Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from The Godly Man’s Picture.
Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a garden set with knots and flowers. A godly man delights to walk in this garden and sweetly solace himself. He loves every branch and part of the Word:
1. He loves the counselling part of the Word, as it is a director and rule of life. The Word is the mercurial statue which points us to our duty. It contains in it things to be believed and practised. A godly man loves the aphorisms of the Word.
2. He loves the threatening part of the Word. The Scripture is like the Garden of Eden: as it has a tree of life in it, so it has a flaming sword at its gates. This is the threatening of the Word. It flashes fire in the face of every person who goes on obstinately in wickedness. “God shall wound the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses” (Psa. 68:21). The Word gives no indulgence to evil. It will not let a man halt between God and sin. The true mother would not let the child be divided (I Kings 3:26), and God will not have the heart divided. The Word thunders out threatenings against the very appearance of evil. It is like that flying roll full of curses (Zech. 5:1).
A godly man loves the menaces of the Word. He knows there is love in every threat. God would not have us perish; he therefore mercifully threatens us, so that he may scare us from sin. God’s threats are like the buoy, which shows the rocks in the sea and threatens death to such as come near. The threat is a curbing bit to check us, so that we may not run in full career to hell. There is mercy in every threat.
3. He loves the consolatory part of the Word — the promises. He goes feeding on these as Samson went on his way eating the honeycomb (Judges 14:8, 9). The promises are all marrow and sweetness. They are our Bezar stone when we are fainting; they are the conduits of the water of life. “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul” (Psa. 94:19). The promises were David’s harp to drive away sad thoughts; they were the breast which gave him the milk of divine consolation.