Evening, September 26, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen.” — Zechariah 11:2
When the crash of a falling oak is heard in the forest, it is a sign that the woodman is around, and every tree in the whole grove may tremble for fear that tomorrow the sharp edge of the axe should find it. We are all like trees marked for the axe, and the fall of one should remind us that for everyone, whether great as the cedar, or humble as the fir, the appointed hour is stealing on rapidly. I trust we do not, when often hearing of death, become callous to it. May we never be like the birds in the steeple, which build their nests when the bells are tolling, and sleep quietly when the solemn funeral peals are disturbing the air. May we regard death as the weightiest of all events, and be sobered by its approach. It ill serves us to amuse ourselves while our eternal destiny hangs on a thread. The sword is out of its scabbard–let us not flirt with it; it is polished, and the edge is sharp–let us not play with it. He who doesn’t prepare for death is more than an ordinary fool; he is a madman. When the voice of God is heard among the trees of the garden, let fig tree and sycamore, and elm and cedar, all together hear its sound.
Be ready, servant of Christ, for your Master comes suddenly, when an ungodly world least expects him. See to it that you are faithful in his work, for the grave shall soon be dug for you. Be ready, parents, see that your children are brought up in the fear of God, for they must soon be orphans; be ready, businessmen, take care that your affairs are correct, and that you serve God with all your hearts, for the days of your service on earth will soon be ended, and you will be called to give account for the deeds you’ve done, whether they are good, or whether they are evil. May we all prepare for the tribunal of the great King with a care which shall be rewarded with the gracious commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”