A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, September 17, 1876, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. *6/12/2012
You have a mighty arm: your hand is strong, and your right hand is
high. [Ps 89:13]
For other sermons on this text:
[See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 674, “Mighty Arm, The” 665]
[See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1314, “Mighty Arm, The” 1305]
Exposition on Ps 89:1-37 Joh 6:22-40 [See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2349, “All Comers to Christ Welcomed” 2350 @@ "Exposition"]
Exposition on Ps 89:1-37 [See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3140, “Glory of Our Strength, The” 3141 @@ "Exposition"]
Exposition on Ps 89 [See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3242, “Unparalleled Lovingkindness” 3244 @@ "Exposition"]
1. When the soul is perfectly reconciled to God, and comes to delight in him, it rejoices in all his attributes. At first, perhaps, it dwells almost exclusively upon his love and his mercy, but it afterwards proceeds to find joy in the more stern attributes, and especially delights itself in his holiness and in his power. It is a characteristic of the growth of Christian knowledge when we begin to distinguish the attributes and to rejoice in God in each one of them. It indicates meditation and thought when we are able thus to discern the things of God and to give to the Lord a psalm of praise for each one of his glories; and it also indicates a growingly intimate communion with the great Father when we begin to perceive his adorable character, and to rejoice so much in all that he is, that we can take the attributes in detail, and bless, and praise, and magnify him on account of each one of them. Under the Jewish law there were forms of the sacrifices which were of the simplest kind, such as the offering of turtledoves or young pigeons, which were simply torn apart and burned upon the altar; but there were other and more elaborate rules for the sacrifices which were taken from the flock and the herd; these were carefully divided, and the parts laid in their places — the head, the fat, the inwards, and the legs, and so on, as if to show that although some believers only know the atoning sacrifice as a whole and after a superficial manner, there are others still further instructed, who look deeper into divine mystery, and see the various forms which the great truth assumes. It is a saving thing to know the Lord at all with the heart; but I wish that, beloved, that you knew all the varied rays of his pure light, that you beheld the many glories of his crown, and could rejoice in each distinct excellence of his infinite perfection.
The subject of this morning is the power of God as the subject of
adoration. Here, dear brethren, we have large scope for thought, for
the power of God is revealed in connection with all his other
attributes; it is the cause of all his works, and the basis and
working force by which his kingdom is maintained and himself
revealed. How clearly is his power beheld in creation: there
indeed, oh Lord, “you have a mighty arm.” We harm ourselves and
dishonour our Creator when we pass over his works as if they were
beneath the notice of spiritual minds. It is perverse on our part to
forget the exhortation, “What God has cleansed, do not call common.”
The psalmist sang concerning the creating might of God in the psalm
before us — “The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours: as for the
world and its fulness, you have founded them. You have created the
north and the south: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in your
name.” [Ps 89:11,12] David did not distinguish between
revelation and nature; he loved the word and meditated in it day and
night, but at the same time he triumphed in the works of God’s hands.
In the hundred and fourth Psalm he found music in rocks and rills, in
fowls and fir trees, and rejoiced that the glory of the Lord shall
endure for ever, the Lord shall rejoice in his works. In the eighth
Psalm he considered the heavens, and burst out with the exclamation,
“Oh Lord our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth!” With
the same feeling I led you to sing this morning that child’s hymn in
which the power of God is reverenced —
I sing the almighty power of God,
Which made the mountains rise,
Which spreads the flowing seas abroad,
And built the lofty skies.
