the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Lord hath chosen Zion.”
This Psalm fitly closes the active life of David and introduces us to his last thought and care. He longed to see the temple erected upon that spot which had been consecrated by the feet of the celestial messenger when the plague was stayed. He rehearses the story of his former longing to build a house for the Lord, and then dwells upon the covenant which the Lord, in infinite mercy, made with his servant. Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions: Many of these afflictions were endured for the Lord’s sake and in defence of the Lord’s worship, therefore the psalmist dwells upon them; he begs especially that God would remember David’s longing to build a temple.
In his earliest days, when he dwelt at Bethlehem Ephratah, he had heard of the ark and loved it, and, at last, he found it at Kirjath-jearim, the forest city. Happy are they who love the cause of God in their youth, and are resolved to find out his church and people, even though they should be as much concealed as if hidden in a wood.
Wherever God’s worship was, there David resolved to go. Be ours the same holy vow. If the saints be few, poor, and despised, we will sooner worship with them than with the great congregations of the worldly rich.
This was the song of Israel when the ark was moved from place to place. We may use it in these days when we are pleading for the presence and power of the Lord in his church.
Be this our constant prayer, that the church may prosper and the Lord glorify himself in the midst of his people, for the sake of Jesus our greater David, whose face is ever fair in the sight of the Lord.
What God has chosen let us choose, where he dwells let us dwell, and where he rests there let us rest. The church of God should be very dear to our hearts. It should be our anxiety to unite with those who follow the Lord in all things; and when we are joined to their fellowship we should, both by our prayers and efforts, seek to build up the church. What precious promises are those which follow!
The gospel is our food, the Lord give us grace to feast on the rich provision, and make us poor in spirit that this heavenly bread may be sweet to us.
None are so full of joy or so much in a mind to show it as those who dwell where God abides.
The glory of Jesus, the Son of David, is great in his church, and in her midst he preserves the light of truth among men.
Jesus shall reign. Oh, to be found among his friends! Who would wish to wear the garments of shame?
Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God!
He whose word cannot be broken,
Form’d thee for his own abode:
On the Rock of Ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.
“They offered willingly to the Lord.”
1 Chronicles 29:1-9 , 1 Chronicles 29:20-23
David never turned aside from his desire to see a glorious temple erected to the honour of the Lord his God, and although he was not permitted to build it himself, he diligently provided the materials, earnestly charged Solomon to carry out his design, and at last gathered a solemn council to whom he commended this noble work.
1 Chronicles 29:1
God must never be served in a slovenly manner. We should feel under bonds to do our best in all religious work, because the labour is not for man, but for the Lord God.
1 Chronicles 29:2
He had thought upon the matter, and provided many things, and these were all of the best. Would to God that we all served God in this fashion, with thought and with sacrifice.
1 Chronicles 29:4 , 1 Chronicles 29:5
He who gives freely himself may justly ask of others. Those who collect but never contribute are inconsistent.
1 Chronicles 29:6-8
He kept the accounts. God’s business should be done in order. Church funds should be very carefully accounted for, lest scandal arise.
1 Chronicles 29:9
The joy of giving to the Lord is a very great one. Angels might well envy us such bliss.
1 Chronicles 29:20
Paying religious homage to God, and respectful honour to the king.
1 Chronicles 29:21
Thus the threshing-floor of Araunah was saturated with blood that the foundations of the temple might be laid in sacrifice. Happy are those who are built upon the substitutionary death of Jesus.
1 Chronicles 29:22
So should sacred worship be far removed from sadness, and be regarded as a choice festival.
1 Chronicles 29:23
He was viceroy for his father for awhile, and then succeeded him by the consent of the whole nation.