Deut. 21:20, 21

Robert Hawker

"And they shall say unto the elders of his city, this our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And alt the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die."–Deut. xxi. 20, 21.

My soul, pause over this Jewish precept. What a thundering command must it have been to flesh and blood! Think, how agonizing to the feelings of tender parents, to have come forth as the accusers of rebellious children, and gluttons and drunkards! What comfort could such have concerning them in their welfare of the life that now is, and what hope for that which is to come? But, as if these distressing feelings were not enough, it is they, the very parents, which are here commanded to bring forward the charge to the elders against their own bowels, and they are to be the means of bringing them to death. But, painful as it must have been to flesh and blood, such were the triumphs of grace, that, by virtue of it, "all Israel was to hear and to fear;" and if God was honoured, and the evil of rebellion put away, the close was glorious. Better to follow a child to the grave, than follow that child to hell. Better to root out a noxious weed from Christ's garden, the church, than that it should live, and bring forth and spread its deadly fruit. And is there not a sweet spiritual lesson in all this? Look at it, my soul, and see. Hast thou a stubborn and rebellious lust warring against the law of thy mind, and bringing thee into captivity to the law of sin, which is in thy members? And dost thou groan, as Paul groaned under it? Is it like a child in thine affection, that to destroy it is like plucking out an eye, or cutting off an arm? Do by it as the Lord commanded the poor oppressed father to do by his son. Bring it, be it what it may, not before the elders of thy people indeed, but before the Lord of heaven and earth; bring it to Jesus, and tell him of thy burden, and shew to him thy sorrow. I venture to believe, that he will give grace to crush it, and strength, like so many stones of the people, to beat it down in thine heart, and it will be to his glory, and to thy joy. Oh! the blessedness of bringing all to Jesus! He can, he will subdue the stubborn heart, break the power of the rebellious heart, restrain the propensity of the gluttonous or sottish heart, and give suited help to the several necessities of his people, so as to make the soul cry out, under the blessed strength imparted to our weakness, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." Help me then, dear Lord, and help all thy children, under their several infirmities, by thy Spirit, "to mortify the deeds of the body, that we may live."


Robert Hawker

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