Set a Diligent Watch

Moab is My washpot… – Psalm 60:8

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. – 1 Corinthians 9:27

There are certain sins which we readily detect in others, which should serve as loud calls to us to correct the same things in ourselves. When a man sees the faults of others and congratulates himself that he is far superior to such, he evidently knows not how to extract good from evil; he is proud and knows nothing. But when we perceive errors in others, and immediately set a diligent watch against falling into the like, then Moab is rightly used, and becomes our washpot. For instance, as to the matter of bodily indulgence? The sinner is a man who puts his body before his soul, and his head where his feet should be; he is therefore a monster in nature. Instead of the world being under his feet, as it is with every good man, he inverts himself, and places his head and his heart in the dust. He lives for the body which is to die and forgets the soul which lives for ever. When therefore you see a drunkard, or an unchaste person, say to yourself, “I must mortify my members, and give my Spiritual nature the predominance. For this I must cry mightily to God, the Eternal Spirit, lest the body of this death prevail over me. I must keep under my body, as the Apostle saith, and bring it into subjection, lest I too become a prey to the same animal passions, which lead sinners captive.” I see the ungodly man putting this poor fleeting world before the eternal world to come; therein he is a fool; but let me take heed that I in no measure imitate him. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

By Remembering…

Moab is My washpot… – Psalm 60:8

When you see the wickedness of an ungodly man, make him your washpot, by remembering that you also, though you are regenerate, are encompassed with “the body of this death.” Remember the words of the Apostle: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” The old nature so remains in us, that, if we were to be deserted by God, we should even yet become such as the ungodly are. Need I quote to you the speech of John Bradford, one of the godliest of men? When he saw a wretch taken out to Tyburn to be hanged, the tears were in his eyes, and when they asked him why, he said, “There goes John Bradford, but for the grace of God.” Ah, and when we see a prodigal plunging into excess of riot, there goes the best among us, if we are not preserved in Christ Jesus. Ay, and when the damned go down to hell, there must I go, unless the same grace which restrains me now from sin, shall uphold me to my last day; and keep me from falling. Brother Christian, you carry much combustible matter in your nature, be warned when you see your neighbour’s house on fire. When one man falls, the next should look to his steps. You are a man of like passions, remember yourself, lest you also be tempted…So when we see a sinner transgressing, we should say to ourselves, “I also am a man, and a fallen man, let me abhor every evil way, and guard myself jealously, lest I also fall into sin.” In this way Moab may be a washpot. By remembering what we are, and what we were, we may, by taking warning from the evil courses of others, avoid the like condemnation. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Though Renewed in Heart

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

When we read in the newspaper a sad case of lasciviousness, or any other breach of the laws of God and man, if we were aforetime guilty of the like and have now been renewed in heart, it will make us blush; it will humble us and cause us to admire the power and sovereignty of divine grace. Now the blush of repentance, the shamefacedness of humility, and the tear of gratitude, are three helpful things, and all tend under God’s grace to set us purging out the old leaven. Remember, O believer, that there is no wretch upon earth so bad, but what thou wast once his equal in alienation from God and death in sin. In untoward acts there may have been much difference, but in the inner man how little! The seed of all the sin which thou seest in him lies in thy corrupt nature and needs only a fit season to bring forth and bud. Thou wast once in that fire of sin, in which he is consumed by his passions; thou hast been plucked as a brand from the burning, else hadst thou been there still. Yonder is a prodigal, all bespattered from head to foot, but we also once were plunged into the ditch, until our own clothes abhorred us, and we should be sinking in the mire even now, if the mighty hand of grace had not lifted us up from the horrible pit and washed us in the Savior’s blood. We were “heirs of wrath even as others.” “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Our sins are different, but we were all without exception shapen in iniquity, and as in water, face answereth unto face, so the heart of man to man. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Behold the Transformations of Grace!

Moab is My washpot – Psalm 60:8

In the Book of Numbers, we read that Balak, son of Zippor, desired to vanquish Israel, and therefore he sent for Balaam, the son of Beor, saying, “Curse me Israel, and peradventure I shall prevail against them.” Balaam was not able to curse Israel by word of mouth, but he cursed them in very deed when he counselled the king to make them unclean in God’s sight by sending the daughters of Moab among them, who not only led them into lasciviousness, but invited them to the sacrifices of their gods. Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and the plague would have devoured them, had not the holy zeal of Phinehas turned away the divine anger. Thus, it is clear that Moab of old was foremost in polluting and defiling Israel. It is a great feat of faith when the thing which naturally defiles is turned into a washpot. Behold the transformations of grace! This ungodly world outside the church, the world of wicked men, would naturally pollute us, but faith turns them into a washpot, and finds in them motives for watchfulness and holiness.

