2397. “Out Of Darkness Into Light.”

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No. 2397-41:37. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, February 13, 1887, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, January 27, 1895.

That you may say to the prisoners, “Go out”; to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” {Isa 49:9}

1. This, of course, is a prophecy of what the Messiah would do. The Lord Jesus Christ, when he came among the sons of men, was to open the prison doors, and to say to the prisoners, “Go out,” and to those who, in addition to being in prison, were in a dark cell, shut away from the light, he was to say, “Show yourselves.”

2. What wonders Jesus Christ has accomplished! There are many of us who are living proofs of what Jesus Christ can do, for, when we were in prison, he said to us, “Come out,” and we are now free as the air, our spirits are buoyant and full of gladness and rejoicing. Some of us also sat in darkness, gloomy, thick, Egyptian night; but when Jesus came to us, that darkness fled away, and now we walk in the light as he is in the light, and we have fellowship with him, and with his Father, too, through the ever-blessed Spirit. Wonders of grace belong to Christ. He has already accomplished enough to keep his redeemed amazed throughout all eternity with the splendour of the achievements of his grace. Though he were never to work another miracle of mercy, he has done enough already to set all heaven in amazement, throughout all the ages that are yet to come, such a wondrous Saviour he has proved himself to be.

3. The liberty which Jesus gives to prisoners is something very marvellous. To be a prisoner for life, must be a horrible thing; to be confined in a dungeon for all one’s days, must be almost worse than death; yet there is a slavery of the soul that is worse than wearing chains on the wrist, there is an imprisonment of the heart that is far more terrible than being locked up within stone walls or iron bars. When Jesus comes to the soul, he delivers us from that direst of all bondages, brings us out from that cruellest of all slaveries, the bondage of the spirit, the slavery of the heart.

4. Then we are told that, if there are any who are in a worse state than that of mere captivity, namely, in darkness as well as in bondage, the Lord Jesus Christ comes to them, and says, “Show yourselves; rise, and come out of the darkness; hide away no longer, come out into the light, and enjoy it.” And when he speaks, his words are powerful; when he says, “Come out,” they do come out; and when he says, “Show yourselves,” they do show themselves, he speaks, and it is done, for every word of Christ is the fiat of omnipotent love.

5. Now I am going to try and deal with those who are, spiritually, in the dark, in the hope that the time has arrived when they are to come out of the darkness, and to show themselves. My business will consist, then, in two things; first, I want to discover the characters mentioned in the text; and, secondly, I will repeat the exhortation that it contains.

6. I. First, I have to try to DISCOVER THE CHARACTERS mentioned in the text: “Those who are in darkness.” Some of them are here tonight; let me see if I can, with my Lord’s gracious guidance, put my finger on them.

7. I observe, first, that they were not always in darkness. She was a bright young spirit once, after a fashion; up to all manner of fun and levity; and he, — I know him very well, — he seemed to be everything that mirth could make youth to be, sporting like a butterfly in summer-time among the flowers. It was said of him that he seemed to enjoy life perfectly, and certainly it was his intention to do so, even if he shortened his career in the process; he dashed at the flame, even though he singed his wings. But, suddenly, there came a cloud in the sky, both to her and to him — I mean, to you. It may be that, some time ago, a death happened in the family, or sickness came, or if it was neither of these things, at any rate, the mind suddenly grew strangely quiet, and a stillness came down on the spirit, and with that stillness there fell a gloom over the whole being. The fun and levity which had been enjoyed before were like the bubbles and froth in the cup; there was nothing substantial or real in them at all; so, when the man or woman began to think, the bubbles and froth disappeared, and then life grew flat, stale, dull, and unprofitable.

