Evening, November 14, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“But Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn.  Genesis 29:26

We do not excuse Laban for his dishonesty, but we do not want to hesitate to learn from the custom which he quoted as his excuse. There are some things which must be taken in order, and if we would win the second we must secure the first. The second may be the more lovely in our eyes, but the rule of the heavenly country must stand, and the elder must be married first. For instance, many men desire the beautiful and well-favored Rachel of joy and peace in believing, but they must first be wedded to the unattractive Leah of repentance. Every one falls in love with happiness, and many would cheerfully serve twice times seven years to enjoy it, but according to the rule of the Lord’s kingdom, the Leah of real holiness must be loved by our soul before the Rachel of true happiness can be attained. Heaven stands not first but second, and only by persevering to the end can we win a portion in it. The cross must be carried before the crown can be worn. We must follow our Lord in his humiliation, or we shall never rest with him in glory.

My soul, what do you say; are you so vain as to hope to break the heavenly rule? Do you hope for reward without labor, or honor without toil? Dismiss the vacant expectation, and be content to pursue the things less favored for the sake of the precious love of Jesus, which will recompense you for all. In such a spirit, laboring and suffering, you will find the bitter grows sweet, and hard things grow easy. Like Jacob, Your years of service will seem to you just a few days for the love you have for Jesus; and when the dear hour of the wedding feast shall come, all your toil shall be as though it had never been–an hour with Jesus will make up for ages of pain and labor.

Jesus, to win thyself so fair,

Thy cross I will with gladness bear:

Since so the rules of heaven ordain,

The first I’ll wed the next to gain.