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19. David's Spoil
This is David's spoil. I Samuel 30:20

We see in David a type of the Lord Jesus, in his conflicts and victories, and as in a thousand things beside, so also in the spoil. To him as a warrior against evil the spoils of war belong. Jehovah saith, "I will divide him a portion with the great; and he shall divide the spoil with the strong" (Isa. 53:12). We may say of him, "Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey" (Ps. 76:4).

I. ALL THE GOOD THAT WE ENJOY COMES TO US THROUGH JESUS. All that we held under the law the spoiler has taken.

By our own efforts we can never gain what we have lost.

Our great Leader has made us share the spoil.

  1. It was for David's sake that God gave success to the hosts of Israel.
  2. It was under David's leadership that they won the battle.

  • Even thus is Jesus the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10).
  • Within us he has wrought a great deliverance. He has overcome the strong man, taken from him all his armor, and divided his spoils (Luke 11:22). He can say with Job, "I plucked the spoil out of his teeth" (Job 29:17).

  • We had lost all by sin, but Jesus has restored it: "Then I restored that which I took not away" (Ps. 69:4). "David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away" (verse 18).

  • Our very selves were captive; he has set us free."David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them" (verses 18-19).

  • Our eternal heritage was forfeited; he has redeemed it (Eph. 1:14). The prey is taken from the mighty. "David recovered all."

  • Our enemies have been made to enrich us, and to glorify his name. "Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:15). Now is fulfilled the promise,"They that spoil thee shall be a spoil" (Jer. 30:16).

II. THAT WHICH IS OVER AND ABOVE WHAT WE LOST BY SIN COMES BY JESUS. "And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil" (verse 20).

  • As Jesus has made us more safe than we were before the fall, so has he also made us more rich.

  1. The exaltation of humanity to kinship with God. This was not ours at the first, but it is acquired for us by the Lord Jesus.

    Election, sonship, heirship, spiritual life, union to Christ, espousal to Jesus, fellowship with God, and the glory of the future wedding-feast--all these are choice spoils.

  2. The fact that we are redeemed creatures, for whom the Creator suffered, is an honor belonging to none but men, and not to men except through Jesus Christ (Heb. 2:16).

    As ransomed persons we are bound to our Redeemer by special ties. "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

  3. Our singular condition as creatures who have known sin, and have been delivered from it, comes by our Lord Jesus Christ. Our perfection will be that of voluntary agents, who will for ever abhor the evil from which they have been saved, and love the good unto which they have been wedded by the grace of God. This belongs not to the angels.

Never did angels taste above
Redeeming grace and dying love.

  4. Our resurrection, which is a gem not found in the crown of seraphs, comes by our risen Lord (2 Cor. 4:14).
  5. Our relation to God, and yet to materialism, is another rare gift of Jesus. We are kings and priests unto God on behalf of the universe; the sanctification of mind and matter is consummated in our favored persons.
  6. Our manifestation of the full glory of the Lord. Our experience will declare to all intelligent beings the choicest wisdom, love, power, and faithfulness of God (Eph. 3:10).

    Truly all these things make us cry, "I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil" (Ps. 119:162).

III. THAT WHICH WE WILLINGLY GIVE TO JESUS MAY BE CALLED HIS SPOIL.

  l. Our hearts are his alone for ever. Hence, all that we have and are belongs to him. "This is David's spoil"--the love and gratitude of our lives (! John 9:19).
  2. Our special gifts. Our tithes and dedicated things are for him. Let us give plentifully (Mai. 3:10). Abraham gave Melchizedek the tenth of the spoil (Gen. 14:20).
  3. Our homage as a Church is to him. He is Head over all things to his Church. It is his reward to reign in Zion.
  4. Our race must yet bow before him; all thrones and powers acknowledge his supremacy. This also is our David's spoil.

Yield to Jesus now, and find in him your safety, your heaven.
What say you? Are you David's spoil?
If not, sin and Satan are spoiling you every day.

