Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Daily Devotionals
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: April 24th

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“The Lord looketh on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:1 , 1 Samuel 16:4-14 , 1 Samuel 16:22 , 1 Samuel 16:23

1 Samuel 16:1

It was both natural and right that the prophet should lament Saul’s sin, but he must not repine at the Lord’s punishment of him, but rather bestir himself to be God’s messenger to the better king who would one day prove a great blessing to Israel. We must lament that any should so sin as to incur God’s anger, but at his judgments upon them we must not rebel, for the Judge of all the earth must do right. When the wicked are cast into hell, the saints in heaven do not murmur out of pity to the offenders; but, in obedient sympathy with the most Holy God, they adore with reverential awe.

1 Samuel 16:4-6

Even prophets err when they judge by appearances. Men are not to be valued by their looks but by their hearts.

1 Samuel 16:11

He who was retiring and pious was but little esteemed at home. Parents make great mistakes when they undervalue good children because they do not happen to be brilliant and pushing. Despised ones should be comforted when they remember that the Lord knows all about them, and will bring them forward in due time. Verily, there are last who shall be first.

1 Samuel 16:13

The horn of oil indicated plenteous grace. We all need the power of the Holy Spirit; may he dwell in us richly, then shall we be kings and priests unto God.

1 Samuel 16:14

We have seen what divine love did for David, and we now learn what divine anger did for Saul. The one thing most needful above all others, is the favour of the Lord. Have that, and we are blessed; be without it, and we are miserable.

1 Samuel 16:23

Saul was probably a monomaniac through remorse of conscience, and needed music to relieve his mind. How much happier was the shepherd youth who had music in his heart and was filled with the good Spirit. God grant that we may live in the fear of God, and so enjoy abiding peace, for even in this life sinful conduct is the root of countless ills.

But few among the carnal wise,

But few of nobler race,

Obtain the favour of thine eyes,

Almighty King of Grace.

Nature has all her glories lost,

When brought before thy throne;

No flesh shall in thy presence boast,

But in the Lord alone.


“He must reign.”

Psalms 78:67-72

The Holy Spirit has spoken of the election of David in the Psalms more than once, let us read a passage from Psalms 78:67-72.

Psalms 78:67

The ark had been for a long time at Shiloh, in the territory of Ephraim, but the tribe was found unfit for leadership, and the divine residence was therefore removed.

Psalms 78:68-71

He exercised the care and art of those who watch for the young lambs, following the ewes in their wanderings; the tenderness and patience thus acquired, would tend to the development of characteristics most becoming in a king. To the man thus prepared, the office which God had appointed for him came in due season, and he was enabled worthily to fulfil it. It is wonderful how often divine wisdom so arranges the early and obscure portion of a choice life, as to make it a preparatory school for a more active and noble future.

Psalms 78:72

In his reign the people were peaceful and prosperous, and no better king ever sat upon the throne of Israel.

Isaiah 11:1-10

We will now read a passage in which our Lord Jesus is spoken of as Israel’s king, and his reign described.

Isaiah 11:3 , Isaiah 11:4

Our Lord is very quick to understand the desires and groanings of those in whom is the genuine principle of holy fear, even though they be but feebly seeking after God.

Isaiah 11:3 , Isaiah 11:4

His gospel is the destroyer of evil, and his last sentence will slay the wicked in eternal death.

Isaiah 11:5-8

Jesus will in his own good time, deliver this earth from the curse, and restore the purity and peace of Eden. Even the animal creation shall in the latter days feel his elevating power. “The creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Isaiah 11:10

Christ is the rallying point for manhood, he draws all men unto him. To him shall all people offer their allegiance, and the place where he deigns to dwell shall be glorious indeed. What is this but his church, of which he has said, “This is my rest”?

Crown him, the Lord of Peace,

Whose power a sceptre sways

From pole to pole, that wars may cease,

Absorb’d in prayer and praise:

His reign shall know no end,

And round his pierced feet

Fair flowers of paradise extend

Their fragrance ever sweet.

We love thy church, O God;

Her walls before thee stand

Dear as the apple of thine eye,

And graven on thy hand.

For her our tears shall fall,

For her our prayers ascend,

To her our cares and toils be given,

Till toils and cares shall end.

Jesus, thou Friend divine,

Our Saviour and our King,

Thy hand from every snare and foe,

Shall great deliverance bring.

Lord, through the desert drear and wide,

Our erring footsteps need a guide;

Keep us, oh keep us near thy side.

Let us not fall. Let us not fall.

We have no fear that Thou shouldst lose

One whom eternal love could choose;

But we would ne’er this grace abuse.

Let us not fall. Let us not fall.

Lord, we are blind, and halt, and lame,

We have no stronghold but thy name:

Great is our fear to bring it shame.

Let us not fall. Let us not fall.

Who this mighty champion is,

Nature answers from within;

He is my own wickedness,

He my close besetting sin.

In the strength of Jesus’ name

With the monster I will fight;

Feeble and unarm’d I am

Save with God’s eternal might.

Mindful of his mercies past

Still I trust the same to prove,

Still my helpless soul I cast

On my Lord’s redeeming love.

Rise, ye men of Israel, rise,

Now your routed foe pursue;

Shout his praises to the skies,

Who has conquer’d sin for you.

Jesus doth for you appear,

He his conquering grace affords;

Saves you, not with sword and spear,

For the battle is the Lord’s.

Earth and hell shall yet submit,

All his foes before him fall,

Death shall die beneath his feet,

And our God be all in all.

To the upright light arises,

Darkness soon gives place to day;

While the man who truth despises,

And refuses to obey,

In a moment,

Cursed of God, shall melt away.

Therefore let us praise Jehovah,

Sound his glorious name on high,

Sing his praises, and moreover

By our actions magnify

Our Redeemer,

Who by blood has brought us nigh.

Full oft the clouds of deepest woe,

So sweet a message bear,

Dark though they seem, ‘twere hard to find

A frown of anger there.

It needs our hearts be wean’d from earth,

It needs that we be driven,

By loss of every earthly stay,

To seek our joys in heaven.

For we must follow in the path

Our Lord and Saviour run;

We must not find a resting-place

Where he we love had none.

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