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Written by S.N.Redford   

Sermon preached at Houston, Texas, May 28, 1949, Saturday Night

Text: Duet. 32:13. He made him ride on the high places of the earth that he might eat the increase of the fields: and he made him suck honey out of the rock and oil out of the flinty rock.

Now first I believe that Jacob of whom this text speaks is a representative character and that he represents every little child of God. This is proved in the text of Scripture which reads: Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Natural Israel was God's chosen people among the nations and represents spiritual Israel or all God's elect.

He made him to ride on the high places. Let me tell you now that the time of your regeneration was a high place, and you felt that you were riding above the clouds of trouble here on earth and you felt at that time that you were close to heaven itself and that you would never again in this world have another worry and that you world be able to overcome all the obstacles and temptations of this sinful world but alas this is but for a brief season and soon you found that there was yet many pitfalls to trap you and many dark valleys through which you must journey.

Just the same, it was a high place when you came face to face with your Saviour and felt His precious presence in regeneration.

Then again how many times have you rode the high places of prayer. Yes, dear child of God you talked with Jesus and felt that you had an answer to that humble petition. Oh mothers how many times have you prayed for that wayward girl that disobedient son and you felt that God heard you and you looked away to the time when all would be well. The place of prayer is an exalted place where only you and the Lord are there and you can pour out the agony of your soul to Him knowing that his ear is ever open to your cry.

There is a high place where you have praised His name in song. Oh, the good old gospel songs how they cheer the poor down cast heart and lift you out of the dark shadows of doubt. I remember once upon a time I was a long way from home filling appointments in Louisiana and after preaching at a certain place and feeling that the Lord had blessed my poor efforts-as I stepped down out of the stand I suddenly became plunged into Egyptian darkness. I felt alone and in gloom. I hardly knew what was happening around me-I felt so much in the dark. A brother offered to take me to the depot and when we arrived, he said that it would be an hour before the train would arrive, that he would take me to the home of a good Methodist friend of his, and that I could rest while I awaited the arrival of the train. I told him to do as he pleased. After we sat down at the home of this kind party I still felt that awful sense of darkness pressing me down and then I had a desire to sing one of the dear old songs. I asked the lady of the house if I might sing and she gave me consent and I began to sing from my old worn hymnal you all know the song: Jesus Thou Art The Sinner's Friend and after singing a verse or two I felt lifted up and then I noticed that the kind lady was softly weeping and I felt that I had offended her but she hastened to assure me that such was not the case.

 Yes dear child of God you too have had many experiences like this where just singing a gospel song made you feel high above the cares of life.

I have ridden the high places in listening to the preaching of the gospel and so has it been with you, carried to the mountaintop and there far above the clouds of this world caught a glimpse of heaven. Paul must have felt some of this when he wrote by divine inspiration: And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Oh the sweet gospel of Christ it has power to heal the little sick child of God and to encourage him to look away from the vain and perishable things of this life and see the very beauties of that eternal home. Gives him a sense of closer fellowship with God and thus with his brother, Yes together we have ridden the high places in the gospel field.

No, I cannot neglect to mention the high place at the Lord's table. Why I remember that David said is there any left of the house of Saul that I might show him kindness for Jonathan's sake. And they told him of a little cripple man that dwelled in the valley of Lodebar and he said to send and fetch him and they went to bring him out of the valley up to eat at the King's table and he said who am I but as a dead dog that I should eat bread at the King's table? But he was brought from that low place in the valley to a high estate. And so it is with you and I.

 We are made to ride the high places in the Lord's precious communion service and raised to the exalted place where we can be permitted the glorious privilege to wash our brother's feet just like Jesus did. This is one place that we can occupy where Jesus was when we wash the saint's feet. I would not sell this privilege for a mountain of gold.

Now little child, you who are outside the Church, you too can ride the high places like Jacob. But the highest places are to be found inside the Church.

Baptism is a high place where the little blood washed child of God can ride and have unfolded to him mysteries that the tongue can never describe. You have to experience some of those high places for your self to behold the glorious view for after you have been there you are not able to rightly tell it to others. I verily thought that I could convince others after I had joined the Church because I so clearly saw the beauties of my dear Lord but alas I soon found to my disappointment that you can not describe the beauties of the high places to another but they must see them for themselves.

