2356. The Truth Of God’s Salvation

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No. 2356-40:169. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, February 16, 1888, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, April 15, 1894.

Oh God, in the multitude of your mercy hear me, in the truth of your salvation. {Ps 69:13}

1. I would have you admire the educational power of prayer, for prayer is, in itself, an education for a saint. God might have given us every blessing at once without our asking him for anything; but he says, even of what he has promised to his people, “I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them,” the reason being that, sometimes, the prayer for the blessing is as beneficial to us as the blessing itself, and so we are twice blessed, first in asking, and then in receiving. Prayer brings the mercy; but in getting it for us, prayer itself gives us an additional blessing. We are ourselves graciously helped by God as we pray, and we grow by it.

2. Will you also observe that, usually, when saints plead mightily with God, they draw their arguments from the Lord himself? In this case, David speaks to God of “your mercy,” and “the truth of your salvation.” We do not bring pleas to God from abroad; we find them in him with whom we plead. We say to him, “You are such a one; therefore, will you not do this for me?” Or, “You have said it; therefore, do as you have said.” Our best pleas lie within the compass of God’s character and God’s promises.

3. Now, because of this fact, you will at once see why prayer is so beneficial, for so it helps us to communion. If we come to God, and plead with him on account of what he himself is, we have, in that very pleading, fellowship and communion with him. We have to think of him, to consider him, to endeavour to understand his attributes, and so we come into his presence intelligently and profitably. This is a great blessing to have our fellowship with the Father fostered by our prayer to him.

4. Out of this communion comes edification. Coming near to God, we learn more and more about him; and we get that kind of knowledge which does not puff us up, because it first fosters love, and then builds us up; and we, knowing more about God, are established in him. “Those who know your name will put their trust in you.” So we grow in faith, and love, and every grace, while prayer leads us to search out the character of God in order to find these pleas that we use in our supplication. So that, praying is communion, and praying is edification. I think that you will grow more in half-an-hour’s prayer than you will in an hour’s sermon-hearing. I am not sure that it will be so in every case, for God may bless a variety of means to different men and women; but I think that most of us make our great advances in the divine life when we are pleading with God, pleading God’s own character with our God; we are then getting near him, and being built up into him.

5. And so, you see, prayer even becomes a confession of faith. So public prayer may furnish a very useful means of instruction. That is not its main purpose; but it incidentally happens that, when we are seeking God first, then other things are added to us in our public prayer. David, in this Psalm, instructs us concerning the multitude of God’s mercy, and the truth of his salvation. It does one good to hear a godly man pray; when he pours out his heart before God, his language may be very simple, — as simple as it is fervent, — but there is a kind of spiritual teaching, and a force of latent instruction, which gets into our soul, almost unawares, when we are joining in the prayers of devout people. So prayer may be speaking to the souls of others as well as to God; and may be, for some men, the best testimony and witness to the gospel which they are able to bear. It was certainly so with David.

6. But it is not my object tonight to enlarge on the various uses of prayer. I could not leave this point without notice, so I have given it to you by way of preface. Let it suggest to you to think still more how large a blessing has come to you through prayer, especially when prayer has taken the form of arguing with God because of the characteristics of his own nature, finding pleas with him in himself.

7. In the words before us, David pleads with God the truth of his salvation: “Hear me in the truth of your salvation,” on which I shall only make these two remarks; first, God’s salvation is a great reality; and secondly, we have proved it to be so.

8. I. First, GOD’S SALVATION IS A GREAT REALITY, a great truth: “The truth of your salvation.” There is a substance in it; it is not a shadow, it is not a myth, it is not a mere type or figure of speech, it is a substantial thing, there is a truth in it: “The truth of your salvation.”

9. And, first, let us view it in reference to the Lord himself. To God, his salvation is in the highest sense full of grace and truth.