The Lord made Job and his friends remember his power as seen in creation; indeed, it was by revealing that one attribute that Job’s friends were silenced, and the patriarch himself was led to cry, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you?” We ought not to overlook what had so salutary an influence upon others. It is a pity when people become so spiritual that they have no eye whatever for the Lord’s power in rivers and mountains, in seas and storms; for God has made them all, and as in his glass he is darkly to be seen in them. “The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all those who have pleasure in it.” I can understand the feeling of some who say, “I prefer spiritual preaching, and I delight most to read the spiritual parts of the word of God rather than the historical records, and to think of his grace rather than of his wisdom in nature”; but there is a fault about such a preference, excellent as it is in one way. It is as though you had a friend who was a great artist, and a master in statuary, able to make the marble almost live and speak with his magic chisel. You are accustomed to call upon this eminent sculptor, and it gives you great pleasure to talk with him, and to associate with his children, but you have never gone into his studio, for his masterpieces do not interest you. Now, this is poor fellowship, and if ever you get to be in perfect sympathy with your friend, you will be interested in what interests him, and charmed with the various proofs of your friend’s powers in design and execution. You will study his works for his sake, and love him all the more because of those wonders of beauty and joy which his hand produces. If the Lord thinks fit to display the hand of his power in the visible universe, it would ill become any one of his children to close his eyes to it. “The earth is the Lord’s and its fulness.” “All your works praise you, oh God; but your saints shall bless you.”
3. So, too, the power of God is to be seen in providence; in the overruling hand which controls common events. Our sweet singer writes, “You rule the raging of the sea: when its waves arise you still them.” [Ps 89:9] God’s power is seen in the great phenomena of nature, and even in the lesser matters of every day life. His hand guides the fall of every sere leaf, and adorns each blade of grass with its own drop of dew; but chiefly his way is in the whirlwind, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. The mighty hand of the Lord is to be seen in the events of human history; his power is revealed in courts and armies, in the rise and fall of empires, in the growth of nations, or in their overthrow. Behold how he broke Egypt in pieces as one who was slain, and scattered his enemies with his strong arm. His people did not refuse to sing of his great power when he struck great kings and killed famous kings, because his mercy towards his people endures for ever. It ought to be a subject of great joy to all righteous souls that the world is not left to itself, or to tyrants: the might is with the right after all, for power belongs to God. There is a Governor and Ruler who is Lord of all, and all power is in his hand. Have you not often wished more power to the arm of the man who attacks insolence and cruelty? Be glad, then, that all power is in the hand of the Judge of all the earth, who must and will do right. He will not leave bloodshed unavenged, nor allow wanton cruelty and horrible brutality to go unpunished; and if the great ones of the earth pass by with indifference, or wink the eye in wicked policy, there is an eye that sees, and a hand that will mete out vengeance both stern and sure. In patience possess your souls, oh you people of God, for “God reigns over the heathen, he sits upon the throne of his holiness.” The needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the oppressed for ever trodden down, for truly the Lord reigns, and his power shall defend the cause of right.
4. It is another subject for which we have reason also to adore God, that his power is seen in the ultimate judgment of the wicked, a terrible subject upon which I will not enlarge, but one which should prostrate us in the dust before his awful majesty. There are two flaming jewels of Jehovah’s crown which will be terribly seen in hell; his wrath and his power. “What if God, willing to show his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” Righteous indignation and omnipotence will be glorified together in that last tremendous act of judgment in which he will separate the righteous from the wicked, and apportion to the unbelievers their due. “Who knows the power of your anger?” What must be the strength of an angry God? Who shall stand against him when once he stirs up his indignation, when he shall break the nations with a rod of iron, and shatter them like potters’ vessels? “Beware,” he says, “you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there is no one to deliver.” Who shall stand against this great and terrible God in the day of his wrath? Who shall endure in that day when mercy’s day is over, and justice alone sits on her burning throne?
5. Neither of these, however, is the subject of this morning, though we should not have completed the topic without alluding to them. The subject is the power displayed in connection with the mercy of God, for so Ethan begins this noble covenant psalm: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: I will make known with my mouth your faithfulness to all generations.” Power in alliance with grace is our one theme.
6. First, we shall consider the mighty power of God in his grace, as revealed in our experience; secondly, divine power, as displayed in Christ Jesus; and, thirdly, we shall endeavour to reflect upon the same power, and consider how it should be practically recognised. We must be brief on each point, for our time is short.
