2 Kings 7:2
But the officer on whose arm the king leaned answered the man of God, "Look, even if the LORD were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?" "You will see it with your own eyes," replied Elisha, "but you will not eat any of it."
A Divine Teacher and a Haughty ScepticHomilist2 Kings 7:2
Faith TauntedJ. Parker, D. D.2 Kings 7:2
Presumptiveness of UnbeliefJ. Saurin.2 Kings 7:2
RationalismT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.2 Kings 7:2
The Sin of UnbeliefSpurgeon, Charles Haddon2 Kings 7:2
A Divine Teacher and a Haughty SkepticD. Thomas 2 Kings 7:1, 2
The Unbelieving LordC.H. Irwin 2 Kings 7:1, 2
The Unbelieving LordJ. Orr 2 Kings 7:1, 2
The Famine in SamariaMonday Club Sermons2 Kings 7:1-17

2 Kings 7:1, 2, with 2 Kings 7:12-20
Elisha interrupts the king's evil design by a prediction of plenty in Samaria. His mention of a fixed time doubtless induced the king to wait until he should see if the prophecy was fulfilled. "Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria." It was a bold statement to make, for there was no human likelihood of its fulfillment. If the next day had proved Elisha to be a deceiver, no doubt he would have been torn limb from limb by the infuriated and hungry populace. But Elisha makes not the state-inert on his own authority, but uses the words, "Thus saith the Lord." One of the king's principal courtiers, on whose arm he leaned, could not conceal his scorn and incredulity. "Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?" Observe, his statement is not "If the Lord would make windows in heaven, this thing might be." He doesn't even admit that. It is a question expressing entire impossibility. "Even if the Lord would open windows in heaven, is it at all likely that such a thing as this would happen?" But what seemed impossible to him was possible with God. The prophet warned him that he would suffer for his unbelief. "Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof." As it was predicted, so it came to pass. During the night, the Lord caused the Syrian army to hear a great noise, like the noise of horses and chariots and a mighty host, and they fled in terror, leaving their camp with all their possessions and provisions behind them. Four lepers, going out of the city in the evening twilight, discovered the deserted camp. They brought back the news to the beleaguered city. At first, a stratagem was feared; but by-and-by in wild eagerness for food and plunder, the famished citizens rushed forth. The unhappy lord, who had doubted the prophet's message and the promise of God himself, was trodden upon at the gate and died. From this striking and tragic story we may learn -

I. UNBELIEF MAY HAVE REASON, APPARENTLY, ON ITS SIDE. This courtier might have given many plausible reasons for doubting the prophet's message.

1. He might have disputed the prophet's right to speak in the name of God at all. He might have said, "How do I know that this man is speaking the truth?" though even there Elisha had already given pretty tangible proof of his credibility and trustworthiness. The faithful minister of Christ need not mind the sneers of men, provided God has owned his work, and set his heavenly seal upon his ministry.

2. Or he might have said, "The thing is utterly incredible. It is utterly impossible. Where is flour to come from in such plenty as to supply this whole city of Samaria? There has been a besieging army around our walls for many days. They have desolated and plundered the country round about. Where is the food to come from, even if there was any one to bring it to us? And we know of no friendly army that is coming to raise the siege or cut its way through the serried ranks of the Syrians." All these would have been very natural thoughts to pass through that courtier's mind. No doubt they were the very reasons, or some of them, which led him to disbelieve Elisha's message. Probably, if he had stated his reasons to the people, he would have got a hundred to agree with him for every one who believed Elisha. No doubt they all looked upon Elisha as a fanatic and an enthusiast. They, to all appearance, had common sense, had reason on their side. And yet it turned out to be one of those many cases in which "God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and the weak things to confound the mighty." Unbelief can be very plausible. Unbelief nearly always appears to have reason on its side. There is not a doctrine of the Bible against which the most plausible arguments might not, and have not, been advanced. Even Scripture itself can be quoted in support of unbelief and sin. "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." Good arguments are not necessarily a proof of the truth or justice of a case. This needs to be remembered in an age when many arguments are urged against the truth of Christianity. What plausible reasons have been urged against the main truths of the Christian religion! Take the Deity of Christ, for example. How plausible are the arguments which human reason can bring forward against the doctrine of the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ! And yet of what value are such arguments when placed side by side with our Lord's statement, "I and my Father are one;" with the statement of the Apostle John, "The Word was with God, and the Word was God;" or with the statement of the Apostle Paul, that "in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily?" In the same way the most plausible arguments can be, and are being, brought against the atoning nature of Christ's death, although we have the clear statements of God's Word that "he bore our sins in his own body on the tree," and Christ's own statement that he laid down his life for the sheep. Over and over again it has been asserted that the Gospel miracles are incredible. Over and over again the most plausible arguments have been brought against future punishment, although we have the clear and emphatic statements of our Lord Jesus Christ himself on the subject. Unbelief may have reason, apparently, on its side.

