the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Return unto thy rest, O my soul.”
The Lord did not forget the saved ones. He thought on Noah first, and then on those with him, and even thus he remembers his dear Son, and us for his sake.
How readily are all things ordered by the Lord’s providence. Winds and waters move at his bidding, as well for the deliverance of his people as for the destruction of his foes.
This foul bird could light on carrion; just as wicked men find delight in sin.
Even thus our weary souls when renewed by grace find no rest in polluted things, but return unto Jesus their rest; and he graciously draws us in to himself when we are too faint to come.
In the new and renovated world the dove could live at liberty, as regenerated souls dwell amid holy things.
He did not come forth till he was bidden to do so by the same voice which called him into the ark. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
Before he built a house he built an altar. God must be first worshipped in all things.
Thus Noah’s sacrifice was pleasing to the Lord and the ground of a new covenant; and so the offering of the Lord Jesus is evermore a sweet savour, and for his sake the covenant of grace is made with all the saved ones. Have all of us an interest in it?
O Jesus, Saviour of the lost,
Our ark and hiding place,
By storms of sin and sorrow toss’d,
We seek thy sheltering grace.
Forgive our wandering and our sin,
We wish no more to roam;
Open the ark and take us in,
Our soul’s eternal home.
“He will ever be mindful of His covenant.”
In this portion we have fuller particulars of the gracious covenant made with Noah and his seed.
To those who have been saved in Christ no future destruction is possible. They are for ever secure from the floods of wrath.
The covenant sign is seen in cloudy times when faith most requires a seal of the Lord’s faithfulness. No cloud, no bow. It is worth while to have a cloud to have a rainbow painted upon it.
This is better than man’s looking upon it, for He will never gaze with forgetful eye.
The word everlasting has heavenly music in it. A temporary covenant is of small value, but an everlasting covenant is a wellspring of delight.
The rainbow is thus made the lovely symbol of God’s truth. A bow unstrung, for war is over; a bow without a string never to be used against us; a bow turned upward, that we may direct our thoughts and prayers thither; a bow of bright colours, for joy and peace are signified by it. Blessed arch of beauty, be thou to us ever the Lord’s preacher.
We will now turn to a passage in the prophets where the covenant of divine grace is linked with this bow.
Let us henceforth be ashamed to doubt the Lord. These steadfast signs should create in us unstaggering confidence in the faithfulness of our immutable God. Only let us make sure that we are exercising true faith in Him.
The warm affections of his breast
Towards his chosen burn;
And in his love he’ll ever rest,
Nor from his oath return.
Still to confirm his oath of old,
See in the heavens his bow;
No fierce rebukes, but joys untold
Await his children now.