Morning, July 23, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“You too were as one of them.” –Obadiah 1:11
Brotherly kindness was owed to Israel from Edom in Israel’s time of need, but instead of offering help, the men of Esau made common cause with Israel’s enemies. Special stress in the sentence before us is laid upon the word You; as when Caesar cried out to Brutus, “and you, Brutus?” A bad action may be all the worse, because of the person who has committed it. When we sin, who are the chosen favorites of heaven, we sin with an emphasis; ours is an offence to be called out, because we are so especially favored. If an angel should lay his hand upon us when we are doing evil, he doesn’t need to use any other rebuke than the question, “What, you? What are you doing here?” Much forgiven, much delivered, much instructed, much enriched, much blessed; shall we dare to put forth our hand to evil? God forbid!
A few minutes of confession may be beneficial to you, gentle reader, this morning. Have you never behaved as the wicked? At an evening party certain men laughed at an immoral joke, and the joke was not offensive to you; you too were as one of them. When criticisms were spoken concerning the ways of God, you were bashfully silent; and so, to onlookers, you too were as one of them. When unbelievers were negotiating in the market, and driving unjust transactions, were you too as one of them? When they were pursuing luxurious things like a hunter, were you not as greedy as they were? Could any difference be discerned between you and them? Is there any difference? Is this uncomfortably close to your behavior? Be honest with your own soul, and make sure that you are a new creature in Christ Jesus; but when you’ve made this sure, still walk carefully, unless any should again be able to say, “you too were as one of them.” You wouldn’t want to share their eternal destiny, why then be like them here? Don’t participate in their covert ways, or you will participate in their ruin. Side with the humble people of God, and not with the world.
An additional note: When I was pondering this driving into work this morning, I wondered if Spurgeon would have added a comment on the manner in which drivers sporting Christian slogans on their cars “interact” with other drivers…