10. If I may venture to speak concerning him of whom we can know nothing except as he reveals himself, I may say that the truest and deepest thought of God is for the salvation of his people. This lies in the very centre of his heart; and the intent of his other thoughts and acts is all towards this point. He has ordained his Son to be the Head of a great family, of which he is to be the Firstborn among many brethren, and the planning of the entire creation was arranged in reference to the saved ones, those who are to be redeemed from among men. At the present time, the whole scheme of God’s providential working has a bearing on the salvation of those whom he gave to his Son to be the reward of the travail of his soul. God’s thoughts are high, and not as our thoughts; but they are directed toward this central idea, they rest on this foundation principle, the underlying thought of as his works is, the display of the glory of his grace in the salvation of the sons of men. This is the white of the target at which he shoots all his arrows, and he does not fail to hit it. In the grand gathering of all the redeemed, this shall be the loudest note in their song, “To him who loved us, and who washed us from our sins in his own blood, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” The display of all the characteristics of God in the salvation of his people, is the subject of his truest, deepest thought.

11. This is also to himself the most solid and lasting of all his works. I speak with bated breath when I talk about the things of God; but let me show you, brethren, what I mean. God creates worlds as he pleases. We speak of them as though they had existed and were to exist for ever; but, brethren, even among the starry worlds that are visible to us, many changes have taken place. New stars appear, they are admired for a while for their brilliance, but soon they are gone from our sight. As for this round world in which we dwell, we speak of its “everlasting hills” and so forth; but it shall be burned up, and shall pass away. That firmament, which seems like a new piece of azure-tinted cloth, is wearing out, and eventually it shall be folded up like an old garment, and put away as a worn-out thing; the things that are seen are, after all, only temporal. Do not suppose that you see anything solid, you only see shadows. Faith alone sees substance; but everything that the eye is capable of beholding is of necessity a temporal and temporary thing. Look over the history of the whole world; empires have arisen, all the thoughts of great men have been concentrated on forming armies, building up enormous establishments, and by statecraft consolidating the power of their realm. A dynasty has been formed, king after king has sat on the throne, and they thought, as they built their palaces, and walked in them, that Assyria and Babylon would never pass away. God’s providence lent itself to the building up of these great monarchies; but they were not substantial, they were only fading things, mere leaves on the bay tree of existence. They came out, and they in due time faded, and dropped into the soil again. But there is permanence in God’s salvation. That is not a thing which will ever fade, that is not a temporary work. The salvation of his people shall enlist the wondering gaze of angels throughout eternity; and the songs of cherubim, and seraphim, and the hosts of the redeemed by blood, shall go up before the throne of God for ever and ever because of the truth of his salvation. This great work, which he has accomplished, he has made to last for ever. Oh, brethren, what a wonderful work is that of the salvation of the sons of men in its enduring results!

12. And, further, I ask you to think, still from the Godward aspect, of what truth there is in salvation in this respect, it is that into which God has thrown his whole self. When he makes a world, he speaks, and it is done; he commands, and it stands firm for ever. The morning light, and all that is seen by it, are produced by his word; and in his providence he just nods, and dictates the policies of empires; but in the work of salvation, he himself comes. Behold the cross! God, in the person of his Son, bleeds and dies to save a soul. He has given himself to this stupendous work. The Holy Spirit enters into human bodies, and reigns and rules over human minds, remaining in them, continuing his gracious, comforting, enlightening, and sanctifying work, himself personally dwelling in the saints. God throws his whole self into the work of salvation. His little finger can create the stars, and light them up or quench them at his will; but even his right arm is not sufficient for the redemption of his people. Both hands must bear the cruel nails, both feet must be fastened to the accursed tree, the heart of the Son of God must be pierced by the soldier’s lance. He, even he himself, must come from the bosom of the Father, and must descend, and still descend, and yet further descend, until he goes down to the lowest parts of the earth, there to work out the salvation of his people. Oh, my dear friends, when we come to the truth of God’s salvation, we have reached the rocks! Now we have left the ever-rolling sea, and landed on the divine terra firma. Here you shall indeed see God. In other things, you see only his reflection in a mirror; but, in salvation, you see the express image of the Father’s glory. In the work of the redemption of his chosen, you see God unveiling himself as far as men are ever capable of seeing him.

