(James Smith, "The Pastor's Evening Visit")
"Then I said, I shall die in my nest," Job 29:18
Job's nest was very comfortable--and appeared to be very secure. It was on high--and not to be easily reached. He knew that death could reach it--but he thought that nothing else would disturb it.
His conduct was consistent, his conscience was quiet; God was his Father, and providence was his friend.
"Then I said, I shall die in my nest,"
But, alas! Suddenly a 'storm' arose--the nest was destroyed, and the poor bird lay bleeding and exposed!
No earthly nest is out of danger! Temporal comforts are only lent to us. The higher the tree in which we build--the more exposed to the whirlwind and the storm!
Here on earth--we have no continuing city. In one moment--our fine nest may be devastated! Let us therefore endeavour to leave our matters fully with the Lord--and learn to be content with His appointments.
We must die. But when, and where, and how--should be left with the Lord.
Five minutes after death--it will matter very little whether we died on a bed of down, in a luxurious mansion, and surrounded by kind friends--OR as a poor diseased beggar, dying alone in squalor!
Present comforts may all leave us, and our soft nest may be scattered to the winds--but nothing can disturb our salvation and future glory!
"These all died in faith, ... and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11:13
"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16
Lost sinners should be afraid! They have . . . .
an angry God above them,
a guilty conscience within them,
and a yawning Hell below them!
As men cherish young plants at first, and fence them about to keep them from hurt, but when they are grown, they remove them, and then leave them to the wind and weather, so God besets His children first with props of inward comforts, but afterwards exposes them to storms and winds, because they are better able to bear it. Therefore let no man think himself the better because he is free from troubles. It is because God sees him not fit to bear greater.