2779. Heart-Communing

by on
Share:
Heart-Communing

No. 2779-48:229. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, April 7, 1878, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, May 18, 1902.

She communed with him concerning all that was in her heart. {1Ki 10:2}

1. Last Sunday evening, I mentioned some of the “hard questions” which Jesus is able to answer, just as Solomon solved the riddles of the queen of Sheba. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2778, “Consulting With Jesus,” 2779} But it appears that the queen, when once she had obtained an interview with the great and wise king of Israel, was not content with merely asking him various difficult questions, for she opened her heart to him, expressed all that lay concealed in her heart; and Solomon listened attentively to her, and, no doubt, so spoke to her that he sent her away rejoicing.

2. It is not generally a wise thing to tell all that is in your heart. Solomon himself said, “A fool utters all his mind; but a wise man keeps it in until afterwards.” There are many things which you had better not tell to anyone. Make no one your confidant completely. If you do, you run great risks of making an Ahithophel or a Judas for yourself. David said, in his haste, that all men were liars. That was not quite true; probably, what he meant was that, if we trust all men, we shall soon find ourselves deceived; but if we could meet a Solomon — one who had been divinely endowed with wisdom, as he was, it might be safe for us to bring all our questions and tell all our troubles to him. At any rate, we know of One, who is “greater than Solomon,” to whom it is most safe and blessed to tell all that is in our heart. He is willing to listen to us, and to commune with us; and the more frank and open we are with him, the better will he be pleased, and the better it will be for us. That is to be our subject, heart-communing with Jesus, spiritualizing the action of the queen of Sheba, when she came to Solomon, and “communed with him concerning all that was in her heart.”

3. I. We will begin by saying that WE OUGHT TO COMMUNE WITH JESUS CONCERNING ALL THAT IS IN OUR HEART.

4. I do not mean all of you who are present; I mean all those who have been redeemed from among men by his most precious blood all those who are believing in him, and who call him their Saviour, their Master, their Lord. You are bound to tell him all that is in your heart, and to have no secrets hidden away from him within your soul.

5. Tell Jesus all that is in your heart, for neglect of communion with Christ, of the most intimate kind is unkind to him. Are there any professing Christians here, who have lived for a month without conscious communion with Christ? If I were to speak of a longer period, and to ask, “Are there not some professing Christians here, who have lived for three months without conscious communion with Christ,” I am afraid there are some who, if they were honest and truthful, would have to reply, “That is the case with us.” If so, think what that means; you profess to belong to Jesus, and to be his disciple, yet you confess that you have lived all this while without real, intimate communication with him who is your Master and Lord. What is more, you profess to be, not only one of his disciples, but one of his friends. “Is this your kindness to your Friend?” I may go further than that, for you believe yourself to be married to Christ, for that is the union which exists between himself and his people. That would be a strange kind of marriage union in which the wife should be in the presence of her husband, and, not even speak to him for a week, a month, three months, or six months at a time. For them to have no fellowship with each other, no mutual exchange of love, no communications with each other, would be regarded as unnatural, and would be rightly condemned; but do we not, sometimes, act towards our heavenly Bridegroom in just that ways? Are we not, too often, like the men of the world who do not know him? Do we not live as if we did not know him, or as if he were no longer present with us? It ought not to be like this; unless we would act contrary to all the dictates of our higher nature, we must be continually holding intimate communion with our Lord Jesus Christ.

6. And we must tell him all that is in our heart, because to conceal anything from so true a Friend betrays the sad fact that there is something wrong to be concealed. Is there anything that you do that you could not tell to Jesus? Is there anything you love that you could not ask him to bless? Is there any plan now before you that you could not ask him to sanction? Is there anything in your heart which you would wish to hide from him? Then it is a wrong thing; be sure of that. The thing must be evil, or else you would not wish to conceal it from him whom, I trust, you really do love. Oh my Lord, why should I desire to hide anything from you? If I do want to hide it, then, surely, it must be because it is something of which I have reason to be ashamed; so help me to get rid of it. Oh Christian brothers and sisters, I beseech you to live just as you would do if Christ Jesus were in your home, in your bedroom, in your shop, or walking along the street with you, for his spiritual presence is there! May there never be anything about you which you wish to conceal from him!