II. OUR REASON IS NO TEST OF POSSIBILITY. Our ideas are no test as to what is possible or impossible. Our minds are limited in their range. How often in the march of scientific discovery and invention it has happened that things, which seemed impossible in one century were proved to be possible in the next! It is not yet three hundred years since Galileo was condemned to imprisonment by the Inquisition for asserting that the earth moved round the sun. Even our own Sir Isaac Newton, little more than two hundred years ago - the man who discovered the force of gravitation, and invented the first reflecting telescope - was assailed with such abuse on propounding his discoveries, that he actually determined on suppressing the third book of the 'Principia,' which contains the theory of comets. And what shall we say of the invention of the steam-engine by James Watt, scarcely a hundred years ago - an invention which has revolutionized our manufactures, and made possible a speed of locomotion by land and sea that would have been ridiculed as impossible only a few years ago? Every discovery of science, every invention in the useful arts, has at first been scorned as an impossible dream, then laughed at as impracticable, and finally accepted when it became impossible to deny the truth of the one or the usefulness of the other. The impossibilities of today turn out to be the possibilities of tomorrow. It is well to remember this, that, because we are unable to conceive of something taking place, it does not therefore follow that it is impossible. The fact is, that when we say anything is "impossible," we just mean that we cannot conceive it. But, as has already been shown, this is no reason why a doctrine or statement may not be true, or why a certain occurrence may not take place. We may have never known anything of the kind to occur before; but that is no proof that a thing is impossible, though in the minds of many people it is the only argument. What has never occurred before may occur yet. There are discoveries in science still undreamed of in our advanced philosophy. There are inventions yet to be conceived which, if today we could hear of them, we might pronounce the wild ravings of a fanatic. There are infinite resources in the hand of him who rules the world. Who are we, that we should limit God? Who are we, that we should set bounds to his power? Who are we, that we should set bounds to his justice on the one hand, or to his mercy on the other? Must we not bow in deep humility before all the problems that affect his dealings with men, and say, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Must we not reverently accept whatever he has been pleased to reveal in his own Word of his Divine purposes and plans, no matter what our reason may say?

III. THE DANGEROUS CHARACTER OF UNBELIEF. We have seen how unreasonable this courtier's unbelief was. Not only so, but it was injurious. So unbelief in a professing Christian is injurious to himself and to others. It hinders his own usefulness. It hinders the progress of the gospel. It hinders the success of Christian work. It is the Achan in the camp, the canker of Christian life and power, the chilling blight of the Christian Church. What an age of deadness in the Church of Christ in England, Scotland, and Ireland, was the eighteenth century, the age of moderatism, the age of indifference and rationalism! What an absence of missionary enterprise! What an absence of evangelistic effort! As Churches and as individuals, we should pray to be delivered from unbelief, and to be filled with living, working, all-conquering faith. Mr. Spurgeon says, in his remarks on this passage, that if we are hindering God's work by our unbelief, it may happen to us as it happened to this nobleman, that God may see fit to take us out of the way. He says that he has remarked, "that when any truly good man has stood in God's way, God has made short work with him. He has taken him home, or he has laid him aside by sickness. If you will not help and will hinder, you will be put aside, and perhaps your own usefulness will be cut short." If you have not faith enough in the power of the gospel, if you have not faith enough in the promises of God, if you have not faith enough in the power of prayer, then be in earnest in asking for more faith - such faith as will stand firm in the day of temptation, of trial, of conflict, of opposition. Never say to yourself about any Christian work, "If the Lord would make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?" An affectionate word to the unbeliever, to the sinner. Unbelief is dangerous. Christ speaks of unbelief as a sin. He says of the Holy Spirit that "he will convince the world of sin, because they believed not on me." Men may call it a hard doctrine, but there it is. "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God." Is there anything hard in that? The offer of salvation is made to every one. It is so plain that there can be no mistake about it. If there had been any other way, any other Savior, men might plead uncertainty. But they are plainly told, "neither is there salvation in any other." Those who believed not the warnings in the days of Noah, perished. Their day of grace was long, but they neglected it. So with the Israelites whose bones lay whitening in the wilderness. "They entered not in because of unbelief." Oh, how terrible that unbelieving courtier's doom: "Thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof!" - C.H.I.

Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned, answered the man of God.
Around Samaria is drawn the fiery girth of Assyrian vindictiveness. Siege is laid to the city, and soon famine, most ghastly and horrible, appears. In the modern bombardment of a city, there is a grandeur mingled with the terror. The toss and burst of a bomb-shell kindles the eye of the artist, while the citizens perish. But there is no imagining the desolation of a city approached by an old-time siege, through years of starvation. The judgment-day only can reveal the anguish endured when Hamilcar besieged Utica, and Titus Jerusalem. Alas, for Samaria! What a crowd of hollow-eyed and staggering wretches filled the streets, crying for bread. So great was the scarcity of food that an ass's head was sold for twenty-five dollars. Mothers cooked their children, and fought for the disgusting fragments. And still hunger pinched and drank up the life of the great city and lifted its wolfish howl in the market-place, and shovelled its victims into the grave. In the midst of all this, Elisha, in the name of God, said, "Tomorrow the famine will be gone, and you will get a peck of flour for five shillings." A nobleman, who was the confidential friend of the king, stood by and laughed at the idea. He said, "If a window shutter could be opened in the sky, and a lot of corn pitched out, you might expect it. Hal ha! you silly prophet; you cannot fool me!" The prophet replied to the taunt by saying, "Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof." Before we come to the more cheerful phase of the subject, let us attend the funeral of that scoffer who was trod on in the gates. The obsequies shall be brief, for we have not much respect for him. I knew him well. You all knew him. He was an out-and-out Rationalist. Elisha, at God's command, had prophesied plenty of fine flour on the morrow. "Preposterous!" said the sceptical nobleman. "Where is it to come from? Why, every hole and corner of the city has been ransacked for flour. We have eaten up the horses. There is no prospect that the Assyrians will lift the siege; and yet, Elisha, you insult my common sense, and my reason, by telling me that to-morrow the market will be glutted with bread supplies. Away with your nonsense!" Yet, notwithstanding it seemed unreasonable, the fine flour came; and, because of his unbelief, the Rationalist of Samaria perished. At this point the great battle of Christianity is to be fought. The great foe of Christianity to-day is Rationalism, that comes out from our schools, and universities, and magazines, and newspapers, to scoff at Bible truth, and caricature the old religion of Jesus. It says, "Jesus is not God, for it is impossible to explain how He can be Divine and Human at the same time." The Bible is not inspired, for there are in it things that they don't like. Regeneration is a farce; there is good enough in us, and the only thing is to bring it out. Development is the word — development. What is still more alarming, is that Christian men dare not meet this ridicule. Christian men try to soften the Bible down to suit the sceptics. The sceptics sneer at the dividing of the Red Sea, and the Christian goes to explaining that the wind blew a hurricane from one direction a good while until all the water piled up; and, besides that, it was low water, anyhow, and so the Israelites went through without any trouble. Why not be frank, and say, "I believe the Lord God Almighty came to the brink of the Red Sea, and with His right arm swung back the billows on the right side, and with His left arm swung back the billows on the left side; and the abashed water stood up hundreds of feet high, while through their glassy walls the sea-monsters gazed with affrighted eyes on the passing Israelites?" "Oh," you say, "these Rationalists would laugh at me." Then let them laugh. The Samaritan sceptic laughed at Elisha; but when, under the rush of the people to get their bread, the unbeliever was trampled to death, whose turn was it to laugh then? The moment you begin to explain away the miraculous and supernatural, you surrender the Bible. Compromise nothing! Trim off nothing to please the sceptics. If you cannot stand the jeer of your business friends you are not worthy to be one of Christ's disciples. You can afford to wait. The tide will turn. God's Word will be vindicated; and though it may seem to be against the laws of nature and the rules of reason, to-morrow a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel; and then as the people rush out of the gates to get the bread, alas, for the Rationalist! he will be trodden under foot, and will go down to shame and everlasting contempt. You know that all the nations are famine struck by sin. They are dying for bread. Here comes through the gates a precious supply — not one loaf, but an abundance for all; pardon for all, strength for all, sympathy for all comfort for all! Will you have this bread that came down from heaven and which, if a man eat, he shall never hunger? Glorious gospel! So wide in its provisions. Whosoever! Mark you that God stopped Samaria's famine, not with coarse meal, but, the text says, with fine flour. So the Bread of Life, with which God would appease our hunger, is made of the best material. Jesus was fine in His life, fine in His sympathies, fine in His promises. It means no coarse supply when Jesus offers Himself to the people saying, "I am the Bread of Life." — "Fine flour for a shekel." That day when the gates of Samaria were opened, why did they make such excitement about the flour? Why did they not bring in some figs, or pastry, or fragrant bouquets instead? The people would have run down the bouquets, and thrown away the figs, and trampled upon the pastry in the rush for bread. Effort has been made to feed those spiritually dying with the poesies or rhetoric, and the confectionary of sentimentalism. Our theology has been sweetened and sweetened until it is as sweet as ipecacuanha, and as nauseating to the regenerated soul. What the people need is bread, just as God mixes it — unsweetened, plain, homely, unpretending, yet life-sustaining bread.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

