We Pray That The Seeds Of Truth Contained In This Blog Will Penetrate The Good Soil Of Your Heart And Bear Much Fruit.

Monday, September 1, 2014

THE LORD, THE SAINTS' AVENGER

Never are the ungodly further from the mark--never committed to a mistake more suicidal and fatal than when they lay the hand of injustice and oppression upon the saints of the Most High! 

God is for the saints. He is the Avenger of all those who put their trust in Him-the widow and the fatherless-and those who touch them touch the apple of His eye. 

If God is for us, who can be against us? 

A simple missionary incident may illustrate this truth. A little band of missionaries in the Fiji Islands found their home, on one occasion, surrounded by a troop of armed savages, bent upon their destruction. 

Unable, as unwilling, to fight, they closed the door, and betook themselves to prayer. Presently, the war-whoop suddenly ceased. 

On opening the door they found only one savage there. "Where are your chiefs?" he was asked. "They are gone," was the reply; they heard you praying to your God, and they knew that your God was a strong God, and they left.

How true this testimony of the savages! The God of the Christians is a strong Lord. All that strength is on the side of His people. 

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself STRONG in the behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him.

Consider, O my soul, this truth, that the Lord is the strength of His people and the Avenger of all who are oppressed, and will set them in a safe place from those who malign them. 

The Lord's people are an OPPRESSED people.

The ungodly oppress them-sins oppress them-afflictions oppress them-temptations oppress them-needs oppress them-infirmities oppress them-the body of sickness and suffering oppresses them-and, alas! that it should be said, even the saints often oppress them-for some of their keenest shafts have been forged and flung by a brother's hand.

But, the Lord stands up for His oppressed ones. He is the Avenger of all such. "It is God who avenges me," says David. 

Leave Him, O my soul, to vindicate your character, to redress your wrong, to rid you of your adversary, and He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noon-day.

O Lord, You have pleaded the causes of my soul."The sighing of the needy." Jesus was a sighing Savior! He often "sighed deeply in His spirit." And still He is in sympathy with His members, who sigh by reason of sin and suffering and need. For these He will arise.

Sigh on, O my soul! the sigh that breathes from a broken heart, or is wrung from an anguished spirit, or is awakened by the unkindness of the oppressor, or the wounding of a Christian brother, ascends to heaven as music in the ear of the Great High Priest within the veil, and awakens the echoes of His loving and compassionate heart.

Weeping has a voice-sighs have a language-and Jesus hears the one and understands the other. 

To nothing belonging to a saint can the Lord be indifferent. "O Lord! I am oppressed--undertake for me." 

Thus, let the burden of oppression, and sigh of need, prompt you to prayer; then shall you thank and praise Him for both.

Give to the winds your fears; Hope, and be undismayed;
God hears your sighs, and counts your tears, God shall lift up your head."

~Octavius Winslow~



Friday, August 29, 2014

They Shall Not Swoon, Nor Halt, Nor Turn Back

How full of encouragement is the language of the prophet Isaiah

Isa 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
 

This beautiful passage contains a promise of continued supplies of grace and strength to all who really desire to serve the Lord with integrity and simplicity.

In the image of the eagle, the prophet alludes to the strength of wing and of vision possessed by this noble bird-whereby it
ascends to a lofty height, untired and undazzled-soaring even above the fogs and mists of the lower regions of the air, mounting above the very clouds, undeterred by the lightning, and floating in the pure azure above!

Thus shall all who hope in the Lord rise higher and higher, upon the mighty wings of strong devotion, and with the unblinking eye of faith-into the regions of heavenly mindedness; and shall approach nearer and nearer to God-the sun of our spiritual day.

They will run in the heavenly race, for the crown of immortal glory, "and not grow weary." Their strength, instead of being exhausted, shall, contrary to what occurs in bodily effort-be increased by exertion. 


No length nor greatness of labor shall be too much for them. 

God shall pour into their souls, fresh energy for every fresh effort.

"They will walk and not be faint." Their pilgrimage may be arduous; the road may be long and rugged; often up steep ascents, and down into deep and rocky crags, where every step is a labor-but they shall not lose heart or hope; they shall not swoon, nor halt, nor turn back-but go forwards, sustained by a
power greater than their own!