8. What, do you think, were those thoughts that brought such a sobering influence into the life? They were something like this; I can tell you about them from my own experience, for they happened to me while I was still a boy. I thought, “I have not lived as I ought to have lived. God made me, yet I have never truly served him. He is my mother’s God, but I have forgotten him; my father’s God, yet I have never sought him. Ah, me! What shall I do? God must punish me, he must punish me. If he does not do so, he ought to; he cannot be God if he does not act justly, and I cannot, in my heart of hearts, reverence him if he winks at my wrong-doing, for much wrong-doing has been mine. What is to become of me?” So I cried out in my agony, and I struggled to be right. I thought it would be easy work to do what would please God. I went to the helm of my ship, and hoped to reverse its course; but I soon drifted into the old courses again, and what I thought to be very easy I found to be extremely difficult, indeed more, absolutely impossible. I seemed soft as wax towards evil, yet hard as cast iron or steel towards anything that was good. I could not be moulded, or formed properly. Then I grew sad in soul, and heavy of spirit; I forsook the ways of the mirthful, and stole away from my companions so that I might be alone. I read my Bible a great deal, and the more I read it the more the darkness thickened around me. Then I tried to pray, and, ah, me! — I know now that they were true prayers, but then it seemed as if my prayers were no better than the barkings of a dog; I could not hope that God would accept such prayers as those, and so the darkness increased around me.

9. I think I hear someone say, “Yes, that is my likeness.” So you are here, though your spirit is in the dark. I am very glad to meet you; and while you are there in the dark, I give you my hand, for I sympathize with you, I know what this darkness means. You were not always in that condition; but I thank God you are where you are now. Perhaps you think me to be cruel to thank God for your misery; but I do, for this is the gateway into a joy that will be worth your having. This loss of the sham will be the finding of the real thing, this nailing of the counterfeit on the counter will be giving you the minted gold that shall be current in the markets of heaven.

10. Besides this, a sense of sin has settled on you. I know it did on me; I ate my food at the table, but I sometimes wondered why it did not choke me. I walked the earth, and sometimes I was under such a sense of sin that I marvelled it should continue to bear me up. I thought of the wrath of God, and it did indeed seem to me to be “the wrath to come.” I thank God that I did not, in those days, hear any of those fine preachers who tell you there is no wrath to come; and you do not want to meet such servants of the devil, for they really are his emissaries. When my conscience convicted me of sin, I truly believe that, if I had heard any of these men, I should have loathed them from my very soul. The arrows of God stuck firmly in my heart, and I knew there must be a wrath of God against sin, for I was angry even with myself on account of my guilt. If God had taken me to heaven, with unforgiven sin still within my spirit, I should not have been happy. I was utterly miserable, and I felt that I must continue so unless, by a divine miracle of grace, some great change could be accomplished in me. The conscience of man, when he is really quickened and awakened by the Holy Spirit, speaks the truth; it rings the great alarm-bell, and if he turns over in his bed, and says, “A little more sleep, and a little more slumber,” that great alarm-bell rings out again and again, “The wrath to come! The wrath to come! The wrath to come!”

11. The soul I am describing is in the dark, and the darkness settles down in conviction of sin; and, dear friend, — for I am speaking to you (though I do not know you, I am speaking straight to someone, — God knows who, — who is in the dark), you have no hope; you go to hear sermons, longing that some light may break in on you. Some of you have been hearing the gospel for a very long time, yet no light has come to you. Why is it? One reason is, because you shut out the light. There are some of you who refuse to be converted; you are like sick men who, when food is brought to them, refuse it; they turn against it, as the Psalm says, “Their soul abhors all kinds of food.” I am not going to blame you, dear heart; but I do deeply pity you, for I know that now you are hardly in your right senses, like the men at sea, of whom the Psalm says, “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.” You hear and yet you do not hear. You have had the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to you, and very plainly, too; but you know that it is one thing to hold a lantern to a man’s eyes, and it is another thing to take the scales off those eyes, and make him see. So it is with you; your eyes are covered with scales, and you do your utmost to keep them there; you will not come to Christ so that you might have life; and, therefore, there is no star visible to you, there is not even the faintest rim of the new moon, much less is there any light of the sun shining on you. You are in the dark, and at present there is nothing to break through that darkness, or to drive it away.

12. Worse still, you fear future and eternal night. I think I hear you say, “I am afraid, sir, that I shall die in the dark.” I hope not, I hope not, for I have something to say to you which, I hope, may be God’s voice to pierce that darkness, and disperse it. It would be an awful thing, certainly, to pass out of this world without a hope, and to take the last dread plunge into the unutterable blackness without so much as a single spark of light to guide you on your way; and, since you may die at any moment (remember how our friend was taken away, two Sabbaths ago, just as he entered this house of prayer), since you may die at any moment, see to it that you do not die in the dark. You have only one little candle; do not waste even a fragment of it, but use every beam of light it gives you.

