2115. The Drought Of Nature, The Rain Of Grace, And Its Lesson

by on
Share:

No. 2115-35:625. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, November 10, 1889, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, November 24, 1889.

And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. Because the ground is parched, for there was no rain in the earth, the ploughmen were ashamed, they covered their heads. Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, oh Lord our God? therefore we will wait on you: for you have made all these things. {Jer 14:3,4,22}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2115, “Drought of Nature, the Rain of Grace, and the Lesson From It, The” 2116}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2745, “Intercession and Supplication” 2746}
   Exposition on Jer 14 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2745, “Intercession and Supplication” 2746 @@ "Exposition"}

1. It is my heart’s desire and earnest prayer that many in this house may this morning say with the prophet, “Oh Lord our God, we will wait on you.” I shall not be satisfied to have delivered a discourse, nor for you to have heard it, and even approved of it, unless there shall come from it this delightful fruit, that those far off from God shall be drawn near to him; and shall say, in very deed and of a truth, “Therefore we will wait on you.” In God alone can men live happily; and if they would be recovered from their fallen state, it is to the Lord their God that they must turn. Oh, that they would wait on him!

2. In the last verse we have the word “therefore,” which shows that the speakers had come to this conclusion by an argument. In truth, they had been forced to their resolution by a very painful and personal argument, which God had set before them in the order of his providence. By their thirst, and by their failure to find water anywhere, the Lord had driven them to say, “Therefore we will wait on you.” I trust it will not be necessary to urge us to conversion by sufferings as terrible. “Do not be as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding.” Come willingly, since the argument for coming is clear and cogent. I should like you to go this morning mentally through the process by which the Israelites passed practically when they came to the gracious conclusion, “Therefore we will wait on you.” Let us begin at once with the argument, praying God to send it home to every heart by his good Spirit, so that we may reach the desired conclusion.

3. I. First, consider that MAN IS A VERY DEPENDENT CREATURE. He is, in some respects, the most dependent creature that God has made; for the range of his needs is very wide, and at a thousand points he is dependent on something outside of himself.

4. All creation exists by the will of the Lord; and if his will should cease to send out conserving power to maintain the created things in existence, they would all cease to be. This great world — the sun, the moon, the stars — would all dissolve; and, as a moment’s foam dissolves into the wave that bears it, they would be lost for ever. At the Lord’s will the universe would be gone, as that bubble which your child was blowing only a moment ago, which now has vanished, and left no trace behind. God alone is by his own power: everything else is dependent on him.

   Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown,
      Hang on his firm decree:
   He sits on no precarious throne,
      Nor borrows leave to be.

5. Man as a living creature, is particularly dependent on God concerning temporals. We see in the text that when the dews no longer fell, and the rains were withheld, then the unhappy inhabitants of Palestine suffered from drought, and that drought brought with it failure of the harvest, famine, disease, and death. To quote our common saying, “The people died like flies.” They fell everywhere by thousands, fainting, famished, doomed. On what a feeble thread hangs human life! Water, though it is itself unstable, is necessary for the establishment of human life, and without it man dies. Many an animal can bear thirst better than man. Other creatures carry their own garments with them; but we must be indebted to a plant, or to a sheep, for the covering of our nakedness. Many other creatures are endowed with sufficient physical force to win their food in fight; but we must produce our own food from the soil. Behold, how we come into the world, helpless and without strength, utterly dependent on others; and when our strength is developed, and our manhood is perfected, we only enter into another phase of dependence on our surroundings for our food; and hence, for our life, we are dependent on drops of rain. We cannot produce food from the earth without the dew and the rain. However cleverly you have prepared your soil, however carefully you have selected your seed, all will fail without the rain of heaven. Even though your grain should spring up, yet it will refuse to come to the ear if the heavens are dry. Nor can you by yourself produce a single shower, or even a drop of dew. If God withholds the rain, what can the farmer do? Call together the Parliament; collect a synod of scientists; convoke a conclave of princes; what can they do? In vain are their acts, theories, and commands. When the skies are brass, the earth is iron; when God is angry, then the clouds scatter no blessings over our field, and earth does not yield her increase to the farmer.

