3086. Marvellous Things

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No. 3086-54:157. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, May 7, 1874, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, April 2, 1908.

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; for he has done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, have gained him the victory. The LORD has made known his salvation: he has openly shown his righteousness in the sight of the nations. {Ps 98:1,2}

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 496, “New Song, The” 487}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3086, “Marvellous Things” 3087}

1. The invitations of the gospel are invitations to happiness. In delivering God’s message, we do not ask men to come to a funeral, but to a wedding feast. If our errand were one of sorrow, we might not marvel if men refused to listen to us; but it is one of gladness, not sadness — in fact, you might condense the gospel message into this joyful invitation, “Oh come, and learn how to sing to the Lord a new song! Come and find peace, rest, joy, and everything else that your soul can desire. Come and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” When the coming of Christ to the earth was first announced, it was not with sad sonorous sounds of demonic spirits driven from the nethermost hell, but with the choral symphonies of holy angels who joyfully sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men,” and as long as the gospel shall ever be preached in this world, its main message will be one of joy. The gospel is a source of joy to those who proclaim it, for to us, who are less than the least of all saints, this grace is given — that we should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. {a} The gospel is also a source of joy for all who hear it properly, and accept it, for its very name means “glad tidings of good things.” I feel that, if I am not able to preach to you as I wish, yet I am thrice happy in being permitted to preach at all; and if the style and manner of my address may not be such as I desire them to be, nor such as you will commend, yet it will matter very little, for the simplest proclamation of the gospel is by itself a most delightful thing; and if our hearts were in a right condition, we should not merely be glad to hear of Jesus over and over again, but the story of the love of our Incarnate God, and of the redemption accomplished by Emmanuel, would be the sweetest music that our ears ever heard.

2. In the hope that our hearts may rejoice, I am going to talk about many things under two points. The first is, the marvellous things which God has done in the person of his Son; and, secondly, some marvellous things in reference to ourselves, which are almost as marvellous as those that God has done.

3. I. Firstly, I am to call your attention to THE MARVELLOUS THINGS MENTIONED IN THE TEXT. If you read it carefully, you will notice that, first, there are some marvellous things that are marvellous in themselves; secondly, some that were marvellous in the way in which they were done: “His right hand, and his holy arm, have gained him the victory”; and then, thirdly, some that were marvellous concerning the way in which they were made known: “The Lord has made known his salvation: he has openly shown his righteousness in the sight of the nations.”

4. First, then, we will consider the things that are marvellous in themselves: “He has done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, have gained him the victory.” You know the story. We were enslaved by sin, we were in such bondage that we were liable to be in chains for ever; but our great Champion undertook our cause, and became a men and pledged to fight for us until the end; and he has done it. It would have been a reason for great joy if I could have come here, and said to you, “The Lord Jesus Christ has undertaken to fight our battles for us”; but I have something much better than that to say. He has fought the fight, and “his holy arm have gained him the victory.” It must have required more faith to believe in the Christ who was to come than to believe in the Christ who has come. It must have required great faith to believe in Christ as victorious while he was in the midst of the struggle; for example, when the bloody sweat was falling amid the olive trees, or when he was hanging on the cross, and moaning out that awful cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But the great crisis is past. No longer does the issue of the conflict tremble in the balance; Christ has accomplished his warfare for ever, and our foes are all beneath his feet.

   Love’s redeeming work is done;

   Fought the fight, the battle won.

