HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” (John 13:7).
We have only a partial view here of God’s dealings, His half-completed, half-developed plan; but all will stand out in fair and graceful proportions in the great finished Temple of Eternity! Go, in the reign of Israel’s greatest king, to the heights of Lebanon. See that noble cedar, the pride of its compeers, an old wrestler with northern blasts! Summer loves to smile upon it, night spangles its feathery foliage with dewdrops, the birds nestle on its branches, the weary pilgrim or wandering shepherd reposes under its shadows from the midday heat or from the furious storm; but all at once it is marked out to fall; The aged denizen of the forest is doomed to succumb to the woodman’s stroke!
As we see the axe making its first gash on its gnarled trunk, then the noble limbs stripped of their branches, and at last the “Tree of God,” as was its distinctive epithet, coming with a crash to the ground, we exclaim against the wanton destruction, the demolition of this proud pillar in the temple of nature. We are tempted to cry with the prophet as if inviting the sympathy of every lowlier stem–invoking inanimate things to resent the affront–“Howl, fir tree; for the cedar has fallen!”
So it is in the church when we see an example, a tree planted by the rivers of water that is bringing forth fruits for the kingdom of heaven. We see how members of the church set out to destroy, scandal and gossip and for what? When that man falls I want to encourage you to let God work on you so the strength and power that lies in you will not be in vain.
But wait for a little. Follow that gigantic trunk as the workmen of Hiram launch it down the mountainside; thence conveyed in rafts along the blue waters of the Mediterranean; and last, of all, behold it set a glorious polished beam in the Temple of God. As you see its destination, placed in the very Holy of Holies, in the diadem of the Great King–say, can you grudge that “the crown of Lebanon” was despoiled, in order that this jewel might have so noble a setting?
That cedar stood as a stately prop in Nature’s sanctuary, but “the glory of the latter house was greater than the glory of the former!”
How many of our souls are like these cedars of old! God’s axes of the trial have stripped and bared them. We see no reason for dealings so dark and mysterious, but He has a noble end and object in view; to set them as everlasting pillars and rafters in His Heavenly Zion; to make them a “crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of our God.”
All is not lost when you think your life is destroyed, God has a place to put you so He can use you. The stone many ministers reject often comes the head of the corner. Hallelujah