2641. God’s Heart: The Source Of All Blessing

by on
Share:

No. 2641-45:457. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, June 18, 1882, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 1/28/2016*1/28/2016

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, September 24, 1899.

According to your own heart, you have done all these great things. {2Sa 7:21}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1166, “Marrow and Fatness” 1157}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2641, “God’s Heart the Source of All Blessing” 2642}
   Exposition on 2Sa 7:1-22 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2641, “God’s Heart the Source of All Blessing” 2642 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 2Sa 7:18-29 Lu 18:1-14 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2869, “Prayer Found in the Heart” 2870 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 2Sa 7:18-29 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2811, “Removal” 2812 @@ "Exposition"}

1. A friend observed to me, just before the service, that, after the earnest endeavour this morning to magnify the grace of God, he did not want to hear any more for a week. He was perfectly satisfied with what he had heard, and was only afraid lest the sermon of the evening should drive that of the morning out of his head. Well, dear friends, that is just my own fear. I never like driving one nail out by hammering another in, and, really, what more can I say than I said this morning? I then poured out my innermost heart in endeavouring to extol the very great riches of God’s grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1665, “The Incomparable Riches Of Grace” 1666} This evening’s discourse, therefore, is intended to be like a little supplement to the big book of the morning sermon, just a few additional words on the theme that we considered then.

2. As we read the chapter from which my text is taken, we noticed that David had a holy purpose in his grateful heart. He said to Nathan the prophet, “I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains”; and he seemed to think that it was neglectful on his part to have allowed the ark to remain unhoused for so long, so he resolved to build for it, and for the worship associated with it, a temple that should be “extremely magnificent.” He had for years gathered together gold and silver, and he meant to continue to do so, so that he might erect a shrine for the Lord his God more glorious than any that had ever been built by the greatest heathen prince for his false deity. This was the thought which was in David’s mind, and he mused on it, for it was very sweet to him. It was, in fact, the great ambition of his life that he might be permitted to erect a house for the worship of Jehovah. Yet the Lord was not willing to accept the temple from his hands, for David had been a man of war from his youth up, and God would not have his sanctuary built with blood-stained hands. However necessary those wars might have been for the liberation and defence of the chosen nation, — and they certainly were so, — yet, nevertheless, a man of peace must build the house for the God of peace; and Solomon, the son of David, in whose reign there was no war, must have the honour of raising the great house of prayer in the name of the Lord.

3. Yet, dear brethren, observe that, though the Lord refused to David the fulfilment of his wish, he did it in a most gracious manner. He did not put the idea away from him in anger or disdain, as though David had cherished an unworthy desire; but he honoured his servant even in the rejection of his offer, and multiplied as many blessings on the head of the king as could have descended on it if he had been permitted to carry out his intention.

4. Now, in imitation of David, let us think of some grand thing that we can do for the Lord our God; let us, with consecrated spirit, and with liberal hand, seek to honour and glorify the Lord our Redeemer. But if we should not be permitted to do that particular work on which we have set our heart, let us not be surprised or disappointed. A servant’s true obedience can sometimes be as well seen in what he does not do, as in what he does. It is not for us to choose our place, or our work; and, though the zealous servant may prefer to do something which shall show his loyalty to his master in the clearest light, yet that loyalty is even more fully seen when his master says, “No, I do not wish you to do that”; and he, without a murmur, sits down, or goes to work somewhere else where he may have been told to go. It is right for you to have in your heart a project for God’s glory; it is good that it is in your heart; but if your pet project may not be carried out, it is your duty and privilege then to say to your Lord, “I am your servant in the doing or in the not doing; I am absolutely at your disposal in this matter, and in all other things, too; and so I wish it always to be.”