~John Angell James~

Monday, August 25, 2014

An Angel On The Outside And A Devil Within

Mat 23:25  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 

Hypocrites! You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish; but inside you are filthy  full of greed and self-indulgence!

A hypocrite's outside never corresponds with his inside.
A hypocrite's outside is one thing and his inside another.
A hypocrite's outside is religious but his inside is wicked.

 

Hypocrites are like the Egyptian temples, which were beautiful
outside but within there was nothing to be found but serpents
and crocodiles, and other venomous creatures. 


They are like white silver but they draw black lines.

They have a seeming sanctified outside but are stuffed within with malice, pride, worldliness, envy, etc. They are like window cushions, made up of velvet and richly embroidered but stuffed within with hay.
 

A hypocrite. . .may offer sacrifice with Cain, and fast with Jezebel, and humble himself with Ahab, and lament with the tears of Esau, and kiss Christ with Judas, and follow Christ with Demas, and be baptized with Simon Magus; and yet for all this, his inside is as bad as any of theirs!
 

A hypocrite is. . .a Jacob on the outside and an Esau within; a David on the outside and a Saul within; a John on the outside and a Judas within; a saint on the outside and a Satan within;
an angel on the outside and a devil within.

 

But let all such hypocrites know, that pretend sanctity is double iniquity and accordingly at last they shall be dealt with. "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"

Mat 23:33  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

~Thomas Brooks~

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sweet Poisons!

Mat 4:9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Satan presents the world in such a dress, and in such a garb, as to ensnare the soul, and to win the affection of the soul.
 

He represents the world to them in its beauty and finery, which proves a bewitching sight to carnal men.

Satan can no sooner cast out his golden bait- but we are ready to play with it, and to nibble at it! 

He can no sooner throw out his golden ball-but men are apt to run after it--though they lose God and their souls in the pursuit!

Ah! the time, the thoughts, the hearts, the souls--which the inordinate love of this wicked world eats up and destroys!
 

Where one thousand are destroyed by the world's frowns--ten thousand are destroyed by the world's smiles!

The world, siren-like, sings to us--then sinks us!


It kisses us--then betrays us, like Judas!

It kisses us--then stabs us under the rib, like Joab.

The honors, splendor, and all the glory of this world, are but sweet poisons, which will much endanger us, if they do not eternally destroy us.


Ah! the multitude of souls that have glutted on these sweet baits, and died forever! Such men
will sell Christ, heaven, and their souls for a trifle! 


How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie?

Psa 4:2  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
 

Ah, how many thousands are there now on earth, who have found this true by experience; who have spun a lovely rope to strangle themselves, both temporally and eternally, by being bewitched by the beauty and finery of this world!

The main reason why men dote upon the world, and damn their souls to get the world, is, because they are not acquainted with a greater glory!


Men ate acorns, until they were acquainted with the use of wheat. Ah, did men but taste more of heaven, and live more in heaven, and had more glorious hopes of going to heaven, ah, how easily would they trample the world under their feet!
 

Heb 10:34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Let heaven be a man's object, and earth will soon be his abject.
 

Assurance of more great and glorious things, breed in the soul a holy scorn and contempt of all these poor, base worldly things--which the soul before valued above God, Christ and heaven.

~Thomas Brooks~

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Avoid Every Kind of Temptation

1 Thessalonians 5:22 " Abstain from all appearance of evil."

He who now gives way to the least sin-may yet be given up to the greatest sins. 

We are never far enough from lust-while we are on earth; or near enough to Christ-while we are out of heaven. 

O, stand far off from the devil’s mark unless you would be hit by his arrows!

The drawing near to the appearance of evil is the first step to the accomplishment of the most enormous evil. 


A spark will easily catch a box of tinder on fire. Little streams will find a passage to the great sea. 

Christian reader! Why should you venture on slippery places-when you can scarcely stand upon the firmest ground?  

Who will pity that man whose house is blown up with gun-powder-if he stores it in the chimney corner?

Such is the monstrous wickedness of men, that though the streams and currents of their own lusts carry them too swiftly already...yet they hoist up sails to catch the devil’s winds!

