2118. The Planter Of The Ear Must Hear

by on

No. 2118-35:661. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, October 31, 1889, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, December 15, 1889.

He who planted the ear, shall he not hear? He who formed the eye, shall he not see? {Ps 94:9}

1. The character of a man hinges upon his relationship to God. You may know what manner of man he is, and what are his communications, if you find out how he stands towards God. With the many God is a mere name: a word to be pronounced more or less reverently; but nothing more. He is not a force operating upon their daily lives. His glory is no motive of action, no object of desire, no joy of their heart. “God is not in all their thoughts”; and as a result their lives are not conformed to his holy law. Blessed be the Most High, there are a few to whom God is everything: the first and last, the centre and circumference of their being. To them the Lord is the great trust and treasure of their spirit; he is the rock of their confidence, the well-spring of their delight. Men of that calibre delight in God, will seek after holiness, and strive for perfection. God has shone upon them, and their faces will be bright. God dwells within them, and as from a kindled lamp light will stream out.

2. Among the ungodly there are many whose lives prove that they know nothing about God. Indeed, their ignorance of God is their justification for their present behaviour. They comfort themselves with the notion, “The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.” To them God is out of the world as for observation or practical interference. They do not care whether he sees them or not; for their belief is, that if he does see he cares nothing what men may think or do. He is too far off to be concerned about human affairs. He will neither grow angry with the sin of the wicked, nor take pleasure in the holiness of the godly. Concerning this practical atheism I am going to speak at this time, pleading against that frame of mind by the argument of the text. “He who planted the ear, shall he not hear? He who formed the eye, shall he not see?” May the Holy Spirit help me in my endeavour, and may all my hearers believe in the living, hearing, seeing Jehovah!

3. I. Our first observation will be, THE NOTION THAT GOD CANNOT HEAR OR SEE IS PERNICIOUS. In judging it, we will follow the line of the psalm which now lies open before us.

4. We perceive that men who talked in this godless way were proud. Hence the prayer, “Lift up yourself, you Judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.” The man who thinks that God is not in the world, or is not at all concerned in its affairs, thinks that he is, himself, about the greatest person in existence. There may be some other poor creatures around; but he is, in many respects, the most deserving of esteem. He who thinks little of God, thinks much of himself. “Who is the Lord,” he says, “that I should obey his voice?” Who talks like this except Pharaoh, the king, the potent one, accustomed to have his own will in everything? Those speak very proudly who have no knowledge of the Most High. Measuring themselves by others like themselves, they are not wise. The worm exalts itself above its baser fellow worms, and does not dream of the great Eternal One who fills all things. Pride is very apt to grow great when knowledge is small, and reverence is absent. Proud language usually goes with profane talk and blasphemous ideas; for it comes from the same kindred. “How long shall they utter and speak harsh things? and all the workers of iniquity boast about themselves?” If there is no God, or no God to care about, then immediately men delight in uttering things which make the blood of the godly to curdle. They render no praise to God; since they seek all glory for themselves. Because of their own conceit, they question his wisdom, criticize his Word, doubt his justice, impugn the sentences of his judgment bar, and speak evil of him even as they wish. Give a man of proud heart a fluent tongue, and opportunity enough to speak of God, and then take away from him the idea that God hears him, and there is no telling to what lengths of profanity he will fall into. His tongue is set on fire by hell, and it burns with an inconceivable fury. If you have ever been forced to hear or read the expressions of renowned infidels, you can form some idea of how completely Satan works his will with godless men. Take God away, and the brakes are taken off, and the train dashes down the hill at terrific speed. “Their tongue walks through the earth,” says David. No bounds can be set to the evil perambulations of an atheistic tongue. Not even heaven itself is free from the assaults of its pride: “They set their mouth against the heavens.” They slander God himself, because they imagine that he does not hear.