7. If we cannot tell Jesus all that is in our heart, it shows a lack of confidence in his love, or his sympathy, or his wisdom, or his power. When there is something that the wife cannot tell to her husband, or there begin to be some secret things on the part of one of them, that cannot be revealed to the other, there will soon be an end of mutual love, and peace, and joy. Things cannot go on well in the home while there has to be concealment. Oh beloved, I beseech you to love Christ too much to keep anything back from him! Love him so much that you can trust him even with the little frivolous things which so often worry and vex you. Love him so much that you can tell him all that is in your heart, nor even for a moment wish to keep back anything from him. As the hymn says, —

    “Tell it all to Jesus, comfort and complaint.”

8. If we do not tell it all to Jesus, it looks as if we did not have confidence in his love, and therefore thought that he would not bear with us; or else that we did not have confidence in his sympathy, and imagined that he would not take any notice of us; or else that we did not have confidence in his wisdom, and thought that our trouble was too perplexing to bring to him; or else, that we did not have confidence in his power, and dreamed that he could not help us in such an emergency. Let this never be the case with any of you; but, every day, unburden your heart to Christ, and never let him think that you even begin to doubt him. So shall you keep up a frank, and open, and blessed fellowship between Christ and your own soul.

9. I am quite certain that if you will carry out the plan I am commending to you, it will bring you great ease of mind; whereas, if you do not, you will continue to have much uneasiness. Is there anything that I have not told to Jesus, — anything in which I could not have fellowship with him? Then, there is something wrong with me. Are you keeping your trouble to yourself, and trying to manage without consulting with Jesus? Well, then, if anything goes wrong, you will have the responsibility for it; but if you take it all to him, and leave it with him, it cannot go wrong whatever happens; and even if it should seem to do so, you would not have the responsibility for it.

10. I believe that our trials usually come out of the things that we do not take to the Lord; and, moreover, I am sure that we make greater blunders in what we consider to be simple matters, which we need not take to the Lord, than we do in far more difficult matters which we take to him. The men of Israel were deceived by the Gibeonites because they had on old shoes and ragged clothes, and had mouldy bread in their bags, and the Israelites said, “It is perfectly clear that these men must have come from a long distance; look at their old boots and their ragged clothes”; so they make a covenant with them, and did not enquire for the will of the Lord. If it had not appeared to them to be quite so clear a case, they would have asked the Lord for direction, and then they would have been properly guided. It is the time when you think you can see your way that you go wrong; when you cannot see your way, but trust in God to lead you by a way that you do not know, you will go perfectly right. I am persuaded that it is so, — that the simplest and plainest matter kept away from Christ, will turn out to be a maze, while the most intricate labyrinth, under the guidance of Christ, will prove to have in it a straight road for the feet of all those who trust in the infallible wisdom of their Lord and Saviour.

11. On the other hand, if you do not come to Jesus, and commune with him concerning all that is in your heart, you will lose his counsel and help, and the comfort that comes from them. I do not suppose anyone here knows what he has lost in this way, and I can hardly imagine how you are to calculate what you have lost of spiritual good that you might have had. There is many a child of God, who might be rich in all the intents of bliss, who continues to be as poor as Lazarus the beggar; he has hardly a crumb of comfort to feed on, and is full of doubts and fears, when he might have had full assurance long ago. There is many an heir of heaven who is living on the mere husks of gospel food when he might be eating the rich fare of which Moses speaks: “Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs; and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the choicest wheat.” Very often, beloved, you do not have because you do not ask; or because you do not believe, or because you do not confide in Jesus, and commune with him. How strong the weakling might be if he would go to Jesus more frequently! How rich the poor soul might be if it would draw continually from Christ’s inexhaustible treasury! Oh, what might we not be if we would only live up to our privileges! Might we not live in the suburbs of heaven, and often, as it were, be close to the pearly gates, if we would only go and tell all to Jesus, and commune with him concerning all that is in our hearts?

