I sent blight and mildew and hail!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce!" Haggai 2:17

How destructive is the hail to the standing crops—beating the precious grain down to the ground! How grateful ought we to be when the grain is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer unto the Lord thanksgiving.

Even more to be dreaded, are those mysterious destroyersblight and mildew. These turn the grain into a mass of soot, or render it putrid, or dry it up—and in a manner so beyond all human control, that the farmer is compelled to cry, "This is the finger of God!" Innumerable minute fungi cause the damage; and were it not for the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon scatter famine over the land! Infinite mercy spares the food of men; but in view of the active agents which are ready to destroy the harvest, right wisely are we taught to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." We have constant need of God's blessing!

"I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce!" When blight and mildew come—they are chastisements from God, and men must learn to heed the rod, and Him who has appointed it!

Spiritually, mildew is a common evil. When our work is most promising, this mildew appears. We hoped for many conversions, but instead—a general apathy, an abounding worldliness, or a cruel hardness of heart! There may be no open sin in those for whom we are laboring—but there is a deficiency of sincerity and holiness, sadly disappointing our desires.

We learn from this—our dependence upon the Lord, and the need of prayer that no blight or mildew may fall upon our work. Spiritual pride or sloth will soon bring upon us the dreadful evil—and only the Lord of the harvest can remove it.

Mildew and blight may even attack our own hearts—and shrivel our prayers and pious exercises! May it please the great Gardener to avert so serious a calamity. Shine, O blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the blights away!