5. Nor is this the end of the mischief. When the fear of God is taken away from men, they frequently proceed to persecute his servants. The prophet complains, “They break in pieces your people, oh Lord, and afflict your inheritance.” Just as they hate God, so they reveal their hate against his people. If they cannot get at the leader, if they cannot strike the shepherd, they will at least worry the flock. Read the long and cruel story of human malice against the church of God: it mingles with the record of every nation: it is an awful history, written in tears and gore. The sacramental host of God’s elect has left behind it in its marches a trail of blood and ashes, filling up, in the bodies of the persecuted, what was lacking in the sufferings of the Lord; for all that grief was meant for him if his enemies could only have poured it on his head. At times it has seemed as if God had given up his people, and caused the rod of the wicked to rest on his inheritance. No wonder that it was so with them; for so it pleased him to deal with his only-begotten Son. He delivered him up to the world to do with him as it wished. The Father did not intervene, though they spat in his face, though they scourged him, though they blindfolded him and buffeted him, and made nothing of him. Yes, though they nailed him to the accursed tree, and stood to gloat their cruel eyes upon his agonies, the great God did not interfere to save the Beloved of his soul. A greater force than almighty power held omnipotence itself in check, that it should not lift its finger to rescue the Lord’s anointed. If he was to save others, he could not be saved himself. Though he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” yet Jehovah left his own Son to die at the hands of the ungodly. You know the reason why; but, apart from that, it was a strange procedure. The Lord may deal like this with his own church and his own cause, until his people cry, “How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger!” The truth may appear to be wounded, slain, dead, and even buried. But yet, just as Jesus rose again, so shall his true church and cause rise again, although they are laid in the grave, and the stone is sealed, and the watch is set. Truth, though entombed, must rise again; for her Lord arose, and God is with his cause as he was with his Son. But, beloved, when men think that there is no God, and speak evil of the Most High, we need not wonder that they take liberty to persecute the chosen of God. There is no telling to what lengths of cruelty men will go when unhindered by a sense of God’s presence. The psalm says, “They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.” Take God away, and what a place this world would be! Without religion our earth would soon become a huge Aceldama, a field of blood. Ah, dear friends! men little know what they owe to the presence of God’s people even in a city like this. There is no reason except for religion, why London should not become like Paris during the Reign of Terror. If it were not that God has respect for the faithful who dwell in the midst of the city, he might give it over to the ungodly; and no greater plague could come upon it. When men say, “Does God see? Does God know?” then they are selfish; and, if they can, they turn like tigers on each other; society is torn to pieces, and the weak are devoured. If the Lord had not left us a remnant who fear his name, we would have been as Sodom, and would have been made like Gomorrah. There is no telling how far the evil one may be let loose to arouse men to evil; but, in any case, the chosen means of the devil will be the spread of atheistic principles among the masses. A world without God is a world without fear, without law, without order, without hope.

6. Notice well, that if we were persuaded that God did not hear, and did not see, there would be an end of worship. Would there not? Could you worship a deaf God? I must confess that such a being would not be God to me. If he could not hear, and hear all things, I should see at once a limit to his nature; and a being of limited nature is not God, since God is, and must be, by necessity, infinite, to be God at all. Though it is hard to conceive what infinity must be, we must predicate it concerning the Godhead; and, if it is gone, Godhead is gone with it, and there is an end of belief in God. The idea of a deaf God is absurd. Does not Jehovah see me? then he does not see all things — he is blind to something. Could you worship a blind God? If you could, you are on a par with those to whom you talk of sending missionaries; for their gods “have eyes, but they do not see: they have ears, but they do not hear”; and those who make them are like them. He is an idolater, and not a worshipper of the living and true God, who worships a being of whom he entertains the notion that he cannot hear or see. There is clearly an end of worship when there is an end of belief in a hearing and observing God.