6. Yes, and life itself would vanish as the food of life ceased. It would be an instructive calculation if it could be accurately figured out — to estimate how much grain there is at any time stored up upon the surface of the earth. If all harvests were to fail from this date; if there were no harvests in Australia during our winter, no harvests early in the year in India and the warm regions, if there were no harvests in America and in Europe, I have been informed that, by the time of our own harvest months, there would be on the face of the earth no more food than would last us for six weeks. How dependent we are for each year’s crop! for should there be universal failure, starvation would be closely within sight. God does, indeed, give us bread as we need it; even as, in the wilderness, he gave the manna; but we are every hour dependent on his generous care. The bottles of heaven contain the juices of human life: if these were utterly stopped, none of us could endure the burning drought, and the resulting famine.

7. See, then, the absolute dependence on God, not only of the Eastern nations, but of all peoples of our race. Whatever may be our trade or profession, we are all fed by the fruit of the field; and whatever may be said about laws of nature, the God of nature is not bound and limited by methods of procedure. He can operate exactly as he pleases, and fill our barns to the full, or stop the supplies of grain, by the simple method of giving or withholding rain. Our breath is in our nostrils: he takes away that breath, and we die. Apart from his preserving, the whole race of man would be turned to dust, and cease from the land of the living.

8. In spiritual things this dependence is most evident. Brethren, if God shall bless us with his salvation, and with the visitation of his Spirit, we shall be as a field that God has blessed, and our lives shall be glad with a harvest to his praise. But apart from God what can we do? In this realm of spiritual things we are absolutely and entirely dependent on God; and without his aid we are as a salt land, which is destitute of verdure. Salvation is of the Lord. Vain is all trust which does not build on him.

9. The priceless blessings of pardon and grace: how can we procure them apart from God in Christ Jesus? How can sin be removed, except by the Lord, who passes by iniquity? Who is he who can absolve, but he against whom the transgression was committed? The washing from all stain: where can it come from except from those dear hands that were pierced for us? When he shall wash us and our robes in his most precious blood, only then shall we be clean, and then all the glory shall be to him as the Lamb slain. Justification and acceptance: are not these from God? What can you and I do to justify ourselves, or to make ourselves acceptable with God? These are the gifts of the covenant of grace, and God can give them; but if he does not give them, we can never obtain them. It is his royal prerogative to bestow these gifts according to the counsel of his own will.

10. So it is with the life and the power of the Spirit of God, by which we are able to receive and enjoy the blessings of the covenant; the Holy Spirit, like the wind, blows where he wishes, and the order of his working is with the Lord alone. The new life by which we receive the Lord Jesus: how can it come to us except from the living God himself? Can a dead soul quicken itself? Can a man steeped in sin liberate and purify himself? “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” “You must be born again.” But can a man cause himself to be born again? Is it imaginable that the new birth is caused by the person born? The change caused is mysterious, radical, enduring; who can work it upon himself? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one. The new life must come from God! “Unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The new heart and the right spirit: where do they come from? Can the carnal mind, which is enmity against God, create within itself love for God and a desire for fellowship with him? They cannot be self-created; they are the work of the same hands which made the heavens and the earth. The love of holiness, and its pursuit, and perseverance in that pursuit: can these come any way except from him who has performed all our works in us? Every beginning of good, yes, every desire after it, is accomplished in us by God, or else it is never in us at all. We are absolutely dependent on God, not only for all spiritual gifts, but for the power to become partakers of them.

11. And, brethren, all the graces that are pleasing to the Lord, do they not come to us from God our Saviour? Is there a grain of faith in the world that God did not create? Is there a spark of holy love in any human heart that God did not kindle? Is there any true hope in any heart which the God of hope did not implant? Is there anywhere anything that is holy, or lovely, or of good repute, which has not first come from God himself, and so entered into the heart of man? Sinner, you are absolutely dependent on God for your possession of grace, and obtaining of salvation. You lie like the dry bones in the valley, which were very many and very dry; what can you do? By what power can dry bones live? The Lord’s prophet, as an act of faith in God, tells you to live; but God’s prophet knows that you will not live by your own strength, nor by the power of his persuasion. No, his appeal is to a power beyond himself and you. He cries, “Come from the four winds, oh breath, and breathe on these slain, so that they may live.” He looks to the Holy Spirit to create life in you, and apart from that Spirit he has no hope for you.

