the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“He that hateth reproof shall die.”
2 Kings 23:31-33
Upon the death of Josiah the people crowned the kings second son, Jehoahaz, who was the very opposite of his pious father.
This young king appears to have been of a very warlike and energetic character, so that he provoked his neighbours round about him, and therefore Pharaoh Necho soon deprived him of his crown. The prophet Ezekiel thus described him: Ezekiel 14:1-4.
Jeremiah 22:1-5 , Jeremiah 22:7-12
Jeremiah had given Jehoahaz fair warning, but it had been lost upon him. After Jehoahaz had been carried away prisoner, Jeremiah went to the new king with a message concerning himself and his predecessor.
Which promise is the more remarkable because the Jewish kingdom was reduced to the lowest possible ebb, and it seemed scarcely possible that it should recover. It gave them also one more opportunity of repentance, with the prospect of escape from the doom which had long been threatened.
The alternative was set before them of life or death, even as heaven and hell are set before us this day.
God will make the impenitent to be monuments of wrath, and trophies of justice. O may it never be so with us!
Three months of his sin had been more than enough, he would never return, though the people doted upon him. The career of some sinners is soon over.
The Lord hath eyes to give the blind;
The Lord supports the sinking mind;
He helps the stranger in distress,
The widow and the fatherless.
His truth for ever stands secure:
He saves the oppress’d, he feeds the poor;
He sends the labouring conscience peace,
And grants the prisoners sweet release.
“The Lord God is my strength.”
In all probability the prophet Habakkuk flourished about the time of the short reign of Jehoahaz. We will read his prayer.
This prayer well suits the case of the Church of God at this time; may the Lord graciously hear it. The prophet describes the Lord’s appearance to his people at Sinai, and the way in which he conducted them to the promised land through the Jordan, subduing all their foes before them. Thus he strengthened his confidence that the Lord would again appear to deliver his people.
Habakkuk 3:3 , Habakkuk 3:4
Or beams like those of the sun:
Habakkuk 3:3 , Habakkuk 3:4
Even this glory was not a full display of his power: the horns or emblems of his power, and the beamings of his glory were seen, but not the power and glory themselves, for these are insufferably bright. It has been well said that even the clearest revelation of God is also an obvelation or concealment. If the face of Moses needed a veil before men could look on it, much more does the glory of the Lord.
To destroy the Canaanites and make room for Israel.
Habakkuk 3:6 , Habakkuk 3:7
Nations hitherto unconquerable trembled at his might; none could stand before him.
Habakkuk 3:8 , Habakkuk 3:9
God’s bow was taken from its case, and used for war, even as he had sworn to his chosen.
Habakkuk 3:12 , Habakkuk 3:13
Deadly were his blows of vengeance; he smote nations as when the axe severs the neck and smites off the head.
All holy men have thus trembled at the sight of God, yet faith has given them rest. How sweet are the closing verses!
Habakkuk 3:18 , Habakkuk 3:19
Though war and famine should cause a failure of all comforts, yet would the prophet find joy enough in his God; yea, he would leap with exultation like a hind upon the rocks. Should the worst come to the worst, he would still attune his heart to magnify the Lord. May this devoutly trustful spirit rule in all our hearts!