1 Samuel 1:9-11, 20-21; 3:19-21
AJM In reading these passages, I had in mind the thought of revival. We live in days that Paul describes to Timothy as difficult days (2 Tim 3:1), and as you look at that section in Timothy, you see how difficult the days are. There has been such a turning away from the things of Jesus Christ. Therefore, from that background, it should be an exercise with us that there may be revival – first of all, in our own hearts, our own lives; then in our local meetings; and finally, revival of interest in the things of Christ in our nation, which largely has turned its back on the Christian faith.
I thought, ‘Where does revival begin?’ And that is why I read in Samuel. Where does revival begin? It is the closing days of the period of the judges, and whilst there were some good times in the period of the judges, there were great lapses. What a sorry state of affairs confronts us in the beginning of Samuel! The official priesthood has failed totally. So where is revival, where is recovery going to come from? The seeds of recovery are sown through Hannah’s exercise. She had bitter personal circumstances, in that her desire for a son had been thwarted. But we see her in deep exercise in prayer. That is where revival begins. It begins as we get into God’s presence and pour out our hearts in heartfelt exercise before Him. That is what Hannah did. Her prayer, of course, is accompanied by a vow, a commitment – a commitment that, if God answered her prayer, she would give her offspring all the days of his life to Jehovah. I think in this first chapter of Samuel you have the seed plot of the recovery that comes about, even though we have years to wait for it in this book. It is down the line a bit before David is anointed, and further down before he becomes king. But God listens to this woman’s prayer, accompanied by her commitment, and He answers that prayer and brings about the first signs of revival, seen in Samuel himself – firstly in judicial speaking (ch 3:11 14), but also as a channel for God to speak. It says he “grew, and Jehovah was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground” (ch 3:19). I just thought, dear brethren, in these days of smallness in which we are – who of us has a Hannah-like exercise to be constantly in the presence of God, desiring that He would bring about revival? It may not come immediately, but come it certainly will. I think what moves God to answer her prayer is not only her prayer, but the fact that she made such a commitment in the vow that she undertook.
And then I thought, ‘Well, let us look at the effects of revival on these other persons I have read of.’ There is Jacob, an old man, 130 years old. What a life he had had! Yes, he had been quite a businessman. He did some shady deals there. But he also had a great sorrow. Great trauma came into his family circumstances. Here he is, living out his last days – and then the news comes that Joseph is yet alive. It is wonderful to get a glimpse, dear brethren, of the Man that is alive! That is really what stirs the heart in revival. It says that “the spirit of Jacob their father revived. And Israel said, It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive” (vv27 28). I would like us to get a little glimpse of what revival meant in Jacob’s soul, but also what it can mean to us, as by faith we have this vision of Christ alive. Following this, he becomes a blesser, and he becomes a worshipper. The effects of revival in persons are such that they can become blessers and can become worshippers.
I read in Luke 24, which is well known. The Lord Jesus Himself, the risen Man, comes into the circumstances of these two on their way away from Jerusalem, listens to them, but then speaks to them and causes their hearts to burn. The great need today, dear brethren, is for hearts burning for Christ. That is the great need of the Church today. As we are able to be on the way with Christ, and to have the experience of Him speaking to us, so we shall experience that heart-burning that is the evidence of revival. I wondered if we could just encourage one another along these lines.
DI Yes, I am sure it will be very helpful to consider. It is well known that it was the prayer of women that preceded revivals in this area in a time now past. And there were great revivals in the Western Isles, were there not? And they were preceded by the prayer of women. So it would link very much with Hannah’s exercise, do you think?
AJM Yes, I have been looking at some of these instances that you cite, and at the beginning of the last century there was great revival in Wales as well. As you say, what preceded it was the ardency of prayer. But it was not just a few minutes of prayer, it was day after day, night after night, persevering in prayer, calling upon God to answer prayer. I wonder if I have the enthusiasm, the commitment to be in God’s presence, so that there is a warrant for Him to come in and bring in real, living revival.
GNW Her desire was for a man child. It was more than a desire for a baby to keep her equal with her adversary, was it not?
AJM I think that, deep down in the exercise of her heart, she felt the weakness of the conditions around, the official conditions, the weakness of the priesthood. It was her desire not only that her personal wish would be met, but that a man would be raised up by God to uphold the word of God – to uphold the divine principles – and above all, to bring in conditions in the land that God could honour and bless. But it was a very deep exercise with her. The background to her family is that this household belonged to the tribe of Levi (compare v1 with 1 Chr 6:34 38). That should have been very telling in itself. But, as she looks out at the general breakdown, how she feels it! Dear brethren, we can get totally occupied with the breakdown around us and in us, and lament about it. But that is not reaching into God’s presence, asking Him to come in and bring in revival. It needs the perseverance of a Hannah to take up these exercises, not just as a matter of discussion, but to take them up in the presence of God, and prove that God can answer the prayer of faith.
