“Shall your brothers go to the war while you sit here?” Numbers 32:6
Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land that had been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks.
Others are manfully combating the errors of the age, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us. The Master of the vineyard says, “Why do you stand here idle all day?” What is the idler’s excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes even more the duty of everyone because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some.
The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this meditation is very applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who has commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our boat is on deep water? Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord?
The firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly pride that would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch over a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned to the divine will, grows by the energy of grace to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the foot of the cross, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.
Adapted from Morning and Evening.