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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Egypt and the Famine

Archaeology and the Bible:

The Beni Hasan Tomb from the Abrahamic period, depicts Asiatics coming to Egypt during a famine, corresponding with the Biblical account of the plight of the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’.

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Spurgeon’s Covenant Prayer For Children

Charles H. Spurgeon

“And I will establish My Covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an Everlasting Covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Genesis 17:7).

O LORD, Thou hast made a covenant with me, Thy servant, in Christ Jesus my LORD; and now, I beseech Thee, let my children be included in its gracious provisions. Permit me to believe this promise as made to me as well as to Abraham. I know that my children are born in sin and shapen in iniquity, even as those of other men; therefore, I ask nothing on the ground of their birth, for well l know that “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and nothing more. LORD, make them to be born under Thy covenant of grace by Thy Holy Spirit!

I pray for my descendants throughout all generations. Be Thou their God as Thou art mine. My highest honor is that Thou hast permitted me to serve Thee; may my offspring serve Thee in all years to come. O God of Abraham, be the God of his Isaac! O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel!

If, LORD, Thou hast favored me in my family, I pray Thee remember other households of Thy people which remain unblest. Be the God of all the families of Israel. Let not one of those who fear Thy name be tried with a godless and wicked household, for Thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. (“Faith’s Checkbook” by Charles H. Spurgeon)

The Christian Man At Home

Anyone who has ever been a father and tried to be a good father will read the following comments and despair of ever becoming a godly father unless they understand the nature of grace. We find ourselves in the position of the father of the boy with the unclean spirit (Mark 9). Jesus tells the man that all things are possible to him who believes. In response, the father of the boy cries out “I believe; help my unbelief!” (v. 24) We too must acknowledge our need for Christ’s help. If we look to Him, all things are possible. Reverend Samuel Clarke comments on being a father like Abraham:

For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him. (Genesis 18:19)

[A man] in the capacity of a father or master of a family, will take all proper occasions to instill right notions of truth and virtue, into those over whom the circumstances of his state and relation naturally give him an influence. And by his private example, showing in his most free and retired conversation, that he has constantly upon his mind that real regard to God and virtue, which it is more easy and usual to make show of in public; he will with great efficacy promote the true honor of God, and the advancement of sincere religion. For, formal admonitions and public declarations concerning matters of religion, are apt to be of very small force, either towards fixing in the mind right principles, or forming in the manners a habit of virtuous practice; if in the private life and conversation of those by whom families are to be directed, there appear profaneness and impiety, or lewdness and debauchery, or tyrannical oppressiveness and violent and unreasonable passions. How affectionate so ever the exhortations of the preachers of the Gospel be, and how often so ever repeated instructions be given to young persons, either in schools or otherwise; yet if the examples they find at home in the practice of common life, be vicious, debauched, and altogether contrary to the precepts and admonitions given them in form; the effect of all such instruction cannot but be, comparatively speaking, very inconsiderable. Nor is there any other possible way, by which there can be any hope that the arguments of religion should come to have their due weight, and general efficacy in the world; unless they, whose state, relation, and circumstances, give them a natural influence over many, will show in the whole course of their private conversation, and in the freest and most retired part of common life, that they have really upon their minds a sense and concern for religion; that they have habitually in all their actions a constant regard to God, and a sincere desire to promote the knowledge of truth, and the practice of virtue and goodness amongst men. This was the temper of Abraham; upon account of which, that great character is given him in the text, with a repeated assurance of the blessings designed him: “I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham, that which he hath spoken of him.”

Why Salvation Must Be From God

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) Thus wrote Paul in his message to the Galatians. He is explaining the only source of spiritual life. What were these men before Christ came to dwell within them? They were dead. In Ephesians he says, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) As I have said before, “Dead is dead!” Just as a physically dead man cannot pull himself out of his grave, so a spiritually dead man cannot help himself to salvation. Stephen Charnock speaks to this topic below:

[Man] is “sold under sin,” Rom. 7:14, and brought “into captivity to the law of sin,” ver. 23. “Law of sin:” that sin seems to have a legal authority over him; and man is not only a slave to one sin, but many, Tit. 3:3, “serving divers lusts.” Now when a man is sold under the power of a thousand lusts, every one of which has an absolute tyranny over him, and rules him as a sovereign by a law; when a man is thus bound by a thousand laws, a thousand cords and fetters, and carried whither his lords please, against the dictates of his own conscience and force of natural light; can any man imagine that his own power can rescue him from the strength of these masters that claim such a right to him, and keep such a force upon him, and have so often baffled his own strength, when he attempted to turn against them?

[Man] does not only serve them, but he serves them, and every one of them, with delight and pleasure; Tit. 3:3. They were all pleasures, as well as lusts; friends as well as lords. Will any man leave his sensual delights and such sins that please and flatter his flesh? Will a man ever endeavor to run away from those lords whom he serves with affection? Having as much delight in being bound a slave to these lusts, as the devil has in binding him. Therefore when you see a man cast away his pleasures, deprive himself of those comfortable things to which his soul was once knit, and walk in paths contrary to corrupt nature, you may search for the cause anywhere, rather than in nature itself. No piece of dirty, muddy clay can form itself into a neat and handsome vessel; no plain piece of timber can fit itself for the building, much less a crooked one. Nor a man that is born blind, give himself sight.

God deals with men in this case as he did with Abraham. He would not give Isaac while Sarah’s womb, in a natural probability, might have borne him; but when her womb was dead, and age had taken away all natural strength of conception, then God gives him; that it might appear that he was not a child of nature, but a child of promise. (“The Chief of Sinners Saved”)

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