12. Putting this case very broadly — and I cannot put it too broadly — I am not afraid of exaggerating, or going too far in it: I know that for the clouds, and the rain, and the harvest, men are absolutely dependent on the God of providence; and I know, also, that for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and for the power which saves souls, we are altogether dependent on the great God who creates all good things.

13. Here is the pity of it: against God, on whom we are so dependent, we have sinned, and do sin. We are dependent on him, and yet rebellious against him. Shall the man who accepts from me his daily bread lift up his heel against me? Shall he who could not live without me, still live to speak evil of me? Shall he abuse my goodness into a means of doing me harm? That would be an atrocious thing, which could only spring from a black, ungrateful heart. Yes, every sinner who goes on in sin is acting ungratefully. Existing only by his infinite charity, he who continues to do evil is ungrateful in the highest degree to the Lord of love. This being the case, the dependence of guilty man on the graciousness of divine sovereignty, and the sovereignty of divine grace is still further enhanced. Because man has broken God’s command, and continues to rebel against him, he lies all the more absolutely at the disposal of a righteous God. The traitor has now no rights; he has forfeited them. He has no claims; he has outlawed himself. Oh ungodly man, you can make no appeal to God’s justice; for if you do, he must award you eternal destruction. You cannot claim anything now from him as due to you, for your due is, to be driven into everlasting punishment. You are condemned before him in whose hands are the issues of life and death. You are as much in the hand of God as the prisoner condemned to die is in the hand of the royal power: indeed, you are far more absolutely so. If pardoned, it must be by the exercise of the sovereign prerogative which is vested in Jehovah, the Lord of all, who does as seems good in his sight. Provided it can be done justly, sovereignty may step in and rescue the guilty from his doom; but this is a matter which depends on the will of the Lord alone. If you are executed, the condemnation is so well deserved, that not a word can be said against the severity which shall carry out the sentence. If God had left this sinful world to perish in its sin, no one could have blamed him; it is only right that those should die who have provoked their God, and incurred the penalty which he threatened against sin. If the Lord, in the greatness of his love, chooses to save this man or that, he does no injury to anyone, but magnifies his mercy in those whom he redeems from deserved death. If the Lord enlightens an island, and leaves a continent in the dark, who shall accuse him? If he takes one of a city and two of a family, and brings them to himself, while the rest are permitted to have their own way, and wilfully continue in rebellion, who shall charge God with partiality, or say to him, “What are you doing?” He can reply to all who object to his way of mercy, “May I not do as I wish with my own?” He lays on no man more than is right, and what he chooses to forgive from his own bounty cannot be challenged. Whether you like the doctrine or not, it is true that, as sinners, you are absolutely dependent on the sovereign mercy of God. I wish you could see and feel this great truth; for it would tend to humble you, and prepare you to seek his favour. I pray the Holy Spirit to impress it on everyone here who has not yet come to God in Christ Jesus. So much upon the first truth.

14. II. Our second remark is this: MEN MAY BE REDUCED TO DIRE DISTRESS. Men, being dependent on God, may be reduced to dire distress if they disobey him, and incur his just displeasure.

15. Kindly follow me in the earlier verses of my text. Here we have great temporal distress: the people had no water! The highest ranks of society were made to feel the terrible pinch. The entire city was tormented with thirst, and the leading men instituted diligent search to find water. They sent to the great reservoirs which Solomon had constructed in his time — the upper and the lower pools; but they found no water. They searched again and again, but the waters had utterly failed, and they were driven to despair. They covered their heads as men who gave themselves up to die without hope. Terrible was the drought which Jehovah sent on his land because of the sin of his people: it was as if the day of Elijah had returned, when there was neither dew nor rain for three years and six months.

