Harold Samuel Laird was born on August 8, 1891, in New Castle, Pennsylvania. His father was a faithful Presbyterian pastor who raised him in the nurture of the Lord. Harold Laird was converted at a young age and walked closely with his Lord ever afterward. Upon graduation from Lafayette College and Princeton Theological Seminary he was ordained to the Gospel Ministry and held six successful pastorates.
Harold Laird was an outstanding preacher of the Gospel, a caring pastor, a contender for the faith, and one who was vitally interested in world missions. He had a leading role in the events which led to the formation of one source of the PCA. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Westminster Theological Seminary, the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, and Faith Theological Seminary. He was willing to suffer for his convictions even to the point of being suspended from the ministry of the PCUSA and being removed as pastor of one of the most prestigous churches of Wilmington, Delaware. Wheaton College honored him with a Doctor of Divinity degree and he was elected as Moderator of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. He also served on the Board of the Quarryville Presbyterian Home.
Dr. Laird was a man who walked with God. All who heard him pray came into the presence of God. His life verse was Matthew 6:33 and his godly spirit evidenced that he practiced it. He was completely content in the providence of God in his life. Harold Laird ran his race well and entered into glory on August 25, 1987.
THE PROMISE OF
by Rev. Harold S. Laird, D.D.
[The Independent Board Bulletin 7.3 (March 1941): 3-4.]
“1 will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: 1 will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8.)
The thirty-second Psalm describes two methods of supernatural guidance. Both methods, of course, are employed only on behalf of those who are ordained of God unto eternal life.
The first is that employed with those of His children who have a desire to know and to do His will. To them, and to them alone God speaks when He says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” The second method is that used with those who are self-willed, stubborn, and wayward. It is of this group that He speaks when He says, “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” Thus God does guide many, in order that, in spite of their self-willed waywardness, they may at last be brought unto Himself.
It is, of course, the first of these two methods that we have in mind when we speak of “the promise of supernatural guidance.” Happy is the man or woman who has the assurance of this guidance, rather than the other.
It is the PATH OF PEACE. We can not guide ourselves, nor can we trust others to guide us, though they be the wisest and the best. Jeremiah testified to this when he wrote, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). But when we put ourselves under the care and leading of the Lord, we know that all is well, and great peace is ours. The Apostle testifies to this in Philippians 4:6-7.
It is also the PATH OF COURAGE. What courage it gives us to know that God guides us, that He leads and goes before! “He knoweth the way that I take. . . .” This was the secret of Joshua’s courage. Again and again God bade Joshua, “Be of good courage,” simply on the ground of His promised guidance.
It is also the PATH of HOPE. God purposes that our hope for the future should be the result largely of our experience of His guidance in the past. How we ought to trust Him to fulfill in us all His purpose as we reflect upon the supernatural manner in which He has directed our steps in the days that are past.