Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Bride of the Lamb by Hamilton Smith (Chapter 3, Part 4)

There follows, in picture, a further action of the Spirit. The servant has found the bride of the kindred of Isaac; he has distinguished her from all others with the earrings and the bracelet; he has awakened affection for Isaac; he has adorned her with the beautiful things of Isaac, now he will lead her to Isaac (vv. 54-60).

The servant says, "Send me away to my master." He had come to Mesopotamia to secure the bride, and having accomplished that end he would fain be away. He had not come to tarry in Mesopotamia. The mind of the servant was to secure the bride, leave the scene, and return to his master. It was not to secure the bride and settle her in the old home, but to secure the bride and lead her to a new home. And very blessedly he forms the same mind in Rebekah. He longs to be away and reach Isaac, and he creates the same desires in the heart of Rebekah. He wills to go, and she is made willing to go. Her relatives can understand that the servant would be away to his master, but they would fain retain Rebekah awhile — at least ten days. So they call the damsel and enquire at her mouth, only to discover how well the servant's work had been accomplished, and that his mind had been formed in her mind, so that if he was longing to go she was ready to go.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to have His way — if we hinder Him not — He will form our minds according to His mind. To think as He thinks about Christ; to disengage our hearts from the things where Christ is not, to engage them with Christ where He is.

Rebekah was not a penniless orphan; she had indeed a father and mother, a home in Mesopotamia with prospects of wealth and possessions in the land of her birth. To enjoy all these blessings she had no need to leave her native land and face a wilderness journey. Nevertheless all is left. She forgets her own people and her father's house, and she faces a wilderness journey to reach a person whom she has never seen. Such is the mighty attractive power of a person when faith and affection for that person have been awakened.

In like manner the Holy Spirit has come to bring our hearts under the constraining influence of the love of Christ. He is here to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us. He is here to lead us into the deep things of God — things which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man." He is able to so strengthen us in the inner man, "that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith that being rooted and grounded in love, we may be fully able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and length, and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowing."

All this He is able and ready to do. How is it then we are so little attached in affection to Christ, and detached from things here? Is it not that we hinder? Hence the servant's word, "Hinder me not,"should have a powerful voice for us. We may say we cannot enjoy these things apart from the Spirit's work and we cannot make the Spirit work. This may be true: but alas we can hinder the Spirit working. We can cling to the world, the politics of the world, the religion of the world, the pleasures of the world, and we may even be so engrossed with right things — country, kindred, and father's house — that we hinder the Holy Spirit.

Whether we allow the world to hinder, or not, depends not upon the world but upon ourselves. The brother and mother may seek to detain Rebekah. This they admit, for they say, "we will call the damsel and enquire at her mouth." If like Rebekah our answer is "I will go" then indeed the Spirit will so powerfully affect our hearts, that all the power and attraction of the world will be unable to detain us.

Thus it came to pass, "Rebekah arose . . . and followed the man." She put herself entirely under the guidance of the man, with the result "the servant took Rebekah and went his way" (v. 61). Not her way but his way. We are not always prepared for the way of the Spirit. It is a way that goes entirely across the will of the flesh. Further we do well to remember that following the leading of the Spirit does not mean following some "inner light." If following the Spirit we shall walk according to the Word. The Spirit does not lead apart from the Word nor contrary to the Word.

The immediate result of following the man was that Rebekah found herself in a wilderness scene. She had neither the home of Laban nor the house of Isaac. So with ourselves, as one has said, "We have neither the earth in which we are, nor heaven to which we are going." However, as she travelled the desert journey of four hundred miles she had a bright prospect before her, and on the way she had the servant to talk of the things of Isaac and show them unto her. At the end the person who had won her heart was waiting to receive her.

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