Sermon 1314. The Mighty Arm
A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 17, 1876,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"You have a mighty arm: strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand." Psalm 89:13.
WHEN the soul is perfectly reconciled to God and comes to delight in Him, it rejoices in all His attributes. At the first,perhaps, it dwells almost exclusively upon His love and His mercy, but it afterwards proceeds to find joy in the sterner attributesand especially delights itself in His holiness and in His power. It is a mark of the growth of Christian knowledge when webegin to distinguish the attributes and to rejoice in God in each one of them. It betokens meditation and thought when weare able to discern the things of God and to give to the Lord a Psalm of praise for each one of His glories. And it also indicatesa growingly intimate communion with the great Father when we begin to perceive His adorable Character and to rejoice so muchin all that He is, that we can take the attributes in detail and bless, praise and magnify Him on account of each one of them.
Under the Jewish Law there were forms of the sacrifices which were of the simplest kind, such as the offering of turtle dovesor young pigeons, which were simply torn asunder and burned upon the altar. But there were other and more elaborate rulesfor the sacrifices which were taken from the flock and the herd. These were rightly divided and the parts laid in their places-thehead, the fat, the inwards, the legs and so on-as if to show that although some Believers only know the atoning sacrificeas a whole and after a superficial manner, there are others still further instructed who look deeper into Divine mystery andsee the various forms which the great Truths of God assume.
It is a saving thing to know the Lord God with all your heart, but I would, Beloved, that you knew all the varied rays ofHis pure light. That you beheld the many glories of His crown and could rejoice in each distinct excellence of His infiniteperfection. The subject of this morning is the power of God as the subject of adoration. Here, dear Brothers and Sisters,we have large scope for thought, for the power of God is manifested in connection with all His other attributes. It is thecause of all His works and the basis and working force by which His kingdom is maintained and Himself revealed.
How clearly is His power beheld in creation. There, indeed, O Lord, "You have a mighty arm." We injure ourselves and dishonorour Creator when we pass over His works as if they were beneath the notice of spiritual minds. It is perverse on our partto forget the exhortation, "What God has created, call not you common." The Psalmist sang concerning the creating might ofGod in verses 11 and 12 of the Psalm before us-"The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours: as for the world and the fullnessthereof, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in Your name."
David did not divide between Revelation and Nature. He loved the Word of God and meditated therein day and night, but at thesame time he triumphed in the works of God's hands. In the 104th Psalm he found music in rocks and rills, in fowls and firtrees, and rejoiced that the Glory of the Lord shall endure forever, the Lord shall rejoice in His works. In the 8th Psalmhe considered the heavens and burst forth with the exclamation, "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!"With the same feeling I led you to sing this morning that child's hymn in which the power of God is reverenced-
"I sing the almighty power of God, Which made the mountains rise, Which spreads the flowing seas abroad, And built the loftyskies."
The Lord made Job and his friends remember his power as seen in creation. Indeed, it was by revealing that one attribute thatJob's friends were silenced and the Patriarch, himself, was led to cry, "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer
You?" We ought not to overlook that which had so salutary an influence upon others. It is a pity when people become so spiritualthat they have no eyes whatever for the Lord's power in rivers and mountains, in seas and storms-for God has made them alland as in a glass He is darkly to be seen in them. "The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasuretherein."
I can understand the feeling of some who say, "I prefer spiritual preaching and I delight most to read the spiritual partsof the Word of God rather than the historical records, and to think of His Grace rather than of His wisdom in Nature." Butthere is a fault about such a preference, excellent as it is in one way. It is as though you had a friend who was a greatartist, and a master in statuary, able to make the marble almost live and speak with his magic chisel. You are accustomedto call upon this eminent sculptor and it gives you great pleasure to talk with him and to associate with his children. Butyou have never gone into his studio, for his masterpieces do not interest you.
Now, this is poor fellowship. If ever you get to be in perfect sympathy with your friend, you will be interested in that whichinterests him, and charmed with the various proofs of your friend's powers in design and execution. You will study his worksfor his sake and love him all the more because of those wonders of beauty and joy which his hands produce. If the Lord thinksfit to display the hand of His power in the visible universe, it would ill become any of His children to close his eyes toit. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." "All the works praise You, O God; but Your saints shall bless You."
