Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LXXIV

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Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (v.9)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Concerning Peaceableness

“They shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

How Christians should bring up their children

10. If we are children, then we shall have our Father’s blessing. ‘They are the seed which the Lord has blessed’ (Isaiah 61:9). We read that Isaac blessed his son Jacob: ‘May God give you of heaven’s dew and of earth’s richness– an abundance of grain and new wine’ (Genesis 27:28), which was not only a prayer for Jacob—but (as Luther says) a prophecy of that happiness and blessing which should come upon him and all his posterity. Thus every adopted child has his heavenly Father’s benediction. There is a special blessing distilled into all that he possesses. ‘The Lord will bless his people with peace’ (Exodus 23:25; Psalm 29:11). He will not only give them peace—but they shall have it with a blessing. The wicked have the things they enjoy with God’s permission—but the adopted have them with God’s love. The wicked have them by providence; the saints by promise. Isaac had but one blessing to bestow. ‘Have you but one blessing, my father?’ (Genesis 27:38). But God has many blessings for his children. He blesses them in their souls, bodies, names, estate, posterity. He blesses them with the upper springs and the nether springs. He multiplies to bless them and his blessing cannot be reversed. As Isaac said concerning Jacob, ‘I have blessed him, yes and he shall be blessed’ (Genesis 27:33), so God blesses his children and they shall be blessed.

11. If we are God’s children, then all things which happen to them, shall turn to our good. ‘All things work together for good to those who love God’ (Romans 8:28). Both good things and evil things work to their eternal good.

[1] GOOD things work for good to God’s children.

Mercies shall do them good. The mercies of God shall SOFTEN them. David’s heart was overcome with God’s mercy. ‘Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?’ (2 Samuel 7:18). I who was of a poor family, I who held the shepherd’s staff—that now I should hold the royal scepter! Nay, you have spoken of your servant’s house for a great while to come. You have made a promise that my children shall sit upon the throne; yes, that the blessed Messiah shall come of my line and race. And is this the manner of man, O Lord God! As if he had said, ‘Do men show such undeserved kindness?’ See how this good man’s heart was dissolved and softened by mercy! The flint is soonest broken upon a soft pillow.
Mercies make the children of God more FRUITFUL. The ground bears the better crop for the labor which is spent upon it. God gives his children health—and they spend and are spent for Christ. He gives them estates—and they honor the Lord with their substance. The backs and bellies of the poor are the field where they sow the precious seed of their charity. A child of God makes his estate a golden clasp to bind his heart faster to God, a footstool to raise him up higher towards heaven.

Ordinances shall work for good to God’s children. The Word preached shall do them good. It is a savor of life; it is a lamp to the feet and a laver to their hearts. The word preached is a means of spiritual health, a chariot of salvation. It is an engrafting and a transforming word; it is a word with unction, anointing their eyes to see that light. The preaching of the Word is that lattice where Christ looks forth and shows himself to his saints. This golden pipe of the sanctuary conveys the water of life. To the wicked the Word preached works for evil; even the Word of life becomes a savor of death. The same cause may have divers, nay, contrary effects. The sun dissolves the ice—but hardens the clay. To the unregenerate and profane, the Word is not humbling—but hardening. Jesus Christ, the best of preachers, was to some a rock of offence. The Jews sucked death from his sweet lips. It is sad that the breast should kill any. The wicked suck poison from that breast of ordinances, where the children of God suck milk and are nourished unto salvation.

The sacrament works for good to the children of God. In the Word preached the saints hear Christ’s voice; in the sacrament they have his kiss. The Lord’s Supper is to the saints ‘a feast of fat things’. It is a healing and a sealing ordinance. In this chalice, a bleeding Savior is brought in to revive drooping spirits. The sacrament has glorious effects in the hearts of God’s children. It quickens their affections, strengthens their faith, mortifies their sin, revives their hopes, increases their joy. It gives a foretaste of heaven.

[2] EVIL things work for good to God’s children. ‘Unto the upright arises light in the darkness’ (Psalm 112:4).

Poverty works for good to God’s children. It starves their lusts. It increases their graces. ‘Poor in the world—rich in faith’ (James 2:5). Poverty tends to prayer. When God has clipped his children’s wings by poverty—they fly swiftest to the throne of grace.

Sickness works for their good. It shall bring the body of death into a consumption. ‘Though our outward man perishes—yet the inward man is renewed day by day’ (2 Corinthians 4:16). Like those two laurels at Rome—when the one withered the other flourished.’ When the body withers—the soul of a Christian flourishes. How often have we seen a lively faith—in a languishing body! Hezekiah was better on his sick bed—than upon his throne. When he was upon his sickbed he humbles himself and weeps. When he was on his throne he grew proud (Isaiah 39:2). God’s children recover spiritual health, by physical sickness. In this sense, ‘out of weakness they are made strong’ (Hebrews 11:34).

Reproach works for good to God’s children; it increases their grace and their glory.

Disgrace increases their grace. The farmer by fertilizing his ground makes the soil more rich and fertile. God lets the wicked fertilize his people with reproaches and calumnies, that their hearts may be a richer soil for grace to grow in.

Reproach increases their glory. He who unjustly takes from a saint’s credit, shall add to his crown. The sun shines brighter after an eclipse. The more a child of God is eclipsed by reproaches, the brighter he shall shine in the kingdom of heaven.

Persecution to God’s children works for good. The godly may be compared to that plant which grows by cutting. The zeal and love of the saints is blown up by sufferings. Their joy flourishes. Tertullian says the primitive Christians rejoiced more in their persecutions than in their deliverances.

Death works for good to the children of God. It is like the whirlwind to the prophet Elijah, which blew off his mantle—but carried him up to heaven. So death to a child of God is like a boisterous whirlwind which blows off the mantle of his flesh (for the body is but the mantle the soul is wrapped in)—but it carries up the soul to God. This is the glorious privilege of the sons of God. Everything which happens, shall do them good. The children of God, when they come to heaven, shall bless God for all cross providences.

 

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