Sermon 2601. Small Things Not to Be Despised
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, DECEMBER 18, 1898.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 16, 1883.
"For who has despised the day of small things?" Zechariah 4:10.
IT is a very great folly to despise "the day of small things," for it is usually God's way to begin His great works with smallthings. We see it every day, for the first dawn of light is but feeble and yet, by-and-by, it grows into the full noontideheat and glory. We know how the early spring comes with its buds of promise, but it takes some time before we get to the beautiesof summer or the wealth of autumn. How tiny is the seed that is sown in the garden, yet out of it there comes the lovely flower!How small is the acorn, but how great is the oak that grows up from it! The stream commences with but a gentle rivulet, butit flows on till it becomes a brook, and then a river-perhaps a mighty Amazon-before its course is run!
God begins with men in "the day of small things"-He began so with us. How little and how feeble were we when first we cameupon the scene of action! He that is now a giant was once so feeble that he could not move from place to place except as hewas carried in his mother's arms. Let us, then, not despise "the day of small things," as we see that God begins with littlethings in Nature and among the sons and daughters of men. And I am sure that He does so in the great work of His Church. Longago He began to build a spiritual temple for His own habitation, but, at first, the stones of the foundation were hidden fromthe great mass of mankind. How little was known in the world at large concerning Abraham and his seed! How very, very slowlydid the walls of that great temple rise! Even in the time of Zechariah, it was still "the day of small things" with the peopleof the Lord.
Comparatively speaking, it is still so, for what is the Christian Church compared with the great mass of the heathen worldand of those who reject the Savior? Our Lord's method of spreading His Truth among men was to begin with a handful of disciplesin an upper room at Jerusalem, to fill them with His Spirit and then to let them be scattered over the whole known world.This is usually God's plan of working in His Church and also in individual Believers. Of course there are various degreesof ability and Grace even among the Lord's own people. One of the old Puritans said that some men are born with beards and,certainly, there are some Believers who, almost as soon as they are converted, seem to take great strides and to make speedyadvances so that they soon become very useful and are even able to teach things which others only learn after long years ofexperience. But, generally speaking, this is the order of the growth of Grace in the heart, "First the blade, then the ear,after that the full corn in the ear."
First, the Truth of God is heard and felt, and the heart bleeds under conviction of guilt. By-and-by another Truth is discoveredand the wounded heart is bound up by faith in Christ. This faith grows to full assurance-there is a gradual conformity tothe image of Christ-and that image becomes more and more clear till the man reaches the measure of the stature of the fullnessof Christ Jesus. But first there is the beginning which is small and afterwards there is the latter end which shows a greatincrease. It is within our souls as it is in the world-the day begins with the dawn, but the shining light "shines more andmore unto the perfect day."
Woe unto that man who despises "the day of small things" in the Church of Christ, or who despises "the day of smart things"in any individual Believer, for it is God's day-it is a day out of which great things will yet come and, therefore, he thatdespises it really despises his Maker's work and despises the great and glorious things which are to come out of the smallthings which are at present apparent! I know some professing Christians who, I am afraid, despise "the day of small things"in little Churches. There is gathered a small community of godly people. Perhaps they are poor and many of them illiterate.And some of you rich folk who think yourselves wonderfully intelligent-though I am not always sure that you are-if you happento settle down in that village, you say that you would like to attend the little Chapel or mission room, but the ministerputs his h's in the wrong place and his speech is ungrammatical and, of course, that is very painful to your refined taste!Then the people are very poor and you hardly think that the Church is advancing at all, so to help it, you leave it alone!"God forbid," you say, "that we should despise the day of small things!" But you are very sorry that everything is on sucha small scale! You say that you pity the poor people, but, instead of helping them, you lie quietly by, or you go off to amore fashionable place where you meet with some of your own class and feel more at home. There, the h's are put in properly,though the Gospel is left out of the preaching! But the people who attend are such a "respectable" sort of folk that you feelit is quite the correct thing to worship with them. If any of you have any respect for yourselves while acting in such a wayas that, I hope you will soon discover that there is really nothing "respectable" in that kind of respectability! I mean thatthere is nothing that should make a man respected when he gives up his convictions and leaves his own true Brothers and Sistersfor the sake of getting into a better class of society and seeming to be of a superior order to the godly poor people to whomhe might be of real service.
