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Advice: Lay In for Bad Times

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay In for Bad Times}

Those of you who are experiencing good times for trading now, make provision for bad times. Lay in for changes. Do not be like the grasshopper that spends everything in summer and when the winter comes, starves.1503 Every summer has its winter. North winds have their season to blow on Christ’s garden, as well as the south (Song of Solomon 4:16).1504 Good and evil have their turns with Christians in this life. It is only the Dives (Luke 16:19)1505 who have their good things in this life. Here, the saints have no lasting city (Hebrews 13:14).1506 Created comforts, whether spiritual or carnal, are subject to be shaken or taken away. “This expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:27 NASB). The life of believers is made up of changing circumstances, as Naomi, who was once full, then empty (Ruth 1:21).1507 Their life is like ships going from port to port: now they have calms, then storms. None but the wicked, and not always them either, are exempted from changes in this life (Psalm 55:19).1508 David thought that his mountain was so strong it could not be moved, but found out to his cost that he was in error. “Now in my prosperity I said, ‘I shall never be moved.’ Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled” (Psalm 30:6–7 NKJV). Prosperity and affliction should both be thought through carefully.1509 Think of your most promising condition here: although your life may be a beautiful structure, it is merely a tent (2 Peter 1:14).1510 Sin puts wheels on every condition below and makes them movable. An ambassador said to the Romans who boasted of the height and strength of their walls, “They are not so high that sin cannot bring them down.” The same must be said of the most flourishing condition of saints in this world. Is your store full now? A time may come when you must spend it down. Dionysius II had four hundred ships, an army of a hundred thousand foot soldiers, nine thousand horsemen, and the richest armory of any prince, yet he lived long enough to lose it all. Christians may have their losing times as well as their profitable times, and should lay in for times of need.

There are four special seasons when gracious souls will have need of their store to relieve them; times of:

1503It is not clear that this is actually the case. In most species, fully adult grasshoppers live only several weeks after mating, and this seems to be true even in areas where adequate vegetation remains in winter. Some grasshopper species actually overwinter and live for about two years. Predators take a very high toll on grasshopper populations at all stages of their life cycle. It is known, however, that in some cases food availability does determine adult lifespan.

1504Awake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south; Make my garden breathe out fragrance, Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits!” (Song of Solomon 4:16 NASB).

1505There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day” (Luke 16:19 NKJV).

1506For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14 ESV).

1507I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:21 NASB).

1508God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah because they do not change and do not fear God” (Psalm 55:19 ESV).

1509The original is very unclear here.

1510“…knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me” (2 Peter 1:14 NKJV).

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