The fowler spreads his net but the wings of the bird carry her into it! 


If you would not step into the harlot’s house...you should not go by the harlot’s door! 

If you would not gather the forbidden fruit...then beware how you look on the luscious tree!

To pray against temptations, and yet to rush into occasions to sin...is to thrust your fingers into the fire and then pray that they might not be burnt!


If you hold the stirrup for him no wonder if Satan get into the saddle!
 

Mat 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

That man who is the most watchful is the least sinful. 

A soul without its watch is like a city without its wall, exposed to the attack of all its enemies!

Those who would not fall into the river should beware how they approach too near to its banks. 


He who crushes the egg need not fear the biting of the serpent. 

He who would not drink of the wine of divine wrath...let him not touch the cup of sinful pleasure.

A person who carries gun-powder with him can never stand too far from the fire. 


If we accompany sin one mile it will compel us to go two. 

Sin swells like Elijah’s cloud, from the size of a man’s hand to such an expansion, as to cover the whole sky.
 

Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall. 
1 Corinthians 10:12. 

You will quickly lose your standing if you are fearless of falling.

~William Secker~

Monday, August 18, 2014

Do You Have A Divided Heart?



Our whole being must be surrendered to the service of our Maker. 

We must come to him with an entire dedication of ourselves,
giving up all we are, and all we ever shall be, to be thoroughly devoted to his service, otherwise we have never come to God aright.
 

I am astonished to see how people in these days try to love the world and love Christ too! 

Do you fancy you can walk with God and walk with mammon too? 

Will you take God on one arm, and the devil on the other? 

Do you suppose you can be allowed to drink the cup of the
Lord, and the cup of Satan at the same time?
 

I tell you, you shall depart, as cursed and miserable hypocrites,
if you come to God with a divided heart.
 

God will have the whole of you come, or else you shall not come at all. 

The whole man must seek after the Lord; the whole soul must be poured out before him; otherwise it is no acceptable coming to God at all. 

Oh, halters between two opinions, remember this and tremble!

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Uncover And Confess Sin

Pro 28:13  He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Here is the way of mercy for a guilty and repenting sinner.  
He must cease from the habit of covering sin.

This is attempted by falsehood, which denies sin; by hypocrisy, which conceals it; by boasting, which justifies it; and by loud profession, which tries to make amends for it. 

The sinner's business is to confess and forsake. The two must go together. 

Confession must be honestly made to the LORD Himself, and it must include within itself acknowledgment of the wrong, sense of its evil, and abhorrence of it. 

We must not throw the fault upon others, nor blame circumstances, nor plead natural weakness.

We must make a clean breast of it and plead guilty to the indictment. There can be no mercy till this is done. 

Furthermore, we must forsake the evil; having owned our fault, we must disown all present and future intent to abide in it. 

We cannot remain in rebellion and yet dwell with the King's Majesty.

The habit of evil must be quitted, together with all places, companions, pursuits, and books which might lead us astray. 

Not for confession, nor for reformation, but in connection with them we find pardon by faith in the blood of Jesus.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Weapon Of Spiritual Warfare~The Word Of GOD

Every victorious Christian must learn how to use the Bible effectively.

The Word of GOD is alive, powerful, and sharp.
(see Hebrews 4:12)

The Bible is your "sword" (Ephesians 6:17).

With GOD'S Word in your heart and in your mouth, you will dominate Satan.

Revelation 1:16 pictures Jesus with a sharp two-edged sword coming out of his mouth.

He used this weapon to defeat Satan in the wilderness.

Jesus declared, "It is written...It is written again..."

And the third time, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written..." (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).

Like Jesus, we can use this sword with our mouths against the enemy. (see Revelation 19:15)

The Bible is infallible and inspirational. It is inerrant in its information and supernatural in its application to daily living.

But GOD'S Word must be read and studied before it can be effective in our lives.

When I was in France on a preaching tour, a very lovely French lady came up to me and said, "I want you to know that I'm safe."

I must have looked confused because she went on to explain, "I bought a Bible yesterday and put it in my mailbox."

"In your mailbox?" I repeated.

She said, "The devil will have to pass by the mailbox to get to me. With the Bible inside it, he can't hurt me anymore."