DI Does verse 13 show the inward exercise and what went on in Hannah’s soul? It says, “Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.” It is an inward thing, is it not?
AJM I think so, and she was misjudged, as that verse shows as well. And she was prepared for that. But that in no way put her off the fulfilling of her exercise and her vow. She kept knocking at heaven’s door, in order that both her personal exercise and her more general exercise would be answered by God.
BAM I was thinking about Timothy. It speaks about “supplications, prayers, intercessions” (1 Tim 2:1). Looking at the footnote, it says, ‘Personal and confiding intercourse with God on the part of one able to approach Him.’ Hannah was able to approach.
AJM I think that is right. Prayer is something that is known to us. We have private prayers, household prayers, family prayers, prayers in the local meeting. But there is an enduring character about Hannah’s prayer. She is not going to give up, she is going to put God to the test and prove that He – as Paul says – “is able to do far exceedingly above all which we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). But it does need this resilience, this perseverance in prayer, accompanied by the kind of commitment we see in Hannah, to call forth a divine answer.
DAMcI I think this is vital, because we can become demoralised. But recovery is of God, and Hannah is in line with God’s thoughts. You have David mentioned at the end of Ruth. God had in mind to bring recovery in, and it is good to be in line with His thoughts, is it not?
AJM Yes, I think so. In one sense, it is a sad reflection on the general position that this falls on a Hannah. It is a man child she is praying for. What was Eli doing? What was the whole priestly side doing? But, despite that, she fills out her role, and she is not going to give up, because she has in mind that not only her personal exercise be met, but recovery and revival will be initiated that will finally secure the very praises of God. It is a fact, and it is worth looking into, that Samuel is born to Hannah, but further down the line Samuel’s grandson Heman is involved in the songs of Jehovah (1 Chron 6:33). God looks a long way ahead, and He is prepared to take up this woman’s exercise and answer it even though the full results may be some time ahead.
CJM As well as being demoralised, we can get complacent and think that conditions are normal. There is what is normal amongst men, but not normal as far as God views things. And Hannah here did not accept her position, she viewed it as affliction.
AJM I think that is right. I think that what happens is that certain conditions become accepted and lethargy sets in. But that has never been God’s thought. At the end of Ruth we have the signpost to David, and Hannah is one of the reserves used to appeal to God to come in by way of revival and recovery, so that these conditions of departure are not accepted as normal, but what one aims for is something that will delight and please the heart of God. That really leads to the bringing in of David, the anointing of David at the hands of Samuel.
AS It says that she “prayed to Jehovah, and wept much.” That would bring out the inward feelings of the exercise that Hannah was going through. I was thinking also that Paul speaks to Timothy, remembering his tears, and he goes on to speak about rekindling the gift that was in him (2 Tim 1:4,6). The footnote there is interesting: it is ‘revive,’ a reference back to Genesis 45.
AJM Yes, and it speaks there in the footnote as to the darkening state of things publicly. I think what you say is right: the weepers of Scripture are very interesting. Remember when word comes to Nehemiah about the situation in Jerusalem and the ruin there. It says, he “sat and wept, and mourned for days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of the heavens” (Neh 1:4). I think God will answer that. But the challenge to us in our day is, ‘Do my prayers before God have that character? Are they accompanied by these deep feelings?’ – that this is not just lip service in the presence of God, but it is accompanied by reality and genuineness that God must answer.
AS What about the tears that God puts in His bottle in Psalm 56:8?
AJM They are stored up. I am sure every movement in revival and recovery has been accompanied by men and women on their knees, but also in tears before God.
GNW It has often been said that it is the length of the road that tests us. I think what you are saying is right. I think we need patience. I was thinking of Daniel. He prayed three times a day (Dan 6:10), but it was a long time before he had his answer. And the first result, really, that we get here, just after this, is that the Ark is taken away (ch 4:11,22); so the exercise that Hannah goes through takes a while to bear fruit.
