the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”
1 Samuel 7:1-13 , 1 Samuel 7:15-17
1 Samuel 7:1
Thus the candlestick was removed from Shiloh, but the candle shone on far more brightly than before.
1 Samuel 7:2
This was a happy sorrow. Whenever men lament after God he will soon appear unto them. It should be the business of any of us who have not yet found Jesus, to sigh and cry after him till he appear, and it will not be long before he looks upon us in love. God had already come back to Israel when the people lamented after him, and when a soul sighs for the Lord, the Lord is with it already.
1 Samuel 7:3 , 1 Samuel 7:4
Their repentance would have been all in vain if it had not been practical. Men cannot keep their sins and have their God; no man can serve two masters.
1 Samuel 7:7
Yet they had no cause for fear, now that God was reconciled. He who is at peace with God should be fearless.
1 Samuel 7:8
This was a wise speech, and showed that they had faith as well as fear. Faith in God gave them faith in the power of prayer.
1 Samuel 7:9
True repentance, prayer, and faith in the great sacrifice, must win the day.
1 Samuel 7:12
Samuel won that battle on his knees, and afterwards he recorded with praise what he had won by prayer. Praying men are not ungrateful when their intercession prospers.
1 Samuel 7:15 , 1 Samuel 7:16
God does not cast off faithful servants when they grow old, neither do they ask for a retiring pension and for leave to be idle. O to serve God from our childhood to our hoar hairs! May such grace be given to the young members of our family.
I my Ebenezer raise
To my kind Redeemer’s praise;
With a grateful heart I own
Hitherto thy help I’ve known.
What may be my future lot
Well I know concerns me not;
This should set my heart at rest,
What thy will ordains is best.
“Put not your trust in princes.”
1 Samuel 8:1 , 1 Samuel 8:3-22
1 Samuel 8:3
Grace does not run in the blood, an honoured father may have disgraceful sons. Perhaps Samuel was wrong in making his sons judges, for we do not read that the Lord made them so. Great men ought not to injure the church or the state by putting their sons into offices which they are not fit to fill.
1 Samuel 8:6
This little sentence is most instructive. When we are perplexed or displeased, we should resort at once to prayer. Constantly we read of the prayers of the Lord Jesus. We ought to imitate him in this. As the fish loves the stream, and the bird the bough, so the believer loves prayer.
1 Samuel 8:9
If they would have their way they should have it; but they were to be warned of the consequences that they might not act in ignorance. Many things which men’s hearts lust after will be their curse, and although God allows them to have their heart’s desire, it is in anger, and it brings them small content.
1 Samuel 8:11-18
Under the government of God they had been free from exactions and taxations, but if they chose to put their necks under the yoke, they would have to keep them there. When Christians are free from anxiety they had better keep so. Let us not run into spiritual bondage wilfully. King Jesus it is delightful to serve, but it is hard to serve men, or live for ambition, wealth, or custom.
1 Samuel 8:22
God save us from having our prayers heard as theirs were! O Lord, if we ask anything amiss of thee, be pleased in mercy to refuse us.
All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him Lord of all.