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Words in Season.
Onions and garlick, or this manna! (Num. 11: 5, 6).
pp. 92 - 94
There is a word that by its use conveys a most important lesson for all who would go
on to the full goal of our redemption, and stand "perfect and complete in all the will of
God". That word is variously translated "desire", "covet", and "lust". While it is true
that in some aspects that which is sensual and unclean is intended, the believer is apt to
miss much vital teaching by avoiding the word altogether as having no immediate
application to himself. A few examples will help us in this matter, and so before
proceeding further we will notice them:--
"The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are
contrary the one to the other" (Gal. 5: 17).
It is very evident here that the word "lust" does not imply anything sensual or unclean,
but simply "desire", for it is used of both the flesh and the spirit:--
"The lusts of other things entering in, choke the word" (Mark 4: 19).
Here again "lust" means desire or coveting:--
"We should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted" (I Cor. 10: 6).
The passage refers to the wilderness journey of Israel, and their desire for the things
left behind in Egypt.
These examples will suffice to show that in avoiding this word "lust", we are closing
our ear to very salutary warnings from the Word of truth. We cannot do better for the
moment than look more closely at these three passages, and seek to discover their
meaning. Take Mark 4: 19 first. It occurs in the parable of the Sower, and therefore
has a primary interpretation respecting the mysteries of the kingdom. As this parable
occurs in three of the Gospels, it will help us further to note any variation in the
"The care of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he
becometh unfruitful" (Matt. 13: 22).
"The cares of the age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts concerning things
that are left, entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Mark 4: 19).
"And are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to
perfection" (Luke 8: 14).
It will be observed that while cares and riches are mentioned in all three passages,
there are several variations that are illuminating. For example, the cares of the age of
Matthew and Mark become the cares of life, and as the word is bios, the cares also of
livelihood. Luke adds the word "pleasures", and Mark adds the word "desires" or