So, too, the power of God is to be seen in Providence-in the overruling hand which controls common events. Our sweet singerwrites in verse 9, "You rule the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise You still them." God's power is seen in thegreat phenomena of Nature and even in the lesser matters of everyday life. His hand guides the fall of every sere leaf andadorns each blade of grass with its own drop of dew! But chiefly His way is in the whirlwind and the clouds are the dust ofHis feet. The mighty hand of the Lord is to be seen in the events of human history. His power is manifest in courts and armies,in the rise and fall of empires, in the growth of nations, or in their overthrow. Behold how He broke Egypt in pieces as onethat was slain and scattered His enemies with His strong arm.
His people did not refuse to sing of His great power when He smote great kings and slew famous kings because His mercy toHis people endures forever. It ought to be a subject of great joy to all righteous souls that the world is not left to itself,or to tyrants. The might is with the right, after all, for power belongs unto God. There is a Governor and Ruler who is Lordof all and all power is in His hands. Have you not often wished more power to the arm of the man who attacks insolence andcruelty? Be glad, then, that all power is in the hand of the Judge of all the earth, who must and will do right.
He will not leave bloodshed unavenged, nor suffer wanton cruelty and horrible brutality to go unpunished. And if the greatones of the earth pass by with indifference, or wink their eye at wicked policy, there is an eye that sees and a hand thatwill mete out stern and sure vengeance! In patience possess your souls, O you people of God, for, "God reigns over the heathen,He sits upon the Throne of His holiness." The needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the oppressed forever trodden down,for verily the Lord reigns and His power shall defend the cause of right. It is another subject for which we have reason,also, to adore God, that His power is seen in the ultimate judgement of the wicked-a terrible subject upon which I will notenlarge-but one which should prostrate us in the dust before His awful majesty.
There are two flaming jewels of Jehovah's crown which will be terribly seen in Hell-His wrath and His power. "What if God,willing to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction?"Righteous indignation and Omnipotence will be glorified together in that last tremendous act of judgment in which He willseparate the righteous from the wicked and apportion to the unbelievers their due. "Who knows the power of Your anger?" Whatmust be the strength of an angry God! Who shall stand against Him when once He stirs up His indignation, when He shall breakthe nations with a rod of iron, and shiver them like potters' vessels?
"Beware," He said, "you that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." Who shall stand againstthis great and terrible God in the day of His wrath? Who shall endure in that day when Mercy's day is over and Justice, alone,sits on her burning throne? Neither of these, however, is the subject of this morning, though we should not have completedthe topic without alluding to them. The subject is the power displayed in connection with the mercy
of God, for so Ethan begins this noble Covenant Psalm: "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth willI make known Your faithfulness to all generations."
Power in alliance with Grace is our one theme. First, we shall consider the mighty power of God in His Grace, as revealedin our experience. Secondly, Divine power, as displayed in Christ Jesus. And, thirdly, we shall endeavor to reflect upon thesame power and consider how it should be practically recognized. We must be brief on each point, for our time is short.
I. First, the mighty arm of God displayed in the way of Grace, as MANIFESTED IN OUR EXPERIENCE. And, Beloved, remember theDivine long-suffering. What a mighty arm of Grace it must have been which held back the anger of God while we were in a stateof rebellion and impenitence! For God to rule the angry sea seems nothing, to me, compared with the power which He exercisesupon Himself when He endures the provocations of ungodly men, the hardness of their hearts, their rejection of Christ and,oftentimes, their blasphemous speeches and their unclean deeds. O Sinner, when you are sinning with a high hand and with anoutstretched arm, is it not a wonder of wonders that God does not cut you down and end your insolence?
He said, "Ah, I will ease Me of My adversaries." Is it not a marvel that He has not eased Himself ofyou and taken you awaywith a stroke? You know how it is with some men-a word and a blow-but it has not been so with God. There have been many wordsof love and many deeds of kindness. He has waited long and is waiting now, stretching out His hands all day to a disobedientand gainsaying people. What power is this which restrains its own power, the power of God over His own Omnipotence, so thatHe does not let His anger flame forth at once and devour the ungodly, nor suffer the sword of execution to smite down therebel in the midst of his provocations? Glory be unto Your loving kindness and Your long-suffering, O God, for in them wesee Your mighty self-restraining power!
