Job 22:22
Receive instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart.
Sermons
Heart-TreasuresW.F. Adeney Job 22:22
MeditationT. F. Crosse, D. C. L.Job 22:22
Censorious and Uncharitable ReasoningE. Johnson Job 22:1-30
Peace with GodR. Gree Job 22:21-30
God's words are here regarded as heart-treasures, to be received with eagerness and laid up with care. The ignoring of the "Torah," the ancient Law of Israel, by the author of Job is one of the striking features of the poem. It would seem that the poet wished to set the scene of his great drama of providence in the open field of nature, free from the disturbing influences of a special system of religion. But now he does just refer to the word "law," or "instruction." There is a larger law than that of Moses, a wider teaching than that of the Pentateuch. All God's words in nature, Scripture, conscience, and Christ are treasures to be received and guarded in the heart.

I. THE NATURE OF THE TREASURES. "Law," or "instruction," and "words." These treasures are not, material things. Gold and jewels are not the most precious things. Good thoughts are worth more than diamonds. God's words are of the greatest value on several accounts.

1. Their truth. All truth is precious; Divine truth - truth about God and spiritual things - is most valuable.

2. Their bearing on life. God's words are not concerned with abstract truth. They throw light on duty. They show us the way of salvation.

II. THE SOURCE OF THE TREASURES. The Law is from God's mouth. He originates the commandment; he conveys the instruction; he teaches the truth. God's revelation is the original source of all truth, for we can only know nature in so far as God reveals it to us through its phenomena and by means of the faculties he has given to us.

1. The original Source. God made the Law, impressed the truth on nature, inspired the ancient prophet, gave the hearing ear.

2. The immediate Source. We can only receive the truth of God when the Spirit of God brings it home to us. Thus it comes from God to each individual.

III. THE RECEPTION OF THE TREASURES. We have to receive the Law and the words of God.

1. They are not in us by nature. Or, if it may be said they are with us in our pristine stare of nature, we have lost them through sin, and we need to recover them.

2. They must be received willingly. We can keep them out; therefore we are urged to open the door and let them in. The best revelation fails before unwilling ears.

IV. THE PRESERVATION OF THE TREASURES.

1. To be laid up. God does not favour us with a flash of revelation for the use or the enjoyment of a moment. The truth is given for a permanent good.

2. In the heart.

(1) The thought. It is useless to hear, if we do not comprehend and consider.

(2) The memory. "The hoarded memories of the heart" are stores for use in after-years.

(3) The affections. We need to love God's truth and make it part of our very being by embracing it in our deepest affections.

V. THE USE OF THE TREASURES. They are not buried in oblivion, nor are they kept only for show, like the Crown jewels at the Tower. In the heart they are at the source of the life, and they are there to inspire and influence the whole man. God's Law is to be written on the fleshy tablets of the heart, that there it may live and rule. This treasure within purifies the soul and guides the conduct. - W.F.A.







And lay up His words in thine heart.
What is meditation? It is thinking steadily, continuously, repeatedly, on a subject. Surely we can find time to think in this steady way, of your business, your family, your politics, your amusements even? Is it so impossible, then, to think thus of your God? How can you expect to grow in the knowledge of God if you never think of Him? It wants no learning, no singular vigour or acuteness, to think Christian thoughts; but it does want a Christian inclination: and if you have not that, do not blame the subject, but blame yourself. You may be sure that no man is better than he means to be. It is the seeker who finds. Idleness about one's soul often goes side by side with industry in our affairs, and the same person who is careful and troubled about many lesser things, will be seen neglecting the one thing needful. In the way of meditation, we set up defences of piety, taking home common rules, and building them into our secret resolves. God blesses these exercises of meditation, that they may lead us on in goodness, so that what, we find true in thinking, we should make come true in acting. The rule runs, "In meditation strive for graces, not for gifts"; that is, do not aim at impressions and emotions only, but try to become a better person, and more Christian in life. Warnings —

1. Every light throws a shadow; every virtue is haunted by a counterfeit. Meditation should never lead the fancy into false familiarity with heaven. The good man is, in a humble way, a friend of God, and a child of God, but a child still in minority.

2. Turn the matter of salvation, as the saying is, "with a daily and nightly hand." Thoughts come to us first as strangers; if received, they return as guests; if well entertained, they stay as members of the family, and end as part of our life and self. So bad thoughts grow into oppressors, and good ones into echoes and reflections of heaven.

(T. F. Crosse, D. C. L.)

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