REV. D.A. SCHROEDER
This article is about the hardest job in the world, controlling our own spirit. The rich man in the text dressed in the finest clothes of the day. He rode in the best chariot pulled by the best horses that could be purchased. He ate the most delicious foods that could be imagined in that day. He had all of the luxuries that a wealthy household of that day could have. He surrounded himself with good things. He had all the breaks.
Lazarus on the other hand had nothing to put his hand on. He was sick, hungry and broke. He was full of sores, had no friends but the dogs, and hadn’t had a decent meal in years. He was surrounded with evil things. He had no breaks.
One day the equalizer, came, death. The rich man in Hell lifted his eyes, being in torments and to his surprise saw Lazarus in comfort in a place called Abrahams Bosom, a place of rest for the righteous dead. The good things that the rich man surrounded himself with in life didn’t make him good. Lazarus was in a place of comfort. The evil things that surrounded him in life didn’t make him evil. We are not necessarily proudcts of our environments.
Lazarus saw the rich man every day.He saw his comfort, his ease, his luxury. Lazarus could have gotten bitter. He could have said ‘Lord, why is this man living in such ease? He doesn’t know you. He isn’t trying to live for you. I’ve lived for you the best I could and I don’t have anything. It isn’t fair, how does he get by? Did he get by? The scripture says ‘in Hell he lifted up his eyes.’ It only appeared that he got by. In reality, no one gets by. Lazarus no doubt had many unanswered questions in his life, but he kept a good spirit. He didn’t accuse God of letting a sinner get by, he was able to control his own spirit.
The Psalmist saw the prosperity of the wicked in Psalm 73. He saw the foolish prosper, he saw the wicked flourish. It became painful to him Psalm 73:16. When he got through feeling sorry for himself, he went to the House of the Lord and he saw the end of the wicked, Psalm 73:17, then he stopped envying the unrighteous. Were they getting by? No one gets by.
Mordecai was a Jew. He refused to give total honor to anyone but Jehovah. Hamon demanded that all bow to himself when he walked by. Mordecai wouldn’t do it. Hamon had King Ahasuerus issue a decree to destroy all of the Jews, then he built a gallows himself to personally hang Mordecai on. Mordecai was living for God, Hamon wasn’t. How did he get by? He didn’t. One night God kept the king awake until he called for the Chronicles to be read. He found that Mordecai had exposed a plot to kill the king. King Ahasuerus honored Mordecai, and Hamon was hung on his own gallows. He didn’t get by. No one does.
Proverbs 16:32 tells us that the one who can rule his own spirit is
better than the one who is able to take a city. The one who by military force conquerors some foreign land must depend on machinery, and weapons and multitudes of soldiers. He relies on the sensational, the glamorous. The one who controls his own spirit has learned to depend upon the individuals own resources and God. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” Jeremiah 10:23 tells us that it is not in man to direct his own steps. If we are a child of God, we are not depending on our own ability, but we depend on God. A thief isn’t getting by. A cheat isn’t getting by. A crooked politician isn’t getting by. A liar isn’t getting by. There is no one who is getting by in God’s sight. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
THIS MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MARCH 1985 ISSUE OF GOSPEL TIDINGS,
AND WAS WRITTEN BY REV. D.A. SCHROEDER. THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN
COPYRIGHTED, AND MAY BE USED FOR RESEARCH AND STUDY PURPOSES ONLY.