He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. — Gen 39:12
In contending with certain sins, there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims. Just so—the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil—must hasten away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes—not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant!
Who would wantonly enter the leper’s hut and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He alone who desires to be leprous himself—would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.
This day I may be exposed to great peril—let me have wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me today than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company but I had better leave my cloak—than lose my character! It is not needful that I should be rich but it is imperative upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule—must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. I am to resist the devil and he will flee from me but the lusts of the flesh, I must flee, or they will surely overcome me! O God of holiness, preserve your Josephs—that Madam Bubble bewitch them not with her vile suggestions. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil—never overcome us!
In their affliction they will seek me early. — Hos 5:15
Losses and adversities are frequently the means which the great Shepherd uses to fetch home His wandering sheep! Like fierce dogs, afflictions chase the wanderers back to the fold! Often have we seen the Christian rendered obedient to the Lord’s will—by straitness of bread and hard labor. When rich and increased in goods—many professors carry their heads much too loftily, and speak exceeding boastfully. Like David, they flatter themselves, “My mountain stands fast—I shall never be moved!”
When the Christian grows wealthy, has good health, and a happy family—he too often admits Mr. Carnal Security to feast at his table; and then if he is a true child of God—there is a rod being prepared for him. Wait awhile, and it may be you will see his substance melt away as a dream. There goes a portion of his estate—how soon the acres change hands. That debt, that dishonored bill—how fast his losses roll in, where will they end? It is a blessed sign of divine life if when these losses occur one after another—he begins to be distressed about his backslidings, and betakes himself to his God. Blessed are the fierce waves—which wash the mariner upon the rock of salvation!
Losses in business are often sanctified to our soul’s enriching. If the chosen soul will not come to the Lord full-handed, it shall come empty-handed. If God, in His grace, finds no other means of making us honor Him among men—He will cast us into deep afflictions. If we fail to honor Him on the pinnacle of riches, He will bring us into the valley of poverty. Yet faint not, heir of sorrow, when you are thus rebuked; rather recognize the loving hand which chastens, and say, “I will arise and go unto my Father!”
Morning and Evening - July 25
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.