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THE LESSONS OF THE ROD.pdf

THE LESSONS OF THE ROD.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY SAMUEL COX


" The voice of the Lord crieth itnto the
City— and it is wisdom to fear his Name —
Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed
it." — MiCAH vi. 9.
BY SAMUEL COX


" The voice of the Lord crieth itnto the
City— and it is wisdom to fear his Name —
Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed
it." — MiCAH vi. 9.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 09, 2013
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THE LESSONS OF THE ROD.BY SAMUEL COX" The voice of the Lord crieth itnto theCity— and it is wisdom to fear his Name — Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointedit." — MiCAH vi. 9.WITH this Verse the Prophetcommences a new section, orparagraph, of his discourse. Inthe previous section he hadcalled on the mountains andthe hills to listen to and ad- judge a controversy between Jehovah and Israel.He had pourtrayed Jehovah as opening the con-troversy with a challenge in which He remindsthe people of Israel of how much He has donefor them since He brought them up out of theII1 62 THE LESSONS OF THE ROD.land of Egypt, and of how little He has requiredof them — requiring nothing, indeed, but thatthey should seek their own good by doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly withHim.To this challenge, " O, my people, what haveI done unto thee ? and wherein have I weariedthee ? " they make no response, and perhaps donot care to respond. A sinful people, they shew
 
no sign of contrition ; an elect people, they shewno sign of grace. They are absorbed in theintrigues and chicaneries of the market, carryinga deceitful tongue in their mouth and a deceit-ful balance in their hands. Calling themselvesa holy people, assuming to be the favouritesof Heaven, they are not commonly honest, notcommonly veracious. Hence the Prophet re-presents Jehovah as changing his tone. Themountains and the hills have given their verdictagainst Israel ; the very voice of Nature, i.e., haspronounced against these pious liars and cheats.And God is prepared to carry out the sentence,to chastise them for their sin and hypocrisy.He will bring up the fierce Assyrian againstthem, and deliver them over to slaughter, famine,and captivity. TJiis shall be the rod with whichHe will smite them in his anger.THE LESSONS OF THE ROD. 163But in the midst of wrath He remembersmercy ; even when He is denouncing doom onthem, He lets " mercy season justice." Heopens the very sentence against them by be-seeching them to listen to the rod with whichHe is about to smite them. " The voice of theLord crieth unto the city," the wicked city of Jerusalem, soon to be abandoned to its foes ;and in proportion as they are wise they willlisten to that voice ^ — the voice which cries," Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it."Even from this brief exposition it will beobvious, I hope, that the large general meaningof the Verse, its meaning for iis, is, that thecalamities which befall us, the punishments whichtread on the heels of offence, have a teaching or
 
disciplinary intention ; that the Rod with whichwe are chastised has lessons for us ; and that,in proportion as we are wise, we shall learn theselessons and lay them to heart.' The original of the second and parenthetical clauseof the Verse is very difficult to translate, and many dif-ferent renderings of it have been proposed ; but, so faras I can see, the substantial meaning of all these ren-derings is the same. They all concur in proclaiming itthe part of wisdom, or of the wise, to hsten with awe tothe voice of God's rebuke, to recognize, or to reverence,his presence and will in his Word.1 64 THE LESSONS OF THE ROD.No doubt the thought is a famihar one ; butit is one on which the changes and accidentsof time compel us to meditate again and again.Any new form or setting of it is, therefore, verywelcome to us. And Micah at least furnishesus with so much as this. He clothes the ab-stract thought in an impressive figure ; and, if we consider this figure, it may lend freshness andforce even to a thought so familiar as the teach-ing and discipline of Affliction.I. Probably the first thought it will suggestto us is this : that, were w^e " swift to hear," therewould be no need of the Rod. In tJiis life, atleast, God is training us for wisdom and good-ness, in order that by and bye we may serveHim with a perfect heart. He is seeking tomake us partakers of his own righteousness, thatwe may be partakers of his own peace andblessedness. And were we, while at school, tolearn the lessons He sets us with diligence, andmind our manners, and do our duty, He who

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