I. SEPARATIONS BETWEEN LOVING FRIENDS ARE OFTEN EXPEDIENT AND NECESSARY.
II. SEPARATIONS ARE SOMETIMES THE OCCASION OF ALMOST THE BITTEREST SORROWS OF HUMAN LIFE.
III. SEPARATIONS MAY, BY GOD'S GRACE, BE MADE A DISCIPLINE OF THE SOUL'S HEALTH AND WELFARE.
IV. SEPARATIONS MAY BE OVERRULED, BY GOD'S PROVIDENCE, FOR THE REAL GOOD, PROSPERITY, AND HAPPINESS OF THOSE WHO ARE PUT APART.
V. SEPARATIONS REMIND US OF HIM WHO HAS SAID, "I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE; I WILL NEVER FORSAKE THEE" - T.
1. Promises of speech and purposes of spirit should walk hand in hand together. None ought to promise with their mouths what they do not purpose with their hearts; this is to be fraudulent and deceitful, which is destructive to human society. God's children are all such as will not lie (Isaiah 63:8), to say and unsay, or to say one thing and think another, to blow hot and cold with one blast. Ye that have promised to give up yourselves to Christ, and to go with Him in ways of holiness, it must be your purpose to depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19; Revelation 14:4; Hosea 2:7).
Surely we will return with thee.I. PROMISES OF SPEECH AND PURPOSES OF HEART, WHETHER TO GOD, TO HIS CHURCH, OR TO INDIVIDUALS, OUGHT TO GO HAND IN HAND. If a man's word does not express his meaning and bind him, nothing can.
II. PROMISES AND PURPOSES OFTEN PROCEED FROM PASSION INSTEAD OF PRINCIPLE.
III. PROMISES AND PURPOSES PROCEEDING MERELY FROM PASSION SOON FALL TO THE GROUND. "I go, sir," one said in the Gospels, and "went not." Some persons melting under the ministry of the Word as a summer brook (Job 6:15-20). A changed heart necessary to perseverance. Saul may have religious fits, and Jehu much zeal; for want of a regenerated nature both come to nothing.
2. Promises of the mouth, yea, and purposes of the mind, do oft proceed from passion, and not from principle. So did Orpah's here; it was only a pang of passion which the discreet matron prudently distrusts, and therefore tries them both with powerful dissuasives. Thus Saul in a passion promised fairly to David (1 Samuel 24:16, 17, and 1 Samuel 26:21), and David discovered all those fair promises to proceed more from sudden passion than from fixed principles; therefore did he distrust both his talk and his tears. Hereupon David gets him up into the hold, well knowing there was little hold to be taken at such passionate promises and protestations (1 Samuel 24:22). Yea, and out of the land too, as not daring to trust his reconciliation in passion and strong conviction without any true conversion (1 Samuel 26:25, and 1 Samuel 27:1,2,4), otherwise his malice had been restless and he faithless.
3. Purposes and promises that proceed from passion, and not from principle, do soon dwindle away into nothing. Thus did Orpah's (ver. 14), who said with that son in the parable (Matthew 21:30), "I go, sir"; yea, but when, sir? So here, it is certain we will return with thee, was enough uncertain. It is a maxim, second thoughts are better than first, but Orpah's first were better than her second; her purposes and promises do dwindle away and vanish into smoke.
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