12. Sometimes, our naughty habit of reticence towards Jesus is aggravated by our eagerness to tell our troubles to others. In the time of trial, we often imitate King Asa, who, when he was sick, “Did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.” It was not wrong to go to the physicians, but he should have gone to the Lord first. It is the same with many of you as it was with Asa, away you go to your neighbour over the fence, or you call in a friend, and have a talk with him in your own drawing-room, or you go to some great one, and tell him all about your trouble; yet how much have you gained by doing so? Have you not often found that you would have been wiser if you had followed Solomon’s advice, “Do not go into your brother’s house in the day of your calamity?” Have you not also frequently discovered that, when you have talked over your griefs with your friends, they still remain? Cowper truly wrote, —

    Have you no words? Ah, think again,
    Words flow apace when you complain,
    And fill your fellow creature’s ear
    With the sad tale of all your care.
    Were half the breath thus vainly spent,
    To heaven in supplication sent,
    Our cheerful song would oftener be,
    “Hear what the Lord has done for me.”

13. You say that you need a friend; yet he who is the Friend who sticks closer than a brother is neglected by you. Suppose the Lord Jesus Christ were to meet some of you, and you were to say to him, “Good Master, we are in trouble”; and suppose he should say to you, “Where have you been with your trouble? You have not been to me”; and you were to reply, “No, Lord, we have been consulting with flesh and blood; we have been asking our friends to help us”; and suppose he were to say to you, “And have they disappointed you?” and you had to reply, “Yes, Lord, they have”; suppose he looked at you severely, and said, “Where you have already gone, you had better go again. You went to your friends first; are you coming to me last? Am I to play the lackey to you, and do you only come to me after having tried all the others?” Ah! if he did talk like that, what could you reply? Why, I think your only answer could be, and I trust your answer now will be, “Jesus, Master, I have forgotten you too much. I have not regarded you as a real present friend. I have gone to my neighbours because I could see them, and speak with them, and hear what they had to say to me; but I have thought of you as if you were a myth, or, perhaps, I have not thought of you at all. Forgive me, Lord, for I do believe that you are, and that your Word is true, which declares that you are always with your people, and help me, henceforth, by your grace, always to come to you.”

14. That is my first remark, — that we ought to commune with Jesus concerning all that is in our heart.

15. II. Secondly, WE NEED NOT CEASE COMMUNING WITH JESUS FOR LACK OF TOPICS.

16. The queen of Sheba and Solomon came at last to an end of their talk; they could not go on speaking to each other for ever. But with regard to ourselves and our Lord, there need never be any end to our communion with him, for the subjects on which we can have fellowship with him are almost innumerable. Let me mention just a few of them.

17. There are, first, your sorrows. Are you very grieved? Are you struck by God, and afflicted? Then, brother, sister, you may well go to Jesus with your sorrows, for he is the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knows all about you, and all about your sorrows, too. There is not a pang that you have ever felt that he has not also experienced. If you will only talk with him, you will find an open ear, and a sympathetic heart, and a ready hand, all placed at your disposal. “What do you mean, sir? Do you mean that I am to sit down in my room, and tell Jesus all about my troubles?” Yes, I do mean just that; and as you would do if you could see him sitting in the chair on the other side of the fire, sit down, and tell it all to him. If you have a quiet and secluded room, speak aloud if that will help you; but, just tell it all to him, pour into his ear and heart the story which you cannot disclose to anyone else. “But it seems so fanciful to imagine that I can really speak to Jesus.” Try it, beloved; if you have faith in God, you will discover that it is not a matter of imagination, but the most blessed reality in the world. If you can only see what your eye perceives, it is no use for you to do as I say; in fact, you cannot do it. But if you have the inner eyes that have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and if your heart discerns the invisible presence of the once crucified but now glorified Saviour, tell him the whole story of your grief. Often, after you have done so, you will find that it will cease to grieve you any more.

