‘Then I told them of. . .the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.’–Neh. 2:18
HOW naturally we should not only treasure, but tell any royal words spoken to ourselves! They would be more to us than any other utterances, and they would ensure the interest of our listeners. How natural for Nehemiah to tell of the king’s words which he had spoken unto him, though only an earthly and alien sovereign!
Now, ought it not to be just as natural, delightful, and interesting to tell of the words of our own, our heavenly King, especially when He has commanded, ‘He that hath My word, let him speak my word faithfully’? Not that we can ever tell all that passes in the secret audience chamber; nor would it be well that we should try to do so: for ‘the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.’ The King has gifts for us with shining inscriptions which ‘no man knoweth saving he that receiveth’ them, whispers which cannot resound in words. . .
Now it is these words of the King, spoken to our hearts as they are not spoken to the world, which we may profitably tell others, thus becoming ‘the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message,’ and spreading the knowledge of His words. Nehemiah did not tell of the king’s words which he had spoken unto somebody else, but ‘which He had spoken unto me.’ So, if we would tell the King’s words, we must first hear them. Ask that, like Ezekiel, the Spirit may enter into us when He speaks unto us, so that we may hear Him that speaks to us. ‘These words shall be in thine heart; and then, after that, comes the command: ‘Talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way.’
Watch to see what He will say, and no fear but that His words will be heard, and the more and more. For it is when he hath spoken unto us that we shall be strengthened, and say, ‘Let my Lord speak.’ And then He will say more to us, and show us ‘that which is noted in the Scripture of truth.’
It seems a truism to say that this telling of the King’s words will be ever so much more useful and resultful than our own words. Yet do we always act upon this? When we try to ‘speak a word for Jesus to a friend, does it not sometimes seem as if we were a little ‘ashamed of His words’? . . .have we. . .always ‘told them of the King’s words,’ which are spirit and life, and which should not have returned void–seed words, by which dead souls might have been born again; ‘sincere milk,’ by which babes in Christ might ‘grow’?
Surely there is no more precious talent entrusted to us, none with which we may trade with more certain success and splendid increase, than these words of our King. What we hear from Him let us commit to others, ‘that they may be able to teach others also.’ A simple text thus passed on (and who cannot do this!) may be the immediate means of wonderful spiritual help and quickening, and ‘the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God’ (not some otherwise concocted comfort) may comfort many ‘which are in any trouble’ without even one word of man as its vehicle.
Yes, we have a word for Jesus! Living echoes we will be
Of Thine own sweet words of blessing, of Thy gracious ‘Come to Me.’
Jesus, Master! yes, we love Thee, and to prove our love would lay
Fruit of lips which Thou wilt open, at Thy blessed feet to-day.
Many an effort it may cost us, many a heart-beat, many a fear,
But Thou knowest, and will strengthen, and Thy help is always near.
Give us grace to follow fully, vanquishing our faithless shame,
Feebly it may be, but truly, witnessing for Thy dear name.
–Frances Ridley Havergal from ROYAL COMMANDMENTS
(from MY KING AND HIS SERVICE)