the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“I will raise up for them a plant of renown.”
Ezekiel continued to cheer the captivity of his brethren with comfortable words. After complaining of the unfaithful shepherds, who had scattered his people, the Lord promised to gather his chosen by his own hand.
Ezekiel 34:11 , Ezekiel 34:12
Because they are his own people he will not suffer them to be lost. The Lord’s elect shall be gathered by efficacious grace and brought to Jesus.
Provision and rest are two great necessities. We have in Christ Jesus both of these blessings.
Proud, self-sufficient, and self-righteous persons have neither part nor lot in the covenant; for them judgment is reserved.
Ezekiel 34:18 , Ezekiel 34:19
A hard, overbearing spirit towards weaker brethren always brings chastisement with it.
Who is this but Jesus, the true David, the gentle Shepherd who tenderly cares for the weak?
What a plant of renown is Jesus, the tree of life! Blessed are those who rejoice in his shadow and his fruit.
Ezekiel 34:30 , Ezekiel 34:31
This last sentence is the grandest ever uttered. Nothing more can be desired when the Lord has once said unto us, “I am your God.”
“Can these bones live?”
Such were the captives among whom Ezekiel dwelt: they were spiritually and nationally dead; their recovery seemed hopeless.
It seemed an idle thing to prophesy to dry bones; and it appears equally useless to preach to unregenerate sinners: but it is ours to do as God bids us, and leave the result to him.
Ezekiel 37:7 , Ezekiel 37:8
Preaching arouses mans moral nature, but it cannot give him spiritual life until the Holy Spirit breathes upon him.
Easily enough is the miracle wrought when the Spirit descends. May the Lord bless the word of our minister to the salvation of thousands.
Israel would live again, though as a nation it was politically and even morally dead. God had not given up his people, nor forgotten his covenant, and ere long he would restore the national life, and give the remnant to dwell in their own land.
May the Lord also quicken our souls into vigorous spiritual life.
What good news must this have been to the banished ones, whose sadness is so well depicted in Psalms 137:1-6
Love to Zion had not died out with the faithful. Some Jews settled in ignoble comfort in their captor’s land, but not the spiritual among them; to them the land of promise was dear as to the patriarchs of old. Let us never call this Babylonian world our rest, but keep our eye upon the heavenly Jerusalem, where our portion is reserved.