the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Those that seek me early shall find me.”
In this chapter we hear again the pleadings of heavenly wisdom in the person of the Son of God. Let us not be careless when God himself expostulates with us.
Everywhere, in his word, in providence, by his ministers, and by his Spirit, the Incarnate Wisdom still calls to men. Especially in this land of Bibles and of Sabbaths, the Lord Jesus is everywhere heard pleading with old and young, gentle and simple, that they would consider and turn unto him.
Jesus invites the foolish to come to him. How condescending is he in this, for the teachers of old sought wise men for pupils, and few masters now-a-days would invite fools to their schools. Jesus is meek and lowly in heart, he condescends to men of low estate, and is ready to be the teacher of the simple. None need stay away from him because of their ignorance; it should even be a reason for coming to him. But some will enquire, Is his teaching worth hearing? Therefore he says
Proverbs 8:6 , Proverbs 8:7
But does he speak the truth? He does, and he adds
Proverbs 8:8 , Proverbs 8:9
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
But can we understand his teaching? Can poor men comprehend him? Can little children receive his teaching? Yes, his words are simplicity itself.
Soul-saving knowledge is beyond all price.
Proverbs 8:11 , Proverbs 8:12
Eternal Wisdom found out the witty invention of the Cross. The plan of salvation by a substitute is the very summit of wisdom: let us give diligence to obtain an interest in it.
And what God hates, we must also hate with all our heart.
This is a portion of meat for the children of our families. Let boys and girls lay hold upon it, and go to Jesus in reliance upon this promise.
Proverbs 8:18 , Proverbs 8:19
Nothing can be so useful, so valuable, so really good for us as to know Christ and to be found in him.
In the Via Media, the middle way, which is the path of safety.
They shall be truly rich in grace, even if their earthly goods be few, and they shall be infinitely rich in the world to come, where there is a kingdom for the very least of them.
If our ways by thee be order’d,
And thy name by us confess’d,
Then thy presence shall go with us,
And thy peace shall give us rest.
If in all the eye be single,
Clean the hands, and pure the breast,
Then thy presence shall go with us,
And thy guidance give us rest.
“The hand of the diligent maketh rich.”
The first nine chapters are a kind of introduction to the Book of Proverbs; its short, pithy sentences commence at the tenth chapter.
This is the first of the proverbs, let each child take great notice of it. Who among us would wish to be a life-long grief to father and mother? Yet such will be the case if we live in sin, and despise the heavenly wisdom.
Judas gained his thirty pieces of silver, but what profit had he in them? Paul obtained the righteousness of Christ, and a crown of life was his portion.
The godly may hunger, but famish they shall not; the wicked may increase in wealth, but continue in prosperity they cannot.
No pains, no gains; no sweat, no sweet.
Neglect of timely industry leads into sin. Our idle days are Satan’s busy days. He who will not be thrifty while he may, will find that lost opportunities do not return.
Wise men hear more than they speak, and are willing to listen to practical instruction, but foolish persons talk on till they seal their own condemnation.
Proverbs 10:9 , Proverbs 10:10
Cowardly insinuations, which men dare not utter in words, but covertly express by signs, are the cause of much misery, and no true man will use them. Those who talk much, and are destitute of real religion, will soon make shipwreck of their profession.
sending forth refreshing and saving streams
Making them like closed wells, full of putrid water, deadly to others, and destructive to themselves.
Loving spirits will not take offence, but bear and forbear for Christ’s sake, but evil-disposed persons make the smallest matter a ground of offence, and are for ever fanning the fires of enmity. Let it not be so among us.
for they still feel their own want of it;
He thinks he knows all, and therefore will not learn, but talks himself to ruin.
Alas! how often is this the case, even in our own land. Poor men are despised, and few plead their cause. May the Lord send to us such a just spirit that we may always be ready to take the weaker side, and see that the poor man is not trampled upon. It is meanness itself to fawn upon the wealthy; true religion lifts us above such littleness.
Labour, not idleness, is the stamp of a servant of God. With the wicked, self is always their object and end, and therefore their actions are sinful in the sight of the Lord. O Lord, make thou us to work because of life within us, so that we may have life yet more abundantly.
To me, O Lord, be thou “The Way,”
To me be thou “The Truth;”
To me, my Saviour, be “The Life,”
Thou Guardian of my youth!
So shall that Way be my delight,
That Truth shall make me free;
That Life shall raise me from the dead,
And then I’ll live to thee.