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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: April 2nd
“The right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.”
Let us now take the remainder of Deborah’s noble song
They were ready volunteers. Their hatred of Israel made them eager for the battle. They sought no other reward than that which they found in oppressing the nation they so much abhorred. Satan has his volunteers shall any of us need pressing to serve the Lord?
The heavenly hosts entered the lists. The elements took Israel’s side. The rainy constellations were in the ascendant. The clouds blazed with lightning, and tremendous water-floods poured from them.
The torrent-bed being suddenly swollen, washed away whole armies of men.
The frighted horses pranced till their unshod hoofs failed them. Sisera’s boasted cavalry became useless, and his chariots of iron an encumbrance to his army.
The laggards of Meroz are cursed, not for what they did, but for what they failed to do. Fear made them neutral, and neutrals in a patriotic war are detestable. “I would thou wert either cold or hot.” Earnest spirits feel great indignation against good-for-nothing indifferents.
Judges 5:24 , Judges 5:25
Sisera saw the milk, but not the nail, and many tempted ones are in the same case.
Judges 5:26 , Judges 5:27
Lowly was Jael’s sphere, but she did for Israel her very best, therefore was she as much blessed as Barak who led the thousands of Israel to battle.
This is a beautiful picture of the disappointment of the women at home when their warriors returned not in triumph. They reckoned without God, and therefore their expectation failed them. The next epithet is ironical.
Judges 5:29 , Judges 5:30
Thus, in imagination, they divided the spoil of a victory which was never gained. How often have the enemies of the church reckoned upon her overthrow, and rejoiced by anticipation; but hitherto the Lord hath helped us.
Amen! Amen! Under the gospel we dare say Amen; but our wrestling is with principles, not men; with error, sin, Satan, unbelief. O for brave hands of men and women to smite these foes.
The foes of Zion quake for fright,
Where no fear was they quail;
For well they know that sword of might
Which cuts through coats of mail.
The Lord of old defiled their shields,
And all their spears he scorn’d;
Their bones lay scatter’d o’er the fields,
Unburied and unmourn’d.
Let Zion’s foes be fill’d with shame;
Her sons are bless’d of God;
Though scoffers now despise his name,
The Lord shall break their rod.
“Arise, O God! Plead thine own cause.”
In after years, when Israel came into sore trouble, her holy men remembered the Lord’s overthrow of Jabin and Sisera, and made it a plea in prayer. We must never doubt that what the Lord did in the olden times for his people he can and will do again. He may alter his mode of action, but he will achieve the same result.
Psalms 83:1 , Psalms 83:2
O Lord, thine enemies are raging, do not be deaf and dumb to them, but hear thou their furious threats, and rebuke them by thy word. They are very proud, but do thou, O Lord, abase them.
God’s people are hidden as his choice treasure, hidden for protection, hidden in their secret nature, and hidden in the sense of being obscure and unvalued. Against such the wicked plot with cunning and cruelty. Though believers sometimes act without consideration, their enemies seldom do so. In this matter the children of this world are wiser than the children of light.
Only extermination will serve their turn. The powers of evil would not leave a believer on earth if they could help it. Remember the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and be assured that the spirit of Antichrist is unchanged.
Thus relatives and near neighbours, old enemies and new foes, were of one mind against the favoured nation. The wicked often put divided Christians to shame by their unanimity.
Psalms 83:11 , Psalms 83:12
They meant to take the tabernacle itself as a prey, and to attack the shrine of God himself. Their total destruction was a fit reward for such ferocious sacrilege.
Let them have no rest, let them have no power to resist thee.
Psalms 83:14 , Psalms 83:15
We must love our own enemies, but when we view men as the enemies of God and his glorious cause, we cannot love them nor ought we to do so. May all those who fight against God, truth, love, and holiness, be utterly defeated.
A sweet prayer, fit for Christian lips, since it asks for the salvation of those who are now the Lord’s enemies.
If wicked men will not bend, then let them break, for it cannot be that all the rights of men and all the laws of God should be set aside to give liberty to unholy minds. If truth and holiness cannot live except bad men be put down, then down let them go.
This is the grand design of providence, and the end to which all events must tend. Let us as a household and as individuals, be ever found upon the Lord’s side.
O Jesu Christ, thy Church sustain;
Our hearts are wavering, cold and vain;
Then let thy word be strong and clear,
To silence doubt and banish fear.
O guard us all from Satan’s wiles,
From worldly threats and worldly smiles,
And let thy saints in unity
Know thee in God and God in thee.
the First Week of Advent
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