Evening, March 21, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion?” — Job 38:31
If we are inclined to boast of our abilities, the grandeur of nature may soon show us how puny we are. We cannot move the least of all the twinkling stars, or quench so much as one of the rays of the morning. We speak of power, but the heavens laugh us to scorn. When the Pleiades shine forth in spring with vernal joy we cannot restrain their influences, and when Orion reigns aloft, and the year is bound in winter’s fetters, we cannot relax the icy bands. The seasons revolve according to the divine appointment, and the whole race of men cannot effect a change there. Lord, what is man?
In the spiritual, as in the natural world, man’s power is limited on all hands. When the Holy Spirit sheds abroad his delights in the soul, none can interrupt; all the cunning and malice of men is ineffective to stay the warm enlivening power of the Comforter. When he stoops to visit the church and revive it, the most hardened enemies cannot resist the good work; they may ridicule it, but they can no more restrain it than they can push back the spring when the Pleiades rule the hour. God wills it, and so it must be. On the other hand, if the Lord in sovereignty, or in justice, binds up a man so that he is in bondage in his soul, who can give him liberty? God alone can remove the winter of spiritual death from an individual or a people. He looses the bands of Orion, and none but he. What a blessing it is that he can do it. O that he would perform that wonder tonight! Lord, end my winter, and let my spring begin! I cannot with all my longing raise my soul out of her death and dullness, but all things are possible with you. I need celestial influences, the clear radiance of your love, the rays of your grace, the light of your countenance; these are the Pleiades to me. I suffer much from sin and temptation; these are my wintry signs, my terrible Orion. Lord, work wonders in me, and for me. Amen.