But, next, we saw the power of God so as to recognize it when the Lord subdued us by His mighty Grace. What Omnipotence isdisplayed in the conquest of every rebellious sinner! By nature the sinner stands out very stoutly against God and will notobey His voice. Often he is bulwarked round with prejudices and you and I, who seek to convert him, are quite unable to reachhim. Prejudice is an earthwork into which you may fire with the heaviest cannon, but without use, for the balls are buriedin the earth and no result follows. When men will not see, no light can help them, for they willfully close their eyes. Whenthey will not hear, the charms of the Gospel are useless, for they have resolutely closed their ears.
It is a wonder of wonders, when, at last, God conquers prejudice and the man finds himself where he would have sworn he neverwould be-melted down and penitent at Jesus' feet! If a Prophet had told him it would ever be so, he would have said, "Youare mad! This cannot be! I abhor the very name of it." You have a mighty arm, O God, when prejudiced Saul of Tarsus fallsdown at Your feet and rises to become your Apostle! Men are surrounded often with a granite wall of obstinacy-they will notyield to the power of Divine Love. Preach as you may, they are not to be moved, but remain like an impregnable fortress, frowningfrom its own inaccessible rock, defying all assaults.
You can find no way to get at them. You would be willing, almost, to die, if you could capture their hearts for Christ, butthey are neither to be taken by threats nor by wooing. They are like leviathan whose scales are his pride, shut up togetheras with a close seal. "Can you fill his skin with barbed irons, or his head with fish spears?" They appear to have no jointsto their harness through which the arrow of conviction may penetrate. But You have a mighty arm, O God, and Your enemies aremade to feel Your arrows! Those who were exceedingly stout against You have, nevertheless, come crouching at Your feet andhave become Your servants! Glory be to God, the northern iron and the steel become wax at His bidding!
We have seen some, also, who have been rooted in their habits of sin, altogether severed from their old sins. Wonder of wonders,the Ethiopian has changed his skin and the leopard has lost his spots, for he who was accustomed to do evil has learned todo well! Behold a miracle of mighty Grace! The sinner has grown old in sin-like an old oak he has become rooted to the earthby a thousand roots. To transplant him seemed impossible-it were far easier to cut him down. Yet the giant hand of Grace hastaken hold of that ancient tree and shaken it to and fro by conviction of sin and, at last, it has, by conversion, been drawnfrom its place right up by the roots, so that the place which once knew it knew it no more! The rock and soil in which ithad been imbedded for, perhaps, half a century, were made to give way before the upheaving, uprooting force and the man, dividedfrom his former life, has been a proof of what the Lord can do!
The Lord knows how to cleave the mountain and divide the sea and, therefore, He can separate men from their darling lustsand teach them to cut off right arms and pluck out right eyes rather than perish in sin. Truly, Lord, You have a mighty arm!Satan teaches men to defend themselves against Grace by bulwarks of pride. They say, "Who is the Lord that we should obeyHis voice?" They lift up their horn on high and speak with a stiff neck! They are self-righteous. They are sure that theyhave done no ill-the Gospel is powerless upon them because they are so lofty in their looks and insolent in their thoughts.But You have a mighty arm, O Lord! You lay proud sinners very low. You make them hungry and thirsty and then they cry untoYou in their trouble.
You have a mighty arm among the proud and You bring down their heart with labor! They fall down and there is none to help."He has put down the mighty from their seats." Nebuchadnezzar, from saying, "Behold this great Babylon that I have built,"learned to confess that those who walk in pride, the Lord is able to abase. Equally mighty is the Lord to overcome despair,for this is another one of the fortresses in which sinners entrench themselves against Divine Grace. "There is no hope," theysay, "therefore we will give up ourselves to our iniquities." And it is almost idle to attempt to convert those who are willfullydespairing. They resent the consolations of the Bible and reject the promises of God.
