The Token of the King’s Grace
‘To-day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.’—2 Sam. xiv. 22.
AN answered prayer makes us glad for its own sake. But there is grace behind the gift which is better and more gladdening than the gift itself. For which is most valued, the ‘engaged ring,’ or the favour of which it is the token? Setting aside judicial answers to unspiritual prayers,1 which an honest conscience will have no difficulty in distinguishing, the servants of the King may take it that His answers to their requests are proofs and tokens of His grace and favour,2—of His real, and present, and personal love to themselves individually.
When they are receiving few or none, they should search for the cause, lest it should be some hidden or unrecognized sin.3 For ‘ if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me; ‘* so never let us go on comfortably and easily when He is silent to us. And instead of envying others who get
1 Ps. cvi. 15 ; Hos. xiii. 11, etc. – i John iii. 22.
3 Job X. 2. * I Sam. xxviii. 6; Ps. xix. 12; ib. Ixvi. 18
‘such wonderful answers,’ ‘let us search and try our ways.’1
Personal acceptance comes first. We must be ‘accepted in the Beloved ‘2 before we can look to be answered through the Beloved. Is there a doubt about this, and a sigh over the words? There need not be; for now, at this moment, the old promise stands with its unchangeable welcome to the weary: ‘Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.’3 Then, if you come, now, at this moment, on the strength of His word, you cannot be rejected; and if not rejected, there is nothing but one blessed alternative—’ accepted!’
Then come the answers! As surely as the prayers go up from the accepted one, so surely will the blessings come down. When Esther had touched the golden sceptre, ‘then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request ? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.’ * But there is no ‘half in our King’s promise. He says, ‘All things’ and ‘whatsoever.’5 And He does ‘do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,’ and more than fulfils our little scanty requests.6
And then, by every fresh fulfilment we should receive ever new assurance of our acceptance,— then (shall it not be ‘ to-day’ ?), as we give thanks for each gracious answer, we may look up confidingly and joyfully, and say, ‘Thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight.’ For He says,
1 Lam. iii. 40. 2 Eph. i. 6.
3 John vi. 37; Hcb. vii. 25. ^ Esth. v. 3.
6 Matt. xxi. 22; John xiv. 13. 6 Eph. iii. 20 ; 1 Kings x. 13.
‘See, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.’1
Accepted, Perfect, and Complete,’
For God’s inheritance made meet!3
How true, how glorious, and how sweet I*