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"lusts". Now Mark's full expression is very suggestive: "desires concerning things that
A somewhat parallel passage is Luke 12: 26, "If ye then be not able to do that
thing which is least, why are you careful (anxious) concerning the things that are left?"
Eph. 2: 3 makes a distinction between the saved and "the rest", as does also
I Thess. 4: 13. the desires and cares for the things that are "left" choke the word,
and prevent fruit to perfection. Paul says in Phil. 3: and 4::--
"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which
are before I press . . . . . Mark them which walk . . . . . who mind earthly things . . . . . Be
careful for nothing."
This feature leads us on to the quotation from I Cor. 10: 6, where Israel lusted after
evil things. We find the record in Numb. 11: 4, 5:--
"The mixt multitude fell a lusting . . . . . We remember the fish, which we did eat in
Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the
They remembered! Paul sought to forget. They, in type, minded "earthly things", the
tasty produce of Egypt, the things that are left "entered in", and brought ruin with them.
Their very remembrance spoilt their taste for the bread of heaven:--
"There is nothing at all beside THIS MANNA!" (Numb. 11: 6).
The Psalmist gives one tragic comment upon this "lusting" or "desiring":--
"They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness . . . . . . . And He gave them their request,
but sent leanness into their soul" (Psa. 106: 14, 15).
The fullest light is let in when we turn to the third reference cited above, viz.,
Gal. 5: 16, 17:--
"Now I say, walk in spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the desire of the flesh. For the flesh
desires the contrary of the spirit, and the spirit the contrary of the flesh, for these are
opposed to each other."
Here then are two sets and two sources of "lust" or "desire", flesh and spirit. They are
contrary the one to the other. The spirit desires the things of God; therefore to "desire
the things that are left", the things of the flesh, the things that were left behind beyond the
Red Sea in Egypt, is to fail both in fruitfulness and in perfection.
We must return to this subject again, meanwhile may we receive with meekness the
Word of God that reveals the hidden spring of so many perplexing things in this life, viz.,