7. Nor is this all. It seems to me that there is, to a large extent, an end of the moral sense. If there is no God to punish sin, then every man will do as seems right in his own eyes; and why should he not? By what consideration will he be hindered? If there is no reward for righteousness, and righteousness involves self-denial, why should he deny himself? If there is to be no punishment for sin, and sin is pleasurable, why should he not seize the pleasure? Take away all thought that God sees and hears, and you have removed the underlying basis upon which morality itself is to be built up. A godless world is a lawless world. Anarchy comes in when the fear of God goes out; and all the mischiefs that you can imagine, and much more, rush in like a flood. Without God, or even with a god who does not see and does not hear, where is the hope of the despairing? Tonight she will go home with a broken heart, for, alas! her last friend is dead. She will cover her face and sit astonished in her sorrow; and now what can she do? Poor woman, with no helper on the earth, where will you look? If she can bow by the side of that poor bed, and cast her care on God, who loves and cares for her, she will rise out of the depths of her distress. But if there is no one in heaven to notice her misery, the help of the helpless, the hope of the hopeless, is taken away. What now remains? And he who is full of disease, and near death, upon whom the physician has looked down as he lies in the hospital, and has shaken his head, and he knows that his doom is sealed, and that he will never leave that bed except to exchange it for the grave — if he has no God, how will he turn his face to the wall in the gall of bitterness, and moan in anguish never to be assuaged. But if God sees and hears, the widow is not without a helper, and the dying man, in all his agony, is not without a hope. Oh cruel unbelief, do not put out our one sun, do not take from the mourner his one consolation. Let me lose myself, but not my God, who is more than life to me. Yes, if you can, you may blot the glory out of heaven, and silence every angel’s harp, and quench in endless night the sevenfold lustre of the celestial light; but leave me my God, and I shall have all heaven back again in him, and somewhat more. Oh, yes, a God who hears and sees — we must have him, or else we are orphaned indeed!

8. If God does not see and hear, we are shipwrecked upon the rock of blank atheism. I do not care a bit what men believe in, whether it is pantheism, or agnosticism, or theism; if they have no personal God who hears and sees, they have, in fact, no God at all. “There is a power that makes for righteousness,” one said; but if that power is unfeeling, and never communicates with man, and never notices him, there is nothing in the forced admission of any use to him who makes it or hears it. It is big talk, such as men call “bosh,” and nothing more. Though it is veiled in the language of philosophy, the scientific jargon which makes God into an unfeeling force is covert atheism. I must have a God who hears and sees, and comes into the arena of my daily life, and helps me because he loves me, or else I have no God. My God dwells with me, and works for me, or else I have no God. Fine words, pretty phrases, and magnificent definitions, are so many wind-bags, and are good for nothing: there cannot be a deaf God, nor a blind God, nor an unfeeling God. If any of you believe that, go to Bedlam Asylum, and find your fit associates there. As for us, we know that the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is the living God, and his memorial is that he hears prayer.

9. So much for that first point.

10. II. But, secondly, THE NOTION THAT GOD CANNOT SEE AND HEAR IS AN ABSURD NOTION. According to our text, it is proved to be unreasonable. “He who planted the ear, shall he not hear?” Think of that argument for a little while. Here is a creature which has ears, and can hear. The God who created that being, can he not hear? Has he given to his creature more than he has himself? Has he made a creature which excels himself in essential faculties? Has he bestowed a sense which he himself never had? How can it be? The God who makes a man with ears to hear, must possess hearing himself.

11. The very idea of hearing seems to me to necessitate that he who conceived the idea, was himself able to hear. He could not have borrowed the idea, for there was no other being but himself in the beginning: from where did he take the thought, but from his own being? That the mind of man should be reached by the gate of the ear, by an impression upon an auditory nerve, is a wonderful conception. If you do not think so, because you are so used to it, I would like you to tell me whether you could invent a sixth sense. You have hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, seeing. Will you invent another? You do not have the power to invent another sense; and the idea of any sense which now exists must have been equally a feat of boundless wisdom, impossible for a being who could not hear and see.

