2569. The Backslider’s Door Of Hope

by on

No. 2569-44:217. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, February 22, 1883, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, May 8, 1898.

And I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. {Ho 2:15}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2569, “Backslider’s Door of Hope, The” 2570}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2750, “Door of Hope, A” 2751}
   Exposition on Ho 2:14,15 Ex 15:1-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2569, “Backslider’s Door of Hope, The” 2570 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ho 2:5-23 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2295, “God’s People, or Not God’s People” 2296 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ho 2:6-23 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2564, “Strange Ways of Love” 2565 @@ "Exposition"}

1. Two weeks ago, you will remember that we considered the very terrible description which the prophet gave of the sin of God’s ancient people. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2564, “Strange Ways Of Love” 2565} They were described even coarsely, because only such imagery could describe their disgraceful filthiness in departing from Jehovah, the living and true God, and setting up false gods, the rites of whose worship were indescribably obscene. I should not dare to mention what these men did under the guise of religion when they turned aside from Jehovah, and set up Baal, and Ashtaroth, and other idols that were no gods. You will also remember how the Lord, in his holy jealousy, dealt with his people. He sent them affliction after affliction; he took away from them those mercies which they had prostituted for the purpose of sin; he made them poor, and sick, and wretched. They were invaded and enslaved by the neighbouring nations thatse deities they had set up in the place of the Most High. Further, you remember — for we tried to describe it, — they were so desperately set on mischief that they would not be turned from their wicked ways; they revolted more and more. The more it cost them to sin, the more extravagant they were in it. It was then that the Lord, in great mercy, changed his mode of operation; he told his servant, Hosea to say that he would try another plan of action. The law had failed, in that it was weak through the flesh; so he would use the gospel, he would bring the omnipotent power of love into the field. Our text two weeks ago was, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak to her heart”; and I tried then to describe the strange ways in which God, with wondrous love, allures his people to himself; — how he draws them away from all their former confidences and hopes, and brings them into a wilderness alone with him, where he must feed them, or they must die, — where he must guide them, or they must hopelessly stray, — where he must be everything to them, or else they must be destroyed with a great destruction. When the Lord, in love, brings his people there to be alone with him, it is then that he makes his promises to come home to their hearts; and his person, and his purposes, and his ancient love, and all the great preparations of that love concerning the eternal future, are laid home to the hearts of God’s backsliding children, and they are made again to rejoice in it so that they are comforted. That was our subject, as you may remember.

2. Now we follow with this next verse, which is intended to show even more of the goodness of God towards backsliders when they return to him, or, if you like, towards sinners when for the first time they approach his feet. On this occasion, I intend mainly to speak to those who have lost a sense of God’s love. Perhaps there may have strayed in here some who were once professors, but they are not professors now; — some who were once members of a Christian church, but no Christian church would acknowledge them now. Once they could, perhaps, speak to others in Christ’s name; but they would be afraid to say a word for Jesus now, for they have gone far astray from him. The message of infinite mercy to such people is: “Return, you backsliding children”; come back, come home to your God. There is no other place of rest for you in the whole wide world; you will be as a bird that wanders from its nest. Sinners may rest content in their sin, for as yet they do not know any better; but you are disqualified even for that. You have so much knowledge still left, and so much of conscience still remains, that you are spoiled for this world, spoiled for the pleasures of sin, spoiled for all confidence except the one confidence which you used to have in Christ Jesus your Lord. There is no alternative for you but to return, for you cannot go elsewhere; therefore, come home to your first Husband, — that is God’s own metaphor, — for it was better with you then than now. Oh, that the blessed Spirit would now allure you, draw you aside, get you alone with Christ, and speak comfortingly to you! While he is doing that, permit me to tell you something, first, concerning restored blessings: “I will give her her vineyards from there.” Then, next, concerning revived hopes: “I will give her the valley of Achor for a door of hope.” And then, thirdly, concerning renewed songs: “She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

3. I. First, then, let me talk to returning backsliders ABOUT RESTORED BLESSINGS.

4. You have lost a good deal by losing Christ. In fact, to your own consciousness, you have lost everything. All that made you joyful and glad has departed from you, like a dream of the night; as a man awakens, and finds himself in darkness, even so you have awakened out of the brightness of that foolish dream of yours, and you find yourself undone. Now come back to God, for in coming back you shall have fulfilled for you the promise of our text: “I will give her her vineyards from there.”

