Side Trip To Egypt
Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help.
Abram did it and got into an embarrassing predicament, denied his wife, and was sent out of the land. What a testimony for the Father of the Faithful! But he as not the only good man who visited Egypt in time of famine. We forget so easily that God can furnish tables in the wilderness. When times are hard we turn to the world for help. And sometimes Egypt offers a bigger salary!
We never need to leave Canaan and go back over Jordan for any reason whatsoever. We commonly think of the Promised Land as flowing with milk and honey, flourishing with figs and pomegranates. But sometimes God sends a drought and the pickings are slim and the garlic and onions and fleshpots tantalize us, tempt us to Egypt.
Are you passing through a dry spell and a lean season? Christians and churches are apt to turn to Pharaoh in spiritual famine. But it always means denial and embarrassment and humiliation and loss of testimony. All that we need we have in Canaan. No side trips are necessary. Settle down in Beulah Land and enjoy the country!
And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded.
I Samuel 12:2
Samuel was a better man than Saul, but he knew how to take a back seat graciously. Blessed are the Saints of the Second Fiddle! Some want to do solo work or be the whole orchestra. Saul had no grace for second place. When he heard the women singing, “Saul hath slain his thousands and David his ten thousands,” he “was very wroth and the saying displeased him.” Some preachers have been known to react that way when eclipsed by one more successful.
The best men are not always kings. “I have seen servants upon horses and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Diotrephes loves the pre-eminence. “In honor preferring one another”-surely that grace languishes for want of exercise!
John the Baptist was in his heyday as the foremost prophet and preacher of his time when he said of Jesus, “He must increase but I must decrease.” God grant us the Beatitude of the Background, that only He may be seen!
Samuel took the back seat for a lesser, John the Baptist for a greater. Can you play second fiddle, whether for a lesser or for the Greatest of All?