5. What foes has Christ overcome? Our main foe, our sin, both concerning its guilt and its power. Concerning its guilt, there was a law, which we had broken, and which must be satisfied. Christ has kept the positive precepts of that law in his own perfect life, and he has vindicated the honour of that law by his sacrificial death on the cross. The law, therefore, being satisfied, the strength of sin is gone; and now, oh believers, the sins which you saw in the day of your conviction you shall see no more for ever! As Moses triumphantly sang of the enemies of the chosen people, “the depths have covered them,” so you can say of your sins, “There is not one of them left.” Even in God’s great Book of Remembrance there is no record of sin against any believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. “By him all who believe are justified from all things.” Try to understand this, brothers and sisters in Christ. Let the great army of your sins pass before you in review, — each one like a son of Anak, armed to the teeth for your destruction. They have gone down into the depths, and the Red Sea of Christ’s blood has drowned them, and so he has gained a complete victory over all the guilt of sin; and as for the power of sin within us, — alas! we often groan concerning it, but let us groan no longer; or if we do, let us also sing.

6. The experience of a Christian is summed up in Paul’s utterance, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 235, “The Fainting Warrior” 228} If you take the whole quotation, I believe you have a summary of a spiritual man’s life, — a daily groaning and a daily boasting, — a daily humbling and a daily rejoicing, — a daily consciousness of sin and a daily consciousness of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to conquer it. We believe, beloved, that our sin has received its death-blow. It still lingers within us, for its death is by crucifixion, and crucifixion is a lingering death. Its heart is not altogether fastened to the cross, but its hands are, so that we cannot sin as we once did. Its feet, too, are fastened, so that we cannot run in the way of transgressors as we once did; and one of these days the spear shall piece its heart, and it shall utterly die; and, then, with the faultless ones before the throne of God, we shall be unattended by depravity or corruption any longer. Therefore, let us “sing to the Lord a new song,” because his right hand, and his holy arm, have gained him the victory over sin within us.

   His be the victor’s name,

      Who fought our fight alone;

   Triumphant saints no honour claim;

      His conquest was his own.

7. In connection with sin came death, for death is the daughter of sin, and follows closely after sin; Jesus has conquered death. It is not possible for believers to die eternally, for Jesus said, “Because I live, you shall live also”; and even the character of the natural death is changed for believers. It is not now a penal infliction, but a necessary way of elevating our nature from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God, for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” Even those who will be living at the coming of the Lord must be “changed” in order that they may be prepared to enter glory. Death, therefore, for believers, is only a putting off of our week-day garments so that we may put on our Sabbatic attire, — the laying aside of the travel-stained garments of earth so that we may put on the pure vestments of joy for ever. So we do not fear death now, for Christ has conquered it. He has torn away the iron bars of the grave, and he has left in the sepulchre his own grave-clothes and napkin so that there may be suitable apparel in what was once a grim, cold, empty grave; and he has gone up into his glory, and left heaven’s gate wide open for all believers. Unless he shall come first, we too shall descend into the grave where he went, but we also shall come up again as he did, and we shall rise complete in the perfection of our redeemed manhood. Then we shall be satisfied, when we awaken in the likeness of our Master; so let us “sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things.”

   Hosanna to the Prince of light,

      Who clothed himself in clay,

   Enter’d the iron gates of death,

      And tore the bars sway!

   Death is no more the king of dread,

      Since our Emmanuel rose;

   He took the tyrant’s sting away,

      And spoil’d our hellish foes.

   See how the Conqueror mounts aloft,

      And to his Father flies,

   With scars of honour in his flesh,

      And triumph in his eyes.

8. And just as Christ has conquered sin and death, so he has conquered the devil and all his hosts of fallen spirits. This monster of iniquity, this monster of craft and malice has striven to hold us in perpetual bondage, but Christ met him in the wilderness and vanquished him there; and met him, as I believe, in the garden of Gethsemane, in personal conflict, and vanquished him once and for all; and now he has led captives captive. Inferior spirits were driven away by Christ when he was here on earth, and they fled at the bidding of the King; and now, although Satan still worries and vexes the saints of God, the Lord will bruise Satan under their feet shortly. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the joyful news we have to bring to sinners, — that sin, and death, and the devil have all been vanquished by the great Captain of our salvation; and for this let us rejoice so that we sing to the Lord a new song.

   He hell in hell laid low;

      Made sin, he sin o’erthrew:

   Bow’d to the grave, destroy’d it so,

      And death, by dying slew.