7. I. First, the mighty arm of God is displayed in the way of grace, as REVEALED IN OUR EXPERIENCE.
8. First, beloved, remember the divine longsuffering. What a mighty arm of grace it must have been which held back the anger of God while we were in a state of rebellion and impenitence. For God to rule the angry sea seems nothing to me compared with the power which he exercises upon himself when he endures the provocations of ungodly men, the hardness of their hearts, their rejection of Christ, and often their blasphemous speeches and their wicked deeds. Oh sinner, when you are sinning with a high hand and with an outstretched arm, is it not a wonder of wonders that God does not cut you down, and end your insolence? He says, “Ah, I will rid myself of my adversaries”: is it not a marvel that he has not ridded himself of you, and taken you away with a stroke? You know how it is with some men, a word and a blow; but it has not been so with God. There have been many words of love and many deeds of kindness. He has waited long, and is waiting now, stretching out his hands all the day to a disobedient and hostile people. What power is this which restrains its own power, the power of God over his own omnipotence, so that he does not let his anger flame out at once and devour the ungodly, nor suffer the sword of execution to strike down the rebel in the midst of his provocations? Glory be to your lovingkindness and your longsuffering, oh God, for in them we see your mighty self-restraining power.
9. But, next, we saw the power of God so as to recognise it when the Lord subdued us by his mighty grace. What omnipotence is displayed in the conquest of every rebellious sinner! By nature the sinner stands out very stoutly against God, and will not obey his voice. Often he is bulwarked around with prejudices; and you and I, who seek to convert him, are quite unable to reach him. Prejudice is an earthwork into which you may fire with the heaviest cannon, but without avail, for the balls are buried in the earth, and no result follows. When men will not see, no light can help them, for they wilfully close their eyes. When they will not hear, the charms of the gospel do not avail, for they have resolutely closed their ears. It is a wonder of wonders when at last God conquers prejudice, and the man finds himself where he would have sworn he never could be, melted down and penitent at Jesus’ feet. If a prophet had told him it would ever be so, he would have said, “You are mad, this cannot be: I abhor its very name.” You have a mighty arm, oh God, when prejudiced Saul of Tarsus falls down at your feet, and rises to become your apostle.
10. Men are surrounded often with a granite wall of obstinacy: they will not yield to the power of divine love. Preach as you may, they are not to be moved, but remain like an impregnable fortress, frowning from its own inaccessible rock, defying all assaults. You can find no way to get at them. You would be willing almost to die if you could capture their hearts for Christ, but they are neither to be taken by threatening nor by wooing. They are like leviathan whose scales are his pride, welded together as with a close seal. “Can you fill his skin with barbed irons, or his head with fish spears?” They appear to have no joints to their harness through which the arrow of conviction may penetrate: but you have a mighty arm, oh God, and your enemies are made to feel your arrows; those who were exceedingly stout against you have, nevertheless, come crouching at your feet and have become your servants. Glory be to God, the northern iron and the steel become wax at his bidding. [Jer 15:12]
11. We have seen some, also, who have been rooted in their habits of sin, altogether severed from their old sins. Wonder of wonders, the Ethiopian has changed his skin, and the leopard has lost his spots: for he who was accustomed to do evil has learned to do good. Behold a miracle of mighty grace. The sinner has grown old in sin: like an old oak he has become rooted to the earth by a thousand roots. To transplant him seemed impossible, it would be far easier to cut him down. Yet the giant hand of grace has taken hold of that ancient tree and shaken it to and fro by conviction of sin, and at last it has by conversion been taken from its place right up by the roots, so that the place which once knew it knew it no more. The rock and soil in which it had been imbedded for, perhaps, half a century were made to give way before the upheaving, uprooting force, and the man, separated from his former life, has been a proof of what the Lord can do. The Lord knows how to split the mountain and divide the sea, and therefore he can separate men from the darling lusts, and teach them to cut off right arms and pluck out right eyes rather than perish in sin. Truly, Lord, you have a mighty arm.
12. Satan teaches men to defend themselves against grace by bulwarks of pride. They say, “Who is the Lord that we should obey his voice?” They lift up their horn on high, and speak with a stiff neck. They are self-righteous, they are sure that they have done no wrong; the gospel is powerless upon them because they are so lofty in their looks and insolent in their thoughts. But you have a mighty arm, oh Lord, you lay proud sinners very low; you make them hungry and thirsty, and then they cry to you in their trouble. You have a mighty arm among the proud, and you bring down their heart with labour, they fall down and there is no one to help. “He has put down the mighty from their seats.” Nebuchadnezzar, from saying, “Behold this great Babylon that I have built,” learned to confess that those who walk in pride the Lord is able to abase.