AJM I think that is right. In a sense things get worse: the Ark is taken into captivity, and then we have the years of Saul’s reign. But God has treasured up Hannah’s prayers. They have gone up, as it says of another, as a memorial before God (Acts 10:4). It is treasured up, and God is going to see to it that that prayer is answered. As you say about Daniel – and I often think about it – when the recovery takes place in Ezra and Nehemiah, much of that recovery is due to the prayers of a Daniel, of an Ezekiel, and of a Jeremiah. It is well down the road before their exercises are fully realised.
JAM Revival is seen in Habakkuk. He could pray. Think of the conditions there. He said, “Revive Thy work” (Hab 3:2). He could rejoice in God (v18). You see here that Hannah prayed; her heart exulted in Jehovah (ch 2:1).
AJM It is a lovely reference in the little book of Habakkuk. As you come to the end of his book things are looking very bleak. It is a poor harvest (ch 3:17), but inwardly Habakkuk is in joy before God, and he says, “Though it tarry, wait for it; for it will surely come” (ch 2:3). I think that should be the character of our prayers. Many of our brethren are getting older now, but let us not give up in prayer. It may be that it is in another generation that God answers these prayers, but answer the prayer of faith He surely will.
JAM It says of Paul, “Behold, he is praying” (Acts 9:11).
AJM Yes, that was his first step when he was converted. I think that became characteristic of his Christian life. He was a praying man.
WPC We might never have big meetings again, but that does not mean to say that there can be no revival. What is the secret of revival? The hymn says, ‘Be Thou with us’ (Hymn 254). You can have a huge company, but if Christ is not there, there will not be revival. But “where two or three are gathered together unto My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20). It is possible to have Heaven’s mind on any occasion, even when there are only two or three. We have to remember that.
AJM I think so. I think revival must be experienced individually first. Hannah, in the face of adversity and difficult conditions around, is praying and is weeping, but in herself – and she is misjudged – in herself she knows what this quickening, this revival, is in herself, and the next chapter brings it out. In her next prayer it comes out in praise, and in that prayer she is reaching on to the coming king (ch 2:10). I think that king takes us beyond David, I think it takes us to Christ Himself. So prayer – deep, exercised prayer – is most important in any exercise, but let it also be the prayer of faith. Someone has said that faith is the key that opens the door to God’s power (see Mark 11:22 24). So, in prayer, let us not just multiply words, but let us have the faith that God, in His power, is equal and able to answer according to His will.
WJS So it says, “Wake up, thou that sleepest … and the Christ shall shine upon thee” (Eph 5:14). You think, perhaps, that we tend to go to sleep in ritualism and just let things go on, whereas we want to wake up and see what is available in Christ. We must put our faith in Him, as you say, and that is where the answer lies.
AJM It was such conditions of sleep that existed at the beginning of Samuel. Eli knew that his sons were going astray, but he had no power to do anything about it. So God says, ‘I am marking what this woman is doing, I am marking what she is expressing in prayer. I am going to answer that.’ And through her exercise, through her prayer, over time, there is this waking up and finally, in type, Christ comes onto view.
CJM Do you think that when there is any revival, whether individually in our hearts, or in our gatherings, there will always be some form of opposition, or at least testing? Here, the testing came from an unusual source in the way she was misunderstood. But you mentioned Nehemiah. Those that were opposed to Nehemiah were quite comfortable until the wall started to be built, and then the opposition showed itself. So we should not expect revival without complications (from a natural point of view).
AJM Yes, in Nehemiah’s time, the opposition mainly came externally in the enemies seeking to stop the building work. But I think that where there is real, deep exercise, opposition will not prevail. This is a prevailing exercise, a prevailing prayer. As she goes into God’s presence, it is almost as if she is not going to give up until God answers her exercise.
DAMcI Do you think, then, that recovery is to a Person?
AJM It is to Christ, is it not? It is one of the wonderful matters to see that recovery is not to what the position was some years ago, but recovery is to a Person. So, numbers may not grow; that is in God’s hand. But in my recovery, is Christ enhanced to me? That is the great exercise.
DAMcI And so I may sorrow over lack of numbers or things generally, but where am I with the Lord personally? Because we shall never be collectively what we are not individually.
AJM I think that is what comes out here. The revival starts individually. And, you know, a revival cannot be man-made: that will fail. Revival must be Spirit-driven. That is what Hannah is looking for, that God will come into her exercise and put His stamp on it. That is seen in that “Samuel grew, and Jehovah was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground”. And we find that Jehovah revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh. That is: nothing is man-made – that is set aside, but God has answered Hannah’s prayer! “And the word of Jehovah was rare in those days; a vision was not frequent” (ch 3:1) – so in Samuel God ensured that He had a channel for His word to reach the people.
