Evening, July 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“A battered reed he will not break off, and a smoldering wick he will not put out.” — Matthew 12:20
What is weaker than a bruised and battered reed or a smoking wick? As to the reed that grows in the fen or marsh, let only the wild duck land upon it, and it snaps; just let a man’s foot brush against it, and it is bruised and broken; every wind that flutters across the river moves it back and forth. You can conceive of nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in jeopardy, than a battered reed. Then look at the smoking wick–what is it? It has a spark within it, it is true, but it is almost smothered; an infant’s breath might blow it out; nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame. Weak things are described here, yet Jesus says of them, “The smoking wick I will not quench; the battered reed I will not break.” Some of God’s children are made strong to do mighty works for him; God has his Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza’s gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; he has a few mighty who are lion-like men, but the majority of his people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passerby; a fearful little flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds in a trap; if trial threatens, they are ready to faint; their fragile skiff is tossed up and down by every wave, they drift along like a sea bird on the crest of the breakers–weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight. Yet, weak as they are, and even because they are so weak, they have this promise made particularly to them. Here lies grace and graciousness! Here lies love and lovingkindness! How it reveals to us the compassion of Jesus–so gentle, tender, considerate! We never need to shrink back from his touch. We never need to fear a harsh word from him; though he might well reprimand us for our weakness, he rebukes not. Battered reeds shall not be struck by him, and the smoking wick will receive no smothering frowns.