21st August 2020
“A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.” Matthew 12:20
The gracious Man of Sorrows will never ever “break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.” It is true that “he sends forth judgment,” for he means to bring the soul down into the dust; but whilst this judgment is going on, he secretly supports; for he kills that he may make alive; he brings down to the grave that he may bring up. But in sending forth this “judgment,” it is “unto victory.” Conquest is at the end; victory is sure. There may be a long conflict; a hard and fearful battle, with the garments rolled in sweat and blood; but victory is sure at last; for he will never rest till he fully gains the day. Oh, how Satan would triumph if any saint ever fell out of the embraces of the good Shepherd; if he could point his derisive finger up to heaven’s gate and to its risen King, and say, “Thy blood was shed in vain for this wretch, he is mine, he is mine!” Such a boast would fill hell with a yell of triumph. But no, no; it never will be so; the “blood that cleanseth from all sin” never was, never can be shed in vain. Though the reed is “bruised,” it will never be broken; though the flax “smokes,” it will never be extinguished; for he that “sends forth judgment” sends it “unto victory.” Long indeed may the battle fluctuate; again and again may the enemy charge; again and again may the event seem doubtful. Victory may be delayed even unto a late hour, till evening is drawing on and the shades of night are about to fall; but it is sure at last. And it is the Lord that does the whole. We have no power to turn the battle to the gate. Is there one temptation that you can master? Is there any one sin that you can, without divine help, crucify; one lust that you can, without special grace, subdue? We are perfect weakness in this matter. But the blessed Lord makes his strength perfect in this weakness. We may and indeed must be bruised, and under painful feelings may think no one was so hardly dealt with, and that our case is singular. But without this we should not judge ourselves; and “if we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged of the Lord.” If you justify yourself, the Lord will condemn you; if you condemn yourself, the Lord will justify you. Exalt yourself, and the Lord will humble you; humble yourself, and the Lord will exalt you.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869