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April 13 Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 4-6
None that Can Hew Timber Like the Sidonians
1 Kings 5:6
It takes a lot of scaffolding to erect a large building. The scaffolding is useful in many ways, but is never a part of the building. And when the building is finished, the scaffolding is hauled away. So it is in the building of the church and temple of our God. He uses much scaffolding that has no part with the building.
That is the thing that struck me as I read these three chapters of Holy Scripture. Hiram’s servants were skilled workmen, wisely employed by Solomon, for the building of God’s temple in Jerusalem. They were like many in every age, and particularly in our day, to whom God has given great talents and abilities, but no grace.
What multitudes there are to whom the Lord God gives great natural abilities of a carnal nature, but to whom no grace is given! Many possess such gifts who know nothing of the gracious work of God the Holy Spirit upon the heart. Many minister in holy things, who are not partakers of holy things. Hear the Word of God…
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).
No declaration ever fell from our Savior’s lips that is more fearful than this. “Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied (preached) in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils?” How many, like Judas, Demas, and Diotrephes, have been instruments in the hands of God, by which God the Holy Spirit delivered the word of salvation to others, by which our omnipotent Savior has bound the strong man and cast him out of the soul in the name of Christ, who never knew him or the grace of God in him! A more wonderful work cannot be done. What a wonderful thing it is for poor, lost sinners to be born of God and given faith in Christ, converted by God’s almighty grace, through the instrumentality of gospel preaching!
But how very fearful it is to know that to many such preachers, teachers, and religious workers, the Son of God will speak these dreadful words:— “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity!” They do not know him; and he does not know them. They do not own him as Lord; and he does not own them as his people. They have no part with him; and he has no part with them. All that they think they do that is good and in the service of God, the Lord Jesus calls works of iniquity, for which they are to be forever damned! How tormenting it will be to their souls to know that, though they were helpful instruments in the hands of God for the salvation of his elect, daily serving in the house of God, because they themselves believed not on Christ, they are forever damned! They pointed others to the Foundation-Stone, Christ Jesus; but they were not built upon the Foundation-Stone themselves. They had a refuge; but it was “a refuge of lies.” They were nothing but pieces of scaffolding by which God builds his house!
Are we built upon the Rock Christ Jesus? Am I built upon the same Foundation as the apostles and prophets, which is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the Chief Corner-Stone? Are you? If so, we are inexpressibly happy and blessed of God in our souls, looking up to our God and Father in Christ Jesus, with a humble hope that he is our Portion.
Yes, blessed Savior, you alone are the Foundation of my soul, the Foundation of all my hopes, all my desires, all my wishes, all my joys, and all my salvation! God, our Father, in his infinite mercy, love, and grace laid this Foundation. The whole structure of his house, his temple, his church rests upon Christ Jesus. His precious blood and perfect righteousness is the cement which unites and keeps the living stones of this holy temple eternally together; and each stone in the building is “fitly framed together” by the effectual, irresistible work of God the Holy Ghost, who has built our souls upon the sure Foundation, Christ Jesus.
Blessed Lord God, carry on, complete, adorn, and finish the work in my soul. May your mercy be built up forever. Then, when your work of grace is finished in me and with me, bring forth the top stone of your spiritual building “with shoutings of grace, grace unto it” for the everlasting glory of your great name.