13. I should need all night if I were to dwell on these points; so let me observe, in the next place, that God’s salvation is a great reality to ourselves as well as to him. Do you remember when you first grasped the true idea of God’s salvation, when you understood that God had of old thought out the plan of salvation, and in the fulness of time had worked it out? Do you remember when you first saw that truth, and when you felt that it was just the salvation that you needed, and that you must have it, — that you must have it then, or else perish everlastingly? You did not lay hold on it, in the hour of your distress, as on a fiction; you did not grasp it as a thing that might be or might not be. Souls that have ever been drowning in the sea of wrath want to clutch at a real salvation, and you clutched at it as real. That day when I saw Christ as my soul’s salvation, the great sacrifice for sin was to my soul the most real thing I had ever seen, otherwise it would not have stanched the gaping wounds of my poor bleeding heart, otherwise it would never have brought balm and peace to my tortured spirit. I was a real sinner; I do not know whether you are that, but I was; I had real pangs of conviction, and I saw a real hell before me, and I wanted a real salvation, and I grasped it as such.

14. Since then, dear friends, God’s salvation has been wonderfully real to us. Have we not daily found it more and more so? You have had many things that you doted on and trusted in; but, after a while, these poor cobwebs have been unable to bear the weight that you have hung on them; and they have all gone. But have you not found Christ’s salvation to be very real to you from that first day, even until now? If you have not, (excuse me putting it very plainly to you,) you have missed your way. If you have not found a real Christ, you certainly need one; and if you have not found a real salvation, and by personal experience known its reality, you are under some delusion, and that comfort which you enjoy tonight is a false comfort. I wish that I could disturb you out of it, that you might find a real comfort. Remember that life is real, sin is real, death is real, judgment will be real, and the final sentence will carry with it a real punishment. You need, therefore, to find in Christ Jesus the truth of his salvation, a real salvation which, though you cannot touch it, is still tangible to your soul, and which, if you cannot see it, is still to be seen truly by the eye of your spirit. But I shall be getting to my second point too fast if I dwell on this point, so I will leave it.

15. I think that we can say, dear friends, that it is a real salvation to us in another sense. There is a truth in God’s salvation in the way that it has operated on us. The way it accomplished the change of your character at the first, was that not very real? And sometimes now, when temptation suddenly comes on you, does not God’s salvation pull you up with a very real check? Indeed, and when you get somewhat indifferent in duty, does it not urge you on with a very real spur? Have not some of us said, “I will speak no more in the name of the Lord,” and have we not found his salvation to be in us, in the truth of it, like fire in our bones, so that we could not hold our peace? The most potent force on a real Christian’s mind is the truth of God’s salvation; it touches him in a way that nothing else can. We are like music boxes, and the Saviour holds the key; and when he winds us up, then every part of us begins to play, but not until then. The spiritual nature of man is like a mystical harp on which only One can play, so as to bring out the fulness of its music; and the hand that can play on our hearts is the hand that was nailed to the cross. The truth of God’s salvation operates most powerfully on our minds, and so proves to us that it is real.

16. Now, beloved friends, to speak a little in detail of the truth of this salvation, if we have really laid hold of the truth of God’s salvation, we believe in a real fall. We do not believe that Adam’s fall is a mere fiction or parable; but we believe it to be a sad and terrible fact, for if there was not a real fall then there is no truth in salvation. If we have not fallen from our first estate, we do not need picking up; but, alas, we have grievously fallen!

17. Next, if you have the truth of God’s salvation, you will believe in real sin. There are hosts of sham sinners around; they come into our chapels, and we preach the gospel to them, but they never get any good out of it. You may relieve sham beggars, but God never does; he relieves those who are really in need. Truly needy people never come to him in vain; but your pretended, dressed-up, hypocritical sinners, who say, “Lord, have mercy on us, miserable sinners,” when they are neither miserable nor yet consciously sinful, God never relieves them. If you know the truth of God’s salvation, you must believe in real sin. “Oh!” one says, “I have more than enough of that.” Then come, and have real salvation. You who have really transgressed, you are the men and women for whom there is truth in God’s salvation; but, if there is no truth in your sinnership, there is to you no truth in Christ’s salvation.

