“Why Have I Found Grace In Thine Eyes”

Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”
(Ruth 2:10)

My soul! dost thou not find continual causes for sending forth the same inquiry as this poor Moabitess did, when thou art receiving some renewed instance of Jesus’s favour? Her heart was overwhelmed with the kindness of Boaz, in permitting her to glean only in his fields, and to eat a morsel of food with his servants: but thy Boaz, thy Kinsman-Redeemer, hath opened to thee all His stores of grace and mercy; He bids thee come and take of the water of life freely; yea, He is to thee, Himself, the bread of life, and the water of life; and is now, and will be for ever, thy portion, on which thou mayest feed to all eternity. When thou lookest back, and tracest the subject of His love from the beginning, in the springs and autumns of His grace; when thou takest a review of the distinguishing nature of these acts of grace; when thou bringest into the account thine ingratitude, under all the sunshine of His love and favour; will not the question again and again arise, at every review, “Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?” Stranger indeed, by nature and by practice; living without God, and without Christ in the world. And, my soul, it might have been, long since, supposed, that, after such repeated unceasing acts of grace, as Jesus hath shewn, and even when thou hast caused him “to serve with thy sins, and wearied him with thy transgressions;” yet His compassions have failed not, but have been “new every morning;” it might have been supposed, that long and unceasing grace would at length have produced the blessed effect of living wholly to Him, who hath so loved thee, as to give Himself for thee. But, alas! the day that marks again His mercy, marks again thy rebellion. So that the heart is constrained every day to cry out, “Why have I found grace in thine eyes?” Precious Jesus! the only answer is, because thou art, thou wilt be Jesus. LORD! I bow down to the dust of the earth, in token of my vileness, and thy unspeakable glory! It is indeed the glorious attribute of thy grace to poor fallen men: “the LORD delighteth in mercy. He will perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”

Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

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