Notabilia

(1) Sin contracts no guilt that grace does not more than remove, (2) sin deforms no beauty that grace does not more than renew, (3) sin loses no blessedness that grace does not more than restore. --Outline of Sermon on Romans 5:20, by the late Charles Vince

In 1741, at the Northampton Assizes, a poor Irishman was sentenced to death for murder. Dr. Doddridge believed him innocent, and so exerted himself in his behalf that a respite was obtained. Nothing could be more touching than the poor fellow's expressions of gratitude. He said, "Every drop of my blood thanks you, for you have had compassion on every drop of it. You are my deliverer, and you have a right to me. If I live I am your property, and I will be a faithful servant."

We all remember the poem of "The man of Ross." Every good thing in the place came from him. Ask who did this or that, "The man of Ross," each lisping babe replies.

Even so, as we survey each blessing of our happy estate, and ask whence it came, the only answer is, "This is Jesus' spoil The crucified hand has won this for us."

A Pastor in Cumberland has formed in his church a Good Intent Society, composed of poor persons who have no money to give, but yet desire to do something for the Lord Jesus. These give one hour in the week to some charitable work, or to some labor by which they earn a few pence which is given to the service of the Lord. Each one, according to her several ability, does something distinctly for Jesus. These people find a blessing in so doing. Should we not each one regularly and systematically set aside a portion for our Lord and Savior, and say, "This is David's spoil"?

Charles Hadden Spurgeon


20. Prayer Found in the Heart
For thou, O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. II Samuel 7:27

How often God does for his servants what they desire to do for him! David desired to build the Lord a house, and the Lord built him a house. When God's servants are not accepted one way, they are another. Neither do they take it ill that the Lord puts them off from the work upon which they had set their desires; but they learn his will, bow before it, and praise him for it. David went in and sat before the Lord, and offered prayer, for he felt moved in heart, so that he could not do otherwise. When the Lord promises, we should supplicate: his giving times should create for us special asking times.

I. HOW DID HE COME BY HIS PRAYER? He "found in his heart to pray this prayer."

  • He found it, which is a sign he looked for it. Those who pray at random will never be accepted: we must carefully seek out our prayers (Job 13:4).

  • In his heart-not in a book, nor in his memory, nor in his head, nor in his imagination, nor only on his tongue (Ps. 84:2).

  • It is proof that he had a heart, knew where it was, could look into it, and did often search it (Ps. 77:6).

  • It must have been a living heart, or a living prayer would not have been within it.

  • It must have been a believing heart, or he would not have found "this prayer" in it.

  • It must have been a serious heart, not flippant, forgetful, cold, indifferent, or he would have found a thousand vanities in it, but no prayer. Question: Would prayer be found in your heart at this time (Hosea 7:11)?

  • It must have been a humble heart, for such was the prayer.

  • Is this the way you pray? Do you answer, "I never pray"? God grant you may yet find it in your heart to do so.

  • Is this the way you pray? Do you answer, "I say my prayers"? How can prayers which do not come fromyour heart ever reach God's heart?

II. HOW DID HIS PRAYER COME TO BE IN HIS HEART?.

 Through the Lord's being there, and putting it there.

  1. The Lord's own Spirit instructed him how to pray.

  • By giving him a sense of need. Great blessings teach us our necessity, as in David's case.
  • By giving him faith in God. When sure that God will keep his promise we are moved to plead it.
  • By bringing before his mind the appropriate promise. "Thou hast revealed; therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee."

  2. The Lord inclined him to pray.

  • It has been said that an absolute promise would render prayer needless; whereas the first influence of such a promise is to suggest prayer. The Lord inclined David's heart:
  • By warming his heart. Prayer does not grow in an ice-well.

  • By gladdening him with bright prospects. Prayer comes flying in by the open window of hope.

  • By communing with him. When God speaks to us we are moved to speak to him.

3. The Lord encouraged him to pray, by means of:

  • A promise spoken."I will build thee an house."

  • A promise sealed home to the heart."Thou hast revealed to thy servant."

  • His covenant is ordained on purpose to excite prayer. "I will yet for this be enquired of" (Ezek. 36:37).

