The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, known for his gospel-oriented teachings and lifestyle, produced an inordinate amount of materials during his lifetime. Some are more well-known than others, but if it bears his name it is sought after. Included in those writings is one known as The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.
Partnered with Tim Chester, Crossway has released an updated and enriched version of this book for readers under a new title, The Promises of God. The book is written as a short daily devotional, much like the well-known Morning and Evening. Aside from a title change, Chester’s updates are meant to preserve the original significance, but he has undertaken edits to update the language used to modern English, which also includes changes and shortenings to words and sentences. He has also updated the Scriptures to reflect the English Standard Version. The most appreciated addition is the inclusion of Bible references. The result is another meaningful devotional in the repertoire of the Christian life.
If one knows Spurgeon, they will not find any surprises in The Promises of God. The book is a great encouragement to the struggling Christian by highlighting God’s character and causing the reader to see how, why, and when God can be relied upon. This is especially realized in Spurgeon’s grasp and use of future promises in the past tense, meaning those promises in Scripture that will not be completed until the future, but are spoken of in the past-tense because of the trust that God has already ordained it to be. Related to that is Spurgeon’s ability to capture what should be the heart of a believer. This comes across in a discussion about a parent’s relationship with his/her child, comparing it to Abraham and Isaac, fearing for one’s child not merely because of the physical life but because of the spiritual life and not having the Spirit of God.
One of the struggles with Spurgeon is sometimes his usage of the Old Testament passages and promises meant for Israel in relationship to the people of today and this book follows that same pattern or there are times in which more meaning is put on Scripture than should be (such as interpreting Acts 1:8 as a command). These are not major concerns. One of the most difficult aspects with this particular book is Spurgeon’s propagation of a quid pro quo relationship with God. During several of the devotions, especially early on in January and February Spurgeon asserts that those who do/give/act will receive an extra blessing from God. While Scripture is utilized at times to verify the truth of this, there are moments when it is taken a bit too far in which God is almost obligated to give in response to what we do.
If you are familiar with Spurgeon, this book follows his typical pattern. It comes with the same concerns and same blessings that other Spurgeon writings come with. Personally, my opinion is Morning and Evening is a better devotional of the two. Yet, this one will certainly be encouraging for believers and is a worthwhile read.
To learn more or purchase a copy of either book mentioned here, click the titles below:
- The Promises of God
- Morning and Evening (I specifically recommend the edition edited by Alistair Begg).
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, my review was not influenced by the author, publisher, or anyone else associated with this book and is the result of my own reading of it.