I said, "You better sit down and let me tell you a little more about the Bible. We don't believe in using GOD'S Word like a lucky charm.

The Word of GOD must be read and studied in order to be effective in your life.

You must get it into your heart. GOD'S Word only works on the inside of the believer, not in the mailbox."


In my personal life the Bible has been a true guide in every crisis.

When GOD wants to lead me in a new direction, He directs me through His Word.

The Bible is my sourcebook for Truth.

When I want to know what is right and wrong, I refer to what the Bible says about the matter.

You can be a Mighty man or woman or GOD by giving the Word first place in your life.

If you feed your spirit daily on the Word of GOD, you will grow spiritually. (See I Peter 2:2)

Your spirit strong and well nourished, will dominate your being rather than being ruled by the outward man, the inner man will rule over your mind, will, emotions, and flesh.

You will know your GOD and do exploits in His Name.

~Lester Sumrall~

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Counsel Of The Wicked

Conversion is the soul's surrender to God, and acceptance of God as Guide through this world of sin.

Notice exactly how this is expressed it is not "does not walk in the open wickedness" nor even "the manifest folly of the wicked," but "does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." How searching that is! How it narrows things down!

The ungodly are ever ready to "counsel" the believer, seeming to be very solicitous of his welfare.

They will warn him against being too strict and extreme, advising him to be broad-minded and to "make the best of both worlds."

But the policy of the "ungodly" that is, of those who leave God out of their lives, who have no "fear of God" is regulated by self-will and self-pleasing, and is dominated by what they call "common sense."

Alas, how many professing Christians regulate their lives by the advice and suggestions of ungodly friends and relatives heeding such "counsel" in their business career, their social life, the furnishing and decorating of their homes, their dress and diet, and the choice of school or avocation for their children!

But not so with the "blessed man." He "does not walk in the counsel of the wicked." Rather is he afraid of it, no matter how plausible it sounds, or apparently good the intention of those who offer it. He shuns it, and says "Get behind me, Satan!"

Why? Because Divine grace has taught him that he has something infinitely better to direct his steps.

God has given him a Divine revelation, dictated by unerring wisdom, suited to his every need and circumstance, designed as a "lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path."

His desire and his determination is to walk by the wholesome counsel of God, and not by the corrupt counsel of the ungodly.

The "blessed man" does not walk according to the maxims of the world. "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord." "The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God" (Romans 8:7).

The worldling seeks his "delight" in the entertainment furnished by those who scorn spiritual and eternal things.

Not so the "blessed" man—his "delight" is in something infinitely superior to what this perishing world can supply, namely, in the Divine Scriptures.

The unregenerate delight in pleasing self—but the joy of the Christian lies in pleasing God.

His Word is the daily bread of the "blessed" man.

Thereby does he evidence his "delight" therein—for where his treasure is, there is his heart also!

Here, then, is the occupation of the blessed man. The voluptuary thinks only of satisfying his senses; the giddy youth is concerned only with sports and pleasures; the man of the world directs all his energies to the securing of wealth and honors; but the "blessed" man's determination is to please God.
 

And in order to obtain a better knowledge of His will, he meditates day and night in His holy Word.
 

Thereby is light obtained, its sweetness extracted, and the soul nourished!

Your Words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!
 

Jer 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Meditation stands to reading—as digestion does to eating. It is as God's Word is pondered by the mind, turned over and over in the thoughts, and mixed with faith—that we assimilate it.

That which most occupies the mind and most constantly engages our thoughts—is what we most "delight" in.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.

Fruit is an essential character of a gracious man, for there are no fruitless branches in the true Vine.
 

"In season," for all fruits do not appear in the same month, neither are all the graces of the Spirit produced simultaneously.

Times of trial—call for faith.Times of suffering—call for patience.Times of disappointment—call for meekness.

Times of danger—call for courage.Times of blessings—call for thanksgiving.Times of prosperity—call for joy.

How far, dear reader, do you resemble this "blessed man"?

~Arthur Pink~

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

OBEDIENCE

Obedience. That is, believing God and acting on your belief in God.

Obeying God in everything upon which He puts His finger. 

