the Second Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Abraham here became an example of hospitality, and thereby entertained angels unawares He ran to meet the strangers, he saluted them respectfully, welcomed them heartily, and even made a favour to himself of their resting near his tent. Ungenerous spirits who never entertain either God’s servants or the poor, miss many a blessing. May we never be a churlish household.
The noble old man waited with pleasure upon the strangers. He spoke of a morsel of bread, but he made a feast. He was all kindness, goodness, and humbleness of mind: at once a true nobleman and a believer in God. Such are the fruits of elevated piety. Would to God we saw them in all professors.
Where she should be. She was a worthy wife of her worthy husband, and therefore cheerfully aided him in providing for the guests. She was at that moment busy with household duties. We are in the way of blessing when we are in the way of duty. Abraham must have wondered how the chief one of the three strangers knew the name of his wife.
Here was unbelief, which can express itself as much in a laugh as in a cry.
What an encouraging question is that. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Our family troubles, cares, and needs are not beyond the power and wisdom of our heavenly Father. Let us not despair, but in faith cast our burden upon him.
He who discerns all hearts could not be deceived. See how honest Holy Scripture is, for it records the faults even of the best of the saints; and yet how tender is the Spirit of God, for in the New Testament Sarah’s fault is not mentioned, for it had been forgiven and blotted out, but the fact that she called her husband “lord” is recorded to her honour. We serve a gracious God who, when our hearts are right, commends our good fruit, and leaves the untimely figs to drop out of notice. Let us be careful not to mar the joy of his promises and his grace by any unseemly expressions or actions. It would be a sad remembrance for us amid the recollections of divine love, to have to confess that we laughed at the promise.
The thing surpasses all my thought;
But faithful is my Lord;
Through unbelief I stagger not,
For God hath spoke the word.
Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,
And looks to that alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries, “It shall be done!”
“Pray without ceasing.”
Genesis 18:16 , Genesis 18:17 , Genesis 18:22-33
One of the three was the Lord himself, who for the time had taken upon him a human form. It may be that Jesus, who was one day to be born a man, thus anticipated his incarnation. Truly, “his goings forth were of old.” What condescension was this on. Jehovah’s part that he would make Abraham his confidential friend! He is willing to do the same with us, for even now “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.”
Two angels went to Sodom, but the third, the Lord of angels, staid to commune with Abraham, his friend.
When we are favoured with close access to God we should use it for intercession on the behalf of others. Note the arguments the patriarch used. We also should bring forth our strong reasons when we plead. The Lord is moved with pleas like those of Abraham. Undoubtedly he saves wicked nations for the sake of the saints who dwell among them, and, indeed, all the saved are forgiven not for their own sakes but for Jesus’ sake.
In our boldest pleadings we must not forget what poor creatures we are, and how condescending it is on the Lord’s part to let us plead with him.
The Lord kept pace with his servant, being quite as willing to answer as he was to ask.
There is a time to keep silent as well as a time to speak. Abraham had gone as far as the Spirit of the Lord guided him, and he did not attempt to go further.
Had there been but the small remnant of ten, Sodom and Gomorrah would have escaped. See then how precious the saints are to a nation. They may be unknown or despised, but they are the salt which preserves the whole. May our family be a part of that good salt; parents, children, and servants, all being through divine grace numbered with the righteous. But we must first have salt in ourselves by possessing a living faith in the Lord Jesus; otherwise we cannot benefit others, for we are not even saved ourselves.
Our guilt might draw thy vengeance down
On every shore, on every town:
But view us, Lord, with pitying eye,
And lay thy lifted thunder by.
Forgive the follies of our times,
And purge our land from all its crimes:
Reform’d and deck’d with grace divine,
Let Britain yet arise and shine.