GNW But the light had not gone out (v3). The light may have been dim, but it had not gone out.
AJM Just burned low! I think that is lovely. “The lamp of God had not yet gone out.” Is that not beautiful! It may have looked just as though there were dying embers, but God can work with what is small and cause it to come into full flame. As the Book of Samuel goes on and we see David anointed, we are coming on to the signs that God has come into the whole matter and He is going to bring in a bright recovery that will, in type, enhance Christ to the people.
BAM In Zechariah it says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts” (Zech 4:6). I was noticing that Hannah speaks to “Jehovah of hosts” here (ch 1:11), it is the same One, the same One Who can give power.
AJM Just think of what that “Jehovah of hosts” had accomplished in the history of the children of Israel – how He had brought them out of Egypt, brought them through the Red Sea, brought them through the wilderness! Is He not able to bring about a vital recovery in Hannah’s day? The full fruits of it would not be seen by Hannah. But I think there are the seeds of recovery sown in her prayer and her exercise, and God honours that.
NJW Obviously this would be an encouragement to all, particularly to women. It is a woman who is praying, with a wonderful result. But, as we have said, here is somebody who is weeping. This was not just on the surface, this was deep, priestly feeling. And you find that with Anna, too, later on, and Simeon. That would encourage us all to continue in prayer, as this child grows and we see results.
AJM I think there is a depth in her prayer, and the accompanying life that goes along with that prayer in her self-denial and the making of this vow, reaching out to the Nazarite’s vow – I think that is what it refers to – and the committing of this child to Jehovah all the days of his life. And it came from the heart and exercise of a sister. And God says, ‘I will honour that.’
I thought we might look, too, at some of the effects of revival, and that is why I read about Jacob. His history is well known. Much of it did not meet with God’s approval. And yet, God is the God of Jacob! We find Jacob being passed through very deep family exercises, especially in regard to the loss of Joseph. Here he is in old age. You say, ‘That is how it is going to finish.’ Not so! The word is brought to him, and the evidence is there before his eyes as he sees these wagons that Joseph has sent to carry him. “And the spirit of Jacob their father revived.” It is so easy to get downcast and discouraged, dear brethren! Older ones (and some of us are joining that group now!) look back, and we think of how things may have been in the past. But let us get a glimpse of the glory of Christ out of death. Joseph is yet alive! It is the centrepiece of Christianity that there is a Man out of death. In principle, Jacob seizes that, and he says, “It is enough.”
NJW He had an appreciation of Joseph before this. He had made a coat of many colours that had marked him out so distinctively. Do you think we need to keep that in our hearts?
AJM Yes, I am sure that is right. It is interesting that Jacob had Joseph for seventeen years of his life before he sent him out, but he also had Joseph for seventeen years at the end of his life, because he died at 147 years old (ch 47:28). So there was the side where Joseph in essence was so lovable to his father before he sent him out. But what a thrill to Jacob, to Israel, to go and see the exalted Joseph – the Christ out of death! The Joseph who is exalted and over all Egypt – Christ exalted. That is the thrill to Jacob at the end of his days.
AJC I was thinking of Ezra, when they rebuilt the Temple and the old men wept when they remembered the previous Temple that had been built (Ezra 3:12). There was still something there that could be rebuilt for God, and through the exercise of Ezra and the other men that had had that bitterness like Hannah, the Temple was rebuilt – it happened!
AJM God supported it. What underpinned that was prayer and deep exercise, and God saw to it that these prayers were fulfilled. So, let us have a look at Joseph yet alive. It is wonderful to think of Christ being out of death!
GNW I was thinking of the names here: “The spirit of Jacob their father revived. And Israel said, It is enough.” Have you any thought as to that?
AJM I just think the prospect of Christ alive brings out the best in this man. The dignity of what he was as a prince of God comes to the surface again. “Jacob,” as we know, is the name for the man of responsibility that had come through all these traumas of his pathway, but “Israel” is the name for him as the prince of God. I think as he sees these wagons, and gets an impression that Joseph is alive, that dignity asserts itself. But you have some more to say?
GNW I was just thinking along the lines that you have. The spirit of Jacob revived; as you said, that is the responsibility and what he was. But it seems that what is of God comes more to light, and that is really the idea of a revival, that the work of God in persons comes to light.
AJM I think it is good to say that. It links with what we were saying, that a revival in me cannot be manufactured, and revival publicly cannot be manufactured. It must be of God, Spirit-driven. That is what is seen in Israel saying, “It is enough: Joseph my son is yet alive.”
