Evening, August 4, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind, mildew and hail.” — Haggai 2:17
See how destructive the hail is to the standing crops, beating the precious grain to the ground! How grateful should we be when the corn is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer thanksgiving to the Lord. Even more to be dreaded are those mysterious destroyers–smut, bunt, rust, and mildew. These turn the ear into a soot-like mass, or render it decayed, or dry up the grain, and all in a manner so beyond all human control that the farmer is compelled to cry, “This is the finger of God.” Innumerable minute fungi cause the mischief, and were it not for the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon scatter famine over the land. Infinite mercy spares the food of men, but in view of the active agents which are ready to destroy the harvest, wisely we are taught to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The curse is ever near; we have constant need of the blessing. When blight and mildew come they are disciplines from heaven, and men must learn to bear the rod, and him that has appointed it.
Spiritually, mildew is a common evil. When our work is most promising this blight appears. We hoped for many conversions to Christ, but lo, we face a general apathy, a widespread worldliness, or a unfeeling hardness of heart! There may be no open sin in those for whom we are laboring, but there is an absence of sincerity and decision sadly disappointing our wishes. We learn from this our dependence on the Lord, and the need of prayer that no blight may fall upon our work. Spiritual pride or laziness will soon bring upon us this dreadful evil, and only the Lord of the harvest can remove it. Mildew may even attack our own hearts, and shrivel our prayers and spiritual exercises. May it please the great Lord of the harvest to avert so serious a calamity. Shine, blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the blights away.