James Johnston - Rochedale, Queensland, Australia Convention - 1967

Ruth 3:18, “Sit still my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall.” Simple Godly advice. Ruth was about to make a choice for the future that would make her more fruitful or would bring her great suffering and mar her future. Not in a hurry, wait and see how the matter will fall. Hasty choices made and regretted for all life. Weight up the choices we make that in twenty years’ time or more we will not regret those choices. Ponder the path of thy feet, weigh carefully the path of our feet. Ruth listened to the advice and counsel given. She had said, "All that thou sayest unto me, I will do," and what God says, do it. Why she was so faithful was because she was guided by the counsel of one who was godly. Her lot fell on the field of Boaz, not by chance but by God’s guidance. “All the city doth know thou art of virtuous woman.” Christ-like marks in her life. Virtue went out of Jesus. Something went out of His life into others. Ruth was expressing what had come into her life. There has been shipwreck and suffering through following wrong advice.


Sit still, my daughter and wait and see what is going to happen. Simple but good effective advice given. Simple things have optimised our lives more fruitful. After the children of Israel came out of the Egypt, the Red Sea was before them and the Egyptians behind them. Moses said, "Fear not, stand still and see the salvation of God, for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever." He was speaking to over half a million men. They listened to the simple counsel. Listen to the men of God. Moses wanted them to see their deliverance came only from God. The children of Israel went over on dry land and saw the Egyptians destroyed. A great thing and it should have been the means of guiding them through the wilderness. Good to look on the beginning of our days and the beginning should be able to guide us all through life.


Moses faced the same experiences as they faced in the wilderness. It helped Moses to get closer to God, but the people got further away. It has been said the sun that brings sweetness into the fruit helps it to ripen is the same sun that will cause of milk to go sour. God spoke face-to-face with Moses as a friend and that is the fellowship Moses was having. Moses knew the closeness of life could say to God, "He is my rock, His work is perfect and a God of truth and without an equity, just and right is He." He thought of the wilderness and he could say just and right. Moses vision remained very clear.


Revelations 1, this was not the first time John saw the Lord Jesus. When he saw Him, he fell at His feet as one dead. Saw Jesus clearer and brighter than ever and saw his own nothingness. We should be able to take two photos with us. One of Jesus high and lifted and what He should be able to do and what His life is. Also of ourselves, the more we get to see ourselves, the more unworthy we feel. Christ-like marks bought out in the life of Moses, when God would have blotted out His people, Moses prayed that God would turn His anger away and ask God to blot out his name, the great love he had for the sheep. He guided them through the wilderness with the love of God in his heart. Paul to the Roman said he was persuaded nothing can separate us from the love of God. The love of Christ in him and he wished that he was accused for his brethren's sake. Very great difference in having love for God and Christ, then having the love of God and Christ. Have that love for God in Christ.


When 10 brought back an evil report, Caleb stilled the people and said, "We are able to overcome," and he wanted them to get quiet. Caleb and Joshua were not affected by the murmuring of the children of Israel. How good to meet the person that have another spirit, that are not influenced by the wrong they know in others in the church. Wholly following the Lord. That is why they could put courage and love and strength into others. Those 10 were all responsible men who should have known better than they murmured and not only they that they cause the whole congregation to murmur. An influence on all the others. Serious thing to be spreading wrong. Those 10 died of the plague. God said they would perish in the wilderness and that only Caleb and Joshua would see the promise land and that their children would, also. These children with think of their parents perishing in the wilderness because of murmuring, and not a very good memory for children to have of parents.


II Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat prayed and said, "We have no might against his great enemy." We feel like that to as we face the experiences of life. They didn’t have to fight at all and God gave the victory. Something that enriched them, too. Were three days gathering the spoil. Always feel weaker after defeat and we feel stronger and have more joy when there is victory. Jehoshaphat joined himself with Ahaziah who did wickedly after that. We may feel there wasn’t any harm but there is nothing wrong that is harmless. No matter how small wrong may be, it is still harmful.


II Chronicles 21:6, “And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife. And he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord.” His son may never have married Ahab’s daughter if Jehoshaphat had made friends with the king of Israel. These things happen in families that should never happen if parents had more of God’s guidance. Things begin in small ways that they do not stop there. The son came to the throne and killed his six brothers. First wrong he did and then guided the people into the role of Ahab. Jehoram was written with incurable diseases and died as one not desired. Amen.