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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: June 7th
“Cursed be the man that trusteth in man.”
2 Chronicles 16:1-14
2 Chronicles 16:1
For he was vexed that on account of the peace and prosperity of Judah, and its attachment to the true God, so many of his subjects removed into the territory of Asa.
2 Chronicles 16:2-6
What a proof is this that the best believers may fall into unbelief, and trust for awhile in an arm of flesh. Asa was for awhile relieved from fear by turning to Syria for help, and therefore no doubt he thought himself right, but we greatly err if we estimate the correctness of our actions by their result. The Lord was angry with Asa, and as a chastisement his life was a troubled one front that day forward. He took the temple gold to bribe a heathen king to break his treaties, but his great fault was that he trusted in man rather than in God.
2 Chronicles 16:9
This was faithful dealing, and ought to have touched the conscience of the pious king, but he was in a bad condition of soul, and did not receive the rebuke as a gracious man should have done.
2 Chronicles 16:10
His reliance upon an arm of flesh had apparently led to good results, and hence the king resented the prophet’s warning. He became irritated, and the old nature in him came sadly into prominence. Though hitherto a just monarch, he at this time acted like a tyrant. We must not judge any man by his solitary actions, but by the general tenor of his life; Asa was, after all, one of the best of the kings of Judah.
2 Chronicles 16:12
As a child of God he could not be left unchastened for such sins, and the gout in his feet became a heavy rod with which the Lord smote him. It was sad to see him at this time, repeating his folly of reliance upon the creature instead of the Creator. We may call in the physician, but we must not forget our God, or the most skilful doctor will do us no good.
2 Chronicles 16:13 , 2 Chronicles 16:14
The people knew how to value a good king. His memory was very fragrant among them. May our names also “smell sweet and blossom from the dust.”
“Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous.”
Asa died under a cloud, but the Lord had mercy upon his people and found them a worthy ruler in Jehoshaphat, the good son of a good father, of whose early days we read in
2 Chronicles 17:1-11
2 Chronicles 17:1
For Ahab, who had been some years upon the throne of Israel, was an active and warlike prince, and could only be held in check by vigorous measures. Jehoshaphat did not, like his father, trust in Syria, but used lawful means for defence.
2 Chronicles 17:2-3
Observe the distinction between David’s first and last ways. What a pity that such a distinction had to be made. Alas, many good people have their first warm, zealous, consistent ways, but gradually decline from their first love and grow cold and worldly. In every man’s character we should imitate only that which is good, and we should not allow the faults of good men to influence us for evil. Jehoshaphat was clear of idolatry, and was not seduced to worship Baal by the example of his neighbours.
2 Chronicles 17:4-6
The lifting up of Jehoshaphat’s heart is meant to set forth his zeal and delight in obedience to Jehovah. It is well when it is our joy to serve God, for then our service is real and from the heart. The Lord made the king popular with his people, so that they gave him many voluntary presents, but this did not make him proud; rather, by God’s grace, the more he was exalted the more he exulted in the Lord.
2 Chronicles 17:7
Princes and judges have great influence, and when they give their minds to the promotion of virtue they can accomplish great things. May God teach our princes and great men, and then they will become beneficial to the nation.
2 Chronicles 17:8 , 2 Chronicles 17:9
The instruction given by the judge was backed up and sanctified by the sacred teaching of the priests and Levites. Education is of small value if separated from religion; there is more need that the people should know their Bibles than anything else. Ministers, when they teach, should carry their Bibles with them, to give weight to. their words, and force conviction upon all who hear them.
2 Chronicles 17:10
When we are right with God he will make things right all around. He stills the raging of the sea, and the tumult of the people; and when he gives peace none can disquiet us.
O greatly bless’d the people are
The joyful sound that know;
In brightness of thy face, O Lord,
They ever on shall go.
They in thy name shall all the day
And in thy righteousness shall they
Exalted be on high.
For God is our defence; and He
To us doth safety bring:
The Holy One of Israel
Is our Almighty King.
the Fifth Week after Easter
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