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The Tragic Case of the Lowly Muck-Rake


“There are a great many Christians, however, who do not habitually choose the best things–but second-rate things. They labor for the food that perishes–when they might labor for the food that endures unto everlasting life. Even in their prayers, they ask for temporal blessings, when they might ask for spiritual gifts and treasures! They are like John Bunyan’s “man with the muck-rake”, who only looks ‘down’ and drags his rake among the weeds and worthless rubbish–while over his head are crowns that he might take into his hands!” – JR Miller

It is so easy to look around in disgust at the beginnings of what will be a cultural and spiritual free fall in the days and years to come (short of some miraculous and divine intervention). There are many who seldom look up, but there are even more who see no reason to do so…

Are we preoccupied with the evil that surrounds us? Are our tongues filled with words of hopeful encouragements or only bitter disgust? Do we feed our minds with spiritual promise or carnal conceit?

Every glance below should be exceeded sevenfold by a gaze above. If our days are filled with grievances and bitter laments how shall we be partakers of the spiritual fruit of God?

The neglect and apathetic indifference toward the things above is all the more tragic in that a better way has been offered but we are too preoccupied and carnally minded to receive it. Throw down thy rake and look thee upward toward the things that never perish!

…a man that could look no way but downwards, with a muck-rake in his hand. There stood also one over his head with a celestial crown in his hand, and proffered him that crown for his muck-rake; but the man did neither look up nor regard, but raked to himself the straws, the small sticks, and dust of the floor.


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