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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: May 9th
“God is greatly to be feared.”
1 Chronicles 13
1 Chronicles 13:1-4
The son of Jesse loved the Lord too well to be forgetful of his honour, his earliest thoughts when he was confirmed upon his throne were concerning the glory of his God. How different this from the conduct of those whose wealth and honours render them forgetful of him to whom they owe so much!
1 Chronicles 13:7
Here they fell into a grievous error for they neglected the precept of the law which commanded the priests to bear the ark with staves upon their shoulders. God will be served in his own way and not in ours; the slightest neglect of this rule may lead to serious consequences. The two young men that drove the cart had probably grown so familiar with the ark, that they felt little reverence for it, and a solemn lesson was needed to teach all Israel that the Lord is greatly to be feared.
1 Chronicles 13:10
We have in our day too many among us who commit the sin of Uzza, for they dream that Christianity will suffer greatly unless they bring it into conformity with the ruling taste of society. They alter its doctrines, adorn its worship artistically, overlay its simplicities with philosophy, and its plain speech with oratory, and all with the zealous but presumptuous intent to help Him who needs not such helpers, and to preserve that religion which they only insult by their unbelieving anxiety. We must beware of even imagining that our hand is needed to steady God’s ark, the thought is blasphemy.
1 Chronicles 13:11-13
Thus religious joy was interrupted because it had not been sufficiently seasoned with holy awe. This was good for David and all Israel, it suspended their rejoicing, but it purged their hearts from levity and presumption. It also taught them to be obedient to the Lord’s word, as well as zealous in his praise. Such lessons we all need to be taught.
1 Chronicles 13:14
May we as a family always cheerfully open our doors to entertain the Lord’s servants and worship, for full many a household has been blessed in so doing.
Just and true are all Thy ways,
Great Thy works above our praise;
Humbled in the dust, we own,
Thou art holy, Thou alone.
In Thy sight the angel band,
Justly charged with folly stand,
Holiest deeds of creatures lie
Meritless before Thine eye.
“Serve the Lord with gladness.”
2 Samuel 6:12-23
2 Samuel 6:12
Obed-edom’s prosperity was a sure token that the Lord was ready to bless all who would treat his. ark with reverence. When God blesses men of like passions with ourselves, we are encouraged to expect that he will bless us also.
This time the ark was carried by the priests, for the king said to the priests and Levites, “Sanctify yourselves, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”
2 Samuel 6:14
His royal robes were laid aside, and to show that he was the Lord’s servant he put on the Levite’s simple dress, and “danced before the Lord with all his might;” that is, says Krummacher, “he gave expression in outward movements, and by a rhythmic action of his body, to the feelings which swelled in his bosom. The conception which the world of the present day is wont to associate with the word dance is here not at all appropriate. The dance was, in Israel, a form of divine worship, in which the highest and holiest inspiration oftentimes expressed itself; as, for example, in the case of Miriam and her companions at the Red Sea. If it had not been so, how would the spirit of prophecy have said by the prophet Jeremiah, ‘Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.’“ And how would the singer of the hundred-and-fiftieth Psalm have exhorted the pious, saying to them, “Praise ye the Lord: praise him with timbrel and dance ”!
2 Samuel 6:20
She could not enter into David’s enthusiasm, and doubtless thought him half insane. Even thus at this day, cold, heartless religionists cavil at zeal, and call holy excitement cant and fanaticism.
2 Samuel 6:21
He reminded her of God’s electing love; truly, if anything can make a man’s heart dance this will.
2 Samuel 6:22
One is here reminded of Paul’s counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. To promote God’s glory we should rejoice to become less and less esteemed among men.
2 Samuel 6:23
She acted rather as the daughter of Saul than as the wife of David, and therefore like her father she died, leaving no heir to the throne of Israel.
the First Week of Advent
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