the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Thou wilt bring down high looks.”
2 Chronicles 25:14-24 , 2 Chronicles 25:27 , 2 Chronicles 25:28
2 Chronicles 25:14
This was madness itself, for if the gods of Edom had been worth anything they would have helped their former worshippers. It is wonderful that a man can bow down before that which he carries away captive, but is it not even more strange that others should adore a piece of bread, which they afterwards eat?
2 Chronicles 25:16
Those who will not hear must feel; no sign of evil is more sure than a refusal to listen to the Lord’s warnings. Victory had made Amaziah proud, and pride became the mother of many sins: the lower we are in our own esteem the better.
2 Chronicles 25:17
Probably because the hired Israelitish soldiers, whom he had dismissed, had plundered the towns and villages on their way home, Amaziah desired vengeance; therefore in his pride he sent a haughty challenge to the king of Israel.
2 Chronicles 25:18
A proud challenge provoked a contemptuous answer. Joash as good as said, “You petty king, you are but a thistle, how dare you challenge such a powerful monarch as I am? You are not worthy of my arms.”
2 Chronicles 25:23 , 2 Chronicles 25:24
One pitched battle ended the war, and left Amaziah a prisoner, the walls of Jerusalem broken down, the temple pillaged, and the nation bound down under penalties to keep the peace. Thus the vainglorious monarch was laid low. Having lost the respect of all around him, it was not long before there were plots against his crown and his life.
2 Chronicles 25:27 , 2 Chronicles 25:28
Thus in dishonour ended the life of the unstable son of an unstable father. Many start well and bid fair for heaven, yet fall short of it because there is no vitality in their religion, it has never changed their nature. Nothing short of a new heart and a right spirit will enable a man to weather the storm and reach the haven of eternal rest.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
2 Kings 14:23-27 , 2 Kings 14:29
Again we glance at the Israel kingdom, and find Jeroboam the Second reigning with his father, and afterwards succeeding him on the throne.
2 Kings 14:23-25
So that Jonah had other and more pleasant work to do after he had returned from Nineveh. Those who execute difficult tasks shall have easier work ere long.
2 Kings 14:27
God has respect to the sufferings of his people; he is a tender father, and cannot endure to look upon the miseries of his children. He stays his justice as long as ever it is consistent for him to forbear.
During this reign the herdsman prophet, Amos, delivered messages from the Lord. His utterances are short, sharp, and decisive, and are generally conveyed in rural figures, such as were suggested by his rustic occupations. His prophecy is not adorned with the graces of style, being composed of short questions, sudden exclamations, and claps of thundering threatening; we select a specimen from
Others sin against less light, and therefore their fault may be winked at; but justice grows severe where transgression is wilful and malicious.
Amos 3:3 , Amos 3:4
God’s voice is not mere noise, it means something, and woe to those who despise it. He does not threaten without cause.
Evil does not come to men by chance, neither will God withdraw bis hand till he has wrought his design.
Do not think that God sends false alarms; be sure that he is the author of the troubles which afflict the ungodly.
The drift of this series of questions is to remind the people of their God, and of the certainty that he was speaking to them by his prophets and by the judgments which so sorely tried them. We need the same arousing now, and if the Lord should send it by a herdsman, we ought to be ready to receive it. God, who chooseth the things that are despised, was pleased to send a peasant to warn a king. Who was more fit to deal with a brutish people than a keeper of cattle?
The Lord Jehovah speaks,
How dreadful is his voice!
But if the Saviour’s face be seen,
We tremble, yet rejoice.
Almighty God, pronounce
The word of conquering grace;
So shall the flint dissolve to tears,
And mourners seek thy face.