“Thou hast made known the Father, whom we’ve seen
In Thy blest Person—infinite delight!
It more than satisfies, as here we glean
The foretaste of His love, till all be light.”
Satisfaction is a flower that springs not out of the soil of this world. Happiness, felicity, bliss, joy, are utterly unknown in this garden in which man hopes to find all his delights, but finds instead of these things, grief, worry, affliction, misery, wretchedness, bitterness, and despair. Satisfaction cannot be found in this world, that is, as belonging to it, or as having originated in it. It belongs to another world and another order of man than can be found amid the strife and contention of a world at variance with God. The characteristics found amongst men of this world are murmurings, complainings, grumblings, groanings and fault finding with others, and self-justification regarding themselves. Satisfaction could not be found by the greatest moral analyst, however determined he might be to discover it. In vain he would seek for it. It is a plant that does not grow out of the soil of this world. “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing” (Eccl. 1:8). “He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loves abundance with increase” (Ecc. 5:10). Lust and pride know nothing about satisfaction; and that is all that is in this world (1 John 2:15).
But why cannot satisfaction be found in this world? It cannot be found where it does not exist. If God tells me—and He does tell me—that all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, and I plead that satisfaction is found here, and that I have found it in this very world, I must set forth God as a liar, or an ignoramus, for He denies that it can spring from anything that belongs to this world of men.
Can satisfaction be found in a world of which the Devil is both prince and god? The world is the outcome and growth of man as broken loose from God, but not by the craftiness of the mere child of Adam, but by the subtlety and ingenuity of the old serpent. And whatever may be said on the subject, man refuses to be dictated to by his Maker, he is determined to carry out the thoughts and imaginations of his own godless mind.
The knowledge and enjoyment of God is necessary to the happiness of every intelligent being, and every such being feels he must give an account to God for his deeds done during his responsible career, for we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ, that each may receive the things done in the body, according to those he has done, whether it be good or evil. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men. But ourselves, that is, true believers, have boldness in the day of judgment, for as He is we also are in this world (1 John 4:17). We give thanks to the Father, who has made us fit for sharing the portion of the saints in light who has delivered us from the authority of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:12-14). Are we terrified when we think of our Lord? Not likely. His perfect love has driven away every element of fear out of our hearts, and has filled them with His unspeakable love. We know that we are children of God, even now while we are still in this world; we know that our Lord and Saviour loves us as the Father loves Him: that we are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He should be Firstborn among many brethren: that when He, God’s Son, appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is, and we shall dwell with Him in that place He has prepared for us, and there we shall be for ever with Him: the Father gave us to Jesus, and He gave us back to the Father to be in His care as long as we are in this world. How blessed it is to be brought into the knowledge of the Father, and to abide in the blessedness of that love, in which the Eternal Son abides!
Surely each one of us can with gladness say—“I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness.” But we can say more even than that for “Jehovah is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup. . . My cup runneth over” (Ps. 16:5). “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Ps. 23:5). “It more than satisfies.” Blessed be God! It does indeed. But as to this world, had one all that it contains, his happiness instead of being greater would be infinitely less. One may consider himself rich and increased in goods, and in need of nothing, but when he awakes to the reality of things, he finds himself wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Nothing on earth can satisfy the human heart. Our Lord said to the poor woman at the well of Sychar—“If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that says to thee, Give me to drink: Thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:10-14). To get perfect and eternal satisfaction one must drink of that water that Christ gives, which more than satisfies. By thus having to do with the Son of God you are brought into fellowship with the Son and the Father, and your satisfaction is measureless and endless. Your cup of infinite and eternal love is always running over; and apart from this man can never be satisfied. No man can be happy away from God, for God is absolutely necessary to his happiness. Without Him he must be eternally miserable. Nothing and no one can fill the human heart but God, and the cup of him who trusts Him He will keep for ever overflowing. Adam and Eve knew not what want was until they abandoned God, and then they came to know the misery of hungry hearts, and every one of their posterity must learn what the wretchedness of a hungry heart is as long as they are away from God. The whole world, and all the worlds in the universe, would fail to satisfy one human heart away from God. We can quite understand the deep distress of a soul who breaks out in the words of Psalm 42—“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1). And in Psalm 43, “O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God.”