5. Nathan was sent to David, to reveal to him God’s great purposes of grace towards him, and his son Solomon, and his entire dynasty, and to give the promise that one descended from him should sit on the throne for ever, as he does and will, for the King of kings and Lord of lords, whom we greet with cries of “Hosanna!” is the Son of David; and he still reigns, and he shall reign until all his foes shall be trodden beneath his feet, and then he shall reign for ever and ever, hallelujah! Since this revelation was given to David, he seems to have been oppressed with the weight of mercy which God had put on him, so he went in, and sat before the Lord to meditate on what Nathan had said. I think there were two questions that then rose in his mind, and to these questions he tried to find out an answer. The first was, — Why should God speak such “very great and precious promises” concerning such weighty matters, such everlasting blessings? That was his first question, and the other was, — Why should these great promises be spoken to him? Why to him rather than to anyone else? “Who am I, oh Lord God! and what is my house, that you have brought me so far?” “Is this the manner of man, oh Lord God?” He then proceeded to give an answer to his two questions in the words of our text, “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things.”

6. So, from his answer, we learn, first, that the measure of God’s goodness is the heart of God; and, secondly, the reason of this goodness lies in the heart of God.

7. I. First, THE MEASURE OF DIVINE GOODNESS IS THE HEART OF GOD.

8. God did great things for David, but not because of David’s own greatness. “I took you,” said the Lord to him, “from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel.” He was at first nothing but a shepherd boy, so God did not choose him because of his greatness; and when the Lord gave these great promises to David, it was not because of the greatness of David’s intention in building the temple; for God seemed to think very little of that, and said, “In all the places where I have walked with all the children of Israel have I spoke a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedars?’ ” No; the one reason for the great blessings and promises which God gave to David was found in the heart of God. If a king gives presents to his courtiers, why does he make them so precious and costly? Not because of the extraordinary deservings of the person on whom he bestows them, but because he is himself a king, and therefore his gifts must correspond with his high position. A man of liberal spirit gives generously, where a churl would scarcely spare the smallest bronze coin. But why does the generous one give so freely? Why, simply because he is generous. Men do not always measure their gifts by the worth of those to whom they give them; but if they are themselves large-hearted, they measure according to the largeness of their own hearts, and give accordingly. That is what David said; he could not imagine why God should do such great things for him until this thought entered his mind, “He is a great God; greatly gracious, and full of lovingkindness; and, therefore, that is the reason why he has promised all these things to me.”

9. If you look carefully, you will see that this general principle runs through all the gifts of God to us. But, dear hearers, God gave us one such costly gift, that he could never give us another equal to it; I mean, the great gift of the Lord Jesus Christ. God had one only-begotten and well-beloved Son, yet he gave him to us; now, if all heaven and earth were put together, and all that God has anywhere in the universe were added to it, it could not equal in value that first majestic and unspeakable gift. How did the great Jehovah ever come to think of making such a wonderful present as this to poor worms such as men are? No one could have suggested the thought to him. I can well believe that, when the holy angels heard that the Son of God was to be incarnate, and when it became known that in human flesh he was to die, even they could scarcely believe that such a thing was possible. The thought of Calvary’s sacrifice could never by any possibility have originated in their mind. Oh God, you gave your Son to us, and for us, because your heart was your heart, and there is nothing like it even in your heaven of glory! His infinite heart, in inconceivable compassion, suggested to itself the giving up of its greatest treasure, and it gave up for us, poor sinful men, the very heart of Christ to bleed and die on our behalf. It must be because of the love of the heart of God that his unique gift was given; there could be no other reason for its bestowal.

