the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Pride goeth before destruction.”
Exodus 7:1-5 , Exodus 7:10-22
God’s judgments hardened Pharaoh’s heart. They are sure to harden if they do not soften. The monarch was of such a nature that terrors and plagues only made his spirit more unbending.
They had delivered their message, they here show their credentials.
He concluded that Moses was only a magician, like those in his own pay, and he therefore again defied the power of Jehovah.
They had before defiled the river with the blood of innocents, and now it appears to them in blood-red colours; as if it published aloud their murderous deeds.
Horrible! A crowd of horrors! Their drink becomes blood; the river which they accounted sacred pours forth an intolerable stench; the delicious water grows worse than putrid; and the fish which were a great part of their food float dead upon the abominable stream! This was a plague indeed.
Proud Pharaoh cares not. His magicians ingeniously imitate the miracle by sleight of hand, and the heartless king cares nothing for the sufferings of his people.
Lo, Moses scatters plagues of wrath,
A ministry of fire and death,
But our Immanuel cometh forth,
With life and love in every breath.
He turn’d their water into blood,
For vengeance was his dread design:
But, thanks to our incarnate God,
He turn’d our water into wine.
“The Lord will destroy the house of the proud.”
As our endeavour is to gather up the substance of the Scriptures during the reading of one year, we are unable to pause over each of the ten great plagues. We ought, each one of us, to read them for our own instruction. We have them for our family reading summed up in
The Lord is just as able to increase his church at this time, and he will do so in answer to prayer.
Persecution generally attends the prosperity of the church. Where God blesses, Satan is sure to stir up all his wrath to vex the church.
When evil days come, the Lord has deliverers provided, who shall appear at the exact moment when they are most required. Let us pray the Lord to raise up eminent ministers and evangelists at this time, for they are greatly needed.
This unusual darkness filled all hearts with horror, and the Egyptians were so cowed that they yielded for the time, but were hardened again when the plague was over.
Fish died, but frogs lived. God can with one hand kill our comforts, and with the other multiply our miseries. This time Pharaoh himself had to endure personal annoyance, for frogs swarmed upon the royal bed.
Here filthiness and venom were united; these little tormentors made the Egyptians feel the power of the great God. Often little plagues are the worst of plagues. From this visitation Pharaoh’s bodyguards could not defend his royal person. Such enemies laughed at sword and spear.
It is a judgment indeed when the fountains of blessing become the channels of wrath, and the very rain is fire. Let the enemies of God beware.
God’s blows are heavy, and they leave no place unbruised. Egypt must miss its wine and its pleasant fruits if it will not obey the Lord.
Locusts literally eat up every green thing, and there is no preserving anything from them. God has many ways of punishing men. In this case we wonder at the hardness of heart of those who stood out against such humbling judgments. He who can with a word bring up countless hosts of devourers is not a God to be trifled with.
This was the last and heaviest blow, and the proud king and nation staggered under it. When one arrow does not suffice, the Lord has others in his quiver, and one way or another he will hit the mark.
What a miracle that after all their toil and bondage they should all be in health. They were all called to go upon a long journey, and therefore the Lord prepared them for it.
Thus can providence so work that the stoutest opponents shall only be too glad to yield.
Let us beware of provoking this terrible God. Let us by faith enlist him upon our side: then we shall have no ground for fear, for all the creatures he has made will be our friends. Fire and water, locusts and flies, darkness and death, were all the allies of Israel. He who is at peace with God has the whole creation enlisted upon his side.
Thus shall the nations be destroy’d
That dare insult the saints;
God hath an arm t’avenge their wrongs,
An ear for their complaints.
Thine honours, O victorious king;
Thine own right hand shall raise,
While we thine awful vengeance sing,
And our Deliverer praise.