   Sin, Satan, death appear

      To harass and appal;

   Yet since the gracious Lord is near,

      Backward they go, and fall.

9. But, according to the text, what the Lord did is not only marvellous in itself, but the way in which he did it was also marvellous. Observe that he did it alone: “His own right hand, and his holy arm, have gained him the victory.” No one was associated with the Lord Jesus Christ in the conquest which he achieved over sin, and death, and the devil, and nothing is more abhorrent to a believing soul than the idea of giving any particle of glory to anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ. He trod the wine-press alone, so let him alone wear the crown. Sinner, you do not have to look for any secondary Saviour; Christ has done it all. You need to pay no reverence to saints, or martyrs, or priests. Christ has done it all, so resort to him for all you need. Christ alone has accomplished the salvation of his people; no other hand has been raised to help him in the fight. Look then to Jesus alone for salvation. Trust in him with your whole heart; throw your weight entirely on him, my poor brother or sister, if you have not yet done so, and you shall find rest and salvation in him.

10. Another marvel is that he did it all so wisely: “His right hand has gained him the victory.” You know that we use the word “dexterous” to indicate a thing that is well done, we mean that it was done right-handedly. So Christ fought our battle with his right hand; he did it with ease, with strength, and with infinite wisdom. Salvation is the very perfection of wisdom, because, in the salvation of a sinner, all the attributes of God are equally glorified. There is as much justice as there is mercy in the salvation of a sinner by the atoning sacrifice of Christ, — mercy full-orbed, and justice full-orbed also, — God fulfilling his threatenings against sin by striking Christ, and giving to the love of his heart full vent in saving the very chief of sinners through the death of his dear Son. The more I consider the doctrine of substitution, the more my soul is enamoured with the matchless wisdom of God which devised this system of salvation. As for a hazy atonement which atones for everyone in general, and for no one in particular, — an atonement made equally for Judas and for John, I care nothing for it; but a literal, substitutionary sacrifice, Christ vicariously bearing the wrath of God on my behalf, this calms my conscience with regard to the righteous demands of the law of God, and satisfies the instincts of my nature which declare that, since God is just, he must exact the penalty for my guilt. Dear brethren, Jesus Christ, suffering, bleeding, dying, has gained the victory for us. The hand that was pierced by the nails has conquered sin, the hand that was fastened to the wood has fastened up the accusation that was written against us, the hand that bled has brought salvation to us, so that we are Christ’s for ever. It was infinite wisdom which shone in the conquest of sin, and death, and the devil.

11. But it was holiness too: “His holy arm has gained him the victory.” The psalmist seems, as he advances in his Psalms, to fall more and more in love with the matchless holiness of God, and the holiness of the victory of Christ is a great point in its favour. There is never a sinner saved so as to make God even seem to wink at sin. Since the creation of this world, there was never an act of mercy performed by God that was not in perfect harmony with the most severe justice. God, though he has loved and saved unholy men, has never stained his holy hands in the act of saving them. He still remains the holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, though he is still very sympathetic, and full of compassion, and passes by transgression, iniquity, and sin, and presses prodigal children to his heart. The atonement of Jesus Christ is the answer to the great question, “How can God be just and yet the Justifier of him who believes? How can he be perfectly holy, and yet, at the same time, receive into his love, and adopt into his family, those who are unrighteous and unholy?” Oh Calvary, you have solved the problem! The bleeding wounds of the Incarnate God have made righteousness and peace to kiss each other. May God grant to you, unconverted sinner, the grace to understand how he can save you, and yet be perfectly holy, how he can forgive your sins, and yet be perfectly just! I know this is the difficulty that troubles you, — how can you be received while God is what he is? He can receive you, for the Lord Jesus Christ took the sin of his people, and bore it in his own body on the tree, and being the appointed Head of all believers, he has vindicated in his own person the inflexible justice of God. There is the Man who has kept the whole law of God, — not Adam, for he failed to keep it, — but the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, and all whom he represented are now “accepted in the Beloved,” made acceptable to God because of what Jesus Christ has done. So let us magnify that holy arm which has gained him the victory.

