‘Come down unto me, tarry not.’—Gen. xlv. 9.
IT is just this ‘tarrying’ that is hindering so many from coming to the Saviour. What reason could there be for Joseph’s brethren to ‘ tarry,’1 and go on starving a little longer in their own land, when Joseph was waiting to settle them and their father and their whole families in the land of Goshen ‘in the best of the land?”
I Gen. xliii. 1, 2. 2 Gen. xlvii. zx.
And what reason can there be for you to tarry, and go on starved and unsatisfied a little longer, when the Lord Jesus is waiting to receive you into the ‘pleasant land’1 of His all-satisfying love? Why tarry in the ‘far country’2 with the husks and the heart-loneliness? ‘Ye shall haste!’ said Joseph, for his heart was eager to do great things for them.
If you grant the reality of Christ’s love at all, do you not see that delay in coming down to Him, and hesitation in letting Him save you in His own way (and there is no other), and putting Him off from day to day, must be wounding His love ?*
Why do you tarry? Have you any reason whatever to give Him? ‘What wilt thou say ?’* Do not flatter yourself that all this delay and putting off is any preparation for coming, much less any part of coming to Him. There are no steps in coming to Jesus. Either you come, or you do not come. There is only the ‘one step, out of self, into Christ.’ There are no gradations of approach marked out in His Word. If you think there are, search and see; do not take my word for it; look for yourself, and see what is the Lord’s word about it.5
You have nothing to gain, but very much, perhaps everything, to lose by ‘tarrying.’ You are accumulating the guilt of disobedience. You are, it may be very unconsciously, hardening your heart,* and making the great step more and more difficult. Instead of being in a better position for coming to-morrow, you will be in a worse one.7
1 Ps. cvi. 24. 2 Luke xv. 13, 16. ‘ Cant. v. 2, 6.
4 Jer. xiii. 21. 6 Acts xvii. 11, 12. 6 Acts xxiv. 25.
7 Heb. iii. 7, 8. **”
While you are doing nothing, the enemy is very busy strengthening his toils around you, and they will be stronger to-morrow than to-day.
While you are, as you fancy, only lying still, you are drifting fast down the stream into the stronger current, nearing the rapids, nearing the fatal fall.
It is a question of life and death. ‘Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain.’1 It is the old story of
‘If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.’
I do not know any one promise in all the Bible for the lingerers. And if you put yourself out of the sphere of God’s promises, what have you to found any hope at all upon?
‘Tarry not! ‘2 Oh, if I could but reach you and rouse you!
‘And if I care
For one unknown, oh how much more doth He !’*
For one who perishes through straightforward refusal, there are probably thousands who perish through putting off.K ‘How shall we escape if we’ refuse—no, if we merely ‘neglect—so great salva-tion ?’5
Yet there is room! The Lamb’s bright hall of song,
With its fair glory, beckons thee along.
Yet there is room! Still open stands the gate,
The gate of love; it is not yet too late.
Pass in, pass in! That banquet is for thee;
That cup of everlasting love is free.
Ere night that gate may close, and seal thy doom;
Then the last, low, long cry,—’ No room, no room!’
Dr. H. Bonar.
1 Gen. xix. 17. 2 Heb. iv. 7. 3 2 Pet. iii. 9.
4 Matt. xxii. 3, 5. 5 Heb. xii. 25; Heb. ii. 3.