10. Then, dear friends, following the course of the chapter as well as we can, the next promise was concerning the great adoption. God said to David, concerning Solomon, “I will be his Father, and he shall be my son”; and the great honour which was promised to Solomon has been also conferred on every believer in Jesus, for “as many as received him, he gave power (the right, or privilege) to them to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in his name.” Have not many of us received within our hearts “the spirit of adoption, by which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ ” Now, what could have induced God to adopt us as his sons and daughters, what could have made him say to us, “I will receive you, and will be a Father to you,” except this reason which David gives in the words of our text, “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things?” The fatherly heart of God longed to take within itself vast multitudes of the human race, so he said, “My Son shall be the firstborn among many brethren. He is my only-begotten Son, but there shall be given to him a numerous seed who shall be joint-heirs with him, for they shall be adopted into my family”; and it is even so. God did not adopt us because of any merit in us which entitled us to be his children; but, because he has such a great heart, so full of love, when he made a feast for his Son, he could not endure that there should be any empty seats at that royal banquet, so he said to his servants, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled,” So you and I, beloved, were brought in, and made to sit there with Christ Jesus, as we do sit even now, for he is not ashamed to call us brethren. This greatness of the heart of God must have been the cause and the only cause of our adoption, as well as of our redemption.

11. The Lord also promised to David that, when he had adopted Solomon as his son, he would be constant to him, and never forsake him: “If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul.” Brethren, that great constancy of love finds a parallel in your case and mine. God does not adopt us as his children today, and then cast us off tomorrow. I speak with all reverence when I say that it is not possible for him who, “according to his abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” to disown us, and permit us to lose that hope. My sons, whatever they may be, must always be my sons; and those who are born by God shall for ever be the children of God. I venture to repeat the lines that have often been spoken against, but which are true every whit, —

    Once in him, in him for ever;
    Nothing from his love can sever.

He gives us eternal life, and we shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck us out of his hands. And why is this? Because of some good thing in us that will make us constant, and keep us holding firmly to him? No; here is the answer, let me read the text again: “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things.” God’s heart is constant in its affection. He does not cast away his children. He will not divorce the soul that has been espoused to him. Christ has made us members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; and we can never be cut off from him; no, not even a little finger of Christ shall ever be taken away, otherwise he would be a mutilated Saviour, and that he never can be. His own declaration is, “All whom the Father gives me shall come to me; and whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” He will securely and for ever keep all the sheep that were given to him by his Father, and not one of them shall be lost. This has always seemed to me to be one of the supreme blessings of the covenant of grace. I confess that I would hardly give a penny for any salvation that I could lose; I would not go across the street to pick up a kind of quarterly or yearly salvation. Everlasting life is the thing we need, the life of God, which can never change or be taken from us; and that is what is given to all of you who believe in Christ Jesus. But why is it given? The only answer is, — According to the heart — the faithful, immutable, gracious, loving heart — of the ever-blessed Father. Even under the old covenant, God said, “I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” “The Lord, the God of Israel, says that he hates divorce”; he cannot endure it, and therefore he will not divorce those who are espoused to him.

12. Let me mention another great favour which we get from God, and that is, the promise of blessing for the future. The Lord spoke concerning Solomon and David’s house “for a great while to come,” and he has spoken in the same way concerning us who believe in Jesus. Paul asked, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” and then answered his own question, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Unless Christ shall come first, we shall all die; but death will not separate us from the living Saviour. It will only knock off the fetters from this decaying body, and give us liberty to soar away to the bosom of our Lord. You and I, if we are believers in him, shall be there with him. If we are among the called, and chosen, and faithful, we shall, eventually, stand at his right hand, and we shall reign with him, in his glory, for ever and ever, in that land of blessedness, in the kingdom of the Father. “You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come,” said David; but, in our case, it is far more than a great time to come, for it is a great eternity to come. God has appointed bliss for us for ever and ever; “pleasures for evermore”; “a crown of glory that does not fade away”; “a city which has foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God”; “a kingdom which cannot be moved.”

13. That last passage suggests one thing more which I find in this chapter; that is, the promise of the kingdom. The Lord said, concerning David’s son, “I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” And here is the parallel in our case, for we are made kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign for ever and ever. To us also belong our Lord’s words to his disciples, “I appoint to you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed to me,” “Do not fear, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” You shall even judge angels, and sit as co-assessors with the great Judge in that last tremendous day; and concerning the mighty fallen angel himself, to you shall be fulfilled the promise, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” Oh, the glory of which he has spoken concerning us and the kingdom that is yet to be revealed!