13. Equally mighty is the Lord to overcome despair, for this is another one of the fortresses in which sinners entrench themselves against divine grace. “There is no hope,” they say, “therefore we will give ourselves up to our iniquities,” and it is almost idle to attempt to convert those who are wilfully despairing. They resent the consolations of the Bible, and reject the promises of God; and yet the Lord can break the bars of iron and cut the gates of brass in pieces, and bring up the captives from the dungeons of despair, and set them on a rock, and put a new song into their mouths, and make them praise his name for evermore. From the iron cage the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, can set the captives free. All glory be to his name, when God resolves to save the sinner he will have his will without violating the will of man. In a sweet, soft, gentle manner, in which the power lies in the gentleness, and the force lies in the tenderness, the Lord can conquer the most obstinate. He makes the lion to lie down with the lamb, so that a little child shall lead it. Thus the power of God is seen in the conquest of sinners.
14. That power is equally seen in their transformation; for is it not a marvel that God should be able to make old and corrupt rebels into new creatures in Christ Jesus? Every conversion is a display of omnipotence. To create the world was only half a wonder compared with the creation of a right spirit; for there was nothing to hinder when God spoke and the world began; but when God speaks to ungodly men there is a resisting force, which impedes the work and even defies the great worker. There is a darkness and a death, there is a force of evil and an inability towards good which must be overcome, yet the Lord makes all things new, and causes the new creation to arise in the hearts of his people. Truly he has a mighty arm. Glory be to the Lord who only does great wonders with a high hand and an outstretched arm.
15. Conversion is also called a resurrection. It will be a great feat of power when dead carcasses shall live at the sound of the last trumpet, but it is an equal wonder when the dry bones of dead sinners come to life, when those who were scattered at the grave’s mouth, the hopeless, graceless, Christless, nevertheless are made to live at the sounding of God’s word by the power of his Spirit. Oh, you who have been created anew and quickened into newness of life, adore his power today! Who except a God could have made you what you are? Consider what you were, and reflect upon the glorious position to which the Lord has brought you by the blood of the cross. Think what rebels you were, and how intent on mischief your nature was; and now, subdued by sovereign grace, your spirit longs for his embrace, you follow after holiness and seek to have it perfected in the fear of God. What a revolution is this! What a turning of things upside down! To turn the wilderness into springs of water and the desert into a flowing stream is nothing compared with turning the dead, cold, dry heart of man into a mighty well-spring of love springing up to eternal life. Glory be to your power, oh you infinitely mighty Jehovah, you have a mighty arm.
16. That same power is seen, dear friends, in the various deliverances which the Lord gives to his people at the outset, when their enemies come against them so fiercely. Behold, my brethren, how strong was the hand of God which delivered us from the bondage of our first doubts and fears, when conscience accused and the law condemned, when we thought ourselves only waiting for the death warrant and the execution. Behold the Lord has routed our despair, he has set us free from fear and brought us into the liberty by which Christ makes men free. We were slaves to sin, too, and oh how sin marshalled all its armies against us at the first, if perhaps it might cut off our earliest hopes. But mighty was that Christ of God who put all our sins to the rout, and drowned them in the Red Sea of his blood. “There he broke the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.” Then Satan came out with the most horrible temptations, and roared upon us like a lion, for he will not willingly lose his subjects. He sought to cast all his nets all around us, so that he might hold us captive, and prevent our fleeing to the divine refuge. But, behold, the prey has been taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive has been delivered, and today we are rescued from the power of sin and Satan. Even the law itself has no power over us now to condemn us, for Christ has satisfied it, and we are free. Your arm is mighty, oh God! Your own right hand, and your holy arm have gained the victory.