To me, it seems that it should be your glory to join the poorest and weakest churches of your denomination and wherever yougo, to say, "This little cause is not as strong as I should like it to be, but, by the Grace of God, I will make it more influential.At any rate, I wil1 throw in my weight to strengthen the weak things of Zion and certainly I will not despise the day of smallthings" Where would have been our flourishing Churches of today if our forefathers had disdained to sustain them while theywere yet in their infancy? I thank God for the men who did not mind going down into back yards and up into haylofts that theymight worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. I always delight in those who were willing to stand on thevillage green with the people sitting down on felled trees or logs to listen to them-and who were not afraid of being calledfanatics and of bearing all manner of reproach and scorn for Christ's sake! But if you and I grow to be such great and grandpeople as some we have known, we must mind that the Lord does not take us down a notch or two, and that, perhaps, by a verypainful process. He asks, as if in indignation, "Who has despised the day of small things?" and I believe that He is grievedwith any of His servants when they fall into such a state of mind as that-and begin to despise His Church because she is despisedby the world, and look down on His people as the high peaks of Bashan seemed to regard with contempt the lowly hill of Zion-and,therefore, the Psalmist said to them, "Why leap you, you high hills? This is the hill which God desires to dwell in; yes,the Lord will dwell in it forever."
My special objective at this time is to reprove those who despise the earlier and weaker works of Grace in the soul. True,it is "the day of small things," but it is a subject for rejoicing and is not to be despised. First, I shall speak to proudprofessors who despise "the day of small things" in young beginners. Then I shall have a little talk with young beginnerswho despise "the day of small things"in themselves. And thirdly, I shall speak of those who do not despise "the day of smallthings." When this question is put to them, "Who has despised the day of small things?" they can answer, "Lord, you know thatwe have not done so; we have rejoiced in the small signs of Grace in young beginners and we hope to see great things growout of them."
I. First of all, THERE ARE SOME PROFESSING CHRISTIANS WHO DESPISE "THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS" IN OTHERS.
I am sure I do not know exactly at what point the day of Grace begins in some people. There are some who, even before theyfully receive the Gospel, have some good thing in them. "Oh, no," you say, "that cannot be." Well, just think a moment. Beforethe sower went forth to sow, there was a certain part of the farm which was described as "honest and good ground." There wasanother part that was like the highway and another part covered with thorns or stones. But there was something which distinguishedthe "honest and good ground" from all the rest of the land. I do not say that it was, then, bringing forth any fruit to God'sGlory, but I do say that God. had, from a very early period-I do not know when-made that ground ready and fit to receive theSeed. So I can believe that before a man even hears the Gospel at all, there may be an antecedent work of what I may almostcall secondary Grace-not savingGrace, but a making ready of the heart for the reception of the saving Grace of God.
In my own experience, I never quite know where I am to put my finger upon the beginning of God's work in my soul. I can tellthe very day and hour when I was converted, but I had many stirrings of conscience before that. I know that I was very effectuallyconvinced of sin, but when the gracious work began, I cannot say. One of the first things that I recollect is lying awakeat night because I had done something wrong to my mother. I do not know whether that was not the Grace of God working in myheart even then-I think that it was. I am sure that it was, in some measure, the Lord graciously working within me and makingme ready for the more manifest work of His Spirit.