12. He who invented the idea, also planned the way by which hearing would become possible. What an intellect it was that forged the link between matter and mind, so that the movements of particles of air, and the impression made by these upon the drum of the ear should turn into impressions upon mind and heart! God must have every power in perfection, or he could not have contrived and constructed such an admirable instrument as the ear. I should not think the time poorly spent if I were able to give you a lecture on the human ear. We know far less about it than we do concerning the eye; and my own knowledge of it is so scant that I can only glance at the subject. That outer portion which we commonly call the ear, is only the vestibule of curious, intricate, winding passages, which communicate with chambers of bone and vaults of ivory. Curtains are stretched along these passages, membranes which tremble as the head of a drum, or vibrate like a tambourine. Between two of these parchment curtains a chain of very small bones is extended. Have you never heard of the stirrup-bone? Rows of fine threads, or nerves, convey the motion, or the sound, into the brain, and there the soul sits waiting for the news. It is all wonderful. Nor must I forget to remind you that the ear is “planted.” The important parts — the real ear — are so deeply seated in the head, as to be beyond a mere external inspection. The lobe of the ear is like a leaf above ground, but the hearing organ is “planted” in the skull; it is placed very near the brain, and operates on both sides of it, so as to keep the whole mind in communication with sounds from every quarter. The ear is set deep, and its chambers — some filled with air, and some filled with liquid — are protected by this from much harm, which might otherwise come to them from the outer world.

13. An aurist who explained to you the mechanism of the ear should make you feel that an undevout aurist is mad. The infinite wisdom of God is seen in this gate of sense; and it is there in far greater measure than we can perceive. And can you believe that this marvellous instrument for hearing was made by a deaf God, or a dead God, or an impersonal power; or that it came into existence through “a fortuitous concourse of atoms?” I do not know the precise terms in which they now attempt to describe creation without a Creator, design without a designer; but I can only say that those who believe in ears created by an unhearing force or being, have more faith than I can muster. Indeed, I venture to say that their faith has overextended itself, has climbed to the top of the ladder and gone down on the other side; so that, instead of being great faith, it has rotted into gross credulity. To flee from the difficulties of faith to the impossibilities of unbelief, is an exceptional infatuation. I prefer to believe in a personal, intelligent First Cause.

14. But even if you had an ear made — and I suppose that it would be no very great difficulty to fashion, in wax or some other substance, an exact resemblance to an ear — could you produce hearing then? God alone gives the life which hears. That particular point in which motion is translated into audible sound — where is that? That thing which hears — I mean not the vibrating parchment, nor the telephonic nerves, but that living something which is informed by the nerves, and reads their message — where and what is that something? The surgeon searches with his knife, but he declares that he cannot find it. No, he cannot find it: it has fled before his instrument of search. But this much is certain — once gone he cannot restore it. He could not make it at the first, nor renew it when once departed. Not the whole troop of surgeons and physicians of all the hospitals could suffice to create a soul. There is a spiritual something — the true man, and this is what God makes. Do you know yourself? Could you put your finger on yourself? Oh, no; that mystical being, that strange, half Godlike existence, the soul, is not within the range of our senses. He who made the soul, has he no soul? Can he not hear? Oh sirs, the argument is plain enough It needs no elaboration. It carries conviction at first sight.

