24 APRIL (PREACHED 23 APRIL 1775)
Spiritual concern for our family
‘Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.’ 2 Samuel 23:5
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 John 3:1–14
My house. David was prosperous in many respects, but afflicted in his family. One son slain by another, and he that murdered his brother proved a rebel and traitor to his father. He had many children, but few that he could hope were the Lord’s children. His sorrow on this account found a place even in his last words. Observe hence: a good man longs for the spiritual welfare of his children and family. Indeed those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, wish that all around them were partakers of the same mercy, but charity will, in this sense at least, begin at home. I think those of you who have dear relatives may try yourselves by this test. Do you travail, as it were, in birth for those who are dear to you? It is a good sign, and if your desires prompt you to the use of every probable and appointed means, and if a failing of success with them gives you a deep, perceptive concern, and excites your prayers to God for them yet more earnestly, be not discouraged, you may yet have the desire of your hearts. But remember, grace does not run in the blood. David had Amnon and Absalom. Manasseh, who was brought up under good Hezekiah, was wicked beyond all that were before him. Nothing but the power of God can change the heart. Therefore:
(i) Beware of trusting to outward privileges (Matthew 3:9).
(ii) Be not discouraged if you have not had them in early life. They could not have saved you of themselves, and if you seek the Lord Jesus he can save you without them.
FOR MEDITATION: A letter from Brother Harry yesterday.… May it be given me to pray earnestly for him. If his disappointments are sanctified to lead him to the one thing needful, they will be blessings, and the greatest success upon other terms would be a curse.
Diary, 9 September 1773
SERMON SERIES: 2 SAMUEL 23:5, NO. 1 [2/4]