Now, dear Friends, do not despise those little things, those preparation works, but whenever you see them in children, orin adults, be thankful for them. Frequently, when I have been receiving members into the Church, I have asked of a good woman,"Is your husband a Christian?" and the answer has often been, "Well, Sir, he is a very good husband, but I am afraid thathe is not a Christian." Then I have enquired, "What does he do with himself on Sundays?" "Oh, Sir, he is always at the Tabernacle!He has been attending the services for years and he is very fond of you, Sir. He will run home and hurry over his tea so asto get to the Prayer Meeting on Monday, and on Thursday nights, he is never absent." I have said, "My good woman, does yourhusband show such love to the Lord's House and to the minister, and yet he is not converted?" "Yes," she answers, "he is notconverted, for sometimes he does what he knows is not right. Still, his attendance upon the means of Grace is a great checkupon him. He is a dear good husband, much better than he used to be, but I am afraid he is not a Christian and that he doesnot truly pray for pardon." "Ah," I say, "let us have a little prayer together about him and let us firmly believe that weshall have him yet. If a man continues to come where we are constantly firing the Gospel gun, one of the stray shots willhit him yet! Be sure that you encourage him to keep on coming and mind that you are very kind to him and help him all youcan in finding the Savior-and we will yet rejoice together over him." When moths fly very near the candle, sooner or laterthey will singe their wings-there is a great Gospel candle burning here and I do not doubt that some of these human mothswill dash into the flame, by-and-by! So I hope you will encourage them to come here, again and again, until they are blessedlycaught so that they can never fly away. Such people as I have been describing have very curious whims and fancies-they willtake offense at almost anything at all, so we must tread very softly and tenderly-and not grieve any with whom it is, in thissense, "the day of small things."
I have known some come to Christ at last and trust Him, but it was with such a very little faith that I hardly know whether,in their case, it was faith born or unbelief dying. You remember the poor man who said to Christ, "Lord, I believe," and thenhe felt as if he had gone a little too far with his declaration, for he drew back and said, "Help You my unbelief." And thesepoor halting souls are just in that state-I hope they do believe, but I am sure that they are very unbelieving. They beginto pray, but, oh, what strange prayer it is! Some of them repeat a form of prayer they learned a long while ago which is quiteinapplicable to their present case, but still they do mean to pray somehow. They want to pray and though it can scarcely becalled prayer, yet I expect that God accepts it as prayer and graciously answers it. They have begun to repent-they have nota very clear view of what sin is, but they know that it is something they would like to get rid of. They are like Paul whenhe was at Melita-I am not sure that he understood much about snakes and their bites-but when a viper fastened itself ontohis hand, he shook it off into the fire. So, these people could not define sin, theologically, but they wish that they wereclear of it, they long to be pardoned. It is "the day of small things" with them and it is not to be despised.
Ah, dear Friends, when a man tries to get away alone, that he may read his Bible, do not despise him! When a tear falls duringa sermon and he brushes it away and wants to make you believe that there was something the matter with his nose, do not despisehim, even for that! I have seen that sort of thing happen many a time and I have been pleased to notice it. We ought to delightin anything and everything that looks in the right direction-and never think of despising it.
Now I want to come to the most important point-Why ought we not to despise these small things-these feeble beginnings? Especiallywhen there is a little Grace in any people, why must we not despise them?
Well, first, because in the Church of Christ, there always were and there always will be babes as well as men. Do not despisethe babes-where are the men to come from if there are no babes? If it happens in God's family as it does in most families,you will soon find that it will not do to despise the babes. How very grieved all loving parents are when their infants aredespised! You may ignore the big son if you like, but do not despise the babes. So, with regard to Christ's family, be sureto honor the little ones-take care of them, never stand in their way. When they want to come to Christ, allow them to come.It does not say, "draw them," for they are wanting to come, but get out of their way and do not hinder them from coming. Andwhenever you meet with one who has lately been born of God and who is tender of heart, do not despise him. As long as thefamily of Christ is to increase, there always must be babes, and babes must never be despised.
Again, dear Friends, do not speak harshly to those who are newly born to God, for you were once a babe. Yes, yes, though youdo not like to be reminded of it, you, great giant that you now are, were once an infant! And you with your deep experienceand your profound knowledge, you who think you can set everybody else right, why, once you hardly knew that twice two madefour! You had to begin at the very beginning just like others have had to do! So remember what you used to be, look back tothe hole of the pit from where you were dug and do not begin to despise others who are in the same condition in which youonce were!
Remember, again, that the greatest saints in this world, or who ever were in this world, were babes in Grace once. Whetherit was Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, they all began with little Grace and weak spiritual life at the first. Yes, there is nota bright spirit before the Throne of God who has washed his robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, but once wasonly an infant in spiritual things! And if the greatest were once so little, that is a good reason why we should never despise"the day of small things."