DAMcI The Resurrection of Christ is to have a practical effect upon our lives. In Matthew, when the disciples go to Him, it says, “And when they saw Him, they did homage to Him: but some doubted. And Jesus coming up spoke to them, saying, All power has been given Me in heaven and upon earth.” There is nothing He cannot do. And then, “I am with you all the days” (Matt 28:17 18,20). Is Christ enough for us?
AJM I think that is right, and in a sense that is encapsulated in Israel’s movement here. The word comes that “he is governor over all the land of Egypt.” Remember, there was famine in Canaan at this time. And he says, “I will go and see him before I die.” But, in going, he goes there full of the experience of his history so far. The effect of being revived is not only in seeing the One Who is alive, in Joseph, but we also see Jacob coming out as a blesser; we see him coming out as a worshipper. The really revived person, revived in the light of Christ out of death, will become a blesser and will become a worshipper.
DAMcI Jacob rose from a deep trough of sorrow in the absence of Joseph, who, he thought, had died. But this is a tremendous boost to his latter days, to find that Joseph is still alive. We need revival to Christ, do you think?
AJM I think that is right. At one time he said, “All these things are against me” (Gen 42:36). It is possible to get despondent and to get down under things. But what does Christ mean to us? The fact is that He is alive and out of death, having met the greatest enemy of all! Surely a glimpse of Him and the power that He has is sufficient to beget this revival in each of our souls!
WJS So God’s thoughts of purpose were established when Christ came out of death. The whole thought of God, as far as man was concerned, had been lost, but what a revival there was; here, Jacob gets up. He really has come to understand that what he had in mind for Joseph has all come to fruition. That is wonderful. God is not working according to how we think nor how the world thinks.
AJM That is right. Jacob would have manufactured another way to have Joseph exalted, but this was God’s way. And finally Joseph says that to his brethren: “Fear not … God meant it for good” (Gen 50:19 20). And so it is that Israel goes down to Egypt to see the exalted Joseph. Israel is a different man. In the presence of Pharaoh, the greatest monarch of the day, what does he do, this old man who had come through such exercise? He becomes a blesser of Pharaoh. Finally he becomes a blesser of his sons, and of Joseph’s sons as well.
WJS So the outcome is much greater than we ever thought!
AJM That is right. Therefore, as has been said earlier, there is no diminution of God’s power, of God’s thought, because of smallness. Finally, of course, the answer is going to be great, but in these days of brokenness we can touch the greatness of these thoughts of God even in our own smallness.
BAM I was just considering the thought of movement. The next verse speaks about Israel taking his journey with all that he had, and, coming, he offered sacrifices to God, and God spoke to him. God had closeness with him again.
AJM Yes. It is very interesting: he says, “I will go and see him before I die.” Plenty of persons will say, ‘I will go and see him when I die.’ That is not Israel’s thought, but “I will go and see him before I die.” These wagons indicate some reference to the Spirit of God; there is the wherewithal in the Spirit of God to see Joseph alive. That is the thrill that comes into Israel as he moves to Egypt, that he has found Joseph alive, by moving in faith, and moving, in principle, by the Spirit of God.
WPC Going on to Ephesians 3, God is able to do far exceedingly above what we ask or think (v20). These two persons that we have been studying this afternoon were overwhelmed by the result of their inward, secret, private exercises. Hannah could hardly have expected that there would be a nationwide effect as the result of her handing this little boy over to Jehovah. And here is Jacob now; he could not have imagined that this could have happened to his favourite son. Joseph could not have had higher honours. That is what God is able to do. Now, we are heartbroken about the breakdown; we have had part in it in a very disturbing way. And yet the Head of the Church has never broken down, He cannot break down! And it is to Him that we have to cling. There is no other person.
AJM Yes, I think it is good to see that. We can get occupied with the breakdown; it is right to feel it, and it often becomes the topic of our whole life. But there is another side – what is my exercise before God that gives Him a warrant to come in and bring blessing? And that is what we have in a Hannah. In a sense, that is what we have in a Jacob, and in an Israel, as well. Who has an exercise like a Hannah today, praying in tears and fasting about the general situation? God is able, as you say, to do far exceedingly above all that we ask or think. There is no failure with God.
SH Joseph was the preserver of life (Gen 41:45, see footnote). The word was to go to Joseph (ch 41:55). It is the same at the present time: if we want food, we have to go to Joseph, go to Christ.
