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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: July 2nd
“O Lord, I will praise thee.”
In the days of Jotham, as in the reign of Uzziah, the great prophet Isaiah was pouring forth his eloquent utterances. He is the great gospel seer, who spake more of Jesus Christ than all the rest. We will now read three of his prophecies, which he gave forth in the form of songs. The first song describes Israel under the figure of a vineyard, and was, from its form and beauty, well fitted to win the attention of the people.
How much is our condition like that of Israel and Judah! What more could God have done for us? We have the Bible and the ministry of the gospel: as a family we are a garden walled around, and our country is the fruitful field of true religion. What fruit are we yielding? If we are barren, what must we expect? Judgment is always in proportion to privilege misused. May grace be upon us all, that we may bear much fruit unto the Lord our God.
Speaking of the coming of the Lord Jesus, the prophet says:
What a sweet gospel song. None can sing it but those whose sins have been washed away in the blood of Jesus, and to them it is a rapturous hymn. They are no longer afraid to believe the promises, and to go to the Lord for blessings: the wells are free to the citizens of Zion, and they draw water exultingly.
It is the delight of saved souls to magnify the Lord; they cannot contain their joy, they shout as those who divide the spoil.
When God has rebuked his peoples enemies, another song shall be on their lips.
Happy are those who are protected and kept in peace by their Omnipotent God. Is there one in our house who does not trust in the Lord? Let us pray that all our minds may be stayed on God.
“All we like sheep have gone astray.”
2 Kings 16:1-4
2 Kings 16:1
In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel
2 Kings 16:1
Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
He was the bad son of a good father, and under him the kingdom of Judah relapsed into the sad state out of which Jotham had raised it.
2 Kings 16:4
He was not satisfied with the ordinary idolatries, but sought out the vilest forms of superstition, and practised the unnatural and cruel rites peculiar to the demon Moloch. Old historians assert that the image of Moloch was of brass, and when heated red-hot, children were placed in its arms to be consumed. What shame that the ruler of the chosen people should be guilty of so terrible a crime as to expose his own son to such a death! We may well blush for human nature: an old divine once quaintly said that it was half beast and half devil, and he was very near the mark.
In such times as those of Ahaz the word of the Lord, as contained in the first chapter of Isaiah, was greatly needed.
It is not the heathen nor strangers that the Lord here upbraids, but his own highly-favoured people, his lovingly-nurtured children, in whom sin was doubly sinful.
Men are more brutish than the beasts. They receive all at the Lord’s hands, and then utterly forget him. Alas, Lord God, that thou shouldst thus be treated!
Isaiah 1:5 , Isaiah 1:6
During the reign of Ahaz the troubles of the people were extreme, as we shall see in succeeding readings, but they were none the better for being afflicted. The nation was like a man who had been beaten till there remained no place for another stripe; yet still they loved their idols and their sins.
Isaiah 1:7 , Isaiah 1:8
Jerusalem stood alone, and in great dilapidation, like the temporary hut which the keepers of a vineyard put up hurriedly to shield them from the sun. Their palace city was like a hovel, and where once cities clustered in every vale and hung on every hillside, all was desolation.
So wicked were they, that, but for the faithful few, God would have cursed the land as he did the cities of the plain. Oh, wretched plight of a favoured people. The Lord save our country from the same backsliding!
Oh, shall I never feel
The meltings of thy love?
Am I of such hell-harden’d steel
That mercy cannot move?
Chasten’d full sore I am,
And bruised in every part,
But judgments fail to break me down
And subjugate my heart.
Look on me, Lord of love!
O turn thy gracious eyes!
Then all my soul to penitence
Shall melt with sweet surprise.
the Sixth Week after Easter
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