What surprises me, what stumbles me, what frightens me, is to see a diminutive creature, a little ray of light glimmering through a few feeble organs, controvert a point with the Supreme Being; oppose the Intelligence that sitteth at the helm of the world; question what He affirms, dispute what He determines, appeal from His decisions, and, even after God has given evidence, reject all doctrines that are beyond his capacity! Enter into thy nothingness, mortal creature! What madness animates thee? How darest thou pretend, thou who art but a point, thou whose essence is but an atom, to measure thyself with the Supreme Being — with Him whom the heaven of heavens could not contain?

(J. Saurin.)

Here are two objects not only to be looked at, but to be studied: —

I. A DIVINE TEACHER. Two circumstances connected with this promise will apply to the Gospel.

1. It was a communication exactly suited to the condition of those to whom it was addressed. People were starving, and the one great necessity was food, and here it is promised. Mankind are morally lost, what they want is spiritual restoration, and the Gospel proclaims it.

2. It was a communication made on the authority of the Eternal. "Thus saith the Lord." That the Gospel is a Divine message is a truth too firmly established even to justify debate.

II. A HAUGHTY SCEPTIC. Here is one of the most contemptible of all classes of men, a courtier, a sycophant in relation to his king, a haughty despot in regard to all beneath him. When he heard the prophet's deliverance, he, forsooth, was too great a man, and thought himself, no doubt, too great a philosopher to believe it. It was the man's Self importance that begot his incredulity, and this perhaps is the parent of all scepticism and unbelief.


One wise man may deliver a whole city; one good man may be the means of safety to a thousand others. The holy ones are "the salt of the earth," the means of the preservation of the wicked. Without the godly as a conserve, the race would be utterly destroyed. In the city of Samaria there was one righteous man — Elisha, the servant of the Lord. Piety was altogether extinct in the court. The king was a sinner of the blackest dye, his iniquity was glaring and infamous. Jehoram walked in the ways of his father Ahab, and made unto himself false gods. The people of Samaria were fallen like their monarch. In this awful extremity the one holy man was the medium of salvation. The one grain of salt preserved the entire city; the one warrior for God was the means of the deliverance of the whole beleaguered multitude. "To-morrow," would they shout, "to-morrow our hunger shall be over, and we shall feast to the full." However, the lord on whom the king leaned expressed his disbelief. We hear not that any of the common people, the plebeians, ever did so; but an aristocrat did it. Strange it is, that God has seldom chosen the great men of this world. High places and faith in Christ do seldom well agree. This great man said, "Impossible!" and, with an insult to the prophet, he added, "If the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be." His sin lay in the fact that, after repeated seals of Elisha's ministry, he yet disbelieved the assurances uttered by the prophet on God's behalf. He had, doubtless, seen the marvellous defeat of Moab; he had been startled at tidings of the resurrection of the Shunam-mite's son; he knew that Elisha had revealed Benhadad's secrets and smitten his marauding hosts with blindness; he had seen the bands of Syria decoyed into the heart of Samaria.

