the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Strength of Israel will not lie.”
2 Kings 7:1-17
Some time after the cure of Naaman, the king of Syria besieged Samaria and reduced the people to such famine that mothers ate their own children. At last Elisha was permitted to assure the miserable people of deliverance.
2 Kings 7:2
He was profane as well as unbelieving. This sarcasm was a specimen of his usual sneers at the Lord and his prophet.
2 Kings 7:6 , 2 Kings 7:7
If the Lord wills it, the most valiant foes of his church will run away like frightened hares. Why should we fear those who so soon become afraid of themselves?
2 Kings 7:8-13
God’s promise was forgotten or smothered in its effect by their fears; however they did well to send and see. Some will not take the trouble even to look when a blessing is given, they feel so certain that it cannot be possible.
2 Kings 7:14-16
God’s word was fulfilled to the penny and to the hour.
2 Kings 7:17
Providence fulfils the threats as well as the promises of heaven: the fine flour is sold, and the infidel nobleman is crushed. Dreadful will it be if any one of us should perish after the same example of unbelief, yet we shall do so if we see the blessings of the gospel all around us and lose them ourselves from want of faith.
“The heart is deceitful above all things.”
2 Kings 8:1-15
2 Kings 8:1
She had gloried that she dwelt among her own people, and now she must be tried by a temporary banishment; but doubtless she knew that faith’s path is not an easy one, and yet is always the way of safety.
2 Kings 8:2
She bore the trial well, entering upon it without question, and waiting under it without complaint.
2 Kings 8:3
In her absence others had seized her heritage, and she appealed to royal authority for its restoration.
2 Kings 8:4 , 2 Kings 8:5
This was a noticeable providence. There were, as men would say, many chances to one against such a singular meeting of events. The king must talk to Gehazi, and the subject must be the woman’s son, and lo! just in the nick of time, the heroine of the story puts in an appearance. Wonderful, was it not? And yet, if we will but open our eyes, such wonders happen in our own case more times than we can tell.
2 Kings 8:6
Thus God repaid her a hundredfold the cup of cold water which she gave to Elisha when she hospitably entertained him. God will be in no one’s debt.
2 Kings 8:7
marching right into the teeth of Israel’s enemies: bravely did he perform the Lord’s errands, even as Elijah had done before him
2 Kings 8:10
He might recover as far as his disease went, but he would die because Hazael would murder him. The statements were quite consistent.
2 Kings 8:13
Hypocritically he denied that he would do it, yet in his heart he was already plotting.
2 Kings 8:14 , 2 Kings 8:15
Thus he proved himself to be worse than a dog, though he had spoken so fairly. Fine professions go for nothing when the heart is wrong. We must have new hearts and right spirits, or we cannot tell what crimes we may yet commit. Who knows the amount of evil which any one of us may do if grace does not prevent? O Lord, save us from ourselves.