18. Once more, if we get to know the truth of God’s salvation, we believe in a real atonement. You know the description that is given of the atonement as it is preached by some gentlemen of supposed “culture.” It is this, — that Jesus Christ did something or other which, in some way or other, is probably more or less remotely connected with the pardon of sin. Such a salvation as that would not save a mouse. No, no, we must have a real atonement, the substitution of our Lord Jesus Christ for guilty sinners, the bearing of our sin in his own body on the tree. They say that it is unjust that Christ should suffer for us. On the contrary, I venture to affirm that it was in the highest degree just that he should die for his people, for he was one with us. His death was not merely substitution for us, but he had identified himself with us. He came here on purpose so that he might be one with his people; and, being one with them, as the second Adam, it behoved him that he should suffer. It was right that, having married his church, he should go with her for better and for worse, and bear her sins in his own body on the tree; and he did so, blessed be his name! And I believe that he really expunged his people’s sins, that he truly took away the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, and nailed it to his cross, that by his precious death he might put away all the transgressions of his people once and for all. You have not learned the truth of God’s salvation if you do not believe in a real atonement.

19. Next, true faith brings to us a real pardon. If you have received the truth of God’s salvation, you are really forgiven. It was no fictitious document that was presented to you in that day when your Saviour said to you, “Go, and sin no more. Your sins, which are many, are all forgiven.” It was a real pardon, signed by the King’s own sign-manual, {a} and your sins are gone; they shall not be mentioned against you any more for ever. “Do you believe this?”

20. Now the Holy Spirit is working in you a real sanctification. Do you have that sign and token of grace? Have you given up evil habits? Have you quit your vices? Do you hate the very thought of sin? Are you watchful over all things within you, and all things around you? Is “holiness to the Lord” inscribed on your whole life? If not, you do not have a real salvation, and you do not know the truth of that salvation; but if God has made you truly holy, by the sanctifying power of his Spirit, then listen once more.

21. One part of the truth of this salvation is that there is a real heaven for you; the Lord Jesus himself says to you, —

    Thou shalt see my glory soon,
    When the work of grace is done:
    Partner of my throne shalt be;

so you shall dwell for ever in a true heaven, with a true Christ, in true glory, and only then shall you know to the full the truth of his salvation.

22. So I have shown you that God’s salvation is a great reality to God himself, and also to ourselves.

23. Further, if you would know the truth of God’s salvation, remember that the term used here means that God’s salvation is real in its constancy. It will bear every strain; hence it is that David uses it as a plea in prayer. He comes to God, and he says, “Lord, I am in great distress; I beseech you, help me in my extremity by the truth of your salvation! Your salvation never fails, but endures every strain; therefore, I beseech you, deliver me at this moment!” There are some times when you are on your knees, and you want a master-plea, so that you can say, “Lord, if it is so, then I beseech you, deliver your servant. If this is a promise of yours, and you have spoken it, now do as you have said.” It is no impertinence to plead with God in this way: “If this salvation of yours is a fiction, if you have never spoken peace to my heart, nor brought me into the new and spiritual life, then, Lord, you may leave me; but if this is, indeed, as I believe it is, your love for me, your grace in me, your work for me, if I have indeed received your salvation, then I beseech you, help your servant, and deliver me!” You will find the value of such pleading if you only have faith to know that there is truth in God’s salvation, in the fact of its perpetuity, its constancy, its unfailing power to bear you right through to the end as surely as it has borne you this far. Oh, may God grant us grace to feel that the truest and most real thing in earth or heaven is the salvation of the blessed God! There is no doubt that it is so, and that there is substance and endurance in it, and we do well to use this fact as a plea when we want a substantial argument in prayer.

24. That is my first point, God’s salvation is a great reality.

25. II. Now I shall ask your kind attention while, for a few more minutes, I speak on the second point, WE HAVE PROVED IT TO BE SO: “The truth of your salvation.”

