Evening, September 16, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Am I the sea, or the sea monster, that You set a guard over me?” — Job 7:12

This was a strange question for Job to ask of the Lord. He felt himself to be too insignificant to be so strictly watched and humiliated, and he hoped that he was not so unruly as to need to be so restrained. The enquiry was natural from one surrounded with such insufferable miseries, but after all, it is capable of a very humbling answer. It is true man is not the sea, but he is even more troublesome and unruly. The sea obediently respects its boundary, and even though that boundary is but a belt of sand, it does not overleap the limit. Mighty as it is, it hears the divine constraint, and even when raging with a hurricane it respects the word; but self-willed man defies heaven and oppresses earth, and neither is there any end to his rebellious rage. The sea, obedient to the moon, ebbs and flows with ceaseless regularity, and thus renders an active as well as a passive obedience; but man, restless beyond his domain, sleeps during his times of duty, lethargic where he should be active. He will neither come nor go at the divine command, but sullenly prefers to do what he should not, and to leave undone that which is required of him. Every drop in the ocean, every beaded bubble, and every frothy flake of foam, every shell and pebble feel the power of law, and yield or move at once. Oh, that our natures were but one thousandth part as much conformed to the will of God! We call the sea fickle and false, but how constant it is! Since our fathers’ days, and the millennia before them, the sea is where it was, beating on the same cliffs to the same tune; we know where to find it, it doesn’t abandon its bed, and doesn’t change in its ceaseless rumble; but where is man, vain, fickle man? Can the wise man guess by what folly he will next be seduced from his obedience? We need more watching than the rolling sea, and are far more rebellious. Lord, rule us for your own glory. Amen.