Of Benjamin he said: The beloved of the Lord will live safely by him; he protects him all the time, and the Lord places him on his chest.
Yes, there is no safety like that which comes of dwelling near to God. For His best beloved the Lord can find no surer or safer place. O Lord, let me always abide under Thy shadow, close to Thy wounded side. Nearer and nearer would I come to Thee, my Lord; and when once specially near Thee, I would abide there forever.
What a covering is that which the Lord gives to His chosen! Not a fair roof shall cover him, nor a bomb-proof casement, nor even an angel’s wing, but Jehovah Himself. Nothing can come at us when we are thus covered. This covering the Lord will grant us all the day long, however long the day. Lord, let me abide this day consciously beneath this canopy of love, this pavilion of sovereign power.
Does the third clause mean that the Lord in His temple would dwell among the mountains of Benjamin or that the Lord would be where Benjamin’s burden should be placed, or does it mean that we are borne upon the shoulders of the Eternal? In any case, the Lord is the support and strength of His saints. Lord, let me ever enjoy Thy help, and then my arms will be sufficient for me.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~
With Me Wherever I Am
You will not fight in this battle. Take your positions, stand, and watch the Lord deliver you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! Tomorrow march out toward them; the Lord is with you!’”
[2 Chr 20:17]
This was a great mercy for Jehoshaphat, for a great multitude had come out against him; and it will be a great mercy for me, for I have great need, and I have no might or wisdom. If the Lord be with me, it matters little who may desert me. If the Lord be with me, I shall conquer in the battle of life, and the greater my trials the more glorious will be my victory. How can I be sure that the Lord is with me?
For certain He is with me if I am with Him. If I trust in His faithfulness, believe His words, and obey His commands, He is assuredly with me. If I am on Satan’s side, God is against me and cannot be otherwise; but if I live to honor God, I may be sure that He will honor me.
I am quite sure that God is with me if Jesus is my sole and only Savior. If I have placed my soul in the hands of God’s only-begotten Son, then I may be sure that the Father will put forth all His power to preserve me, that His Son may not be dishonored.
Oh, for faith to take hold upon the short but sweet text for today! O Lord, fulfill this word to Thy servant! Be with me in the house, in the street, in the field, in the shop, in company, and alone. Be Thou also with all Thy people.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~
Out of Spiritual Death
Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people.
Indeed it must be so: those who receive life from the dead are sure to recognize the hand of the Lord in such a resurrection. This is the greatest and most remarkable of all changes that a man can undergo — to be brought out of the grave of spiritual death and made to rejoice in the light and liberty of spiritual life. None could work this but the living God, the Lord and giver of life.
Ah, me! How well do I remember when I was lying in the valley full of dry bones, as dry as any of them! Blessed was the day when free and sovereign grace sent the man of God to prophesy upon me! Glory be to God for the stirring which that word of faith caused among the dry bones. More blessed still was that heavenly breath from the four winds which made me live! Now know I the quickening Spirit of the ever-living Jehovah, Truly Jehovah is the living God, for He made me live. My new life even in its pinings and sorrowings is clear proof to me that the Lord can kill and make alive. He is the only God. He is all that is great, gracious, and glorious, and my quickened soul adores Him as the great I AM. All glory be unto His sacred name! As long as I live I will praise Him.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~
Solace, Security, Satisfaction
My dynasty is approved by God, for he has made a perpetual covenant with me, arranged in all its particulars and secured. He always delivers me, and brings all I desire to fruition.
[2 Sam 23:5]
This is not so much one promise as an aggregate of promises — a box of pearls. The covenant is the ark which contains all things.
These are the last words of David, but they may be mine today. Here is a sigh: things are not with me and mine as I could wish; there are trials, cares, and sins. These make the pillow hard.
Here is a solace — “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” Jehovah has pledged Himself to me, and sealed the compact with the blood of Jesus. I am bound to my God and my God to me.
This brings into prominence a security, since this covenant is everlasting, well ordered, and sure. There is nothing to fear from the lapse of time, the failure of some forgotten point, or the natural uncertainty of things. The covenant is a rocky foundation to build on for life or for death.
David feels satisfaction: he wants no more for salvation or delectation. He is delivered, and he is delighted. The covenant is all a man can desire.
O my soul, turn thou this day to thy Lord Jesus, whom the great Lord has given to be a covenant to the people. Take Him to be thine all in all.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~
They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion. They will be radiant with joy over the good things the Lord provides, the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil, the young sheep and calves he has given to them. They will be like a well-watered garden and will not grow faint or weary any more.
Oh, to have one’s soul under heavenly cultivation; no longer a wilderness but a garden of the Lord! Enclosed from the waste, walled around by grace, planted by instruction, visited by love, weeded by heavenly discipline, and guarded by divine power, one’s favored soul is prepared to yield fruit unto the Lord.
But a garden may become parched for want of water, and then all its herbs decline and are ready to die. O my soul, how soon would this be the case were the Lord to leave thee! In the East, a garden without water soon ceases to be a garden at all: nothing can come to perfection, grow, or even live. When irrigation is kept up, the result is charming. Oh, to have one’s soul watered by the Holy Spirit uniformly — every part of the garden having its own stream; plentifully — a sufficient refreshment coming to every tree and herb, however thirsty by nature it may be; continually — each hour bringing not only its heat, but its refreshment; wisely — each plant receiving just what it needs. In a garden you can see by the verdure where the water flows, and you can soon perceive when the Spirit of God comes.
Water me this day and cause me to yield Thee a full reward for Jesus’ sake.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~
In a way, we are all like caterpillars longing to emerge into our butterfly life—where the numbing rhythms of everyday life are replaced by the deep sense that who we are and what we do really matters in the world. Life can be ugly, but we long for beauty. We want to be released from the captivity of our diminished dreams and set free into a life that deeply satisfies. And what is our pathway into that kind of life? A lot of us have been seduced into traveling the false roads of financial success or physical pleasure or social popularity. But anyone who has ventured down these roads very far knows there is always a dead-end around the bend.
A little over 150 years ago, the British pastor C.H. Spurgeon was the most famous person in the world—but it’s likely you’ve never heard of him. He earned the nickname “the prince of preachers” when he was just 22 because of his inspiring sermons as the pastor of London’s famous downtown church, New Park Street Chapel. Every Sunday he’d preach twice, to congregations of 6,000 people, before the days of microphones and amplification. Today, he still has more books in print than any pastor in history, including more than 2,500 sermons.
Spurgeon’s path out of a caterpillar life was guided by a very simple conviction—he “beelined” everything in his life and ministry to Jesus. Of course, “beeline” is a funny word to us—it means that no matter what he was preaching or teaching about, Spurgeon was always headed to Jesus. He lived and urged the Jesus-centered life. Once, a young pastor asked Spurgeon to critique his preaching, and the older man was blunt: “That was a poor sermon.” When the young man asked for an explanation, Spurgeon replied: “Because there was no Christ in it.” The young man protested that his chosen Scripture verse had nothing to do with Jesus. Spurgeon responded: “Don’t you know, young man, that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London? And so from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ.”
Spurgeon’s passion for Jesus, and his determination to track everything in the Bible back to the “metropolis” of Christ, is the light we need to find our way through a life that can seem like a dark jungle. And as we draw near to the heart of Jesus, the transformation we experience will feel like we’ve been set free into a life that is bursting with fruit—everywhere we go, with everyone we meet, we leave a trail of good impact. When we, like the Apostle Paul before us, can say, “I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2), then we are caught up in a caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we discover our true identity and purpose in life.