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A Review of George Muller: Delighted in God

George Muller believed that a commitment to bringing his individual needs to God and then waiting in faith for His response would clearly show that God is real.

  • Byron Snapp,
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How does one show the world that God is real? George Muller believed that a commitment to bringing his individual needs to God and then waiting in faith for His response would clearly answer this question.

Muller, born in 1805 in Prussia , grew up living as if God was nonexistent. While in a jail cell in 1821, he began to reflect on his life. Within four years God had drawn him savingly to Himself. His love for his heavenly Father and his desire to be a missionary brought his father's ire and denial of further funds. The young Christian saw God provide for his needs by raising up tutoring jobs.

Subsequently, Muller arrived in England through a series of providential events. Although he came to minister to the Jews, he became heavily burdened for the Gentiles and turned his attention to them. Initially, as pastor of Ebenezer Chapel, he accepted a salary. Soon he and his bride Mary decided they would take Luke 12:33 literally, and he turned down his remaining salary. God began to provide in wonderful ways.

Within three years he moved to Bristol , England . There he continued to work without a salary, depending on the Lord to provide for his needs as He saw fit. The Mullers bowed to God's will in the death of Mary's father and in the death of their young son in June 1835. They found God's sustaining grace to be real and sufficient in every area.

The Bristol pastor became increasingly burdened by the many impoverished orphans in the city who routinely ended up in workhouses, laboring in deplorable conditions. No orphanage existed for these boys and girls. In faith, Muller began to prayerfully lay the orphanage project with its great needs before the Lord in prayer. God began to provide materially in such abundance that the first orphanage was opened in May 1836. Through subsequent acquisitions and building projects, the orphanage ministry expanded and, after a neighbor's complaint, moved to a new location on seven acres of land.

God faithfully provided for the needs of the hundreds of youth that the Mullers admitted. George kept detailed records for accountability purposes. These records magnify God's constant care of the ministry through the giving of others. Additionally, the Mullers were enabled to send much money to mission needs elsewhere.

God's provision did not mean that the Mullers never faced trials. There were needs such as the immediate need for food for an evening meal or the quick repair of a broken furnace or the need for strength to endure the death of his first wife, Mary, in 1870.

A year later Muller married Susannah, who was a great asset when George decided to devote his time to traveling throughout the world preaching the gospel. He left the orphanage responsibility in the hands of his self-appointed successor and long-time assistant, James Wright, who had become his son-in-law.

The aged man became a widower again in 1894. His final years were lived in continued dependence on God and a desire to faithfully labor for Him. He died in 1898.

The author closes by answering some of the criticisms that have been leveled at Muller and by giving the current status of the ministry. The author does not overlook Muller's faults, nor is there any application that God expects all Christians to refuse paychecks or to refuse to set aside money for retirement.

Steer has penned a very readable volume that reminds the reader of the greatness and generosity of God and of the importance of one's prayer life.

  • Byron Snapp

Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia.  He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina.  He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren. 

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