26. We have proved it, first, by our experience of a new life. Now reach for your diaries. “They are at home,” you say. Take out your note-books, then. You have not brought them with you tonight. Use your memories, then; think what has been the experience of the new life in your soul. If there is truth in God’s salvation, you are not now what you once were; and you are now what you once never dreamed of being. There is within you now a life, as much superior to the ordinary life of man as the life of an angel would be to that of the swine at the trough. Are you aware of that? Say, has such a life as that come into you? If so, that is one of the proofs of the truth of God’s salvation to you. An ungodly man sitting here may say, “That is no proof to me.” No, of course it is not; you have not experienced it, so it cannot be evidence to you. Swine that were turned into angels would have within themselves a proof of some divine operation on them, would they not? Have you ever known what it was to be like the beast that perishes? Perhaps you have, for your thoughts never rose towards God; but you were worldly, sensual, animal, perhaps devilish. I do not know whether you ever sank so low as that; but if the grace of God has come into your heart, and made you feel sorrows and joys that you never knew before, you have a proof of the truth of God’s salvation. When Luther was talking with the pretended prophets, who claimed to be inspired, he said to one of them, “Did you ever have births and deaths within your soul?” The man looked at him in amazement. “You know nothing about it,” said Luther; “you know nothing about it, for he who knows the Lord has had births and deaths, creations and destructions, within his own spirit.” It is even so. My hearer, do you know anything about this? Ordinary men do not know it; they are soulish, they have the life of a soul, they are far above the brutes; but Christian men are as far above them as they are above the brutes, for they have received a third and higher principle of life. The Spirit of God dwells in them, the Spirit of God has become dominant in them, and this has elevated them into quite another region. This world that you see is not the world in which believers live. You see mountains and hills; so do they, but you do not hear them break out into singing before you, as believers do. You see the trees of the field; but you never heard them clap their hands, as saints have done. There are many things, I warrant you, which have not entered into your philosophy unless you have been born again. He who has been regenerated, and has burst the shell that held him, like the unhatched bird within it, has emerged into new heavens and a new earth, in which dwells righteousness; and that fact is to him the proof of the truth of his salvation.

27. How else do we prove this? There is one sweet proof, which we sometimes have of the truth of God’s salvation, and that is, our sense of sonship. It is a great thing to be able to say, “Abba, Father,” to know that God is our Father, not taking it as an abstract truth that God is our Father, but feeling the Spirit of adoption witnessing within us, regarding him not as Father in name only, but in reality, so that the thought of him draws out emotions of love, and delight, and trust, and nearest relationship. Oh, if you have that, you have proved the truth of God’s salvation, for by nature you are of your father, the devil, and you do his works; but if you are now of your Father who is in heaven, and you love him, and you grow like him, that is a grand proof to you of the truth of his salvation!

28. Let me tell you one or two other things. Time flies, so I will only mention them. Sometimes, God gives us proofs of the truth of his salvation by our ecstatic joy. This is not a theme that I like to speak on except in very select company; but, believe me, we do have “high days and holidays.” We have our hard days sometimes, and you know about them; but you do not see our joys. Oh, if you only knew them, you would be willing to live a life of sorrow to have one day with us on the holy mount with the transfigured Christ! I have thought, sometimes, that I never could doubt again after a practical acquaintance with the banqueting house, and a sight of the banner of love waving over my head. Oh, the joy, the overwhelming joy, of the torrents of divine love when they come pouring into the soul. They bear everything away. If a man or a devil were then to come up, and say to us, “There is no truth in all this,” we should feel as if we could not do him the honour to pour contempt on him. We are blessedly sure of the truth of God’s salvation when we get a grip on Christ, when, with Mary, we sit at his feet, when, with John, we lie in his bosom, when, like the spouse, we even touch his dear lips, and receive the kisses of his mouth. You who have enjoyed this delightful experience know the truth of God’s salvation.

