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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: February 2nd
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation.”
Even the devil will attend divine worship to serve his own ends. It is, therefore, a poor confidence which looks for salvation because church or chapel have been regularly attended. We ought also to watch and pray even when we are in the assemblies of the saints, for Satan enters there, and is busy with his temptations.
Full of evil as Satan is, he is not idle. A lazy man commits one more sin than the devil himself.
The glory of Job’s character was his sincerity and uprightness, and this like an impregnable fortress defied the attacks of hell, though the prince of darkness himself personally assailed him, with permission from God to take from him all that he possessed.
Satan suggested that bodily pain would be the weapon to wound Job’s faith; yea, and turn it into rebellion. There was much malicious cunning in this, for many a man has yielded before the miseries of physical pain though he had been proof against every other trial. Yet the Lord can make his people more than conquerors even there.
In this wretched state he had no soft bed, but lay upon the hard ashes; nor does it seem that he had either surgeon or nurse. There he sat, the prince of misery; but there was worse to come.
Satan tried to ruin Job through her who should have been his best comforter, but he was defeated, for he only led Job to utter another of those notable speeches which are now the treasures of the church.
This showed sympathy, but even this was not permitted to continue lest it should comfort the afflicted one. Soon these three friends judged Job’s condition, and came to the conclusion that such unusual sorrow could only have been brought about by unusual sin. Under this impression, they added the last drop of gall to Job’s cup by accusing him of hypocrisy and secret sin.
I am a sinner shall I dare
To murmur at the strokes I bear?
Strokes, not in wrath, but mercy sent,
A wise and needful chastisement.
Saviour! I breathe the prayer once thine,
“Father! thy will be done, not mine!”
One only blessing would I claim;
In me, O glorify thy name!
“He shall deliver thee in six troubles.”
Eliphaz, the Temanite, though he took a wrong and cruel line of argument with Job, nevertheless, in the course of his reasoning, uttered some grand things: we will read two passages of his first speech. In the first, he shows that weak and erring man must not question the wisdom and justice of God’s actions.
In comparison with God what are men or even angels? Angels have but finite wisdom, and where their wisdom ends folly begins; theirs is not sinful folly, but such as ever must be in creatures when compared with the Omniscient One. Even angels know but little in comparison with God. How then can we think highly of frail beings, who from day to day are dying, and are so accustomed to see each other turn to dust that they think nothing of it? How can a mere insect like man, who is moreover foolish and sinful, dare to call in question the doings of the Eternal God?
In our second extract Eliphaz teaches us not to repine under divine chastisements, for they will be blessed to our highest good.
Be not averse to it, rebel not against it, ascribe it not to anger, and do not disregard it as if it were a trifle.
The same Lord is in both our afflictions and our consolations, and he arranges that the one shall be surely followed by the other.
Trouble may roar upon us, but it cannot devour us. It may vex us, but it shall not do us real harm. If we suffer a perfect number of trials we shall also have an all-sufficient degree of grace.
a mercy indeed
The Great Masters dogs will not bite his friends.
The Friend of the father will be gracious to the children.
We have not only been told this, but we have assured ourselves of it ”We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
Why should I doubt his love at last,
With anxious thoughts perplex’d?
Who saved me in the troubles pass’d,
Will save me in the next.
Will save, till at my latest hour,
With more than conquest bless’d,
I soar beyond temptation’s power,
To my Redeemer’s breast.
the First Week of Advent
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