Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part XXXI

Image result for Beatitudes
Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

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

Spiritual Hunger!

Theme: a duty implied; a promise annexed.

 

But some may object: ‘My hunger after righteousness is so weak, that I fear it is not true.’

I answer: Though the pulse beats but weak—it shows there is life. And that weak desires should not be discouraged, there is a promise made to them. ‘A bruised reed he will not break’ (Matthew 12:20). A reed is a weak thing—but especially when it is bruised—yet this ‘bruised reed’ shall not be broken—but like Aaron’s dry rod, ‘bud and blossom’. In case of weakness—look to Christ your High Priest. He is merciful, therefore will bear with your infirmities; he is mighty, therefore will help them.

Further, if your desires after righteousness seem to be weak and languid—yet a Christian may sometimes take a measure of his spiritual estate as well by the judgment as by the affections. What is that you esteem most in your judgment? Is it Christ and grace? This is good evidence for heaven. It was a sign that Paul bore entire love to Christ because he esteemed this Pearl above all. He counted other things ‘but dung, that he might win Christ’ (Philippians 3:8).

‘But,’ says a child of God, ‘that which much eclipses my comfort is, I have not that hunger which I once had. Time was when I hungered after a Sabbath because then the manna fell. ‘I called the Sabbath a delight’. I remember the time when I hungered after the body and blood of the Lord. I came to a sacrament as a hungry man to a feast—but now it is otherwise with me. I do not have those hungerings as formerly.’

I answer: It is indeed an ill sign for a man to lose his appetite—but, though it is a sign of the decay of grace to lose the spiritual appetite—yet it is a sign of the truth of grace to bewail the loss. It is sad to lose our first love—but it is happy when we mourn for the loss of our first love.

If you do not have that appetite after heavenly things as formerly—yet do not be discouraged, for in the use of means you may recover your appetite. The ordinances are for the recovering of the appetite when it is lost. In other cases feeding takes away the appetite—but here, feeding on an ordinance begets an appetite.

The text exhorts us all to labor after this spiritual hunger. Hunger less after the world—and more after righteousness. Say concerning spiritual things, ‘Lord, evermore give us this bread! Feed me with this angels’ food!’ That manna is most to be hungered after, which will not only preserve life, but prevent death (John 6:50). That is most desirable which is most durable. Riches are not forever (Proverbs 27:24) but righteousness is forever (Proverbs 8:18). ‘The beauty of holiness’ never fades (Psalm 110:3). ‘The robe of righteousness’ (Isaiah 61:10) never waxes old! Oh hunger after that righteousness which ‘delivers from death’ (Proverbs 10:12). This is the righteousness which God himself is in love with. ‘He loves him who follows after righteousness’ (Proverbs 15:9). All men are ambitious of the king’s favor. Alas, what is a prince’s smile but a transient glance? This sunshine of his royal countenance soon masks itself with a cloud of displeasure—but those who are endued with righteousness are God’s favorites, and how sweet is his smile! ‘Your loving-kindness is better than life’ (Psalm 63:3).

Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part XXXI

Image result for Beatitudes
Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

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

Christian Meekness (Continued) 
Remembering the overall theme is meek people are blessed people.

Meekness towards MAN; Continued:

I shall lay down several MOTIVES or arguments to meeken the spirits of men.

2. Meekness is a great ornament to a Christian. ‘The ornament of a meek spirit, which is so precious to God’ (1 Peter 3:4). How lovely is a saint in God’s eye, when adorned with this jewel! What the psalmist says of praise (Psalm 33:1), the same may I say of meekness. It is ‘lovely for the righteous’. No garment is more befitting to a Christian, than meekness. Therefore we are bid to put on this garment. ‘Put on therefore as the elect of God, meekness’ (Colossians 3:12) A meek spirit brings credit to the gospel, and silences malice. It is the varnish which puts luster upon holiness, and sets off the gospel with a better gloss.

3. This is the way to be like God. God is meek towards those who provoke him. How many black mouths are opened daily against the Majesty of heaven? How do men tear his Name! vex his Spirit! crucify his Son afresh! They walk up and down the earth as so many devils covered with flesh—yet the Lord is meek, ‘not willing that any should perish’ (2 Peter 3:9). How easily could God crush sinners, and kick them into hell! But he moderates his anger. Though he is full of majesty—yet full of meekness. In him is mixed princely greatness and fatherly mildness. As he has his scepter of royalty, so his throne of grace. Oh how should this make us fall in love with meekness! Hereby we bear a kind of likeness to God. It is not profession which makes us like God—but imitation. Where meekness is lacking, we are like brutes. Where it is present, we are like God.

4. Meekness is a noble and excellent spirit. A meek man is a valorous man. He gets a victory over himself! Anger arises from weakness of character. Therefore we may observe old men and children are more choleric than others. Anger argues weakness of judgement—but the meek man who is able to conquer his fury, is the most strong and victorious. ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; controlling one’s temper, is better than capturing a city’ (Proverbs 16:32). To yield to one’s anger is easy. It is swimming along with the tide of corrupt nature—but to turn against nature, to resist anger, to ‘overcome evil with good’, this is truly Christian. This is that spiritual chivalry and fortitude of mind that deserves the trophies of victory and the garland of praise.

5. Meekness is the best way to conquer and melt the heart of an enemy. When Saul lay at David’s mercy and David only cut off the skirt of his robe, how was Saul’s heart affected with David’s meekness? ‘Saul called back—Is that really you, my son David? Then he began to cry. And he said to David—You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been wonderfully kind to me today, for you could have killed me. May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today’ (1 Samuel 24:16-19). This ‘heaping of coals’ melts and thaws the heart of others. It is the greatest victory—to overcome an enemy without striking a blow. The fire will go where the wedge cannot. Mildness prevails more than fierceness. Anger makes an enemy of a friend. Meekness makes a friend of an enemy. The meek Christian shall have letters testimonial even from his adversary. It is reported of Philip, king of Macedon, that when it was told him Nicanor openly railed against his Majesty, the king instead of putting him to death (as his council advised), sent Nicanor a rich present, which so overcame the man’s heart, that he went up and down to recant what he had said against the king, and highly extolled the king’s mercy. Roughness hardens men’s hearts; meekness causes them to relent (2 Kings 6:22). When the king of Israel feasted the captives he had taken in war, they were more conquered by his meekness—than by his sword. ‘The bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel’ (2 Kings 6:22)