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poor of the flock,” but we also find their attitude- -“ that waited upon me." This is ever the attitude of the soul where poverty of spirit is the characteristic ; confiding dependence and expectation mark them at all times, whether the remnant in Israel, or the few who to-day in loyalty of heart cleave to the Lord: hated, reviled, slandered, and despised, they ever have been, and will
be, yet He knows them as trusting in Himself and waiting on Him.
But not only is there in this attitude a very marked dependence on, and expectation from, the Lord Himself
, but there is an active exercise of heart implied in the words "waited upon me." How unlike the busy restlessness of the moment we are in, and the scene we are passing through! The moral magnificence of one who waits on God simply is beyond all admiration ; how blessed to be brought to this simply, so as to say,
“ thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day;" or again, “this is our God, we have waited for him ;" or again, "yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee."
It was this which marked the Lord Jesus in all His blessed perfection as a man on earth ; how blessed to hear
1 Him say, as in Psalm xl. 1—He takes the place of patience without failure“I waited patiently for Jehovah :" it is exactly opposite to what man is as man, with his will and all that belongs to it. Observe it is “for Jehovah," that is, until He came in ; His own will never moved; Christ would have no other deliverance than Jehovah's. That which was found in the blessed One in His own perfection, is by grace wrought in the poor of the flock, and in feebleness and imperfection still is exhibited in some small measure by them. Oh may it be ours more and more to be known simply as a poor
and an afflicted people who wait on the Lord and trust in Him. Then, lastly, observe here how the Lord says, “ the poor
of the flock that waited upon me, knew that it was the word of the Lord.” This shews very blessedly the connection between the state of soul according to God, and the discernment of His mind through His word; and may we not ask is it not ever so ? The wise and prudent on the one hand and the Unseparated on the other, never discern His will ; it is hidden from the former (very solemn reflection this); it is revealed to babes. As to the other class, those not separated and consecrated to God, it is written, knowledge of the holy is understanding;" and further, “ do not drink wine nor strong drink ... when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation. that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.” (Lev. x. 9, 10.) May the Lord apply His own word to all that needs its piercing light at this moment, so that there may be, by its divine action, formed in our souls that capacity and ability of His Spirit, to know what is the word of the Lord in its application to all the difficulties and exercises of the way at this present moment.
THOUGHTS FOR THIS DAY.
THE WORK OF CHRIST AND WHAT
In order to understand the effect of a work, we must first know the nature and scope of it. The great defect in believers is, that while they believe in Christ, they have a limited or incorrect idea of what He has done. When I know the measure of Christ's work, even though I may not be in the full enjoyment of all He has wrought out for me, I at least know what is mine, and I could not accept anything else. It will be found that in Christendom, the variety of sects arises from the varied limitations of the work of Christ. Christ's work can be determined only by what He was sent to do. He can say in anticipation (John xvii.), “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." In like manner at the beginning of His course, with reference to the woman of Samaria,
“My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
The first thing, and the thing of the deepest interest to us, is to ascertain what was the work which was given Him to do, and which He has done. When we go back to the fall, we are told that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. Here we get a very definite and comprehensive view of Christ's work. The power of the enemy is to be broken by Him ; He is to “ destroy him that hath the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them, who through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage.” The full effect of His work in this respect is not manifested yet. Satan still rages. The time has not yet come when He will “bruise Satan under our feet," but Satan was vanquished in the death of Christ, so that we can say, “O death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
The important thing for faith to