  • His former great mercy, his previous answers to our petitions, his immutable goodness, his undiminished power, and his unquestioned faithfulness, all lead us to pray.

  • His Son Jesus is an Intercessor who is always pleading with success, and this puts it into our heart to pray.

  • His Holy Spirit has undertaken to help our infirmity in prayer, and this again suggests prayer.

III. HOW MAY YOU FIND PRAYER IN YOUR HEARTS?

  • Look into your heart, and make diligent search.

  • Think of your own need, and this will suggest petitions.

  • Think of your ill-desert, and you will humbly cry to the Lord.

  • Think of the promises, the precepts, and the doctrines of truth, and each one of these will summon you to your knees.

  • Have Christ in your heart, and prayer will follow (Acts 9:11).

  • Live near to God, and then you will often speak to him.

  • Do you find prayers and other holy things in your heart? Or is it full of vanity, worldliness, ambition, and ungodliness?

  • Remember that you are what your heart is (Prov. 23:7).

Things to the Point

In prayer the lips ne'er act the winning part,
Without the sweet concurrence of the heart.
—R. Herrick

On the cover of his "Kyrie Eleison;" the great musician Beethoven wrote, "From the heart it has come to the heart it shall penetrate."

The Asiatic Russians say that it is only upon the Baikal—an exceedingly dangerous lake in Siberia—in autumn, that a man learns to pray from his heart.

"A great part of my time," said M'Cheyne, "is spent in getting my heart in tune for prayer."

It is not the gilded paper and good writing of a petition that prevails with a king, but the moving sense of it. And to that King who discerns the heart, heart-sense is the sense of all, and that which he only regards; he listens to hear what that speaks, and takes all as nothing where that is silent. All other' excellence in prayer is but the outside and fashion of it; this is the life of it. —Leighton

I asked a young friend, "Did you pray before conversion?" She answered that she did after a sort. I then enquired, "What is the difference between your present prayers and those before you knew the Lord?" Her answer was, "Then I said my prayers, but now I mean them. Then I said the prayers which other people taught me, but now I find them in my heart."

There is good reason to cry "Eureka!" when we find prayer in our heart. Holy Bradford would never cease praying or praising till he found his heart thoroughly engaged in the holy exercise. If it be not in my heart to pray, I must pray till it is. But oh, the delight of pleading with God when the heart casts forth mighty jets of supplication, like a geyser in full action! How mighty is supplication when the whole soul becomes one living, hungering, expecting desire!

Remember, God respecteth not the arithmetic of our prayers, how many they are; nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how long they are; nor the music of our prayers, how methodical they are; but the divinity of our prayers, how heart-sprung they are. Not gifts, but graces, prevail in prayer. —Trapp

Charles Hadden Spurgeon


21. Clinging to the Altar

Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord, and caught hold on the horns of the altar .... And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the Lord, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. — 1 Kings 2:28-30

Joab's conscience pricks him when he hears that Solomon is dealing with other offenders.

Joab was a remorseless warrior, yet when his own turn comes he flies from death.

Joab had little enough of religion, yet he flies to the altar when the sword pursues him.

Joab refuses to quit his shelter, and falls slain at the altar.

Many are for running to the use of external religion when death threatens them. Then they go to greater lengths than Scripture prescribes; they not only go to the tabernacle of the Lord, but they must needs cling to the altar.

I. AN OUTWARD RESORT TO ORDINANCES AVAILS NOT FOR SALVATION.

  • If a man will rest in external rites he will die there.

  • Sacraments, in health or in sickness, are unavailing as means of salvation. They are intended only for those saved already, and will be injurious to others (1 Cor. 11:29).

  • Religious observances: such as frequenting sermons, attending prayer-meetings, joining in Bible-readings, practicing family-prayer: all these put together cannot save a man from the punishment due to his sins. They are good things, but the merely formal practice of them cannot save.

  • Ministers. These are looked upon by some dying persons with foolish reverence. In the hour of death resort is made to their prayers at the bedside. Importance is attached to funeral sermons, and ceremonials. What superstition!

