April 10.—Morning. [Or July 18.]
“Flee youthful lusts.”
THE sad case of Samson reminds us of the warnings of the book of Proverbs, against that treacherous form of sin. Evil company is always dangerous, but association with persons of impure life is deadly. May the young men of the household lay this day’s lesson to heart; it has been hard to write, but a sense of duty forced it upon us.
Proverbs 7:1–18; 21–27
1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. (Treasure up this warning as a precious thing, it may save you from a wretched old age.)
2, 3 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. (Have right principles at your fingers’ ends, and in your heart’s core.)
4, 5 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. (As good women are our greatest blessings, so are bad women among the worst curses in the world. Flee from them, listen not to their words. To shew how wicked they are, Solomon tells us a tale of real life, which we will read with earnest prayer, that none of this household may ever imitate the foolish victim.)
6 7 ¶ For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, (Without grace in his heart, or sense in his head,)
8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, (He had better have gone miles round than pass the spot,)
9, 10 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: (Late hours lead to no good.) And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
11, 12 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) (Had she been a fit companion she would have been at home.)
13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. (O the wickedness of those who mix up religion with their filthiness; but this was a part of the bait with which to entrap the foolish young man.)
15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. (This was another falsehood, she cared no more for him than for anybody else. O beware of these deceivers.)
16, 17, 18 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. (What a servant of Satan was she! There are many like her, who take fools in their nets.)
22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, (The ox has no idea of what is coming, or he would never enter the slaughter-house: wicked young men little know the terrible results of sin,) or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; (The drunkard smiles when set in the stocks, as if it were rare fun; so do foolish men dream that sin is pleasure.)
23 Till a dart strike through his liver; (His vital parts shall suffer for his folly, pain shall succeed his pleasures;) as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
The life both of his body and his soul shall be ruined by his vice.
24 ¶ Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Samson and Solomon to wit.
27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (Strong language, but none too strong. If young people knew what follows upon unclean actions, they would sooner burn their flesh with fire, or sleep with venomous reptiles, than have any communion with unchaste persons. Young women should loathe those gay fellows whose actions will not bear to be spoken of; and both young and old, male and female, should abhor any indelicacy of thought, word, or deed, in books or mirthful play.)
April 10.—Evening. [Or July 19.]
“Flee from idolatry.”
AND there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
2 And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my son. (Very little was her blessing worth, since she had been so ready at cursing. Her silver was her god while it was in the form of shekels, quite as much as when it was fashioned into an image, or else she had not cursed because of the loss of it. Her son Micah, who became so ostentatiously religious, was a thief to begin with. A superstitious dread made him restore what his conscience did not forbid him to steal. The man was made of the right material to become a Ritualist.)
3 And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.
An image was to be made contrary to the divine law, and yet it was to be dedicated unto Jehovah. Good intentions are no excuse for disobedience. Image-makers, now-a-days, tell us that they do not worship them, but worship God through them; if this be accepted as an apology, there remains no idolatry in the world. But God thinketh not so.
4 Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah.
5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
Children imitate their parents. The mother makes one image, the son has a house-full of gods, and the grandson becomes a priest. If we once leave the spiritual worship of God, there is no telling how far we shall wander.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Which means that every man did what evil he liked.)
7, 8 And there was a young man out of Beth-lehem-judah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there. And the man departed out of the city from Beth-lehem-judah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.
9 And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Beth-lehem-judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.
10 And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in. (It was but poor pay: two hundred shekels had been spent on an image, and now ten is thought enough for the priest. A rich idol they must have, even though the priest be poor as charity. The pay was worse when we remember that the Levite was selling his soul for the pittance. How degrading for a servant of the living God to be waiting upon dumb idols.)
11 12 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons. And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.
13 Then said Micah, Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest. (So superstition always talks. This was an ordained man and one of the regular clergy, therefore a blessing must attend his performances. Though the images and ephods were all forbidden, and the whole worship was a direct opposition to the Lord’s true worship at Jerusalem, yet they looked for a blessing because the priest was in the succession; even as in these days, those who set up crosses, and pictures, and altars—and so insult the Lord Jesus, nevertheless expect peculiar favours because of some imaginary apostolical succession. “God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Outward formalities and performances not commanded in Scripture, we ought not to sanction by our presence, but avoid them lest we partake in the sin of them.)
 Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 207–208). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.