As we cannot sing the Lord’s song in a strange land, so neither can we very readily keep our garments unspotted in a land deluged with uncleannees. With difficulty do we save ourselves from this untoward generation. And yet faith learns the secret of overcoming the ordinary tendency of things, and of making that which might injure us subsidiary to our advantage; fulfilling that ancient promise, “And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.” The defiling world may be made helpful to us. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Good Use of the Unregenerate

“Moab is My washpot,” – Psalm 60:8

“Moab is My washpot,” nothing more-a thing contemptible and despicable as compared with the eternal realities of covenant blessings; yet, for all that, there was a use for Moab, a use to be rightly understood. A washpot has its necessary function; and even this base world may be made by faith, in the hands of God, to be the means of aiding the purity of the saints; its afflictions and troubles may work our present and lasting good. The world and its trials can never be compared to the water which cleanses our feet; for that purifying stream we look to a far higher source; but it may be likened to the basin in which our feet are placed while they are being washed.

If we regard Moab as representative of the unregenerate people among whom we dwell, we do well, like the children of Israel, on their march to Canaan, to let them alone, for their heritage is not our heritage, neither are their joys our joys. The less communion we have with them the better. If we ask of them, as Israel did of Moab, simply to be allowed to go on our way in peace, it is all we need. Moses sent his messenger, who said, “Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the highway, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left. Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink only I will pass through on my feet; until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the Lord our God giveth us.” Like the pilgrims in Vanity Fair, we only ask a clear passage through the place, for we have no inheritance in it, no, not so much as we can set our foot upon. Yet, inasmuch as we cannot altogether separate ourselves from the sinful, for then must we needs go out of the world, we are compelled to feel the influence of their conduct, and it will become our wisdom to watch that this become not injurious to us but be made under God rather to be of service to us than a hindrance…Even this ungodly world may be made to assist our advance in holiness.  ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The World is Our Washpot

“Moab is My washpot.”- Psalm 60:8

What does Moab represent to you and to me? We are the children of Israel by faith in Christ, and in Him we have obtained by covenant a promised land. Our faith may cry, “I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valleys of Succoth.” All things are ours in Christ Jesus; “Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine.” Now Moab was outside of Canaan. It was not given to Israel as a possession, but in course of time it was subdued in warfare and became tributary to the Jewish king. Even thus our faith overcometh the world, and enables us to say, “this world is ours”-ours for a useful, needful purpose. We set but small store by it; it is nothing but our washpot, but we are content to use it as far as we may make it subserve a holy end. The best possessions we have outside of the spiritual heritage we put under our feet, desiring to keep them in their proper inferior position; they are not the crown of our head, nor the comfort of our heart, nor the girdle of our loins, nor the staff of our support; they are put to baser uses far. They yield us some comfort, for which we are grateful to God, but it is only for our feet or lower nature; our head and heart find nobler joys. The whole world put together, with all its wealth, is but a mess of potage for Esau, and nothing more. God’s Jacob has a better portion, for he has the birthright. Our worst is better than the world’s best, for the reproach of Christ is greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

It Is Christ’s Business to Keep Us

O LORD, Thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors…for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. – Jeremiah 15: 15,16

To Jeremiah it was consolation that he was called by God’s name. Do you think it would be a sorrow to you? “Oh!” saith one, “I could not bear the world’s rebuke.” Can you bear Christ’s rebuke, when He will say to those who did not confess Him before men, “I never knew you”? But you say you could not live up to a profession; you are afraid your life might fall short of what it should be-a very salutary fear; but do you hope to improve your life by beginning with disobedience! If I own my Savior’s name, it is Christ’s business to keep me; but if I am so overwise that I think I am safer in the path of disobedience, then I cannot reckon upon grace to preserve me. The warfare is arduous, but we do enter upon it at our own charges, there is One who has promised to help us. Well, if you will be cowards, I will part company with you. If you were every one of you this day enemies of Christ, or if you were all of you lovers of Christ in secret, and none of you gloried in Him, I, for my part, could not fire a moment without being an avowed Christian. I say not this in egotism, but as fact. My heart might sooner cease to beat than cease to own the Lord. It is a sneaking thing, and utterly degrading that my Lord should die upon the cross for me to save my soul from hell, and I should be ashamed to wear His livery; that He should honor me by redeeming me with His blood, and I should deny to Him the little honor that my poor name could give when it is enrolled with His people. Nay, though least of all His followers, put down my name, O recording angel, and there let it stand, and if all men revile and devils rage so let it be. It shall be my heaven to suffer hell for Christ, if such must needs be. The Lord deal graciously with you, beloved, and lead you in a plain path, because of your enemies, for His name’s sake. Amen. ~ C.H. Spurgeon