Morning and Evening

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April 7

Morning

O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? — Ps 4:2

An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the ‘honors’ which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long-expected King.

(1.) They gave Him a procession of honor, in which Roman legion, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, with He Himself bearing His cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to Him who comes to overthrow man’s direst foes. Derisive shouts are His only acclamations, and cruel taunts His only paeans of praise.

(2.) They presented Him with the wine of honor. Instead of a golden cup of fine wine—they offered Him the criminal’s stupefying death-draught, which He refused because He would preserve an uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when He cried, “I thirst,” they gave Him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to His mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King’s Son!

(3.) He was provided with a guard of honor, who showed their esteem of Him by gambling over His garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored One of heaven—a foursome of brutal gamblers.

(4.) A throne of honor was found for Him upon the bloody tree; no easier place of rest would rebel men, yield to their vassal Lord. The bloody cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world’s feeling towards Christ! “There,” they seemed to say, “O Son of God, this is the manner in which God Himself would be treated—if we could reach Him!”

(5.) The title of honor was nominally “King of the Jews,” but that the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called Him “King of thieves,” by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves.

His glory was thus in all things turned into shame by the sons of men but it shall yet gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end!


Evening

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. — Ps 51:14

In this SOLEMN CONFESSION—it is pleasing to observe that David plainly names his sin. He does not call it man-slaughter, nor speak of it as an imprudence by which an unfortunate accident occurred to a worthy man but he calls it by its true name, the guilt of bloodshed. He did not actually kill the husband of Bathsheba; but still it was planned in David’s heart that Uriah should be slain, and he was his murderer, before the Lord.

Learn in confession to be honest with God. Do not give fair names to foul sins. Call them what you will—they will smell no sweeter. What God sees them to be, that you must labor to feel them to be; and with all openness of heart, acknowledge their real character.

Observe, that David was evidently oppressed with the heinousness of his sin. It is easy to use words but it is difficult to feel their meaning. The fifty-first Psalm is the photograph of a contrite heart. Let us seek after the same brokenness of heart; for however excellent our words may be, if our heart is not conscious of the hell-deservingness of sin—we cannot expect to find forgiveness.

Our text has in it AN EARNEST PRAYER—it is addressed to the God of salvation. It is His prerogative to forgive; it is His very name and office to save those who seek His face. Better still, the text calls Him the God of my salvation. Yes, blessed be His name, while I am yet going to Him through Jesus’ blood, I can rejoice in the God of my salvation.

The psalmist ends with A COMMENDABLE VOW—if God will deliver him, he will sing—nay, more, he will “sing aloud.” Who can sing in any other style—of such a mercy as this!

But note the subject of the song, “Your Righteousness.” We must sing of the finished work of a precious Savior; and he who knows most of forgiving love—will sing the loudest!


Morning and Evening - April 7

Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.