29. Now let me turn to another leaf of the diary of which I spoke. You know something of the truth of God’s salvation if you have done business in great waters, and have had divine support in trouble. Were you ever in this condition, that they said of you, “There is not a second person who justifies his course of action?” “It was proposed to pass a vote of approval of his conduct; but there was no one to second it.” Did you ever open letter after letter, and find that this friend will never help you again, that the next is ashamed of you, and that the next one blasphemes God and you also? You go on being stripped of one thing after another until you seem to have come to your last rag, and then you say, “Still, I do not falter, I do not intend to budge an inch. I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that, if all men forsake me, he will help me”; and you find, just then, a flush of joy come over you such as you never felt before, because now you are leaning on God’s bare arm, and there is nothing between you and the Almighty. I admire that saying of Luther, when he looked out of the window, and exclaimed, “There stands the arch of heaven, without a single pillar, and yet it never falls.” That is the way to stand, when all the pillars are knocked away. So many of us are like ships on the stocks; there we lie, in the dock, and we shall never do any good as we are; but if the dog-shores {b} are all knocked away, and there is nothing left to support us, we go slipping into the water, and so begin our true life-work. May God help you, dear brethren, by his own presence; and if you have once known the presence of God, in the utter absence of every form of comfort or help from mortal man, you will have had a most convincing proof of his salvation. The Lord can help you when you are in a fever; he can help you when you have gone time after time to the grave, and now that your last friend is buried; he can help you when that little income is suddenly taken away; he can bear you up when the vilest slander is cast on your spotless reputation, and you can still for all that say, “ ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul; ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ ” These are testing times; but it is then that you know the truth of God’s salvation.

30. And then, to turn over another leaf, — a bright leaf this time, — when all those troubles are ended, and you get out of your difficulties, when God has accomplished great deliverances for you, then you know the truth of his salvation. Then Miriam takes her tambourine. I do not remember hearing of her having a tambourine before. Miriam, where was your tambourine when you came out of Egypt? Why, then, poor Miriam was busy carrying some of her household goods like the rest, who had their kneading-troughs on their shoulders; but she found her tambourine when the Lord had triumphed gloriously, and the horse and his rider had been thrown into the sea. Some of us have our tambourines at home. We are beginning to get our fingers ready for playing on them, for the Lord will work for his people, and he will bring out his chosen, as he has said, “I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea.” It is then that we know the truth of his salvation.

31. But if you do not have these ups and downs, beloved friends, you may know the truth of God’s salvation, and you ought to know it, by the sweet visions of faith. Where faith is strong, it has the faculty of anticipation; and that is a blessed faculty of the divine life, the power of stretching out your hands across the ages, and bringing the far-off distance near. Perhaps you and I may not be in heaven for another twenty years; we cannot tell, but faith sits still, and sees heaven all around her; and sometimes she puts on her crown, and takes it off, and casts it at her dear Lord’s feet. Now and then, she gets her heavenly harp, and lays her fingers among the strings. I have known her to put on all her holy array, and walk in her white robes down the golden streets of Paradise; and she has seen and heard things which it would not be lawful for her to utter. Do you never have these good times? If you do not, and you are a child of God, you are losing a great deal. He is both able and willing to give them to you. There lies, a little to the right of the road to heaven, a hill called Mount Clear. Do not pass it by in a hurry; but climb to the top of it, and stand there. With a clear faith, believe in all that your God has told you; stay there until you can see. They say, “Seeing is believing.” That is not true; but believing is seeing, when you believe firm enough, and steadily enough. I do not say that every believer can see all this at once. If you have good milk, — of course you do not all have it pure, — but if you have good milk, there is no cream on it at first; but if you let it stand for a little while, and let it be still, there will come some cream on the top. So it is with faith. It is good milk; but you must let it stand for a while, and then you will find the cream of enjoyment, and assurance, and visions, which will make you feel, “I know that God’s salvation is true. I am sure of it, for I have as clearly perceived it by faith as if I had seen it with my natural eyes.” If the senses, faulty as they are, can convey any kind of conviction to the mind, how much more can that higher and truer God-given sense of faith convey to us a conviction that it is even as God has revealed to us.

