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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: June 30th
“The day of the Lord is great and very terrible.”
It is most probable that while Amos and Hosea were messengers from the Lord to Israel, Joel was prophesying in Judah. One of his most memorable prophecies relates to a plague of locusts which fell upon the land.
It was such a visitation as might well create alarm, and call to humiliation and prayer.
The locusts were so many that they clouded the sun and caused darkness at midday. Vast flights of these destructive creatures are not unusual in our day, but the prophet’s description relates to some special and unusual plague.
It is so; locusts devour every green thing as completely as a raging fire.
Joel 2:4 , Joel 2:5
The Italians call a locust cavalette, or little horse: they are for number, speed, order, and noise, very similar to troops of cavalry.
Joel 2:6 , Joel 2:8
The order with which they march is wonderful to the last degree; no disciplined troops could possibly preserve their ranks more accurately.
Nothing can turn them aside; their march is onward, over walls and fences, hills and valleys.
Such is the misery of the poor people who see the fruit of their fields devoured before their eyes by a remorseless and irresistible foe, that for them all things are full of terror, and they feel as if the end of the world were come.
Though unheard of human ear, their Commander-in-chief, even the Lord of Hosts, makes his voice to be heard by the dense battalions of devouring locusts, so that at his bidding they push forward in their awful course. Well might the prophet say, “Who can abide it?”
If anything could avert so terrible a calamity, prayer would do it. True repentance is the only way to remove the rod from any people. O Lord, help us to cast out our sins, lest they compel thee to chasten us with sore affliction. Accept us, for our hope is in thy Son.
When distractions, fear and doubt,
Come from all the world without,
And like locusts plague the soul,
Lord, do thou their power control.
When the clouds of grief and care,
Darken down into despair,
When by grief we are laid low,
Then thy gracious kindness show.
“There is one Mediator between God and man.”
2 Chronicles 26:1 , 2 Chronicles 26:4-8 , 2 Chronicles 26:16-21
In returning to the history of Judah, we are glad to find that a good king was placed upon the throne, and ruled for many years.
2 Chronicles 26:1 , 2 Chronicles 26:4
But he did not fall into idol-worship, as his father had so foolishly done. Children should follow their parents so far as they follow the commands of God, and no further.
2 Chronicles 26:5
God alone can give true prosperity; seeking the Lord with all our heart is the surest way to be blest.
2 Chronicles 26:8
He was a skilful man, and a great inventor of engines of war, besides being an excellent cultivator of the soil. The country rose to a high pitch of prosperity under his rule.
2 Chronicles 26:16
What a warning is this to prosperous Christians. When we are weak we lean upon the Lord and are safe, but when we are strong the temptation is to become self-important, and then a fall is near. More fall among the strong than among the timid and trembling. His offence was intrusion into the priestly office:
2 Chronicles 26:16
Most of the heathen kings united royalty and priesthood in their own persons, and Uzziah, no doubt, judged that it would strengthen his influence if he did the same, but in this he acted wickedly, and angered the Lord.
2 Chronicles 26:17 , 2 Chronicles 26:18
They boldly told the intruding king that his act was not right, and was not safe. Korah and his accomplices paid dear for offering incense, which was the work of the priests only, and the king would not find it to his honour to usurp their office. The incense of our prayers and praises must come up before the Lord from the hand of Jesus, our great Highpriest, or it can never be accepted by the Lord.
2 Chronicles 26:19
The Lord ended the controversy once for all; the king would not listen to the Lord’s word, and therefore was made to feel his hand. Woe unto those who pretend to offer a sacrifice for sin, now that the one offering of Jesus has put away transgression; the leprosy of heresy is on their brows even now; let us shun their company.
2 Chronicles 26:21
His punishment was merciful, for it gave him long space for repentance, but it was a suitable rebuke for his sin. He was proud, and the disease humbled him; he invaded the office of the priests, and became subject to their inspection, for they had the care of lepers; he coveted a dignity to which he had no right, and so lost the monarchy which was lawfully his. Let us reverence the priesthood of our Lord Jesus, and never dream of intruding into it.
the Second Week of Advent
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