    While the lamp holds out to burn,
       The vilest sinner may return;

but if that lamp is once quenched, then you will be beyond the reach of hope for ever, for the gospel is not preached in hell, where your soul will be found if you die unforgiven. Here, mercy is offered to you; but pass away rejecting it, and you have sealed your doom for ever.

13. I am not going to dwell any longer on the seamy side of my subject, because that might only increase your darkness. Yet I know that you would feel a kind of mournful satisfaction if I were to do so. Do I not remember how I read through the Book of Job, and its blackest pages seemed suitable to me? How I took to heart the language of Jeremiah in his Lamentations, and how I rolled those unsavoury morsels under my tongue again and again! But I rejoice to believe that it is to people in such a state as this that the gospel of Jesus Christ is sent. Christ did not die to save the righteous; but to save the unrighteous. Salvation is not meant for men who are not lost, but for men who are lost. It is not because of your riches that Christ came, but because of your poverty; not because of your worthiness, but because of your unworthiness. He has not come because you do not need him, but because you do need him; and the more terrible your necessity, on account of the thick darkness in which your spirit is enshrouded, the more I am encouraged to believe that Jesus Christ has come to save you; yes, even you, for the text says, “To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ ”

14. II. Now, secondly, I am going to REPEAT THE EXHORTATION of the text: “Show yourselves.” What does that mean?

15. First, it means that, you are running away from divine justice, and that your wisest course will be to go and surrender yourself. I have been thinking, several times this week, of that unhappy man who is believed to have committed a murder, and who has been going from place to place to escape detection. What a miserable week he must have spent! How he must have trembled every time anyone looked at him! The sight of a policeman must be terrifying indeed to him. I do not know where he has been, nor apparently does anyone else, but he is seeking to hide himself away from the officers of justice. There was a murderer, some time ago, who escaped for a time from those who were searching for him; but what a wretched life he lived while he was concealed! Now to any of you who are trying to hide away like this, God says, “Show yourselves; come out of your hiding-place.”

16. “But what am I to do?” one says. Give yourself up. “What! give myself up to justice?” Yes, to almighty justice. Come and surrender yourself. Do you not know that you are not really hidden? God sees you wherever you are; there is no hiding away from him. I might not ask you to give yourself up to your fellow man; but I do ask you guilty sinners, who do not like to think of sin, and are trying to hide yourselves, to abandon that folly, and come out, and give yourselves up. “Give myself up to God?” you ask. Yes, that is the very first thing for you to do; to submit yourself to God, to lie at his feet pleading for mercy. I have heard of one, who found that his life was sought for on account of a frightful crime that he had committed. When it was announced that, whoever would bring that man’s head, even though he himself had been a traitor, he should be forgiven, he did a very sensible thing, he obtained admittance to the king, and said, “I have brought this man’s head, and I claim to be forgiven, for I have complied with the condition mentioned in the proclamation.” So he had, though it was his own head that he had brought; and, somehow, the grim humour of the action seemed to touch the heart of the king, and he said, “Well, you must live.” I want you to do just the same thing as that criminal did; come to God, and say, “Lord, I am a wicked sinner; if there is a man on the earth who deserves to be cast away from your presence for ever on account of sin, I am that guilty one.” Deliver yourself up to God, surrender unconditionally. Say, “You must do with me as you wish, Lord; but I cannot run away from you, nor do I wish to do so. I know that all the earth is only one great prison when you are seeking me, for you can see me anywhere, you can spy me out in the darkest night, and find me in my most secret hiding-place; therefore I will deliver myself up into your hands. Do with me as you wish.”

17. Now then, you who are in the dark, come and deliver yourselves up. Say, as Esther did, when she resolved to go into the presence of Ahasuerus, “So I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” I wish I might be privileged to bring you to that point; may the Lord himself bring you there! In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom God anointed to save sinners, I command you who are in darkness to show yourselves, by surrendering yourselves now to your God, submitting yourselves unreservedly to him. “Kiss the Son lest he is angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled only a little.”

18. The next way of showing yourselves is somewhat different: “Say to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves,’ ” that is, you are very lonely, and you have been avoiding your best friends. You like to get away into a secluded corner, and you do not care to be spoken to about religion; yet all the while you have the heart-ache, and do not know how to get it cured. To you who wish to be always alone, you who are so retiring, so nervous, and so sensitive, that you never speak to anyone about the sorrow you so keenly feel, thus says the Lord to you, “To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ ” Come out of your retirement. If you cannot speak to any mortal man, yet speak to the Immortal Man, the Christ of God; go and tell all your sorrow to the best of friends. You remember that we sang just now, —

    Jesu, lover of my soul,
    Let me to thy bosom fly.