15. To imagine that the Creator of life does not see and hear is absurd; and yet the devil tempts gracious people, the best of people, at times to think that the Lord does not observe them in their trials. “Oh,” they say, “God is too great, surely, to hear me, a poor sinful woman, or a frail, ignorant man. His greatness must prevent his hearing me.” Yet, surely, you would not think the Lord to be deaf because you are unworthy. You would not attribute to him a greatness which would really involve littleness. If you make him so great that he is deaf, or so grand that he is blind, you have dishonoured him. “No,” you say, “but, surely, God does not see and hear everything. Look at my great sorrow; why does he allow it to grow and deepen? What keen miseries are caused by my thoughts! As George Herbert puts it, ‘My thoughts are all a case of knives.’ ” Just so; and yet the Lord knows and permits it all in love for your soul. He does not forget you; but, “just like a father pities his children,” so he pities you. Do not be led astray by the idea that you are passed over and forgotten by your God. “He counts the number of the stars, he calls them all by their names”; and he knows you, also, especially and individually. I saw a flower in the centre of a beech wood in the New Forest. Surrounded by the princely trees of the woods, it smiled from the sod a modest beauty. I thought to myself, “When do you see the sun? Does its light and glory ever cheer you?” I tarried in that forest, and watched the sunbeams smiling through the interlacing branches of the trees; and while I lingered I noted how, always and immediately, the sun found a way to pour its golden glory directly into the centre of that flower, which glowed and smiled as heaven communed with its littleness. Rest assured that God, who is our sun, thinks of the least of us. We are not neglected weeds of the moorland. The Lord sees us. We do not waste our sweetness on the desert air; for God is there. Those valleys among the mountains untrodden by man, are trodden by the great Gardener. Those are his holy places, his private gardens, his secret haunts; and the flowers which bloom in them are as plants of a royal garden, which make glad the heart of the King. So too, you hidden ones, your God does not forget you; indeed, though you may be tempted to think that he does not hear and see everything, for men are so vile, and error is so rampant, and he puts up with their provocations; yet he considers all. I have been inclined to cry out myself, as the Psalmist did, “Why do you withdraw your hand, even your right hand? take it out of your bosom.” That the Lord lets evil doctrine have so long a day is a great turmoil to a lover of truth. Ah! but the Lord hears every blasphemy, and notes it, and the day will come, as surely as he lives, when he will lift his right hand to strike down the edifices of error, and they shall be before him as a bowing wall and a tottering fence. “The way of the wicked he turns upside down.” “Trust in the Lord for ever.” In the cloudy and dark day look for the light. He does see: he does hear: he must work for truth and righteousness. Shall he who made the ear not hear? Shall he who formed the eye not see? Do not be guilty of so absurd a thought as to imagine that these evil days are not watched over by the Lord.

16. III. But now, thirdly and briefly, THAT GOD HEARS HIS OWN MUST BE ESPECIALLY CERTAIN, from the very argument of the text.

17. “Why?” you say. Why, because they have new and spiritual ears, and they have God-given spiritual eyes; and he who planted the spiritual ear, shall he not hear? and he who formed the spiritual eye, shall he not see? It has come to pass, my brethren, that now when God speaks by his Spirit we hear him, blessed be his name! There was a time when his threatenings spoke to us as with noise of thunder; but we would not hear them. Now we are humbled in the dust by his anger. He has given us ears which are joined to hearts of flesh. When he speaks by way of invitation, and says, “Seek my face,” we answer, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Do you imagine that if God has given us the grace to hear his voice, he will not hear us when we lift up our voices to him? Rather let each one of us say, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for he will speak peace to his people and to his saints.” Did he give you a new ear so that you might only hear him chide you? Did he intend never to regard your answer to his rebukes? Does he convict you of sin without intending to grant you a Saviour? Does he bring you to hear the law and to confess sin, and ask for pardon; and can he not, will he not, hear you? Has he made you to hear of judgment to torment you before your time? Will he shut his ears to your humble prayers? I will not believe it. He who gave you those spiritual ears meant to say something worth your hearing, and he meant to hear you when you cried to him. He has spoken, and some of us are tonight full of ecstasy at what we have heard him say. Has he not said, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me?” If you hear him speak, he will hear you speak. Oh, that you would sit at his feet and ask him to speak on; and then you may be sure that he has inclined his ear to you!

18. He has created in the minds of some of you a sense of need, and will he not pity you? Perhaps you have not reached any further than to know your needs and dangers; but he gave you this knowledge. You are hungry and thirsty; you did not have these spiritual appetites once; he gave them to you. Why? How come? You were not hungry for mercy; you were not thirsty for righteousness until his Spirit came and gave you life, and with that life the soul-hunger. Will he not satisfy the hunger he creates? Will he not fulfil the desire he has implanted? I never heard of such cruelty as for a man to gather together five hundred poor people from the street who had learned to draw tight their hunger-belts {a} and bear deprivation, and suddenly to arouse a ravenous hunger in them, and then turn them adrift, and say, “Go your ways; I have made you feel your needs most terribly; but I have nothing else for you. I have shown you your true condition; I have made you know what destitution you feel. Be off with you!” God will not treat you like this. It is not like him. He who planted holy longings, and hungry pinings, and spiritual appetites, must intend to supply them. He who has made you hear the voice of your need, will hear it himself. He has far keener hearing than you have, and your needs appeal to his heart before your heart is awake to them. “He who planted the ear, shall he not hear?” He who gives spiritual life will live himself to sustain that life.

