King's Business - 1938-09


T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S

November, 1938

Where Are the Nine?

By HERBERT LOCKYER Chicago, Illinois

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T CALVARY in His cruel death the Lord fesus suffered th e base ingratitude of man in all its full­ ness. In a measure of preparation for this sorrow, on His l a s t pilgrimage to Jerusalem the grate­

The phrase, “giving him thanks,” indi­ cates the necessity of expressing our grati­ tude to the Lord —a gratitude He looks for and misses when it is not forthcoming. Such gratitude is enjoined specifically: "Abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Col. 2 :7 ); "be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15); “giving thanks always for all things” (Eph. 5:20). It also glorifies God: "Whoso of- fereth praise glorifieth me” (Psa. 50:23). The cleansed leper by his thankful spirit gave glory to God (v. 18). Natural grati­ tude is the natural pleasure felt in prosper­ ity. But gracious gratitude—gratitude filled with grace—blesses God, as Job could, in adversity, because of faith in His wisdom and goodness. Thankfulness in Action Gratitude is one of the foremost blessings and the parent of all graces. It produces contentment in all conditions, and it places a bridle on all one's desires. It checks gloom, it destroys envy, and it returns with blessings upon the head. W e taste the sweetness of a gift twice over when we are grateful for it. Gratitude likewise fits us for greater blessings. God is ever ready to give more abundantly when previous gifts are prop­ erly valued, appreciated, and enjoyed. Often the added gift is far more precious than the material benefit for which we have thanked Him. To the grateful leper Jesus gave a still greater blessing, a "second blessing,” if you like. He was told that his faith had saved him (v. 19, R. V. margin). A cleansed soul now resided within a cleansed body. Valuing blessings as they fall upon our unworthy heads, we receive further tokens of divine favor. Again, gratitude is a remarkable discov­ erer. It can find causes for thankfulness in the most ordinary and sometimes unwel­ come things of life. If you set before me a tray of sand containing some small parti­ cles of iron or steel, clumsy fingers would never be able to separate the two. But give me a magnet to swing over the tray, and then in a moment of time the invisible par­ ticles of metal will be drawn by the power of attraction to the magnet. The unthank­ ful heart is like a finger in the sand search­ ing for fillings. It can find no mercies for

which to praise God. But as the magnet attracts the metal, so gratitude finds in every hour some heavenly blessings to sing about. "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” Doubtless you have read of the old lady who could thank God for her two teeth. She had only two left, but she was so grateful that they were opposite each other and thus she was enabled to chew! The Arabians put the case of gratitude and contentment very plainly in the shape of a proverb: “I had no socks and com­ plained . . . until I saw a man who had no feet." Think and thank! If hitherto you have lived in Grumbling Street or Whining Lane, remove to Gratitude Terrace or to Thanks­ giving Corner, where the air and district are of the best and the rent is no higher. At this moment, close your eyes and exclaim: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psa. 103:2). The Ingratitude of the Nine Being Himself the perfection of grateful Man in His relation to His Father, Jesus was saddened when the nine healed men failed to return to say “Thank you.” This is the reason that with a stung heart He asked: “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” Ah, where were they? Why did they push on with no overmaster­ ing remembrance of Him to whom they owed everything? Alas! we are often in the company of the ungrateful nine, for like them, we too take all we can get from God, but offer Him very little in return. Ingratitude— What It Is Ingratitude! It is a sin. The Apostle Paul would have us know that ingratitude is one of the characteristic features of heathenism. We read that men "glorified him not as God, neither were thankful . . . ” (Rom. 1:21). Ingratitude is a sin against God, against society, against ourselves. Ingratitude! It is robbery. Can a man rob God? Yes, he certainly can. The [Continued on page 377]

ful Christ tasted the bitter thanklessness of man. And that His thankful heart was stung by the action of the cleansed lepers is evidenced by His question to the one grate­ ful leper: "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” (Lk. 17:17). As the narrative contains several impressive truths worthy of our prayerful meditation at this Thanksgiving season, may the Holy Spirit guide us in our study. The Ten All ten men were lepers, being smitten with the same loathsome, hopeless disease. All were afar off. All cried for mercy (vs. 12, 13). What a picture of sin-stricken humanity! Thank God that the Saviour who cleansed the lepers can cleanse the more terrible “leprosy” of sin. All ten went to the priest in response to the command of Christ. All acted in the spirit of obedience and faith. As they walked, something happened—new life shot through their withered, corrupted frames. Their halting steps were made firm. Loath­ someness vanished, and pure white flesh was theirs again (v. 14). The ingratitude, therefore, of nine of these lepers was the ingratitude of nine men who had been cleansed and healed by divine power. The Gratitude of One Ten were healed, but only one, when conscious of the boon received, turned and fell at the feet of his Healer. Only one rendered immediate gratitude for immediate healing. This one cleansed man turned baqk: the other nine turned their backs and walked off with new, clean bodies, for­ getting the One who had made their res­ toration possible. With a croaking voice now clear and musical, only one of the lep­ ers glorified God for the mercy and miracle of healing (vs. 15, 16).

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