That means not arguing about it, questioning, doubting it, but if He has pointed out anything, that you give God the benefit of the doubt, if there is a doubt. You are obedient.

Any reservation in that trust in God which leads to implicit obedience, will at once grieve the Holy Spirit and limit Him.

And do not forget that "grieved" is a love term. 

You cannot grieve anybody who does not love you.

You may injure them, you may in a way hurt them, but you cannot grieve them. 

You only grieve people who love you, and when it says, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit" it means: do not do despite to the love of the Spirit, do not violate the Spirit's love for you.

And that means, in effect, that you will not for one moment tolerate anything that the Spirit is against; if you do, you grieve the Spirit and immediately He is limited. 

Obedience to the Spirit is obedience to the love of God and that is basic to both being filled with and remaining filled with the Spirit. 

~T. Austin Sparks~

Monday, August 4, 2014

Will We Be Numbered With Cat-Worshipers And Dog-Adorers?

Those who have no children, take pleasure in little dogs and cats.

People must have an object of affection, and if they have not something noble, they will accept something less. Just so, those who disdain to live for God, will live for their own bellies.

If we do not live in all seriousness for a noble object--the probability is that we shall trifle our lives away in doing nothing! Are we prepared for this? 

Will we be numbered with cat-worshipers and dog-adorers?

My God, save me from petty and paltry objects! Deliver me from worthless amusements and hobbies! 

May the objects of my life's pursuit be worthy of an immortal spirit, worthy of an heir of Heaven!

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ--set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things!" Colossians 3:1-2

~Charles Spurgeon~1883

Friday, August 1, 2014

They Tempt The Devil To Fall In Love With Them!

Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Pride runs in the blood.

Augustine calls pride, "the mother of all sin!"

Some people would be better if they could pluck the worm of pride out of their head!

Pride ruins our virtues and poisons our mercies.

Some are proud of their estates. Riches are fuel for pride. Your heart has become proud because of your wealth. Men's hearts rise with their estates. Ezekiel 28:5

Some take pride in their abilities. The Lord enriches them with wit and talents - and pride fumes from their heart into their head and makes them giddy.

Some are proud of their bodies. Pride is seen in long and meticulous dressings. They spend that time between the comb and the looking-glass, which should be spent in prayer and holy meditation.

Pride is seen in painting their faces - overlaying God's work with the devil's colors!


But virtue is most beautiful to God. 

Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 

You should be known for the beauty that comes from within - the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." 1 Pet. 3:3-4

Pride is seen in the outlandish fashions with which some people dress - or rather disguise themselves. 


They clothe themselves like the rainbow.

Adam was ashamed of his nakedness; these should be ashamed of their clothing. 

They are so plumed and gaudily attired - that they tempt the devil to fall in love with them!
 

Pro 16:5  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
 

~Thomas Watson~

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SHIELDED WARRIOR

We have seen these archers shoot their flights of arrows of Envy, Temptation, and False Accusation at Joseph ; now we will go up the hill a little, behind the rock, to look at the SHIELDED WARRIOR and see how his courage is while the archers have sorely grieved him. 

What is he doing? "His bow abideth in strength." 

Let us picture God's favorite. The archers are down below. There is a parapet of rock before him; now and then he looks over it to see what the archers are about, but generally he keeps behind. 

In heavenly security he is set upon a rock, careless of all below. Let us follow the track of the wild goat and behold the warrior in his fastness.  

First, we notice that he has a bow himself, for we read that "his bow abode in strength." 

He could have retaliated if he pleased, but he was very quiet and would not combat with them. 

Had he pleased, he might have drawn his bow with all his strength, and sent his weapon to their hearts with far greater precision that they had ever done to him. 

But mark the warrior's quietness. There he rests, stretching his mighty limbs; his bow abode in strength; 

He seemed to say, "Rage on, aye, let you arrows spend themselves, empty your quivers on me, let your bow-strings be worn out, and let the wood be broken with its constant bending; here am I, stretching myself in safe repose; my bow abides in strength; I have other work to do besides shooting at you; 

My arrows are against yon foes of God, the enemies of the Most High; I cannot waste an arrow on such pitiful sparrows as you are; ye are birds beneath my noble shot; I would not waste an arrow on you." Thus he remains behind the rock and despises them all. "His bow abideth in strength."      

