From Pink’s Pen: Men at Best

From A. W. Pink’s The Life of Elijah:

It is for this reason that God suffers it to appear that the best of men are but men at best. No matter how richly gifted they may be, how eminent in God’s service, how greatly honoured and used of Him, let His sustaining power be withdrawn from them for a moment and it will quickly be seen that they are “earthen vessels.” No man stands any longer than he is supported by divine grace. The most experienced saint if left to himself is immediately seen to be as weak as water and as timid as a mouse. “Man at his best estate is altogether vanity” (Psa 39:5). Then why should it be thought a thing incredible when we read of the failings and falls of the most favoured of God’s saints and servants? Noah’s drunkenness, Lot’s carnality, Abraham’s prevarications, Moses’ anger, Aaron’s jealousy, Joshua’s haste, David’s adultery, Jonah’s disobedience, Peter’s denial, Paul’s contention with Barnabas are so many illustrations of the solemn truth that “there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not” (Ecc 7:20). Sinless perfection is found in heaven, but nowhere on earth except in the Perfect Man.

Yet let it be pointed out that the failures of these men are not recorded in Scripture for us to hide behind, as though we may use them to excuse our own infidelities. Far from it: they are set before us as so many danger signals for us to take note of, as solemn warnings for us to heed. The reading thereof should humble us, making us more distrustful of ourselves. They should impress upon our hearts the fact that our strength is found alone in the Lord, and that without Him we can do nothing. They should be translated into earnest prayer that the workings of pride and self-sufficiency may be subdued within us. They should cause us to cry constantly, “Hold thou me up and I shall be safe” (Psa 119:117). Not only so, they should wean us from undue confidence in the creature and deliver us from expecting too much of others. They should make us diligent in prayer for our brethren in Christ, especially
for our pastors, that it may please God to preserve them from everything which would dishonour His name and cause His enemies to rejoice.

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