But I must hasten. I am not as strong as I once was. I have ridden the high places when seriously sick in the hospital at San Antonio. I was helpless but the Lord granted me His precious presence and full possession of my mind and placed some of the wonderful verses of Scriptures there for me to think upon and my weakened condition and my affliction was forgotten and my pain vanished while I meditated upon the goodness of God and I was made to exclaim with David: Bless the Lord oh my soul and all within me bless His holy name. I can look back and feel that this was a high place in my life.

For the brethren have been so good wad kind to me in fact they have been kind to me all my life and when I die let it be said of me the Old Baptists never owed S. N. Redford a cent.

Now, I have mentioned a few of the high places I have rode but time will not permit me to tell them all. Oh, the high places in the lives and Christian experiences of the children of God.

I will close by quoting from Paul. Oh the depth of the riches, both the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out.

Faith is a high place for God's children-faith that cheers the heart and brings you close to God. Faith makes you feel that the precious sweet promises are for you, for the Apostle Peter said that He has given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. But, where doubt is permitted to creep and faith grows cold, then we cannot appropriate the promises to our need, but the great articles of faith opens to God's little children a vista reaching far beyond the sight and knowledge of the natural mind, even to the very presence of heaven. When with an eye of faith we are permitted to believe the promises of Christ and feed our souls with the satisfying fruit of the spirit. We cannot worship God acceptably minus faith because those who worship Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarded of them who diligently seek Him. So it is then that faith is a high place where you can stand where the prophets stood. It was faith, which gave them strength to endure the trials and afflictions. By faith, we can endure in the face of persecutions, as did faithful Daniel with his face toward Jerusalem and remain calm even though the storms of persecution rage about us.

It is faith in God, mothers, that gives you strength to part with loved ones when they close their eyes in the embrace of death. Faith that God knows best and that there will be a time when those same loved ones will be raised in the likeness of our blessed Lord. Oh! Give me faith while I live and give me faith when I die.

Then there is hope. Some one might think that hope is not a high place but it is hope that saves us many times, for we are saved by hope, not eternally speaking, but hope saves us from despair. When the bitter night of despair descends like the mantle, of night, faith fails, and courage is almost gone then, it is that hope lights the way and brightens the dark shadows of life and we renew ourselves and press onward. Oh call it a little hope but it never does go out. I repeat that though the flame of hope sometimes burns but dimly, yet it is never completely extinguished.

Yes, hope is a high place and God's children rejoice in hope. David said: My flesh shall rest in hope. I may never visit you again. I am almost sure that I will never be in Houston again. Many of my old friends are not here today, friends who once loved me; yes; love me now, but we are parted. But I am made to hope that we shall be reunited in yonder world, where there will be no cruel bars of fellowship, no persecutions, no sad partings, no misunderstandings. The banner, which I have tried to carry, I pass on to you younger brethren-the precious banner of Jesus. Hold it above the earthly institutions of this world.

A message of hope and cheer I leave and an admonition to you that you keep the great heritage of peace and God will bless you. I do not say good-bye to you but only farewell, farewell in the Lord and if we never meet again in this world, I hope we meet beyond this vail of tears. This is my hope, that Christ died for me and that He lives for me, and because he was triumphant over death I will also triumph over the grave and so it is that hope is a high place and God made Jacob to ride upon the high places of the earth and I feel that I have been permitted to ride a high place while on this visit with you.

You have taken such good care of me. I feel humble and unworthy. It makes exclaim with David: Bless the Lord oh my soul and all within me bless His holy name.

And yet, I cannot close without telling about some of the honey that I have eaten out of the rock. Why, His promises are faithful-He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. We can feed upon honey like that-I might get close to final preservation of the saints right here-but that is honey too because in that covenant that God made with His son, He gave us to Him and Jesus said that all that He gave him would come to Him and that not one that came to Him would be cast out and that none could take them out of His hands.

Honey out of the Rock. Christ is a Rock. We can suck honey from that rock and feel the satisfying sweetness of that divine honey. Drawing honey from this Rock is like drawing from an inexhaustible source like money placed in my credit in the bank where I can draw a check and it would always be honored. The great love of God is inexhaustible it never fails, it will sustain life, it will heal when all other agencies will fail. I can recommend honey from the rock to you my Christian friends because it is pure and sweet to the taste.

Oh, I would like to tell you a lot about this honey from the rock and oil from the flinty rock but I must close.

Thanking you for your presence and your kind attention and when you come to a throne of God's rich grace remember me. God be with you all.

(The above is a short extract of a great sermon from a faithful servant Elder S. N. Redford taken from mental notes, all of which I do not have space to write. God bless his memory and his bereaved companion. J. A. Rowell, 815 Ridge, Houston, Texas. )

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