19. Oh you lonely one, I want you to speak like this to Jesus, and to flee to his bosom, and tell him all that ails you! You cannot speak to mother, you say, dear girl; then speak to the Lord Jesus Christ. “Oh, I cannot speak to my father!” says the boy. No, I have often found that the children cannot talk to their earthly father; but you can go and speak to the Lord Jesus Christ. He will meet you in your little room, he will be by your bedside tonight; get somewhere alone, and say to him, “Lord Jesus, I do not have a friend to whom I can go for relief. Perhaps there are many who would be my friends, but I am so frightened and so timid that I dare not go and speak to them. Even when I go to the Tabernacle, I am afraid lest someone should talk to me about my soul.” Speak like this to the Lord Jesus first, and it may be that he will give you courage next to allow some Christian person to converse with you, and help you “out of darkness into light.” Even if you do not have courage enough for that, it shall be an all-sufficient help for you to show yourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. Seek his acquaintance; and if only like one groping in the dark you only touch him, and lay hold of him by faith, you will be saved, and in due time you will come out into the light of his countenance.

20. So I have given you two meanings to the text; now I want to tell you another: “Say to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ ” This passage may be applied to you who are sick, who are concealing your disease. I want every man here who is troubled about the state of his heart, and every woman, too, to come and show themselves to Christ, just as they are, in all their sin. I remember a friend of mine, who was for years suffering from an ailment that I need not name, and after a while his malady reached a very sad condition, and he was most seriously ill. A physician was called in, and when he had examined the patient, he said, “This ought to have been seen to years ago. Why was it not properly attended to before? Have you no doctor?” “Oh, yes! the doctor has been in and out of the house many times; he has been here almost every month.” “Well, what did he do for you?” “Oh, he prescribed, different things!” Then the physician asked, “But did he never examine you to find out what was the matter?” and the patient replied, “Oh, I always shrank from a medical examination!” “But,” rejoined the physician, “you will soon be dead unless God deals very graciously with you; and if you had been examined, and properly treated, a few years ago, probably this mischief was then such a very small affair that your life might have been saved.” Do you not think that such a thing as that often happens; that we are afraid of a thorough examination, and do not want to know our real condition, and therefore it continues to get worse? Well now, I want you who are in darkness to come to God, and to say to him, “Lord, examine me thoroughly.” Go and show the Lord your sins and your sores, indeed, though they are putrefying sores! He is accustomed to seeing such things, therefore hide nothing from him. Go and tell him the tale of all your sins and your sorrows. In your prayers to him, make a full confession of your sin. I remember one who used to pray, “Lord, pardon my sin,” and he went over a list of a number of sins that he had not committed, but he used to say very little about those that he had committed. “I am afraid I take a little drop too much,” he would sometimes confess; but he never obtained peace until he said straight out, “Lord, I am a hard drinker, I am a drunkard; but by your grace I will take no more strong drink.” Then he was delivered from the evil. If I were a priest, and you were fools enough to come and confess your sins to me, I should not ask you to call a spade a spade, for some spades are better called by another name; but when you go to God, pour out all that is in your heart, confess all your wrong-doing. Admit that you are proud and conceited; admit that you are murmuring and rebellious; admit that you do not want to be converted; admit that you have companions you would not like to give up; admit that you are living in the practice of a secret sin; admit it all, show yourselves, present yourselves to God just as you are. It will be a dreadful sight; but the Great Physician will then operate on you with his wonderful power, which cures and cleanses, too. Remember this text, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You who are in darkness, show yourselves to God by a full and whole-hearted confession of your sin, and a humble acknowledgment that you deserve to suffer his righteous wrath.