16. My dear hearers, there is a spiritual distress of which this drought is a metaphor. Behold, as in a parable, the state into which we have seen many brought when God has begun to deal with them: to such there comes drought of life and famine of hope. My hearer, do you know what is meant by God’s dealing with a man? Do you remember that passage in Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” where one pilgrim says to the other, “Let us fall into good discourse. Where shall we begin?” The other answers, “Where God began with us.” Do you know what that means? Has God begun with you? If so, you will follow me with understanding when I say God makes the aroused and convicted man conscious of the greatest conceivable need, even of a drought in his own soul. These people were conscious that they needed water; the case was worse than that, they were tormented with thirst. So God comes to men, and makes them feel that they need the living water of his grace, and he sets them thirsting for it. They did not know their need before, but went on merrily enough, content with the pleasures of time and sense; but now, being quickened, they feel an intolerable hunger and thirst for higher and better things. They are tormented by an insatiable desire, which cannot and will not be set aside. Have we not seen these thirsty ones? Have we not pitied them? Have we not pointed them to the one and only source of supply? Have we not in secret rejoiced over them as we have foreseen to what their anguish tended?

17. To proceed a little in detail with the words of my text: when the Lord causes sinners to feel the spiritual drought, pride is humbled. “Their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters.” Generally, the nobility concern themselves little enough about water; but in great drought King Ahab and his chancellor, Obadiah, went out themselves to find water. In this case the nobles sent their servants, indeed, even their sons and daughters, to find some source of supply. So God knows how to teach a man so that his lofty thoughts are humbled, and his pride is brought down to the dust. My lord, you will feel yourself a nobody should the Spirit deal with you in conviction. Not long ago, your excellency looked down from the highest seat in the synagogue, but now you sit down in the dust, and consider everyone your superior. The philosopher grows into a little child, and gladly accepts the cup which he previously sneered at. We heard you singing to your own honour and glory the other day; but now you have no song to sing, but you cover your lip and mutter, “Unclean, unclean, unclean!” When the Lord lays his hand on a man, he makes his beauty to consume away like the moth. From head to foot the man is moved: his soul within him melts, and all his glory is rolled in the mire. Our noblest thoughts become lowly seekers after the water of life in the day of our distress.

18. But you observe that when humbled and made thirsty, these people went to secondary causes: they came to the pits, or reservoirs. Reservoirs in the East are sometimes great caverns in the natural rock, and at other times they are excavated by labour, or built up by skill, and then streams are turned into them, and they hold a great supply of water. Some of the children of the nobles thought they knew about caverns which others had not seen, hidden, underground cisterns, which had been forgotten; and they went out to find them. They hurried to the place where they hoped for the priceless water; but we do not read that they cried to God, or sought for mercy from Jehovah, who could very speedily have given them rain. They resorted to the secondary causes, but they did not turn to the hand which struck them. So souls, when they are awakened, go to fifty things before they come to God. It is sad that, in superstition, or in scepticism, they look for living streams. They try reformation of manners — I have nothing to say against it; but apart from God reformation always ends in disappointment. They seek for consolation from an orthodox creed, for which I might have much to say; but if a belief in a creed is trusted in, it is as if a man sought to quench his thirst with a bottle, but did not care to see whether it held water or not. A creed is a pitcher, in which the water is held, but it is not the water itself. Some try forms and ceremonies in abundance, and to these they add self-denials and penances: they suffer anything sooner than come to God for his grace. Grace is a port into which no man steers until it is seen to be the only one into which he can enter.

19. Oh my heart, my heart, how is it that you can be so loath to go to your Father and your God? Oh you who are wandering at this time from one creature-trust to another, please cease your roaming, and come home to God, who alone can help you. There is no hope for you except in God, and the way to God is by his Son Christ Jesus. Why do you gad about so much? Straightforward to God is the surest, safest way — why do you not take it? God is our haven and our heaven; why are we so reluctant to seek him? Oh man, why will you turn to saints, to angels, and even to demons, rather than to the Lord your God? But I know you, your heart is set on idolatry, and this is the essence of idolatry — that you seek to the creature rather than to the Creator.

