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Volume 29 - Page 201 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
they repented not"; and yet, arising out of this terrible rejection, come those blessed
words of comfort:
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest . . . . . I
am meek" (Matt. 11: 20-30).
In Heb. 12: the writer makes it clear that this principle of the "afterwards" applies to
the Lord Himself as well as to His children:
"Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of faith, Who for the joy that was set
before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God" (Heb. 12: 2).
Following directly from this statement is the passage that contains our text. In
verses 5-11 the Apostle's theme is chastisement. He encourages all who may be
suffering chastisement, to remember that chastening implies childhood and parentage,
and that it is for our profit--"that we might be partakers of His holiness". Moreover,
there is comfort in the fact that the Lord Himself admits that no chastening seems at the
time to be joyous, but rather grievous. Nevertheless it is not barren suffering. It yields
"the peaceable fruit of righteousness"--on one condition: that those who pass through
the chastening must be "exercised thereby"; otherwise it is all in vain.
We are safe in saying that no readers of these pages can tread the pathway of truth,
surrounded by an evil world and in themselves still mortal and fallible, without
continually passing through chastening. May all such be enabled to "glory in tribulation
also; knowing that tribulation worketh . . . . ." (Rom. 5: 3)--"Nevertheless afterwards."
When Affliction is Good (Psa. 119: 67, 71).
pp. 118, 119
How many of us have ever said out of a full heart: "It is good for me that I have been
We are so constituted that affliction is a thing to be shunned, and this is natural. We
often find "the elements of the world"--too often accepted as axioms not needing
proof--turn out to be false if adopted in the spiritual world. Consequently, there may be
many occasions when the flesh is smarting, when pride is wounded, when the believer is
cast down by a vision of his own heart's baseness, in other words, when it is good to be
afflicted. The immediate reason given by the Psalmist is "That I might learn Thy
statutes" (Psa. 119: 71).
Another reason is given in the context: "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now
have I kept Thy word" (Psa. 119: 67).