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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: February 18th
“Be ye holy.”
Each census was to be attended with a redemption. Every one of the Lord’s people was thus to be redeemed as a testimony to all generations that redemption is essential to acceptance with God. Had we not been bought with a price, the fierce plagues of divine punishment would have followed us even to the lowest hell.
God sets his own estimate upon men, for he best knows their value. The standard of our indebtedness is not left to be fixed by our own feelings; the Lord’s own will is the law of our condition. Duty is duty, because He requires it.
Exodus 30:14 , Exodus 30:15
Believers vary in knowledge, gifts, and graces, but they are all redeemed with the same price. The meanest believer was bought with the same blood as the chief of the apostles. The poor, the obscure, the faulty, the illiterate, are as dear to the heart of Jesus as the richest and most gifted saint. What a sweet thought! Here is the true equality. “His righteousness is unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference.” Let us all equally bless and love the Lord by whose blood we are equally redeemed.
A memorial of them testifying that the price was paid, and a memorial to them of their great indebtedness to the Redeemer.
1 Peter 1:15-21
The obligations arising out of our redemption by the Lord Jesus are set forth in 1 Peter 1:15-21.
1 Peter 1:16
The essence of religion consists in the imitation of him whom we worship.
1 Peter 1:17
Let a childlike fear of offending your Great Father ever restrain you from sin. “Blessed is the man who feareth always.”
1 Peter 1:18-19
The same price which redeems us from destruction also redeems us from our vain conversation; and this is no less than the heart’s blood of the Son of God. Until the world can offer us something more precious than the blood of Jesus, we shall feel ourselves bound by bonds of love to walk in holiness, to Jesus’ praise.
1 Peter 1:20 , 1 Peter 1:21
The love of Jesus to us is no novelty; he was ordained to redeem us ere worlds began; let none of the trifles of earth charm us with their new pretensions. It was truly practical love which brought him to earth to be our suffering substitute; let our love be practical too; not in word only, but in deed and in truth. O to be a redeemed family, and to live as such. The Lord grant it for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Lord, I desire to live as one
Who bears a blood-bought name,
As one who fears but grieving Thee,
And knows no other shame.
As one by whom Thy walk below
Should never be forgot;
As one who fain would keep apart
From all Thou lovest not.
“Keep yourselves from idols.”
They were so fickle that they could not be trusted alone; and worse than this, they were basely ungrateful to forget their God, and ascribe their deliverance to Moses; and even to hint they were foully thankless, for they called him “this Moses,” as if in contempt, and that to the face of his own brother. They must have been in a state of wild rebellion, thus to insult both their great leader and his brother. The fact was, that they were so utterly unspiritual that without something to see they could not abide in peace: the faith which seeth him who is invisible they had not learned.
Shame upon Aaron to pander to them! What idolatry to think that the infinite Jehovah can be likened unto a bullock which hath horns and hoofs. They went back to old Egyptian idolatry, and set up an ox as the symbol of the God of power.
Or to Jehovah; so that they did not leave off worshipping Jehovah, but transgressed the second commandment by likening him to an ox.
Exodus 32:7 , Exodus 32:8
Who wonders that the Lord resented the insult offered to him by the people who owed him so much?
Exodus 32:9 , Exodus 32:10
Here was a great opportunity for Moses if he had been an ambitious or selfish man; but he loved the people better than himself.
See the point of his plea: God had called them Moses people, but he will not have it so, he calls them, “thy people” and beseeches the Lord not to be angry with them.
Here he urges the name and honour of God. Forcible pleading this!
Exodus 32:13 , Exodus 32:14
His third master plea is “the covenant” confirmed by oath: he who can plead this cannot but succeed.
If Moses succeeded as Mediator, how much more shall the Lord Jesus, who makes intercession for the transgressors.
From Sinai we have heard thee speak
And from Mount Calv’ry too;
And yet to idols oft we seek
While thou art in our view.
Lord, save us from our golden calves;
Our sin with grief we own;
We would no more be thine by halves,
But live to thee alone.
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