the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee.”
He did not serve God and his people in a dilatory manner. He who would accomplish great things, will never do them by lying in bed.
They had a promise that they should pass over, but they knew not how: nevertheless they went forward in faith. If we only know our duty up to a certain point, let us advance, even if we cannot see another inch beyond us. Let us do as we are bidden, and leave events with God.
In former times the ark was in the centre of the host, but now it leads the van, as though the Lord defied his enemies, and went on before, alone and unattended to give them battle.
The distance set was intended to enable the people to see the ark, and also as it were to show that the Lord met his foes alone, keeping the armed ranks behind, and advancing unarmed against his foes. This day let us reflect that we shall tread a new road, but let us rejoice that our gracious covenant God goes before.
God always does wonders among a sanctified people. Our sins may put a restraint upon him, but we are not straitened in him.
God would have his ministers honoured, and therefore works by them.
Thus the ark’s passage of the Jordan was both a token of the Lord’s presence, and a pledge of the conquest of Canaan. Every display of grace to us is a fresh assurance of our ultimate victory over all sin, and our entrance into the promised rest.
This the Lord who was the Alpha of his people’s deliverance at the Red Sea, became the Omega of it, by a repetition of the miracle at Jordan. Fear not, for the Lord will also for us do as great things at the close of our days, as he did when he brought us out of the Egyptian bondage of our sins.
One army of the living God,
To His command we bow;
Part of His host have cross’d the flood,
And part are crossing now.
Ten thousand to their endless home
This solemn moment fly;
And we are to the margin come,
And soon expect to die.
“The rivers shall not overflow thee.”
But that was no difficulty with God, who can as well dry up an overflowing river as a shallow one,
At the division of the Red sea the waters stood as a wall, on both sides, but on this occasion the floods arose on one side only, and on the left hand the water quite disappeared, flowing at once into the Dead sea. The Lord has many ways of effecting the same end. Variety in the divine operations is a clear proof that the Lord is never at a loss for ways and means
Under the eyes of their enemies the miracle was wrought, and in the face of the arch-enemy God will grant his people safe passage through death’s cold flood.
The ark of the covenant first led the way, and then kept the road open. The priesthood of Jesus and the ark of his redemption make for all believers a passage into the better land.
Joshua 4:4-11 , Joshua 4:18
Care must be taken by the best possible means to keep the Lord’s wonders of grace in remembrance in coming generations. This is a principal use of the two sacred ordinances of our holy faith, and it should be a main object of care with all good men.
Christ will never cease his mediatorial work, till all his redeemed are safely landed. Ministers ought to be brave men, the first to risk all for God’s sake, and the last to leave their post. Note how the Israelites were both trembling and believing; they “ hasted,” here was fear, and “ passed over ” here was faith.
This proved that the whole transaction was a miracle, not to be accounted for by referring it to natural causes. Let the Lord be praised for it.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises
I will ever give to Thee.