the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us.”
Daniel 3:1 , Daniel 3:3 , Daniel 3:7-9 , Daniel 3:12-28 , Daniel 3:30
The unfaltering fidelity of the three holy children is worthy of our imitation. They never hesitated or parleyed with the tyrant. Fixed were their hearts in God, and confidently stayed on him; and so they conquered the proud monarch; yea, and vanquished death itself, quenching the violence of the flames. Rich was their reward. Jesus walked the glowing coals with them, and turned the furnace into a fair pavilion. In his name let us also abide by the truth without flinching, and no evil shall come nigh unto us. Never let us debate or question, but for God and his holy gospel let us be bold to sacrifice even life itself. May the sons of this family be such young men as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Amen.
Tempted and persecuted here,
Afflicted and distress’d,
With steadfast faith we persevere,
And stand the fiery test:
The fire shall all our bands consume,
And in the furnace tried,
Out of the flames we soon shall come,
Unhurt and purified.
Throughout my sinful soul I feel
The strength of pride invincible;
But thou th’ Almighty God of grace
Can all my haughty thoughts abase.
All things are possible to thee,
Display thy humbling grace in me;
And in thy tender love impart
My Saviour’s lowliness of heart.
I freely feed them now
With tokens of my love;
But richer pastures I prepare,
And sweeter streams above.
Unnumber’d years of bliss
I to my sheep will give
And, while my throne unshaken stands,
Shall all my chosen live.
This tried almighty hand
Is raised for their defence;
Where is the power shall reach them there?
Or what shall force them thence?
Your harps, ye trembling saints,
Down from the willows take:
Loud to the praise of love divine,
Bid every string awake.
Though in a foreign land,
We are not far from home;
And nearer to our house above
We every moment come.
Blest is the man, O God,
That stays himself on thee!
Who waits for thy salvation, Lord,
Shall thy salvation see.
“Those that walk in pride He is able to abase.”
Daniel 4:20-30 , Daniel 4:33-37
The book of Daniel contains a memorable incident in the life of Nebuchadnezzar. He dreamed a dream, which the prophet thus interpreted to him.
The proud monarch was thus fairly warned, but such is the infatuation of sin that he did not repent or reform, and therefore full soon the threatened judgment came upon him.
The king was insane, and the form of his disease was that known as Lycanthropy, a melancholy madness in which the patient imagines himself to be transformed into an animal, and acts accordingly. Many similar cases are on record, and some exist at the present moment. We ought to bless God every day for our reason, for if it were gone from us we might in an hours time be no better than the beasts of the field.
Thus humbly did the proud Nebuchadnezzar bow before the Lord, and confess before all men that the Lord alone is God. If he was not a converted man he certainly wrote like one. Let us shun his pride, and if we have been guilty of it, let us henceforth imitate his humility.