AJM Yes, that is right, Joseph had the key that opened the door to all these provisions (ch 41:56). Christ is the Man with the key, the Saviour of the world. How great He is!
I just thought we would touch on Luke 24, which is a very well-known passage. Again, we see these two persons; their hopes, in a sense, have failed. “We had hoped,” they say, “that He was the One Who is about to redeem Israel” (v21). And this stranger that joins them listens to their conversation. What grace there is in that! And then He speaks to them, “O senseless and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” And He takes them on this wonderful journey through these Prophets, through these Scriptures, through Moses. And the effect on them is that there is a rekindling. From these hopes that had been blasted, there is a beginning of revival. “Was not our heart burning in us as He spoke to us on the way?” Let us be honest with ourselves; have we ever had an experience of our hearts burning in us as the Lord Jesus has spoken to us on the way? It is a real exercise. We go from Lord’s Day to Lord’s Day, on the way, to get a touch that will set our hearts aglow. That can come only from Christ Himself!
DAMcI What would you say about the way that they recognised Him?
AJM Carry on.
DAMcI It was when He broke the bread. Was it the way He did it? What was it that affected them? For Mary it was His voice (John 20:16). What would you say about the way that they recognised Him here?
AJM I think it had been leading up to that. The burning of heart was on the way, and I think there was just something about His manner as He handled this meal, something about the way He presented it, that brought that final touch of conviction in their hearts that this was none other than the One Who had gone into death, but Who had come out of it. But you had some thought?
DAMcI It was just that they had had acquaintance with Christ. We have all had to do with Him, and we should be able to recognise when He comes into our circumstances.
AJM Yes, that is right. In a sense, their eyes were blurred, because they were occupied with the fact that what they thought was going to happen had not happened. So their vision was not clear. But here their vision is cleared completely, and their eyes are opened to see the glory of the Man Who is out of death.
WJS It says, “And … gave it to them.” Do you think that is divine revelation? That is why their eyes are opened. The Lord comes into our situation and opens our eyes, do you think?
AJM That is beautiful. There is just a touch about the way He does things. How many meals had they partaken of before? He has allowed the journey to go as far as this in order that their hearts would be ready to recognise Him.
GNW Peter says that He has left us a model (1 Pet 2:21). Is there not a model here for us as to how He dealt with these two? He does not tell them they are going the wrong way, ‘so get back!’ He goes with them. I think He brought in something for them to realise that He was alive. It is really back to what we had in Genesis, that “Joseph my son is yet alive.”
AJM He conditions them so that they do not need the instruction to go back to Jerusalem. It is just the natural, the normal, thing to do as having found Christ out of death.
CJM There is the voice that has been referred to, and there is the Lord’s manner or way, but do you think the Scriptures are also very important here (v27)? An honest study of the scriptures helps us to see the Lord, very obviously in the Gospels, but the whole of the Scriptures are taken in here.
AJM Who here would not have liked to have listened in to this interpretation? “He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures.” We are going through Isaiah locally, and there are some lovely bits in Isaiah, but there are also some very difficult bits, and you wonder, ‘What would He have said about this? What would He have said about that? What would He have said about Nahum? What would He have taken out of the Prophet Obadiah about Himself?’ “The things concerning Himself.” All these Prophets were signposts to Christ.
BAM The people you have read of today were all taken up exactly where they were. These two were not told to turn around and head back, and ‘I will speak to you on the way back.’ Jacob was still sitting there, and he had to be encouraged before he rose up from where he was; and Hannah went yearly to the house of Jehovah (1 Sam 1:7). These persons were continuing their ordinary lives. In the same way, we can be revived just where we are!
AJM So in these very circumstances in which we are, the Lord Jesus can draw alongside us and cause a heart-burning that will eventually not only recognise Who He is, but will certainly bring about revival. What these two carry back with them mingles with the testimony that is already there in Jerusalem when they return there.
WPC It is interesting that they were able to influence Him to stay. He had other places He wanted to go to but they say, “Stay with us.” He will not stay where He is not welcome.
AJM “He made as though He would go farther. And they constrained Him, saying, Stay with us.” What a lovely picture! They were not yet quite aware of Who He was. But there was some magnet that held them to this Person, and what a reward for them when He came into that house – the scales fell from their eyes, their heart-burning reached its climax, and they saw a glimpse of His glory! That is what is open to us! In our households, and in our local meetings, we can have such a heart-burning that we will discern something of the glory of the Man Who is out of death and, as we do so, it will bring about a revival in us personally and in our local meetings.
16 August 2014