Our Works in God’s Hands
‘Commit thy works unto the Lord.’—Prov. xvi. 3.
SUPPOSE an angel were sent down to tell us this morning that he was commissioned to take all our work under his charge to day, that we might just be easy about it, because he would undertake it, and his excellent strength and wisdom1 would make it all prosper a great deal more than ours, how extremely foolish it would be not to avail ourselves of such superhuman help! What a holiday it would seem, if we accepted the offer, as we went about our business with the angel beside us! what a day of privilege and progress ! and how we should thank God for the extraordinary relief His kindness had sent!
Far higher is our privilege this day; not merely permitted, but pressed upon us by royal commandment, ‘ Commit thy works unto Jehovah!’ Yet this is but the third strand of a golden cord which is strong enough (if yielded to) to draw us up out of all the miry clay of the ‘ pit of noise,” where
1 Ps. ciii. 20. 2 Ps. xl. 2
the voices of fear and anxiety and distrust make such a weary din. We are to commit the keeping of our souls to Him ;1 then we shall be ready for the command to commit our way unto Him, and then our works.2 Then, having obeyed, we may exchange the less confident expression, ‘ Unto God would I commit my cause,’3 for the bright assurance, ‘I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.’4 Of course He is!
Not an angel, but Jehovah bids us this day commit our works to Him. It is not approving the idea, nor thinking about it, nor even asking Him to take them, that is here commanded, but committing them: a definite act of soul, a real transaction with our Lord. Suppose you have an interview with another worker, and, having had a distinct understanding as to what you wish him to undertake for you, you verbally and explicitly transfer to him the management and responsibility of some work. You are not actually in sight of it, you have no tangible objects to hand over, you might do it in a dark room, but the transaction is real. The burden of the work is no longer upon you, if only you have confidence in the one to whom you have committed it. And if you have the further confidence that he is considerably more capable than yourself, and can do it all a great deal better, you are not only relieved but rejoiced. Just such a definite transaction does our Lord bid us make with Him this morning. Will you do it? Will you not, be fore venturing away from your quiet early hour, ‘commit thy works’ to Him definitely, the special things you have to do to-day, and the unforeseen work which He may add in the course of it?
11 Pet. iv. 19. 2 Ps. xxxvii. 5.
3 Job V. 8. 4 2 Tim. i. 12.
And then, leave it with Him! You would not have the bad taste to keep on fidgeting about it to the friend who had kindly undertaken your work for you! If we would only apply the commonest rules of human courtesy and confidence to our intercourse with our Divine Master! Leave details and results all and altogether with Him. You see, when you have committed it to Him, your ‘works are in the hand of God.’1 Really in His Hand! and where else would you wish them to be? Would you like to have them back in your own? Do you think His grasp is not firm enough, or the hollow of His hand2 not large enough, to hold your little bits of work quite securely? Even if He tries your faith a little, and you seem to have labored in vain and spent your strength for nought, cannot you trust your ‘own Master’ enough to add, ‘Yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God ‘ ?3 Especially as He says, ‘Thou art my servant, in whom I will be glorified ;’ * by which ‘ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.’5
That for the past work. For the present, ‘I will direct their work in truth.’ 6 And for all our future work, a singular shining in the eastern horizon: ‘Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.’1
1 Eccles. ix. I. 2 Isa. xl. 12. 3 Isa. xlix. 4.
?* Isa. xlix. 3. 6 I Cor. xv. 58. 6 Isa. Ixi. 8.
‘ Isa. Ixv. 22.
Oh to be nothing, nothing!
Only to lie at His feet,
A broken and emptied vessel,
For the Master’s use made meet.
Emptied, that He may fill me.
As forth to His service I go;
Broken, that so unhindered
His life through me might flow.
Oh to be nothing, nothing!
Only as led by His hand;
A messenger at His gateway,
Only waiting for His command.
Only an instrument ready
His praises to sound at His will;
Willing, should He not require me,
In silence to wait on Him still.
G. M. Taylor.