the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Lord reigneth.”
They would found a universal monarchy of which this tower should be the centre. They planned the tower that they might not be scattered, and they thus forgot the command to replenish the earth. Ambition was at the bottom of the plan; by centralising all mankind they hoped to build up an empire, which, like their tower, should defy heaven itself.
To him their huge tower was a mere nothing; he is said, after the manner of men, to come down from heaven in order to see such a trifle.
How easily can God thwart our plans, and bring to pass his own purposes, despite all opposition. The scene has been very graphically sketched by Bishop Hall. “One calls for brick, the other looks him in the face, and wonders what he commands, and how and why he speaks such words as were never heard, and instead thereof brings him mortar, returning him an answer as little understood; each chides with other, expressing his choler, so as he only can understand himself. From heat they fall to quiet entreaties, but still with the same success. At first every man thinks his fellow mocks him; but now perceiving this serious confusion, their only answer was silence, and ceasing: they could not come together, for no man could call them to be understood; and if they had assembled, nothing could be determined, because one could never attain to the other’s purpose.”
As a fit comment on the transaction at Babel we will read apart of
We have done with self-confidence which is but a vain tower of Babel, and we fly unto the Lord our God who is a tower of defence to save us.
In his providential reign,
Oh, what various wisdom shines!
He confounds the pride of man,
Blasts the people’s vain designs;
Brings their counsels all to nought;
Only his abideth sure;
What the gracious Lord has thought
Shall from age to age endure.
“I am a stranger with Thee.”
God had elected Abram, and therefore in due time he called him, and so separated him unto himself. All the chosen seed must in this be conformed to the father of the faithful.
The grace which chose him made him obedient, and he left all at the divine command. Only in the separated life could he inherit the blessing, and therefore he cheerfully forsook all to follow his Lord.
It is not enough to set out, we must persevere to the end.
Though the land was given to the patriarch by promise, yet he did not actually possess a single foot of it. Unbelief would have reckoned this to be a very shadowy inheritance; but faith is the substance of things hoped for, and makes us content to wait. The Canaanite is still in the land, yet we rightly reckon that all things are ours.
The patriarch was careful to maintain the worship of God wherever he might be placed. Go where we may, let us not forget to render devotion and obedience to God.
The secret of Abram’s prompt action may be seen in
Abram had to come out from idolatrous Chaldea, and so must we be separate from the world which lieth in the wicked one. He became a pilgrim and a sojourner, and so must we. This is not our rest, ours is a pilgrim’s life, we are wanderers till we reach the city which hath foundations. He pitched his tent and wandered up and down in the land as a stranger, but he was no Canaanite: here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. He who finds a rest here has none in heaven.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
2 Corinthians 6:18
Oh, that the Lord may make us, as a family, separated unto himself.
We’ve no abiding city here;
Then let us live as pilgrims do:
Let not the world our rest appear,
But let us haste from all below.
We’ve no abiding city here;
We seek a city out of sight:
Zion’s its name the Lord is there;
It shines with everlasting light.