the Second Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Love as brethren, be pitiful.”
Jeremiah 38:5-18 , Jeremiah 38:24 , Jeremiah 38:28
While the prophet was in the court of the prison, he continued to warn and advise the people for their good, bidding them yield themselves to Nebuchadnezzar. On this account the princes complained of him to the king, as disheartening the people.
Poor vacillating monarch! He had no mind of his own, and was a mere tool in the hands of the princes. Many fall into great sin from want of manly firmness. They do wrong because they have not the courage to say “No.”
What a loathsome place! Truly, through much tribulation many holy men have inherited the kingdom.
A Gentile was more gentle than a Jew. He had a black skin, but a tender heart. Easily led, the king turned round in a moment.
Good deeds should be done tenderly; the bare cords would have hurt the emaciated prophet. Ebed-melech was thoughtful for his comfort.
This was said in private, for the timid prince was afraid of his nobles. What a wretched, cringing spirit he had; the courage of the prophet stands out in grand contrast.
Never let us thus tremble, and fear wicked men. Moral courage can be gained by prayer to God, and timid spirits should seek it daily, for the want of it may prove their ruin. A soldier of Jesus ought never to be a coward.
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own his cause,
Or blush to speak his name?
Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord!
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by thy word.
“An everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.”
Even in those gloomy days, the Lord did not leave the faithful few to pine, without a promise of brighter days.
Jeremiah 31:1-9 , Jeremiah 31:31-37
At the same time, namely, in the latter days
Continually does the Lord refer to his former loving kindnesses to assure his people that he is still ready to deliver them.
Meditate much on this sentence.
Victory should again awaken the songs of virgins, and the sound of timbrels, as of old at the Red Sea.
Though awakened sinners are sad when they come to God, yet their way is a safe and a straight one, and leads them into the full enjoyment of divine adoption.
Jeremiah 31:31 , Jeremiah 31:32
In the old covenant something remained to be done upon man’s side, and therefore it failed; a covenant founded alone upon grace is the only one which will save a sinful people.
Jeremiah 31:33 , Jeremiah 31:34
The tenor of the covenant of grace is, “I will,” and “they shall;” there are no ifs or buts in it. It is made up of absolute promises upon God’s part, and cannot be put in jeopardy by the acts of man, hence it is sure; mark well the seal and token of it in the following verses.
He by himself hath sworn;
I on his oath depend;
I shall on eagles’ wings upborne
At last to heav’n ascend.
Though sun and moon decay,
And earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds I force my way
By his divine command.