Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XI .VERSES 5 -7. 177 glorious victory beyond their desires, Judg. xi. 22. God deals with his servants, as the prophet did with the woman of Shunem, when he bid her ask what she needed, and tell him what she would have him to do for the kindness she had shown to him, and she found not any thing to request at his hands; he sends for her again, and makes her a free promise of that which she most wanted and desired, and tells her that God would give her a son, 2 Kings iv. 16. So many times God is pleased to give his servants such things as they forget to ask, or gives them the things which they ask, in a fuller measure than their own desires durst pro- pose to them. David in his troubles asked life of God, and would have esteemed it a great mercy only to have been delivered from the fear of his enemies ; and God doth not only answer him according to the desire of his heart in that particular, and above it too, for he gave him length of days for ever and ever, but further settled the crown upon his head, and added honour and majesty unto his life, Psa. xxi. 2 -5. And the reasons hereof are principally two. 1. We beg of God according to the sense and knowledge which we have of our own wants, and according to the measure of that love which we bear unto ourselves. The greater our love is to ourselves, the more active and importunate will our petitions be for such good things as we need : but God answers prayers according to his knowledge of us, and accord- ing to the love which he beareth unto us. Now God knows what things we want much better than we do ourselves, and he loves our souls much better than we love them ourselves, and therefore he gives us more and better things than our own prayers know how to ask of him. A little child will beg none but trifles and mean things of his father, because he hath not