12. I now have to speak on the third point, the marvellous grace which has revealed all this to us. It is a very familiar thing for us who are sitting here to hear the gospel, but will you just carry your minds back about three thousand years ago to the time when this Psalm was written? What was known then concerning salvation, was known almost exclusively by the Jews. Here and there, a proselyte was led into the bonds of the covenant; but, for the most part, the whole world lay in heathen darkness. Where there was the seal of circumcision, there were the oracles of God; but as for the sinners of the Gentiles, they knew nothing whatever concerning the truth. And it might have been so until today if the Lord had not made known his salvation, and openly shown his righteousness in the sight of the nations. Our present privileges are greater than those of ancient Israel, and I am afraid that we sometimes despise, or at least forget, those whom we have for a time supplanted. They were the favoured people of God, and through their unbelief they have been set aside for a while, but Israel is yet to be restored to even greater blessings than it formerly enjoyed.

   The hymn shall yet in Zion swell

      That sounds Messiah’s praise,

   And thy loved name, Emmanuel!

      As once in ancient days.

   For Israel yet shall own her King,

      For her salvation waits,

   And hill and dale shall sweetly sing

      With praise in all her gates.

13. Do we value as we ought the privilege we now have of hearing in our own language the wonderful works of God? My dear unconverted hearer, how grateful you ought to be that you were not born in Rome, or Babylon, or in the far-off Indies, in those days when there was no Christian missionary to seek you out, and care for your soul, but when all of the light that shone was shed on that little land of Palestine! Jesus Christ has broken down the middle wall of partition, and now it makes no difference whether we are Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, for the gospel is to be preached to every creature in all the world, and “he who believes and is baptized shall be saved,” whatever his previous character may have been, or to whatever nation he may have belonged.

14. Yet let us never forget that, in order to accomplish this great work of salvation, it was necessary that the blessed Son of God should descend to this world, and it was also necessary that the Spirit of God should be given to rest on the Church, to be the inspiration by which the gospel should be preached among the nations. Again let me ask a question. Do we sufficiently reverence the Holy Spirit, and love him as we should for all that he has done? The incarnation of the Son of God is no greater mystery than the indwelling of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men. It is truly marvellous that the ever-blessed Spirit, who is equally God with the Father and the Son, should come and reside in these bodies of ours, and make them his temple. Yet remember that, if it had not been so, there would have been no effective preaching of the gospel; and, tonight, unless the Holy Spirit is here to bless the Word, there will be no open showing of Christ’s righteousness to you, and no making known of his salvation to your heart. All the victories of Christ, for which I challenge your grateful songs, would be unknown to you if the Holy Spirit did not touch men’s lips so that they might tell what the Lord has done, and proclaim abroad his glorious victories.

15. Remember, too, that, in connection with the work of the Holy Spirit, there has had to be an unbroken chain of divine providence to bring the gospel to you, and to your fellow countrymen. Look back through the past ages, and see what wonderful revolutions of the wheels full of eyes there have been. Empires have risen, and have fallen, but their rise and fall have had a close connection with the preaching of the gospel. There have been terrific persecutions of the saints of God; Satan has seemed to summon all hell to attack the Church of Christ, yet he could not destroy its life. Then came the night of Popery, dense as the nights of Egypt’s darkness; but old Rome could not put out the light of the gospel. Since then, in what marvellous ways has God led his chosen people! He has raised up his servants, one after another, so that the testimony concerning the victories achieved by Christ might be continued among us, and might be spread throughout all the nations of the earth; and so it comes to pass that, tonight, you have the open Bible in your hands, and I am permitted freely to expound the teaching of that Bible to you. How wonderfully has the history of our own country been working towards this happy result! Glorify God and bless his holy name that we live in such halcyon {peaceful} days as these when the Lord has made known his salvation, and has openly shown his righteousness in the sight of the nations.