Besides, dear Friends, it should always check every tendency in this direction when we remember that God made and God lovesthe very least Believer You know, a silver sixpence is as really silver as a half-crown. And the Queen's image on the oneis as genuine as on the other. They are current coin of the realm and I am sure you will not treat with scorn the little piecesof money. Then why should we despise the small coins in Christ's treasury? When our dear young Brothers and Sisters are madeof the same metal and stamped with the same image as we are, why should we despise them, though we happen to be, or thinkweare, of somewhat more weight and value in the Church of God than they are? Oh, do not despise the lowly violet that hidesits head among the leaves! It is quite as much a flower of God's making as the finest tulip that airs its beauty aloft, orthe most brilliant standard rose that is before your eyes! God made the little things and God loves them and, as parents havea special love for their weak and little children, so has God a special favor towards the lambs of His flock, and He takesspecial care of the seedlings in His garden which have not yet come to the fullness of growth. Therefore, do not despise them.
If you do, there is one sentence I would utter that ought to rebuke you very effectually. Your Master would not despise themif He were here. Christ has a quick eye to see little Graces in His people and when He sees them, He delights in them. A diamondis a diamond if it is ever so small. And Christ's people are Christ's people let them have ever so little Grace. Oh, if theLord Jesus Christ would have carried that lamb in His bosom, why do you refuse to carry it? Why do you neglect it? Why shouldthere be so often heard stinging words and keen, cutting, sarcastic remarks about the feebleness of knowledge or the defectsof practice, when, if there is but Grace in the heart, you and I ought to rejoice to see it? I have often quoted to you thewords of Jerome when he said that he loved Christ in Augustine and he loved Augustine in Christ. So ought we to love the weakestBelievers-to love Christ in them, and to love them in Christ. May the Holy Spirit teach us to be like our Master in this respectas well as in all others!
I have finished this word of gentle rebuke when I add that if you and I do despise "the day of small things," the probabilityis that we shall have to smart for it You remember that passage in Ezekiel where the Lord speaks of the fat cattle pushingthe weak cattle with their horns and their shoulders? They were big bulls of Bashan and they were always goring one and pushingagainst another because they happened to be weak and sickly-and the Lord said that He would judge between cattle and cattleand those that had been so headstrong, so proud and so cruel would have to smart for it. The day shall come, my proud Brother,when you will be glad to sit at the feet of that young Christian you now despise! I have noticed that sort of thing many atime. It is a part of my pastoral observation that when persons who were genuine Christians have been proudly lifted up, theyhave been made to go down very low till they have envied those they once despised, and said, "If we felt as sure of salvationas that dear young man that we judged so harshly, we would willingly enough change places with him and take what we calledhis inexperience and his lack of knowledge, if we could be just as simple in our confidence in Christ as he is." Therefore,Beloved, if you do not want to bring the rod upon your own back, despise not "the day of small things," but be ready to cherishand comfort all in whom the work of Grace has apparently begun even to the lightest extent!
II. Now, secondly, THERE ARE SOME WHO DESPISE "THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS " IN THEMSELVES. They think that it is very humbleto do so. I am not sure that it is-I think it is very foolish to do so.
There are some who despise "the day of small things" in themselves in this way-they pass by the small things. Suppose thata young man is impressed, under a sermon, with a sense of sin. A wise thing for him to do is to get home as quickly as hecan and cry, "Lord, I do not know whether this is true repentance, but, if it is not, make it so! Lord, I am half afraid thatI am only a stony-ground hearer and that this good Seed will spring up for a little while and then will wither. Lord, breakmy stony heart and do it effectually." Be very thankful, dear Friends, if you have the faintest spiritual impressions. I knowsome men who would almost give their eyes if they could but feel anything, but they say that they sit and hear, and the onlyresult is what Cowper said-
"If anything is felt, 'tis only pain To find I cannot feel."