14. Now, why does the Lord lavish such marvellous mercy on such insignificant and undeserving creatures as we are? Why does he seem to use his utmost powers in inventing new blessings for us, such as must astonish the angels who stand before his face? Oh! why does he lift the beggars from the dunghill, and set them among princes, even the princes of his people! Our text contains the only answer: “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things.” What an immeasurable quantity of goodness and grace there is in the heart of God!

15. Before I leave this part of my subject, I want you to turn it to practical account. Try, dear friends, to use this thought whenever you are exercising faith. The devil will say to you, about many a promise which God has given, “Oh, that is too good to be true!” Tell him that it is not so; it might seem too good if God gave only according to the measure of our merit, or the limit of our understanding, or the extent of our faith. But he does much better than that: “very abundantly above all that we ask or think.” God’s heart, not mine, is the measure of his giving; not my capacity to receive, but his capacity to give. Get that thought thoroughly fixed in your mind; I can only receive like a man, but God can give like a God; he does everything divinely, and he certainly makes no exception to his rule when he is dealing with his people. If it is God who is to give, then I can believe in the greatness of the gift no matter what it may be, for nothing can be too great for him. You know the old and somewhat hackneyed story about Alexander promising to a man in his army that he would give him whatever he chose to ask for. He was to send his request to the imperial treasurer; but, when it was written out, it was for so large a sum that the treasurer refused to pay it. It was too much, he said, for a common soldier to receive; but when Alexander heard of it, he said, “I like that man’s faith; he has honoured me by such a large demand, for he asks something that it is worthy of Alexander to give.” Now, if that man had been foolish enough to measure his request by his own poor soldiership, he would have asked for a few pounds in cash, or a pension of a few pence a day might have satisfied him. But, instead of doing so, he measured according to the vastness of Alexander’s empire, and asked great things, and so he did Alexander honour. Whenever you are exercising faith, beloved, remember that it is according to the heart of God to give with very great generosity.

16. So, when you are praying, if unbelief would stop you, and say, “Do not ask for this or that, for it is too much for you to have,” I advise you to say to yourself, “I will not be stinted in my desire, and I will not commit the sin of limiting the Holy One of Israel; but, since he gives according to his own heart, I will ask great things of him, for he has said, ‘Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ ” You know, I suppose, what some people say is the meaning of that passage; I am not quite sure that it is so, but it is said that, sometimes, the kings of Persia have been known to tell a prince to open his mouth, and they have put in diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds, and all kinds of precious things, as many as it would hold. If that kind of thing should happen to any of you, I expect that you would open your mouths very widely; I have no doubt that your capacity to receive would be greater on that occasion than you have ever yet known it to be. But when you are coming before the God of the whole earth, oh, for a big mouth to ask great things of him! Oh, for a wide mouth, then, to take in every conceivable blessing from him! In our prayers, let us not ask according to the measure of our poor little heart that is so shrivelled, and cold, and weak, but according to God’s great heart that is infinite, and full of grace and love.