17. And since then, beloved, in the continual upholding of the saints, in their final perseverance which is guaranteed, how much of the power of God is seen. You have passed through many troubles, some of you, troubles most heavy and severe, but they have not prevailed against you nor overthrown you. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Fierce were the foes who gathered against us many a time, and had not the Lord been on our side they would have quickly swallowed us up; but you, oh Lord, have a mighty arm, and in your name we have found a refuge. They swarmed around us like bees, yes, they surrounded us, but in the name of the Lord we have destroyed them. Out of what sins and temptations have we emerged victorious! With some of you your path has been through the wilderness, and through one continuous scene of warfare. Snares and traps have been thickly strewn all along your pathway; trials and discouragements have fallen like a storm of hail perpetually beating; and yet you are not overthrown. He keeps the feet of his saints. The life of any one Christian is a world of wonders, but in some believers their experience consists of a series of great miracles. “Oh my soul, you have trodden down strength.” How has our soul escaped as a bird from the fowler’s snare! The mighty adversaries have been overcome by him who is mightier than them all! The divine strength has been revealed in our weakness. My brother, is it not a wonder that being such a poor worm as you are, yet you have never been crushed? Is it not a marvel that though your faith has been as a bruised reed it has not been broken, and though your piety has been like smoking flax it has never been quenched? Kept alive with death so near, preserved when enemies have been so fierce, will you not say indeed “You have a mighty arm, your right hand is strong?”
18. Brethren, the end comes, but it will all be right at last, for unless the Lord shall come, we have yet to meet the last grim adversary, but we are not afraid, because our brethren who have gone before us have set an example for us of how to die triumphantly. How gloriously have they triumphed in their last hours. We have stood by their side, seen the brightness of their eye when all around was death, and heard their exalting songs when all who looked upon them wept at the thought of their departure. Was their cheek blanched? Far from it! They have been as jubilant in their dying hour as the warrior when he divides the spoil. Just as the bride rejoices in her wedding day, so they have looked forward to the coming of their great Lord and to their being blessed for ever in his embrace. We have been ready to cry out with them, “Oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory?” Truly, Lord, when your poor, weak, suffering people die triumphantly, we see that you have a mighty arm. When flesh and heart are failing, when friends cannot help, when every earthly comfort vanishes, for the heart still to rejoice and triumph — this is to see the arm of the Lord made bare, and this causes us to bless and magnify his holy name.
19. Oh that I had more ability to extol this majestic subject; but I have done my best, and I ask your meditations in the quiet of this afternoon to assist me, so that you may really adore and bless the power which is so conspicuous in every vessel of mercy, so revealed in yourself if you are indeed a child of God. Oh Holy Spirit, make known to us the exceeding greatness of his mighty power, towards us who believe.
20. II. Secondly, let us behold the mighty arm of God as specially DISPLAYED IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST JESUS.
21. Will you kindly follow me here in the psalm itself, for there you will see that the power of God is displayed in Jesus Christ, in the choice of him, and the exaltation of him, to be a Prince and a Saviour. We read: “I have laid help upon one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.” [Ps 89:19] Christ is the incarnation of the power of divine grace, in him dwells the power of God to save the sons of men; and yet in what weakness it resided. He was a man despised and rejected, lowly and meek, poor, and without worldly honour. His was the weakness of shame and suffering, poverty and dishonour; but the power of God was upon him, and is upon him now. It is a grand thing to know that God by the weakness of man, taking it into connection with his own nature, has routed sin, Satan, death and hell. The battle in the wilderness was between Satan and a man, tempted as we are; but oh, how gloriously that matchless man overthrew the tempter and prevailed. The agony in the garden of Gethsemane was that of a man: it was a man, though God, who sweat great drops of blood, and uttered strong crying and tears, and won the victory by which evil is dethroned; and he who met the powers of evil on the cross, and stood alone and trod the wine-press until there did not remain an uncrushed cluster, was a man. It is by his power, even the power of the man of Nazareth, that all the powers of evil have been for ever blasted and withered; so that, though they rebel, it is only a struggling gasp for life. As surely as God sits on his throne, the foot of the seed of the woman shall be upon the serpent’s head, to crush it for ever; for mighty as were the hosts of evil, God has exalted one chosen out of the people, and laid help upon him, so that he may eternally vanquish all the hosts of darkness. Your right hand is strong, oh Saviour, for by weakness and suffering and death you have overthrown all your people’s foes.
