‘And King Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty.’–1 Kings 10:13
ALL God’s goodness to us is humbling. The more He does for us, the more ready we are to say, ‘I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast shewed unto Thy servant.’ The weight of a great answer to prayer seems almost too much for us. The grace of it is ‘too wonderful’ for us. It throws up in such startling relief the disproportion between our little, poor, feeble cry, and the great shining response of God’s heart and hand, that we can only say: ‘Who hitherto? Is this the manner of man, O Lord God?’
But it is more humbling still, when we stand face to face with great things which the Lord hath done for us and given us, which we never asked at all, never even thought of asking–royal bounty, with which not even a prayer had to do. It is so humbling to get a view of these, that Satan tries to set up a false humility to hinder us from standing still and considering how great things the Lord hath done for us; thus he also contrives to defraud our generous God of the glory due unto His name.
For, of course, we do not praise for what we will not recognize.
To begin at the beginning, we certainly did not ask Him to choose us in Christ Jesus before the world began, and to predestinate us to be conformed to the image of His son. Was not that ‘royal bounty’ indeed?
Then we certainly did not ask Him to call us by His grace; for before that call, we could not have wished, much less asked, for it. Then, who taught us to pray, and put into our entirely corrupt and sinful hearts any thought of asking Him for anything at all? Was not all this ‘royal bounty?’
. . .Why, it is all ‘royal bounty’ from beginning to end! And this is going on now, and will go on forever, when He has brought us with gladness and rejoicing into His own palace. Not till then shall we understand about those riches of glory in Christ Jeus, out of which He is even now pouring out the supply of all our need.
When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know–
Not till then–how much I owe!
–Frances Ridley Havergal from ROYAL BOUNTY