A Word of Counsel
George Everard, 1885
"Give me your hand!" 2 Kings 10:15
"Jehu said: Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD!" 2 Kings 10:16
There is a distinction to be made between true and false zeal. There may be a zeal that is false and hollow — the fruit of natural energy, rather than of Divine grace. It may be zeal for self — rather than for God. It may strive to do that which lies in the line of personal inclination — but refuses to regard all the precepts of the Word.
Look at Jehu. He had a strong hand and a strong will, and whatever he did, he did with all his heart. He would perform in one day, what many men would scarcely have done in seven. When commanded of God to execute judgment upon the house of Ahab and the Baal worshipers of Israel — he was not slack to do it. It was a task that suited him, and he did it well. He utterly destroyed the whole family of Ahab, and all the priests and worshipers of Baal.
It was in this latter work, that he spoke the words at the head of this chapter. Meeting Jehonadab he asked him if his heart was with him in the work he had in hand. "If it is, give me your hand." Then he took him into his chariot, and bade him, "Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD!" He thought he was doing great things, and gloried in it. But there were dead flies in the ointment. His zeal soon died out, and he took no heed to keep God's commandments. He provoked God by his sins, and by-and-by judgment came upon his house as it had done upon that of Ahab before him.
But we will leave Jehu and gather up a lesson or two from this word that he spoke to Jehonadab, "Give me your hand!"
Learn here the duty of giving help where we can. It is a capital thing for a lad to lend a helping hand where it is possible. The palsied man was carried by his four friends into the presence of Jesus, and the Lord commended their faith and perseverance. The boatmen on the lake came and helped their friends whose strength was overtaxed by the draught of fishes.
Let it be your desire to walk in the same path. Think of others, their needs and sorrows — and it will bring joy into your own bosom. You will bear the burdens of others, and so fulfill the law of Christ. In this way too you will kill selfishness, which is one of the worst enemies with which we have to fight.
Keep on the look-out and see what doors God opens to you. You may help a little child across a stream, or pick him up when he has fallen. You may lend or give a Christian book to one in sickness or in trouble. You may carry a parcel for someone who is weary and footsore. You may lessen a mother's care or anxiety by your thoughtfulness. You may hold up in the right path, someone whose foot is slipping, and may thus save a soul from perishing.
"O strengthen me that while I stand
Firm on the rock and strong in Thee,
I may stretch out a loving hand
To wrestlers with the troubled sea."
"Give me your hand!"
Here is a call to unity and brotherliness. Clasped hands are an emblem of love and fellowship. A young man who went abroad left at home a mother who dearly loved him. So he sent her a ring, and on the front were two hands clasped. But the ring opened, and underneath the clasped hands were two hearts joined together.
Cultivate unity in the home. Nothing is more blessed than a home where father and mother, brothers and sisters, are loving and gentle and forbearing, and are all welded together like stones in a building, or as the branches of a tree are all one with the stem and the root.
So, too, we need to cultivate unity among various classes in a country. "I never knew a strike that did any good, except a strike against sin and the devil." It is true. Strikes and strifes, division and class feeling, and separation between rich and poor, employer and employed, landlord and tenant — all this is a terrible curse, and sooner or later does mischief all around.
Never forget that there is only one true bond of unity. It is the knowledge and love of God. The French talked of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity!" and then raised the guillotine and slew each other by scores and hundreds. Ah! they had left one word out. They ought to have put first "Paternity!" for if the Fatherhood of God had been the basis of their edifice, they would have learned the secret of true brotherly love and unity. Do something in this direction. Promote a spirit of peace and love, and let the love of God make you forbearing and forgiving toward all men. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
"Give me your hand!"
Take this as a call to faith in Christ. Your Savior comes to you. He knows all your waywardness and wrong-doings. He may know that up to this hour you have never cared to love or please Him. But He comes and holds out to you the hand once pierced for sin. He offers to you His friendship, His faithful loving-kindness, and His daily help. He would say to you, "Son, I have preserved you all your days, and have followed you in mercy and goodness. I know every sin you have committed, and every evil thought you have ever harbored in your breast; but, in spite of all, I am willing to forgive all that is past. Will you accept My friendship, My favor, My grace? Will you take Me as the Guide of your youth, and the Friend above all friends? Give Me your hand! Give it not to sin — it will bring you nothing but shame, and misery, and death. Give it not to the world — it will bring you only unrest and disappointment. Give it to Me, your Savior, your King, your Redeemer!"
What do you say?
"Yes, Lord, with all my heart I give You my hand!"