And yet the Lord can break the bars of iron and cut the gates of brass in pieces! He can bring up the captives from the dungeonsof despair and set them on a rock! He can put a new song into their mouths and make them praise His name forevermore. Fromthe iron cage, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, can set the captives free! All glory be unto His name! When God resolves tosave the sinner, He will have His will without violating the will of man! In a sweet, soft, gentle manner, in which the powerlies in the gentleness and the force lies in the tenderness, the Lord can conquer the most obstinate! He makes the lion tolie down with the lamb, so that a little child shall lead it. Thus the power of God is seen in the conquest of sinners.
That power is equally seen in their transformation, for is it not a marvel that God should be able to make old and corruptrebels into new creatures in Christ Jesus? Every conversion is a display of Omnipotence. To create the world was but halfa wonder compared with the creation of a right spirit, for there was nothing to hinder when God spoke and the world began.But when God speaks to ungodly men there is a resisting force which impedes the work and even defies the great Worker. Thereis a darkness and a death. There is a force of evil and an inability towards good which must be overcome, yet the Lord makesall things new, and causes the new creation to arise in the hearts of His people! Verily He has a mighty arm! Glory be tothe Lord who only does great wonders with a high hand and an outstretched arm!
Conversion is also called a resurrection. It will be a great feat of power when dead carcasses shall live at the sound ofthe last trumpet, but it is an equal wonder when the dry bones of dead sinners come to life-when those who were scatteredat the grave's mouth, the hopeless, graceless, Christless-are, nevertheless, made to live at the sound of God's Word by thepower of His Spirit. Oh, you that have been new created and quickened into newness of life, adore His power today! Who buta God could have made you what you are? Consider what you were and reflect upon the glorious position to which the Lord hasbrought you by the blood of the Cross!
Think what rebels you were and how set on mischief your nature was-and now, subdued by Sovereign Grace, your spirit longsfor His embrace-you follow after holiness and seek to have it perfected in the fear of God. What a revolution is this! Whata turning of things upside down! To turn the wilderness into springs of water and the desert into a flowing stream is nothingcompared with turning the dead, cold, dry heart of man into a mighty wellspring of love springing up unto eternal life! Glorybe to Your power, oh You infinitely mighty Jehovah, You have a mighty arm!
That same power is seen, dear Friends, in the various deliverances which the Lord gives to His people at the outset, whentheir enemies come against them so fiercely. Behold, my Brothers and Sisters, how strong was the hand of God which deliveredus from the bondage of our first doubts and fears when conscience accused and the Law condemned! When we thought ourselvesonly waiting for the death guarantee and the execution. Behold the Lord has routed our despair, He has set us free from fearand brought us into the liberty with which Christ makes men free! We were slaves to sin, too, and oh how sin marshaled allits armies against us at the first, hoping it might cut off our earliest hopes.
But mighty was that Christ of God who put all our sins to the rout and drowned them in the Red Sea of His blood! "There brokeHe the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle." Then Satan came forth with the most horrible temptationsand roared upon us like a lion, for he will not willingly lose his subjects. He sought to cast about us all his nets, thathe might hold us captive and prevent our flying to the Divine refuge. But, behold, the prey has been
taken from the mighty and the lawful captive has been delivered! And we are, this day, rescued from the power of sin and Satan.Even the Law, itself, has no power over us to condemn us, for Christ has satisfied it and we are free.
Mighty is Your arm, O God! Your own right hand and Your holy arm have gotten You the victory! And since then, Beloved, inthe continual upholding of the saints, in their final perseverance which is guaranteed, how much of the power of God is seen!You have passed through many troubles, some of you, troubles most heavy and sore, but they have not prevailed against younor overthrown you. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord deliverers him out of them all." Fierce werethe foes that gathered against us, many a time, and had not the Lord been on our side they had swallowed us up! But You, OLord, have a mighty arm, and in Your name have we found a refuge.
They compassed us about like bees, yes, they compassed us about, but in the name of the Lord have we destroyed them. Out ofwhat sins and temptations have we come forth victorious! With some of you, your path has been through the wilderness and throughone continuous scene of warfare. Snares and traps have been thickly strewn all along your path-trials and discouragementshave fallen like a storm of hail perpetually beating-and yet you are not overthrown! He keeps the feet of His saints. Thelife of any Christian is a world of wonders, but in some Believers their experience consists of a series of great miracles."O my Soul, you have trodden down strength." How has our soul escaped as a bird from the fowler's snare! The mighty adversarieshave been overcome by Him who is mightier than all!
The Divine strength has been manifested in our weakness. My Brothers and Sisters, is it not a wonder that being such a poorworm as you are, yet you have never been crushed? Is it not a marvel that though your faith has been as a bruised reed ithas not been broken-and though your piety has been like smoking flax it has never been quenched? Kept alive with death sonear, preserved when enemies have been so fierce, will you not say, indeed, "You have a mighty arm, strong is Your right hand"?Brethren, the end comes, but it will all be right at last, for unless the Lord shall come, we have yet to meet the last grimadversary, but we are not afraid! Our Brethren who have gone before us have set us an example of how to die triumphantly!
How gloriously have they triumphed in their last hours! We have stood by their side, seen the brightness of their eyes whenall around was death, and heard their exulting songs when all that looked upon them wept at the thought of their departure.Their cheek blanched? Far from it! They have been as jubilant in their dying hour as the warrior when he divides the spoil.As the bride rejoices on her wedding day, they have looked forward to the coming of their great Lord and to their being blessedforever in His embrace! We have been ready to cry out with them, "O death, where is your sting! O grave, where is your victory!"Truly, Lord, when Your poor, weak, suffering people die triumphantly, we see that You have a mighty arm!
When flesh and heart are failing, when friends cannot help, when every earthly comfort vanishes-for the heart to still rejoiceand triumph-this is to see the arm of the Lord made bare and this causes us to bless and magnify His holy name! I would toGod that I had more ability to set forth this majestic subject, but I have done my best. I ask your meditations in the quietof this afternoon to assist me, that you may really adore and bless the power which is so conspicuous in every vessel of mercy,so revealed in yourself if you are, indeed, a child of God! O Holy Spirit, make known to us who believe, the exceeding greatnessof Your mighty power!
II. Secondly, let us behold the mighty arm of God as specially DISPLAYED IN THE PERSON OF CHRST JESUS. And here will you kindlyfollow me in the Psalm, itself? There you will see that the power of God displayed in Jesus Christ, in the choice of Him andthe exaltation of Him, to be a Prince and a Savior. See verse 19-"I have laid help upon One that is mighty; I have exaltedOne chosen out of the people." Christ is the Incarnation of the power of Divine Grace. In Him dwells the power of God to savethe sons of men and yet in what weakness it dwelt! He was a man despised and rejected, lowly and meek, poor and without worldlyhonor. His was the weakness of shame and suffering, poverty and dishonor.
But the power of God was upon Him and is upon Him now. It is a grand thing to know that God, by the weakness of man, takingit into connection with His own Nature, has routed sin, Satan, death and Hell! The battle in the wilderness was between Satanand a Man, tempted as we are, but oh, how gloriously that matchless Man overthrew the tempter and prevailed! The agony inthe Garden of Gethsemane was that of a Man-it was a Man, though God, who sweat great drops of blood and uttered strong criesand tears, and won the victory by which evil is dethroned-and He that met the powers of evil on the Cross and stood aloneand trod the wine-press till there remained not an uncrushed cluster, was a
Man. It is by His power, even the power of the Man of Nazareth, that all the powers of evil have been forever blasted andwithered so that, though they rebel, it is but a struggling gasp for life.
As surely as God sits on His Throne, the foot of the Seed of the woman shall be upon the serpent's head, to crush it forever.Mighty as were the hosts of evil, God has exalted One chosen out of the people and laid help upon Him, that He may eternallyvanquish all the hosts of darkness. Strong is Your right hand, O Savior, for by weakness and suffering and death You haveoverthrown all Your people's foes! His power was seen, next, in our Lord's anointing. "I have found David My servant, withMy holy oil have I anointed him." You know how in His preaching there went out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword with whichHe smote sin because the Spirit of God was upon Him. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit bore witness in the entire body ofChrist, making all His servants speak with tongues of fire the Word of the Gospel.
The Spirit of God is still with Christ on earth in His Church, so that, feeble though the speech of His ministers may be,a secret power attends it, irresistibly subduing the forces of evil. Rejoice this day, Beloved, for the anointing still restsin the Church of God and the anointed Redeemer must be victorious in every place. Thanks be unto God which causes His Wordto triumph in every place by the power of the eternal Spirit! We ought, therefore, to adore Jesus Christ as having the powerof God, because the Holly Spirit is always with Him and with His Word and He is, therefore, mighty to save!
We must equally magnify the power of God because of the continuance of the empire of Christ in the world. As said the Psalmist-"withwhom My hand shall be established, My arm, also, shall strengthen Him. The enemy shall not exact upon Him; nor the son ofwickedness afflict Him and I will beat down His foes before His face and plague them that hate Him." These 1,800 years everyeffort has been put forth to root up the Church of Christ. The devil and all his servants on earth have conspired to overthrowthe growing kingdom of our Lord-but they have never succeeded.
Think, my Brothers and Sisters, what the power of God must be which has kept the Church alive under fiery persecutions, rescuedit from the fangs of the Inquisition, preserved it from the poison of heresy and the pestilence of infidelity! And, what ismore amazing, enabled it to survive the horrible dragon of Popery which has altogether threatened to carry away the Churchwith the blasphemies which it pours out of its mouth! Yet the chosen seed live on and are multiplied in the land, even asit is promised in the 36th verse of the Psalm before us: "His seed shall endure forever, and His Throne as the sun beforeMe." The establishment and continuation of the Church is an extraordinary proof of Divine power!
So are all the conquests of Christ, some of which we have seen and more of which are to come. "I will beat down His foes beforeHis face, and plague them that hate Him," is the Divine promise. "I will make Him My First-Born, higher than the kings ofthe earth. I will set His hand, also, in the sea and His right hand in the rivers." Glory be to God, Christ is still triumphant!Still in the preaching of His Truth He rides forth conquering and to conquer! The Gospel has not lost its old force, but wheneverit is preached in faith it wins the day.
See what power it has in drawing together the multitudes and holding them in breathless attention. A man has nothing to dobut to preach Christ simply, and with all his might, and the people will hear it! We need no endowment of the State! We seekno acts of Parliament to help us. Give us a clear stage and no favor! An open Bible and an earnest tongue-and the people shallyet be awakened and the multitude shall bow before the people's King. Jesus Christ is still the mightiest name which can bepronounced by mortal tongue! Its all-subduing power shall yet be felt in the remotest regions of the earth!
Beloved, I have not time to do more than say that the great power of God's Grace is embodied in Christ's mighty intercession.See verse 26-"He shall cry unto Me, You are My father, My God, and the rock of My salvation." This makes Him mighty to save-"Heis able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them." I shouldlike to have an hour to expound upon the gracious power of God as seen in the intercession of Christ! Omnipotence dwells inevery plea that falls from those dear lips, as the eternal Son pleads His own merits with the everlasting Father!
Beloved, the power of Christ is well-known to many of you. Did it not call you from the dead? Has not it kept you from goingdown into the Pit? Is there not such power in His name that it makes your heart to leap? If we speak of anything else, youlisten to it and glide into sleep. But if you hear about Him, does it not stir the very deeps of your soul? Have you not often,when you felt faint and weary, sprung to your feet with exultation at the very thought of Him? Has
not His Presence made your sick bed soft and, what you thought your dying couch to be, a throne whereon you sat and reignedas in the heavenly places?-
"Jesus, the very thought of You With transport fills my breast." You know it is so! The power of Jesus' name, who can measureit?
And what will be your sense of His power when you reach another world-when He shall have brought you into His rest, even youwho were so unworthy? When He shall reveal in you all the majesty of His goodness? When Heaven shall be yours and all itsboundless plains and golden streets-and when, looking around, you shall find all your Christian Brethren there, without exception,as many as loved the Lord below, all safely gathered into the fold at last? What a shout shall sound throughout Heaven whenthe armies of the living God shall assemble and find not a soldier missing! They shall read the muster-roll and Little Faithshall be found there, and Ready-to-Halt shall be there without his crutches, and Miss Much-Afraid shall be there, and MistressDespondency shall be there-each able to answer to his or her own name and say, "Here I am."
