Thoughts on the Dew.
IN Hosea xiv. 4, 5, we have the gracious words of the triune Jehovah to the penitent Ephraim of the latter days: "I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely; I will be as the dew unto Israel."
The first "I will" is evidently the Saviour's word. We begin with Christ. "By His wounds we are healed." Our sin is not only our crime from which we need to be justified; it is our malady, on account of which we need to be healed.
The second is the expression of the Father's complacency. The saved prodigal has been placed upon His bosom of love.
Thereupon follows the tender language of the Spirit: "I will be as the dew unto Israel," that the Father may gather fruit.
The divinely chosen metaphor is full of instruction. The operations of the Spirit as the dew are unseen and silent. For over 1800 years, He has been sojourning in this rebel world, still stained with the blood marks of Calvary's awful crime. The world has neither seen Him nor heard His voice. The rush and tear of its own business have drowned the gentle sound.
No power of man can produce the dew, or imitate it, or hinder it from falling upon the tender herb of the field. Such are the ways of the Spirit of God. He is Sovereign in the exercise of His divine will. We cannot command Him at our pleasure.
You cannot force the Spirit to act at your will. I feel I have often transgressed on this point; but it may be it has been a transgression begotten of ignorance. I am to pray, worship, and minister "in the Spirit." I must not go beyond His leading, beyond the measure of faith, grace, and power bestowed upon me moment by moment. How often have I spoken when He led to silence! How often have I prayed on with my lips beyond His movement in my soul!
In our meetings, we deplore the lack of spiritual ministry. If the Spirit of God would use you as a vehicle for speaking just five simple words, utter them and then sit down in divine peace. "Let him keep silence in the church and let him speak to himself and to God" (1 Cor. xiv. 28), is, I fear, a forgotten exhortation. Fifty big, striking words out of your own mind will minister no real blessing to a single hearer and will most likely be a distress to your own spirit afterwards.
Now, though dew cannot be brought down at our will, there are certain conditions favourable to its descent. I have noticed it does not fall on a cloudy night, or when the wind is high.
If we long for heavenly refreshings, we must be silent. This fussy day is no friend to inward soul quietness. Excitement, confusion, disorder, noise, are never marks of the Holy Spirit's leading. They are the marks of the false guide. The Good Shepherd, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, who dwells in us by His Spirit, leadeth beside the still waters. He would teach us to bring our own restlessness into subjection by breathing His peace upon us. He would hush the workings of pride and unholy desire. Then will the dew descend.
There must be also the clear sky. Not a cloud above, and not a spot within. Temptations, lusts passion, temper, unbelief, produce the clouds. Everything must be judged. Thank God, clouds are not fixtures. The horizon of the soul must be unclouded—nothing to intercept the view of heaven, else there will be no dew.
Observe the beautiful results in Israel after the dew has spread its silver-studded garment over them. Nature is ransacked for fitting metaphors. A lily in growth; cedarlike for the way in which the roots and fibres of the soul reach down into the infinitudes of the divine life; as the olive tree for beauty, and the wine of Lebanon for fragrance. This is what the Spirit can do with such unpromising material as an unbelieving Jew.
In Micah v. 7, the promise is that the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many nations as a dew from the Lord. "The remnant'' will have become Spirit-like—"spiritual." It is the silent yet mighty influence of a company where the Holy Ghost has the control. Ps. cxxxiii. shows us that if there be unity like the precious ointment which was poured out upon the high priest's head, the dew of Hermon shall visit the mountains of Zion. Whatever death and barrenness there may be around, there the Lord commanded the blessing—even life for evermore.
“The Witness” 1900