the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Follow thou Me.”
Laban, having heard Eliezer’s story and seen the jewels, which were no doubt great arguments with his mercenary mind, consented that Rebekah should go with him to Isaac.
It is always right for young people to seek the consent of parents and natural guardians in such an important business.
He was too devout a man to fail to adore ingratitude; too many, however, only pray in need, but forget to worship in thanksgiving.
He was a wise steward, and knew what arguments weighed most with Laban.
God’s servants should imitate this steward, and never be loiterers.
We ought not easily to be delayed from duty. To loiter is to disobey. When God speeds us we should speed indeed.
How happy would ministers be if all young people could be as readily led to the great Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus. He accepts the willing mind. He asks for the heart. Alas, how many deny their consent to his loving claims.
The blessing of parents is a precious dowry.
This good man, in his choice of a suitable place and time for one of the most heavenly of occupations, is an example to us all. If we meditated more we should be far more gracious than we are;
Happy is that servant of God who dare tell his Master in heaven all that he has done. What a sad account would some have to render; for, “who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”
In all my Lord’s appointed ways,
My journey I’ll pursue;
“Hinder me not,” ye much-loved saints,
For I must go with you.
Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead,
I’ll follow where he goes;
“Hinder me not,” shall be my cry,
Though earth and hell oppose.
My spirit looks to God alone;
My rock and refuge is his throne;
In all my fears, in all my straits,
My soul on his salvation waits.
Trust him, ye saints, in all your ways.
Pour out your hearts before his face;
When helpers fail, and foes invade,
God is our all-sufficient aid.
“Love not the world.”
The portion of Scripture we shall now read gives us a retrospect of our former reading, and shows us what it was which sustained the patriarchs in their wandering and separated life.
Faith is a better guide than mere reason, if it be faith in God. Our knowledge is partial and may mislead us, but trust in the omniscient Lord gives us an infallible guide.
His eye saw into the far off future, and his hope was set upon eternal things. Are we also looking beyond this world for our portion? Shame will one day cover our faces if it be not so, for all the things which are seen will melt away like the mist of the morning. Heaven has a foundation, earth has none, for Job tells us concerning the Great Creator, “he hangeth the world upon nothing.”
Abraham himself was so aged as to be long past the years in which children could naturally be born to him; and therefore his body was as dead. Yet the father of the faithful staggered not at the promise of the Almighty God. There is no exaggeration in the description of the patriarch’s descendants, for not only the Jews, but all believers, are reckoned as the seed of Abraham. The spiritual seed are countless and glorious as the stars; and the natural or earthly seed are a great host like the sand of the sea shore.
Even thus at this day we are here as strangers and foreigners, and we seek a city out of sight. “Jerusalem the golden” is the desire of our hearts, but here we have no continuing city. This is to walk by faith.
Correspondence with the old country was easy, and the temptation to seek their fatherland was a strong one, but they persevered in the pilgrim life, and so must we. Opportunities to return to sin are legion, but we must by the power of the Holy Spirit continue to walk with God.
Isaac lived as if he had been raised from the dead, for he was dead in Abraham’s intent and expectation. In this way he became to the patriarch a living type of the resurrection. The faith of Abraham was tried in many fires, and so must ours be. Will it stand the test? Are we resting upon the faithfulness and omnipotence of God? Any pillars less strong than these will give way beneath us. The faith of God’s elect, which is the gift of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit, will endure and overcome and land us safely in the promised inheritance. Have we this faith or no? May the Lord grant us this most precious grace.
My rest is in heaven, my rest is not here,
Then why should I tremble when trials are near?
Be hush’d my dark spirit, the worst that can come
But shortens thy journey, and hastens thee home.
It is not for me to be seeking my bliss,
Or building my hopes in a region like this;
I look for a city that hands have not piled,
I pant for a country by sin undefiled.