21. So I hope I have in another sense put this matter plainly enough: “Say to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ ”

22. The next thing you have to do is to show yourselves as healed ones bound to confess him who has cured them. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are healed of the leprosy of sin; if you trust Christ, your sins are forgiven; but remember that this is the full gospel message, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.” “If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” When the ten lepers were cleansed, our Lord Jesus Christ said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priest,” in order that he might examine and see whether it was a real cure that had been accomplished, and so might bear testimony that Christ had healed the leprosy. Now, if Christ has saved you, you are required to come out, and show yourself. Come to the Church of God, and ask to be admitted to its fellowship. “Oh but I mean to go to heaven in the dark!” Do you? Do you expect to find a dark heaven when you get there? “But,” one says, “there are a great many secret Christians.” How do you know that there are? Did you ever know one? “Yes,” someone says, “I remember one.” But, if you knew him how could he be a secret Christian? I do not know whether there ever was a secret Christian; I will not say anything about that matter, because I am not in on the secret in such a case as that; but this I know, no one has a right to be a secret Christian. Our Lord Jesus said, “Whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” “Lord,” one says, “I am your disciple, but I am going to take it easy on the sofa.” “No,” says Christ, “that kind of life will not do for one of my disciples, for he who does not take up his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.” You who were in darkness, if Christ has brought you into light, show yourselves; come forward, and say, “Here is a proof of what the grace of God has done.

    I the chief of sinners am,
       Yet Jesus died for me;

and I desire to come out boldly, and publicly to acknowledge what he has done for me. It is the very least that I can do to show my gratitude to him.” I have some times called some of you, who say you love Christ, but do not confess him before men, “rats behind the wainscotting.” You just come out, as it were, to nibble a bit of cheese, and then go back again into the darkness; but is that the way that a Christian man or woman ought to act?

    Jesus! and shall it ever be?
    A mortal man ashamed of thee!

No, do not let it be so; you who have been brought out of the darkness, show yourselves, and confess your Saviour and your Lord.

23. But I am going to carry the text a little further yet. There are some young men here, perhaps some young women also, who have been saved; they are no longer in the dark, and God has given them grace, and talents, yet still they are hiding themselves away. They are chosen ones loath to take their place of service. You remember that, when Saul was elected king, the people could not find him; he was a fine tall fellow, who stood head and shoulders above the rest of his countrymen, and though they ought to have spied him out even if he had been sitting down, they could not find him. Where was he? Hidden away among the baggage. He did not appear hardly to like that idea of being king, so he hid himself away, and the people cried, “Come out, Saul; come out!” and they brought him out, and proclaimed him king. There are certain brethren whom God intends to place where they do not want to be placed. There is one who ought to be a Sunday School teacher, but he is not willing. Where is he? Come out, sir, come out; I must bring you out from among the baggage. “Say to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ ” There is a young fellow who ought to be preaching the gospel; he made a very pretty speech, the other night, at the Mutual Improvement Society; he can speak well enough as a politician; and if there was an election, we should find him talking fast enough, but he is dumb as far as the Church of Christ is concerned. Come out, brother! If the Lord has saved you, and if he is pleading for you in heaven, it is time you began to plead for him on earth. Perhaps it is for the mission field that the Master wants you; and, my brother, my sister, if it is so, the message of the Lord comes to you tonight, “You who are in darkness, hiding yourselves away, ‘Show yourselves.’ ”

24. And, notice that our text applies also to persecuted ones who shall be acknowledged and honoured by God. There will come a day when God’s people, who have long been in the dark through persecution, slander, and misrepresentation, shall hear the Lord speaking to them out of heaven, and saying, “Gather my saints together to me; those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” “Say to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ ” What a change will come for God’s poor despised people in that day! “Then the righteous shall shine out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” and “those who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.” Oh, I know that they sneer at you, and call you bad names, “a Methodist, a Presbyterian, a fanatic, a hypocrite.” Stand firm for Christ, and the day will come when he shall say, “You who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ ”

25. Lastly, these words also relate to dead ones called to resurrection. It may be that most of us shall go down to the grave before Christ shall come, and we shall lie, —

    “In beds of dust and silent clay,”

