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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: June 29th
“I will heal their backsliding.”
The ancient love and grace of God ought to have been a powerful motive for obedience, but it was not.
The more they were warned, the more they sinned. Alas, how many do the same!
Hosea 11:3 , Hosea 11:4
As the husbandman gives rest to the oxen, removes their yoke, and feeds them, so the Lord set his people free and supplied their needs, and yet they revolted from him.
Mark the tender love of God, and his unwillingness to smite his people. The same conflict is in his soul still towards sinners. Such compassion should lead us to repentance.
Hosea 11:10 , Hosea 11:11
At last in alarm they would fly to God, and he would save them. Even if sinners come to God entirely out of fear, he will not reject them.
What gracious pleading! Can we reject it as Israel did? If we do, we shall fall as they did.
Hosea 14:2 , Hosea 14:3
Words are put into the sinner’s lips will he not use them? He has only to give up his sins, and his false trusts, and God will pity him as he does children in distress. The next words are mercy itself written out in capitals.
He shall be beautiful and enduring.
He shall flourish and yield shade to others, he shall be fruitful, and therefore fair to look upon, and the fame of his happiness and excellence shall fly abroad like sweet perfume.
His children and dependents shall be blest also; and shall enjoy divine favour in a manner most choice and sweet.
All our goodness comes from God’s grace; we must for ever be barren without him. Let us study well these passages of sacred writ, for the next verse very solemnly calls us to devout attention.
“Thou has destroyed thyself, but in Me is thine help.”
Humble walking before God brings honour, but proud and wilful sin is deadly. O for grace to maintain a lowly spirit before the Lord.
Hosea 13:2 , Hosea 13:3
If men will have transitory trusts they must have transitory joys. If we love gold our joy will melt; if we live for fame, which is only the breath of man, it will dissolve and be gone as a vapour. God alone provides us an enduring portion, yet how few confide in him!
Vainly do we look to our own works, or to false priests, Jesus alone can save.
The Lord has not failed us in distress. We have tried and proved his faithfulness in times of great need; let us, then, be faithful to him in return.
Oh, shameful ingratitude, the more mercies they enjoyed the more wickedly they behaved! Because God remembered them in his goodness they forgot him and grew proud.
Our God is just, and terrible in vengeance. Sin provokes him, and though he is slow to anger, he is mighty to punish when the time of retribution is fully come.
This is the sum of the whole matter. Man ruins himself; God alone saves him. Damnation is all of sin; salvation is all of grace.
Hosea 13:10 , Hosea 13:11
Saul was such a king: men often covet useless things.
It is not forgotten, but laid away for future judgment, as men bind up their title deeds and place them in a secure place. All our sins will be remembered at the last great day, unless they are blotted out by the blood of Jesus.
He is slow to be born again, he puts off conversion. This charge can be brought against many awakened sinners. Why halt ye between two opinions? Death and judgment do not tarry. Hasten, O sinner, to be wise.
Though first to be applied to the national resurrection of Israel, this passage has a grand outlook towards the resurrection of the dead. Believing in this promise, we hate our sins, and knowing that they are pardoned, we meet death with joy, expecting to rise from the grave in the glorious image of the Redeemer.
I knew thee when the world was waste,
And thou alone wast fair,
On thee my heart its fondness placed,
My soul reposed its care.
Can I forget the cloudy days
Of grief in which we met,
When in life’s lone and friendless ways
Thou didst not me forget.
Can I forget those words of love,
So tender and so true,
With which, when thou must needs reprove,
Thou didst so comfort too?
O never, never let me choose
Freedom from thy control;
O never, never let me lose
Thy sunshine from my soul.
the Second Week of Advent
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