17. Just once more, use this thought of the greatness of God’s heart in the exercise of your delight in the Lord. Sometimes we are afraid of being too happy; but that is scarcely possible. Oh, how happy Christians have a right to be, with heaven for their home, God for their Father, Christ for their Saviour, the Holy Spirit for their Comforter, and the Sacred Trinity pledged to defend and bless them! Oh, sit down, and delight yourselves in the Lord! Let me not hear anything about cares and troubles for a while; I want to get into my secret place of communion with my God, and to shut the door, and just think over and over in my mind such a passage as this, “They shall be my people, and I will be their God”; or this, “Do not fear; for I am with you: do not be dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” David wrote, “Delight yourself also in the Lord”; not merely be thankful, or peaceful, or happy, but “delight yourself in the Lord.” Do not go paddling around in the shallows; go head first, and dive into the depths of divine joy; plunge yourself into the Godhead’s deepest sea, and be lost in his immensity; you shall never so fully and so truly find yourself as when you have lost yourself in God. “Oh, that is saying too much!” says someone. No, it is not; it may be too much for you if you are measuring with your poor little bushel; now take God’s great measure as it is revealed to us in our text: “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things, to make your servant know them.” The next time I find a little mercy, I will say, “Thank God for that,” but I shall not be quite sure whether it is not one of the common, ordinary mercies that he gives equally to his friends and his foes; but when I get hold of a great mercy that is so enormous that I cannot comprehend it, I shall say of it, “That came from God, I am sure it did. Great mercies come from the great God, the great Giver of all good things.” The greatness of the mercy is the proof that it is divine; and my soul will appropriate it, and rejoice in it, for God has given it to me according to his own heart.

18. I have only a few minutes left for the second part of my subject, which happens to be a truth which I have so often preached to you, that I may with less regret that I have only a short time to speak on it now.

19. II. Secondly, THE REASON FOR GOD’S GOODNESS TO US LIES IN HIS OWN HEART.

20. Why does God bless his people? What is the reason for it? Here it is in the text: “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things.” Why did God have mercy at all on any sinner? Because mercy was in his heart, and “he delights in mercy.” When God was willing to pardon sin, why did he not save the fallen angels? Why did he pass them by, and look in pity on men? For no reason that I know of, but that it was according to his own heart. And when he did turn to men to save them, why did he take pity on you, and why did he look with love on me? I cannot tell you, except for the reason which our Lord Jesus himself gave, “Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight.” When God elected his people, why did he elect them? Here is the reply: “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things.” Sovereignty ruled the hour; God chose whom he had a right to choose, for this is one of the attributes which he strictly guards: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Some people bite their tongues whenever they hear me quote that text. Well, they will have to bite them very often, for it is one of the grandest truths revealed in the Scriptures, and I shall delight to repeat it as long as I live, and to any objector I have simply to say what Paul wrote, “No but, oh man, who are you who replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has not the potter power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour, and another for dishonour!” It is God’s will that chooses his people for eternal life, and we know no other reason.

21. Will you, who are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, tell me why you were so favoured? Why were you given to Christ, and put into his Church? Indeed! why, but that it was according to the heart of God? And when you were called effectively by his grace, and made willing in the day of his power, while so many others refused to come, and wilfully perished, what was the reason for the distinction in your case? Some good thing in you? Far from it; our text explains the mystery: “According to your own heart, you have done all these great things.” And when you were pardoned, brother, why were you forgiven? For the sake of your repentance, or in hope of your doing better in the future? By no means; for, if you did better, it would be the result of the pardon, not the cause of it. The only satisfactory explanation is that it was according to God’s own heart. Is that not a grand passage, in the forty-third chapter of Isaiah (oh, how often I have admired God’s grace as revealed in it), where God speaks of his people having wearied him with their iniquities? He says that he never wearied them, nor caused them to serve with an offering; yet they had not bought him any sweet cane with money, nor filled him with the fat of their sacrifices; but they made him to serve with their sins, and wearied him with their iniquities. Yet, even then, he goes on to say, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions” — for what reason? “for my own sake,” — not “for your sakes,” but “for my own sake,” — “and will not remember your sins.” The reason for God’s mercy does not lie in man, but in God’s own heart. He looked, and he could see no good of any kind in man, nor the slightest hope of there ever being any good; but within his own heart be found the motive for the display of his grace, and then his own arm brought salvation. Oh, how blessed it is to see this great truth, that the cause of the salvation of any man lies in God’s own heart, not in the man’s own goodness or worthiness, or in any works foreseen in him, or in anything at all that comes from the creature!