and leave these poor bodies of ours in some cemetery or other. Perhaps in the depths of the sea, or far away in New Zealand, or in the United States or Canada, we shall leave our bones far from the place where our fathers sleep; but there shall come a day when the silver trumpet of the resurrection morning shall sound aloud, and this shall be its note, “You who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves,’ ” and out from the dark we shall come, the redeemed of the Lord, in resurrection glory. In the prospect of that day, I feel that I must show myself for my Lord now; I must come to the forefront, and bear the brunt of the battle for the truth. I must be bold for Christ, for he has brought me out of darkness into his marvellous light, and he deserves that I should not shrink away, and hide myself. He who has prepared a crown of life for every faithful one, expects that you and I will be faithful even to death, in the hope of obtaining that crown of life which does not fade away. Get up, get up, you who are hiding yourselves; come out of the bushes in which you are skulking away! If Jehovah is God, serve him. If Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ of God, acknowledge him. If the gospel is worth preaching, proclaim it with trumpet-tongue. If the Church of God is for him, be numbered with it, and take your part in its service and in its suffering. May God help you, and God bless you, by this message which seems to me to come directly from himself to you! You who are in sorrow, show yourselves, and all you who are cowardly, show yourselves, and may God bless you, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Isa 49:1-17}

In this chapter, we have not only Isaiah speaking concerning the Christ of God; but it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who here speaks concerning himself.

1. “Listen, oh isles, to me; and listen, you people, from afar;

It is very remarkable how constantly the isles are spoken of in this Book of Isaiah, as if it had been foreseen that, in these far-off islands of the sea, the name of Jesus would be greatly magnified. “Listen,” says the Messiah, “Oh isles, to me; and listen, you people, from afar.”

1. The LORD has called me from the womb; from the matrix of my mother he has made mention of my name.

Christ Jesus our Lord was spoken of by the spirit of prophecy from his very birth, and long before it; and when he did come into the world, and was born by the Virgin Mary, the stars of heaven spoke concerning him, and guided the wise men from the East to the place where the young child lay.

2. And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword;

There are no words anywhere so piercing as the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you are giving quotations from various authors, you need never write the name “Jesus” at the bottom of any of his words, for they proclaim their own origin. “Never a man spoke like this man.”

2. In the shadow of his hand he has hidden me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver he has hidden me;

The great weapon of God against sin is his Son Jesus Christ. God has no such means of striking evil, or accomplishes his purposes of love, as his own dear Son. This is the “polished shaft” which Jehovah delights to use.

3. And said to me, ‘You are my servant,

Above all others, Christ is the servant of God. He is a Son by nature, a servant by his condescension, a servant for our sakes.

3. Oh Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’

It is very wonderful that the Redeemer should be called here “Israel.” It is no more wonderful, however, than that in another place his people should be called by his name. You remember those two passages in the prophecy of Jeremiah: “This is his name by which he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and “This is the name by which she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.” There, the people of God take their Lord’s name; and here, Christ takes the name of his people, and he himself condescends to be called Israel. Nor is this an unsuitable name for him, for it is he who wrestled on our behalf, and prevailed even as Israel did at Jabbok. Jesus is a greater Prince with God than Jacob ever was. Well, then, does Jehovah say to him, “You are my servant, oh Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

4. Then I said, ‘I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.’

The Messiah, prophetically looking forward, complained that, during his life on earth, he seemed to labour in vain. The nation was not saved: “He came to his own, and his own did not receive him.” He wept over the guilty city of Jerusalem; but those tears did not put out the fires of vengeance. He entreated men to turn to God, but they did not and they would not repent. He seemed to labour in vain, and spend his strength for nothing, and in vain.

5. And now, says the LORD who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, though Israel is not gathered, yet I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

Even though the Jewish nation is not yet gathered to Christ, his labour was not in vain. God will not allow his Son to spend his strength for nothing.

6. And he said, ‘It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, so that you may be my salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

What a blessed word of cheer this is for us poor Gentiles! The favoured children of Israel thought us to be little better than dogs; and, behold, we have been lifted up into the children’s place. If Israel is not gathered, the Messiah has become a light to the Gentiles, and God’s salvation to the ends of the earth. Yet we cannot help fervently praying, “Oh, that Israel might soon be gathered to Christ!” Her ingathering will be the time of the fulness of the Gentiles.

7. Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors,

Who is this but our Divine Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God? These words are spoken of him whom man despised, of him who was despised and rejected by men, of him whom the nation abhors, for that favoured nation still, alas! abhors the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and will not harbour anything but thoughts of contempt towards Christ.

7. To a servant of rulers,

For, though he was the King of kings, and Lord of lords, he submitted to be a servant to the kings of the earth, and obeyed the rules of human governors. Yet, —

7. “Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD who is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose you.”

The day is coming when he who was spit on shall be the most admired of all mankind. No more the crown of thorns, but many diadems of glory shall rest on his blessed head; and all men, with loud acclaim, shall greet him as King of kings and Lord of lords.

