Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9.
The lesson to be learned from the life of Solomon has a special moral bearing upon the life of the aged, of those who are no longer climbing the mountain but are descending and facing the western sun. We expect to see defects in the characters of youth who are not controlled by love and faith in Jesus Christ. We see youth wavering between right and wrong, vacillating between fixed principle and the almost overpowering current of evil that is bearing them off their feet to ruin. But of those of mature age we expect better things. We look for the character to be established, for principles to be rooted, and for them to be beyond the danger of pollution. But the case of Solomon is before us as a beacon of warning. When thou, aged pilgrim who hast fought the battles of life, thinkest that thou standest take heed lest thou fall. How, in Solomon’s case, was weak, vacillating character, naturally bold, firm, and determined, shaken like a reed in the wind under the tempter’s power! How was an old gnarled cedar of Lebanon, a sturdy oak of Bashan, bent before the blast of temptation! What a lesson for all who desire to save their souls to watch unto prayer continually! What a warning to keep the grace of Christ ever in their heart, to battle with inward corruptions and outward temptations!
Let none venture into sin as he did, in the hope that they too may recover themselves. Sin can be indulged only at the peril of infinite loss. But none who have fallen need give themselves up to despair. Aged men, once honored of God, may have defiled their souls, sacrificing virtue on the altar of lust; but there is still hope for them if they repent, forsake sin, and turn to God.
The misapplication of noble talents in Solomon’s case should be a warning to all. Goodness alone is true greatness.
Conflict and Courage p. 197
—–update—The doctor says that Caleb can go home in the morning. Also, K is not feeling well. Please pray that she can get the rest that she needs so that she can recover. D
My grandfather, Ed Harmon, had a very abusive father. Because of this, he left home for long periods of time beginning at the age of ten. One day, when was about 12, he was walking across a very long train trestle. At the beginning of the tracks, a thought came to him that he could be in great danger if a train came when he was about half way across. He dismissed that fear. Surely nothing like that would happen to him.
When he was about half way across, he noticed that the tracks began to vibrate slightly. He put his ear down on the track and got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. A train was coming. Terror filled him. He did not have enough time to get across that trestle before the train would be upon him. It was too far down to jump. Even if he had tried, he would surely be killed on the many sharp rocks in the shallow river beneath him. He was in grave danger. Why, oh why, hadn’t he heeded that warning thought that had come to him?
Suddenly he thought of a plan. If this plan didn’t work, he knew this day would be his final day of life. He climbed between the rails and shinnied down one of the huge wooden logs that was part of the trestle. When he got down to a “v” where two giant logs crossed each other, the vibration from the train was so bad that he nearly lost his grip. He could climb no further. Wedging himself in that “v” and holding on to the log with all his strength, he waited. In moments the trestle was vibrating violently. He felt as if he were being shaken to pieces. He prayed for strength to hold on. The train was overhead now, and those huge supporting logs were swaying. He was sure that he was going to die.
After what seemed like an eternity, the train passed. He was still alive! His every muscle was sore and he felt as weak as a baby, but at least he was alive. He stayed wedged in that “v” for a long time. He knew that if he tried to move, he would fall. After about an hour, he began to climb slowly back up the trestle and walk shakily to the other side. From that moment he vowed that he would never cross a trestle that was so long that he could not get to the other side if a train was coming. He kept his vow.
How often we get ourselves into dangerous situations just as my grandfather did, because we fail to heed the warnings written in God’s Holy Word. How often grow careless and forget that “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8 That adversary of souls leads us into situations where we are just as trapped as my grandfather was. But, praise God, there is a way of escape! Paul warns us “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12,13 Our Dear Saviour explains wherein our safety lies, “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth, against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:47-49 Paul warns, “be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means.” 2 Thes 2:2,3 If our feet are planted firmly upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, we will not be shaken off the platform of truth and fall to the dark and evil world below no matter how violently our world is being torn apart.
When we feel like we are being shaken to pieces by troubles, trials, and temptations, our only safety is in wedging ourselves in our Loving Redeemer’s great arms of love. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day, Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation, There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91
When we are filled with fear, let us declare “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” Ps 56:3, 4 When our world is in turmoil let us remember, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” 18:1-3 Let us ever sing in joyful deliverance, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” Ps 46:1-5 Amen!