18. Then, also, tell him your joys, for he can have as much true fellowship with the joyful as with the sad. Go, young sister, young brother, in the gladness of your first youthful joy, and tell it all to Jesus. He rejoiced in spirit when he was on the earth; and, now, he has the joy that was set before him when he endured the cross, and despised the shame. If you tell him your joys, he will sober them, — not sour them. He will take away from them their earthly effervescence, and impart to them a spiritual flavour, and an enduring sweetness, so that, even in common things, your joy shall not become idolatrous and sinful. You who are bereft of creature comforts should pray that you may find all things in God; but you who have such comforts, and are full of joy, should pray this prayer, — that you may find God in all things. They are both good prayers. That latter petition, you joyful souls may well pray to Jesus, and he will answer it, and you shall find that the marriage feast is all the better for Jesus being there to turn the water into wine, and that to all earthly joys he adds a bliss which they could not otherwise possess.

19. Some people say that we Christians get into ecstasies and raptures, and then we hardly know our head from our heels, and we are so excited that we are not fair witnesses concerning matters of fact. I do not think that the Church has often had too much excitement, the fault has usually been something quite in the opposite direction; but my own conviction is that we do not see the glory of Christ when we are excited, or when we are in an ecstasy, one half so well as we do in our cool, calm, reflective moments. I know a great many Christian people who are by no means fools; if you try to do business with them, you will find that they are as shrewd and wide awake as any men. I should like to appeal to them about this matter. I believe that I myself have a certain degree of common sense, and I venture to say that Christ never appears to me so glorious as when I am perfectly cool and collected, just as I should be if I were sitting down to write out some statistics, or to work out a mathematical problem, or to tally up an account, and strike a balance. Whenever, in the very calmest and quietest manner, I begin to think of my Lord and Master, he then most of all strikes me as glorious. I speak for myself, — and I know that I am also speaking for hundreds of you, — I do not require the beating of a big drum to put me into a right state to think of Christ; neither do I need to sit in a meeting, and sing or shout for hours; but if I am just permitted to go upstairs alone, and to open my Bible, and sit still, and meditate on the Lord Jesus, it is then that I grow enthusiastic about him, when I get all my thoughts fixed on him just as another man might have all his powers occupied with a political question, or some subject that comes before him in his daily business. When we are fully awake, but in a cool, calm frame of mind, then the glory of Christ is best seen by us. Our religion does not require the excitements and stimulants on which some seem to live; but when we are in the most serene state of mind and heart, then we can best see the glories of Christ. Oh sirs, my Master would have you sit down, and count the cost of being his servants! He would make you accountants, that, after you have counted the cost, you may see that he is worth ten thousand times more than he could ever cost you. He would have you survey him, and look on him from all points of view, — look at his person, his work, his offices, his promises, his achievements, — that in all things you may see how glorious he is. I ask you calmly to see what kind of Lord and Master he is, and what kind of glory it is that surrounds him; and if you will do so, — that is, if your hearts have really been changed by his grace, — you will say, “Oh, yes! tell it, the wide world over, that it is simple common sense to believe in Christ, that it is irrational to reject him, that the best use of your reason is to lay it at his feet, and that the truest wisdom is to consider yourself only a fool in comparison with him, and to sit with Mary, and listen to his wondrous words.”

20. You may, also, go to Jesus, and tell him all about your service. You have begun to work for the Lord, and you are very pleased with the opportunity of doing something for him; but you do not find it to be all sweetness, perhaps you are like Martha who was “encumbered” with her service for Christ. When she was preparing a dinner for him, she was greatly worried over it. The servants would burn the food, or she was afraid that one very special delicacy would be spoiled altogether. Besides, someone had broken the best dish, and the tablecloth did not look as white as she liked to see it. Martha was also troubled because Mary did not help her, so she went to the Master about it, which was the most sensible thing she could do. I can speak very sympathetically about this matter, for I start worrying about it sometimes. I want to see Christ served with the best that I have, and with the best that all his people have; and if things go a little awry, and will not work quite properly, I am apt to become fidgety; but this will not do, dear friends, either for me or for you. We must go and tell the Master about it. He will set it all right, and make us see that it is all right. Suppose any of you have not been treated kindly by your fellow members even when you were trying to do good, suppose that the girls in your class have grieved you, suppose that you have been rapped over the knuckles when you really meant to be serving your Lord, what are you to do? Again I say, as I said before, —

    “Tell it all to Jesus, comfort or complaint.”