16. But even more sweetly let us praise the Lord that we not only live where the gospel is made known, but that God has made it known to some of us in an even higher sense. Some of us now understand, as we did not at one time, the righteousness of God, — his way of making men righteous through Jesus Christ. We understood it in theory long before God made it savingly known in our soul; this is another work of the Holy Spirit for which we have good reason to sing to the Lord a new song. Sinner, I have to say to you that God has sent the gospel to you to tell you that his Son, Jesus Christ, has conquered sin, and death, and the devil, and that, if you believe in Jesus, you shall be a partaker in his victory. There is nothing for you to do but to believe in him. Even the power to understand his truth is God’s gift to you; even the faith that receives it he works in you according to his Spirit. You are to be nothing so that God may be everything; it is for you to fall at his feet, with confusion of face and contrition of heart, and when he tells you to do so, to rise up and say, “I will sing to the Lord a new song. Oh Lord, I will praise you; for though you were angry with me, your anger is turned away, and you comforted me through him who has gained the victory on my behalf.”

17. II. The second point of my subject, on which I must speak very briefly indeed, is this, — THERE ARE SOME MARVELLOUS THINGS IN REFERENCE TO OURSELVES.

18. The first of these marvellous things is that, after all that Christ has done, and the mercy of God in making it known, so many are utterly careless and indifferent concerning it. Tens of thousands will not even cross the threshold to go and hear about it. Bibles are in many of their houses, yet they do not take the trouble to read them. If they are going on a railway journey, they consult their Bradshaw; {b} but they do not search God’s own Guide-Book to find the way to heaven, or to learn where and when they must start if they intend to reach that place of eternal happiness and bliss. We can still ask, with Isaiah, “Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” The most marvellous sight outside of hell is an unconverted man; it is a marvel of marvels that the Son of God himself should leave heaven and all its glories, and come to earth to bleed and die, in manhood’s form for manhood’s sake, and yet that there should be anyone in the form of a man who should not care even to hear the story of his wonderful sacrifice, or that hearing the story, should disregard it as if it were of no interest to him. Yet see how men rush to buy a newspaper when there is some little bit of news! With what avidity do some young people, and some old people too, who ought to know better, read the foolish novel of a lovesick maid! How freely their tears flow over imaginary griefs! Yet the Lord Jesus Christ, bleeding to death in selfless love for his enemies, does not move them to tears, and their hearts remain untouched by the story of his sufferings as if they were made of marble.

19. The depravity of mankind is a miracle of sin; it is as great a miracle, from one point of view, as the grace of God is from another. Jesus Christ neglected! Eternal love slighted! Infinite mercy disregarded! Indeed, and I have to confess, with great shame, that even the preacher of the gospel is not always affected by it as he ought to be; and not only must I, my brethren, confess this, but so must others, I fear, who preach the Word. Why, it ought to make us dance for joy to have to tell you that there is mercy in the heart of God, that there is pardon for sinners, that there is life for the dead, that the great heart of God yearns over sinners, and our hearts ought to be ready to break when we find that men disregard all this good news, and are not affected by it. It is an astounding calamity that men should have fallen so terribly that they are insensitive to infinite love. May God grant that his grace may show to you, unconverted sinners here, in what a horrible state your hearts must be in that, after all that Christ has done, you still give him no sign of gratitude, no song of praise for the wonders he has accomplished.

