GOD NEVER WAS A CHOCOLATE MANUFACTURER, AND NEVER WILL BE. God’s men are always heroes. In Scripture you can trace their giant foot-tracks down the sands of time.
David—the man after God’s own heart—was a man of war and a mighty man of valour. When all Israel were on the run, David faced Goliath—alone … with God—and he but a stripling, and well scolded too by his brother for having come to see the battle. What a splendid fool Eliab must have been! as though David would go to see a battle and not stay to fight. THEY ARE CHOCOLATE SOLDIERS WHO MERELY GO TO SEE BATTLES, AND COOLLY URGE OTHERS TO FIGHT THEM. They had better save their journey money and use it to send out real fighters instead. Soldiers don’t need dry nurses, and if they did the Holy Ghost is always on the spot and ready to undertake any case on simple application. No! David went to the battle and stayed to fight, and won! Wise beyond his years, he had no use for Saul’s armour. It cramped his freedom of action. He tried it on and took it off, quick sharp. And, besides, it made such a ghastly rattle, even when he walked, that he could not hear the still small voice of God, and would never have heard Him saying afterwards, “This is the way to the brook, David! and there are the five smooth stones! Trust only in Me and them. Your own home-made sling will do first class, and there! that’s the shortest cut to Goliath.” THE CHOCOLATES RAN AWAY—they were all Chocolates—but David ran upon Goliath. One smooth stone was enough.
David’s secret was that he had but one Director, and He, the Infallible One. He directed the stone, as He directed the youth. Too many directors spoil the sport, and two are too many by just one. Thus Christ said to His soldiers: “HE shall teach you all things, HE shall guide you into all the truth.”
“THIS is My Beloved Son: HEAR HIM.”
“ONE MEDIATOR ONLY, between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus.”
ONE DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN MEN—GOD THE HOLY GHOST. Whose directions require indeed instant obedience, but not the endorsement of any man.
THE DEVIL NEEDS RED-HOT SHOT, FRESH FROM THE FOUNDRY OF THE HOLY GHOST. He laughs at cold shot or tepid, and as for that made of half-iron and half-clay, half-divine and half-human, why you might just as well pelt him with snowballs.
Whence did this raw youth derive his pluck and skill? Not from military camps, nor theological schools, nor religious retreats. “To know The Only True God and Jesus Christ,” is enough. Paul determined to know only Jesus Christ, and look at the grand result! Whilst others were learning pretty theories, David, like John, had been alone with God in the wilds, practising on bears and lions. The result? HE KNEW GOD AND DID EXPLOITS. He knew God only. He trusted God only. He obeyed God only. That’s the secret. God alone gives strength. God adulterated with men entails the weakness of iron and clay—Chocolate—brittleness!
Yet hero as he was, even David alas! once played the role of Chocolate Soldier. HE STAYED AT HOME WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE GONE TO WAR. His army, far off, in danger, fighting the enemy, won. David, at home, secure, within sight of God’s house and often going there, suffered the one great defeat of his life, entailing such a bitter, life-long reaping as might well deter others from the folly of sowing wild oats. David’s sin is a terrific sermon (like Lot’s preaching in Sodom must have been), its theme—“DON’T BE A CHOCOLATE SOLDIER!”
In his simple, quick, and full confession, David proved himself a man again. It takes a real man to make a true confession—a Chocolate Soldier will excuse or cloak his sin. He tumbles in the mud, flounders on, wipes his mouth to try to get the bad taste of his acted lie out of it, and then goes on his way saying, “I have done no wickedness.” A self-murdering fool! Killing his conscience to save his face, like Balaam beating the ass who sought to save his master’s life. Being a Chocolate Soldier nearly did for David. Beware!
Nathan was another real Christian Soldier. He went to his king and rebuked him to his face, like Peter’s dealing with Ananias (only David embraced his opportunity and confessed), and unlike the Chocolate Soldiers of today who go whispering about and refusing either to judge, rebuke, or put away evil because of the entailed scandal forsooth. Veritable Soapy Sams. They say “It is nothing! nothing at all! A mere misunderstanding!” As though God’s cause would suffer more through a bold declaration and defense of the truth and the use of the knife, than by the hiding up of sin, and the certain development of mortification in the member, involving death to the whole body. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous,” and “he that doeth sin is of the devil,” and ought to be told so. He that is a second time led captive by the devil needs neither plaster nor treacle, but the brace rebuke and summons to repentance of a righteous man to effect his salvation. WE ARE BADLY IN NEED OF NATHANS TODAY, who fear God and nought else, no, not even a scandal.
Daniel was another hero. Of course he was! Was he not the man greatly beloved of God who sent an angel to tell him so?
I love to watch him as he walks, with firm step and radiant face, to the lions’ den, stopping but once—like his Master en route to Calvary—to comfort his weeping and agonized emperor. God shut the mouths of the lions against Daniel, but opened them wide against those who had opened their mouths against His servant.
A man is known by his works, and the works of Daniel were his three friends, who, rather than bow down to men or gold, braved the fiery furnace.
Again we see him going to the banquet hall, and hear his conductor whisper in his ear, “Draw it mild, Daniel, be statesmanlike. Place and power again for you if you are tactful and wise—especially tactful!” And Daniel’s simple reply, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” There he stands before the king, braving torture or instant death—but it’s the king who quails, not Daniel—who tells him to his face the whole hot truth of God, diminishing not a jot.