2486. Overcoming Christ

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No. 2486-42:481. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, October 8, 1876, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, October 11, 1896.

Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me. {So 6:5}

1. This is the language of the Heavenly Bridegroom to his spouse. In great condescension, he speaks to her, and tells her that her eyes have overcome him. This morning our subject was, overcoming evil with good. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1317, “Overcome Evil with Good.” 1308} We have a very different subject this evening; for we are to talk about overcoming him who is goodness itself, the perfection of everything that is excellent. Saints first learn the art of overcoming evil, and then they learn the way to overcome goodness, too. But how different, dear friends, are the weapons employed in these two warfares; for while, this morning, as we spoke of overcoming evil, we saw that there was much for us to do, and think that we all felt it was more than we could do apart from divine grace, yet here there is nothing to be done but just to give a look. The Heavenly Bridegroom confesses himself to be overcome by the very look of the eyes of his spouse; she has only to gaze steadily on him, and his heart is vanquished by the glances of her eyes.

2. Now, it must not be supposed, because of the language of the text, that there is any opposition between Christ and his people which has to be overcome. He loves his bride far too well to allow any differences of feeling to separate them in heart from each other. Nor is it to be imagined that the spouse had to gain some blessing from an unwilling hand, and therefore pleaded with her eyes as well as with her lips. Oh, no! There is a holy discipline in Christ’s house that sometimes withholds the coveted blessing until we have learned to pray in downright earnest; but the power that wins the victory in prayer has its real basis in the love of Christ himself. It is because he loves us so much that he permits our prayers to conquer him; it is not so much because we love him as because he loves us, that he permits the look of our eyes to overcome his heart.

3. This, then, is the subject for our meditation now, — the way in which God’s people overcome the heart of Jesus Christ, and make him say, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.”

4. I. First, dear friends, let us notice that LOOKING ON HIS CHURCH HAS ALREADY OVERCOME THE HEART OF OUR HEAVENLY BRIDEGROOM.

5. It was so in the far-distant past, not when she looked at him, but when he looked at her, that she overcame him. Ages and ages ago, even before the earth was, Christ had conceived in his heart the purpose to redeem from among men a people who would be precious in his sight for ever and ever. Through the telescope of divine foreknowledge, he looked at his people, he recognised the person of every one of them, he saw them all ruined in the Fall, all stained with sin, all contaminated in nature by our first parents’ disobedience and rebellion. As he looked at them, with a steady resolve that he would rescue them, and perfect them, and lift them up to a level with himself, and make them into a race that should praise God for ever in heaven with hallelujahs and hosannas beyond all the harmonies of angels, his heart so moved towards them that he longed for the time when he should enter into the great work of their redemption. Long ago, he said, “My delights were with the sons of men.” His heart was always projecting itself forward in anticipation of that happy yet dreadful day when he should be called on to redeem his people. Every time he thought of them, he was overcome with the very memory of his great love towards them; and when the long-expected day did at last come, —

    Down from the shining seats above
       With joyful haste he fled,

and was found as a babe in Bethlehem’s manger, lying among the horned oxen feeding in the stable of the village inn. Oh, marvellous mystery! that he, whom the heaven of heavens could not contain, was not satisfied to be God over all, blessed for ever, but for our sakes he must also become man. He was so overcome by the love he had for his chosen, that he left his Father’s throne of light to become one flesh with his people, and to be made a man like ourselves so that he might be next of kin to us. Ah, gracious Saviour, your church’s eyes did indeed overcome you when they brought you from amid the royalties of heaven down to the sins and sorrows of earth!

6. You know, too, when he lived down here among men, how often his innermost heart was stirred as he looked on the people whom he loved. And especially remember the scene on that last night when their redemption price was about to be paid. He took the cup that he was to drink, and sipped at it; but his holy soul revolted from it, and with the bloody sweat on his face he cried, “Oh my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” Then he went back, and looked at his people. Truly, there was not much to see in them; he had taken three specially privileged disciples to be the representatives of all his chosen, and those three were asleep when he was in his terrible agony; yet, somehow, the sight of them seemed to strengthen him for the awful ordeal that he was enduring. Backward and forward thrice he ran to gaze on them, and they so overcame him that he turned back, and said to his Father, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as you will”; and he went through with that tremendous work of laying down his life for his people, and drinking the cup of wrath that was their due. They had overcome him as he had looked at them.

7. And, beloved, now that our Lord is risen from the dead, he still feels the power of the sight of his redeemed. The great joy of Christ at this moment is found in gazing at his redeemed ones. Look at him as man, if you will; and what a wonderful Man he is! But remember also that God has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; and what does the glorified and exalted Christ think as he looks on the myriads in heaven, all of whom would have been in hell except for him? Then he looks down to the saints on earth, and sees the myriads who are all trusting in him, all conquering sin by his might, and all spared from going down to the pit by the merit of his precious blood; and he seems again to say, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me”: as if Christ felt that a glance at his people brought almost too much joy for him. What a day will that be when he shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; when all his people, raised from the dead, or changed in the twinkling of an eye shall admire him, and he shall be admired in them! And what will be the joy of his heart when the “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,” all redeemed by blood, shall be gathered to Christ, to be the delight of his heart for ever and ever! That will be a joy sufficient even for the immensity of his infinite heart as he sees in them the reward of his awful agonies, the rich return for the shedding of his precious blood. His benevolence — that great mainspring of all that he has done, — will be gratified and satisfied as he looks on each one of his redeemed, and sees the fruit of his travail in every individual child of his grace, in each sinner reclaimed, in each saint preserved and perfected. I can well conceive of him saying in that day, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” The joy that Christ will feel in his own sight of his people, and in the glances of the multitudes that he has saved, must be a delight beyond anything we can even imagine.

8. II. Now I must pass to a second point, which is this, that THE EYES OF CHRIST’S CHOSEN ONES STILL OVERCOME HIM. This is a practical point on which we may profitably spend a little time: the eyes of Christ’s chosen ones still overcome him.

9. And, first, the eyes of his chosen overcome him, when they look up in deep repentance, glancing at him hopefully through their tears. Let me try to give you a picture of such a case. Here is a poor soul, conscious of having sinned, and sinned deeply. Once, sin was thought to be only a trifle; now, it is seen to be a horrible evil, to be trembled at and hated. Once, God was judged to be too severe in sending men to hell; but now, the convicted one has nothing to say against God’s justice, for he is all taken up with speaking against himself and his sin. There stands this poor soul, with red and weeping eyes, saying, “Oh God, I have sinned, and I am still sinning; and if you cast me into the abyss, I dare not challenge your justice; yet have pity on me, oh Lord! God, be merciful to me a sinner!” When those tear-filled eyes are turned to the Lord Jesus, and sin is confessed again and again with deep contrition and childlike repentance, it is not possible that he should refuse for long to grant the pardon which we seek. He seems to say to the poor penitent, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me. I cannot bear to see you weeping and sorrowing so. Your sins, which are many, are all forgiven you, for I have loved you with an everlasting love. Go, and sin no more.” There is a wonderful power in the penitent eye, in the full confession that makes a clean breast of every sin before the face of the Lord Jesus Christ.

10. Remember, brethren, that when we have once repented, we do not stop repenting, for penitence is a grace that is as long-lived as faith; and as long as we are capable of believing, we shall also necessarily need to repent, for we shall be always sinning. So, whenever the child of God feels that he has gone astray in any way, that, though he lived near to God, he has gone back, and grown cold in heart, he only has to come to Christ again, and cry after him, and confess his folly in having left him, and his ingratitude in having been so indifferent to him, and Christ will receive him back again. You cannot mourn his absence for long, and seek to return to him, and feel that you will die if you do not get back the awareness of his sweet love again, — you cannot be long in that state before he will be vanquished by your weeping eyes, and he will say to you, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” And if a child of God, who has not lost fellowship with his Lord, is, nevertheless, jealous lest he should do so, — if his morning prayer is, “Oh my Lord, keep me from everything that would distract me from your love”: and if at night he looks back over his conduct during the day, and says, “Cleanse me from every secret fault, for —

       I am jealous of my heart,
    Lest it should once from thee depart,”

if there is kept up this delightful tenderness of conscience towards Christ, so that our eyes, with weeping for very fear of sin, still look after him, then we shall hold him spell-bound, and the deep sorrow of our loving hearts shall vanquish him, and he will bestow the blessing which our soul is seeking.

11. Another kind of glance that has great power with the Lord Jesus happens when the soul looks to Christ for salvation. Then it is that the eyes vanquish the Saviour. It is hard at first to look to Christ, and believe that he can save you. I suppose some of you, dear friends, have a distinct memory of the first glance of faith you ever took at Christ. I well remember mine; it seemed so strangely simple, and yet so sublime and wonderful, that I could scarcely think it true that there was life in a look at him. I only glanced half secretly at first, as if I thought it could not mean that such a sinner as I was could receive mercy from Christ simply by looking at him. Did he really mean me when he said, “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth?” I had long sought him, and I had prayed to him; but I could not conquer him, nor win mercy from him by my seeking and my praying; but oh! when my eyes, already red with weeping, looked at him with a steady glance which seemed to say, —

    I do believe, I will believe,
    That thou didst die for me,

then he cried, “ ‘Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me,’ ‘I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins.’ ”

12. Many times since then, you and I have looked to Jesus Christ when a sense of sin has been very heavy on us. I suppose all of you who are really children of God sometimes get into that state in which you begin to ask, “Was I ever truly converted? Did my sin ever roll from my shoulders, and disappear in the tomb of Christ?” When these questions arise within your heart, go and stand once more at the foot of the cross, and look at your suffering Lord. I have looked, and looked, and looked again, until I have seemed to look him all over, and at last I have begun to sing, —

    Oh, ’tis sweet to view the flowing
       Of my Saviour’s precious blood,
    With divine assurance knowing,
       He has made my peace with God.

So while the eyes of faith are resting on Jesus, he is overcome by them, and he sends inexpressible joy into our hearts as he says to us, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” His heart is carried by storm by the faith-looks of his children.

13. We also give another overcoming glance when we look to the Lord Jesus Christ for all things. Worldlings do not understand the terms on which we are linked with Christ. To them, Christ is someone who lived nearly two millennia ago, and then died; but to us, he is alive, he is our familiar Friend, we are intimately acquainted with him, we are in the habit of taking all our troubles to him, and asking him for all that we need; and he removes our sorrows, and grants us the desires of our hearts. There are times with all of us when we get into trouble of one kind or another; and, blessed be his name, he has taught us, when we are in trouble, to lift up our eyes to the hills from where our help comes. Now, perhaps, dear brother, you have for a while been looking to Christ, and saying, “Lord, I believe you will help me; did you die to save me from hell, and will you not supply me with bread and water while I am in the wilderness? Have you covered me with the robe of your perfect righteousness, and will you not find me clothes to cover my nakedness, and shield me from the weather? Have you done the greater, and will you not do the less?”

14. When another trouble comes, you still keep on looking to him. You will not believe that he can be unkind; you give him credit for loving you, and caring for you, so you look to him, and as you look you submit to his will, and say, “I will never doubt you, my Lord.” If he sends yet another rough providence, you continue looking to him, and only say, “Show me why you contend with me. Though you kill me, yet I will trust in you.” I have known you too long to doubt you now, my blessed Lord. You have done too much for me in the past for me to turn away, and say, “I will not trust you.” My Lord and Master, you cannot make me believe that you do not love me, for I know you better. My innermost soul is assured that you do love me, so I still look to you, and watch the movements of your countenance; and as I look, my heart says, “My Lord, I cannot tell why you strike your servant again and again; yet, if it is your love that makes you strike, strike on. Whatever is most for your glory, do with me as you wish.” When your eyes are like that, full of submission, full of hope, full of trust, it cannot be long before the Lord will, somehow or other, deliver you, for he will say, “I cannot hold out against you any longer. ‘Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.’ ‘I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.’ I will bring you out of the furnace, for I only sit there as the Refiner until I see my own image in you; and when I see my eyes in your eyes, and my heart in your heart, and my character in your character, then I will bring you out of the furnace as gold purified seven times.” Blessed Spirit, give us such eyes as these, which shall overcome even the heart of Christ!

15. Again, there are the eyes of prayer which often overcome the Lord Jesus Christ, and this victory comes, sometimes, when we are praying for ourselves. You know what it is in prayer to come to him, and say, “Lord, I am in great straits, and you yourself have brought me there. It has not been through my folly, but it is by your own act and deed that I am where I am. Now, Lord, you have promised that in six troubles you will deliver us, and in seven there shall no evil touch us. You have said, ‘Your shoes shall be iron and bronze; and as your days, so shall your strength be’; now, Lord, you are God, and you cannot lie, therefore will you not keep your promise? Here, Lord, you see my difficulty and my trial, and your inspired apostle has said that ‘all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose’; your servant David declared that ‘many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all’; now, Lord, I look to you to do this for me.”

16. It is one of the grandest things in all the world when a godly man, with the simplicity of a child, just believes God, and fully trusts him for everything. It has come to be a matter of marvel, in this evil age, that a man can say that God grants him many mercies in answer to prayer. People hold up their hands and say, “Dear, dear, what a wonder!” A wonder that God hears prayer? It would be a greater wonder if he did not hear it. Beloved, to me, prayer is a matter of fact; for me to go and take a promise to God, and ask him to fulfil it, and to get it fulfilled, is as common and as usual and as much a matter of fact as it is for you who are in business to take cheques, and pass them across the counter at the bank, and receive the cash for them. Do you think that God is a fiction? If he is, then all our religion is a farce; but if God is real, then prayer is real, too. Many of us know that it is real, for we have tried it, and still try it every day we live. In every time of trouble, we bring the trouble to God’s feet, and say, “Dear Lord, since you are true and faithful, you will help us through it”: and we find that he does help us through it. We speak what we know, and testify what we have seen many a time. When a child of God, in deep distress, believes in his Father, and steadily looks to him for deliverance, those eyes of his have mighty power, and God seems to say to him, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” You cannot look steadily to God and say, “Lord, I am sure about your faithfulness, I am sure about your promise, and I cannot and will not doubt it,” but before long you shall see the hand of the Lord made bare for your deliverance, and you also shall be among the happy number who have to bear witness that, truly, there is a God in Israel. So prayer prevails with God when we present it for ourselves.

17. So it also overcomes him when we pray on behalf of others. Moses, you know, prayed for others and prevailed; do you, dear children of God, know what it is to wrestle with the Lord for the souls of others? I am sure that many of you do; there are your dear children, relatives, friends, and neighbours, whom you bring before the Lord. I will tell you when you will win the day, mother, when with tears you say, “Oh God, you have given me these children; now give them to me according to the spirit as well as according to the flesh.” You will overcome the Lord, dear father, when you spread your suit before him and say, “Deny my children what you will, but only save them; let them all be yours in the day when you make up your jewels.” You will succeed when, rising from your knees, you set those children a Christian example; and, having pleaded with God for them, you go and plead with them for God, and feel as if your heart would break if you did not see your boys and girls converted. When, like Hannah, you even come to be a woman of a sorrowful spirit because you feel that you must have your children brought to God, then the Lord Jesus will look at you until he will say to himself, “I cannot let that poor soul cry and sigh in vain; it is not in my heart — the heart of one who was born of a woman, — to let that pleading woman’s prayer go without an answer,” and to you he will say, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me. Be it to you even as you wish.” And you, dear child of God, who are teaching in the Sunday School class, or you who are preaching in some small village station, when you get to feel inward grief of heart over those with whom you have to deal, when that grief increases until it comes to be a perfect agony, and you cannot help crying out for anguish of soul when you feel as if you must have them saved, as if you would give everything you had if they might only be brought to Christ, when you even wake up at night to pray for them, and in the midst of your business cares you get distracted with the thought that some whom you love are perishing, at such times as that your powerful eyes in prayer shall move the heart of Christ, and overcome him, and he shall give you those souls for your hire.

18. Brethren, if we do not pray for sinners, for whom shall we pray? Sisters, if we do not plead for the abandoned, if we do not offer supplications for those who are perverse in heart, we have omitted to pray for the very people who most need our intercession. Let us bring these hard hearts beneath the almighty hammer. Let us by prayer bring these lepers beneath the healing touch of him who, despite their loathsomeness, can say to them, “Be clean.” Let no degree of natural or inherited depravity, or of depravity that has come from long continuance in sin, hinder us from praying for all the unsaved whom we know, “Oh God, have mercy on these guilty ones!”

19. I will not further enlarge on this point, for it is settled beyond all question that those who love the souls of men will not be hindered from prayer for them on any account whatever. I implore you, who have prayed for husbands or children, or friends, do not stop pleading for them. If you have prayed for twenty years, and they are not converted, pray for twenty years more; and if they have grown more wicked while you have pleaded, still pray on; and if heaven and earth and hell seem to combine together to make you cease your supplications, still pray on. As long as you live, make intercession for transgressors; and as long as they live, let your cries go up to God on their behalf. So you shall “overcome heaven by prayer” as you plead for the ungodly.

20. Once again, there is another time when the eyes of the believer seem to overcome the heart of Christ, and that happens when we have turned right away from the world, and looked to him alone. I have known it so again and again; have not you beloved? In this world, at present, our Lord is somewhat concealed; he does not fully reveal himself to his people. Here he says to us as he said to Mary, “Do not touch me.” He lets us wait until the veil shall be drawn up, and then we shall see him face-to-face, and shall be like him. Here we have to live by faith rather than by sight, and it is expectation rather than enjoyment that makes up much of our present bliss; yet, at times, I have known my Lord to come wonderfully near to his servants, and lay bare his innermost heart to them. It seemed as if he could not help it; it has been at some such gathering as this, when we have gone right away from the world, and have forgotten its cares and pleasures for a while, and we have sat down to think only of him. Our soul has surveyed him in his Godhead and his manhood, as our Prophet, Priest, King, and near Kinsman, living, dying, risen, ascended, soon to come; we have looked him over, and there has not been any part of his character which we have not admired, nor one office in which we have not trusted him, nor one deed for which we have not blessed him. We have come to think, “He is altogether lovely,” and while we have been admiring him in a perfect rapture, there has been added to it this sweet thought, “He is all goodness, and he is all mine, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot.” “My Beloved is mine, and I am his.” We have not said much, and we could not have said much just then; we have been quite quiet, and alone with our Lord, and we have felt that silence was the only eloquence we could use as we looked at him again, and again, and again. At such times, my soul has felt ready to swoon away in his presence. You remember how John in Patmos, when Jesus appeared to him, said, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead”; and well he might, for he had a brighter vision of his Lord than you and I can have at present. But even faith’s view of him is enough to transport us straight away into heaven itself. Well, brethren, whenever we are so happily engaged in contemplation of our Lord, not only is he very near to us, but he is greatly moved by our love, and he says to us, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” And, meanwhile, to prove how overcome he is, he begins to reveal himself more fully to us.

21. You may perhaps have read, in the life of holy Mr. Flavell the extraordinary time he records of the love of Christ being poured into his soul. He says that he was riding on a horse, going to some engagement, and he had such a sense of the love of Christ that he completely lost himself for several hours; and when he came to himself again, he found his horse standing quite still, and discovered that he had been sitting on horseback all those hours, utterly lost to everything but a special revelation of the wonderful love of Jesus. You may also have heard of Mr. Tennant, the mighty American preacher, and friend of George Whitfield, who was found, lost and absorbed, in a woods, to which he had retired, and his friends had to call him back, as it were, from the sweet fellowship he had been enjoying with Christ. You may remember, too, John Welsh, the famous Scottish preacher, who had to cry out, “Hold, Lord, hold! I am only a clay vessel, and if I feel more of your glorious love, I must e’en die; so restrain your hand for a while.” There are such experiences as these, I will not enquire whether you have ever known them; but if you have, I will tell you one thing. All the infidels in the world, and all the demons in hell, will never make you doubt the truth of the Scriptures if you have once been face-to-face with Christ, and have spoken with your Master as a man speaks with his friend. Such things have happened to those whose cloud-piercing eyes have been so fixed on Christ that he at last has felt the mighty fascination of their loving and believing glances, and has revealed himself in even greater measure to them, and made them even more blest than they were before.

22. Last of all, sometimes the eyes of Christians have great power in overcoming Christ when they long for his appearing. Have you never seen the saints lie dying with such language as this on their lips, “Why are his chariots so long in coming? Why does he delay?

    Haste, my Beloved, fetch my soul
       Up to thy bless’d abode:
    Fly, for my spirit longs to see
       My Saviour and my God.”

I have heard them say, with evident regret, “I thought to have been in heaven long before now.” I have seen them almost grieve when the doctor has said that they were better, and that there was hope that they might last another month or two. They seemed to say, “Why should my banishment continue? Why should my release be postponed? These chains of clay which seem so hard to shake off, these fetters of bronze, will they never drop from me? Must I still linger in this world of pain, and sorrow, and sin, and suffering? Why not let me go?” And they have been like a poor thrush which I have sometimes seen a boy try to keep on a little bit of turf; it longed for the broad fields, and beat itself against the wires of its cage. So it is with our dear suffering friends, at times; yet they have learned patiently to wait until their change came; but often, their eyes have been so fixed on their Lord that they have said to him, “Will you never come?” And, at last, Christ has looked out of heaven so sweetly on those sick ones, and he has said, “Your eyes have overcome me, come up higher”; and they have leaped out of their body into his bosom, and the pierced hands have received their blood-washed spirits, and they have been “for ever with the Lord.” I am looking forward, and I trust we who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are all looking forward, to that day when God will let us languish into life, when we shall see the bars of the prison opened once and for all, and we shall pass through them, and leave this dying world behind to go to the land of the living, the land of the hereafter, where we, too, shall be “for ever with the Lord.” Keep your hearts always longing for that blessed hour. Keep you eyes always looking upward, beloved. Set little value on anything here, and be always ready to depart; and so, very often, Jesus shall say to you, as though he could no longer bear that you should gaze on him, though indeed he loves it all the while, “Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me.”

23. May God bless you all, beloved, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Ge 32:22-30 Ex 32:7-14 Mr 7:24-30}

We shall read three short portions of Scripture, all illustrative of the great truth that God has sometimes given grace to his people to overcome him, the Almighty has condescended to be vanquished by man.

First, let us read the story of Jacob in the Book of Genesis, at the thirty-second chapter: —

22-24. And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. And Jacob was left alone;

He had made a quiet oratory for himself by sending everyone else of the company over to the other side of the brook; his own resolve being —

    With thee all night I mean to stay,
    And wrestle till the break of day.

24, 25. And there a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw —

When the wrestling Man, the Angel of the covenant, saw —

25, 26. That he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.” And he said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”

When we come nearest to God, we must have a deep sense of our own personal weakness; it must never be supposed, if our suit prevails with heaven, that there is anything in us, or anything in our prayers, to account for our prevalence. Whatever power we have, must come from God’s grace alone; and hence, usually, when we pray so as to prevail with the Lord, there is at the same time a shrinking of the sinew, a consciousness of weakness, a sense of pain; yet it is just then that we are prevailing, and therefore we may rest assured that our prayer will be answered. The Angel said, “Let me go,” at the very time when Jacob felt the shrinking of the sinew: “He said, ‘Let me go, for the day breaks.’ And he (Jacob) said, ‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me.’ ”

27-29. And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince you have power with God and with men, and have prevailed.” And Jacob asked him, and said, “Please tell me your name.” And he said, “Why is it that you ask for my name?”

Holy desires will be realized, and believing prayers will be answered, but mere curiosity will not be gratified. Those who read the Scriptures with a view simply to find novelties that may tickle their imagination, read in vain. The covenant Angel will give you what you wish if it is necessary for you; but he will not answer your idle questions. He said to Jacob, “Why is it that you ask for my name?”

29, 30. And, he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for “I have seen God face-to-face, and my life is preserved.”

So Jacob the wrestler overcame his God.

Now turn to the thirty-second chapter of the Book of Exodus, where we find a description of the sin of idolatry into which the Israelites fell while Moses was absent in communion with God on the mountain. The people brought their golden earrings to Aaron, and he made a calf, and they bowed before it, saying, “These are your gods, oh Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” While this wickedness was going on, Moses was on the mountain top with God.

7. And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down; for your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

See how Jehovah will not acknowledge these idolaters as his people. He says to Moses, “Your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.”

8-10. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, oh Israel, which have brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’ ” And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and, behold, they are a stiff-necked people: now therefore leave me alone, so that my wrath may grow hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of you a great nation.”

What a great future was opened up before Moses! He might become another Abraham, and in him should all the nations of the earth be blessed. But Moses loves the people, even the people who have vexed and provoked him for so many years. He still loves them so much that, even before he begins to pray for them, God says, “Leave me alone,” as if he felt the force of the coming prayer of Moses, and would not have him offer it. Oh wondrous power of intercession, that by it even God’s right hand is held back when it is lifted up to strike!

11. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, why does your wrath grow hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?

Moses will not have it that they are his people, nor that he brought them out of the land of Egypt; but he declares that they are God’s people, and that he brought them out “with great power, and with a mighty hand.”

12-14. Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘For mischief he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth?’ Turn from your fierce wrath, and relent of this evil against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you sware by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.’ ” And the LORD relented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.

So a second time the mighty power of prayer was proven, and the Lord listened to the voice of a man.

In the seventh chapter of the Gospel according to Mark, is another story which you know well, which tells how the Lord Jesus was overcome by a woman’s mighty faith.

24-29. And from there he arose, and went into the region of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into a house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hidden. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, “Let the children first be filled: for it is not right to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to the dogs.” And she answered and said to him, “Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon is gone out of your daughter.”

Christ capitulated at once, yielded to the strong arms of conquering prayer and faith, and so the pleading woman had her wish.

30. And when she was come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter laid on the bed.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Condescending Love” 784}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven — ‘For Ever With The Lord’ ” 846}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Extra Non-Tabernacle Hymns — Wondrous Love” 1072}
 In the press; to be published shortly. Price 7s.
 “The Most Holy Place.”
 Sermons on the Song of Solomon.

(Uniform with “Sermons on Our Lord’s Parables” and “Sermons on Our Lord’s Miracles.”)

 By C. H. Spurgeon.
 London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
784 — Condescending Love
1 Oh see how Jesus trust himself
      Unto our childish love,
   As though by his free ways with us
      Our earnestness to prove!
2 His sacred name a common word
      On earth he loves to hear;
   There is no majesty in him
      Which love may not come near.
3 The ligft of love is round his feet,
      His paths are never dim!
   And he comes nigh to us when we
      Dare not come nigh to him.
4 Let us be simple with him, then,
      Not backward, stiff, or cold,
   As though our Bethlehem could be
      What Sina was of old.
               Frederick W. Faber, 1852.


The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven
846 — “For Ever With The Lord”
1 “For ever with the Lord!”
      Amen! so let it be!
   Life from the dead is in that word,
      ‘Tis immortality!
2 Here in the body pent,
      Absent from him I roam,
   Yet nightly pitch my moving tent
      A day’s march nearer home.
3 My Father’s house on high,
      Home of my soul! how near,
   At times, to faith’s foreseeing eye,
      Thy golden gates appear!
4 Ah! then my spirit faints
      To reach the land I love,
   The bright inheritance of saints,
      Jerusalem above!
5 “For ever with the Lord!”
      Father, if ‘tis thy will,
   The promise of that faithful word,
      Even here to me fulfil.
6 Be thou at my fight hand,
      Then can I never fail,
   Uphold thou me, and I shall stand,
      Fight, and I must prevail.
7 So when my latest breath
      Shall rend the veil in twain,
   By death I shall escape from death,
      And life eternal gain.
8 Knowing as I am known,
      How shall I love that word,
   And oft repeat before the throne,
      “For ever with the Lord!”
9 Then, though the soul enjoy
      Communion high and sweet,
   While worms this body must destroy,
      Both shall in glory meet.
10 That resurrection word,
      That shout of victory,
   Once more, “For ever with the Lord!”
      Amen — so let it be!
                  James Montgomery, 1835.
Extra Non-Tabernacle Hymns
Wondrous Love. <8.6.8.6>


1. God loved the world of sinners lost
   And ruined by the fall;
   Salvation full at highest cost,
   He offers free to all.
   Refrain:
   O ’twas love, ’twas wondrous love!
   The love of God to me;
   It brought my Savior from above,
   To die on Calvary.
2. E’en now by faith I claim him mine,
   The risen Son of God;
   Redemption by his death I find,
   And cleansing thro’ the blood. [Refrain]
3. Love brings the glorious fullness in,
   And to his saints makes known
   The blessed rest from every sin,
   Thro’ faith in Christ alone. [Refrain]
4. Believing souls, rejoicing go;
   There shall to you be known
   A glorious foretaste here below
   Of endless life in heaven. [Refrain]
5. Of victory now o’er Satan’s power
   Let all the ransomed sing,
   And triumph in the dying hour
   Thro’ Christ the Lord our King. [Refrain]
Author: Martha M. Stockton, 1821-1885
See Explorer "http://www.hymnary.org/text/god_loved_the_world_of_sinners_lost"
No. 38, Sacred Songs And Solos, 1876, Ira D. Sankey.

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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