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’ 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’? And what reason can there be for you to tarry, and go on starving and unsatisfied a little longer, when the Lord Jesus is waiting to receive you into the ‘pleasant land’ of His all-satisfying love? Why tarry in the ‘far country’ with the husks and the heart loneliness? ‘Ye shall haste!’ said Joseph, for his heart was eager to do great things for them.
YOU WILL NEVER COME AT ALL?
I do not know any one promise in all the Bible for the fingerer’s. And 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?
Any part of coming to Him? There are no steps in coming to Jesus either 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 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; Acts 17:11-12, do not take my word for it; look for yourself, and see what the Lord’s word about it is.
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 taking 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.
While you are doing nothing, the enemy is very busy strengthening his toils around you, and they will be stronger tomorrow than today.
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.’ Genesis 19:17. It is the old story of ‘If you tarry till you’re better, you put yourself out of the sphere of God’s promises, what have you to unknown,
Oh, how much more doth He!’ For one who perishes through straightforward refusal, there are probably thousands who perish through putting off. ‘How shall we escape if we’ refuse-no, if we merely ‘neglect so great salvation?’
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!’ found any hope at all upon? ‘Tarry not!’ Oh, If I could but reach you and rouse you!
“My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
What a loving call! What astonishing condescension, that the Heavenly Bridegroom should use such words to-whom? Would you not like to be able to fill up that blank, and say, ‘My Beloved spake, and said unto me!‘
Perhaps you think this is too much for you. You feel too sinful and unworthy to be so loved,-too defiled to be called ‘my fair one. If so, will you turn to a wonderful picture of those upon whom He sets His love, and of what His love does for them, asking the Holy Spirit to open your eyes while you read it, that you may behold wondrous things out of it. Psalm 119:18.
I will not quote it here, because I want you to go to His own Book for it. See in it how the Lord Jesus goes down to the very depths, Psalm 40:2 and begins at the very beginning. Your case is not deeper than those depths; for it is even when we are dead in sins that the great love wherewith God loved us reaches and raises us. He says, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and rise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ You cannot be worse than ‘dead;’ and the very sense of sin and death working in you is a proof that He has said unto you, ‘Live!’
The call to arise and come away is a proof that He is passing by. And when Jesus passes by, He looks upon you, though you are not yet able to see Him. And He says that when He does this, it is ‘the time of love.’ And oh, what that implies! What will He not do, when the bright, warm, powerful rays of the love which passeth knowledge Ephesian 3:19 are focused upon you, and He says even to you, ‘My love!’ giving you the glorious right to respond, ‘My Beloved!’
Read on, and see what He will do ‘then!’ ‘Then‘ the ‘thoroughly’ Psalm 51:2 washing and the anointing which prepares you for the delight of the King. ‘Then’ the clothing, the girding and the covering, each with their treasures of significance. Then ‘also’ the decking and the crowning, and the being made ‘exceeding beautiful’ and ‘perfect through my comeliness which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God! When He puts the beauty of the Lord our God upon us, then He can indeed say, ‘My fair one!’ ‘Fair only with His comeliness; otherwise the fairest natural character that was ever seen is ‘black as the tents of Kedar,’-those miserable goats’ hair tents, which are to this day the very type of the filthiest blackness. Yet with it, whatever your natural character, and whatever your added deformity through having been ‘accustomed to do evil,’ you will be ‘comely as the curtains of Solomon, the type of all that is costly and beautiful in colours and workmanship.
Let Him do all this for you! Philippians. Rise up and come away from all that pollutes and separates you from Him. ‘Shake thyself from the dust, and arise!’ ‘Arise; shine, for thy Light is come!’ ‘Though ye have lien among the pots, Psalm 68:13 yet’ when you come to the Light that is come so close to you, ‘yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold,’ shining and gleaming as you rise and come away, resplendent in the beams of the Sun of righteousness. ‘Rise, He calleth thee!’ Come away.
COMING AFTER JESUS.” Come and follow Me.” Mat 19:21 Following is the only proof of coming. There is hardly a commoner lamentation than this: ‘I do not know whether I have come or not!’ And nobody ever says that with a happy smile. It is always with a dismal look; and no wonder! When so much hinges upon it,-poverty, or riches, safety or danger, life or death,-uncertainty must and will be miserable. Now, do you really want to know whether you have come or not? Our Lord gives you the test, ‘Come and follow Me!’ Matthew 20:34.
If you are willing for that, willing with the will that issue in act and deed, then the coming is real. If you are not willing to follow, then you may dismiss at once any idea that perhaps you have come or are coming: there is no reality in it, and there is nothing for you but to go away sorrowful, as the rich young man did, who ‘came,’ but would not ‘follow.’ Matthew 19:22.