Morning, June 20, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Israel among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground.” — Amos 9:9
Every sifting comes by divine command and permission. Satan must ask permission before he can lay a finger upon Job. Even more, in some sense our sifting is directly the work of heaven, for the text says, “I will sift the house of Israel.” Satan, like a menial worker, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the corn; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended to be destructive. So you precious, but greatly sifted corn of the Lord’s floor, be comforted by the fortunate fact that the Lord directs both flail and sieve to his own glory, and to your eternal profit.
The Lord Jesus will surely use the fan which is in his hand, and will divide the precious from the vile. All are not Israel that are of Israel; the heap on the barn floor is not clean feed, and for this reason the winnowing process must be performed. In the sieve true weight alone has power. Husks and chaff, being devoid of substance must fly before the wind, and only solid corn will remain.
Observe the complete safety of the Lord’s wheat; even the least grain has a promise of preservation. God himself sifts, and therefore it is severe and terrible work; he sifts them in all places, “among all nations”; he sifts them in the most effective manner, “like corn is sifted in a sieve;” and yet for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shriveled grain is permitted to fall to the ground. Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord: a shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweler one diamond, nor a mother one child, nor a man one limb of his body, nor will the Lord lose one of his redeemed people. However little we may be, if we are the Lord’s, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus.