Continual Allowance |
J. Wilbur Chapman (1859-1917)
his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king,
a daily rate for every day, all the days of his
life." —2 Kings 25:30.
is a striking text, but the story it introduces is more striking by far. The Bible
itself and its teachings, and the man who says that it is contradictory in its
an ignorance which is inexcusable. I know of no better illustration of this fact
Jehoiakim the father and Jehoiachin the son. It was this Jehoiakim who was sitting
his summer house
when Jehudi came to him to read the scroll containing the words of the
Lord. The king became very angry,
and cut it with his penknife, and cast it into the fire. He
a destructive critic of the early school, and he was like the men of to-day who
because they cut away at the Scriptures, they shall be overthrown; but God always
sustains His Word. After this scroll
was destroyed, Jeremiah had only to call Baruch the scribe,
he dictated to him the whole scroll again; and some day the very ashes of that
in judgment against Jehoiakim.
He was a tyrant of the worst character.
Notice what Jeremiah says about him:
be unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers
cannot mock God. The reckoning time is surely coming, when the oppressor shall
that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not
for his work;
That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and
out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.
reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and
do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? He judged the
the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know Me?
LORD. But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness,
and for to
shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it"
the one whom
he has oppressed, and the thief shall stand before the one from whom he has
stolen, and the deceiver shall
be face to face with the one upon whom he has practiced
and the books shall be opened. Line upon line, sin upon sin shall stare him in
face. It is a
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. There was something awful
the curse pronounced
"He shall be buried with the burial
of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of
and again: "O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the
LORD, Write ye this man childless,
a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his
shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah."
In the face of all this wrath, Jehoiachin
comes upon the scene, and was made king of the
of Judah. I can hear the enemies of God scoff when it seemed as if the curse was
amount to nothing.
It is in vain to stand before God's providences. As well might one take his
place in the way of the mountain
avalanche to retard its progress as try to hinder the plan of
In thirteen short weeks Jehoiachin was dethroned, the time was actually too short
now we have a picture of the dethroned king as bad as it can be. Behind him the
memory of his father; he had cursed
God, and had murdered Urijah, and had died a horrible
and instead of being on the throne we find Jehoiachin in the dungeon.
2 Kings 25:27: "And it came to pass
in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of
For three-eighths of a century he
had not seen the sun rise, neither had he seen it set. All the
he had waked and slept, bound with the clanking chain. Little children became
he still suffered. Old men passed away and were forgotten, and he was in the
darkness. God pity the man who
has been for thirty-seven years in prison! I said to a man in
Joliet prison, who had been a prisoner for the same length of time:
"Would you like to be free?"
The tears came into his eyes as
he said: "Why should I long to be free? The companions of my
are gone, and a new generation is living. My family is scattered, I do not know
I desire to be free?"
Jehoiachin must have been like that.
It was an awful picture, and yet not more terrible than
be seen upon our streets every day. There are men who walk amongst us who are
just as real. Sin is an awful taskmaster. Satan is a terrible tyrant. But in all
of Jehoiachin, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, comes upon the scene, and what
he said and did is the message
of this hour.
2 Kings 25:27: "Evil-merodach king
of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up
head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison."
I was at a loss to understand what
that expression — "lift up the head" — meant until I read
Genesis 40:13: "Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore
unto thy place:
and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner
when thou wast his butler."
When Joseph referred to lifting
up the head of the butler, he meant that Pharaoh restored to
his place. There must have been in the work of Evil-merodach this thought of restoration,
of making up all that which had
been lost; the Hebrew word "accept" means to lift up the face.
is appalling to think of the effects of sin, and the wretched condition of the
has made provision for all this. In His atonement He answers before God all the
demands of the law, and makes it
possible for God to be just, and the justifier of all them that
believe. But He will also lift
us up until we stand before God as if we never had sinned. We
in our own thoughts bear the marks of our transgression, but we read in Jude that
presents us faultless
The Rev. F. B. Meyer tells of a
story, taken from Adelaide Procter, of a young girl who lived
ago in a convent in France. She was sweet and pure and admired of all who saw
Her work was
to care for the altar of Mary, and answer the portal. Wars swept over France,
and brought the soldiers to the
convent, and one that was wounded was given into her care.
he recovered, he persuaded her to leave the convent. She went with him to Paris,
where she lost her good name and
everything that made life worth living.
Years passed, and she came back
to die within the sound of the convent bell. She fell fainting
the steps, and there came to find her, not such a one as she had been, young and
but such a
one as she would have been, a pure and noble matron. She picked her up and
carried her into the convent, and
placed her on her bed. All the years that she had been gone,
had faithfully done her work, and none knew of her disgrace; so she glided back
and until the day of her death, no one ever knew her sin. All this Christ has
me. I like
to think that I was chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, that He
me in mind when
He suffered and died, that He has made up before God for all that I have
failed to do, and when I stand
before Him it will be as if I never had sinned in all my life.
