Working With the King
‘There they dwelt with the king for his work.’—I Chron. iv. 23.
‘THERE! ‘—Not in any likely place at all, not A in the palace, not in ‘the city of the great king,’5 but in about the last place one would have expected, ‘among plants and hedges.’6 It does not even seem clear why they were ‘there’ at all, for they were potters, not gardeners,—thus giving us the combination of simple labour of the hands, carried on in out-of-the-way places; and yet they were dwellers with the king, and workers with the king.
1 I Cor. i. 30. 2 Ps. Ixxii. 17. 3 Rom. x. 3.
4 Rom. iv. 6. 5 Ps. xlviii. 2. 6 i Chron. iv. 23.
The lesson seems twofold,—First, that anywhere and everywhere we too may dwell ‘with the King for His work.’ We may be in a very unlikely or unfavourable place for this,—it may be in a literal country life, with little enough to be seen of the ‘goings ‘1 of the King around us; it may be among hedges of all sorts, hindrances in all directions; it may be, furthermore, with our hands full of all manner of pottery for our daily task. No matter! The King who placed us ‘there’ will come and dwell therewith us; the hedges are all right, or He would soon do away with them,’ and it does not follow that what seems to hinder our way3 may not be for its very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is just exactly what He has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it is, for the present, ‘His work.’ *
Secondly, that the dwelling and the working must go together. If we are indeed dwelling with the King, we shall be working for Him, too, ‘as we have opportunity.’5 The working will be as the dwelling,—a settled, regular tiling, whatever form it may take at His appointment. Nor will His work ever be done when we are not dwelling with Him. It will be our own work then, not His, and it will not’abide.’* We shall come under the condemnation of the vine which was pronounced ’empty,’ because ‘ he bringeth forth fruit unto himself.’ 7
We are to dwell with the King ‘ for His work;’ but He will see to it that it shall be for a great deal besides,—for a great continual reward according to His own heart and out of His royal bounty,—for peace, for power, for love, for gladness, for likeness to Himself.
1 Ps. Ixviii. 24. 2 Job iii. 23. 3 Matt. xxi. 33.
^ Mark xiii. 34, 6 Gal. vi. 10. ® i Cor. iii. 14,
7 Hos. X. I.
‘Labourers together with God !’1 ‘workers together with him !” ‘ the Lord working with’ us ! * admitted into divine fellowship of work !—will not this thought ennoble everything He gives us to do to-day, even if it is ‘among plants and hedges’! Even the pottery will be grand!
‘Be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work, For I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts.’ *