Do not come and tell me. If I could help you, I would; but there is One who is far better than any pastor on earth to go to, even the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, our Lord Jesus Christ. Tell all to him; for, in doing so, you will readily enough get help out of all your troubles, and “sing a song to Jesus” all the more heartily because of his delivering mercy.

21. Then, next, go and tell Jesus all your plans. You think you will do something for him, do you not? Do not begin until you have told him all about what you intend to do. He had great plans for the redemption of his people, but he communicated them all to his Father; indeed, I would rather say that he drew them out of his Father’s eternal decrees. Go and tell him what you are planning for the glory of God, and the good of men, and you may, perhaps, discover that some of it would be a mistake. At any rate you will go to work more confidently when you have laid the whole matter out before him.

22. When you have any successes, go and tell him. The seventy disciples returned to Jesus with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us through your name.” If you have the high honour of winning a soul, tell Jesus, and be sure to give God all the glory for it. Sing, “ Non nobis, Domine ” — “Not to us, oh Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for your mercy, and for your truth’s sake.”

23. And when you have any failures — when your hopes are disappointed — go and tell it all to Jesus. I do not know whether I make myself clearly understood on all these points; but I feel that working side by side with Christ is the only style of working at which a man can keep on doing year after year. If you get alone, away from your Master, — if you have sorrows or joys which are all your own, and which you do not tell to him, you will get into a sad state; but if you feel, “He is near me, he is with me,” and if you act on that belief by constantly communicating with him concerning what you feel, and what you believe, and what you do, you will lead a holy, and blessed and useful, and happy life.

24. I do not have time to complete the long list of topics on which we are to commune with Jesus; but, in brief, let me urge you to tell him all your desires. If you desire anything that you ought to desire, and may desire, let him know it.

25. Tell him also, all your fears. Tell him that you are afraid of falling. Tell him that you are afraid of sickness, lest you should get impatient. Tell him that you are sometimes afraid to die. Tell him every fear that distresses you; for, just as a mother is tender with her child, so is Christ with his people.

26. Tell him all your loves. Bring before him, in prayer, all on whom your love is set. Tell him especially all you can about your love for him; and ask him to make it firmer, stronger, more enduring, more potent over your entire life. Often sing a song to Jesus, your Best-Beloved; and say, “Now I will sing to my Well-Beloved a song touching my Beloved.” Sing and speak often to him; and whenever you have any mysteries which you cannot explain or tell to anyone else, go and ask him to read the inscription that is inscribed on your heart, and to decipher the strange hieroglyphics which no one else can read.

27. III. Now, dear friends, I will close when I have briefly shown you, in the third place, that WE SHALL NEVER CEASE COMMUNING WITH JESUS FOR A LACK OF REASONS.

28. I am not speaking now to those who have never communed with my Lord. I have often communed with him, I still do commune with him, and so do many of you; and I say that we shall never cease communing with him for a lack of reasons.

29. For, first, it is most ennobling to have fellowship with the Son of God;“ and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” I have heard it said of some men that, to know them, is to receive a liberal education. If you are only slightly acquainted with them, you are sure to learn much from them; but to know Christ is to know everything that is worth knowing, and he is our All-in-all.

30. It is also highly beneficial to commune with Christ. I know of nothing that can lift you up so much above the evil influences of an ungodly world as constantly remaining in close fellowship with Christ, and telling to him all that you feel in your heart of hearts.

