Evening and Morning
By Charles Haddon Spurgeon
watereth shall be watered also himself."—Proverbs 11:25.
We are here taught the
great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter;
that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to
become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In
watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness. We have
latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise.
Our strength for labour is hidden even from
ourselves, until we venture forth to fight the Lord's battles, or to climb the
mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until
we try to dry the widow's tears, and soothe the orphan's grief. We often find
in attempting to teach others, that we gain instruction for ourselves.
Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at
sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew
so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of
God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper
insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We
discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge.
Our own comfort is also increased by our working
for others. We endeavour to cheer them, and the
consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed
the other's limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in
circulation, and saved his own life. The poor widow of Sarepta
gave from her scanty store a supply for the prophet's wants, and from that day
she never again knew what want was. Give then, and it shall be given unto you,
good measure, pressed down, and running over.
not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye Me in
We may gain much solace by
considering what God has not said. What He has said is inexpressibly
full of comfort and delight; what He has not said is scarcely less rich in
consolation. It was one of these "said nots"
which preserved the kingdom of Israel in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, for "the Lord said not that He would blot out
the name of Israel from under heaven." 2 Kings 14:27. In our text we have
an assurance that God will answer prayer, because He hath "not
said unto the seed of Israel, Seek ye Me in
vain." You who write bitter things against yourselves should remember
that, let your doubts and fears say what they will, if God has not cut
you off from mercy, there is no room for despair: even the voice of conscience
is of little weight if it be not seconded by the voice of God. What God has
said, tremble at! But suffer not your vain imaginings to overwhelm you with
despondency and sinful despair. Many timid persons have been vexed by the
suspicion that there may be something in God's decree which shuts them
out from hope, but here is a complete refutation to that troublesome fear, for
no true seeker can be decreed to wrath. "I have not spoken in secret, in a
dark place of the earth; I have not said," even in the secret of my
unsearchable decree, "Seek ye Me in vain."
God has clearly revealed that He will hear the prayer of those who call
upon Him, and that declaration cannot be contravened. He has so firmly, so
truthfully, so righteously spoken, that there can be no room for doubt. He does
not reveal His mind in unintelligible words, but He speaks plainly and
positively, "Ask, and ye shall receive." Believe, O trembler, this
sure truth—that prayer must and shall be heard,
and that never, even in the secrets of eternity, has the Lord said unto any
living soul, "Seek ye Me in vain."