Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

False Anticipations

Mark 4:19

Our hearts deceive us in promising I know not what contentment and happiness in the fruition of these outward blessings, when yet the event answers not our expectation. O says the deceitful heart, "If I might have this or that which I desire, so much living, such or such an office, or preferment, how comfortable and salacious a life should I lead?"

Well, when it has its wish, it fares with it almost, as with the Israelites in their quails: it finds more vanity and vexation of spirit in its presence than it did before in the want of this its so much desired good. Hence also that phrase of the "deceitfulness of riches," because they do not perform that which our hearts promise us concerning them.

In the same regard all worldly honors are called "lies" by David: "O ye sons of men, how long will ye follow after lies?" (Ps. 4:2). The lie indeed is in our own false hearts. We make them liars, in that we promise such great matters to ourselves of them. The rich fool promised himself a little heaven in his riches: "Soul, take thine ease" (Luke 12:19), but alas how soon did God disease him? "O fool, this night shall they take away thy soul," and then where is thy ease?

The reason of this deceit is that we, in our expectation of these outward things, before they come, apprehend only the good and the sweet, abstracted from the sour, the pleasure divided from the pain, but in the fruition we feel both, yes, more of the sour than of the sweet, and hence it comes to pass that nothing pleases us so well in the fruition, as in the expectation. Nay, almost nothing pleases us as much when had as when hoped for. Nothing, I mean, of these temporal things; as for eternal things, they are more loved by us when possessed than when desired.
—Daniel Dyke

Readings taken from Day by Day with the English Puritans


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