2 Kings 25:28: "And he spake kindly
to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings
were with him in Babylon."
It must have been a great surprise
to Jehoiachin to hear the kindly words. He had been
only to the clanking of his chains and the oaths of his companions in misery.
this is the way
the Master works too. You remember the woman who was taken in adultery.
The crowd hurried her into the presence
of Jesus, and He said: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a
stone at her." That was severe, and when they slunk away from Him and His words,
He turned to her and said: "Woman, where are thy accusers? Hath no man condemned
And she said: "No man, Lord." And
He spake kindly and said: "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." This
is always His way.
Not far from my home in Indiana,
just across the state line in Ohio, there lived an old woman
was the terror of all who had seen or heard of her. She was finally arrested,
and sent to
Penitentiary. She broke every law of the institution, and they exhausted every
form of punishment upon her. Times
without number they had sent her to the dungeon, and
weeks at a time she lived on bread and water. Finally an old Quaker lady from
the state asked permission to see her. The prisoner was led into her presence,
her hands and feet. With downcast eyes she sat before the messenger of Christ.
The old Quaker lady simply said:
"My sister." The old woman cursed her, and then she said:
With another oath she said: "No
one loves me." But she came still nearer, and taking the sin-stained face in both
her hands, she lifted it up, and said: "I love you, and Christ loves you."
She kissed her face first upon
one cheek and then upon the other; and she broke the woman's
Her tears began to flow like rain. She rose to her feet. They took the chains
day of her death they were never put on again, but like an angel of mercy she
up and down
the corridors of the prison, ministering to the wants of others. The Quaker lady
had spoken kindly to her.
2 Kings 25:29: "And changed his
prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before
all the days of his life."
are several ways of understanding this expression. In the one hundred and ninth
we read: "As
he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into
bowels like water,
and like oil into his bones." This would be like our habits. We are not
obliged to change our habits before
we come to Christ, but we must come to Him first, and
change is part of His work. A fiery temper and an impetuous disposition may be
us, for He shall turn them into new channels and make them for His glory. Peter
had in him all that would make
a mean man, but when the Lord took possession of him, he
all the better for his weakness.
in the one hundred and fourth psalm we read: "Who coverest thyself with light
In this case it is like the atmosphere which is about us, and Christ changes this
too. Thus we become responsible
for the atmosphere of our lives. There are certain people
provoke you the moment you see them, and there are others who command a
benediction upon you without opening
their lips. If it is not easier for people to be Christians because they live
with you, there is something the matter with either you or your religion.
But there is still another thought
in the garment. After the father of the prodigal put a new
on him, he covered over all the signs of his wandering. When David put Mephibosheth
the table, all
signs of his lameness were hidden. When God clothes us with the robe of Christ's
righteousness, He covers over all
the marks of our sins, and every evidence of our weakness.
Many persons are perfectly sure
of everything that has been said up to this point, but how
the future? God has made provision for you; if any child of His is weak or hungry,
has not appropriated what God intended he should have.
A man died in a poorhouse in England
the other day. He had owned a little estate, but counted
worth nothing. The one who inherited the estate is to-day many times a millionaire,
he found a copper mine. It had all the time been there, but was not discovered
2 Kings 25:30: "And his allowance
was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily
for every day, all the days of his life."
It is a daily rate, that is the
way God gives His help; manna for a day and light for a day. God
will send you no more than you
need, and will send you no more than you can bear. How
times have you said, "If I had had one more heartache, my heart would have broken;
I had had one
more night of sorrow, my reason would have been dethroned." But you did not
have another heart-ache, and the
last sorrow did not come. One of my friends sent me these
the other day; they came as a blessing:
a little fence of trust He
sends an allowance of trouble perhaps, but He sends an allowance of strength too,
up the space with loving deeds,
not through the sheltering bars
will help thee bear what comes,
joy or sorrow."
leave and never forsake us. This strength He imparts is for every day, but it
all the days
of our lives.
It is said that some years ago the
king of Abyssinia took a British subject, by the name of
prisoner. They carried him to the fortress of Magdala, and in the heights of the
mountains put him in a dungeon,
without cause assigned. It took six months for Great Britain
find it out, and then they demanded his instantaneous release. King Theodore refused,
in less than
ten days ten thousand British soldiers were on shipboard and sailing down the
coast. They disembarked, and marched
seven hundred miles beneath the burning sun up the
to the very dungeon where the prisoner was held, and there they gave battle. The
gates were torn down, and presently
the prisoner was lifted upon their shoulders, and carried
the mountains, and placed upon the white-winged ship, which sped him in safety
it cost the English government twenty-five millions of dollars to release that
belong to a better kingdom than that; and do you suppose for a moment, that earthly
powers will protect their subjects
and that God will leave me without help? His ALLOWANCE IS
CONTINUAL ALLOWANCE, GIVEN TO ME EVERY DAY, AND SHALL BE ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.