22. Now, I want you who are coming to God for mercy to see how you can make use of this truth. I know what you have been doing. You have been looking inside your heart to find a reason why God should forgive you; and, since you cannot find any reason there, you think that there is none. Now just turn your eyes the other way, and look up to the great heart of God, and say, with David, “Have mercy on me, oh God, according to your lovingkindness, according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” Try to find out the reason for mercy in God; there is not any reason for it in yourself. You deserve his fiercest wrath and hottest hell; and if that is your portion, you will never be able to complain of any injustice having been done to you, for you will have no more punishment than your sins have brought on you. But look away to God’s heart, and you will see that he loves to forgive, that it is his glory to forgive; plead with him to pardon you for his own name’s sake, for that is the best of all arguments.

23. I want you not only to do that when you first come to him, but to do the same as you continue to cling to him. I can assure you that I am clinging to Christ, at this moment, in exactly the same way as I did when I first found him. I got rid of everything that I could confide in; in fact, I must have laughed at myself if I had set up any righteousness of my own, for I did not have a stick or stone out of which I could have made a righteousness fit to present to God. Then I clung to Christ, not because I had any right of my own to cling, but because he seemed a dear, kind Saviour who loved me to cling to him, and that is just why I am clinging to him now. I say to him, “Lord, I will not go away from you, for, as I look up to you, I perceive that you are all goodness, and all mercy, and all love; and therefore I intend to cling to you as long as I ever live. Sink or swim, I will always hold onto you.” In the same way, dear friend, your reason for continuing to cling to Christ must be found only in the heart of Christ and not in yourself. Cling on, then, because it is according to his heart never to cast away a single soul that puts its trust in him.

24. And this is the reason, dear brethren, why we must cast all our care on him. I invite you, and I urge you to do so. If you ask yourself, “Why may I cast my care on him?” the reply is, because it is his heart’s wish that you should do so. Christ loves you to leave your cares with him. The more you trust him, the better he loves you, if that can be; at least, the more you shall experience his love. You know the pretty story of the poor girl in India, whose teacher was very sick and weak, so the girl begged her teacher to lean on her; but the English lady did not like to lean too heavily, so the girl pleaded, “Oh dear teacher, if you love me, lean hard! I shall be happy to feel your weight on me.” And it is just so with the Lord Jesus; he loves you to lean hard on him, to cast yourself entirely on him, and give up trying to help yourself. You will never be so blessed, and never experience so much of the preciousness of Christ, as when you do that. Perhaps you ask, “May I?” May you? He wants you to do so; that is the very reason why you may. According to his own heart, he tells you to come, and cast yourself entirely on him.

25. Now, dear hearers, what do you say to this subject? Does it not glorify God? Have I preached up man? Indeed, I have preached him down; and I have tried to preach God up to the very highest, and so I will while this tongue can move. Let my right hand forget her cunning before I shall begin to preach about the dignity of human nature, and the grandeur of the miserable wretch called man. No, God is glorious over all; and if man is plucked from the burning, it must be the hand of God that delivers him; and the reason why he is rescued is because the heart of God has moved his hand to save the poor sinner from going down to destruction. I am quite content with the poet’s reason, —

    What was there in you that could merit esteem,
       Or give the Creator delight?
    “’Twas even so, Father,” you ever must sing,
       “Because it seem’d good in thy sight.”

But, oh beloved, what a wide door this truth throws open for poor lost men! You self-righteous people will not come in by it, for you do not like this God-made entrance. You want to try to save yourselves; but you will only ruin yourselves all the more effectively, that is all that will come of it. But every poor sinner, who is troubled by the devil, and brought to the lowest extremity, will say, “If there is a reason in the heart of God why I should be saved, I will even come, and venture myself on Christ’s finished work, and, trusting in him, I will see whether I shall not be saved.” Oh you lost and ruined, oh you helpless and hopeless, oh you far-off ones, oh you who lie at death’s door and hell’s door, look to Jesus on the cross! Your hope lies there; turn your eyes away from yourself, for there is nothing but what you will have to weep over, and groan over, in yourself. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity; and if you have come to the end of self, I invite you to begin with Christ. Yes, if you are finished with self, Christ has already begun with you; and when he begins, he never ceases until he perfects his work. May the Lord bless and save you! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 8” 8}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 36” 36 @@ "(Song 1)"}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 136” 136 @@ "(Song 2)"}

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {2Sa 7:1-22}

1, 2. And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest all around from all his enemies; that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains.”

He said no more, but his intention was very plain, namely, to build a house that should be a more suitable abode for the ark of the Lord.

3. And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart; for the LORD is with you.”

He spoke too fast. Even prophets, who are inspired by God, must wait on their Master for their message; and when they utter words which only come out of their own mouths, they say what they will have to unsay before long. It looked very clear that this was the proper thing for Nathan to say to David; but he did not have a “Thus says the Lord” for it.

4, 5. And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD,

“You have already let him know what Nathan had to say about the matter; now go and tell him what Jehovah says”:

5. "Shall you build me a house for me to dwell in?

The conception was altogether too low. He has made all space, time is his creation, and the arch of heaven stands by his almighty power; shall he himself have a house in which he can dwell?

6. Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

A structure to be set up, and taken down, and to be moved around wherever the people journeyed. That was sufficient to be a central shrine of worship, and God cared for nothing else.

7. In all the places where I have walked with all the children of Israel did I speak a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, ‘Why did you not build me a house of cedar?’"’

Did God ever ask the children of Israel such a question as this? No; and it is very remarkable that, from the time that the temple was built, you may date the decline of true religion in Israel; and the same thing has happened many times since; whenever religion is surrounded by elaborate ceremonies, and gorgeous architecture, it is almost certain to suffer loss of power and efficacy. The simplicity of worship may not be the life of it, but it has a very intimate connection with that life.

8-11. Now therefore you shall say this to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, "I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: and I was with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies, out of your sight, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as previously, and since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that he will make you a house.

God has a way of returning men’s generosity in kind. Since David wished to build God’s house, God would build David’s house.

12-15. And when your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your forefathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you.

Here is our warrant for believing in the final salvation of Solomon. Perhaps that Book of Ecclesiastes, the work of his old age, shows us by what rough and thorny ways God brought the wanderer back. He had tried to satisfy himself with the things of time and sense, but he was constrained at last to utter this verdict, “Vanity of vanities, says the preacher; all is vanity”; and he had to go back to his God, and find his comfort there.

16-18. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you: your throne shall be established for ever."’ ” According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. Then King David went in, and sat before the LORD,

Like one weighted down with a great load of mercy, too heavy for him to stand up under it, and therefore he needed to sit down, and consider, and meditate on the wonderful words of God to him.

18, 19. And he said, “Who am I, oh Lord GOD? and what is my house, that you have brought me so far? And this was yet a little thing in your sight, oh Lord GOD; but you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, oh Lord GOD?

“All that you have done for me, therefore, in overcoming my enemies, and making me king over this people, has seemed to be only a little thing to you, for ‘you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come.’ ” That astonished David, and therefore he asked, “Is this the manner of man, oh Lord God?” “Man gives stintedly after his own begrudging way; but you give in a lordly, kingly, divine way.” David’s question may be rendered, “Is this the law of the Man? Am I to be the parent of that Man who shall be my Lord as well as my Son, who shall reign for ever and ever, and of whose kingdom there shall be no end?” David was spelling out the inner mystery hidden in the words of the Lord, reading between the lines, and discovering that the covenant which God had made with him was, at least in some respects, a repetition of that greater covenant made with Christ on his behalf.

20. And what more can David say to you?

He had not said much, but he could not say much under such circumstances. He was utterly overwhelmed, just as, when some wonderful kindness has been shown to us, we wish rather to sit still, in grateful silence, than to stand up, and speak acknowledgments, for our heart is too full for utterance.

