Evening, February 21, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Do you understand what you are reading?” — Acts 8:30
We should be competent teachers of others, and less prone to be carried about by every wind of doctrine, if we seek to have a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God. As the Holy Spirit is the Author of the Scriptures and it is he alone who can enlighten us correctly to understand them, we should constantly seek his teaching, and his guidance into all truth. When the prophet Daniel went to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, what did he do? He set himself to pray earnestly that God would open up the vision. The apostle John, in his vision at Patmos, saw a book sealed with seven seals which none was found worthy to open, or so much as to look upon. The book was afterwards opened by the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who had triumphed to open it; but it is written first of John—”I wept much.” The tears of John, which were his liquid prayers, acted—so far as he was concerned—as the divine keys by which the folded book was opened. Therefore, if for your own and others’ profit, you desire to be “filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” remember that prayer is your best means of study. Like Daniel, you shall understand the dream, and its interpretation, when you have sought God; and like John you shall see the seven seals of precious truth unloosed, after you have wept much. Stones are not broken, except by a skilled and wise use of the hammer; and the stonemason must go down on his knees. Use the hammer of diligence, and let the bowed knee of prayer be employed, and there is no stony doctrine yet unrevealed which is useful for you to understand, that will not fly into fragments under the exercise of prayer and faith. You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayer. Thoughts and reasoning are like the steel wedges which give a hold upon truth; but prayer is the lever, the pry tool which forces open the iron chest of divine mystery, that we may get the treasure hidden within.