1 Corinthians 7:17-24
But as God has distributed to every man, as the Lord has called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.…
In the "Records" of Dr. Raleigh's Life we meet with some striking thoughts suggested while he journeyed in Palestine. The following remarks are interesting and instructive: "It seems strange that events so great should transpire in a geographical area so small. Palestine is not much larger than Wales, to which, in some parts, it is not unlike, and not only is it small, but rugged, even what men call 'common.' Some travellers come back almost oppressed with the commonness of what they have seen. God does not need much earthly space, nor that the little should be of what men esteem the best, on which to prepare the scenes of the great drama, historical and celestial, which has been there unfolded. He does not want a continent with far-stretching plains and ship-bearing rivers. He wants only a strip of land running along the sea shore; a confused mass of mountain and high land and plain; a single river of moderate size, a lake, and a Dead Sea. Only so much — and the great drama may go on which has already culminated in a tragedy, and which is destined, on some future day, to end in a world-wide triumph. God has repeated that type and method of action often. Egypt is a river-bed. Greece is little else than rock and sea. Montenegro is an eagle's nest. Grandly the Divine action shows against a background of plainness! Beautifully the Divine idea is worked out in scenes of common life! The fisherman in his boat on the sea; the shepherd leading his flock along the hillside; sisters dwelling in a brother's house in a village — these, and such as these, are the characters illuminated for ever for the instruction of all the world. What can we do better than construct our life, and seek to have it inspired after the model of God's own action? Do our souls begin to hanker after the fat pastures, the broad acres, the rich estate, the ample, well-furnished house? And do we dislike the commonness, the ruggedness through which we must work our way? We are wrong, we need much less than we are apt to imagine, we must correct our ideal. We need only foothold — room to begin. We do not need selected and auspicious circumstances — we need just such as come. We may take the commonness and glorify it by our temper and spirit. We may vanquish the hardships of life by courage and industry, and fill all its scenes with a gentle and noble simplicity. We may put righteousness into it, strong as the bars of the mountains round about Jerusalem, and love in the heart of it, rising ever more like the waters of Shiloah, and so all our life will be a Holy Land."
Parallel VersesKJV: But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.