April 24—Morning Devotion
“The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.”—Micah 2:13
Pause, my soul, over this precious scripture, and ask thine own heart who this Almighty Breaker can be, except the Lord Jesus Christ; for he, and he alone, answers to such a divine character. Was it not he which came up as the Breaker from everlasting; when, in the council of peace, the divine decree was broken open, and the Son of God stood forth the sinner’s Surety? Was it not he whom John saw by vision, who alone was found worthy in heaven to open the book, and loose the seals thereof? Was it not the same precious Holy One, who, when in the volume of the book it was found written of him, that he should fulfil the law of Jehovah for sinful man, cried out,” Lo, I come? And was it not Jesus, even thy Jesus, my soul, that in the fulness of time came up as the Breaker, to break down the dreadful bar of separation which sin had made between God and man, and to open a new and living way for the sinner to God by his blood? And when he had broken down the fence sin had made in disobedience to the divine law, the accusations of Satan, the dominion of death and the grave, by sustaining the whole weight and burden of all in his own precious person; did he not, as the Almighty Breaker; burst asunder the bars of death, and prove himself thereby indeed to be this Almighty Breaker in such a palpable evidence, that it was impossible his holy soul could beholden by it? And hath he not broken through all intervening obstacles, ascended up on high, led captivity captive, entered into glory, and there ever liveth and appeareth in the presence of God for us? Is not Jesus then this Almighty Breaker? But, my soul, look yet further. It is said also, in this blessed scripture, that the Breaker is not only come up before them, (that is, his people,) but that “they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them. “And so they are, if so be this Almighty Breaker hath broken down the strong holds of sin and Satan in which they lay bound; broken down the natural hatred and enmity of their own heart against God and his Christ in which they were born, and in which they lived, and must have died, but for his sovereign grace manifested in them and towards them; burst open the prison doors of Satan, and broke off his cursed chains, and brought them out! If these things are wrought and accomplished in the people, may they not be said, in his strength, to have broken up, and have passed through the gate of Satan’s dominions, and are gone oust by it into the glorious liberty of the sons of God? Is it so, my soul, in thy experience? Dost thou indeed know Jesus for thy Almighty Breaker, by such sweet and precious tokens of his love and power? Hath thy King passed thus before thee, and thy Lord on the head of thee? Oh then, be ever on the look out for all the renewed visits of his grace, in which he still acts as thine Almighty Breaker, in breaking down all the remaining obstacles which thy unbelief, and fears, and doubts, are continually raising up against thy own happiness, in his precious manifestations. Look up to him daily, hourly, minutely, if possible, that he may break down all the remains of indwelling corruption in thy nature, by which these fears and this unbelief gets hold fast in thy soul; and be often on the look out also for that glorious day of God, when this Almighty Breaker shall finally and fully come, and break through the clouds to judgment, to break down every remaining evil that keep thee now from the everlasting enjoyment of thy Lord. Hasten, blessed Jesus! come, my beloved, and, with a glory infinitely surpassing all conception, manifest thyself as the Almighty Breaker, in this full display of thy sovereignty and power. And then, as Samson (the type in this instance) carried with him the gates of his prison, so wilt thou break up and carry away all the gates of thy people’s graves, and take all thy redeemed home with thee to glory, that where thou art, there they shah be also. Hail, thou Almighty Breaker! Jesus omnipotent, reigneth!
Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was an Anglican (High-Calvinist) preacher who served as Vicar of Charles Church, Plymouth. John Hazelton wrote of him:
“The prominent features…in Robert Hawker's testimony…was the Person of Christ….Dr. Hawker delighted to speak of his Lord as "My most glorious Christ.” What anxious heart but finds at times in the perusal of the doctor's writings a measure of relief, a softening, and a mellowing? an almost imperceptible yet secret and constraining power in leading out of self and off from the misery and bondage of the flesh into a contemplation of the Person and preciousness of Christ as "the chiefest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely." Christ and Him crucified was emphatically the burden of his song and the keynote of his ministry. He preached his last sermon in Charles Church on March 18th, 1827, and on April 6th he died, after being six years curate and forty-three years vicar of the parish. On the last day of his life he repeated a part of Ephesians 1, from the 6th to the 12th verses, and as he proceeded he enlarged on the verses, but dwelt more fully on these words: "To the praise of His glory Who first trusted in Christ." He paused and asked, "Who first trusted in Christ?" And then made this answer: "It was God the Father Who first trusted in Christ."