The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has my word, let him speak my word faithfully…
I. WHAT IS MAN'S WORD TO THE WORD OF GOD? God's Word has its base deep down amongst the eternal things of the mysterious past; and if there be clouds and dimness upon some of its higher peaks, it is because its top rises up amongst the sublimities of a glorious future. Now and then a gleam lights up the awful heights to which revelation towers, and the eye of faith is strong enough to see the rosy tints, which tell that those holier mysteries are near to the beauteous heaven to which they point. At such a time, the believer will say, "What is the chaff to the wheat?" The fallible comment to the infallible text? The earthly setting to the heavenly jewel? The basket of silver to the apples of gold?
II. WHAT IS MAN'S FAVOUR TO THE LOVE OF GOD? It is pleasant to live in the creature's love. There are happy family groups on this our beautiful earth, upon which the loving eye is glad-to be permitted to look. There are satisfactions which come over the soul when pleasures of earth are many, and the hopes for time are bright. The first sip of pleasure's cup is sweet. The first climb up ambition's hill is sunny. The first burst of hope s young bud is beautiful. Some are so smitten with the loveliness here, that they care not to look for the brighter things which are in store hereafter. But "what is the chaff to the wheat? "What is all this to the love of God? Oh, glorious thought! that I am loved by the Father of Lights, the King of uncreated glory! It is the candle of the Lord within my soul. It is the comfort of the Holy Ghost springing up unto everlasting life. To know the love of God, which passeth knowledge: this is peace, this is bliss, this is life.
III. WHAT IS THE BODY TO THE SOUL? We are fearfully and wonderfully made. This mortal body is beautiful in the very ruins by which sin has laid it low. And when the building of God, the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, shall have been given us, — when our vile bodies shall have been fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body, then the beauty of our material part shall be seen in all its glory. But "what is the chaff to the wheat?" Who can tell of all the value of a human soul? Coated, as it is now, by earthly matter, we see something of the brightness which this gem can wear. What will the soul be, under the light of heaven, in the crown of Christ? In righteousness and true holiness — seeing Jesus face to face — amid the pleasures which are at God's right hand for evermore, the spirit of the just made perfect, the soul of the redeemed in the garments of salvation: oh, it must be a glorious thing!
IV. WHAT IS THE WATER TO THE BLOOD? No earthly fountain can suffice to wash away sin. After all that civilisation has ever done to wash the outside of the cup and platter, it has never been able to touch, much less to purge, the heart. Man's resolution, man's effort to reform himself, man's contrivance to cure the soul's running sore, have all and altogether failed. The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin. It is the blood of sprinkling which purges the soul and conscience. Turn ye, then, from doing to believing; turn from self to Jesus; turn from earning to accepting; turn from water, which cannot cleanse, to the blood which will make filthy garments white: say in the matter of merit and salvation, "What is the chaff to the wheat?" What is self to the Saviour?
V. WHAT IS THE FORM TO THE LIFE? The words of worship are easily said. The attitude of worship may be soon assumed. But "what is the chaff to the wheat?" The eye of God is upon the worshipper's heart. The ear of God listens to the language of the soul. Put off, spiritually, the shoes from off your feet. Gird up the loins of your minds. Let the holy fire be kindled upon the altar of your heart, and the incense cloud of grateful praise will rise with acceptance before the mercy seat.
VI. WHAT ARE THE THINGS OF TIME TO THE THINGS OF ETERNITY? In life's endless progress, the earthly is the shortest stage. In the continuous chain of being, the lowest link is the least. When we shall climb up the great hill of eternal life, we shall see how small our earthly dwelling looks at the mountain base. How small earth looks to the eye which can travel over the visible orbs which come even within its limited field of vision. Oh, it is an important thing so to live that we may have life everlasting! Jesus bids us "seek first the kingdom of God." His servants say, "Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come" True wisdom bids a man "set your affections upon things above, not on things on the earth." We are all moving, things are all changing: it is madness to cling to these passing things, and say, Here will I dwell for ever. It may not be, it should never be desired. God has found some better thing for His children. He says, "What is the chaff to the wheat?"
(J. Richardson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.