God’s Testimony and Abiding Spirit

A truly spiritual faith does not expect any manifestation to the senses. God treats us to-day as men, compared with the way in which he nursed the Israelites. We have no pillar of glory shining over a visible tabernacle; no shekinah above a material mercy-seat. We have now no holy places whatsoever; and no symbolic worship:-

“Where’er we seek Him He is found,
And every place is hallowed ground.”

Our service of the spiritual God is spiritual; we walk by faith and not by sight; we worship God in the spirit and have no confidence in the flesh. The tribes of Israel, as being in their religious childhood, had manifestations of different kinds. They saw not God, for who shall behold the invisible? but the bright light shone between the wings of the cherubim, the glory of the Lord at times burst forth from the tabernacle, and on an ever memorable occasion they heard a voice speaking out of the thick darkness from the top of Sinai, when the Lord came from Paran with ten thousand of His holy ones. We have not heard the voice, neither have we seen the glory, nor need we wish for either since we have a sure word of testimony, and the abiding of the Holy Ghost…~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Heights of His Blessedness

I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. -Hosea 11:4

Israel had been like oxen, with a heavy yoke upon them, and God had come and taken the yoke away; and there they stood, as we see horses stand when they are made to rest when the bearing-rein is loosened, and they stand at ease. And this God has as surely done for us as for His ancient people. He has fulfilled that word unto us, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” We enjoy the peace of God, which passeth all understanding: it keeps our hearts and minds by Christ Jesus. Nor is this all for the gracious Redeemer takes care to fill His people’s mouths with good things; hence, He does not forget the feeding, and it is added, “I laid meat unto them.” The Lord refreshed His weary people with “food convenient for them.” As the oxen, after the yoke was removed, were fed, so God, when He had removed our yoke of guilty bondage, fed us with the finest of the wheat, as He made us understand the gospel of His Son. The doctrines and promises of His word are substantial meat for hungry souls. “My soul shall be satisfied with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips.” Certain under-shepherds are afraid of laying too much doctrinal food before the Lord’s people, but it is a great mistake. Truth never surfeits, though it always satisfies. The Good Shepherd does not stint His sheep, but He gives them so much, that they lie down amid the exceeding plenty of the green pastures. They cannot eat it all, and they lie down in the midst of a superabundance, which infinite mercy has provided. See, then, how God’s boundless love piles mountain upon mountain, as the old classics used to say, Pelion upon Ossa, that we, up from the depths of our distress, may climb to the heights of His blessedness, and enjoy the fullness of the glory which God has treasured up for us in the person of Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Our Teacher and Healer

“I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love” -Hosea 11:3

Calvin says this text means, “I have led him on foot. As a child who cannot yet walk with a firm foot is, by degrees, accustomed to do so, and the nurse, or the father, or the mother, who leads him, has a regard for his infancy; so, also, have I led Israel, as much as his feet could bear.” And, as if this mercy and condescension of God, in thus comparing Himself to a woman with her babe, were not sufficient, in addition to this He becomes a physician too, and grants healing; He says, “I healed them.” They had not only weakness that needed to be supported, and ignorance that needed to be tutored; but they had, in addition, sickness and infirmity that needed medicine. “I healed them.” He who had carried them as Shaddai-the Lord All-sufficient, became to them Jehovah Rophi -the Lord that healeth them. Who shall tell how much we all owe to heavenly pharmacy? Our diseases are deep-seated and most dangerous; how happy are we in having an omnipotent Physician, whose word alone is more than a match for all our maladies. Surely we have a sickness for every day in the year, but the Beloved Physician has a remedy for every complaint. Glory be unto Him who forgiveth all our iniquities, and healeth all our diseases. Then, as if all this were not enough, we find him drawing them on in the paths of obedience and holiness-not with ropes and chains, that would compel against their will, overhauling them roughly- but with forces suited for minds and hearts. “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.” Thus does the gracious Spirit of God work in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure. “The love of Christ constraineth us:” “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God:” “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.”~ C.H. Spurgeon


Calling, Salvation, and Deliverance

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt…I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. -Hosea 11:1, 4

“I called my son out of Egypt.” The Lord doth not leave His chosen people for ever in the bondage of sin; when the day of their jubilee dawns, they go forth without price or reward, with a high hand and an outstretched arm…They are His, and He will call them by His effectual grace, and separate them to Himself. Their calling is something more than the common and universal gospel invitation: it is a persuasive, convincing, conquering call. They only know it whom the Lord has set apart for Himself: “Whom He did predestinate them He also called.”…It was not only an entreating call, but an enabling call. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me,” says the Saviour; and He speaks to purpose, because He helps them to come-nay, He brings them Himself, carrying them, like lost sheep, “upon His shoulders rejoicing.” There is no violence done to the will, but it is set free, and then, being acted upon by a graciously enlightened understanding, it yields to the call, and follows Jesus. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Israel would never have come out of Pharaoh’s country, if the Lord had not fetched them; but none can say that He drove them out -nay, rather, “as for His people, He led them forth like sheep.” Every step of their exodus from bondage under the divine call was the result of divine leading and influence. Even thus spiritually a peculiar but delightful stress is put upon the chosen of God, and, therefore, they come out of the Egypt of sin. The grace to eat the paschal lamb, to strike the blood upon the lintel, and to gird up the loins, and leave the land of leeks, and garlic, and onions, is given only to the heirs of the promised possession.- C.H. Spurgeon


A Dignity Unspeakable

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will -Ephesians 1:5

Adoption follows hard upon the heels of election, and is another messenger of good tidings. Innumerable blessings come to us by this door. “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son.” “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” Sonship with God is a dignity unspeakable, and yet it is reserved for such poor dust and ashes as we are: what shall we say concerning this? Are we not swallowed up with adoring gratitude? Unto which of the angels hath He said at any time, “Thou art My son”? but this hath been said to us; and we are thus favored above all creatures that the Lord God has made. Boundless blessings are included in sonship: it is no light thing to be a child of the Lord of Hosts, the Prince of the kings of the earth. “If a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” This opens up before us far-reaching views of present covenant provision, and of future infinite bliss. To be, indeed, born into the family of God is a dignity to which the descent of an imperial prince bears no more comparison than a spark in the tinder to the sun in the heavens.- C.H. Spurgeon



Electing Love

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt. -Hosea 11:1

If you note well the opening part of this chapter, you will find that it consists of a wonderful chain of mercies; every one single line is a rare jewel, and the whole passage is a casket unspeakably precious. The chapter begins with love; ancient, sovereign, electing love. “When Israel was a child, then I loved him.” When the Israelitie nation was in a very low and poor estate, and was brought into slavery and subjection in Egypt, God had set His love upon it, and called it His own inheritance. Not for their numbers or greatness as a nation were they chosen, but when they were little and despised they were yet beloved of God. Distinguishing grace had written the name of Israel upon Jehovah’s heart. Spiritually we who have believed are in the same favored condition, and our hearts rejoice this day at the memory of “His great love, wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins.” This is the river-head, from which all the streams of after-mercy flow,-“I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Like the golden-sanded river which had its rise in Eden, electing love branches off into many streams, and waters all the garden of the Lord. This is the root from which the tree of blessing springs. “He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” (Eph 1:3, 4) Let others say what they will, electing love will always be most precious to us; for it is the foundation blessing, the first of all favors, the mother of mercies. We nail to our mast the old flag of free grace, and believe with the apostle ( Eph 1:11) that we were “predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.”~ C.H. Spurgeon