20. If you read on, you will find that when they went to these secondary supplies, they were disappointed: “They came to the pits, and found no water.” They found mud, black, filthy mud; but no water. Once they saw the sparkling liquid in the cool cave; but it was all spent. When waters were to be found everywhere else, the cisterns were full; but when everything else was dry, they were dried also. They stooped down, they searched in the darkness; they tried, at least, to get a cupful of the precious liquid; but it is written, “They found no water.” Disappointed, “they returned with their vessels empty.” The women with their water-pots on their heads presented a sad sight as they entered the city gate, and one after another all sighed, “Empty! Empty!” They thirsted to drink; but not a drop was found to cool their tongues. It is an awful thing to come home from a sermon with the empty vessels; to rise from the communion table, having found no living water, and return with empty vessels. To close the Bible, and sigh, “I find no comfort here, I must return with my vessel empty.” When the ordinances, and the Word yield us no grace, things have come to an awful impasse with us. Do you know what this disappointment means?

21. Now, after this disappointment, there followed great confusion of mind; they became distracted; “they were ashamed and confounded.” Following that confusion came despair; “they covered their heads.” The Orientals cover their heads when in the deepest grief, as David did, when he went over the brook Kidron. It means, “I cannot face it. Do not look on me in my sorrow, nor expect me to look on you. I cover my head, for it is all over with me.” So I have met many who, after going to many confidences, have been disappointed in all, and seem ready to lie down in despair, and exert no more effort. They fear that God will never bless them, and they will never enter into eternal life; and so they sign their own death-warrants. Shall I confess that I have been better pleased to see them in this condition than to hear their jovial songs at other times? It is by the gate of self-despair that men arrive at the divine hope. I wish that many a Mr. Vain-Confidence sitting here might be struck down to the ground, and be compelled to end his proud boastings, by going at once to Jesus only! Oh, that they might come to that holy and safe conclusion, of which I keep on thinking all the while I am preaching to you — the scriptural and logical conclusion mentioned in my text — “Therefore we will wait on you.”

22. At last, when these people came to despair, it is very remarkable how everything about them seemed to be in unison with their misery. Listen to the third verse: “They covered their heads.” Did you hear the last words of the fourth verse? They were the very same: “They covered their heads.” Surely the second is the echo of the first. It is even so: earth has sympathy with man. Outwardly nature reflects our inner feelings. When God makes us happy we “go out with joy, and are led out with peace: the mountains and the hills break out before us into singing, and all the trees of the field clap their hands.” But when we are in despair, then all nature echoes our misery. “The ground is dismayed,” so it runs in the Hebrew; the very earth is frightened for lack of rain, and opens its mouth, gasping for fear. “The ground is dismayed, for there was no rain in the earth, the ploughmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.” Have you ever been in such a state of mind that you knew your need of the water of life, but were not able to find it anywhere? If so, you have been unutterably miserable, and all creation has put on mourning to keep you company. Earth is responsive to man, whom the Creator made to be her lord. Nature rings her marriage peal to sound out man’s happiness, or tolls her death-knells to mourn the funerals of his joys. If you have drawn down the blinds of your heart, and your soul sits in the dark, then the heavens are darkened too; or if not, the very brightness of nature seems another form of blackness to you, and her joys mock your griefs, and cast salt into your wounds. When men are cast down, and their face is covered, then nature covers her face too, and all the universe is sad. Alas, for the day when the hand of the Lord is heavy on the soul! Then our moisture is turned into the drought of summer.

23. III. I have brought you so far in the argument, now I must rush on to the conclusion. Man is a very dependent creature; man may be reduced to dire distress; and thirdly, MAN’S ONLY SURE RESORT IS HIS GOD. “God is a refuge for us.” If I address myself to any here who are in such trouble as I have described, let me press upon them this thought — the only place of refuge for you is in God as he reveals himself in Christ Jesus. Hurry to him! Lay hold upon his strength! Hide under the wings of his care!