32. I wish any dear friend here, who is not yet saved, might be led to test the truth of God’s salvation. God, through Jesus Christ, can relieve you of your burden at once. It is a cold wintry night; you came in here, and you have had a little shelter, and you are going out again into the cold; but do not go away with your burden, leave it in the pew, better still, cast your burden on the Lord. Jesus can give you relief and rest. Do not go away with your foulness, Jesus can wash you. Do not go outside until you yourself are whiter than the snow. May the Lord grant you grace to do so! Your faith will give you God. The longest arm of the greatest giant can never reach to heaven; but the finger of faith can touch the Saviour. Believe; trust; and the work is done, and you shall know the truth of his salvation.

33. Let us go our way with just this word of prayer. Lord, let us all know the truth of your salvation! May we all trust you! May we trust you more, and more, and more, and more, and more! May we trust you implicitly! May we trust you up to the hilt, and glorify you like this by our childlike faith, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

{a} Sign-manual: An autograph signature (esp. that of the sovereign) serving to authenticate a document. OED. {b} Dog-shore: Each of two blocks of timber used to prevent a ship from starting off the slips while the keel blocks are being removed in preparation for launching. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 37:1-18}

Let us read tonight part of the thirty-seventh Psalm. David here first of all dissuades himself and us from falling into a very common evil, that of envying the wicked because of their prosperity, and murmuring against God because we, perhaps, are not so highly favoured in our earthly affairs.

1, 2. Do not fret yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

No one envies the grass, let it be never so green; no one envies flowers, let them be never so fragrant, for we know that grass must be cut, and that flowers must wither. Let us look on the wicked in the same light; their time of perishing shall soon come, their end hurries on apace; therefore, let all envying be only of the question, since they are such short-lived beings.

3. Trust in the LORD, and do good;

There you have the secret of the active life of the Christian. The root of his activity lies in his faith: “Trust in the Lord.” The outward displays of his inner life is in the good that he does; and where there is this faith, proved to be living faith by good works, there follows the promise, —

3. So you shall dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.

It does not say, “Young man, truly you shall prosper in business.” It does not say, “Oh ambitious man, you shall dwell in a palace, or revel in luxuries”; but it does say to you, oh humble-minded Christian, trusting in God, “Truly you shall be fed.” You know, when the word “Truly” is used, there is something on which God sets his seal as being true: “Truly you shall be fed.” God’s “Trulys” are better than men’s oaths. Believe, then, Christians and let there be no more fretting about your temporal trials. I know you have come in here tonight very anxious, and vexed with care and grief; take this “Truly,” and lay it, like Isaiah’s lump of figs, on the boil, and “Truly” you shall soon be healed.

4. Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart.

Delight is a Christian’s duty. To sorrow, to mourn, to despair, — these do not belong to the believer: “Delight yourself in the Lord.” Here is a river to swim in, Christians, plunge into it. Here is a bottomless abyss of delights, the person, the grace, the works, the attributes of our covenant God; and here is a promise given to each one of those who carry on this excellent duty, “He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

5. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Put the helm of your ship into the hand of the Almighty Pilot. Leave the guidance of your pilgrimage to him who has led many caravans across the desert previously, and who has never permitted any to perish. What an easy way this is; and yet how hard do we find it to carry it out! It is to unload ourselves, and put our burden on our God. Oh, that we had the sanctified common sense to make us fulfil this duty!

6. And he shall bring out your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday.

Leave your character with God; it is safe there. Men may throw mud at it, but it will never stick on a true believer for long; it shall soon come off, and you shall be all the more glorious for men’s slander.

7-11. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: do not fret yourself because of him who prospers in his way because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: do not fret yourself in any way to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yes, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

This is now a gospel blessing, for Christ pronounced it on the mount among his other benedictions: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Somehow or other, the only people who truly enjoy life, and get happiness out of this present vale of tears, are the meek spirits, the men who can say, —

    Mine are the valleys, and the mountains mine;
       My father made them all.

