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Volume 25 - Page 164 of 190 Index | Zoom | |
the living God to heathen kings (Gen. 40:, 41:; Dan. 2:, 4:, 5:, 7:). What sort of
God do we reveal to those among whom we minister? Let us come down to the simpler
issues. What of our high-sounding words concerning the purpose of the ages, and the
fact that God is over all, and that habit of saying, "O bother it!" when we are vexed or
disappointed? What sort of interpreters are we when we fail in longsuffering, patience,
forgiveness and love? Interpretation has less to do with nouns and verbs than with
thoughts and deeds. In the "Sermon on the Mount" we read:--
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven . . . . . Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute
you,; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5: 16, 44, 45).
"Pray for them"--this is the link between the interpreter of God to man and the
intercessor for man with God.
THE INTERCESSOR.--The most unspiritual person would realize the incongruity of
three believers kneeling in prayer, and beseeching the Lord to give the victory at a
political election to three different and opposing parties. What the believer is to do and
how he is to intercede is plainly revealed in I Tim. 2::--
"I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving
of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may
lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and
acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour" (I Tim. 2: 1-3).
It is evident that intercessory prayer covers a much wider sphere than that occupied by
the Church. "All men", "kings", "all in authority" come within the scope. Wide,
however, as is the scope of intercession, its purpose is limited. Kings and those in
authority may be beneficent or tyrannical. Our prayer must not be debased into
something political; it is to be directed to one end: "That we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
This twofold ministry of mediation, permitted to the believer, brings him very near to
the Lord Himself, the one Mediator, the great Interpreter and Intercessor. It is a ministry
that calls for no outstanding gifts; it makes no parade, and can go on in silence. It is a
ministry, however, that is vital, and blessed are they who can, with unfeigned thanks,
realize that in this respect they are following in the footsteps of the Son of God.