19. In addition to this, he makes us long after holiness; will he not work it in us? I might say of myself and many dear brothers and sisters here, that we habitually desire to be holy, and to be entirely free from sin. We cannot endure evil. A preacher once declared that when Paul cried, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” he was not a Christian. That shows how very little that preacher knew about the matter. No man except a true believer would have such anguish on account of sin. Just in proportion as he became a Christian of the highest order, would he cry out in an agony when he found evil thoughts and tendencies within his nature. When we begin to loathe sin, and any leaning towards sin, and when we grow wretched because of a single evil thought, then we have grown in grace, and are far advanced, and are reaching towards that other verse, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory.” A true believer must hate sin with an intense hatred; and when the Lord has given him to do so, he may be sure that the same Lord will give deliverance from the power of evil. He who makes you hate sin will answer to that detestation, and deliver you from what you so greatly loathe. Does he make you pine after holiness, and will he deny you holiness? Do you hear his voice of command, and will he not hear your prayer for help to obey? Does your child pine to be good, and can you help him to be good, and will you not do so? To the ear which God has enabled to hear his call the Lord will lend his own ear to hear prayer. Surely, the very holiness of God that puts into us a desire to be holy is a guarantee to us that he will help us to be holy. He who makes us long for purity will work it in us. It may be, he will put us in the furnace; but by some means he will purify us as silver is refined. He who planted the desire after holiness is himself holy, and will work holiness in his people.

20. Do you not sometimes sit down and indulge a day-dream of what you had wished to be? Do you not wake up, and put your foot down, and say, “This is what I resolve to be, God helping me. I will endeavour to live nearer to my Lord, and to be more like my Lord Jesus.” Then you feel a fire burning on the altar of your heart. You feel that you must exert all your energies in the divine life, and press forward after the highest degrees of grace. Be encouraged by this condition of desire, for your Lord will not deny it to you. “He who planted the ear, shall he not hear?” He who planted in your heart the desire after this high ideal will hear you as you cry to him for aid in the sacred enterprise. The Creator answers to what he has created: “He will fulfil the desire of those who fear him.”

21. Do you pray, brothers and sisters? I know you do; but do you really believe that God hears you? I cannot help thinking that the vast majority of prayers are poured into a vacuum. I cannot shake off the thought that brethren seem often to be praying into the eternal emptinesses, pleading with an infinite nothing. They say the proper words, but they mean little or nothing by them. Does God hear prayer? Do you answer, “Yes?” Then let us pray as if we truly believed that he did. When we are finished praying, let us expect him to answer us. When we go into the bank with our cheques, we hand them in, pick up the money, and are gone. Do we deal like this at the Bank of Faith? Do we plead the promise? If so, the Lord counts out the money; but do we pick it up? I fear we leave it on the counter. The Lord might say, “Is that man gone? Gone without what he came for? He pleaded my promise, and has he gone away content without my reply?” Is it your habit to go to the throne of mercy and ask for the mere sake of asking? Do you grind at a mill for the mere pleasure of grinding? Surely he who asks receives; and if he does not, he should enquire for the reason why. A little time before prayer, to prepare the petition, would much help towards reality in prayer. A little time after prayer, to consider when and how the blessing is to be used when the Lord sends it, would be a further aid to faith. Sometimes the angels come to our letter boxes and cannot put in the answers because the boxes are fastened down by unbelief. We are not prepared to receive what God is prepared to give. Let us pray, believing that as surely as God has given us an ear he has an ear himself, and will hear our pleadings. “He who planted the ear, shall he not hear?”

