Morning, November 14, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“So I will stretch out My hand against … those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom.”— Zephaniah 1:5
Such people thought themselves safe because they were siding with both parties: they went with the followers of Jehovah, and bowed at the same time to the god of the Ammonites. But duplicity is abominable with God, and he hates hypocrisy. The idolater who specifically gives himself to his false god, is less sinful than he who brings his polluted and detestable sacrifice into the temple of the Lord, while his heart is with the world and its sins. To hold with the hare and run with the hounds is a despicable policy. Even in the everyday matters of daily life, a double-minded man is despised, but in religion he is loathsome to the highest degree. The penalty pronounced in the verse before us is terrible, but it is well deserved; for how should divine justice spare the sinner, who knows the right way, approves it, and professes to follow it, and all the while loves the evil way, and gives it dominion in his heart?
My soul, search yourself this morning, and see whether you are guilty of double-dealing. You profess to be a follower of Jesus—do you truly love him? Is your heart right with God? As in “Pilgrim’s Progress,” are you of the family of old Father Honest, or are you a relative of Mr. By-ends, who shows his religion when it profits him? A name to live by is of little value if I am indeed walking dead in trespasses and sins. To have one foot on the land of truth, and another on the sea of falsehood, will involve a terrible fall and a total ruin. Christ will be all or nothing. God fills the whole universe, and therefore there is no room for another god; if, then, he reigns in my heart, there will be no space for another reigning power. Do I rest alone on Jesus crucified, and live alone for him? Is it my desire to do so? Is my heart set upon so doing? If so, blessed is the mighty grace which has led me to salvation; and if not so, O Lord, pardon my sad offence, and bind my heart to fear your name.