  • Professions. These may be correct, long, reputable, and eminent; but yet they may not be proofs of safety. Connection with the most pure of churches would be a poor ground of trust.

  • Orthodoxy in doctrine, ordinances, and religious practices is much thought of by some; but it is terribly insufficient.

  • Feelings. Dread, delight, dreaminess, despondency: these have, each in its turn, been relied upon as grounds of hope; but they are all futile.

What an awful thing to perish with your hand on the altar of God! Yet you must, unless your heart is renewed by divine grace.

The outward altar was never intended to be a sanctuary for the guilty. Read Exodus 21:14, where it is said of the criminal, "Thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die."

II. A SPIRITUAL RESORT TO THE TRUE ALTAR AVAILS FOR SALVATION. We will use Joab's case as an illustration.

  1. His act: he "caught hold on the horns of the altar."

  • We do this spiritually by flying from the sword of Justice to the person of Jesus.

  • And by taking hold upon his great atoning work, and thus through faith uniting ourselves to his propitiation.

  2. The fierce demand of his adversary: "Thus saith the king, Come forth!" This is the demand of:

  • Unbelieving Pharisees who teach salvation by works.

  • Accusing Conscience within the man.

  • Satan, quoting Holy Scripture falsely.

  3. The desperate resolve of Joab, — "Nay, but I will die here:"
    This is a wise resolution, for we:

  • Must perish elsewhere.

  • Cannot make our case worse by clinging to Christ.

  • Have nowhere else to cling. No other righteousness or sacrifice.

  • Cannot be dragged away if we cling to Jesus.

  • Receive hope from the fact that none have perished here.

4. The assured security. "He that believeth on the Son hath ever lasting life" (John 3:36).

  • If you perished trusting in Jesus your ruin would

  • Defeat God.

  • Dishonor Christ.

  • Dishearten Sinners from coming to Jesus

  • Discourage Saints, making them doubt all the promises.

  • Distress the Glorified, who have rejoiced over penitents, and would now see that they were mistaken.

Come, then, at once to the Lord Jesus, and lay hold on eternal life.

  You may come; he invites you.
  You should come; he commands you.
  You should come now; for now is the accepted time.

Cases in Point, etc.

During an epidemic of cholera, I remember being called up, at dead of night, to pray with a dying person. He had spent the Sabbath in going out upon an excursion, and at three on Monday morning I was standing by his bed. There was no Bible in the house, and he had often ridiculed the preacher; but before his senses left him he begged his servant to send for me. What could I do? He was unconscious; and there I stood, musing sadly upon the wretched condition of a man who had wickedly refused Christ, and yet superstitiously fled to his minister.

"Will you put it down in black and white what I am to believe?" wrote a lady to the Rev. Robert Howie. "I have been told of many different texts; and they are so many that I am bewildered. Please tell me one text, and I will try to believe it." The answer came, "It is not any one text, nor any number of texts that saves, any more than the man who fled to the City of Refuge was saved by reading the directions on the finger-posts. It is by believing on the person and work of the Lord Jesus that we are brought into life; and, once born again, are kept in that life."

When a man goes thirsty to the well, his thirst is not allayed merely by going there. On the contrary, it is increased by every step he goes. It is by what he draws out of the well that his thirst is satisfied. Just so it is not by the mere bodily exercise of waiting upon ordinances that you will ever come to peace, but by tasting of Jesus in the ordinances, whose flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed. — M'Cheyne

The Lord Jesus is well pleased that poor sinners should fly to him, and lay hold upon him; for this is to give him due glory as a gracious Savior, and this is to fulfill the purpose for which he has set himself apart. He claims to be a Deliverer; let us use him as what he professes to be, and so do him that honor which he most esteems. A Pilot loves to get the helm in his hand, a Physician delights to be trusted with hard cases, an Advocate is glad to get his brief; even so is Jesus happy to be used. Jesus longs to bless, and therefore he says to every sinner, as he did to the woman at the well, "Give me to drink." Oh to think that you can refresh your Redeemer! Poor sinner, haste to do it.

Charles Hadden Spurgeon

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