The Gracious Law of the Son of David

So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor… Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. – 1 Samuel 30:9-10; 21-23

If by sickness you are detained at home, if for any other reason, such as age or infirmity, you are not able to enter into actual service, yet if you are a true soldier and would fight if you could, and your heart is in it, you shall share even with the best and bravest of those who, clad in the panoply of God, encounter and grapple with the adversary…(for) the law of the Son of David is the same as the law of David himself; and you know the law of David about those that went to the battle. There were some that were lame, and some that were otherwise incapable of action, and he left them with the baggage. “There,” he said, “you are very weary and ill: stop in the camp: take care of the tents, and the ammunition, while we go and fight.” Now, it happened once on a time that the men that went to fight claimed all the spoil. They said, “These people have done nothing: they have been lying in the trenches: they shall not carry off a share of the booty.” But King David there and then made a law that they should share and share equally-those that were in the trenches and those that engaged in the fray. “As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel.” Nor is the law of the Son of David less gracious. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Up! Brethren, Up!

And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. -_ Mark 1:32

Here they come with every kind of complaint, lepers, and halt, and lame, and withered, and there is the loving Master, moving here and there till He has healed every one of them. The streets of Capernaum rang that night with songs of joy. There was dancing in the street of a new kind, for the lame man was leaping; and the music that accompanied the dancing was of a new kind too, for then did the tongue of the dumb sing, “Glory be to God.” It was out of Peter’s house that all this mercy came…”It cannot be so with my home,” says one. Why not, dear brother? If you are straitened at all, you are not straitened in God; you are straitened in yourself. “But I live in a place,” says one, “where the ministry is lifeless.” The more reason why you should be a blessing to the town. “Oh, but I live where many active Christians are doing a great deal of good.” The more reason why you should be encouraged to do good too. “Oh, but ours is an aristocratic neighborhood.” They want the gospel most of all. How few of the great and mighty are ever saved! “Oh, but ours is such a low neighborhood.” That is just the place where the gospel is likely to meet with a glad reception, for the poor have the gospel preached to them, and they will hear it. You cannot invent an excuse which will hold water for a moment: God can make your house to be the center of blessing to all who dwell around it, if you are willing to have it so…The shadows are lengthening, the day is drawing to a close. Up! brethren, up! If you are to bring jewels to Jesus, if you are to crown His head with many crowns, up, I pray you, and labor for Him while you can.

You cannot keep the grace of God a secret; it will reveal itself. You need not advertise your religion: live it, and other people will talk about it. It is good to speak for Christ whenever you have a fair opportunity, but your life will be the best sermon. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Patient Becomes the Hostess

And He came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. = Mark 1:31

This is what they did when Jesus came. Immediately they told Him of her, for the word “Anon” is really in the Greek “immediately.” Directly Christ went in they told Him of her, and directly Christ went to heal her. He went into the chamber, spoke a word, gave a touch, lifted up the sick woman, and she was restored, and the wonderful thing was she was able to rise from the bed immediately and wait upon them. This never occurs in the cure of a fever, for when a fever goes it leaves the patient very weak, and he needs days and weeks, and sometimes months, before he recovers his wonted strength. But the cures of Christ are perfect; and so at once the patient rose and ministered unto them.

You have each of you, probably, some one left in your family unsaved, and you have said, “I was in hopes that this one would be converted.” Have you ever told Jesus of her or of him? Oh, I hope you can answer, “Yes, I have many times” but it is just possible you have not made a set business of it. Begin now, and go upstairs and take time every day to tell the Lord every bit about Jane, or Mary, or Thomas, or John. Wrestle with God, if need be, all night long, and say, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” I do not think that many of you will be very long with that trouble to carry when you have in that manner told it to your Lord. So when God’s grace comes, the one who has been the object of the most anxiety becomes the happiest of all; the sinner, saved by sovereign grace, becomes servant of the Lord; the patient becomes the hostess. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Your Commonest Trouble Will be Sympathized by Him

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell Him of her. – Mark 1:30

The seaboard of Capernaum in which Peter dwelt is said by travelers to be a peculiarly damp, marshy, aguish, feverish place, no end of people had the fever just around the house; but Peter and Andrew did not argue that they must not tell the Lord because it was a common disease. Do not let Satan get an advantage over you by persuading you to keep back commonplace troubles or sins from your loving Lord. Beloved, if He counts the hairs of your heads, if not a sparrow falls to the ground without His knowledge, depend upon it your commonest trouble will be sympathized in by Him. “In all their afflictions He was afflicted.” It is a great mistake to think you may not carry to your Redeemer the ordinary trials of the day; tell Him, yea, tell Him all. If your child is only a common sinner, if there is no unusual depravity in him, if your son has never grieved you by perverseness, if your daughter has always been amiable and gentle, do not think there is no need to pray. If it is only a common case of the fever of sin, yet it will be deadly in the end unless a balm be found, therefore tell Jesus of it at once. Do not wait till your son becomes a prodigal, pray at once! Do not delay till your child is at death’s door, pray now!