8. Thus says the LORD, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate places;

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who shall establish all that is good, and cast down everything that is evil. He shall staunch earth’s bleeding wounds, and repair her wilderness wastes. Where he comes, flowers spring up all around his blessed feet.

9. That you may say to the prisoners, ‘Go out’; to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

When Christ leads his flock, wherever they go they shall feed; and even if he leads them to the very tops of the hills, he shall make the pastures grow there for them. Every place where Christ leads us is safe for us to go. The Shepherd’s feet make pastures for the sheep that follow him; therefore, do not be afraid to go wherever he leads you, but rather rejoice that he sends out his own sheep, and goes before them, for “they shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.”

10, 11. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun strike them: for he who has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water he shall guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way,

Where, naturally, there could not be a way, on those pathless summits of the loftiest Alps, the Lord says, “I will make all my mountains a way,” —

11. And my highways shall be exalted.

“I will throw up causeways.” God will make a way for you to go to him if you want to go to him. If you are willing to make a way for God, he will make a way for you; the gulf shall be bridged, the mountain shall be levelled.

12. Behold, these shall come from afar: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.”

“The land of Sinim” means China. Is it not strange that, in this Book, we should find mention of the land of Sinim, the country of China? But God has a people there, and they shall come to him. I was delighted, last Tuesday, to meet a brother who had broken bread with us at the Lord’s table; he was a poor Chinaman, so he had helped to fulfil this prophecy: “These shall come from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.”

13-15. Sing, oh heavens; and be joyful, oh earth; and break out into singing, oh mountains: for the LORD has comforted his people, and will have mercy on his afflicted. But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, but I will not forget you.

Will God ever forget his ancient people, the Jews? Never! They forget their God, but Jehovah never forgets his chosen people: “They may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

16. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;

“I cannot work, I cannot even open the palm of my hand without seeing the memorials of my chosen people: ‘I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.’ ”

16, 17. Your walls are continually before me. Your children shall hurry; your destroyers and those who made you a waste shall go out from you.”

For God is full of kindness to his people, and cannot forget them. Oh, that they would never forget him!

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — Christ Is All” 551}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Desiring To Submit” 589}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Invitations — Come Now” 502}

Gospel, Received by Faith
551 — Christ Is All <7s.>
1 Jesus, lover of my soul,
   Let me to thy bosom fly,
   While the nearer waters roll,
   While the tempest still is high!
   Hide me, oh my Saviour, hide,
   Till the storm of life be past;
   Safe into the haven guide;
   Oh receive my soul at last.
2 Other refuge have I none,
   Hangs my helpless soul on thee!
   Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
   Still support and comfort me!
   All my trust on thee is stay’d
   All my help from thee I bring;
   Cover my defenceless head
   With the shadow of thy wing.
3 Thou, oh Christ, art all I want;
   More than all in thee I find:
   Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
   Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
   Just and holy is thy name,
   I am all unrighteousness,
   False and full of sin I am;
   Thou art full of truth and grace.
4 Plenteous grace with thee is found,
   Grace to cover all my sin;
   Let the healing streams abound,
   Make and keep me pure within;
   Thou of life the fountain art,
   Freely let me take of thee!
   Spring thou up within my heart,
   Rise to all eternity!
                     Charles Wesley, 1740.

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.

Gospel, Invitations
502 — Come Now <8.7.>
1 Come, poor sinners, come to Jesus,
      Weary, heavy laden, weak;
   None but Jesus Christ can ease us,
      Come ye all, his mercy seek.
2 “Come, it is his invitation;
      “Come to me,” the Saviour says,
   Why, oh why such hesitation,
      Gloomy doubts, and base delays?
3 Do you fear your own unfitness,
      Burden’d as you are with sin?
   ‘Tis the Holy Spirit’s witness;
      Christ invites you — enter in.
4 Do your sins and your distresses
      ‘Gainst this sacred record plead?
   Know that Christ most kindly blesses
      Those who feel the most their need.
5 Hear his words, so true and cheering,
      Fitted just for the distress’d;
   Dwell upon the sound endearing;
      “Mourners, I will give you rest.”
6 Stay not pondering on your sorrow,
      Turn from your own self away:
   Do not linger till tomorrow,
      Come to Christ without delay.
            William Freeman Lloyd, 1835.

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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