31. How consoling it is to do this! You forget your griefs while you commune with him. How sanctifying it is! A man cannot take delight in sin while he walks with Christ. Communion with him will make a man stop sinning, or else sinning will make him stop communing. You will not be perfect while you are in this world, but the nearest way to perfection lies along the pathway where Jesus walks. Keep close to him, and you will keep in the right road. How delightful it is, too, to commune with Jesus! There is no other joy that is at all comparable with it, and it prepares us for the higher joys above. When those who walk with Christ on earth come to live with him above, there will certainly be a change in some respects, but it will be no new experience for them. Did he not love his saints, and seek their fellowship while they were here below? Then they shall have that fellowship continued above. Did you not walk with God here? They shall walk with Jesus up there. It will be the same life, and the same joy, as they had here, only the life shall be more fully developed, and the joy shall have reached a higher degree. Oh, that you might begin to enjoy the bliss of heaven while you are on earth! The way to do that is by keeping close to Jesus, and by always communing with him concerning all that is in your heart.

32. Are there any of Christ’s followers who seldom commune with him? Beloved, shall I not chide you if that is true of you? My Master is looking down on you at this moment. Does he need to speak to you? He did not speak to Peter when the boastful apostle had denied his Lord. Jesus turned, and looked at Peter; and I trust he will look at you; that those dear eyes, which wept for you, will gaze right down into your soul; and that his blessed heart, that bled for you, will look out of those eyes of his at you. He seems to say, “Do you indeed love me, since you never wish for my company? Can you love me?” No, I will not ask that question of you, I will just leave him to look at you, and so bring you back to him.

33. And then, I think that my Master looks at some here who have never had any communion with him at all, and he says, “Is it nothing to you that I loved mankind, and came to earth, and died to save sinners? Is it nothing to you that I invite you to trust me, and that I promise to save you if you do so? Will you still refuse to trust me? Will you turn on your heel away from me? Oh, why will you die? Why will you die?”

34. And then, lastly, he speaks to those of you who have long enjoyed fellowship with him, and as he looks at you, he says, “Remain in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love.” Beloved, if you have ever enjoyed fellowship with Christ, never lose it. Oh, to hold on, — to hold firmly, — to hold through life, and to hold in death, to him whose face we have never seen, yet whom we know to be among us now! Oh you Beloved of our souls, do not go away from us! No, you will not do so; we will constrain you to remain with us. Give us grace, we pray you, never to vex you, or grieve your Holy Spirit. Come very near to us just now, nearer than you have ever been since the first day we saw you. Come near to every one of your people now, — Emmanuel, — God with us, — and be always with us, and go with us wherever we go, and never leave us again, for your love’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {1Ki 10:1-13 Mt 12:38-45}

Let us first read part of the tenth chapter of the first Book of Kings; and, afterwards, a part of the twelfth chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew.

1. And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

Her visit, you see, had a religious aspect. She “heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord.” He had wisdom of various kinds, but it was his knowledge of God, and of God’s ways, that seemed chiefly to attract this ruler from a far-distant land.

2. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bore spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him concerning all that was in her heart.

She came with a price in her hand to get wisdom. Well did Solomon say, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it.” No price is too dear to pay for it, but any price would be too cheap to sell it for.

3. And Solomon answered all her questions: there was not anything hidden from the king, which he did not tell her.

His wisdom came from God, and therefore it was full and complete, and could not be confounded by man. Let us seek after the wisdom which comes from above, and remember that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Indeed, is it not the sum total of wisdom really to fear, in a filial sense, the Lord Most High?

4, 5. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

She was a queen, but she had never seen such royal magnificence as Solomon’s. “The ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord” appears to have been a marvellous viaduct, constructed of the most ponderous stones, by which the king went from his own palace up to the temple itself. I have read that an arch of that viaduct is standing at the present day, and it is still a marvel. To this princess, it must have seemed a wonder of wonders.

6-12. And she said to the king, “It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom. However I did not believe the words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told to me: your wisdom and prosperity exceeds the fame which I heard about. Happy are your men, happy are your servants, who stand continually before you, and who hear your wisdom. Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, to set you on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore he made you king, to do judgment and justice.” And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great supply, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king’s house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen to this day.

