The Review and Herald

788/1902

August 20, 1895

“Draw Out Thy Soul to the Hungry”

(Concluded.)

EGW

When the children of God manifest mercy, kindness, and love toward all men, and especially toward those of the household of faith, they bear testimony to the fact that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” It is because the law of God is trampled under foot, transgressed, and made void, that the world is becoming like Sodom, and like the world before the flood. In the midst of an apostate world, there must be those who represent loyalty to the law of God. A desperate confederacy will be formed among those who are breaking the law of God, and who are teaching others to transgress its precepts. They will make decrees to oppose God's commandment-keeping people. “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; and shall consume the glory of his forest; and of his fruitful field, both soul and body; and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return; the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.... Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian; he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.” RH August 20, 1895, par. 1

All the fifty-fourth chapter of Isaiah is applicable to the people of God, and every specification of the prophecy will be fulfilled. The Lord will not forsake his people in their time of trial. He says, “For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” Are these words of comfort spoken to those who are making void the law of God?—No, no, the promise is for those who amid general apostasy, keep the commandments of God, and lift up the moral standard before the eyes of the world who have forsaken the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant. “For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” RH August 20, 1895, par. 2

In the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah, the work that the people of God are to do in Christ's lines, is clearly set forth. They are to break every yoke, they are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to bring the poor that are cast out into their houses, to draw out their souls to the hungry, and to satisfy the afflicted soul. If they carry out the principles of the law of God in acts of mercy and love, they will represent the character of God to the world, and receive the richest blessings of Heaven. The Lord says, “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee Christ our righteousness; and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.” RH August 20, 1895, par. 3

Christ said of his people, “Ye are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Our good works go before us, and the glory of the Lord is our rearward. Thus it will be when we live out the principles of the law of God as did Christ. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.” That is, we are not to accuse those who make mistakes, to slight those who are in poverty and under oppression of adverse circumstances. We are not to find fault with them, and condemn them. They may have far more of the love and fear of God than have the ones who treat them with hardness of heart, and who manifest a spirit wholly unlike the Spirit of Christ, lifting up their finger, as it were in reproach and denunciation, as though God had placed them on the judgment seat to measure a neighbor or a brother, “speaking vanity.” O, how much of this has been encouraged! How much harm has been done because men have lifted up themselves in condemning others, when before God they were guilty of far greater mistakes and sins. They say to their brethren, “Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye,” when there is a beam in their own eye. RH August 20, 1895, par. 4

How different is the instruction that God gives to his people at this time. They are to draw out their souls to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul. Consider for a moment how much is comprehended in this instruction. God has manifested great love toward a fallen race. While we were yet sinners, he gave his only begotten Son, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The souls for whom Christ has died are of far more value than gold and silver and precious stones. Let men value souls as God has estimated them. Those who are in affliction, those who have erred from the truth, if so estimated, will not be passed by and left to perish. You ask, What kind of work is to be done for them? The Lord answers, “If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness.” Mark the word “restore.” You are to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” If we are more favorably situated than our brethren, let us be found making straight paths for our feet; for it is through the mercy of God that we are so situated. Shall we abuse his mercy, and because we are so blessed, become hard-hearted, unfeeling, unlovable, and unloving toward the very persons who most need our compassion? There are souls who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are almost driven to desperation. Instead of lifting up the finger, instead of speaking vanity, instead of reproving and condemning and taking away the last ray of hope that the Sun of Righteousness sheds into their hearts, let your words fall as healing balm upon the bruised soul. Be not like desolating hail that beats down and destroys the tender hope springing up in the hearts. Leave not the hungry, starving soul in his helplessness to perish because you fail to speak words of tenderness and encouragement. RH August 20, 1895, par. 5

Let those who have been speaking vanity repent of their work before God. If they do not, they will be left to feel the same suffering of mind that their neglect has caused a brother or a friend to endure. The promise is, “If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.” O, let us all place more value upon the words of God, and seek to comprehend their full meaning! Let us reveal in our course of action that the principles of the law of God are actuating us to love God supremely and our neighbors as ourselves. The pride of heart, the ambitious strife that leads us to gather in everything to what we term “the cause of God,” is not acceptable to God. We should carefully and prayerfully consider how we can best serve the cause of God by properly representing the character of Christ in all our dealings, whether it be in direct connection with the cause of God or with our own individual work. The Lord declares “I hate robbery for burnt-offering.” What a promise is made to all those who shall cherish the soft and tender spirit before God, who shall represent the character of Christ! “The Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drouth and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” RH August 20, 1895, par. 6

Who will accept the great privilege of honoring the law of God, and as co-workers with Jesus Christ, magnify it before the world? Those who are engaged in representing the character of God by keeping every precept of the law are here brought to view. “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breech, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob, thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” RH August 20, 1895, par. 7