the Second Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Eternal God is thy refuge.”
Numbers 35:9-16 , Numbers 35:19 , Numbers 35:22-28
The Israelites, in common with other nations, had among them the institution of blood-revenge, by which the nearest relative was bound to revenge a mans death. To meet the evils connected with this deep-seated custom, places were appointed to which the manslayer might flee, and be secure till the time came for a fair trial.
Numbers 35:12 , Numbers 35:14
These were chosen on each side of the river, that a refuge might be accessible to every man; even so is Jesus a Saviour freely presented to all who desire him. The roads were repaired, and hand-posts set up to direct fugitives, and thus the gospel is made plain, so that he who runs may read.
No sooner had the fearful deed been done than the unhappy manslayer hastened at full speed to the nearest refuge, for the blood-avenger was sure to pursue him and demand life for life. Oh! that sinners would up and away to Jesus, their sole and sure salvation.
God provided no sanctuary for real guilt, murder was not winked at, else had the land become both polluted and unsafe. Mercy to murderers would be cruelty to the innocent. It was accidental or unpremeditated killing which here found shelter. The spiritual fact, however, far excels the type, for in Jesus, the real sinner finds pardon and safety.
There he was safe, no avenging hand could touch him Fair picture of the security of those who rest in Jesus, the refuge of guilty souls;
The death of the high priest brought freedom to the man who had fled for refuge. The instruction here lies upon the surface.
We are not now under the restraints and conditions which were imposed upon a dweller in a refuge city; for our Great High Priest is dead, we are liberated unconditionally, we have no avenger to fear, but may possess our inheritance in peace. This, however, is only true of believers are we all such?
When God’s right arm is bared for war,
And thunders clothe his cloudy car,
Where? Where? Oh where shall man retire
To escape the horror of his ire?
‘Tis he, the Lamb, to him we fly,
While the dread tempest passes by:
God sees His Well-Beloved’s face,
And spares us in our hiding-place.
“All His saints are in Thy hand.”
Deuteronomy 33:1-3 , Deuteronomy 33:6-17
They had worried but they had not wearied him. Evil was their recompense, but ardent was his love. He died with a blessing on his lips.
saints or holy ones
Love made the Lord reveal himself through Moses; but what shall we say of the divine manifestation in Christ Jesus? Herein is love made perfect!
God grant that our little churches may live and become strong.
May the like blessing be upon each believer. Strength sufficient is what we need and all we need; strength to waste would be no blessing.
This alludes to the fidelity of the tribe of Levi upon several trying occasions, when they not only held fast to the Lord, but became the executioners of divine vengeance upon their own brethren. Being found faithful, they were entrusted with the sacred ministry.
The Lord was the strength of Benjamin, and graciously placed his power where Benjamin carried his burden between his shoulders.
that is, for the fountains and springs which arise from the bowels of the earth,
The sun of prosperity and the moon of adversity each produces its choice graces.
This was the crowning mercy. Lord, give us this, and we are well content;
The separated one, though persecuted by his brethren, received the richest blessing and the double inheritance. The more we are set apart for the Lord, the more of blessing shall we receive; and as to the persecution brought on us thereby, we may cheerfully bear it as a light and momentary affliction.
The people whom the Lord hath brought
From Egypt’s cruel land,
For whom with wondrous deeds he fought
Are ever in his hand.
Stronger than death his love is shown;
Right well he doth defend;
And having freely loved his own
He’ll love them to the end.