So, if you have any spiritual feeling at all, do not despise it, but go to God with it and pray that the work which seemsto be begun in you may be carried on until it is complete-and that if it is not begun, it may begin at once. When you feel,sometimes, in the assemblies of God's House, a softening influence stealing over your spirit, or when possibly, in the middleof your work-you do not know why-you suddenly feel very tender in heart-or, perhaps, walking down into the City early in themorning, before many people are astir, you feel a solemnity quite unusual to you-do not despise it! These little things maylead on to a blessed saving work-I pray the Lord that you may take care of these dewdrops of Grace. It there are but a fewtiny drops and if they are but cared for and valued, the Lord will yet look still more graciously upon you and send you acopious shower of blessing. Do not despise anything that looks like Grace in your heart. God help you to take it as a gardenerat this time of the year takes the little slips and cuttings and puts them in silver sand to make them grow, that he may havethe flowering plants, by-and-by. Use your cuttings-the little things that seem as if they could not have any life in them.God would have you plant them in favorable circumstances, that they may grow to His praise and glory.
Some despise "the day of small things" in themselves because they do not think that any good can come of them. When I waspreaching this morning, [Sermon #1739, Volume 29-"Bankrupt Debtors Discharged"] I thought that, perhaps, some poor soul wouldtake comfort to himself, and I said to a Brother when I went outside, "I do like, sometimes, to have a subject which comesrolling up like a sea of Grace" because there are so many people who are like oysters in the riverbeds waiting for the tideto return. I did hope, this morning, that it was a flood tide, and that some of you would open your shells and that the blessedWord of God would come into your very souls! If you do that, it will come in. The oyster cannot make the sea roll up, butwhenever he feels it rolling over him, he says, "Now is the time for me to open my shell," and when you feel, "Now is thetime for me to seek the Lord, now is the day of salvation, now is the high tide of Grace," you shall have the blessing! Itis all around you, or else you would not have opened your shell. It is the very flood tide of Grace that has made you feelwhat you feel. Therefore be glad and do not despise it. It may seem a little thing to feel tender and solemn, but it is notso-it is often the beginning of a blessed work of Grace-therefore value it highly.
I have known some to despise the blessing by resolutely resisting its entrance into their hearts. I can never forget someinstances of this resistance that I have known. I was preaching once, in a certain city, and a gentleman who had been verykind to me was in the congregation, but I saw him get up in the middle of the sermon and go out of the building. The Brotherwho was with me slipped out after him and said to him, "My dear Sir, why did you come out?" He answered, "Mr. Spurgeon hasgot me in his hands. I am like an India rubber doll and he can twist me into any shape that he likes. I am afraid that ifI had listened to him for another ten minutes, I would have been converted." So off he went, deliberately stamping out, asfar as he could, the spark of the Truth of God as it came toward him. He would not let the good Seed grow-he invited the birdsof the air to come and steal it away. Do not forget that although the Lord graciously changes man's will and He has absolutepower over the human will and makes men willing in the day of His power, yet He never saves anybody against his will and,while the will stands out against God and is unrenewed and unchanged, the man is still unsaved. It seems to me a dreadfulthing that people can come to the House of God without any desire to get a blessing and there cover themselves up in armorof mail to keep every arrow from getting anywhere near their hearts. That is one method of despising "the day of small things."
I know some others who despise "the day of small things" because if they get a little good in their hearts, they do not tryto get more. If we did not expect a little child to ever grow, we would really be despising it, putting it down as a dwarfor a monstrosity. So, if the Grace of God has come into your heart, you will do all in your power to make it to grow and increaseand thus prove that you do not despise it. I think I have said enough to show that if any here have the slightest sign ofthe beginnings of Grace, any glimmerings of the Divine Light, any first outlines of the image of Christ upon their heart,they must not despise them, but they should pray God to bless them and bring them to maturity. If they do so, I will tellyou what God will do-it is hinted at in the verse from which our text is taken-"For they shall rejoice, and shall see theplummet in the hand of Zerubbabel." They had begun to build, but it was such a poor paltry piece of work and the wall wasstill so low, that they despised it. But when they saw the prince standing there, with the plummet in his hand and saw stoneafter stone brought and laid in its place-and their great leader officiating as the chief architect, they said to one another-"Look,the prince is there with the plummet in his hand! He is a man who never undertakes a task unless he goes through with it,so, depend upon it, the work will be completed."
In like manner I can see that, although it may be very little Grace that is in your heart, yet Christ has come with that Grace!Christ is building in your heart, Christ is laying the foundation stone, the Prince of the kings of the earth, Christ Jesus,is there with His plummet and He that has begun the good work in you will carry it on till it is perfected in Glory! Oh, whata blessing it is to look to Christ with the plummet in His hand and say, "Great Master-Builder, I will not despise these foundationsbecause, as yet, they are scarcely seen above the soil, for I know that You, who have begun the good work, will carry it onand perfectly perform all that You have promised. The Temple will yet appear to Your praise where now there seems to be buta tiny heap of stones."
That is the way to cure you of despising "the day of small things" in yourselves.
III. Now, my last point is this. THERE ARE SOME WHO NEVER DESPISE "THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS." I have time for only a few wordson this part of my subject, but I wish them to be very tender words.
First, true pastors never despise "the day of small things." Speaking for myself, I can say that I love to see in those ofyou who are unconverted any sign of serious thought, any intimation of a coming change, any token that you are turning untothe Lord. My heart is gladdened whenever I perceive it. Does anyone think that I despise it? Why, I pray to God continuallyto bring it to pass! Despise it? I look for it as the reward of my toil! If I did but know that I had awakened thought inany one of you, I would go home happy! If I did but hear that the Lord was bringing a score or two to Himself, I would gladlylie awake at night to bless His name for such a mercy as that! I do not care for the vastness of this congregation, but Ido care for the individual souls in it and I rejoice most of all over those who are saved out of it. What good is it simplyto bring you here and to have you sitting quietly while I talk to you? It is a waste of time and labor unless it brings youto Christ! But if I know that any of you are brought to penitence and faith, I am sure that I do not despise it, for I valuesuch blessings above the choicest gold!
And let me also tell you that your dear parents, your Christian wife and your godly daughter who persuaded you to come tothis service do not despise "the day of small things." I have known some of our members do really extraordinary things inorder to get people to come here in the hope that they might be converted. There was one who, after many attempts, at lastinduced a man to promise that he would come with him one day, so he went round to fetch him. "Oh, I cannot come!" said theman, "I am making a rabbit hutch." "Well," said the other, "I have one ready made that I will give you." "But," said the man,"I cannot come, I promised to go and see a man who has a pair of pigeons to sell." My friend answered, "I have a pair of pigeonsI will give to you if you will come with me." It was all in vain. He might offer the man what he would, he could not get him.I hope that he has brought him by this time, but if not, I know that he will stick to him till he does see him here! And Iknow another thing, that he will bring the friend to his own seat and he will, if necessary, stand in the aisle and pray forhim all through the service! Well, now, if he gets his friend to hear the Word and sees that he is impressed by it, you donot suppose that he will despise "the day of small things," do you? On the contrary, he will be glad even for the slightestsign of the working of God's Spirit in his friend's heart!
Your godly mother, when she hears that you have been to the Tabernacle, will say, "Bless God for that!" If she finds thatyou have begun to pray, her heart will leap within her! A dear father, a minister of the Gospel, writes to me, and says, "Myson had never decided for God till he went to hear you at Exeter Hall. During the evening sermon he bowed his head and gavehimself up to the Lord. And now he is proposed as a member of my Church. God bless you, Sir!" It is always so with true Christians-theydo not despise "the day of small things," but they are glad when their children are brought to Christ! And it is just thesame with all soul-winners and I hope that many here are of that class. If they can spy anything like the tiniest egg of Grace,they feel so glad! And they watch you and they say to one another, "Is that light that I can see there in the East?" And theother says, "I do not know. I am afraid it is not." "Oh," says the first friend, "but I think it is. Does it not look a littlegray just over there?" "No," replies the other, "I am afraid that it is not morning light yet." That is how some of us talkabout you-we are often talking and praying about you, dear Hearers, and we say to one another, "When will So-and-So come tothe Savior?" There is a good man here whom I pray for nearly every day and I know that his wife does the same. He loves tocome here, yet he is still an unsaved man. But, by the Grace of God, he cannot remain where he is if prayer can stir him!We will pray him out of it and bring him to the Savior-may the Lord grant that it may speedily be so!
