I Kings 12:15

Robert Hawker

"Wherefore, the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the Lord."– I Kings xii. 15.

What a light doth this one verse throw upon the whole of this history, and upon ten thousand of a similar kind, which are perpetually going on through life! The event recorded in this chapter that the king should listen to the counsel of fools, and disregard the advice of wise men, would have appeared incredible, the thing itself being so very obvious. But when we understand the latent cause, and are told that it was "from the Lord," how strikingly doth it set forth the wonderful government of God in bringing about the sacred purposes of his holy will! My soul, sit down this evening, and ponder well the subject. Think how truly blessed it is, and how truly sanctified, to behold this almighty hand in every dispensation. And bring home the doctrine itself, for it is a very blessed one, if well studied and well followed up, to thine own concerns and circumstances. When, in any of the providential or gracious appointments of thy Jesus, thou art exercised and afflicted, what can be thy relief, but seeing the cause as from the Lord? The sin and transgression that induceth it, indeed, are all thine own. But the over-ruling of it to thy future welfare and the divine glory is the Lord's. Thus the man of Uz was grievously afflicted in every direction; but we are told that the Lord's permission was in the whole; and the sequel fully proved the Lord's design. Thus "the man after God's own heart" was cursed by Shimei, in the moment when his life was sought after by his own unnatural son; but what said David under the heavy trial?–"Let him alone, for the Lord hath bidden him." And what a gracious and sanctified improvement did he make of it, in proof that the Lord, who was smiting, was also upholding: "It may be," said he, "that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day," 2 Sam. xvi. 5-12. My soul, behold every cause, every event, and every dispensation, as from the Lord; "He ruleth in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth." If he afflict his children, still they are his children; the relationship never lessens, neither is his love abated; "Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Doth he raise up bad men to persecute them? Still they are but the sword; the government of it is the Lord's. Doth Jesus speak in frowning providences, or hide himself from giving out his accustomed gracious visits of love? Still he is and must be Jesus. There is no change in him, whatever outward dispensations seem to say. He saith himself, "I know the thoughts I think towards you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end," Jer. xxix. 11. Precious Lord Jesus, give me the seeing eye, and the understanding heart, to behold thy hand in all, to rest upon thy love and faithfulness in all, and to be for ever looking unto thee under all; so shall I bless thee for all; and, sure I am, the issue will be to thy glory, and my everlasting happiness.