Morning & Evening Devotional Reading– July 19– Evening
by Charles H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by William C. Neff
“A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench.'”
What is weaker than the bruised reed or smoking flax? A reed that grows in the marsh and wetlands would snap if a wild bird landed upon it. Let the foot of man brush against it, and it is immediately bruised and broken. Every wind that flits across the river moves it to and fro. It it hard to conceive of anything more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more jeopardy, than a bruised reed.
Then look at the smoking flax; what is it? It has a smoldering spark within it, but it is almost smothered. An infant’s breath might blow it out. Nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame.
Weak things are here described, and yet Jesus says of them, “The smoking flax I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break.” Some of God’s children are made strong to do mighty works for him; God has his Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza’s gates and carry them to the top of the hill. He has a few mighty men who are like lions. But the majority of his people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passer by—a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds into a snare. If trial threatens, they are ready to faint. Their frail little rowboat is tossed up and down by every wave. They drift along like a sea bird on the crest of the waves.
These are weak things– without strength, without wisdom, without foresight. Yet, weak as they are, and because they are so weak, they have this promise made specially to them. Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and lovingkindness! How it opens to us the compassion of Jesus– so gentle, tender, and considerate! We need never shrink back from his touch. We need never fear a harsh word from him. Though he might for good reason scold us for our weakness, he does not. Bruised reeds will receive no strikes from his hand, and the smoking flax no frowns to extinguish their spirits. [M&E]