I stumbled upon this lovely sermonÂ by Spurgeon, and in it I foundÂ a refreshing perspective on how we ought to treat troubled times. When the days grow dark, we must always remember that God raises up young men and women who are ablaze with a holy fervor for His name and His renown. Whether you are a young person, or have young people in your life who you are striving to lead, may this be a reminder to not despair of this generation but pray to God that He would raise up such young people as are described here:
[. . .] in that very court where Jezebel was mistress, Obadiah was a man who feared God greatly. Never be surprised to meet with a believer anywhere! Grace can live where you would never expect to see it survive for an hour!
JosephÂ feared God in the court of Pharaoh,Â DanielÂ was a trusted counselor of Nebuchadnezzar,Â MordecaiÂ waited at the gate of Ahasuerus,Â Pilate’s wifeÂ pleaded for the life of Jesus, and there wereÂ saintsÂ in Caesar’s household. These are examples of findingdiamondsÂ onÂ dunghills. Those who feared God inÂ RomeÂ were not only Christiansâ€”but they were examples to all other Christians for their brotherly love and generosity. Surely there is no place in this land where there is not some gospel lightâ€”the darkest cavern of iniquity has its gospel torch. Be not afraid; you may find followers of Jesus in the precincts of Pandemonium! In the palace of Ahab you meet an Obadiah who rejoices to hold fellowship with despised saints, and supplies the needs of persecuted Christians. “While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water!” 1 Kings 18:4
I notice that these witnesses for God are very often people converted in their youth. God seems to take a delight to make these His special standard-bearers in the day of battle. Look atÂ Samuel!Â When all Israel became disgusted with the wickedness of Eli’s sons the child Samuel ministered before the Lord. Look atÂ David!Â When he is but a shepherd boy he wakes the echoes of the lone hills with his psalms and the accompanying music of his harp. SeeÂ Josiah!Â When Israel had revoltedâ€”it was a child, Josiah by name, who broke down the altars of Baal and burned the bones of his priests.Â DanielÂ was but a youth when he took his stand for purity and God.
The Lord has todayâ€”I know not whereâ€”some littleÂ LutherÂ on his mother’s knee, some youngÂ CalvinÂ learning in our Sunday-school, some youthfulÂ ZwingliÂ singing a hymn to Jesus. This age may grow worse and worse; I sometimes think it will, for many signs look that way; but the Lord is preparing for it. The days are dark and ominous; and may darken down into a blacker night than has been known before; butÂ God’s cause is safe in God’s hands!Â His work will not tarry for lack of men. Do not put forth theÂ hand of UzzahÂ to steady the ark of the Lordâ€”it shall go safely on in God’s predestined way! Christ will not fail nor be discouraged. God buries HisÂ workmenâ€”but HisworkÂ lives on!
If there is not in the palace, aÂ kingÂ who honors Godâ€”there shall yet be found there, one like Obadiah, who fears the Lord from his youth, who shall take care of the Lord’s prophets, and hide them away until better days shall come.
Therefore be of good courage, and look for happier hours. Nothing of real value is in jeopardyâ€”while Jehovah is on the throne. The Lord’sÂ young reservesÂ are coming up, and their drums beat victory!