Summary: The central topic of our text is good gifts. What are good gifts?
SERMON ON THE MOUNT #74
OUR FATHER'S GIVING OF GOOD GIFTS
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? MAT 7:11.
The central topic of our text is good gifts. What are good gifts? We want to see what the good gifts are that our heavenly Father has in store for those who love Him. Good gifts are not always pleasant to the flesh. The Father knows what we need; our heavenly Father looks upon our eternal and spiritual welfare. There is often a great distinction between that which is good for us and that which is pleasant. Why? It is because our hearts have become corrupt, and by reason of our shameful fall in Adam, we have pleasure in sin and things that are not for our spiritual welfare. So the Lord gives us good gifts, those things which are spiritually and eternally good.
Good gifts include corrective medicine. For young children most corrective medications are flavored to cover their true taste. The Lord does not put any synthetic flavoring in His medications. As caring parents, we must insist on the child taking certain medications for their good. If a little child has an ear infection, you give the child a medication that will combat that infection. The child may not like the taste of it; they may fight it or spit it out, but the parent knows better than the child what is good for him. Therefore, the child must take the medication, even though it does not seem pleasant at the time.
Even so the Lord often uses medications which seem very bitter to the flesh to restore our spiritual health. Think of David and how he became defiled with adultery and murder. Spiritually he had departed from the Lord; he had gone into sin. It was a grievous place, and the medicine the Lord used to show David the sinfulness of his sin was the adultery and murder in his children which were used by the Lord to cure him of his lust. The Lord taught him the sinfulness of his sin when he saw that same sin in his children.
From a father's perspective David could see the grievousness of adultery in his children even as his heavenly Father looked upon him in this same sin. David's son defiled his own sister. David saw murder in his children when his son murdered his own brother Amon. Oh, how grievous it was for David when his son, Absalom, committed adultery with his concubines upon the house top before all Israel.
Now from a father's perspective, see how David saw the bitterness of sin. See the kind of medicine the Lord used to take away the pleasure of sin in David's life. The pleasure of adultery was far removed when he cried out, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" 2SA 18:33b. Think of the grief of David when Absalom was slain. David realized all the things that had taken place with Absalom were the fruits of his own sin. That is the medicine the Lord used to cure David's lust and stop him from cherishing sin.
Think of Jacob, who sinned by cheating, lying, and being deceitful, and the medicine the Lord used to cure him. The final dose of medicine he needed to have for his deceit came when his children told him Joseph was yet alive. Then Jacob could see from a father's perspective how his children had deceived him with a kid of the goats and with their brother's coat as he had deceived his father with his brother's coat. Now he saw the sinfulness and grief that his heavenly Father had from his grievous sin.
So often God's good gifts are mistaken because we are shortsighted. Think of Jacob when he let Benjamin go. Jacob said, "... Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me," GEN 42:36.
Jacob was so shortsighted that he was not able to remember what the Lord had told Abraham, his father in GEN 15:13-14, "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance."
Jacob was so shortsighted that he never understood how the Lord was bringing about the very thing that He had told his father Abram. Also, the Lord was using this to teach Jacob the bitterness of deceit. Think of David's grief when Absalom was slain. Think of the grief of Jacob's heart when he had to give up Benjamin. Jacob said "all these things are against me, Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away." He didn't know Joseph was the ruler of Egypt; he didn't realize it was a good gift that was coming from the Lord through Joseph. He was so shortsighted.