the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
2 Samuel 9
2 Samuel 9:1
Good men are grateful men. Jonathan had shown David great kindness, and therefore David sought to return it to his descendants. He who is not faithful in friendship gives no evidence that he is sincere in religion.
2 Samuel 9:4
He was living in the country in great retirement, perhaps in fear that David might seek his life. We are often afraid of the very men who will turn out to be our best friends.
2 Samuel 9:6
He was both awed by the splendour of the court, and alarmed lest the king should injure him, but David soon comforted him in the kindest manner.
2 Samuel 9:9 , 2 Samuel 9:10
And therefore he would be able to equip Mephibosheth with a suitable attendance becoming his royal rank.
2 Samuel 9:11-13
From this story we learn to remember past kindnesses. If in his prosperity any man has been good to us, let us deal well with him if we ever see either him or his children in want. Never let it be said that a child of God is ungrateful to his fellowmen. If we are to do kindness to those who have treated us ill, much more are we bound to repay the favours of those who have been our friends. A further lesson may be found in the fact that David and Jonathan had made a covenant, and that David was faithful to it, even though Jonathan’s son was both obscure in his abode, poor in his estate, and deformed in his person. The Lord also is true to his covenant; he will not forsake those who put their trust in him. Though many of his people are, spiritually, as lame as Mephibosheth, yet he remembers them, and even deigns to invite them to sit at his table in familiar intercourse with him. The Lord is not ashamed of the poor, feeble friends of Jesus, but out of love to their well-beloved Lord and Master he will grant to them to eat continually at the kings table, even though they be lame on both their feet.
Poor, weak, and worthless, though I am,
I have a rich almighty Friend;
Jesus, the Saviour, is His name:
He freely loves, and without end.
He cheers my heart, my wants supplies,
And says that I shall shortly be
Enthroned with him above the skies:
Oh! what a friend is Christ to me!
God is gone up with shouts of joy,
And angels harping round;
Our Lord is welcomed to the sky
With trumpet’s joyful sound.
Open, ye heavenly gates, to let
The King of glory in;
The Lord of hosts, of saving might,
Who vanquished death and sin.
And shall not mortals join their songs,
Though poor their notes may be?
The lisping of believing tongues,
Makes heavenly minstrelsy.
Jesus, where’er thy people meet,
There they behold thy mercy-seat:
Where’er they seek thee, thou art found
And every place is hallow’d ground.
For thou within no walls confined,
Inhabitest the humble mind;
Such ever bring thee where they come,
And going, take thee to their home.
Behold, to thee we pour our vow,
Our daily dwelling place art thou!
And whilst the light of life we see,
Our happy souls shall rest in thee.
Jesus, with thy salvation blest,
We yield the glory to thy name:
Fix’d in thy strength our banners rest,
With joy thy vict’ry we proclaim.
Let men the rattling chariot trust,
Or the swift steed, with courage stored.
In thee our confidence we boast,
Jesus, Messiah, conquering Lord!
Safe shall we stand, nor yield to fear,
When sinners with their hopes shall fall:
Save, Lord, O King Messiah, hear!
Hear, mighty Saviour, when we call.
The head that once was crown’d with thorns
Is crown’d with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.
The highest place that heaven affords
Is his, is his by right,
The King of kings, the Lord of lords,
And heaven’s eternal light.
To him let every tongue be praise,
And every heart be love:
All grateful honours paid on earth,
And nobler songs above.
Lead me not, for flesh is frail,
Where fierce trials would assail;
Leave me not, in darken’d hour,
To withstand the tempter’s power.
Save me from the tempter’s wiles,
Keep my heart when pleasure smiles;
On my watch tower may I be,
Lest I should dishonour thee.
While I am a pilgrim here,
Let thy love my spirit cheer:
As my guide, my guard, my friend,
Lead me to my journey’s end.
“Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
2 Samuel 11:1-3 , 2 Samuel 11:6-10 , 2 Samuel 11:12-17 , 2 Samuel 11:26 , 2 Samuel 11:27
We now come to that mournful occurrence in Davids life, which changed his whole career from prosperity to sorrow.
2 Samuel 11:1
Perhaps he had begun to indulge himself in ease, and therefore left the battles of his country to be fought by others. If so, we are hereby taught that indolence is the nurse of vice.
2 Samuel 11:1
Did he not rise from his bed till so late in the day? Had he grown self-indulgent? If so, who wonders that he fell?
2 Samuel 11:3
David at once sent for her and took her to himself, thus committing the grossest sin. Alas! Alas! how were the mighty fallen! In a short time David found that his sin would be discovered, and therefore he sent for Uriah to come home, that his shameful conduct might be concealed.
2 Samuel 11:10
To this, Uriah answered that he would not go home to sleep at ease while the ark and his fellow-soldiers were in tents, or encamped in the open field. Here we find a common soldier austere and self-denying, while the renowned psalmist had become luxurious and wanton.
2 Samuel 11:12 , 2 Samuel 11:13
What wickedness was this on David’s part to lead honest Uriah into drunkenness! One sin draws on another as links of a chain. With all his cunning, David did not succeed in concealing his crime, and therefore, he went further still, and became guilty of murder to screen himself. “How art thou fallen from heaven, thou beautiful star of the morning!” “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
2 Samuel 11:17
The man after God’s own heart had fallen so low as to be both an adulterer and a murderer! Other princes in those days did such things commonly, and their people dared not complain, but this was a chosen servant of God, and in him it was foul iniquity.
2 Samuel 11:26 , 2 Samuel 11:27
Though the sinner may have dreamed that he had cleverly hidden his crime, this last sentence was the death knell of his security. If our conduct displeases the Lord, nothing is well with us.