Even the possessions of other men make these people glad. They are like the man we have heard of in China, who met a mandarin covered with jewels, and, bowing to him, said, “Thank you for those jewels.” Doing this many times, at last the mandarin asked the reason for his gratitude. “Well,” said the poor but wise man, “I thank you that you have those jewels, for I have as good a sight of them as you have; but I do not have the trouble of wearing them, putting them on in the morning, taking them off at night, and having a watchman keeping guard over them when I am asleep. I thank you for them; they are as much use to me as they are to you.” This meek man can walk along the broad acres of a rich man’s farm, he can see his noble oaks and other forest trees, and he can say, “Thank God for them all! I have as much enjoyment from these as the rich man himself has, for they are mine to enjoy as truly as they are his.” “The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace”; not in the abundance of wealth, but in the abundance of peace. To a meek man, peace is his wealth, and holy quietness and calm his true riches.

12-18. The wicked man plots against the just, and gnashes on him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to kill such as are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

He knows their dark days, and he will be their light; he knows their sunny days, and he will be their shelter, he knows their last day, and he will be their confidence; he knows their resurrection day, and he will be their glory: “Their inheritance shall be for ever.”

    Go, you that boast in all your stores,
       And tell how bright they shine;
    Your heaps of glittering dust are yours,
       But my Redeemer’s mine.
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — Lovingkindness” 196}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence — God’s Counsels Wise And Just” 210}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — The Truth Of God The Promiser” 191}

God the Father, Attributes of God
196 — Lovingkindness
 1 Awake, my soul, in joyful lays,
   And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise:
   He justly claims a song from me,
   His loving kindness, oh, how free!
2 He saw me ruin’d in the fall,
   Yet loved me, notwithstanding all;
   He saved me from my lost estate,
   His loving kindness, oh, how great!
3 Though numerous hosts of mighty foes,
   Though earth and hell my way oppose,
   He safely leads my soul along,
   His loving kindness, oh, how strong.
4 When trouble, like a gloomy cloud,
   Has gather’d thick and thunder’d loud,
   He near my soul has always stood,
   His loving-kindness changes not.
5 Often I feel my sinful heart
   Prone from my Jesus to depart;
   But though I have him oft forgot,
   His loving kindness changes not.
6 Soon shall I pass the gloomy vale,
   Soon all my mortal powers must fail;
   Oh may my last expiring breath
   His loving kindness sing in death!
7 Then let me mount and soar away
   To the bright world of endless day;
   And sing with rapture and surprise,
   His loving-kindness in the skies.
                     Samuel Medley, 1787.

God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence
210 — God’s Counsels Wise And Just
1 Wait, oh my soul, thy Maker’s will:
   Tumultuous passions, all be still;
   Nor let a murmuring thought arise:
   His ways are just, his counsels wise.
2 He in the thickest darkness dwells,
   Performs his work, the cause conceals;
   And, though his footsteps are unknown,
   Judgment and truth support his throne.
3 In heaven and earth, in air and seas,
   He executes his wise decrees:
   And by his saints it stands confest,
   That what he does in ever best.
4 Wait, then, my soul, submissive wait,
   With reverence bow before his seat;
   And midst the terrors of his rod,
   Trust in a wise and gracious God.
                  Benjamin Beddome, 1818.

God the Father, Attributes of God
191 — The Truth Of God The Promiser
1 Praise, everlasting praise, be paid
   To him that earth’s foundation laid;
   Praise to the God, whose strong decrees,
   Sway the creation as he please.
2 Praise to the goodness of the Lord,
   Who rules his people by his word;
   And there, as strong as his decrees,
   He sets his kindest promises.
3 Firm are the words his prophets give,
   Sweet words, on which his children live:
   Each of them is the voice of God,
   Who spoke, and spread the skies abroad.
4 Each of them powerful as that sound
   That bid the new made world go round;
   And stronger than the solid poles
   On which the wheel of nature rolls.
5 Oh, for a strong, a lasting faith,
   To credit what th’ Almighty saith!
   T’ embrace the message of his Son,
   And call the joys of heaven our own.
6 Then should the earth’s old pillars shake,
   And all the wheels of nature break,
   Our steady souls should fear no more
   Than solid rocks when billows roar.
7 Our everlasting hopes arise
   Above the ruinable skies,
   Where th’ eternal Builder reigns,
   And his own courts his power sustains.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.

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).

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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.

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