the same would be required of some others, at that time; Acts ii. 45; iv, 34; but not of all, at all times, unless when the poor cannot otherwise be relieved.
34. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
And what then ? What if our hearts are in the world? Why, then we perish. We cannot love God.
35. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning ;
Stand always ready. The Jews wore their garments long, and girt them up, when they were at work, or when they went abroad; hence the propriety of the image.
Never be off your watch, but let your lights be burning. The bridegroom conducted his bride home in the night, and the family were to have the house lighted for his reception.
36. And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding: that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
The waiting is to be with a degree of eager expectation,
37. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
See how pleased Christ is with his faithful servants.
38. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
39. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would have come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his bouse to be broken through. 40. Be
ye therefore ready also : for the Son of man coineth at an hour when ye think not.
We know not when Christ will come, or the hour of our death. But we do know, that we must be ready for him ; because we do not know when he will come; and because it will be a dreadful surprise to us, if we are not.
41. Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all ?
Christ signifies in his answer, that it was meant chiefly for them, and other watchmen. But withal it is a lesson of diligence, sobriety, and watchfulness, for all in their christian vocation.
42. And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season ?
43. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
45. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming ; and shall begin to beat the men-servants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46. The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared