2422. “There Is Forgiveness.”

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No. 2422-41:337. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, June 23, 1887, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, July 21, 1895.

But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared. {Ps 130:4}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2422, “There Is Forgiveness” 2423}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2792, “Psalmist’s Question and Answer, A” 2793}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2882, “Forgiveness and Fear” 2883}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2972, “Forgiveness” 2973}
   Exposition on Ps 129; 130; 131 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2422, “There Is Forgiveness” 2423 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 130:1-8 1Jo 1:1-2:2 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3269, “Frail Leaf, A” 3271 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 130; 1Jo 1:4-7 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3460, “Praise Comely to the Upright” 3462 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 130 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2579, “Waiting, Hoping, Watching” 2580 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 32; 130 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2882, “Forgiveness and Fear” 2883 @@ "Exposition"}

1. Have you noticed the verse, which comes before the text? It runs like this, “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, oh Lord, who shall stand?” That is a confession. Now, confession must always come before absolution. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” If we try to cloak our sin, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” and no pardon can come from God to us. Therefore, plead guilty, plead guilty. You ought to do it, for you are guilty. You will find it wisest to do it, for this is the only way to obtain mercy. Cast yourself on the mercy of your Judge, and you shall find mercy; but first acknowledge that you need mercy. Be honest with your conscience, and honest with your God, and confess your iniquity which you have done, and mourn over the righteousness to which you have not attained.

2. You notice that this confession is recorded with a kind of grave astonishment: “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, oh Lord, who shall stand?” This is as much as for the psalmist to say, “I am sure that I cannot, and who can?” And, my dear brothers and sisters, if God shall deal with us according to our iniquities, where shall we stand, and who among us shall stand anywhere? I dare not stand to preach if God shall judge me according to my iniquities. You dare not stand to sing; what have you to do with singing if God is marking your iniquities? I wonder that men can stand at their counters, and stand at their work, while their sin is unforgiven. And then how shall we stand in the day of judgment? The best saint on earth, if he stands in his own righteousness alone, and is judged according to his own offences, why, the justice of God will blow him away like the chaff, or consume him as with a flame of fire. “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, oh Lord, who shall stand?”

3. It is a dreadful fact that this “if” is no “if” for those who are not believers in Christ, but it is a matter of terrible certainty. God does mark the iniquities of you who are unbelievers. Although as yet he does not visit them on you, otherwise you could not stand, yet he sees them, and he records them. Just as gold and silver are put into a bag and sealed up, so are your iniquities. All the transgressions of your past life are in the book of record, from which they never can be blotted out except by one gracious hand. Oh that you would accept pardon from that pierced hand! But, apart from that, your iniquities are inscribed as in eternal bronze, and in that day when the forgotten things shall be brought to light, all the sins that now lie at the bottom of the sea of time shall be cast up on the shore, and everything shall be seen, and every secret thing shall be set in the light of day, and every transgression and iniquity shall be revealed by the light of the great white throne, and the ungodly shall be punished for all their ungodly words and ungodly deeds and ungodly thoughts according to the rules of equity in that last day of assize. Oh sirs, God will mark iniquity, and then, who shall be able to stand who is outside of Christ? Who shall find any shelter then who has never hidden in the riven Rock of Ages? Indeed, shall they not all cry to the mountains to fall on them, to hide them from the dreadful face of him who shall sit on the throne of God? Even at this time there are some in this house of prayer whose sins are lying on them, and whose transgressions are written in God’s book of remembrance! How can they dare to stand even before a throne of grace, and how will they stand before the throne of judgment?

4. That third verse makes an appropriate preface to my text; it is the black thunder-cloud on which I see written, as with the finger of God and with a lightning flash, the wonderful words we are now to consider, “But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared.”

5. I. My first point is taken from the first word of the text: “But.” Here is A WHISPER OF HOPE. “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, oh Lord, who shall stand? But” — Oh, the sweet music of that little word! It seems to come in when the terrible drum of alarm is being beaten, and the dreadful clarion of judgment is sounding out. There is a pause with this word, “But there is forgiveness.” It is a soft and gentle whisper from the lips of love: “But there is forgiveness.”

6. This comes into the soul after a full confession of sin. When you have knelt down before God, and acknowledged your transgressions and your shortcomings, and your heart is heavy, and your soul is ready to burst with inward anguish, then you may hear this gracious word, “But there is forgiveness.” When, under a sense of sin, it seems as if the very fiends of hell were shrieking in your ears because of the awful doom which is drawing near, when you shall be driven from hope and from the presence of God, then, when you fall on your face, in the terror of your soul because of your iniquity, then comes this sweet word, “But there is forgiveness.” It is all true which your conscience tells you, it is all true which the Word of God threatens concerning you; then acknowledge that it is true, and bow yourself in the dust before God, and then you shall hear in your soul, not only in your ear but in your heart, this blessed word, “But there is forgiveness.”

7. Some of us remember when we first heard this word. When it came, it was to us like the clear shining after rain: “But there is forgiveness.” Some of us were perhaps for weeks and months without any knowledge of this blessed truth, pining for it, hungering for it; and when the Lord brought it home with power into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, oh, there was no music like it! Angels could not sing any tune so sweet as these words spoken to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, “But there is forgiveness.” Go your way, my hearer, and confess before God all your sin. I will not say what it has been. Perhaps, you have lived for many years in the pursuit of sinful pleasures; you have been dominated by your own will, you have tried to be lord and master, or queen and mistress, of your own wicked spirit, and you have done evil even as they could, and you are aware of your sin, and your wounds bleed before God because of it. Well, then, in comes this whisper of hope: “But there is forgiveness.” May God make it as sweet to you to hear it as it is to me to tell of it!

8. This whisper of hope sometimes comes to the soul by the Spirit of God as the result of observation. A man, full of sin, thinks to himself, “Well, but others also have been full of sin, yet they have been forgiven. What if I have been a blasphemer and injurious? Yet so was Saul of Tarsus, and he had forgiveness from the Lord. What if I have been a thief? Yet so was he who hung on the cross, and that day was with his Lord in Paradise. What if I have been a fallen woman, and have been defiled with sin? Yet there is forgiveness, for she was forgiven who was a sinner, and came and washed Christ’s feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, loving much because she had much forgiven. What, even if I have been an adulterer? Yet such was David. What if I have been a persecutor? Yet such was Manasseh. Into whatever sin I may have fallen, I observe that others like me have been snatched from these horrible pits, and why should I not be?” I would whisper this message into the ear of anyone here who is conscious of sin. If you will only look around you, you will see others like yourself who have been washed, and cleansed, and sanctified. Some of them are on earth, and many more of them are in heaven, who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Sweet, then, is this whisper of hope arising out of observation of others: “But there is forgiveness.”

9. This whisper comes also in opposition to the voice of despair, for despair says to a soul under a sense of sin, “There is no mercy for you; you have sinned beyond all limits, your death-warrant is signed, the verdict has been given against you, there remains nothing for you but everlasting burnings.” No, soul, God’s Word against your word any day! God’s Word says, “There is forgiveness,” Nothing can destroy despair except a message from God himself, and this passage is like a huge hammer to break asunder the gates of bronze and dash in pieces the bars of iron: “There is forgiveness.” “All manner of blasphemy shall be forgiven to men.” In the greatness of his heart, Jehovah declares that he delights in mercy, and this is the song which went up to him in the old Jewish Church with many a repetition, and is just as true today, —

    For his mercies shall endure,
    Ever faithful, ever sure.
    He his chosen race did bless
    In the wasteful wilderness:
    For his mercies shall endure,
    Ever faithful, ever sure.
    He hath, with a piteous eye,
    Look’d upon our misery:
    For his mercies shall endure,
    Ever faithful, ever sure.

You have not gone beyond his mercy; you cannot go beyond his mercy if you will trust his Son. “There is forgiveness.” Let this whisper drive away despair. What a blessed whisper it is! “There is forgiveness.” “There is forgiveness.” Let it enter your soul, and drive those grim ogres and hobgoblins of despair away into the sea of forgetfulness. “There is forgiveness.”

10. This whisper of hope is, further, the answer even to conscience. When Mr. Conscience is really at work, he has a very terrible voice. There is no lion in the thicket that roars like a truly awakened conscience. Conscience says, “You knew your duty, but you did not do it.” You have sinned away many a day of grace, you have refused gospel invitations, you have striven against the light of nature and the light of God, you will go down to hell well deserving your doom. When the millstone is about your neck, to sink you into the abyss, you will deserve to have it so, for you have earned all this for yourself by your iniquities. I will not seek to stifle conscience, nor ask you to shut your ear to his voice. Let him speak; but still, do you not hear between his roarings this sweet note as of a silver harp, “But — but — but — but there is forgiveness?” Oh conscience, there is forgiveness! I am as guilty as you say I am, and much more guilty, for you cannot see all the sin that I have committed; “but there is forgiveness.”

11. Let me go still further, and say that this whisper of hope is an answer even to the law of God. The ten commandments are like ten great cannons fully loaded, and if we were, like the rebels in India, tied to the muzzles of them, and blown to pieces, it would be only what we well deserve; but just when the fuse is lit, and about to be applied, there rings out this blessed word, “There is forgiveness. There is forgiveness.” The law says, “The soul that sins, it shall die”; and the law knows no mercy, it cannot know any mercy. Sinai has never yet yielded one drop of water to cool the parched tongue of a guilty sinner. Never did a shower reach its craggy peaks; it is a fire mountain, and the thunder rolls over its summit, with the sound of a trumpet extremely loud and long, making all who hear it to tremble. God, when he comes to judgment, must judge according to justice; “but — but — but — but there is forgiveness.” There is another mountain besides Sinai. You have not come to Mount Sinai; but you have come to Mount Zion. There is another Lawgiver besides Moses; there is Jesus the Son of God. There is another covenant besides the covenant of works, there is a covenant of rich, free, sovereign grace, and this is the essence of it, “There is forgiveness.” Oh, that I could convey that whisper into the ear of every sinner who is here! I can do that; but oh, that God the Holy Spirit would put it into his heart, that he might never forget, “There is forgiveness!”

12. II. Now I advance to my second division. In our text I see, besides the whisper of hope, AN ASSURANCE OF THE WORD OF GOD: “There is forgiveness with you.”

13. Dear friends, “there is forgiveness.” Nature could never tell you this great truth. You may walk the grain fields at this moment, and see the bounty of God in the waving grain; but you cannot read forgiveness there. You may climb the hills, and see the beauty of the landscape; you may look on silver streams that make the fields glad; but you cannot read forgiveness there. You can see the goodness of God towards man, but not the mercy of God towards sinners. But if you come to this Book, you can read it here.

14. Turn to the Old Testament, and you will see that it reveals sacrifice, — lambs, and young bulls, and goats. What did they all mean? They meant that there was a way of pardon through the shedding of blood; they taught men this, that God would accept certain sacrifices on their behalf. Then turn to the New Testament, and there you will see it revealed even more clearly that God has accepted a sacrifice, the sacrifice which he himself gave, for “he did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.” In this Book you read how he can be “just, and the Justifier of him who believes”; how he can be a just God and yet a Saviour; how he can forgive, and yet be just as righteous as if he punished and showed no mercy. This, in fact, is the revelation of the gospel; this is what this Book was written to teach, to tell you that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them.” Therefore we come to you, not merely with a hopeful whisper, but with a full, distinct, emphatic, unquestionable assurance, “There is forgiveness.” “There is forgiveness.”

15. Turn to this Word of God, and you will find the certainty of forgiveness. “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” What a grand article of the creed that is! Do you believe it? Then do not doubt, do not hesitate. “There is forgiveness.” You must know that there is such a thing, or else you will not be eager to seek for it. It is in vain to go in quest of a myth or a perhaps; but here is a certainty for you. “There is forgiveness.” Do not doubt it; believe it to be so, and then seek after it with all your heart. “There is forgiveness.” That is a matter of certainty.

16. Notice, if you please, the broad indefiniteness of the text: “There is forgiveness.” It does not say, “There is forgiveness for this sin or for that,” but, “There is forgiveness.” Where God draws no limit, do not draw any. If God throws the door wide open, and says, “There is forgiveness,” then come along, you sinners, whoever you may be, from jails and penitentiaries, come along from your Pharisaic places of boasting and self-righteousness, come along with you, for there is forgiveness even for you. You rich, you poor, you learned, you ignorant, you who know nothing, know at least this, “There is forgiveness.” This text excludes no one. I bless God sometimes for the grand vagueness of his speech. When he draws lines of distinction, as sometimes he does, then we are anxious to know who is included and who is excluded; but when he simply says, “There is forgiveness,” let us jump at it, and grasp it by an act of faith; and, only let us grasp it once, he will never take it from us, for Jesus himself said, “Whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out.”

17. Notice, too, the immediate presentness of the text. Our version has it, “There is forgiveness,” but there is not even the verb in the Hebrew. The translators put in the words, “There is,” so we are to read it, “There was forgiveness”; “There is forgiveness”; “There will be forgiveness as long as life lasts.” But I like it as it stands here. “There is forgiveness” tonight; “there is forgiveness” now; “there is forgiveness” where you sit, just as you are, just now. Oh, that I could say it so as to convince you of the truth of it, and give a grip, a squeeze of my right hand, to each one of you; I would like to do it! Oh my dear friends, do not despair, do not be bowed down any longer, “there is forgiveness,” there is forgiveness now!

18. And it is intended to have a personality about it. It is no use telling anyone that there is forgiveness for other people, but none for him. This text is made for you, dear friends, and the preacher is sent to proclaim this truth to you, for he is sent to preach as far as he can to every creature under heaven. “There is forgiveness” for you, though you think there is none. Your thoughts are not as God’s thoughts; neither are your ways as his ways. There is, there surely is, at this moment, forgiveness. Oh, that you would prove it by an act of faith! The moment you believe in Christ, your sins are all forgiven you. Look to him whom I would hold up before you, as Moses held up the bronze serpent on the pole, look, for there is life in a look to him who died for guilty men.

    There is life for look at the Crucified One;
       There is life at this moment for thee;
    Then look, sinner — look unto him, and be saved —
       Unto him who was nail’d to the tree.

19. May this be the moment when the Spirit of God shall make it to be so to many present here! “There is forgiveness.”

20. III. Now I must go a little further, and notice, in the text, A DIRECTION OF WISDOM: “There is forgiveness with you.” “With you.”

21. Do you hear this, dear heart? You are shrinking from your God; you are anxious to run away from him; that is the place where the forgiveness is, with God. Where the offence went, from that very place the forgiveness comes: “There is forgiveness with you.” “Against you, you only, I have sinned,” but, “there is forgiveness with you”; with the very God whom you have offended. It is with God in such a way that it is part of his nature. “He delights in mercy.” “God is love.” He glorifies himself by passing by transgression, iniquity, and sin. There is forgiveness with God; it is in God’s very nature that it lies. Do not flee away, then, from the very place where forgiveness awaits you.

22. “There is forgiveness with you.” Some read the passage, “There is a propitiation with you.” Now, the Lord Jesus Christ is that propitiation, and he is with God. He has gone up into glory, and he is at the right hand of the Father even now. Make your way to God, for the propitiation is there before you. Meet your God at the mercy seat lest you have to meet him at the judgment seat. There is always forgiveness with God, for Jesus is always there. Therefore, go to him, and find it.

23. “There is forgiveness with you,” that is to say, God has it as his immediate gift; he will not have to hunt for it, for it is with him, he has it ready to bestow. He will not need you to plead for it with so many sighs, and cries, and tears, but he has it waiting for you. The writ by which you shall be set free is already made out. “There is forgiveness with you.” The Lord Jehovah has signed your free pardon, it lies before him now; go and take it. “There is forgiveness with you,” immediately, and if you only believe in Jesus, you shall receive it from his hand.

24. “There is forgiveness with you.” Then, depend on it, there is a way for forgiveness to get to me; for if God has it, he can get to me with it somehow. I may be far off from hope; I may be surrounded, as it were, with brick walls, shut in like a man in one of the oubliettes {a} of the Bastille, {b} where men lay until they were forgotten, and the very jailer did not know who they were, nor when they came there. If you are even in such a sad state as that, God can get at you; there is forgiveness with him, and he can get it to you.

25. And if it is with God, then there is a way for you to get to it, for One has come who stands between you and God. There is a Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; but you do not need a mediator between Christ and yourself, you can come to him just as you are. You do need a Mediator with God, and there is Jesus Christ, who is God and man, able to lay his hand both on you and on your gracious God, and to bring you into his presence.

26. I feel somehow certain that I am going to have some souls tonight to be my reward. I love to ring those charming bells, “free grace and dying love.” A great part of the pleasure of preaching is derived from the fact that I know that God’s Word will not return to him void, but that some who hear the gospel message will receive it, and be saved. Listen to this word, you doubting, trembling, despairing sinner, “there is forgiveness,” and that forgiveness is with God. If I told you that it was with myself, and that I was the priest, perhaps you would be foolish enough to believe me; but I will tell you no such lie. It is not with any priest on earth, it is with the Lord. “There is forgiveness with you”; and you may go to God just as you are, with nothing in your hand, and cast yourself at his feet, quoting the name of his dear Son. Rest there, and the work is done; for, as God lives, it is true, that there is forgiveness with him that he may be feared.

27. IV. I close with this word. The last part of the text shows A DESIGN OF LOVE; “There is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared.”

28. Someone said, “I should have thought that it would have read, ‘that you may be loved.’” Yes, so I should have thought; but then, you see, fear, especially in the Old Testament, includes love. It includes every holy feeling of reverence, and worship, and obedience towards God. That is the Old Testament name for true religion — “the fear of God.” So I might say that the text declares, “There is forgiveness with you, that you may be loved, and worshipped, and served.” Still, even in the sense of fear, it is a most blessed fact that those who fear the Lord are delightful to him. “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his mercy.”

29. Do you not see how it is, dear friends, that men fear the Lord because he forgives their sins? It must be so, because, first, if he did not forgive their sins, there would be no one left to fear him, for they would all die. If he were to deal with men according to their sins, he must sweep the whole race of mankind off the face of the earth; but there is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared.

30. Next, if it were certain that God did not pardon sin, everyone would despair, and so again there would be no one to fear him, for a despairing heart grows hard like the lower millstone. Because they have no hope, men go on to sin worse and worse; but there is forgiveness with God that he may be feared. The demons never repent, for there is no pardon for them. There is no gospel preached in hell, and consequently there is no relenting, no repenting, no turning towards God among lost spirits. But there is forgiveness with him that he may be feared by you.

31. What a wonderful effect pardon has on a man! What a wonderful effect it has on a man to know that he is pardoned, to be sure that he is forgiven! He begins to tremble all over. Remember how it is written, “And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, that they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, that they have sinned, and that they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure for them.” A man who has been forgiven is afraid that he should go and sin again after such love and such mercy. He is melted down by the goodness of the Lord, he does not know what to make of it. For a time, he can hardly believe that it is true. I know that, when I was converted, I felt at first like Peter when the great iron gate was opened, and the angel brought him out of prison, he did not know what was done for him by the angel, and he thought he saw a vision; he could not believe it to be true that he was really released. So it is with the saved sinner; you are so amazed, you are so overwhelmed, that you are even filled with fear at the intense delight of pardon, being half-afraid that it cannot really be true that such a wretch as you can have been pardoned, and that all your iniquities are blotted out for ever. The wondrous grace of God makes you tremble with a holy reverential fear, and you sing, with Dr. Watts, —

    When God reveal’d his gracious name
       And changed my mournful state,
    My rapture seem’d a pleasing dream,
       The grace appear’d so great.

32. Are there any of God’s people here who are afraid that they do not fear God enough? If you want to revive your fear of God, and have it deepened, believe in your pardon. Look! it is an exceptional way to come to fear God, but believe that you are forgiven, prize your forgiveness, know that your sins are blotted out, cling to the cross, and so all that sweet fear of God, by which is meant everything of piety, will abound in your soul.

33. Some think that it will be a good way of deepening their graces to begin to question whether they are Christians. That is the wrong way altogether. Unbelief does not heal anyone; it is faith that heals. Believe up to the hilt; believe, come what may to you; believe in Christ, though your sins rage and rave and roar. Believe in Christ, though the devil tells you that you are damned. Should hell seem to open at your feet, believe in your pardon through the precious blood, and do not stagger at the promise of God through unbelief; and you shall feel yourself filled with a holy fear, and joy, and peace, and love, and zeal, and burning desire to serve him who has done all this for you. “There is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared.”

34. If any of you poor people here, who have not yet found the Saviour, are saying, “We wish that we could feel our sin more; we wish that we could fear the Lord more”; let me tell you that this fear is to come to you afterwards. There is forgiveness first, and then the fear comes afterwards. All the fear in the world that is worth having is the result of pardoned sin. The fear that is not to be cast out, the fear that has no torment in it, is that fear which comes from a sense of every iniquity being blotted out. I charge you, believe in Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I say to you unbelieving ones, — Believe in him now. Rise, take up your bed, and walk. I, who have no power whatever of myself, yet speaking in my Master’s name, know that his power will go with his gospel, and that his word shall not return to him void. Believe and live. May God bless you, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — Rock Of Ages” 552}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Think Of Jesus” 598}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Give Me Christ” 606}

{a} Oubliette: A secret dungeon, access to which was gained only through a trap-door above; often having a secret pit below, into which the prisoner might be thrown down headlong. OED. {b} The Bastille was a fortress in Paris, known formally as the Bastille Saint-Antoine. It played an important role in the internal conflicts of France and for most of its history was used as a state prison by the kings of France. It was stormed by a crowd on July 14, 1789 in the French Revolution, becoming an important symbol for the French Republican movement, and was later demolished and replaced by the Place de la Bastille. See Explorer "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille"

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 129; 130; 131}

Three Songs of degrees.

129:1, 2. Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say: many a time they have afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.

The trials of some of God’s people begin very early. When we first put on the armour of God, the adversary is usually very bitter against us. Some of our old friends and acquaintances cannot bear to see the change in us, and they bitterly oppose us, so that God’s children may have to say, “From our youth they have afflicted us.” But you must not think that the beginning of sorrows will be the end of them. Oh, no! “Many a time they have afflicted me.” God’s children are often called to pass under the rod, and the rod is frequently held in the hands of the children of men. Your Saviour carried the cross, and he expects you to carry it, too. He does not tell you to take it up now and then, but to always take it up, and to follow him with a constant will, cheerfully bearing it for his dear name’s sake.

“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth: yet” — is that not sweetly put? — “yet they have not prevailed against me.” You remember how Joseph’s brothers envied him, and at last sold him into Egypt; yet from the dungeon he rose to the throne, and he could say. “Yet they have not prevailed against me.” If you are of the seed royal, one of the chosen people of God, they shall not prevail against you. Even proud Haman, with all his plotting, was not able to overcome poor Mordecai; and the Lord your God will preserve you from the fury of all your adversaries, and bring good to you out of all the evil they try to do to you.

3. The ploughers ploughed on my back: they made their furrows long.

Like one who has been cruelly scourged until each cut of the lash seemed to make a furrow through the quivering flesh: “The ploughers ploughed on my back: they made their furrows long.” How truly could our blessed Lord utter these words when he was delivered up to wicked men to be scourged!

4. The LORD is righteous: he has cut the cords of the wicked asunder.

“The Lord is righteous.” There is our hope and comfort. He takes the scourge away from them and cuts up the cords from which it is made; and those cords with which they would bind the righteous he cuts into pieces, so that they can do nothing against them: “He has cut the cords of the wicked asunder.”

5. Let them all be confounded and turned back who hate Zion.

So it seems that the one aimed at, and made to suffer, is the Church of God, “Zion.” She has often been scourged and afflicted. Her experience is like that of her Covenant-Head, and her triumph will be like his triumph.

6-8. Let them be as the grass on the house-tops, which withers before it grows up: with which the reaper does not fill his hand; nor he who binds sheaves his bosom. Neither do those who go by say, “The blessing of the LORD be on you: we bless you in the name of the LORD.”

So the adversaries of the Church of God may grow as fast as grass on the roof of a house, but they will perish just as fast, and there will be nothing left of them. They threaten, they bully, they rage, they rave; but it is only for a little while.

Now we will read the “ De profundis ” Psalm.

Ps 130:1. Out of the depths I have cried to you, oh LORD.

God’s people have to go into the depths, and God’s people pray in the depths, and often they pray best in the depths. The rarest pearls lie deepest in the sea; and the most precious prayers come out of the depths of affliction: “Out of the depths I have cried to you, oh Lord.” Cannot many of you say the same? Looking back on your past afflictions and trials, yet you can feel that you did pray in them. He who can pray in the depths will soon sing in the heights. If you can pray, you cannot be drowned by all the seas that roll over you. God who brought you into them will bring you out of them if you can pray.

2. Lord,

Or, “Adoni,” Sovereign Lord, —

2. Hear my voice: let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

“Hear me, Lord!” What is the use of prayer if God does not hear it? It is said to be a profitable spiritual exercise. So it is, because we believe that God hears it; but apart from that, it would be an idle waste of words. “Lord, hear my voice: let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.”

3. If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, oh Lord, who shall stand?

Not one of us, surely. If God were now to deal with us according to our sins, who among us could stand in his presence?

4, 5. But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and I hope in his word.

See, this is all in the first person. Dear friend, can you use it in the first person? Can you say, “I wait for Jehovah?” Blessed are those who are content to wait for his will, but yet with holy eagerness are prepared to do that will or to accept it, as he pleases.

“My soul waits, and I hope in his word.” All my hope is there. If it were not for his promises I should have no confidence, but one word of God is better than all the things that can be seen. It is better to trust in God’s declaration than in man’s oath. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

6. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning: I say, more than those who watch for the morning.

Those on the sick-bed, who long for their weary waiting to be over, those afflicted ones who cry in the night from pain, “Oh that it were morning!” Those, too, who stand as sentinels the night before the battle, or after the fight, watch and long to see the morning light. There are many such weary waiters, and my soul is one of them, waiting for the Lord “more than those who watch for the morning.”

7. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plentiful redemption.

Enough to buy us back from all our slavery, and to buy back our inheritance as well. Our Redeemer is the redeemer of the inheritance that has been mortgaged, and now is burdened by the enormous debt of sin: “with him is plentiful redemption.”

8. And he shall redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

That is our worst slavery, our in-equities, our lack of equity, our having acted unfairly towards God and unfairly towards man. He will redeem us from all that evil; yes, he has redeemed us by price, and he will redeem us by power.

Ps 131:1. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

I commend this verse to some who profess to be Christians, but who are always puzzling their poor brains with intricate questions, who want to solve the mystery of where free will and predestination can meet, how man can be responsible, and yet God’s predestination can be fulfilled, and I do not know what else besides. These are great waters the waves of which are too big for our little barques. We have quite enough to do, my brother, to attend to the plain things of God’s Word, and to strive after holiness and the salvation of our fellow men, without addicting ourselves to tying knots and trying to untie them. It is an unprofitable business; it engenders pride rather than anything else, and well did David say, “My heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.”

2. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child who is weaned from his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.

That is a very blessed thing to be able to do, to quiet yourself when, like a weaned child, you are crying under the afflicting hand of God, when you feel a proud spirit murmuring, or when you want to pierce the darkness that veils divine truth, and want to understand what cannot be understood, and you worry because you are not omniscient. Oh, it is a blessed thing, then, to say to yourself, “Be quiet, child! Be quiet!” What are you but a child, after all, at your best? What do you know? What can you know? Are you not satisfied to hear your Father say, “What you do not know now, you shall know hereafter?” Do you not know that here we know only in part, and see only in part? Eventually, we shall know even as we are known, but not yet.