22. His power was seen, next, in our Lord’s anointing. “I have found David my servant, I have anointed him with my holy oil.” You know how in his preaching there went out of his mouth a sharp two-edged sword with which he struck sin, because the Spirit of God was upon him. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit bore witness in the entire body of Christ, making all his servants speak with tongues of fire the word of the gospel. The Spirit of God is still with Christ on earth in his church, so that, feeble though the speech of his ministers may be, a secret power attends it, irresistibly subduing the forces of evil. Rejoice today, beloved; for the anointing rests still in the church of God, and the anointed Redeemer must be victorious in every place. Thanks be to God who causes his word to triumph in every place by the power of the eternal Spirit. We ought therefore to adore Jesus Christ as having the power of God, because the Holy Spirit is always with him and with his word, and he is therefore mighty to save.
23. We must equally magnify the power of God because of the continuance of the empire of Christ in the world. As the Psalmist says: “with whom my hand shall be established, my arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him, and I will beat down his foes before his face and plague those who hate him.” [Ps 89:22,23] For nearly two millennia every effort has been exerted to uproot the church of Christ. The devil and all his servants on earth have conspired to overthrow the growing kingdom of our Lord; but they have never succeeded. Think, my brethren, what the power of God must be which has kept the church alive under fiery persecutions, rescued it from the fangs of the Inquisition, preserved it from the poison of heresy, and the pestilence of infidelity, and, what is worse, enabled it to survive the horrible dragon of Popery which has threatened altogether to carry away the church with the floods which it pours out of its mouth. Yet the chosen seed live on and are multiplied in the land, even as it is promised in the Psalm before us: “His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.” [Ps 89:36] The establishment and continuation of the church is an extraordinary proof of divine power.
24. So are all the conquests of Christ; some of which we have seen, and more of which are to come. “I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague those who hate him,” is the divine promise. “I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. I will set his hand also in the sea and his right hand in the rivers.” Glory be to God, Christ is still triumphant. Still in the preaching of his truth he rides forth conquering and to conquer. The gospel has not lost its old force, but whenever it is preached in faith it wins the day. See what power it has in drawing together the multitudes and holding them in breathless attention: a man has nothing to do except to preach Christ simply, and with all his might, and the people will hear it. We want no endowment from the state, we seek no acts of parliament to help us. Give us a clear stage and no favour, an open Bible and an earnest tongue, and the people shall still be stirred and the multitude shall bow before the people’s King. Jesus Christ is still the mightiest name which can be pronounced by mortal tongue; its all-subduing power shall still be felt in the most remote regions of the earth.
Beloved, I do not have time to do more than say that the great power
of God’s grace is embodied in Christ’s mighty intercession. He
says: “He shall cry to me, ‘You are my father, my God, and the rock
of my salvation.’ ” [Ps 89:26] This makes him mighty to save — “He
is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him, seeing
he lives for ever to make intercession for them.” I should like to
have an hour to expound upon the gracious power of God as seen in the
intercession of Christ. Omnipotence dwells in every plea that falls
from those dear lips, as the eternal Son pleads his own merits with
the everlasting Father. Beloved, the power of Christ is well known to
many of you. Did it not call you from the dead? Has it not kept you
from going down into the pit? Is there not such power in his name
that it makes your heart to leap? If we speak of anything else, you
listen to it and glide into sleep; but if you hear about him,
does it not stir the very depths of your soul? Have you not often,
when you felt faint and weary, sprung to your feet with exaltation at
the very thought of him? Has his presence not made your sickbed
soft, and what you thought was your deathbed to be a throne in which
you sat and reigned as in the heavenly places?
Jesus, the very thought of thee
With transport fills my breast.
