Salt without prescribing how much. — Ezra 7:22
Salt was used in every offering made by fire unto the Lord, and from its preserving and purifying properties, it was the grateful emblem of divine grace in the soul. It is worthy of our attentive regard that, when Artaxerxes gave salt to Ezra the priest, he set no limit to the quantity; and we may be quite certain that when the King of kings distributes grace among His royal priesthood, the supply is not cut short by Him. Often are we straitened in ourselves but never in the Lord. He who chooses to gather much manna—will find that he may have as much as he desires.
There is no such famine in Jerusalem that the citizens should eat their bread by weight and drink their water by measure. Some things in the economy of grace are measured; for instance our vinegar and gall are given us with such exactness, that we never have a single drop too much. But no stint is made of the salt of grace. “Ask what you will and it shall be given unto you.” Parents need to lock up the candy cupboard, and the sweet jars but there is no need to keep the salt-box under lock and key, for few children will eat too greedily from that. A man may have too much money, or too much honor but he cannot have too much grace. When Jeshurun waxed fat in the flesh—he kicked against God. But there is no fear of a man’s becoming too full of grace—an excess of grace is impossible. More wealth brings more care but more grace brings more joy. Increased knowledge is increased sorrow but abundance of the Spirit is fullness of joy.
Believer, go to the throne for a large supply of heavenly salt! It will season your afflictions, which are unsavory without salt! It will preserve your heart—which corrupts if salt is absent. And it will kill your sins—even as salt kills reptiles. You need much; seek much, and have much!
I will make thy windows of agates. — Isa 54:12
The church is most instructively symbolized by a building erected by heavenly power, and designed by divine skill. Such a spiritual house must not be dark, for the Israelites had light in their dwellings; there must therefore be windows to let the light in and to allow the inhabitants to gaze abroad. These windows are precious as agates—that is, the ways in which the church beholds her Lord and heaven, and spiritual truth in general, are to be had in the highest esteem.
Agates are not the most transparent of gems, they are but semi-transparent at the best. Faith is one of these precious agate windows but alas! it is often so misty and beclouded, that we see but darkly, and mistake much that we do see. Yet if we cannot gaze through windows of diamonds and know even as we are known—it is a glorious thing to behold the altogether lovely One, even though the glass be as hazy as the agate.
Experience is another of these dim but precious windows, yielding to us a subdued religious light, in which we see the sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, through our own afflictions. Our weak eyes could not endure windows of transparent glass to let in the Master’s glory but when they are dimmed with weeping, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness are tempered, and shine through the windows of agate with a soft radiance inexpressibly soothing to tempted souls.
Sanctification, as it conforms us to our Lord, is another agate window. Only as we become heavenly, can we comprehend heavenly things. The pure in heart—see a pure God. Those who are like Jesus—see Him as He is. Because we are so little like Him, the window is but agate; because we are somewhat like Him, it is agate. We thank God for what we have and long for more. When shall we see God and Jesus, and heaven and truth, face to face?
Morning and Evening - December 13
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.