“I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned from his mother”: — as a child who sucks his finger, and goes to sleep sobbing “my soul is even as a weaned child.” David did not say, “My soul is even as a weaning child,” fretting, worrying, wanting to have his own will. There is no happiness in that state; but when it is not the-ing, but the-ed, not the present participle, but the past,-then we get into comfort: “My soul is even as a weaned child,” who has given up his old comfort, what he thought was as necessary for him as his life. He finds that, after all, he can live without it, and grow without it, and come to a better manhood without it than with it: “My soul is even as a weaned child.”

3. Let Israel hope in the LORD —

You will never be weaned from him if you are his; but if you are weaned from the world, so as to have all your hope in the Lord, thrice-happy are you. Now, too, you will grow; now you will come to the fulness of the stature of a man in Christ Jesus, which you could never have done if you had not been weaned. I remember that, when Sarah weaned Isaac, there was a great feast at the weaning, and I believe that God’s children often have a great feast at their weaning from the world. All the while they are only babes, and suck their comforts from the world, they get very little real joy; but when, by divine grace, they outgrow that state of things, then there is a great feast made for them.

3. From henceforth and for ever.

That is real comfort that you may always enjoy, hoping in the Lord from henceforth and for ever. In life and in death here is a blessed confidence that will never fail you. May God grant that we may enjoy it now and for evermore! Amen.

Gospel, Received by Faith
552 — Rock Of Ages <7s., 6 lines.>
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
   Let me hide myself in thee!
   Let the water and the blood,
   From thy riven side which flow’d,
   Be of sin the double cure,
   Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
2 Not the labours of my hands
   Can fulfil thy law’s demands:
   Could my zeal no respite know,
   Could my tears for ever flow,
   All for sin could not atone:
   Thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring,
   Simply to thy cross I cling;
   Naked, come to thee for dress;
   Helpless, look to thee for grace;
   Foul, I to the fountain fly;
   Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
4 Whilst I draw this fleeting breath,
   When my eye-strings break in death,
   When I soar through tracks unknown,
   See thee on thy judgment-throne —
   Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
   Let me hide myself in thee.
               Augustus M. Toplady, 1776.

The Christian, Contrite Cries
598 — Think Of Jesus
1 When at thy footstool, Lord, I bend,
   And plead with thee for mercy there,
   Think of the sinner’s dying Friend,
   And for his sake receive my prayer.
2 Oh think not of my shame and guilt,
   My thousand stains of deepest dye;
   Think of the blood for sinners spilt,
   And let that blood my pardon buy.
3 Think, Lord, how I am still thine own,
   The trembling creature of thy hand;
   Think how my heart to sin is prone,
   And what temptations round me stand.
4 Oh think not of my doubts and fears,
   My strivings with thy grace divine;
   Think upon Jesus’ woes and tears,
   And let his merits stand for mine.
5 Thine eye, Thine ear, they are not dull;
   Thine arm can never shorten’d be;
   Behold me now; my heart is full;
   Behold, and spare, and succour me!
                  Henry Francis Lyte, 1833.

The Christian, Contrite Cries
606 — Give Me Christ <7s.>
1 Gracious Lord, incline thine ear,
   My requests vouchsafe to hear;
   Hear my never ceasing cry;
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
2 Wealth and honour I disdain,
   Earthly comforts all are vain;
   These can never satisfy,
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
3 Lord, deny me what thou wilt,
   Only ease me of my guilt;
   Suppliant at thy feet I lie,
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
4 All unholy, all unclean,
   I am nothing else but sin;
   On thy mercy I rely,
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
5 Thou dost freely save the lost!
   Only in thy grace I trust:
   With my earnest suit comply;
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
6 Thou hast promised to forgive
   All who in thy Son believe;
   Lord, I know thou canst not lie;
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
7 Father, dost thou seem to frown?
   I take shelter in thy Son!
   Jesus, to thy arms I fly,
   Save me, Lord, or else I die.
               William Hammond, 1745.

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.

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