I. THE SIN. His sin was unbelief. He doubted the promise of God. In this particular case unbelief took the form of a doubt of the Divine veracity, or a mistrust of God's power. Either he doubted whether God really meant what He said, or whether it was within the range of possibility that God should fulfil His promise. Unbelief hath more phases than the moon, and more colours than the chameleon. Common people say of the devil, that he is seen sometimes in one shape, and sometimes in another. I am sure this is true of Satan's firstborn child — unbelief, for its forms are legion. At one time I see unbelief dressed out as an angel of light. It calls itself humility, and it saith, "I would not be presumptuous; I dare not think that God would pardon me; I am too great a sinner." It is the devil dressed as an angel of light; it is unbelief after all. A fearful form of unbelief is that doubt which keeps men from coming to Christ; which leads the sinner to distrust the ability of Christ to save him, to doubt the willingness of Jesus to accept so great a transgressor. But the most hideous of all is the traitor, in its true colours, blaspheming God, and madly denying His existence. Infidelity, deism, and atdeism are the ripe fruits of this pernicious tree; they are the most terrific eruptions of the volcano of unbelief. Unbelief hath become of full stature, when quitting the mask and laying aside disguise, it profanely stalks the earth, uttering the rebellious cry, "No God," striving in vain to shake the throne of the divinity, by lifting up its arm against Jehovah. I am astonished, and I am sure you will be, when I tell you that there are some strange people in the world who do not believe that unbelief is a sin. Strange people I must call them, because they are sound in their faith in every other respect; only, to make the articles of their creed consistent, as they imagine, they deny that unbelief is sinful.

1. And first the sin of unbelief will appear to be extremely heinous when we remember that it is the parent of every other iniquity. There is no crime which unbelief will not beget. I think that the fall of man is very much owing to it. It was in this point that the devil tempted Eve.

2. Unbelief not only begets, but fosters sin. If man did but believe that the law is holy, that the commandments are holy, just, and good, how he would be shaken over hell's mouth; there would be no sitting, and sleeping in God's house; no careless hearers; no going away and straightway forgetting what manner of men ye are. Oh! once get rid of unbelief, how would every ball from the batteries of the law fall upon the sinner, and the slain of the Lord would be many. Again, how is it that men can hear the wooings of the Cross of Calvary, and yet come not to Christ? What is the reason? Because there is unbelief between you and the Cross. If there were not that thick veil between you and the Saviour's eyes, His looks of love would melt you. But unbelief is the sin which keeps the power of the Gospel from working in the sinner., and it is not till" the Holy Ghost strikes that unbelief out, it is not till the Holy Spirit rends away that infidelity and takes it altogether down, that we can find the sinner.

3. Unbelief disables a man for the performance of any good work. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin," is a great truth in more senses than one. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Faith fosters every virtue; unbelief murders every one. Thousands of prayers have been strangled in their infancy by unbelief. Unbelief has been guilty of infanticide; it has murdered many an infant petition; many a song of praise that would have swelled the chorus of the skies has been stifled by an unbelieving murmur; many a noble enterprise conceived in the heart has been blighted ere it could come forth, by unbelief. Many a man would have been a missionary; would have stood and preached his Master's Gospel boldly; but he had unbelief. Once make a giant unbelieving, and he becomes a dwarf.

