"Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts."

We have to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. (1 Peter 3:15.) Failing this, we take refuge in "a confederacy" (Isaiah 8:12-14), some scheme of our own, for we are unable then to see things on God's side. In Gen. 20, Abraham had left the plains of Mamre, and was sojourning in Gerar. He was on the edge of the place of blessing, and not in the heart of it; and instead of the Lord being his fear and his dread, he is afraid of the king of Gerar. This leads to a confederacy, an unholy compact between Abraham and Sarah to deny the true and rightful place of the latter; and the mother of the promised seed, the child of holy laughter and joy, is taken into the house of Abimelech. What degradation! when the Lord should have been their sanctuary. Yet so it is. But that is only looking at it from their own side, and on that side there is failure, sorrow, degradation, rebuke, and the involving others in judgment, but for God's merciful interference. If we look at it from God's side, what, we may ask with reverence, were His thoughts as He saw the depositaries of all His promises, both for the heaven and the earth, making a compact which in result separated the mother of the seed of promise, in whom all nations were to be blessed, from him who was the "covering of her eyes," and placed her in the house of the king of Gerar. It is when we see the church as the vessel in which there is to be glory to God in Christ Jesus through eternal ages, and in which angels are now learning the manifold wisdom of God, that we could consent to nothing, if we sanctify the Lord God in our hearts, which would falsify its position with regard to Him who loved it and gave Himself for it, that He might present it to Himself. On man's side, Paul spoke foolishly in commending himself to the Corinthians; but it was the earnestness that was jealous over them with a jealousy of God, for he had espoused them to one husband, that he might present them as a chaste virgin to Christ. T. H. Reynolds.