Thou fool! - To imagine that a man's comfort and peace can depend upon temporal things; or to suppose that these can satisfy the wishes of an immortal spirit!
This night - How awful was this saying! He had just made the necessary arrangements for the gratification of his sensual appetites; and, in the very night in which he had finally settled all his plans, his soul was called into the eternal world! What a dreadful awakening of a soul, long asleep in sin! He is now hurried into the presence of his Maker; none of his worldly goods can accompany him, and he has not a particle of heavenly treasure! There is a passage much like this in the book of Ecclesiasticus, 11:18, 19. There is that waxeth rich by his wariness and pinching, and this is the portion of his reward: Whereas he saith, I have found rest, and now will eat continually of my goods; and yet he knoweth not what time shall come upon him; and that he must leave those things to others, and die. We may easily see whence the above is borrowed.
Thou fool - If there is any supreme folly, it is this. As though riches could prolong life, or avert for a moment the approach of pain and death.
This night - What an awful sentence to a man who, as he thought, had got just ready to live and enjoy himself! In a single moment all his hopes were blasted, and his soul summoned to the bar of his long-forgotten God. So, many are surprised as suddenly and as unprepared. They are snatched from their pleasures, and hurried to a world where there is no pleasure, and where all their wealth cannot purchase one moment‘s ease from the gnawings of the worm that never dies.
Shall be required of thee - Thou shalt be required to die, to go to God, and to give up your account.
Then whose - Whose they may be is of little consequence to the man that lost his soul to gain them; but they are often left to heirs that dissipate them much sooner than the father procured them, and thus they secure “their” ruin as well as his own. See Psalm 39:6; Ecclesiastes 2:18-19.
While you pray, dear youth, that you may not be led into temptation, remember that your work does not end with the prayer. You must then answer your own prayer as far as possible by resisting temptation, and leave that which you cannot do for yourselves for Jesus to do for you. You cannot be too guarded in your words and in your deportment, lest you invite the enemy to tempt you. Many of our youth, by their careless disregard of the warnings and reproofs given them, open the door wide for Satan to enter. With God's word for our guide and Jesus as our heavenly Teacher we need not be ignorant of His requirements or of Satan's devices and be overcome by his temptations. It will be no unpleasant task to be obedient to the will of God when we yield ourselves fully to be directed by His Spirit. 3T 378.1
Now is the time to work. If we are children of God, as long as we live in the world He will give us our work. We can never say that we have nothing to do so long as there remains a work undone. I wish that all the young could see, as I have seen, the work that they can do and that God will hold them responsible for neglecting. The greatest work that was ever accomplished in the world was done by Him who was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. A frivolous-minded person will never accomplish good. 3T 378.2
The spiritual weakness of many young men and women in this age is deplorable because they could be powerful agents for good if they were consecrated to God. I mourn greatly the lack of stability with the young. This we should all deplore. There seems to be a lack of power to do right, a lack of earnest effort to obey the calls of duty rather than those of inclination. There seems to be with some but little strength to resist temptation. The reason why they are dwarfs in spiritual things is because they do not by exercise grow spiritually strong. They stand still when they should be going forward. Every step in the life of faith and duty is a step toward heaven. I want greatly to hear of a reformation in many respects such as the young have never heretofore realized. Every inducement that Satan can invent is pressed upon them to make them indifferent and careless in regard to eternal things. I suggest that special efforts be made by the youth to help one another to live faithful to their baptismal vows and that they pledge themselves solemnly before God to withdraw their affections from dress and display. 3T 379.1Read in context »
David afterward married Abigail. He was already the husband of one wife, but the custom of the nations of his time had perverted his judgment and influenced his actions. Even great and good men have erred in following the practices of the world. The bitter result of marrying many wives was sorely felt throughout all the life of David. PP 668.1
After the death of Samuel, David was left in peace for a few months. Again he repaired to the solitude of the Ziphites; but these enemies, hoping to secure the favor of the king, informed him of David's hiding place. This intelligence aroused the demon of passion that had been slumbering in Saul's breast. Once more he summoned his men of arms and led them out in pursuit of David. But friendly spies brought tidings to the son of Jesse that Saul was again pursuing him; and with a few of his men, David started out to learn the location of his enemy. It was night when, cautiously advancing, they came upon the encampment, and saw before them the tents of the king and his attendants. They were unobserved, for the camp was quiet in slumber. David called upon his friends to go with him into the very midst of the foe. In answer to his question, “Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?” Abishai promptly responded, “I will go down with thee.” PP 668.2
Hidden by the deep shadows of the hills, David and his attendant entered the encampment of the enemy. As they sought to ascertain the exact number of their foes, they came upon Saul sleeping, his spear stuck in the ground, and a cruse of water at his head. Beside him lay Abner, his chief commander, and all around them were the soldiers, locked in slumber. Abishai raised his spear, and said to David, “God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.” He waited for the word of permission; but there fell upon his ear the whispered words: “Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless? ... As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.” How easily the Lord can weaken the strongest, remove prudence from the wisest, and baffle the skill of the most watchful! PP 668.3Read in context »
Now is our time to labor for the salvation of our fellow men. There are some who think that if they give money to the cause of Christ, this is all they are required to do; the precious time in which they might do personal service for Him passes unimproved. But it is the privilege and duty of all who have health and strength to render to God active service. All are to labor in winning souls to Christ. Donations of money cannot take the place of this. COL 343.1
Every moment is freighted with eternal consequences. We are to stand as minute men, ready for service at a moment's notice. The opportunity that is now ours to speak to some needy soul the word of life may never offer again. God may say to that one, “This night thy soul shall be required of thee,” and through our neglect he may not be ready. (Luke 12:20.) In the great judgment day, how shall we render our account to God? COL 343.2
Life is too solemn to be absorbed in temporal and earthly matters, in a treadmill of care and anxiety for the things that are but an atom in comparison with the things of eternal interest. Yet God has called us to serve Him in the temporal affairs of life. Diligence in this work is as much a part of true religion as is devotion. The Bible gives no indorsement to idleness. It is the greatest curse that afflicts our world. Every man and woman who is truly converted will be a diligent worker. COL 343.3Read in context »
Christ changed the relation of the sinner toward God, taking the guilt from the inmost soul. The rich fool died in his bloated wealth, but the helpless sinner was brought to Christ, and manifesting his belief that Christ could heal him, he was not disappointed. His diseased mind was first cured, and then the great Physician cured his bodily infirmities. TDG 106.4Read in context »