The Chocolate Soldier (4)
The following text was written by Charles Studd (1860 - 1931), a british missionary who served the Lord in China, India and Africa. The thoughts are to be enjoyed with a certain caution and with some humor. Nevertheless, God can use them to touch our hearts:
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 Chocolaters 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." (John 16:13)
"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!
Article series: The Chocolate SoldierThe Chocolate Soldier (3) The Chocolate Soldier (5)