5. By this is meant, first, that God will give back to returning penitents what he took away. Read the 12th verse: “I will destroy her vines and her fig trees.” Now the Lord says: “I will give her her vineyards from there.” When you come back to Christ, the very things that were taken away from you shall be restored to you. It is sometimes so even in temporal things. The rod is set aside when it has served its purpose; many a man has been kept poor, or sick, or grievously depressed in spirit until the time when he has heard the rod, and him who appointed it; and then, when he has turned again to his God, he has once more prospered. I do not say that it is always so, for there may be other reasons why the affliction should continue; but I do say that it is often so in the experience of God’s people. While they have gone astray, they have had affliction after affliction; but when they have returned to the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, he has made them to lie down in green pastures, besides the still waters. I am sure that it is so as for spiritual matters.

6. If you have backslidden, the house of God ministers no comfort for you now. When you come to it, it is no longer a home to you; but if you come back to the Lord, you shall find the same pleasure in the house of prayer that you used to find in it. Now, perhaps, the Sabbath has become a weariness to you, for it does not bring you any holy joy; but it only sounds the death knell of your departed blessings. Come back to God, and the Sabbath bell shall have all its silvery music restored, and you shall wake up on the morning of the Lord’s day, and begin singing, —

    Come, bless the Lord, whose love assigns
    So sweet a rest for wearied minds;
    Provides an antepast {foretaste} of heaven,
    And gives this day the food of seven.

You shall have the house of prayer made none other than the house of God to you, and the first day of the week shall become for you the best of all the seven.

7. Possibly, also, you continue to read your Bible, but it appears to have lost all its former interest. You fall on your knees, and try to pray, but you do not meet God there. You associate with the Lord’s people, but you find no charm in that fellowship which was once so hallowed; the very essence seems to have gone out of every means of grace. You go out in the morning, but there is no manna; the dews of heaven are withheld, so no blessing comes to your spirit. Now, if you return to the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth, and his great love restores you to himself, then all this shall come back to you: “I will give her her vineyards from there.” Do not wait until all this blessing comes back, and then return to Christ; do not try to put the cart before the horse, but come now, just as you are, in all your dulness and your deadness, back to your first love, and trust in Jesus as you did at the very beginning; for then the Lord will restore to you all the privileges that made your life so happy and bright.

8. Notice, next, that not only are these things which are restored to the backsliding nation those that were taken away, but they are now made to be more hers than they were before. Read verse 12 again: “I will destroy her vines and her fig trees.” Now God says: “I will give her her vineyards from there.” She shall feel a special possession about what she now has, for she shall see that there is a deed of gift by which God has again given those mercies to her which she had lost. Oh, I love to feel, when the Sabbath day comes, that it is God’s day, which he has hedged around for me! And when I go to the house of God to worship, I like to think that it is appointed for me there to draw near to God, to open his Book, and to feel that the Bible is my Father’s letter to me, a gift from God to me; and that the mercy seat was the gift of infinite love and divine grace, prepared on purpose so that I and others like me might come to it. How precious do even our common mercies become when we see them given back to us by a Father’s hand! I think that there is no man who loves the means of grace like the man who at one time felt them to be dry and barren. When the Lord fills the dry beds of the rivers with the torrents of his love, then we come and drink abundantly, and we greatly rejoice. When, for a while, all outward means have seemed to become a wilderness to us, oh, how glad we are when, once again, the Lord appears, and puts life, and power, and efficacy into them, so that our soul rejoices in them! Poor backslider, ask the Lord even at this moment to give you back all that you have lost, and to make you feel that he is giving it to you by a double act of grace, and that therefore it is yours; you have a covenant right to it, and what he gives you is now your very own so that you will enjoy it to the full without any idea that you are presuming when you do so. So you will understand the meaning of God’s gracious promise: “I will give her her vineyards from there.”

9. Further, notice that, when the Lord restores a backslider, he does not withhold even the sweetest of his former blessing. The Lord gives him not only what is necessary, — that might be described as grain fields; — but he gives what tends too luxury, to joy, to exhilaration; “I will give her her vineyards.” Vineyards are not necessary for the life of man; but God does not stint himself in giving to his people barely bread and water, but he gives them things not absolutely necessary, so that he may further increase their joys; he gives in a royal way. The house of God’s mercy is not a workhouse, where they weigh out so many ounces of bread; it is a banqueting house where the Lord, as King in Zion, makes his guests to rejoice as he distributes the riches of his grace: “I will give her her vineyards.” Oh, listen, you who are now distressed! You shall not only have back your former peace of mind, but you shall have even joy in the Lord. You shall not merely be permitted to sit at the Lord’s table, and eat a little morsel, and then go your way hungering for more; but he will satiate your soul with goodness, he will make you to eat fat things full of marrow, and to drink wines on the lees well refined. Never imagine that the Lord will let in a poor backslider to a kind of second-rate gospel feast, — put him in the back rows, and give him something less than he gives to his brethren. No; the prodigal’s father killed the fatted calf for him, which he had not killed even for the elder brother; and if you will come back to God, my wandering friend, he will give to you the chief things which he has stored up, even the abundance of infinite love, until your heart shall leap within you, and your life shall become a psalm, and your whole being shall be as a harp on which the fingers of God shall play, to bring out sweetest music from now on and for ever. Only return, and you shall see what lies before you. Go on in your sin, and your way shall become blacker and blacker; the pitfalls and snares shall multiply with every step you take, and the darkness shall deepen into a tenfold night. But return to your rest, and the way shall become smoother beneath your feet; your heart shall grow stronger in the Lord, your ways shall be established, and a new song shall be put into your mouth, even praise to your God. So the promise runs: “I will give her her vineyards.” She shall have all the mirth and all the joy that a ransomed spirit ought to know; oh, what comfort there is in this for any who have wandered away from God, but who resolve to return to him!

10. I want you also to notice, before I leave this first point, that it is said, “I will give her, her vineyards from there, ” which means, I think, that God gives these blessings in the wilderness into which he allures her. He promises to give her her vineyards in the solitude into which he allures her, when he takes her away from all her earthly trusts to be alone with himself. And, notice that, the vineyards given “from there” will be worth ten thousand of the world’s vineyards. I mean, by this, that a joy which is found only in Christ is true joy, one single particle of which will outweigh the joy of all the world besides. The joy that springs from the garden dies when the garden is dry; but the joy that is given in the wilderness is a root out of a dry ground, so it can never lose its moisture; it can never decay, for it is nourished from above, not from beneath. The joy that I get in the creature dies with the creature from which it comes; but the joy that comes from Christ the Creator, is like him from whom it comes, it never can expire. “I will give her her vineyards from there”; that is to say, I will give her gains out of losses, her crowns out of crosses, and her sweet out of sweat. I will bring her honey out of a lion. I will bring her life out of Christ’s death. I will bring her heaven out of all his woes: “I will give her her vineyards from there.”

11. I should like everyone here, who is very happy, to be asking himself, “What is the secret of my joy? Am I rejoicing in the Lord? Or, is mine like the mirth of the ungodly that sustains itself on grain, and wine, and oil, and on the abundance of these perishable things? Do I have peace at this moment? Then, on what is my peace founded? Is it built on something which I can see, and taste, and handle of the world’s goods?” If so, it will fail me at the last; but if I get happiness that springs from Christ my Lord, who has become everything to me, then I have a peace that I may grasp and hold firmly in the article of death as well as in the trials of life: “I will give her her vineyards from there.” Come, poor backslider, whatever may be your sad case, the Lord can give you joy in himself. All the joy that your soul can hold, he can give you when you are alone with him. Poor sinner, if you are severely grieved with a sense of your sin, and if outward trials are pressing you very heavily, the Lord can give you joy that shall fill your heart to overflowing out of himself alone if you will only come to him. He can give you the resolve to come; oh, that, with all your heart, you would now seek his face, and live in him! May his blessed Spirit work this grace in you, and to him shall be all the glory!

12. Many here well know what these vineyards are which the Lord gives to his returning people. I will tell you about some into which I have been myself; and I wish to live in those vineyards all my days. One of them is, access to God in prayer. The wanderer is shut out from God, he cannot come near to God in prayer; but when he returns to the Saviour, he finds that the mercy seat is still open, and he can speak with God as a man speaks with his friend. That is a vineyard bearing the sweetest clusters.

13. A second vineyard is that of communion with God, — to feel that God dwells within us, and we dwell in him; — that we are his children, and that he is our Father always revealing himself to us. That is a glorious vineyard; if a man can only eat its fruit, it will make him long to go into the hill country of heaven where the best grapes are ripening for the perfected ones.

14. A third vineyard is that of full assurance of faith. May a backslider ever come back to that vineyard? Indeed, that he may! If you, poor wanderer, do so, you will be a happy man; — not only to hope and to trust that you are saved, but to know it; and not only to know it, but to know it infallibly, to know it so that all the demons in hell cannot shake your confidence that it is so; to know it by the witness of the Holy Spirit’s inward sealing of the truth to your soul. This is a blessed vineyard indeed; God will give it to all those who truly come back to him; and may those who have not wandered, often go and dwell amid those sweet-smelling vines!

15. Yet another vineyard is usefulness; when backsliders return to the Lord, he condescends to employ them, and honour them, in bringing others to himself. This is indeed to live in a vineyard where the grapes are very sweet to the palate, for surely men can hardly have greater joy than that of leading others to the Saviour’s feet.

16. And then, besides these vineyards, there are the revelations of Christ to his own; the blessed Spirit opens up the Word of God for them; there are the tokens of divine love even in providence in a thousand varied forms. I cannot tell you all the sweet and precious things — the joys unspeakable — which the Lord gives to his own people when they come back to him, and dwell with him. Therefore, come back, poor wanderer, and you shall find it out for yourself; and you who have never come before, come also by simple, humble faith, and the Lord will receive you graciously, and bless you tonight and for ever.

17. So much, then, for the first part of my subject, — restored blessings.

18. II. The second division of my discourse is this, REVIVED HOPES: “I will give her …… the valley of Achor for a door of hope.”

19. What was this valley of Achor? It was the place of their first victory over their enemies. It was the first land on which the Israelites entered after they crossed the Jordan, and the walls of Jericho fell flat to the ground. Near the city of palm trees was the fertile valley of Achor. If ever the Israelites were to go back again, they must enter Palestine by the same door if they crossed the Jordan at all; the key of the position was the valley of Achor, the first region of which they would have to take possession if they wished to win the rest of the land.

20. And, surely, the spiritual meaning of the metaphor is just this, — the Lord will give to backsliders, when they return to him, a renewed comprehension of his grace, — the old joyful feelings, the consciousness of their first love coming back, their first simple faith being revived. This taking possession again of what was theirs at the first, shall be to them “a door of hope” that they shall in time take possession of all the land. I tell you, brother, it is a very blessed thing to get back to our first days. We may have better days than our first ones if we go on and make the progress God desires for us; but though they may be in some respects deeper and fuller, yet I do not know whether we do not all look back on the first days of our conversion with very fond memories and some regrets. Other days have become indistinct, like coins in general circulation; but, as far as I am concerned, that first day of my spiritual life is, in my memory, as clear, and fresh, and sharp-cut as when it first came from the mint of time. Oh, the bliss of that first joy when Jesus told me I was his, and my Beloved was mine! That first moment of rest when the burden rolled from off my shoulder, — I can never forget it; I cannot help remembering it at this moment. And it is a very sweet way of putting it, that the Lord will give you back that first valley into which you then came, — that valley of Achor where you first set foot; and you shall feel again as you felt then.

21. To use another metaphor, — though you are now covered with leprosy, your flesh shall come again to you as the flesh of a little child, you shall feel as if you were beginning your spiritual life over again. That shall be for you “a door of hope,” for you shall say to yourself, “Surely, the Lord intends mercy for me; he has led me back to the very place where he blessed me at first; he has made me feel just as I felt then; and he has brought me to the same simplicity of faith which I exercised in the young dawning of my spiritual life. Therefore I am persuaded that he now intends to lead me on from strength to strength so that, just as I capture Achor, so I may capture all the rest of the land, and all the blessings of the covenant may be mine.” Listen to this, backslider! Pluck up hope in your heart; may God help you to do so, and to come back to him, for he will give you that valley of Achor to be a door of hope!

22. But we cannot help remembering that the name of that valley of Achor means trouble. You only have to look in the margin of your Bible, at Jos 7:26, and you will find that it was the valley of trouble; and the trouble came in this way, — when the walls of Jericho fell flat to the ground, there was one Achan, or Achar, or Achor, who took some of the plunder which was all to have been either dedicated to God or else destroyed. Before the children of Israel could have God’s blessing, they had to clear themselves from the guilt of this accursed thing. They went out to battle, and were defeated at Ai. Then there had to be a searching, and a digging; and at last they found the costly Babylonian garment, and the two hundred shekels of silver, and the wedge of gold; and then they took Achan, and all that he had, and brought them into the valley of Achor, and destroyed and burned them, and buried them under a great heap of stones. That valley of Achor was indeed a valley of trouble, but after Joshua and all Israel had purged themselves from the evil, it became a door of hope for them. So, dear friends, when you and I began our spiritual life, it was not long before our joy was marred. Sin was still in our heart, and before long it broke out. There are many poor sinners, who want to find peace, who seem to me to be searching their hearts exactly the wrong way; they are looking for any good thing there may be in them; but that is a sheer waste of time. The proper thing to do is to search your heart for the bad things that are in you, — to do as Israel did in the case of Achan when they cast lots that God’s will might be known, and that his Spirit might reveal the criminal; and then go and dig until you expose the evil, and find the accursed thing. “Why, sir!” you say, “I can see quite enough of my sins already.” Can you? I think that the fault of most sinners is that they do not see half enough of their sin. “Oh, but!” you cry, “I see enough to drive me to despair.” I wish you saw enough to drive you to double despair, for when a man heartily and thoroughly despairs of himself, then he will begin to hope in Christ; but many men try to find some good thing in themselves, and they dig all over the camp to discover something of great price. Believe me, there is not a grain of pure gold in all your mines; there is nothing worth finding in all Israel’s camp; dig as long as you may, you will only dig out the evil thing on which God’s curse is resting.

23. There is many a sinner who cannot find the door of hope because he is holding on to some evil thing. There is, for example, the man who is clinging to strong drink; he never can have peace with God when perhaps only once in six months he can walk home in an upright way; he cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. There is another man who is practising some secret sin; I dare not say what it is, but he knows. Yet he says that he is trying to find peace with God. Ah, sir! you will never obtain it while you cling to that iniquity; you must cut off the evil thing, even if it is your right arm; you must pluck it out, even if it is your right eye. Here is a person who does something in business that he ought not to do, and here is another man who omits to do what he knows that he ought to do. They think that God will make peace with them on their terms; but he makes no terms with sinners unless they will part with their sins, and trust in Christ alone. God will not save you, and let you save your sin; that cannot be. The place in which a man shall honestly give up every wilful act and thought of sin, and, by the help of God’s Spirit, shall quit everything which is revealed to him to be evil, shall be to him a door of hope. The place where he troubles himself because of his sin, where his conscience frets and worries over it, the place where he puts away the sin, and buries it, and piles stones on it because he abhors it, that is the place where God shall come, and reveal himself to him in the fulness of his grace: “I will give her …… the valley of Achor for a door of hope.” The place of grace and the place of purging, the place of chastisement and the place of turning away from sin, — this is the place that shall become the backslider’s door of hope.

24. Now, beloved, we will not spend all our time in talking about the door, and forget what the hopes are; but who can describe the hopes that come trooping through that door? The hope of being kept, and preserved, and sustained through every struggle of this life’s campaign, — the hope of entering into eternal rest with Christ, — the hope of the resurrection from among the dead, — the hope of infinite glory for body and soul with Christ, world without end, — all those hopes, which your backsliding has cast away, shall come back to you; and, filled with hope, your spirit shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

25. III. I have only a minute or two to dwell on the last point, on which one might well speak for an hour, — that is, RENEWED SONGS.

26. You must have noticed, dear friends, that whenever men turn aside from Christ, they go away from all the music of true religion. A little religion is a very miserable thing; if you have just enough religion to let you know that you are wrong, and not enough to make you right, you are spoiled for the joys of the world, yet you do not possess the joys of the world to come. I cannot help telling you again the old American story about the apples in the orchard. There is said to have been a gentleman, who asked a friend to come and have some of his apples, which he said were among the finest apples in the State; yet his friend did not come, though he was invited several times. The gentleman thought that there must be some reason for his refusal, so he asked him why he did not come; and he answered, “The fact is, while I have been driving by your orchard, I have picked up an apple or two that fell into the road, and I cannot say that I have at all pleasant memories of those apples, they were the sourest that I ever ate in my life, they set my teeth on edge even to think of them.” “Oh!” said the owner of the orchard, “now I understand. Why, I sent a great many miles to buy those particular apples that grow just by the side of the hedge, and fall into the road. I bought them for the special benefit of the boys who might be inclined to steal my fruit. Whenever they taste them, they say to themselves, ‘It is no use to rob that orchard, the apples are horribly sour.’ But,” he added, “if you will come inside, where those boys do not come, you shall then see what a good apple is like.” So it is with religion; all along the outside of the hedge, where those people come who have just a little religion, the fruit is as sour as it can be, — repentance that needs to be repented of, and that oppresses the very spirit of the man who has it. There are plenty of those things on the outside; but you have no idea of the luscious sweetness of the fruits that grow in the centre; and these shall be yours if you come back to the Master, and give yourself up entirely to him; and the result will be that you will again begin to sing.

27.She shall sing, ” says the text; she shall not be able to talk out her joys, she shall feel that she must sing. “She shall sing there”; that is, in the wilderness, alone with Christ. “She shall sing there”: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” “She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth.” Youth is the time for singing; young converts are usually full of song; and if we return to our Lord, after having backslidden from him, we shall get back the songs of our spiritual childhood as well as all the other good things that were with us when we first knew the Lord. Ah! poor wanderer, if you come back to Christ, you shall relish again the hymns that you began to despise when you acquired that fine taste that some have, which scorns the precious things that please God’s humble people. I know some who have become so lofty and proud that the gospel is not good enough for them; they want something much more refined to suit their precious wisdom and their wonderful culture! Yes; but when the Lord puts them on short rations for a while, and whips them well for their bad manners, they are glad to get back to the simple hymns and to the elementary truths they once loved. You know how dear, good Dr. Guthrie, when he was dying, wanted those around him to sing him a bairn’s {child’s} hymn; and, in another sense, when the children of God are spiritually reviving, they always want to have the hymns that were good for them when they were in their spiritual childhood.

28. The text further says, “She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” I read to you that song; oh, that our hearts might beat in time to its tune! May we come back to the Lord so perfectly that we shall be able to say, “Let us sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously.” May we see so much of his conquest of our sin that we may magnify his name, and exalt in him! May we take him so entirely to be ours that we may say again, “He is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” I want you, who have gone back from God, to get such a renewed hold on him that you will not know how to make enough of him, and not know how sufficiently to praise and laud and magnify that infinite love which has brought you, as it were, through the very depths of the sea, and landed you safely on the other side. Oh, come, let us sing to the Lord! If your feet may not dance, then let your heart dance; and if you need no tambourine, since you are not under the old covenant in which such instruments were allowable, then let your fingers seem to beat the heavenly tunes; let your whole being praise and glorify the Lord who has brought you back from the land of your captivity. If you blessed him when you first came to him, bless him even more now that you are allowed to come to him for the second time. If you praised him when you first plunged in the fountain filled with blood, oh, bless him even more now that he comes and washes your feet which have wandered so far from him. If the first home-coming was with music and dancing, what shall the second home-coming be?

    “Angels, assist our mighty joys.”

Rejoice with us over brothers who were dead, and are alive again, over lost ones who now are found. May it be so. Poor wanderers, do come home, do come home! “The door is shut,” you say. Who shut it? Certainly not the Father, for he has sent his Son to be the open Door for all who will come to him. Christ himself invites you to return, the Spirit is given to draw you back to God; and if you have never come before, come now. Oh, that you might be persuaded to come, even before you leave this house of prayer, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Ho 2:14,15 Ex 15:1-21}

You remember that, two weeks ago, we read the second chapter of the prophecy of Hosea, and I preached from the fourteenth verse. I am going to continue that subject tonight, so we will read two verses of the same chapter over again. I am sure we shall never exhaust it, and you will not be weary of hearing it. We will begin with the text from which I then spoke to you.

2:14, 15. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortingly to her. And I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

Now I want you to hear how she sang in the days of her youth, in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. Turn to the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Exodus, where we have the joyful song of the emancipated chosen nation.

15:1-10. Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying, “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously: he has thrown the horse and his rider into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. He has cast Pharaoh’s chariots and his host into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom like a stone. Your right hand, oh LORD, is become glorious in power: your right hand, oh LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces. And in the greatness of your excellency you have overthrown those who rose up against you: you sent out your wrath, which consumed them as stubble. And with the blast of your nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as a heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied on them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’ You blew with your wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

They were all noise, and bluster, and boast; but observe the sublime attitude of God, how readily he rid himself of his adversaries: “You blew with your wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.”

11-14. Who is like you, oh LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand, the earth swallowed them. You in your mercy have led out the people whom you have redeemed: you have guided them in your strength to your holy habitation. The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestine.

That is, the heathen nations that, at that time, inhabited the land of Palestine: “Sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestine.”

15. Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold on them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.

This great deed of God would be told, and told again, all over Palestine; and the inhabitants would feel that their end was come, for who could stand against Israel’s mighty God?

16. Fear and dread shall fall on them; by the greatness of your arm they shall be as still as a stone; until your people pass over, oh LORD, until the people pass over, whom you have purchased.

And how still they were! All the forty years that the Israelites were in the wilderness, they were scarcely ever attacked; and even then, it was not by the inhabitants of Canaan, but by the wandering Bedouin tribe of the Amalekites, who slew the stragglers of them. It was amazing that no troops ever came out of Egypt to molest God’s people after the destruction at the Red Sea; neither out of Canaan did any come to block their way. When God strikes, he makes his adversaries dread all future conflicts.

17-21. You shall bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance, in the place, oh LORD, which you have made for you to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, oh LORD, which your hands have established. The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea over them, but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.” And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances. And Miriam answered them, “Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously! He has thrown the horse and his rider into the sea.”

They sang as in an oratorio, Miriam singing the solo, and all the women joining in the jubilant chorus; and well might they rejoice after the great deliverance which the Lord had accomplished for them.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Sacred Gratitude — ‘What Shall I Render?’ ” 709}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — The Prodigal’s Welcome” 548}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 34” 34 @@ "(Version 2)"}

Special Notice

The May number of The Sword and the Trowel, besides many other interesting items, contains the first portion of Pastor Thomas Spurgeon’s Conference Presidential Address on “The Fire, The Fight, The Flag, The Fleece,” and an article entitled, Rebuilding The Metropolitan Tabernacle, to which the very earnest attention of all readers is invited. With the May Magazine is presented an Illustrated Supplement, consisting of several views of The Metropolitan Tabernacle as it was, and as it is with a brief history of the burned-up building, and an eye-witness’s account of the fire that destroyed it on April 20. Since there is sure to be an extraordinary demand for this special number, friends who have not yet obtained all the copies they will require should order them at once, — price 3d., or post free, 4½d., from Messrs. Passmore & Alabaster, 4, Paternoster Buildings, London; or from any bookseller in town or country.

The Christian, Sacred Gratitude
709 — “What Shall I Render?”
1 For mercies countless as the sands,
      Which daily I receive
   From Jesus’ my Redeemer’s hands,
      My soul, what canst thou give?
2 Alas! from such a heart as mine
      What can I bring forth?
   My best is stain’d and dyed with sin;
      My all is nothing worth.
3 Yet this acknowledgment I’ll make
      For all he has bestow’d;
   Salvation’s sacred cup I’ll take,
      And call upon my God.
4 The best return for one like me,
      So wretched and so poor,
   Is from his gifts to draw a plea,
      And ask him still for more.
5 I cannot serve him as I ought;
      No works have I to boast;
   Yet would I glory in the thought,
      That I should owe him most.
                        John Newton, 1779.

Gospel, Received by Faith
548 — The Prodigal’s Welcome <, or L.M.>
1 The wanderer no more will roam,
   The lost one to the fold hath come,
   The prodigal is welcomed home;
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
2 Though clothed with shame, by sin defiled,
   The Father hath embraced his child;
   And I am pardon’d, reconciled,
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
3 It is the Father’s joy to bless,
   His love provides for me a dress —
   A robe of spotless righteousness,
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
4 Now shall my famish’d soul be fed,
   A feast of love for me is spread,
   I feed upon the children’s bread,
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
5 Yea, in the fulness of his grace,
   He put me in the children’s place,
   Where I amy gaze upon his face,
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
6 I cannot half his love express,
   Yet, Lord! with joy my lips confess,
   This blessed portion I possess,
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
7 It is thy precious name I bear,
   It is thy spotless robe I wear,
   Therefore, the Father’s love I share,
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
8 And when I in thy likeness shine,
   The glory and the praise be thine,
   That everlasting joy is mine,
      Oh Lamb of God, in thee!
                     Mary Jane Deck, 1847.

Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 34 (Version 1)
1 Through all the changing scenes of life,
   In trouble and in joy,
   The praises of my God shall still
   My heart and tongue employ.
2 Of his deliverance I will boast,
   Till all that are distress’d
   From my example comfort take,
   And charm their griefs to rest.
3 Come magnify the lord with me;
   With me exalt his name;
   When in distress to him I call’d
   He to my rescue came.
4 Oh make but trial of his love;
   Experience will decide
   How blest are they, and only they,
   Who in his truth confide!
5 Fear him, ye saints, and you will then
   Have nothing else to fear;
   Make you his service your delight,
   He’ll make your wants his care.
                     Tate and Brady, 1696.

Psalm 34 (Version 2)
1 Lord, I will bless thee all my days,
   Thy praise shall dwell upon my tongue
   My soul shall glory in thy grace,
   While saints rejoice to hear the song.
2 Come, magnify the Lord with me;
   Come, let us all exalt his name:
   I sought the eternal God, and he
   Has not exposed my hope to shame.
3 I told him all my secret grief,
   My secret groaning reach’d his ears;
   He gave my inward pains relief,
   And calm’d the tumult of my fears.
4 To him the poor lift up their eyes,
   Their faces feel the heavenly shine;
   A beam of mercy from the skies
   Fills them with light and joy divine.
5 His holy angels pitch their tents
   Around the men that serve the Lord;
   Oh hear and love him, all his saints;
   Taste of his grace, and trust his word.
                           Isaac Watts, 1719.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390