4. Our next remark is — unbelief has been severely punished. Turn you to the Scriptures, I see a world all fair and beautiful; its mountains laughing in the sun, and the fields rejoicing in the golden light. I see maidens dancing, and young men singing. How fair the vision! But lo! a grave and reverend sire lifts up his hand, and cries, "A flood is coming to deluge the earth-the fountains of the great deep will be broken up, and all things will be covered" See yonder ark. One hundred and twenty years have I toiled with these my hands to build it; flee there, and you are safe." "Aha! old man; away with your empty predictions! Aha! let us be happy while we may! when the flood comes, then we will build an ark; but there is no flood coming; tell that to fools; we believe no such things." See the unbelievers pursue their merry dance. Hark! Unbeliever. Dost thou not hear that rumbling noise? Earth's bowels have begun to move, her rocky ribs are strained by dire convulsions from within; lo! they break with the enormous strain, and forth from between them torrents rush unknown since God concealed them in the bosom of our world. Heaven is split in sunder! it rains. Not drops, but clouds descend. A cataract, like that of old Niagara, rolls from heaven with mighty noise. Both firmaments, both deeps — the deep below and the deep above — do clasp their hands. Now, "unbelievers, where are you now?" There is your last remnant. A man — his wife clasping him round the waist — stands on the last summit that is above the water. See him there! The water is up to his loins even now. Hear his last shriek! He is floating — he is drowned. And as Noah looks from the ark he sees nothing. Nothing! It is a void profound. "Sea monsters whelp and stable in the palaces of kings." All is overthrown, covered, drowned. What hath done it? What brought the flood upon the earth? Unbelief. By faith Noah escaped from the flood. By unbelief the rest were drowned.

5. And now you will observe the heinous nature of unbelief in this — that it is the damning sin. There is one sin for which Christ never died; it is the sin against the Holy Ghost. There is one other sin for which Christ never made atonement. Mention every crime in the calendar of evil, and I will show you persons who have found forgiveness for it. But ask me whether the man who died in unbelief can be saved, and I reply there is no atonement for that man.

II. CONCLUDE WITH THE PUNISHMENT. "Thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof." It is so often with God's own saints. When they are unbelieving, they see the mercy with their eyes, but do not eat it. Now, here is corn in this land of Egypt; but there are some of God's saints who come here on the Sabbath, and say, "I do not know whether the Lord will be with me or not." Some of them say, "Well, the Gospel is preached, but I do not know whether it will be successful." They are always doubting and fearing. Listen to them when they get out. "Well, did you get a good meal this morning?" "Nothing for me." Of course not. Ye could see it with your eyes, but did not eat it, because you had no faith. If you had come up with faith, you would have had a morsel. But, let me apply this chiefly to the unconverted. They often see great works of God done with their eyes, but they do not eat thereof. A crowd of people have come here this morning to see with their eyes, but I doubt whether all of them eat.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

In this comparatively trifling event we see the end of the whole economy of nature as we know it. Tragical facts have overpowered us, have indeed almost blinded us as to the possibility of spiritual presences being in the universe, and we have said deliverance is impossible, and out of all this chaos God Himself could scarcely bring order. Looking upon the nations of the earth with their moral darkness, their barbarities, idolatries, cruelties, superstitions; observing how men hate one another, and delight in the shedding of blood; studying the whole map and plan of wickedness all but infinite, we have again and again said, though the Lord should open the windows of heaven — though the Lord should come in all His great might, yet surely this chaos could not be brought into order and peace even by the voice of Omnipotence. Looking upon the Cross of Jesus Christ as the medium of the salvation of the world, we have not wondered that men should account it foolishness. There seems to be no proportion between the cause and the effect, the means and the end. To the last, men passing by the cross shall wag their heads, and say to him who expires upon it, If Thou be the king or Saviour of the world, save Thyself, and come down. We are quite aware that the scoffer has an ample ground for mockery, if attention be limited by visible boundaries. It is not surprising that gibers should taunt believers, and that the prophets of Baal should turn round upon the Elijahs of the world, and in their turn enjoy the use of ironical appeal, saying, Cry aloud to your Christ, for he is king of the Jews; cry mightily to his God in heaven, for he has espoused him as his father; pray on still, — perhaps if you are not answered in the morning, you may be answered at night; cry lustily with growing energy to the supposed God of the heavens, and let him come out in reply if he can. We must submit to the taunt for the present. In our impatience we desire a manifest and decisive answer, yet all things proceed calmly as they were from the beginning. But our faith has been sustained by a doctrine corresponding to the prophecy, — namely, the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness: for a thousand years are in his sight as one day, and one day as a thousand years. We are the victims of miscalculated time. We do not know the meaning of to-day or to-morrow: my soul, wait thou upon God; yea, wait patiently for Him, and comfort thyself with the truth that things are not what they seem: that immediately after human extremity there arises a light in heaven, and that in the midday of despair angels are sent with special messages from God.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

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