Great spoil


C.H. Spurgeon

“She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her!” [Prov 3:15]

“I rejoice at Thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil!” [Psalm 119:162]

A man rejoices in gold rather than in clay because the gold is more precious, and as the treasure rises in value, so his delight in it will rise. The more, then, we think of the Scriptures, the greater will be our delight in them if we see that they relate to us. “Thy Word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loves it.” If they become to us the infallible voice of truth, that pure light which never misleads, that metal which is entirely free from alloy, then will our joy in Holy Writ overflow as we read in it the mind and will of our Father in heaven. And then shall we borrow the language of the psalmist, saying first, “My heart stands in awe of Thy Word,” and next, “I rejoice at Thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil.”

This Bible talks, “When you awake, it shall talk with you.” This is God’s side of a heavenly conversation, which ought to be kept up throughout all the days of our pilgrimage. God says this and that in the word, and we in prayer, in faith, in holy action reply to Him, and then He speaks again, and we answer Him again. When you are alone, and wish to have communion with God, you probably begin with prayer. Do so. But sometimes you feel that you cannot pray. Very well, do not try. Say, “I desire to converse with God, and if I cannot speak I will hear Him speak.” Get down the Bible. Read a Psalm, or some precious portion of Holy Writ, and after God has thus spoken to you, the conversation has begun.

God’s words will suggest heart-words with which you can speak to the Most High. If it does not, read some more, till at last within your spirit there is communion with the Eternal One. Oh, what bliss it is that God does speak to any of us, to me, a poor, worthless, sinful creature! How highly favored is man to have a Word from the great King! Many would give their eyes to be spoken to by a monarch, but here we are spoken to daily by the King of kings if we are but willing to incline our ear to His sweet voice. And this is the commencement of a communion which may continue throughout life and consummate itself in everlasting glory.

The Word of the Lord is often, as spoil found, not fought for. The promise lies before me on the way, and I find it, and by the law of the kingdom of grace it becomes mine for the finding. There it is, and the Spirit of God reveals it to me, and I take it, asking no leave whatever, since all covenant blessings are free to us when we are free to take them. Our guarantee for feeding at the banquet of love is the fact that God has set before us an open door, and we are invited to enter in. What joy is this! This spoil, however, must have cost somebody else most dear, though it has cost us nothing.

If we did not fight for it, somebody else fought for it once. Ah, what a fight was that! Let Gethsemane and Calvary tell. What joy there is in seizing the spoil which Jesus has left us as the result of His life’s warfare! We have not trod the winepress, but yet we drink the wine. The blessing is free to us, but it cost Him groans and tears, and bloody sweat, and death. “This is David’s spoil.” Look down and see the mark of the victor’s feet! See you not where the nails went in? The Crucified One has been here and smitten all our adversaries, and left this spoil for us poor creatures to divide among ourselves. Great is the spoil, all the spoils of death and hell, all that father Adam was robbed of is recovered from the robbers. Life, light, peace, joy, holiness, immortality, heaven—all these are brought back by our great Conqueror who has taken the prey from the mighty, and brought back the lawful captives, leading captivity captive. O, brethren, we do rejoice when we get a hold of the precious treasures of the word as Jesus Christ’s spoil, fought for by Himself, and then distributed to us.

What a joy there is in our heart when we remember what foes our Lord overcame to gain all this spoil for us. Sin has been routed, death has been slain, and hell has been stripped of its prey, our direst enemies are broken in pieces, and the crown of their head is crushed by Him who is the seed of the woman, the Messiah of God. Whenever a passage of Scripture sings to you of itself, sing with it before the Lord. Whenever in reading, the verse seems to leap out of the page into your bosom, there let it lodge forever. Whenever in hearing the word it darts into your heart, then you will understand what David meant when he said that his soul rejoiced over God’s Word “as one who,” by a happy, blessed find, “findeth great spoil!”

Praise the Lord!


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