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Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening - September 26, 2015

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> "The myrtle trees that were in the bottom."
> Zechariah 1:8
> The vision in this chapter describes the condition of Israel in Zechariah's day;
but being interpreted in its aspect towards us, it describes the Church of God as
we find it now in the world. The Church is compared to a myrtle grove flourishing
in a valley.

It is hidden, unobserved, secreted; courting no honour and attracting
no observation from the careless gazer. The Church, like her head, has a glory,
but it is concealed from carnal eyes, for the time of her breaking forth in all
her splendour is not yet come. The idea of tranquil security is also suggested to
us: for the myrtle grove in the valley is still and calm, while the storm sweeps
over the mountain summits.

Tempests spend their force upon the craggy peaks of the
Alps, but down yonder where flows the stream which maketh glad the city of our
God, the myrtles flourish by the still waters, all unshaken by the impetuous wind.
How great is the inward tranquility of God's Church! Even when opposed and
persecuted, she has a peace which the world gives not, and which, therefore, it
cannot take away: the peace of God which passeth all understanding keeps the
hearts and minds of God's people. Does not the metaphor forcibly picture the
peaceful, perpetual growth of the saints?

The myrtle sheds not her leaves, she is
always green; and the Church in her worst time still hath a blessed verdure of
grace about her; nay, she has sometimes exhibited most verdure when her winter has
been sharpest. She has prospered most when her adversities have been most severe.
Hence the text hints at victory. The myrtle is the emblem of peace, and a
significant token of triumph. The brows of conquerors were bound with myrtle and
with laurel; and is not the Church ever victorious? Is not every Christian more
than a conqueror through him that loved him? Living in peace, do not the saints
fall asleep in the arms of victory?
> Evening
> "Howl, fir tree, for the cedar is fallen."
> Zechariah 11:2
> When in the forest there is heard the crash of a falling oak, it is a sign that
the woodman is abroad, and every tree in the whole company may tremble lest
to-morrow the sharp edge of the axe should find it out. We are all like trees
marked for the axe, and the fall of one should remind us that for every one,
whether great as the cedar, or humble as the fir, the appointed hour is stealing
on apace. I trust we do not, by often hearing of death, become callous to it. May
we never be like the birds in the steeple, which build their nests when the bells
are tolling, and sleep quietly when the solemn funeral peals are startling the

May we regard death as the most weighty of all events, and be sobered by its
approach. It ill behoves us to sport while our eternal destiny hangs on a thread.
The sword is out of its scabbard--let us not trifle; it is furbished, and the edge
is sharp--let us not play with it. He who does not prepare for death is more than
an ordinary fool, he is a madman. When the voice of God is heard among the trees
of the garden, let fig tree and sycamore, and elm and cedar, alike hear the sound
> Be ready, servant of Christ, for thy Master comes on a sudden, when an ungodly
world least expects him. See to it that thou be faithful in his work, for the
grave shall soon be digged for thee. Be ready, parents, see that your children are
brought up in the fear of God, for they must soon be orphans; be ready, men of
business, take care that your affairs are correct, and that you serve God with all
your hearts, for the days of your terrestrial service will soon be ended, and you
will be called to give account for the deeds done in the body, whether they be
good or whether they be evil. May we all prepare for the tribunal of the great
King with a care which shall be rewarded with the gracious commendation, "Well
done, good and faithful servant"
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