Evening, April 10, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me.” — Acts 27:23
A tempest and long darkness, coupled with imminent risk of shipwreck, had brought the crew of the vessel into a sad state; one man alone among them remained perfectly calm, and by his word the rest were reassured. Paul was the only man who had heart enough to say, “Keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” There were veteran Roman legionaries on board, and brave old mariners, and yet their poor Jewish prisoner had more spirit than all of them. He had a secret Friend who kept his courage up. The Lord Jesus dispatched a heavenly messenger to whisper words of consolation in the ear of his faithful servant; therefore he wore a shining countenance, and spoke like a man at ease.
If we fear and revere the Lord, we may look for timely interventions when our case is at its worst. Angels are not kept from us by storms or hindered by darkness. Seraphs do not think it humbling to visit the poorest of God’s family. If angel’s visits are few and far between at ordinary times, they shall be frequent in our nights of tempest and tossing. Friends may drop from us when we are under pressure, but our dealings with the inhabitants of the angelic world shall be more abundant; and in the strength of words of love, brought to us from the throne by the way of Jacob’s ladder, we shall be strong to do exploits. Dear reader, is this an hour of distress with you? Then ask for special help. Jesus is the angel of the covenant, and if his presence is now earnestly sought, it will not be denied. That presence will cheer the hearts of those who remember that they, like Paul, have the angel of God standing by them in a night of storm, when anchors would no longer hold, and rocks were near.
“O angel of my God, be near,
Amid the darkness hush my fear;
Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,
Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me.”