There is one other Person who never despises "the day of small things," and with Him I finish. And that is, our blessed Lordand Savior, Jesus Christ He is so eager to see of the travail of His soul that if He spies in you even a desire after Him,He is pleased with it. Believe me, if you have but a spark of desire after Christ, He has a whole furnace of desire afteryou! Oh, that you would have Him as your Savior! He is free to every soul of you who will have Him! Is it not put just soin His last invitation? "Whoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Do not think that He excludes you- you mayexclude yourself, but if there is in your heart any wish, any shadow of a wish, anything like a desire for Christ, you maycome, and welcome! Mercy's gate is wide open. Christ invites you to His house and to His heart. Oh, come to Him and come now!"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." May His Divine Spirit lead you to believe on Him at this moment!To believe on Him is to trust Him. Throw yourself on Him, sink or swim. Take Christ to be yours! Have you done it? Then youare saved, for, "he that believes on the Son has everlasting life." His believing is the evidence that he is already a savedman! So, go your ways and the Lord be with you, but I charge every one of you, meet me in Heaven! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: ISAIAH 54:1-10.
Verse 1. Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child:for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the LORD. In this Western clime we donot know all the misery which was felt by Eastern women who were childless. They were looked down upon and despised. Yet hereGod bids them sing! And, dear Friends, if you and I feel as if our hearts have become barren so that we cannot think of Godor raise our thoughts towards Him as we would desire. If we feel that we have become useless and for that reason our spiritis greatly depressed, let us give heed to this sweet, this charming exhortation of Je-hovah-"Sing, O barren soul; break forthinto singing, and cry aloud," for God can turn our barrenness into fruitful-ness and make us to rejoice exceedingly beforeHim. If we are now sighing and crying because we are not what we ought to be, or what we want to be, God can, in the richnessof His Grace, make us all that we desire! Therefore let us begin to be joyful even before the miracle of mercy is worked!Let us have unbounded faith in God and expect Him to bless us even while we are in our lowest state.
2, 3. Enlarge the place of your tent and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen yourcords, and strengthen your stakes; for you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; and your seed shall inheritthe Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. This was good news for the poor Gentiles who were so long spirituallybarren, but whose seed was to spread all over the earth! This prophecy has been already fulfilled in a great measure and thevery wording of it is a direction to us if we desire to see the Church of God increased. Make ready for God's blessing, youwho are pining and groaning for greater things than these-God is about to bless you! Enlarge your tents! Lengthen the cordsand strengthen the stakes! Prepare for the coming blessing, for you are to have better and brighter days than you have everknown! Therefore be no more sad, but look forward with joyful anticipation to the good things in store for you.
4. Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be you confounded; for you shall not be put to shame: for you shall forgetthe shame of your youth and shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. I am not going to interpret the passagein its strict connection, but to use it for our comfort and instruction. O you that are cast down, you poor trembling onesthat would gladly be at one with God, but feel as if you cannot find Him, believe in the Lord your God and trust in His Son,Jesus Christ, for there are glad times coming for you! All your former days of sadness shall be forgotten and you shall havesuch joy and delight as you can hardly imagine at present.
5. For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of Hosts is His name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel the God of thewhole earth shall He be called. Oh, what a blessing that is! This is a wide-spread mercy-"The God of the whole earth shallHe be called." My Soul, come and hide beneath the shadow of these earth-covering wings, for there is room for you beneaththeir welcome shelter and, once there, you shall not be banished from that sacred spot, for it is written, "Him that comesto Me I will in no wise cast out." "Your Maker is your husband," united to you in eternal wedlock! Therefore, be of good comfort.
6. For the LORD has calledyou as a woman forsaken andgrievedin spirit, and a wife ofyouth, when you were refused, says yourGod. Poor rejected one, has the world cast you off? Do its sinful pleasures pall upon you? Listen, "The Lord has called you."You are divorced from the world that you may be forever united to Him!
7. 8. For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. In a little wrath I hid My face fromyou for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the LORD your Redeemer. What words of comfortlie here to those of the Lord's people who have fallen into spiritual darkness and come upon evil days! God still remembersyou! His wrath is but for a moment and will swiftly pass away-but His age-enduring kindness which sweeps across the boundlesseternity shall be with you forever!
9, 10. For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth;so have I sworn that 1 would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed;but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the Covenant of My peace be removed, says the LORD that has mercyon you. Oh, for Grace, oh, for the help of the Holy Spirit to lay hold upon these precious promises, and to feed on them!