ŇTake therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.Ó Matthew 6:34.

 

 Here Christ the third time repeats His commandment against distrustful care, propounded first in the 25th verse; in which often repetition, He intends to make us more careful and diligent, both to learn and practise the same. And hereto He also addeth a seventh reason to enforce and further our obedience, drawn from the daily grief and trouble which accompanies every day of our life.

 

The Exposition.

Care not for the morrow.

That is, for the time to come. This may seem a strange commandment, tending to patronage sloth and negligence, but we must know that there is a double care for the time to come. 1. A godly lawful care. 2. A distrustful and inordinate care.

 

1. The godly care is that whereby a man provides for in time present, such things as are needful in the time to come, and cannot then be provided. This lawful care we may observe in our Saviour Christ; for He had a bag to keep provision for Himself and His disciples, which Judas bare (John 13:29), and when Agabus foretold of a general famine, the disciples provided aforehand, to send succour to the brethren which dwelt in Judea (Acts 11:28,29). And thus may many a tradesman provide for maintenance while his strength and sight is good against the time of his age, wherein he may be unable to follow his calling. And thus do men in fit season provide for food and raiment. And we may provide today, that is, in the time present for any needful thing, when tomorrow will not afford it.

 

2. The inordinate and distrustful care for the morrow, is that whereby men vex their minds, and turmoil themselves, to provide beforehand for such things as may well enough be had in the time to come. This parts and rends asunder the mind, as the word signifies; and this our Saviour forbids. It is indeed the common care of the world, and we may observe the practice of it in three ways especially:

 

(1) When men provide so much worldly goods for themselves, as would serve for many families, or for many generations. There may be such gather-goods, which scrape together as though they should never die, and they scarce know any end of their wealth. This practice our Saviour Christ here forbids. If any in a land might seek for superfluity, it is the king, whom bounty at all times well beseemeth; and yet God forbad the king over His own people; to multiply overmuch his horses and furniture, his silver and his gold (Deut. 17:16,17).

 

(2) When men seek to prevent all losses and casualties, and so plot for themselves that howsoever it go with others, yet they shall feel no want. Though others starve and go naked, they shall be full, and well clothed.

 

(3) When men provide for today and tomorrow together beforehand, whenas the morrowŐs provision may sufficiently, safely and soon enough be made on its own day. This Christ doth chiefly aim at, as crossing the practice of faith, whereby we should depend upon His providence.

 

For the morrow shall care for itself; the day hath enough with his own grief.

These words contain ChristŐs seventh reason against distrustful care; the effect whereof is this: every day of my life hath care enough and grief sufficient, through the business that falls out thereon and belongs unto it, and therefore we are not to add thereunto another dayŐs care and grief, for so we should bring upon ourselves more care and grief than needs.

 

The morrow, that is, the time to come, shall care for itself.

Here Christ answers a question which might be made from the former commandment; for having forbidden care for the morrow, some might say, How shall we do on the morrow, and the time to come? Christ answers, This dayŐs care must be today, and tomorrowŐs care tomorrow, each day must have his own care. Such care as is fit and needful for the time present must now be taken, and such things as are now needful must now be sought for. But such care as is fit to be taken in the time to come, must be put off to his proper time; and things then needful must be then sought for, when their fit time falleth out. Every time and every day must have his proper care alone.

 

In this reason we have a most notable rule for the well-ordering of our lives; to wit, that every man must know the duties of his lawful calling, and how the discharge thereof will yield him things necessary and convenient from time to time, and so accordingly must walk therein; that is, doing only such duties diligently as the present time requireth at his hands, for the procuring of things then meet and needful. And so proceeding by dependence on GodŐs providence, do such care and labour as is fitting for the present occasion, time and season; but for time to come lean on GodŐs providence, respiting the care thereof till God require it at thine hands.

 

The practice hereof Samuel enjoineth Saul (1 Sam. 10:7), when these signs (of establishing thee in the kingdom) shall come unto thee, do as occasion shall serve; that is, do the present duties of a king that lie before thee, without troubling and vexing thyself through fear or care of things to come, till God offer them to thy hand. And this should be every manŐs practice in his calling. And so should their present diligence testify their obedience, and clear them from presumption, and their respiting of future care till time require it, argue their faith in GodŐs providence; and thus they should neither foolishly feed upon uncertain hopes, nor needlessly vex themselves with untimely cares.

 

The day hath enough with his own grief.

That is, every day by reason of manŐs sins, hath trouble and grief enough, through that care and labour for provision which God thereon requireth at our hands; and therefore we should let every day content itself with his own care, and not add thereto another dayŐs grief.

 

In this branch of the reason, Christ sets out the continued misery of manŐs natural life; Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of my pilgrimage have been few and evil (Gen. 47:9). And Job saith, Man that is born of woman is of short continuance, and full of trouble (Job 14:1). But our Saviour Christ here goes beyond them both, saying, Every day of manŐs life hath grief enough of his own. This being well considered, may teach us these things:

 

1. To walk in our callings soberly, without entangling ourselves in worldly cares; for the daily discharge of the duties of our callings will bring sorrow and grief enough upon us, we need not to add thereto by our carking care; for the more we care, the more miserable is our life.

 

2. To labour to withdraw out hearts, and to estrange our affections from delight in things of this natural life, or in this life itself; for it is full of grief; and therefore we must so walk in our callings, that we may wait for a better life in heaven, where we shall have freedom from all sorrow and grief. The good prophet Elijah was weary of his life, by reason of the miseries of it, through the calamities of the time; and therefore entreateth the Lord to take away his soul (1 Kin. 19:4). And Paul cries out, one while upon the miseries that he felt through the body of death that was in him (Rom. 7:24); and at another time desires to be dissolved, and to be with Christ (Phil. 1:23); not simply, but because there was freedom from all sin, and the miseries thereof.

 

3. Every day to commend ourselves in souls and bodies, and all that we have, morning and evening, to the blessing and protection of God; for each day and night hath grief enough, by reason of our sin, which of ourselves we cannot undergo without the help of God. When our Saviour Christ was to die upon the cross, he commendeth His soul into His FatherŐs hands (Luke 23:46). And none of us have assurance of our continuance in life, but though we be well in the morning, we may be dead in the evening; or alive at night, and dead in the morning; and therefore we must not forget the practice of this duty. David did it in the time of trouble, though he were in health (Psa. 31:5), and though we were free from peril of death, yet our daily vexations should move us hereunto; for who can learn any good thing without labour and pain? Who can do a good work without let or opposition? If we would repent, we are either clogged with corruptions, or overwhelmed with temptations. And if we seek to walk in new obedience, we have the world, the flesh and the devil, all endeavouring to turn us back to our old course in sin. So that if we would either avoid evil, or do good, or support with some comfort our daily vexations, we must commend ourselves, and all ours, into the hands of God every day. And thus much of this reason, and of ChristŐs dehortation from distrustful care.