To Rob God One Way To Pay Him Another

May Day 2013, Portland, Oregon - 09

Rev. Stephen Charnock, Works, Vol. 1, p. 57:

Trust providence in the way of precept. Let not any reliance upon an ordinary providence induce you into any way contrary to the command. Daniel had many inducements from an appearance of providence to eat the king’s meat: his necessity of compliance in his captivity, probability of preferment by learning the wisdom of the country, whereby he might both have advanced himself and assisted his countrymen, the greatness of the consideration for a captive to be fed from the king’s table, the ingratitude he might be accused of for despising so kind a treatment; but none of these things moved him against a command; because the law of God forbade it, he would not eat of the king’s meat, Dan. 1.8-10, &c. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat.” Daniel might have argued, I may wind myself into the king’s favour, do the church of God a great service by my interest in him, which may be dashed in pieces by my refusal of this kindness; but none of these things wrought upon him.

No providences wherein we have seeming circumstances of glorifying God, must lead us out of the way of duty; this is to rob God one way to pay him another. God brought Daniel’s ends about: he finds favour with the governor, his request is granted, the success is answerable, and all those ends attained which he might in a sinful way, by an ill construction of providence, have proposed to himself, all which he might have missed of had he run on in a carnal manner. This, this is the way to success: Ps. 37.5, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.” Commit thy way to the guidance of his providence, with an obedience to his precept and reliance on his promise, and refer all success in it to God. If we set up our golden calves made of our own ear-rings, our wit, and strength, and carnal prudence, because God seems to neglect us, our fate may be the same with theirs, and the very dust of our demolished calf may be a bitter spice in our drink, as it was in theirs.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90791-Charnock-on-Doing-Evil-that-Good-May-Come, Comment #1

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