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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: February 12th
“The Lord heareth you murmurings.”
Their first trouble was too much water, the second is too little; our trials are of all kinds.
This was tantalizing, they had water, but could not drink it.
Exodus 15:25 , Exodus 15:26
God has provided remedies for all ills, sweetening trees for bitter waters, and the cross to sweeten all.
It is not all rough work with pilgrims to Canaan, they have their pleasant seasons. Let them thank God for them.
It was strange that God should lead two millions of people into a desert, but wisdom directed his course. Strange providences are gracious providences.
With shameful readiness they ran to a low-minded form of complaining. There was no spirit in them. The flesh pots and the bread were all they thought of; the brick-making and the whips they overlooked. It is easy to make out the past to have been bright when we wish to find fault with the present.
Our mercies are tests; let us eat and drink to God’s glory.
We think it a small thing to murmur, against parents and friends, but this sheds a new light upon the matter. It is clear that a discontented heart really murmurs against God himself.
Exodus 16:9 , Exodus 16:10
This is a solemn truth; let all grumblers remember it.
The cross on which the Saviour died,
And conquer’d for his saints;
This is the tree by faith applied
To sweeten all complaints.
When we by faith behold the cross,
Though many griefs we meet;
We draw a gain from every loss,
And make our Marahs sweet
“I am the living bread.”
One would have expected a far severer rebuke than this, but the Lord was very pitiful towards them, as he is also towards us. These first murmurings were not visited so severely as those further on. The Lord is loath to use his rod.
They had the best of flesh and better than the best of bread. No king’s table was better spread than theirs. Rest assured he who fed murmurers will not desert believers.
Heaven’s bread must be gathered. We must hear the word, and retain it, or it cannot profit us.
There were misers in the wilderness, and their hoardings stank; there are other misers now upon the earth, whose scrapings are cankered and corrupt. Covetousness is loathsome.
Yet it could be cooked! Strange that it could bear one heat and not another.
Exodus 16:25 , Exodus 16:26
Thus the seventh day was honoured by the ceasing of the visible manna, but our first-day Sabbath has a double fall of spiritual manna, and we ought to gather in good store for all the week-days.
This was the surest way of stopping the sin, but it was very grievous that a people so marvellously favoured should be guilty of such a superfluous provocation.
God might have made it bitter, but he delights to see his creatures happy. What a blessed God he is!
Day by day the manna fell;
Oh! to learn this lesson well:
Still by constant mercy fed,
Give me, Lord, my daily bread.
“Day by day,” the promise reads;
Daily strength for daily needs;
Cast foreboding fears away;
Take the manna of to-day.
the Sixth Week after Easter
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