Sunday, December 11, 2011

Where Are You Building?

Sunday's Quips and Quotes

 From the Letters of
Samuel Rutherford


"Build your nest upon no tree here; for ye see God hath sold the forest to death; and every tree whereupon we would rest is ready to be cut down, to the end we may fly and mount up, and build upon the Rock, and dwell in the holes of the rock."

--Samuel Rutherford, Letter IV 

(Letter written Jan 15, 1629 to Lady Kenmure as her Pastor on the occasion of the death of her infant daughter. Tribulation [is]the portion of God's people, and intended to wean them from the world)

Happy 78th Birthday to my dear mother, Evelyn L. Metcalf of Modesto, CA. I love you Mom!


Brian Ray Todd said...

Pastor Gregg, Could you please explain the metaphor of the forest and the rock? This quote has peaked my interest and I want to fully understand the message. Blessings, Brian

Gregg Metcalf said...

Lady Kenmure's daughter had died and she was grieving. As her pastor, Rutherford encouraged her to not place her hopes or affections the trees of this earth (her dead daughter) on the things of this earth. Why? Earthy things are likened to trees. He is saying don't set your affection on the trees or things in this life to highly or incorrectly, because God has determined to one day destroy this "forest" ( earthy things). So, rise higher than any earthly thing and place your faith and hope and expectation on the Rock (which is Christ) and live your life by faith in the small caves carved in the rock. In other words, don't aspire to the things of this earth, but aspire higher to Christ and to live in him and all that He is and provides.

A believer who loves his children can even rise above the loss and the grief by realizing that Christ is even better than children.

Rytherford is not being insensitive to his church member but wants her to aspire higher in her love for Christ than even her love for her latley departed child.

As a Pastor, Rutherford knew that this could discourage her, distract her, or even destroy her.

This is in line with Christ's statement in Luke 14:26 - "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers ans sisters, yes and eve his own life he cannot be my disciple."

We don't literally hate our children, especially a dead one, but our affections should be higher than our family and centered on the rock and our family, including the death of a child should not cause to grieve in such a way that takes us away from loving, serving, enjoying, trusting, and worshiping God.

So, the trees are things on this earth, trees making of a forest that God has determined to cut down one day. Therefore, don't love the trees or the forest, love the rock, the rock which is God and live in the very "cracks" or in the person of that Rock.

Arlee Bird said...

Happy birthday to your Mother!

Folks had a way with words back then.

On 12/12—Blogging advice from a blogging expert (no it’s not me)
Tossing It Out

Petra said...

Awesome quote!