20-22. For you, Lord GOD, know your servant. For your word’s sake, and according to your own heart, you have done all these great things, to make your servant know them. Therefore you are great, oh Lord GOD: for there is no one like you, neither is there any God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”

God had said to David, in the message he sent by Nathan, “I have made you a great name, like the name of the great who are on the earth”; and now David brings back the words to God, and says, “You are great, oh Lord God; for there is no one like you, neither is there any God besides you.”



Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 8
1 Oh Lord, our Lord, how wondrous great
      Is thine exalted name!
 The glories of thine heav’nly state
      Let men and babes proclaim.
2 When I behold thy works on high,
      The moon that rules the night,
 And stars that well adorn the sky,
      Those moving worlds of light:
3 Lord, what is man, or all his race,
      Who dwells so far below,
   That thou shouldst visit him with grace
      And love his nature so?
4 That thine eternal Son should bear
      To take a mortal form,
   Made lower than his angels are,
      To save a dying worm?
5 Let him be crown’d with majesty
      Who bow’d his head to death;
 And be his honours sounded high
      By all things that have breath.
6 Jesus, our Lord, how wondrous great
      Is thine exalted name!
   The glories of thy heav’nly state
      Let the whole earth proclaim.
                  Isaac Watts, 1719.


Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 36 (Song 1)
1 High in the heaven, Eternal God,
   Thy goodness in full glory shines;
   Thy truth shall break through every cloud
   That veils and darkens thy designs.
2 For ever firm thy justice stands,
   As mountains their foundations keep;
   Wise are the wonders of thy hands;
   Thy judgments are a mighty deep.
3 Thy providence is kind and large,
   Both man and beast thy bounty share;
   The whole creation is thy charge,
   But saints are thy peculiar care.
4 My God! how excellent thy grace,
   Whence all our hope and comfort springs;
   The sons of Adam, in distress,
   Fly to the shadow of thy wings.
                           Isaac Watts, 1719.
Psalm 36 (Song 2)
1 Above these heavens’ created rounds,
   Thy mercies, Lord, extend;
   Thy truth outlives the narrow bounds
   Where time and nature end.
2 From thee, when creature streams run low,
   And mortal comforts die,
   Perpetual springs of life shall flow,
   And raise our pleasures high.
3 Though all created light decay,
   And death close up our eyes,
   Thy presence makes eternal day,
   Where clouds can never rise.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719.


Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 136 (Song 1) <7s.>
1 Let us, with a gladsome mind,
   Praise the Lord, for he is kind:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
2 Let us sound his name abroad,
   For of gods he is the God:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
3 He, with all commanding might,
   Fill’d the new made world with light;
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
4 All things living he doth feed;
   His full hand supplies their need:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
5 He his chosen race did bless
   In the wasteful wilderness:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
6 He hath, with a piteous eye,
   Look’d upon our misery:
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
7 Let us then, with gladsome mind,
   Praise the Lord, for he is kind,
   For his mercies shall endure,
   Ever faithful, ever sure.
                           John Milton, 1645


Psalm 136 (Song 2) L.M.
1 Give to our God immortal praise;
   Mercy and truth are all his ways:
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
2 Give to the Lord of lords renown,
   The King of kings with glory crown;
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When lords and kings are known no more.
3 He built the earth, he spread the sky,
   And fix’d the starry lights on high:
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
4 He fills the sun with morning light,
   He bids the moon direct the night:
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When suns and moons shall shine no more.
5 The Jews he freed from Pharaoh’s hand,
   And brought them to the promised land:
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
6 He saw the Gentiles dead in sin,
   And felt his pity work within:
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When death and sin shall reign no more.
7 He sent his Son with power to save
   From guilt, and darkness, and the grave
   Wonders of grace to God belong,
   Repeat his mercies in your song.
8 Through this vain world he guides our feet,
   And leads us to his heavenly seat;
   His mercies ever shall endure,
   When this vain world shall be no more.
                        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