Satan has not devoured a single lamb of all the flock, nor slain a single man of all the host! All along the line Jesus hasbeen victorious! When you shall see the whole host assembled and remember the struggles through which each one of them came,the tribulation through which they waded to their crowns, you will exclaim with rapture, "You have a mighty arm, strong isYour hand, and high is Your right hand!" All glory be to Jehovah Jesus, our almighty Savior!
III. Now this brings me to my conclusion and here we have to answer the question-HOW IS THIS POWER TO BE PRACTICALLY RECOGNIZED?If you will practically carry out what I say, a few words will suffice. First, if the power of God is so great, yield to it.Man, do you hope to resist God? Have you an arm like God's and can you thunder with a voice like His? Throw down those weaponsand cease to wage a hopeless war! Capitulate at once, surrender at discretion. Oh, if there is a man here who is the enemyof God, I beseech him to count the cost before he continues the war, and see whether he is able to brave it out with God!Shall wax fight with fire, or twigs contend with the flame? He would go through a host of such as you are, O man, as fireburns up the stubble, and before you have time to think of it, you shall be utterly destroyed!
"Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish from the way when His wrath is kindled but a little." The next practical useis this-is God so strong? Then trust Him to save you. Never say that He cannot snatch you from perdition! Never doubt Hispower to save, even in extremity. I have shown you that He has treasured up His gracious power in the Person of His Son JesusChrist, therefore look unto Jesus Christ and be saved! All power lies with Him. He can forgive all sin and He can also subdueall iniquity, change the most depraved heart and implant every Grace in the soul. "Trust in the Lord forever, for in the LordJehovah is everlasting strength."
Next, if He is so strong, then trust Him in everything. Oh, you that are His people, never dare to distrust Him! Is His armshortened? Cannot the Lord deliver you? Bring your burdens, your troubles, your needs, your griefs! Pour them out like waterbefore Him. Let them flow forth at the foot of the Almighty and they shall pass away and you shall sing, "The Lord is my strengthand my song; He also is become my salvation." Is God so strong, then shake off all fear of man. Who are you that you shouldbe afraid of a man that shall die? Man is but grass, withered in an hour-why should you tremble at his frown? He is crushedbefore the moth-why, then, fear him? Let not the faces of proud men confuse you. Trust in God and fear not, for the mightyGod of Jacob is with us and greater is He that is for us than all they that can be against us.
And now as to your service, to which you are called by the Lord. If He is so strong, do not think of your own weakness anylonger, except as being a platform for His strength! Have you only one talent? God's Holy Spirit is not limited in power.He can make your one talent as fruitful as another man's ten! Are you weak as water? Then rejoice this day and glory in infirmity,because the power of God shall rest upon you. Think not of what you can do-that is a very small affair-but consider what Hecan do by you! He can strengthen the feeble against the strong! Behold, this day, He said unto you, "Behold I will make youa new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth: you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shall make the hillsas chaff. You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them."
Last of all, with regard to all the future which lies before you-is God so strong? Then commit it to His hands. You have agreat trouble to face tomorrow-you are expecting a greater trouble, still, at the end of the week. Now, be not afraid, forthe Lord lives to deliver you. What? Do you fear? Has your Counselor perished? Has your Helper failed you? How can you sinkin the deep waters when underneath you are the everlasting arms? The mighty God is your refuge, how can you be in danger?Why do you look into the future at all? Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. God is the God of tomorrow as well asthe God of today!
Cease from your troubling, for it weakens you and cannot help you! It dishonors your God, your Savior-and thus it is evil!In patience and quietness wait for the fulfillment of His promise. Rest in Him and be at peace. Stand still and see the salvationof God! O Lord, glorify Yourself this morning in both saint and sinner, by manifesting the greatness of Your power, for Youhave a mighty arm. Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand!
PORTION OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON-Psalm 89. HYMNS FROM "OUR OWN HYMN BOOK"-205, 89 (PART II), 679, 680.