Peter’s wife’s mother was attacked by no ordinary fever. We are told it was “a great fever”: the expression used implies that she was burning with fever; and she was intensely debilitated, for she was laid prostrate. Now the devil will sometimes insinuate, “It is of no use for you to take such a case to Jesus; your son has acted so shamefully, your daughter is so wilful: such a case will never yield to divine grace in answer to prayer.” Do not be held back by this wicked suggestion. Our Lord Jesus Christ can rebuke great fevers, and He can lift up those that are broken down and rendered powerless by raging sin. “Wonders of grace to God belong.” Go and tell Jesus of the case, common or uncommon, ordinary or extraordinary even as they told Jesus of her. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Tell Jesus of It

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell Him of her. And He came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. – Mark 1:30,31

The four friends have come in, and no sooner are they in than they begin to speak with the Master, for the text tells us, “Anon they tell Him of her,”-of Peter’s wife’s mother who lay sick. I like that expression-I do not know whether you have noticed it-“Anon they tell Him of her.” Luke tells us “they besought Him.” I have no doubt Luke is right, but Mark is right too. “They tell Him of her.” It looks to me as if it taught me this-that sometimes all I may do with my sore affliction is just to tell my own dear Lord about it, and leave it to His loving judgment to act as He sees fit. Have you any temporal trouble or sickness in the house? Tell Jesus of it. Sometimes that is almost as much as you may do. You may beseech Him to heal that dear one, but you will have to say, “Not as I would, but as Thou wilt,” and so will feel that all you may do is to tell Jesus the case and leave it with Him. He is so gentle and loving, that He is sure to do the kindest thing, and the thing which is most right to do; therefore we may be content to “tell Him of her.” With regard to spiritual things, we may press and be very importunate, but with regard to temporal things, we must draw a line, and be satisfied when we have told Jesus and left the matter to His discretion. Some parents may, when their children are ill, plead with God in a way which shows more of nature then of grace, more clearly the affection of the mother than the resignation of the Christian; but such should not be the case. If we have committed our way unto the Lord in prayer, and meekly told Him of our crisis it will be our wisdom to be still, and watch till God the Lord shall speak. He cannot be either unjust or unkind, therefore should we say, “Let Him do what seemeth Him good.”

Tell Jesus Christ all about it; His view of the matter will be to your advantage.~ C.H. Spurgeon

Leaving All to Follow Jesus

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. – Mark 1:17

Beloved, what a difference there may be between one Christian and another…We know some who are saved-at least we hope they are-but oh, how few are the fruits of the Spirit; how feeble is the light they give; how slender is their consecration; how small is their likeness to Him whom they call Master and Lord. Thank God, we have seen others who live in quite another atmosphere, and exhibit a far different life. It is not a higher life, I hardly like that term, for the life of God is one and the same in all believers; but it is a higher condition of the life, more developed, more vigorous, more influential; a condition of life which has a clearer eye, and a nimbler hand, a quicker ear, and a more musical speech; a life of health, whereas too many only know life as laboring under disease, and ready to give up the ghost. There are Mephibosheths among the king’s favourites, but give me the life of Naphtali, “satisfied with favor and full of the blessing of the Lord;” or of Asher, of whom it is written, “let him dip his foot in oil.” An owl is alive though it loves the darkness, and a mole is alive though it is always digging its own grave, but give me the life of those who mount as on the wings of eagles, who live upon the fat things, full of marrow, and drink the wines on the lees well refined. These are the mightier of Israel, whose joyous energy far surpasses that of the weary and faint, whose faith is feeble and whose love is cold. Now, Peter and his friends at this time had been called from their fishing tackle and their boats to abide with Jesus in His humiliation, and learn of Him the secrets of the kingdom, which afterwards they were to teach to others. They had heard the Master say, “Follow Me,” and they had left all at His bidding. They were in the path of fellowship, boldly pressing on at their Lord’s command, so that now they had taken a grand stride in their Christian career; and that is the time, beloved, when men bring blessings on their houses. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Godly Work-fellows

Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him. – Mark 1:16-18

It is a great help to a man to find godly work-fellows. If he must needs go a-fishing like Peter, it is a grand thing to have a James and a John as one’s partners in the business. How helpful it is to piety when Christian men associate from day to day with their fellow Christians, and speak often one to another concerning the best things. Firebrands placed closely together will burn all the more freely, coals laid in a heap will glow and blaze, and so hearts touching hearts in divine things cause an inward burning and a sacred fervor seldom reached by those who walk alone. Many Christians are called to struggle hard for spiritual existence through having to work with unbelievers; they are not only sneered at and persecuted, but all sorts of doubts and blasphemies are suggested, and these materially hinder their growth in the heavenly life. When they are brought into this trial in the course of providence they have need of great grace to remain firm under it. Beloved brother, if in your daily business you meet with none to help but many to hinder, you must live all the nearer to God, for you require a double measure of grace; but if in the providence of God you happen to be placed where there are helpful Christian companions, do not readily change that position, even though your income would be doubled thereby. I would sooner work with James and John for twenty shillings a week than with swearers and drunkards for sixty. You who reside with really consistent Christians are much favored, and ought to become eminent Christians. You are like flowers in a conservatory, and you ought to bloom to perfection. You live in a lavender garden, and you ought to smell sweetly. Prove that you appreciate and rightly use your privileged position by endeavoring to bring grace to your house, that it may be altogether the Lord’s. ~ C.H. Spurgeon