Mark well his quietness. His bow "abideth." It is not rattling, it is not always moving, but it abides, it is quite still; he takes no notice of the attack. 

The archers sorely grieved Joseph, but his bow was not turned against them, it abode in strength. He turned not his bow on them. He rested while they raged. 

Doth the moon stay herself to lecture every dog that bayeth at her? Doth the lion turn aside to rend each cur that barketh at him? Do the stars cease to shine because the nightingales reprove them for their dimness? Doth the sun stop in its course because of the officious cloud which veils it: Or doth the river stay because the willow dippeth its leaves into its waters? 

Ah! no; God's universe moves on, and if men will oppose it, it heeds them not. 

It is as God hath made it; it is working together for good, and it shall not be stayed by the censure nor moved on by the praise of man. 

Let your bows, my brethren, abide. Do not be in a hurry to set yourselves right. God will take care of you. 

Leave yourselves alone; only be very valiant for the Lord God of Israel; be steadfast in the truth of Jesus and your bow shall abide.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, July 28, 2014

ARCHERS OF ENVY

Joseph had to endure the archers of ENVY. When he was a boy, his father loved him. The youth was fair and beautiful; in person he was to be admired; moreover, he had a mind that was gigantic, and an intellect that was lofty; but, best of all, in him dwelt the Spirit of the living God.

He was one who talked with God; a youth of piety and prayerfulness; beloved of God, even more than he was by his earthly father. O! how his father loved him! for in his fond affection, he made him a princely coat of many colors, and treated him better than the others—a natural but foolish way of showing his fondness.

Therefore his brethren hated him. Full often did they jeer at the youthful Joseph, when he retired to his prayers; when he was with them at a distance from his father's house, he was their drudge, their slave; the taunt, the jeer, did often wound his heart, and the young child endured much secret sorrow. 

On an ill day, as it happened, he was with them at a distance from home, and they thought to slay him; but upon the entreaty of Reuben, they put him into a pit, until, as Providence would have it, the Ishmaelites did pass that way. 

They then sold him for the price of a slave, stripped him of his coat, and sent him naked, they knew not, and they cared not, whither, so long as he might be out of their way, and no longer provoke their envy and their anger.

Oh! the agonies he felt—parted from his father, losing his brethren, without a friend, dragged away by cruel man-sellers, chained upon a camel it may be, with fetters on his hands.

Those who have borne the gyves and fetters, those who have felt that they were not free men, that they had not liberty, might tell how sorely the archers grieved him when they shot at him the arrows of their envy. 

He became a slave, sold from his country, dragged from all he loved. Farewell to home and all its pleasures—farewell to a father's smiles and tender cares. He must be a slave, and toil where the slave's task-master makes him; he must be stripped in the streets, he must be beaten, he must be scourged, he must be reduced from the man to the animal, from the free man to the slave. Truly the archers sorely shot at him.

And, my brethren, do you hope, if you are the Lord's Josephs, that you shall escape envy? I tell you, nay; that green-eyed monster, envy, lives in London as well as elsewhere, and he creeps into God's church, moreover. 

Oh! it is hardest of all, to be envied by one's brethren. If the devil hates us, we can bear it; if the foes of God's truth speak ill of us, we buckle up our harness, and say, "Away, away, to the conflict." 

But when the friends within the house slander us; when brethren who should uphold us, turn our foes; and when they try to tread down their brethren; then, sirs, there is some meaning in the passage, "The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him."

But, blessed be God's name, it is sweet to be informed that "his bow abode in strength." None of you can be the people of God without provoking envy; and the better you are, the more you will be hated. 

The ripest fruit is most pecked by the birds, and the blossoms that have been longest on the tree, are the most easily blown down by the wind.

But fear not; you have naught to do with what man shall say of you. If God loves you, man will hate you; if God honors you, man will dishonor you. 

But recollect, could ye wear chains of iron for Christ's sake, ye should wear chains of gold in heaven; could ye have rings of burning iron round your waists, ye should have your brow rimmed with gold in glory; for blessed are ye when men shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for Christ's name's sake; for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. 

The first archers were the archers of envy.

~Charles Spurgeon~