22. Brethren, we are at this time greatly concerned about the Master’s kingdom. Some of us have no other trouble comparable to our anxiety about the cause of God and truth. We mourn as we see the evil leaven leavening the whole lump. Do you not think that the great Head of the church is as much concerned about it as we are? It is his own kingdom; it is, therefore, more on his mind than it can be on ours. It is God’s own truth which is denied: it is his own Son who is dishonoured. The glorious doctrine of the atonement — when we hear it scoffed at we burn with indignation, and our heart breaks with grief. Does not the Lord’s heart also burn with indignation when the precious blood is trampled on? Is he indifferent to all this apostasy and heresy? Depend on it, he is not; for “He who planted the ear, shall he not hear?” and he who has sworn to glorify his Son, will he for ever stand still when that Son is dishonoured, even in his own church?


24. It works good in a thousand ways. Time would fail me to recount a fraction of them. It may suffice to take a thought or two, and think the matter over in our minds. If we feel that God sees and hears, what an incentive it is to do right, and to be valiant for the truth! Soldiers will play the man in the presence of their prince. If our Lord looks on, what will we not do and dare? The same sense of his presence will act as a check to any and every deed of sin. We cannot indulge the thought of evil when the Lord himself hears that thought. Does the Lord look on, and shall I sin in his divine presence? Shall I grieve Jesus when the Beloved of my soul is himself close to me, and watches, with regretful eye, each sinful movement? The solemn conviction that God hears is a check to evil, and a stimulus for good.

25. It acts grandly as a preservative against the desire of applause and the fear of man. He who knows assuredly that God hears him, will speak the truth though all the world should listen, or though no one except God should hear him. It was a beautiful word which was spoken by a soldier to an open-air preacher not long ago. A friend who was preaching in the street, had gathered a considerable audience; but as a troop of soldiers went by, with colours and martial music, the people were dispersed, and the preacher was left almost alone. A soldier, who for some reason was marching outside the ranks, called to him, “Go on, sir: God loves to hear you praising his Son Jesus.” True; most true. God delights in the glories of Christ. What a grand audience you have if the Lord listens and hears you praising his Son! Do the despisers grind their teeth when they hear Jesus preached? Never mind. Let them wear out their hearts in wrath; they cannot rob Jesus of a beam of brightness. Keep on praising your Lord and Saviour; for if men who have ears to hear will not hear, yet be sure your heavenly Father will not fail to listen. We do not want applause from men, since God hears us. If the Queen were near by, and a soldier performed a deed of valour, and a person were to say to him, “You did well, and you may be proud that Corporal Brown and Sergeant Smith saw you and approved of what you did.” “Oh,” he says, “I care nothing for corporals and other petty officers; her Majesty herself looked at me, and said, ‘Well done.’ She will, with her own hands, put the Victoria Cross upon me in due time. That is the reward I seek.”

26. If God sees me, it is a small matter who may or who may not see and approve. We need to grow healthily independent of human judgment; for he who fawns for smiles, or trembles at frowns, will never lead a noble life for long.

27. The assurance that God sees and hears, is a wonderful care-killer. Why should I be anxious? My heavenly Father knows that I have need of these things. What if I am in trouble? My Father knows this. Brethren, if the Lord knows our soul in adversity, and if his eye is always upon us, are we not safe? Know that you serve one whose eyes are upon the righteous, and whose ears are open to their cry, and you will live above care.

28. And, oh, how this will tend to promote your fellowship with God! When your heart sings, “He leads me; he hears me; he knows the way that I take”; then you are filled with a sense of fellowship with the Eternal God. How we love him who always hears us! Since he is always seeing us, we learn to see him. “You God see me” is a word which brightens up our sad hearts until we also see God. We pass through the trouble, and toil, and temptation, and turmoil, of this mortal life with serene spirit, since it is written, “Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.” Suffering is no insignificant thing, if we suffer in full submission to the will of him who hears and sees us. If he is only with us, all question is ended. We cheerfully say, “It is the Lord: let him do what seems good to him.” As long as his father was captain of the ship, his little son never knew a fear; for he was sure his father could steer the vessel safely to the haven. Be of good cheer, our Father who sees and hears us, is in the midst of his people, and not so much as one of them shall perish. If the Lord were away, or asleep, or deaf, we might be in a trembling mood; but while his ear and eye are open to us, we cannot tolerate doubt. With a little altering the quaint poet’s lines, we may say —

   Though winds and waves assault my keel,
   He doth preserve it; he doth steer,
   Even when the bark seems most to reel.
   Storms are the triumph of his art,
   He cannot hide his eyes, much less his heart.