You know it is so. The power of Jesus’ name, who can measure it? and what will be your sense of his power when you reach another world; when he shall have brought you into his rest, even you who were so unworthy; when he shall reveal in you all the majesty of his goodness; when heaven shall be yours, and all its boundless plains and golden streets, — and when, looking around, you shall find all your Christian brethren there without exception, as many as loved the Lord below, all safely gathered into the fold at last? What a shout shall sound throughout heaven when the armies of the living God shall assemble and find not one soldier missing; when they shall read the muster-roll, and Little-Faith shall be found there, and Ready-to-Halt shall be there without his crutches, and Miss Much-Afraid shall be there, and Mistress Despondency shall be there, each able to answer to his or her own name and say, “Here I am.” Satan has not devoured a single lamb of all the flock, nor slain a single man of all the host. All along the line Jesus has been victorious! When you shall see the whole host assembled, and remember the struggles through which each one of them came, the much tribulation through which they waded to their crowns, you will exclaim with rapture, “You have a mighty arm, your hand is strong, and your right hand is high.” All glory be to Jehovah Jesus, our almighty Saviour!
26. III. Now this brings me to my conclusion, and here we have to answer the question — HOW IS THIS POWER TO BE PRACTICALLY RECOGNIZED? If you will practically carry out what I say, a few words will suffice.
27. First, if the power of God is so great, yield to it. Man, do you hope to resist God? Have you an arm like God’s, and can you thunder with a voice like his? Throw down those weapons, and cease to wage a hopeless war. Capitulate at once, surrender unconditionally. Oh, if there is a man here who is the enemy of God, I beseech him to count the cost before he continues the war, and see whether he is able to brave it out with God. Shall wax fight with the fire, or tow contend with the flame? He would go through a host of such as you are, oh man, as fire burns up the stubble, and before you ever have time to think of it, you shall be utterly destroyed. “Kiss the Son, lest he is angry and you perish from the way when his wrath is kindled only a little.”
28. The next practical use is this — is God so strong? then trust him to save you. Never say again that he cannot snatch you from perdition: never doubt his power to save, even in extremity. I have shown you that he has treasured up his gracious power in the person of his Son Jesus Christ, therefore look to Jesus Christ and be saved. All power lies with him, he can forgive all sin, and he can also subdue all iniquity, change the most depraved heart, and implant every grace in the soul. “Trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
29. Next, if he is so strong, then trust him in everything. Oh, you who are his people, never dare to doubt him. Is his arm shortened? Can the Lord not deliver you? Bring your burdens, your troubles, your needs, your griefs, pour them out like water before him, let them flow out at the foot of the Almighty, and they shall pass away and you shall sing, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”
30. Is God so strong, then shake off all fear of man. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who shall die? Man is only grass, withered in an hour, why is it that you should tremble at his frown? He is crushed before the moth; why then fear him? Do not let the faces of proud men confound you. Trust in God and do not fear, for the mighty God of Jacob is with us, and greater is he who is for us than all those who can be against us.
31. And now concerning your service, to which you are called by the Lord. If he is so strong, do not think of your own weakness any longer, except as being a platform for his strength. Do you only have one talent? God’s Holy Spirit is not limited in power. He can make your one talent as fruitful as another man’s ten. Are you weak as water? Then rejoice today, and glory in infirmity, because the power of God shall rest upon you. Do not think of what you can do — that is a very small affair, but consider what he can do through you. He can strengthen the feeble against the strong. Behold, today he says to you, “Behold I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth: you shall thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff. You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them.”
Last of all, with regard to all the future which lies before
you, — is God so strong? then commit it to his hands. You have a great
trouble to face tomorrow, you are expecting an even greater trouble
at the end of the week. Now, do not be afraid, for the Lord lives to
deliver you. What! Do you fear? Is your Counsellor perished? Has your
Helper failed you? How can you sink in the deep waters when
underneath you are the everlasting arms? The mighty God is your
refuge, how can you be in danger? Why do you look into the future
at all? Sufficient for the day is its evil. God is the God of
tomorrow as well as the God of today. Stop your worrying, for it
weakens you, but cannot help you; it dishonours your God, your
Saviour, and so it is evil. In patience and quietness wait for the
fulfilment of his promise: rest in him and be at peace. Stand still,
and see the salvation of God. Oh Lord, glorify yourself this morning
in both saint and sinner, by revealing the greatness of your power,
for you have a mighty arm, your hand is strong, and your right hand
[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Ps 89]
[See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence — ‘He That Built All Things Is God’ ” 205]
[See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 89” 89 @@ "(Part 2)"]
[See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Courage and Confidence — Our Victorious Lord” 679]
[See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Courage and Confidence — More Than Conqueror” 680]
Mr. Spurgeon asks his friends to remember that at this time he is
carrying on the Pastor’s College with 110 students, the Stockwell
Orphanage with 240 orphans and the Colportage Society with 52
colporteurs. For these and many other works his dependence is upon
the mighty hand of God, but since God works by means it is good to
let all his friends know that for all these works about £300 is
needed every week. We are fighting this battle, will not our readers
send us ammunition?
