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Volume 24 - Page 183 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
#10. Symbols of Service.
Gatherers and Guides.
pp. 147 - 149
It is a solemn thing to realize that we are all either gatherers or scatterers, even though
we may consider our attitude to be one of neutrality. The Lord has declared that there is
no mid-way position that is neither for, nor against Him. It is a solemn fact that for any
one not to be for Him means that he is against Him:--
"He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth
abroad" (Matt. 12: 30).
Without attempting to soften or mitigate this serious statement which touches us all
whether we will or no, we would add to it another of the Lord's utterances, so that we
may not wrongly interpret the first statement in any sectarian spirit:--
"Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name; and we forbad him, because he
followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not; for he that is not against
us is for us" (Luke 9: 49, 50).
Although this man was not in manifest fellowship with the disciples (they could say,
"He followeth not with us") the Lord revealed that there was a deeper unity than this;
and we must ever be on our guard lest a mere party spirit should take the place of loyalty
to the Lord and His truth.
The work of the scatterer is the work of the Evil One, and is assisted by the hireling:--
"He that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the
wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and
scattereth the sheep" (John 10: 12).
The work of the gatherer, therefore, is the work of the shepherd. The figure of a
shepherd is used freely in the Scriptures as a symbol of service, and will be considered in
its own place. We here deal with the general significance of the gatherer. It was the
desire of the Lord that He might gather the children of Jerusalem together as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings (Matt. 23: 37). And He is yet to send out His
angels and gather together His elect from the four winds of heaven, as men gather in the
sheaves into the barn at harvest home (Matt. 24: 31; 13: 30, 39-43). The word is also
used for the gathering of grapes (Matt. 7: 16).
Let us take stock of ourselves. How far can we honestly say that we are gatherers? Is
it our tendency to bring together, or to scatter? Do we spend our strength in building up
or in pulling down? Do we manifest the characteristics of the true shepherd or of the