the Second Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“He satisfieth the longing soul.”
We shall read for our instruction a part of that devout hymn of praise Psalms 107:1-22.
If all the rest of mankind should be dumb, the redeemed must not be. It is theirs to lead the song, and tell how the Lord conducts them through the wilderness to the promised rest. The psalmist speaks of the Lord’s goodness to travellers across the desert, and such are we.
Necessity is often the mother of prayer, and prayer is the forerunner of deliverance. Our soul may faint, but so long as we can pray we shall not perish.
Here ends the paragraph which refers to pilgrims, the song now tells of the Lord’s goodness to prisoners. All the saints have been spiritual captives, and are all bound to praise the Lord as they remember how he set them free.
Bondage under conviction, weariness through legal labour, and a sense of utter help- lessness, compel men to pray, and then their deliverance comes. God has made his grace illustrious in the liberation of the prisoners of hope.
Now the psalm deals with the sick, especially those whose sickness is brought on by their own folly, and here again we are all portrayed.
Psalms 107:17 , Psalms 107:18
Sick people are whimsical as to their food, for their appetite is gone; and even so under soul sickness, men refuse the best of comforts, and cannot believe those promises which would cheer them.
See the order here: the soul is sore sick, it begins to pray; the Lord sends his word, the soul is healed; praise is presented, and God is glorified. May this become a matter of experience with each one of us.
He feeds and clothes us all the way,
He guides our footsteps lest we stray;
He guards us with a powerful hand,
And brings us to the heavenly land.
O let the saints with joy record
The truth and goodness of the Lord!
How great his works! how kind his ways!
Let every tongue pronounce his praise.
“He setteth the poor on high from affliction.”
It will be profitable to read the rest of the psalm which furnished us with our last lesson. May the Holy Spirit sweetly bless it to all of us.
The divine poet now sings of the Lord’s mercy to sailors in time of tempest.
What a pity that they had not prayed before! What condescension on the Lords part to hear them now! However long we may have neglected prayer, it is never too late. If the ship is sinking we may even then cry to God.
He does it all. He commanded the stormy wind to blow and he bids it cease. Some wise men attribute all this to abstract laws. The wisdom which puts God further off is wretched folly; our bliss lies in feeling him to be near.
Sailors should go to the house of God as soon as they land, and unite with the general praise. It is to be feared that many who prayed on the sea curse on shore.
The song now treats of the various changes of human life and the mercy seen in them all.
God who turned the fruitful land into a wilderness, also transforms the wilderness into a garden. He can bless or curse most effectually. Who would not be, agreed with him? If we are in the worst condition, let us have hope, for the Lord turns dry ground into watersprings.
This contrast is continually dwelt upon in Scripture, and is especially noticeable in the songs of Hannah and Mary. The Lord casts down the high and lifts up the low: let his name be praised, for thus he rectifies the wrongs of this evil world.
The psalm is a spiritual riddle, and those who are taught of God will spy out the meaning. Providence also is often an enigma, but faith interprets it, and sees the love of God in everything.
Amidst the roaring of the sea,
My soul still hangs her hope on thee;
Thy constant love, thy faithful care,
Is all that saves me from despair.
O Lord! the pilot’s part perform,
And guide and guard me through the storm;
Defend me from each threatening ill,
Control the waves, say, “Peace be still!”
Though tempest-tossed, and half a wreck,
My Saviour through the floods I seek;
Let neither winds nor stormy main
Force back my shattered bark again.