From my bookshelf
It was a book which had been nestling on the shelf for many years. Finding it aroused memories, and made me think.
The memory was of a brother who loved to take this world's strugglers under his wing. He had given the book to a friend like this, with high hopes, that his 'faith and love for God become as great as that of the man written of in the book'. The book began with the text 'Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart' (Psalm 37.4). Alas, this hope for his friend was not realised.
The thought which the book provoked concerned the way in which the man who was its subject approached scripture. Approaching the Bible as a student, I myself like to know who wrote each part, to whom it was written, under what circumstances, and what was God's message to the first readers who received it. Another approach to scripture is that of brethren who already know what the Bible teaches, and interpret each text in the light of the idea of God's plans that they have in mind. But in the present case, the man in the book was taking scriptures out of their context, and without any consideration of God's whole purpose, and was applying them personally to himself.
For example, the text "Open thy mouth and I will fill it" (Psalm 81.10) In its context, this is part of God's appeal to stubborn Israel. The Psalm is intended for Temple worship - 'to the Leader', 'according to the Gittith', a psalm of Asaph. Its whole tenor is that the people God has chosen in His purpose and brought safely out of Egypt and whom He was more than willing to help and support, were less than willing to obey Him, let alone 'Sing aloud to God our strength' (v.1).
But George Muller, as he meditated in the Scriptures, and taking this verse personally, was forcibly struck by it. He was already a man of prayer. He had learned to rely on God alone for the needs of his own family. Now, he asked God, in faith, to provide the needs for the establishment of an orphanage—premises, finance, and staff. When God answered this prayer, 'filling' the 'open mouth', it would be proof of His reality and His love.
How God answered prayer then, and all through George Muller's life, is a matter of history.
'George Muller—Delighted in God' by Roger Steer 2nd edition 1981