24. For, first, there is no help anywhere else. Read verse 22: — “Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain?” He does not say “the gods of the Gentiles”: those who were “gods” in better days are seen to be, in truth, nothing but vanities in the time of need. To make rain is a divine prerogative; hence the priests of the idols pretend that their false deities can do it. The Rainmaker is found in every idolatrous country, but I think scarcely anyone believes in him now. What antics and tricks the Rainmakers go through to produce rain, but it does not come, neither can their gods create a cloud! And where can any of you go to get grace if you refuse to look to God alone? There is a rainmaker over there at the Ritualistic church, who can produce a shower on the child’s heart, by which he becomes “a member of Christ, a child of God, and an heir of the kingdom of heaven.” But I trust you are not so foolish as to believe in him; and therefore you will not make a fruitless journey towards priestcraft. Where will you go? Do not come to any of us poor gospellers, for in us you will find nothing: we are only fingers to point you to the Lord Jesus, in whom all fulness dwells. The long-descended priest of the church of Rome, who can, for a shilling, grant you absolution — will you look to him? No, you have still some wit remaining, and feel that to be absolved by man will not ease your conscience. Priests of Baal are of little value when a total drought and a terrible dearth are in the land. In the days of Elijah they cried aloud, and cut themselves with knives, and said, “Oh Baal, hear us! Oh Baal, hear us!” but only the God who answered by fire could answer by water; and Baal could do neither the one nor the other. Therefore we will leave Baal alone, and all the prophets of the grove, with their candles, and their crucifixes, and their incense, and their robes. I know where you are likely to go, and that is to your own moods and feelings, to your own resolves and doings. Alas for your folly! Oh, yes, you want to get peace, and so you take the pledge, and you vow that you will become a decent, sober body, and all that. What are these confidences but vanities of the heathen? The very best of duties that you and I can perform, if we put our trust in them, are only false confidences, refuges of lies, and they can yield us no help.

25. Indeed, look; according to the text there is no help for us even in the usual means of grace if we forget the Lord. Read that second question: “Can the heavens give showers?” Showers come from the heavens, but the heavens cannot yield showers apart from God. The eastern sky, without rain, is blue, bright, beautiful; but after months of pitiless drought, when no tear of pity has stood in the eye of the heavens, the blue colour becomes the ensign of melancholy; and if this continues month after month it becomes the colour of despair. Until the Lord opens the windows of heaven to pour out the blessing, neither sun, nor moon, nor stars can help the need of man. If God does not help you, oh tried and anxious soul, the sacraments are all in vain, though they are ordained by heaven; and preaching and reading, liturgy and song, are all in vain to bring the refreshing dew of grace. Job truly says, “If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers stoop under him.” If God himself does not save you, oh man, all that can be done by men or angels throughout the ages can never help you one single jot. You are lost, lost, lost, if a stronger arm than man’s is not stretched out to help you!

26. But with God is all power. There is the mercy: “Are not you he, oh Lord our God? for you have made all these things.” See in how short a time he covers the heavens with clouds, and pours out an abundance of rain until he makes the wilderness a pool, and the dry land springs of water. He can; he can! He can reach the extremity of human weakness and woe. What can he not do? Nothing is too hard for the Lord; and you, poor sinner, dried up like the sand of the desert, God can, within an hour, indeed, in a moment, make your heart to be flooded with his grace. He is the Creator, making all things out of nothing; and he can create in you at once the tender heart, the loving spirit, the believing mind, the sanctified nature. Even though you have no grace this morning, no, not a drop of it; he can open streams in the desert. You cannot find within yourself, wherever you look, any trace of love, or holy feeling, or anything that is good; yet he can give you all, can give you all for nothing, can give it to you just now! If you believe that he can, and will trust him, as he displays his love in the Lord Jesus, he will save you. He can give you the power to believe it, and lead you now to cast yourself on him. He can, but it hangs upon his will. Does he not say, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion?” A God without a will is no God at all; and if he has no will in the matter of salvation, then he is dethroned from his choicest empire, and man is set up above the God of grace himself. This cannot be.