God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence
205 — “He That Built All Things Is God”
1 I sing the almighty power of God
That made the mountains rise;
That spread the flowing seas abroad,
And built the lofty skies.
2 I sing the wisdom that ordain’d
The sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at his command,
And all the stars obey.
3 I sing the goodness of the Lord,
That fill’d the earth with food;
He form’d the creatures with his word,
And then pronounced them good.
4 There’s not a plant or flower below,
But makes thy glories known;
And clouds arise, and tempests blow,
By order from thy throne.
5 Creatures, as numerous as they be,
Are subject to thy care;
There’s not a place where we can flee
But God is present there.
6 In heaven he shines with beams of love,
With wrath in hell beneath;
‘Tis on his earth I stand or move,
And ‘tis his air I breathe.
7 His hand is my perpetual guard,
He guides me with his eye:
Why should I then forget the Lord,
Who is for ever nigh?
Isaac Watts, 1715
Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 89 (Part 1)
1 My never-ceasing songs shall show
The mercies of the Lord,
And make succeeding ages know
How faithful is his word.
2 The sacred truths his lips pronounce
Shall firm as heaven endure;
And if he speak a promise once,
The eternal grace is sure.
3 How long the race of David held
The promised Jewish throne!
But there’s a nobler covenant seal’d
To David’s greater Son.
4 His seed for ever shall possess
A throne above the skies;
The meanest subject of his grace
Shall to that glory rise.
5 Lord God of hosts, thy wondrous ways
Are sung by saints above;
And saints on earth their honours raise
To thine unchanging love.
Isaac Watts, 1719.
Psalm 89 (Part 2)
1 Oh greatly bless’d the people are
The joyful sound that know;
In brightness of thy face, oh Lord,
They ever on shall go.
2 They in thy name shall all the day
And in thy righteousness shall they
Exalted be on high.
3 Because the glory of their strength
Doth only stand in thee;
And in thy favour shall our horn
And power exalted be.
4 For God is our defence; and he
To us doth safety bring:
The Holy One of Israel
Is our almighty King.
Scotch Version, 1641.
The Christian, Courage and Confidence
679 — Our Victorious Lord
1 Jesus’ tremendous name
Puts all our foes to flight:
Jesus, the meek, the angry Lamb,
A Lion is in fight.
2 By all hell’s host withstood;
We all hell’s o’erthrow;
And conquering them, through Jesus’ blood
We still to conquer go.
3 Our Captain leads us on;
He beckons from the skies,
And reaches out a starry crown,
And bids us take the prize:
4 “Be faithful unto death;
Partake my victory;
And thou shalt wear this glorious wreath,
And thou shalt reign with me.”
Charles Wesley, 1749.
The Christian, Courage and Confidence
680 — More Than Conqueror
1 His be the “victor’s name,”
Who fought our fight alone;
Triumphant saints no honour claim;
His conquest was his own.
2 He hell in hell laid low;
Made sin, he sin o’erthrew:
Bow’d to the grave, destroy’d it so,
And death, by dying, slew.
3 What though the accuser roar
Of ills that we have done;
We know them well, and thousands more,
Jehovah findeth none.
4 Sin, Satan, Death appear
To harass and appal;
Yet since the gracious Lord is near,
Backward they go, and fall.
5 We meet them face to face,
Through Jesus’ conquest blest;
March in the triumph of his grace,
Right onward to our rest.
6 Bless, bless the Conqueror slain;
Slain in his victory!
Who lived, who died, who lives again,
For thee, his church, for thee!
Samuel W. Gandy, 1837.