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Second Causes?

from Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming

We should look away from all "second causes" and fix our eyes upon Him who is above all and who commands all for His people's good.

Matters, small and great alike, are under His control, and are made to do duty in service for the spiritual advantage of His saints.

• A sleepless night on the part of Ahasuerus (Esther 6:1).
• A dream of a Pharaoh (Gen. 41:1).
• A nest of hornets with their spiteful stings (Deut. 7:20).
• A single fish with a piece of money in its mouth (Matt. 17:27).

Any one or all of these may serve His purpose and "work His wondrous will," for His glory and for the good of His own.

Notably is this truth seen in the case of Jonah. Sky and earth and sea are laid under tribute by the All Mighty Creator. "A great wind" is "sent out." "A great fish" is "prepared" and directed in its course. A gourd is made to grow and overshadow the head of the prophet. A worm is formed to smite the gourd so that it withers. Finally, a vehement east wind and the sun in its strength overcome him so that he faints and wishes to die.

Yes! "All things serve His might." God can and does employ, at times, the most unlikely instruments to accomplish His pleasure.

"He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves," and, "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." "These are the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep." Rivers are turned into a wilderness, and dry land into water springs, at His word, while the poor are set on high from affliction, and families are made by Him "like a flock."

"Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord." Psa. 107:24-43.

Oh, for this wisdom and this observation in all the dealings of our gracious Lord, with men generally and with ourselves particularly!

The coming day will declare that things which seemed most contrary were made to operate on our behalf, all through the intricate maze of our life. Then shall praise be His eternally.

"When Thy blood-bought bride, Lord Jesus,
Is complete:
When each soul is safely landed
At Thy feet:
What a story, in the glory,
She'll repeat."


First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].

Selections from Songs for the Night Seasons


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