27. Well, then, what follows from this? If God has all this power, our wisdom is to wait on him, since only he can help. We draw this inference: “Therefore we will wait on you.” Oh my beloved hearer, if you have never been converted, I pray the Holy Spirit to bring you to decision, so that you may at once seek the Lord. Every road is closed except the way of sovereign grace. You have no merit, you have no strength, you never can have any merit, you never can have any strength of your own. God must save you, or you are lost for all eternity; but he can save you to glorify his own grace, and make his own mercy to be known, and to reveal his great power in turning hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. He can save you. Submit yourself to him, then, and come to him and say, with the “therefore” of my text, “Therefore we will wait on you.”

28. Do I hear someone say, “How I would like to pray?” Yes, that is the way to come to God. Come to him by prayer in the name of Jesus. Do you need a prayer? This chapter is full of petitions, and there is one which I would point out to you. Here is a short one for you (verse 7), “Oh Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it.” “Do it.” “Lord, I cannot create grace in my own heart, any more than I can make rain to fall from the sky; but do it.” “Lord, I cannot come to you, come to me; do it.” Is that not a wonderful prayer? There is more in it than you think: the more you consider it, the bigger you will see it to be. Two monosyllables: “Do it!” And then observe the argument: four words all of one syllable, “for your name’s sake.” Not for my sake, but for Christ’s sake, who is the revelation of your name. For your own glory’s sake, for your glory is your name. Lord, make men see what a sinner you can save by saving me! Lord, glorify your mercy by forgiving me; for oh, if you will save such a poor, unworthy wretch as I am, even heaven itself will ring with your praises; and even in hell they will say, “See what God can do! He saved one who was ripe for the eternal fire, and he has placed the rebel among his children.” “Do it for your name’s sake.” I heartily commend this prayer to every soul here that is seeking the Lord. May the Spirit write it on your hearts! I cannot give you a better one. “Do it for your name’s sake.”

29. Well then, next, if you are really going to wait on the Lord, you must do it through a Mediator. These guilty people of Jerusalem had Jeremiah to pray for them. Jeremiah with the weeping eye fitly typifies a greater than Jeremiah. Remember the Man of sorrows, the Acquaintance of grief! Jeremiah’s Master must be your Intercessor. Ask him to be your Mediator. You cannot go in to an absolute God; you need a Mediator. A Mediator is provided, he has presented an acceptable sacrifice, he will plead the causes of your soul. Trust in his blood instead of your tears. Let his death wash your life. Leave your case in the great Mediator’s hands; for if you believe in him, he will undertake for you; and he never fails. He will go into the Court of King’s Bench for you, and be your Advocate, and win your suit. Come, trust yourself with Jesus; for he will save.

30. Let me advise you to make a full confession of sin. Read verse 20 “We acknowledge, oh Lord, our wickedness: for we have sinned against you.” Make a clean breast of it, unbosom the past, lay bare the present. Do not think to cloak sin. To conceal sin is to ruin yourself; to confess it, is to find mercy. Place yourself among the guilty, for mercy can fitly reach you there.

31. When you have done this, cast yourself down before your God, saying, “Therefore I will wait on you.” Come through Christ, believing in the power of his precious blood, and you may draw near to God. Though you are loaded with sins enough to sink a world of sinners down to hell, yet if you will believe in the mercy of God through Christ Jesus, and cast yourself down at his feet, and lie there, he will never say “Depart.” Jesus has said, “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” If you perish, it is because you do not come; not because you come and he rejects you. Oh dear souls, I do not know some of you, others I do know; but whether known to me or not, I look at you now with loving eyes, and say, “Come to my Lord.” Does your heart say, “I will arise and go to my Father?” Then I am glad. You have tried the citizens of this country, and they have sent you into the fields to feed swine; and husks are all that you have to feed on. You have spent your money, and wasted your substance in riotous living; you can find no pleasure now, go where you may. Vanity of vanities; all is vanity! Abandon the vanities, and seek the verities. Turn to your God. Turn instantly! Go back! Go back! You have gone too far already in the evil way. A precipice is before you! One more step, indeed, one more step, and you are over, and your eternal ruin is complete. Go back as quickly as you can to the great God from whom you have departed! Come now, even now, for he invites you: “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord: ‘though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ ” While he speaks in this manner, I hope you will answer to the call, and bow at his feet at once. “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” May the Holy Spirit lay hold on you, so that you may lay hold on Jesus! May God grant it, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Jer 14]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 136” 136 @@ "(Song 2)"}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Acts, Predestinating Grace — Electing Love Adored” 222}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Desiring To Submit” 589}
The Sword And The Trowel. Edited by C. H. Spurgeon.
Contents for November, 1889.
Fighting and Praying. A Bugle Blast. By C. H. Spurgeon.
Drones.
Saved from the Sinking Ship.
A Child Born a Hundred Years Old.
The Father’s Love.
1689 and 1889: Then and Now.
The Interpreters of the Scriptures.
England in the Fifteenth Century.
The Colporteur in London.
Search-Lights.
Monday Meditations.
A Word for my Alma Mater.
Notices of Books.
Notes.
Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle.
Stockwell Orphanage.
Colportage Association.
Society of Evangelists.
For General Use in the Lord’s Work.

