Divine Impulses
1 Kings 11:14-22
And the LORD stirred up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.…

Is this an old story that has in it no modern pith or music, or is it our own life anticipated and set in strange lights? Does it not throw some light upon the unexplained restlessness which now and again comes over the spirit of perhaps the quietest man? What is it that tugs at the heart and that says, "Come this way?" We are not sitting upon barren rocks, nor are we ploughing inhospitable and unresponding sand: we are in paradise: we have but to touch the ground and it blooms with flowers or teems with luscious fruit. And yet that same invisible hand keeps tugging at the heart, that same weird voice sustains its appeal in the reluctant, wonder-struck and unwilling ear. "Leave the gilded roof, leave the marble floor, leave the loaded table, leave the streams of ruddy or foaming wine; come away, come away." What is it that will not let us alone? I said, "I will die in my nest," and lo, it was torn to pieces. You cannot escape the religious element in life; you may shut your eyes, you may close your ears, you may learn the language of earth and the worse language of the pit, and you may exclude all outward religious ministries and appeals, but now and again there is a shaking in the life, a whisper in the ear, a strange quiver in the air, a face at the window, a quantity you cannot name. Then again, this incident shows us how impossible it is, sometimes, to give reasons for our action. Persons say to the Hadads who come round them, "Why do you leave Egypt?" and Hadad says, "I do not know." "O foolish man, are you going back to Edom, the memory of cruelty, shame and agony, without knowing why you are going back?" And poor Hadad can only answer, "Yes." And to the men who can give a reason for everything, Hadad's answer is a reply of insanity. Oh, happy is the man who has never to leave the paved pathway, who knows nothing of the pains of inspiration, the pangs of a high calling, the surprises of a Divine election! Yet not so happy, measured by the higher and larger scale; if he misses much pain, he misses much high delight; if he is commonplace on the one side, he is commonplace all through. Is it not better sometimes to be mad with inspiration, though afterwards there be collapse and suffering, than never to feel the Divine afflatus, and never to respond to the call of God? In the fourteenth verse of the chapter in which the narrative is recorded the whole secret is given. The Lord had stirred up the heart of Hadad against wicked Solomon. It was a Divine stirring, it was an impulse from heaven, it was the sound of a rushing mighty wind from the skies, a song without words, a ministry without articulation, a movement of the soul. Have you ever been in that case in any degree? I have, and persons have said to me, "Surely you can give us some reasons for going?" I have said, "Really, I cannot help, but a sensible man always bases his conduct upon reason. Think of it and tell us what your reasons are, and they will relieve our minds, for our anxiety is very painful," and I have only had to say, "I cannot tell you anything more about it, but I must go." This narrative suggests the inquiry, How am I to know when I am stirred by Divine impulses? When the impulse moves you in the direction of loss, pain, and sacrifice, the probability is that the impulse is Divine. Now where is your stirring? Gone. I thought it would go. I have frightened many birds in the same way, and they have flown from the trees on which they had alighted, in chaffering crowds. Moses is called — to what? To hardship and difficulty, and much pain, and long provocation in the wilderness. Before him Abraham is called — to what? To a pilgrimage that has a beginning only that he can ascertain: what the explanation and conclusion of it will be he knoweth not: the impulse was Divine. Then I hear a dear old father-friend: now, what says he? Listen. "Howbeit, let me go, in any wise." Where to, dear father? "To the other country." What other country? "I have a desire to depart." What, to leave the old house at home, with all your children and grandchildren, ,and the garden, and the library, and the church — you have not a desire to depart, have you? "Yes. O that I had wings like a dove, for then I would flee away .and be at rest. My Lord calls me, I must meet Him in the promised land." Ay, God sends that homesickness over the heart when He wants to take us up. We begin to say, "I am much obliged to you for all your kindness; you have bestowed favours and honours upon me. God bless you, but — I want to go, to go home, to be at rest; I want to see God's heaven — let me go.

"Hark! they whisper: angels say —

Sister spirit, come away.I want to go now. Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace: I am ready; put in the sickle, cut me down and garner me in heaven." It is a Divine stirring: it is the beginning of immortality.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.

WEB: Yahweh raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.

Solomon's Sin
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