20. Looking from this point of view, there is another marvellous thing, which is, that some of us have been brought to recognise the work of Christ so that we are saved by it; because, to confess the truth, there are some of us who were very unlikely subjects (speaking after the manner of men) to be saved. Probably, each saved person here thought himself the most unlikely one ever to be saved; I know that I thought so concerning myself. You remember the story of a Scotchman who went to see Mr. Rowland Hill, and who sat and looked him in the face for a long while, until the good old minister asked him, “What are you looking at?” He replied, “I have been studying the lines of your face.” “What do you make of them?” asked Rowland, and the answer was, “I was thinking what a great vagabond you would have been if the grace of God had not found you.” “That thought has often struck me,” said Rowland; and a similar thought has often struck some of us. If we had not been converted, would we not have led others into sin? Would we not have invented new pleasures of vice and folly? Who would have stopped us? We had daring enough for anything, enough even to have defied the very devil himself if we had thought that some new vice could have been invented, or some new pleasure of sin could have been discovered. But now that God has made us yield, “by sovereign grace subdued,” and brought us to his feet, and put the chains on us which now we gladly welcome, and which we long to wear for ever, oh come, and let us sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things for us; “his right hand, and his holy arm, have gained him the victory!” Dear child of God, if there is special grace in your case, as I know you feel that there has been, there ought to be special honour given to Christ by you. Everyone who is saved ought to live a very special life, — an extraordinary life. If you were an extraordinary sinner, or have been, in some way or other, an extraordinary debtor to divine love, may there be some extraordinary devotion, extraordinary consecration, extraordinary faith, extraordinary generosities, extraordinary lovingkindness, or something else about you in which the traces of that marvellous right hand of God and his holy arm will be plainly revealed!

21. The last thing I will speak about is this, there is something marvellous in the joy which we, who have believed in the victory accomplished by Christ, have received. Probably all of you have sung that song of which the refrain is, — 

   “I am so glad that Jesus loves me.”

That refrain is very monotonous, yet I think I should like to sing it all night, and should not wish to stop even when the morning broke.

   “I am so glad that Jesus loves me.”

You may turn it over, and over, and over, and over, as long as you ever like, but you will never find anything that makes you so glad as that thought, “Jesus loves me”; and you will never find that the sweetness of that thought, “Jesus loves me,” will ever be exhausted. Sinner, if you only knew the blessedness of the life of Christ, you would be glad enough to run away from your own life, and run to share ours in him! We have peace like a river, we can leave all our cares and our burdens with our God. We are just where we love most to be, — in the bosom of our Heavenly Father, and the Spirit of adoption makes us feel perfectly at home with him. We can say, “Return to your rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you!” We are in perfect safety, for who is he who can destroy those whom Christ protects? We are at peace even with our own conscience. We also have a blessed prospect for the future; we shall be borne along on the wings of divine providence until we exchange them for the wings of angels. We have a heaven below, and we are looking for an even better heaven above.

   All that remains for me

      Is but to love and sing,

   And wait until the angels come

      To bear me to the King.

This is the lower part of the choir; some of the singers are up in the galleries, and we are learning here the notes that we shall sing above. Come, beloved, let us make these sinners long to share our joys. If any of you saints have been moaning and groaning recently, get into your proper condition. Begin to tune up, and praise the Lord with all your might until the ungodly shall say, “After all, there is something sweeter and brighter and better in the lives of these Christians than we have ever known in ours.” But whether you will rejoice or not, my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; and so I will, by his help, until death suspends these mortal songs, or melts them into the immortal songs before the throne. May God bless you, brothers and sisters, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

{a} Mr. Spurgeon enlarged on this theme in two Sermons on Eph 3:8 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 745, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ” 736} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1209, “A Grateful Summary of Twenty Volumes” 1200}
{b} Bradshaw: Colloquial designation of “Bradshaw’s Railway Guide,” a time-table of all railway trains running in Great Britain, the earliest form of which was first issued at Manchester in 1839 by George Bradshaw (1801-53), printer and engraver. (Ceased publication in 1961.) OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 116}

1. I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 240, “Prayer Answered, Love Nourished” 233}

Every answered prayer should make us love the Lord, and especially those prayers that come up from our heart when it is overwhelmed within us. When we pray in deep trouble, and God sends us help and deliverance, it is impossible for us not to love him. Cannot each believer here say, with great gratitude, “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications”?

2. Because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

“This begging business pays so well that I will never give it up as long as I live. The Lord has heard me, so he shall hear me again and again. He is so good and so generous a God, and such bounties are continually being distributed at his door, that I will never go to anyone else, but will continue to knock at God’s door as long as I live.”

The psalmist goes on to tell us what was the special occasion which brought out this expression of his gratitude.

3, 4. The sorrows of death encompassed me, and the pains of hell got hold on me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD; “Oh LORD, I beseech you, deliver my soul.” {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1216, “To Souls in Agony” 1207}

His petition was short, earnest, plain, and personal. It was a sharp arrow shot from the bow of prayer, and it reached its mark in the heart of God. Are any of you just now in very severe distress? Then let each one imitate the example of the psalmist, and pray, “Oh Lord, I beseech you, deliver my soul.” Have you been delivered as the psalmist was? Then make a note of it, be sure to jot it down in your diary, so that, when you get into such a trouble again, you may turn to the record of God’s delivering mercy, and say, “The God who delivered me before has not changed, so I will apply to him again, for I am sure that he will deliver me again.”

5, 6. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

Poor simpletons, who cannot help themselves, but who are, nevertheless, free from deceit and craft, and take God’s Word as they find it, — sincere simple souls, who trust in the Lord, he will take care of them, but he will leave those who think they are wise enough to do so, to take care of themselves.

7, 8. Return to your rest oh my soul; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

If we have enjoyed this trinity of deliverances, let us praise the Three-in-One God for ever and ever. Praise him, oh my soul, if you are saved! Praise God, oh my eyes! Be filled with the happy tears of gratitude since he has delivered you from the bitter, briny tears of grief. Praise him, oh you feet that he has kept from falling, and run in the way of his commandments with great joy!

9. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

“That shall be my way of walking, — not before men, so that I may gain their praise, but I will consider the Lord, and the Lord alone; and as long as I please him, I shall not care whether I please anyone else or not.”

10, 11. I believed, therefore I have spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, “All men are liars.”

It is always better not to speak in haste. It is very seldom that we say much that is worth hearing when we talk too soon. “I said in my haste, ‘All men are liars.’”

12. What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits towards me?

That is better, for it is better to praise the Lord than to find fault with men, even if the fault found is really there. It is better for each one of us to be rendering our homage to God than picking holes in the coats of others, so let each one of us ask, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me?”

13. I will take — 

The psalmist asks, “What shall I render?” and he answers, “I will take.” That is a strange way of rendering, is it not? Yes, brethren, but that is the way for us to show our gratitude to the Lord for all his benefits towards us. John Newton was right when he wrote, — 

   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.

“I will take” — 

13, 14. The cup of salvation, and call on the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

And I can be spokesman for you, brothers and sisters in Christ, and say that the Lord is good, and that we have proved him to be good to us under particularly trying circumstances. He does not fail to help his people, neither does he turn his back on them in their hour of need. We have tried all other dependencies, and have been bitterly disappointed; but the Rock of Israel’s salvation stands firm for ever, glory be to the name of Jehovah of hosts! Let us pay our vows to the Lord now in the presence of all his people.

15. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1036, “Precious Deaths” 1027}

It is an event for which he makes all necessary arrangements. He does not allow it to happen accidentally, or according to the will of man. As good old John Ryland says, — 

   Not a single shaft can hit

   Till the God of love thinks fit.

16. Oh LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, and the son of your handmaid: you have released my bonds. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 312, “Personal Service” 303}

The palmist said that he was a home-born slave, because his mother was a servant of God, and he was born, as it were, a servant of his mother’s Lord. How delightful it is to be a Christian, and the Son of a Christian! Let us rejoice and be glad if that is our happy lot. It is more honour to have had a mother who feared the Lord than a mother who was princess or an empress, but who did not have the grace of God in her heart.

17-19. I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call on the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of you, oh Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.

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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