When Matthew Henry was returning home from his catechism exercise on Tuesday, March 3, 1713, robbers caught him about half a mile from Hackney. They took ten or eleven shillings, and Matthew Henry reflected on his experience so that it would be a blessing to him:
- What reason have I to be thankful to God, that having traveled so much, yet I was never robbed before now.
- What abundance of Evil this love of money is the root of, that four men should venture their lives and souls for half a crown a piece.
- See the power of Satan working in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).
- The vanity of worldly wealth, how soon we may be stripped of it, how loose we ought to sit to it. (Taken from Matthew Henry: His Life & Influence by Allan Harman).
Matthew Henry is a prime example of how when someone truly understands all their life is in the hands of the Sovereign God of the cross (1 Peter 1:18; 2:24), then they can take seriously the command of 1 Thessalonians 5:16, “Rejoice always…” As Paul argued, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). When you understand the gospel, even robbery is an occasion for worship.
Also, if you didn’t know, Matthew Henry wrote a commentary on the entire Bible that is mind-blowingly helpful, heart-warming, and practical. Although it cost almost a year’s wage when he initially wrote it, given the gift of the interwebs, you can access it for free here. Look up his comments on your favorite verse/chapter and I am sure you’ll be encouraged.
Thank you, Lord, for the interwebs…