Probably, these “almug trees” were trees of sandalwood. Whatever they were, they seem to have been the best timber known to the Easterners, and therefore Solomon very properly used them in the house of the Lord. Let the harps of our praises be made of such wood that there shall be no others equal to them in the whole world. Let us give to our Lord our best young blood, our warmest zeal, our highest thoughts, our most careful attention. Let us give him, in fact, our whole being, the love of our heart. He should be served with the best of the best, “for he is good, and his mercy endures for ever.”

13. And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides what Solomon gave to her from his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.

The king first of all-bountifully gave her a present which he thought most fitting; and then, afterwards, permitted her to ask whatever she would. How much is this like our King Solomon, who has already given us all our hearts can wish for; and yet, if there is any right desire that is still ungratified, he provides the golden mercy seat, at the foot of his throne, where we may present our petitions to him, encouraged by his gracious word, “Ask what you wish; according to your faith, so it shall be to you.”

Reading from Matthew —

12:38, 39 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, “Master, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah”:

The queen of Sheba did not ask for a sign. She did not expect Solomon to work a miracle; but, sitting down in his presence, she proposed her hard questions, and meekly awaited his answers. So should these scribes and Pharisees have done with the Lord Jesus Christ. These were his signs: —

40, 41 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the great fish’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.

Jonah was a servant: Jesus was the Master. Jonah preached only one sermon: Jesus preached many. That sermon was a short one: Jesus Christ laboured long after souls. Jonah was a man full of infirmities, and with an unloving heart: Jesus was tender and compassionate. Jonah only hurried through the streets, crying, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” — without a word of mercy: Jesus lived long among the people, giving them directions, and warnings, and invitations to seek and find salvation: “Behold, a greater than Jonah is here.”

42. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Since I have so recently preached on this verse, I need not say anything about it just now. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2777, “The Queen Of Sheba, A Sign” 2778}

43. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, —

Notice, not when he is turned out of him by superior force, but when he has gone out of his own accord, —

43. he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.

The devil was in the Jews of old, but he went out of them at the time of the Babylonian captivity; that heavy punishment cured them of idolatry. But the devil could never find a resting-place, in Gentile hearts, so pleasant to himself as among God’s own people.

44. Then he says, ‘I will return into my house from where I came out’; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished.

“I will go back to those Jews,” says the devil; and, when he comes back, he finds them without any true love for God: “empty, swept, and garnished.” See how correctly the Pharisee is dressed, and notice with what sanctimonious unction he repeats his hypocritical prayers. He fasts twice in the week, and pays tithes of his mint, and anise, and cummin. The devil finds the house “empty, swept, garnished”; and since he does not care whether he lives in a foul heart or a clean one, as long as he can only live in it, he takes up his abode there again.

45. Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

If idolatry did not come back to the Jews, the devil of pride, and self-conceit, and many more came, and fought against the Son of God, so that they became worse than they were before, and the first devil of the Jewish people was nothing compared with the seven demons which possessed them afterwards.

We have seen some men of this kind. Under temporary conviction, they have given up certain outward sins, but, afterwards, they have been ten times worse than they were before. We have known a man to be a drunkard, and we have rejoiced to see him leave his cups; but, yet, when he has made a self-righteousness out of his temperance, and set himself up against God and his truth, we have truly believed that he has had within him seven demons worse than the first. A man may reform himself to blacker stains, and wash himself with the waters of his self-righteousness until he becomes more hard to cleanse than he would have been at the first. Oh, for the mighty hand of One, who is stronger than the prince of hell, to throw the devil out, and then he will never come back again; but if he goes out by mere human persuasion, or by our own wills and wishes, he will most certainly come back to us. If the Holy Spirit turns him out, he will never gain an entrance any more.

45. Even so shall be also for this wicked generation.”

Large portions retyped in from the original sermon set. Electronic Bible Society edition deleted many sentences. Editor.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390