This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.
“As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him” [Matthew 9:9]. … I know another man, not named Matthew, but Charles, and the Lord said to him, “Follow Me,” and he also arose and followed Him. I do not know all that He saw when He looked upon me. I fear that He saw nothing in me but sin and evil and vanity, but I believe that He did say to Himself concerning me, “I see one to whom I can teach My truth, and who, when he gets ahold of it, will grip it fast and never let it go, and one who will not be afraid to speak it wherever he is.” So the Lord saw what use He could make of me. There is an adaptation in men, even while they are unconverted, that God has put into them for their future service. Luke was qualified to write his gospel because he had been a physician, and Matthew was qualified to write the particular gospel that he has left us because he had been a publican. There may be something about your habits of life, and about your constitution and your condition that will qualify you for some special niche in the church of God in the years to come. Oh, happy day, when Jesus shall look upon you and call you to follow Him! Happy day, when He did look upon some of us, and saw in us what His love meant to put there, that He might make of us vessels of mercy meet for the Master’s use!
From The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon
What was true of the apostle Matthew and Charles Spurgeon in past history is true of you today!
God has plans for you. He has implanted a combination of gifts, talents, and personality in you that is unique to anyone else on this planet. He did this because He foresaw how you could be of use in fulfilling His plans for His kingdom.
Listen! Do you hear Him calling? He is saying to YOU, “Follow Me.” Will you answer that call?
July 5, 2019 at 3:01 am
God doesn’t call everybody or want everybody. Just some people.
I read that in Romans 9. Paul explains that Esau was rejected by God before he was even born. Pharaoh was created in order to be destroyed and demonstrate God’s power
Romans 9:10 NLT
This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins.[f] 11 But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; 12 he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.”[g] 13 In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”[h]
14 Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! 15 For God said to Moses,
“I will show mercy to anyone I choose,
and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”[i]
16 So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.
17 For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”[j] 18 So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.
19 Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”
20 No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? 22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. 24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.
July 5, 2019 at 4:23 pm
Michael, I would like to push back a little on your statements, “God doesn’t call everybody or want everybody” with the reminder that the Bible says that God does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And Jesus Himself said, God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:17).
When Paul says Esau is rejected, it’s not a condemnation to hell. God chose to use Jacob instead of Esau for the continuation of the line of blessing He started with Abraham. Just because God choose Jacob doesn’t mean a death sentence for Esau.
July 6, 2019 at 2:09 am
I would like to be persuaded of that if you have the time. I’ve recently started watching some of your utube videos and I’m convinced the Holy Spirit is with you. i.e. this is a sincere discussion and not an argument.
You might have a point with Esau
What about Pharaoh?
God is sovereign. He decides. You might find that hard to swallow. I don’t – it’s just the way it is. God does what He wants, when He wants, how He wants and He makes it very clear that He decided before time who was to make it and who wasn’t. I’m working hard to fall into line but I believe that’s an attitude God wants us to have. I believe that that is part of fear of the Lord. I believe that it’s a positive helpful attitude. I believe our God is not to be messed with as well as being kind and loving. I think complacency and being lulled into a false sense of security is a curse on the modern church.
As said I think you’re a man of God and I very much been bowled over by the spirit of God working in me whilst listening to you, so if you feel I’m off course I’m grateful for the technology that let’s me communicate with you.
22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.
July 6, 2019 at 2:15 am
I should probably have added this verse as it says that “God has selected.”
24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.
Synonyms for selected: Verb
cherry-pick, choose, cull, elect, handpick, name, opt (for), pick, prefer, single (out), tag, take
decline, refuse, reject, turn down
July 6, 2019 at 2:42 am
I know I’m bombarding you but you’ve got me thinking. I said you might have a point with Esau but I don’t think you do.
Esau was a type of the ‘man of the world’. He was Godless (Heb 12)
Jacob was a man led by God.
Works v Grace, Led by God v Led by the sin nature. Old man New man.
Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal.
Malachi 1 New Living Translation (NLT)
1 This is the message[a] that the Lord gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi.[b]
The Lord’s Love for Israel
2 “I have always loved you,” says the Lord.
But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”
And the Lord replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, 3 but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.”
4 Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.”
But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom the Lord Is Forever Angry.’ 5 When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, the Lord’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!’”
The NLT uses the word rejected but every translation I haven’t included here uses the word hate. It was so repetitive I rubbed some out. God hates sin. God hates the old man. God has decided, has already selected. We don’t know what He’s decided. This gives me the urgency to get on with it, to pay attention to the Holy Spirit, to listen hard, to seek God, to resist the sin nature, to try.
It’s my weapon against complacency, pride, self righteousness
KJ21 As it is written: “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
ASV Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.
AMP As it is written and forever remains written, “Jacob I loved (chose, protected, blessed), but Esau I hated (held in disregard compared to Jacob).”
AMPC As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (held in relative disregard in comparison with My feeling for Jacob).
PHILLIPS And we get a later endorsement of this divine choice in the words: ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated’.
TLB And years later, when this son Isaac was grown up and married and Rebecca his wife was about to bear him twin children, God told her that Esau, the child born first, would be a servant to Jacob, his twin brother. In the words of the Scripture, “I chose to bless Jacob but not Esau.” And God said this before the children were even born, before they had done anything either good or bad. This proves that God was doing what he had decided from the beginning; it was not because of what the children did but because of what God wanted and chose.
MSG And that’s not the only time. To Rebecca, also, a promise was made that took priority over genetics. When she became pregnant by our one-of-a-kind ancestor, Isaac, and her babies were still innocent in the womb—incapable of good or bad—she received a special assurance from God. What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. God told Rebecca, “The firstborn of your twins will take second place.” Later that was turned into a stark epigram: “I loved Jacob; I hated Esau.”
NIRV It is written, “I chose Jacob instead of Esau.” (Malachi 1:2,3)
NIV Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
NIVUK Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’
NKJV As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
NLV The Holy Writings say, “I loved Jacob, but hated Esau.”
NLT In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”
NMB As it is written: Jacob he loved, but Esau he hated.
NRSV As it is written, “I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.”
NRSVA As it is written, ‘I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.’
NRSVACE As it is written, ‘I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.’
NRSVCE As it is written, “I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.”
NTE As the Bible says, ‘I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.’
WYC as it is written, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau. [as it is written, I loved Jacob, forsooth Esau I had in hate.]