29. Go, speak with the wise Planter of the ear; for he will surely hear.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Ps 94]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth” 181}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence — Providence Mysterious” 211}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — Omniscience” 184}

{a} Hunger-belt: A belt worn round the abdomen, and continually tightened to alleviate the pangs of hunger. OED.

Letter From Mr. Spurgeon

Beloved Readers, — From afar I greet you with hearty salutations. I am resting with the earnest desire that I may gain health and refreshment of mind for future service. I knew very well several well-beloved and useful brethren, who were weary and worn, but, humanly speaking, would have soon been restored if they could have rested. They kept on painfully for a while, and then died. Friends from all quarters have pointed to these beacons, and have told me to take warning; and I feel that I am right in doing so. I hope to do more by attempting less.

You will be glad to know that the Special Services at the Tabernacle have been, in a memorable manner, attended with the divine blessing. May the printed sermons, in the absence of the Preacher, have an equally remarkable share in the sacred blessing!

It is in answer to many requests that this particular sermon has been selected. May it be as much enjoyed by the reader in the perusal, as by the preacher in its delivery! With it comes my hearty love in Christ Jesus to each one of the great host who, week by week, drink in the Word of God through the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.

                          Yours very heartily,
                          C. H. Spurgeon.
Mentone, December 7, 1889.

God the Father, Attributes of God
181 — The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth
1 The Lord is King; lift up thy voice,
   Oh earth, and all ye heavens rejoice:
   From world to world the joy shall ring,
   The Lord Omnipotent is King.
2 The Lord is King: who then shall dare
   Resist his will, distrust his care,
   Or murmur at his wise decrees,
   Or doubt his royal promises?
3 The Lord is King: child of the dust,
   The Judge of all the earth is just;
   Holy and true are all his ways,
   Let every creature speak his praise.
4 He reigns! ye saints, exalt your strains:
   Your God is King, your Father reigns;
   And he is at the Father’s side,
   The Man of love, the Crucified.
5 Come, make your wants, your burdens known;
   He will present them at the throne;
   And angel bands are waiting there,
   His messages of love to bear.
6 Oh! when his wisdom can mistake,
   His might decay, his love forsake,
   Then may his children cease to sing,
   The Lord Omnipotent is King.
                     Josiah Conder, 1824.

God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence
211 — Providence Mysterious
1 God moves in a mysterious way
   His wonders to perform;
   He plants his footsteps in the sea,
   And rides upon the storm.
2 Deep in unfathomable mines
   Of never failing skill,
   He treasures up his bright designs,
   And works his sovereign will.
3 Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
   The clouds ye so much dread
   Are big with mercy, and shall break
   In blessings on your head.
4 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
   But trust him for his grace;
   Behind a frowning providence
   He hides a smiling face.
5 His purposes will ripen fast,
   Unfolding every hour;
   The bud may have a bitter taste,
   But sweet will be the flower.
6 Blind unbelief is sure to err,
   And scan his work in vain:
   God is his own interpreter,
   And he will make it plain.
                  William Cowper, 1774.

God the Father, Attributes of God
184 — Omniscience
1 Great God, thy penetrating eye
   Pervades my inmost powers;
   With awe profound my wondering soul
   Falls prostrate, and adores.
2 To be encompass’d round with God,
   The holy and the just;
   Arm’d with omnipotence to save,
   Or crush me into dust!
3 Oh, how tremendous is the thought!
   Deep may it be impress’d
   And may the Spirit firmly grave
   This truth within my breast!
 4 By thee observed, by thee upheld,
      Let earth or hell oppose,
   I’ll press with dauntless courage on,
      And dare the proudest foes.
5 Begirt with thee, my fearless soul
   The gloomy vale shall tread;
   And thou wilt bind th’ immortal crown
   Of glory round my head.
                  Elizabeth Scott, 1764, 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.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

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