Price 3d. Post free, 4 Stamps.
Passmore & Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 136 (Song 1) <7s.>
1 Let us, with a gladsome mind,
   Praise the Lord, for he is kind:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
2 Let us sound his name abroad,
   For of gods he is the God:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
3 He, with all commanding might,
   Fill’d the new made world with light;
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
4 All things living he doth feed;
   His full hand supplies their need:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
5 He his chosen race did bless
   In the wasteful wilderness:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
6 He hath, with a piteous eye,
   Look’d upon our misery:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
7 Let us then, with gladsome mind,
   Praise the Lord, for he is kind,
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
                           John Milton, 1645


Psalm 136 (Song 2) L.M.
1 Give to our God immortal praise;
   Mercy and truth are all his ways:
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
2 Give to the Lord of lords renown,
   The King of kings with glory crown;
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When lords and kings are known no more.
3 He built the earth, he spread the sky,
   And fix’d the starry lights on high:
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
4 He fills the sun with morning light,
   He bids the moon direct the night:
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When suns and moons shall shine no more.
5 The Jews he freed from Pharaoh’s hand,
   And brought them to the promised land:
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
6 He saw the Gentiles dead in sin,
   And felt his pity work within:
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When death and sin shall reign no more.
7 He sent his Son with power to save
   From guilt, and darkness, and the grave
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
8 Through this vain world he guides our feet,
   And leads us to his heavenly seat;
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When this vain world shall be no more.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719.


God the Father, Acts, Predestinating Grace
222 — Electing Love Adored
1 Oh, gift of gifts! Oh, grace of faith!
   My God, how can it be
   That thou, who hast discerning love,
   Shouldest give that gift to me!
2 How many hearts thou might’st have had
   More innocent than mine!
   How many souls more worthy far
   Of that pure touch of thine!
3 Ah, Grace! into unlikeliest hearts
   It is thy boast to come;
   The flory of thy light to find
   In darkest spots a home.
4 Thy choice, oh God of goodness! then
   I lovingly adore;
   Oh, give me grace to keep thy grace,
   And grace to long for more!
            Frederick William Faber, 1849.


The Christian, Contrite Cries
589 — Desiring To Submit
1 Oh that my load of sin were gone!
   Oh that I could at last submit
   At Jesus’ feet to lay it down,
   To lay my soul at Jesus’ feet!
2 When shall mine eyes behold the Lamb?
   The God of my salvation see?
   Weary, oh Lord, thou know’st I am;
   Yet still I cannot come to thee.
3 Rest for my soul I long to find;
   Saviour divine, if mine thou art,
   Give me thy meek and lowly mind,
   And stamp thine image on my heart.
4 Break off the yoke of inbred sin,
   And fully set my spirit free:
   I cannot rest till pure within,
   Till I am wholly lost in thee.
5 Come, Lord, the drooping sinner cheer,
   Nor let thy chariot wheels delay;
   Appear, in my poor heart appear!
   My God, my Saviour, come away!
                  Charles Wesley, 1742, a.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Newsletter

Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390