Our Annual Letter
"And Nehemiah continued: Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Do not be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!" Nehemiah 8:10 (compare Esther 9:18, 22).
It was a time of rejoicing in Israel, and after all the people had gathered together and the Book of the Law was read to them "from the morning until midday" (Neh 8:3), God's servant bade them go and refresh their bodies — yet enjoined them not to overlook the poor, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.
Like all Scripture, this verse has a spiritual and practical application unto us today, and contains a message for those who, by God's blessing, receive help from these pages. Ours is markedly an age of selfishness, and probably all of us are more affected by its evil than we suspect. We know that a goodly number of our readers need not to have their attention drawn to it — but others perhaps require to be reminded of this word: "Share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared" (Neh 8:10). If you find food for your soul in these pages, would it not be pleasing unto the LORD if you had us send the "Studies" to some isolated or shut-in saint who is cut off from the public means of grace, that he too may feast thereon and rejoice with you? We are satisfied that there is a close connection between the two parts of this verse. Certain it is, God will be no one's debtor; and if we are more lovingly solicitous for the good of others, we shall increasingly find that "the joy of the LORD is our strength" (Neh 8:10).
We have less space than usual for our letter, so must condense our remarks. We are thankful to report that our wonder-working God has maintained our small circulation — yes, granted us another slight increase. Once again, there will be at least two hundred who will not be entered upon next year's mailing list until we hear from them, for we dare not waste the Lord's money in sending this magazine to those who have lost interest in it. But we hope the majority of them will write us before 1949 expires. Beginning in the January 1950 issue (D.V.) will be the first installment of our long-awaited verse-by-verse exposition of the first epistle of John. Therein, we shall also start a new doctrinal series on "Human Depravity." "The Life and Times of Joshua" is to be continued, and our articles on the divine inspiration of the Scriptures are to be followed by several on their interpretation, which, though somewhat technical, should be of special interest and importance to preachers. We sincerely trust that all who desire the 1950 issues will send in for them before copies of the earlier months are exhausted. Yet if hundreds write us during the next few weeks, we would ask them to please allow us a few days in acknowledging their letters.
By the goodness of God, both of us have enjoyed our usual health throughout the year, and we close with a small credit balance. Praise God and continue in prayer. With hearty Christian greetings. Yours by divine mercy — A. W. and V. E. Pink