Sermon 1736. The King's Weighings
DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 26. 1883,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT EXETER HALL.
"Talk no more so exceedingly proud; let not arrogance come out of your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge and byHim actions are weighed." 1 Samuel 2:3.
IT is very beautiful to see how the saints of old were accustomed to find comfort in their God. When they came into sore straits;when troubles multiplied; when helpers failed; when earthly comforts were removed, they were accustomed to go to the Lordand to the Lord alone. Thus Hannah thinks of the Lord and comforts herself in His name. By this means they were made strongand glad-they began to sing instead of sighing and to work wonders instead of fainting under their burdens even as here theInspired poetess sings, "My heart rejoices in the Lord, my horn is exalted in the Lord." To them God was a reality, a presentreality, and they looked to Him as their rock of refuge, their helper and defense, a very present help in time of trouble.
Can we not, at the outset, learn a valuable lesson from their example? Let us do as they did-let us lean upon our God andstay ourselves upon Him when heart and flesh are failing. Does not the Apostle say, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and againI say, Rejoice"? There is always cause for thankfulness that the Lord lives and that He is what He is, for "there is no rocklike our God" and He is still ready to lay bare the arm of His strength on the behalf of them that serve Him. Oh, Believer,the fountain of your joy is never dried up! If, like Jonah, your gourds are withered, yet your God is living! If, like Job,your goods have been plundered, yet the highest good is still your own! Are the rivers dry? Yet is this ocean full! Are thestars hidden? Yet the heavenly sun shines on in his eternal brightness! You have a possession that is unbinding, a promisethat is unfailing, a protector who is unchanging!
Though you dwell in a faithless world, you also dwell in a faithful God! Your trials are present and so is your Helper, whohas said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." As the bird to the woods, and the cony to the rocks, so let your soulflee away unto the Lord, your Refuge. "Straightforward makes the best runner"-do not beat the bush and go about to friendsand cry, "Have pity upon me! Have pity upon me!" but, "turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope." As for the son of manwhose breath is in his nostrils, in which is he to be accounted? Men are vanity in the hour of distress! Miserable comfortersare they all. "Cursed is the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm." The heath in the desert which sees neitherdew nor rain is the fit image of this spiritual idolater.
"Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and whose hope the Lord is, for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, andthat spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes." Oh, learn to live upon the Lord alone! Hannah,who was once a woman of a sorrowful spirit, had so learned to delight herself in God that she could dwell upon the differentpoints of the Divine Character with joyful adoration. Like others of God's instructed people, she was very happy in the thoughtof God's holiness. Notice the second verse-"There is none holy as the Lord." I have heard many persons praise the Lord forHis goodness, but it is a far higher and surer mark of Grace when a man can praise the Lord for His holiness. Is it not noteworthythat in Heaven, the abode of happiness, which happiness springs mainly out of the Presence of their God, the adoration ofthe blessed chiefly tends to this point-the reverent celebration of His holiness?
We read of the seraphim, "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth isfull of His glory." We read, again, in Revelation, concerning the living creatures, "They rest not day and night, saying,Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." Are you conscious that you are unholy? Then, O Believer,rejoice that God is holy! Are those around you unholy? Is your soul among lions? Do you dwell among those that are set onthe fires of Hell? Yet say, as the Lord Jesus did, "You are holy, O You that inhabits the praises of Israel." Does it seemas if unholiness covered all things, breaking forth like a flood and deluging the earth with
its black and filthy waters? Yet the Lord sits upon the Throne of His holiness and cuts asunder the cords of the wicked! Letthis be our song in the night-"There is none as holy as the Lord."
Hannah also tuned her heart to celebrate the power of Jehovah, saying, "Neither is there any rock like our God." One of theleading ideas in the metaphor of a rock is strength, abiding endurance, unmoving stability, unconquerable power. Let us alsorejoice in the Lord God Almighty and delight in the mighty God of Jacob, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle!Even His finger brought plagues upon the Egyptians. And as for His hand, it utterly overthrew them! The Lord God Omnipotentis the joy of His people, for the Lord is our strength and song. He also has become our salvation. He shall surely show Himselfstrong on the behalf of all them that put their trust in Him. Fly, then, O timid Soul, to the cover of Jehovah's wings! Abideunder the shadow of the Almighty and His Divine power shall cause you to lie down in safety.
Oh, for a well-tuned harp to celebrate these two attributes so terrible to the ungodly, so full of exultation to those whoare saved by Grace! Hannah touched, in her rapturous hymn, upon the wisdom of the Lord, and sang thus, "For the Lord is theGod of knowledge," or of, "knowledges," for every kind of knowledge is with Him. We are not among those who impiously ask,"How does God know?" Or, "Is there knowledge in the Most High?" We are assured that nothing past, present, or future is hiddenfrom the eternal eyes! In His knowledge there is no error and to it there is no limit. The Lord knows them that are His andHe knows the way that they take. He knows how to deliver His people and when to bring them out of the furnace. Reverentlydo we worship the Lord and say, "O Lord, You have searched me, and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; Youunderstand my thoughts afar off. You compass my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there isnot a word on my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have beset me behind and before, and laid Your handupon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it!"
Let us rejoice that our God is not unconscious, or ignorant. And when our own ignorance grieves us, let us rejoice that theLord will teach us and what we do not know, now, we shall know hereafter. Hannah also derived comfort from the fact that Godis strictly just, for she says with delight, "By Him actions are weighed." It is to this that I would turn your attention.May the Holy Spirit direct our meditations. Justice is a very terrible attribute to the unforgiven, to those who are not justifiedby the righteousness of Christ-and even on God's own people it turns a heart-searching glance at times.
I. The staple of our discourse will consist of a consideration of THE PROCESS OF DIVINE JUDGMENT, which is continually goingon-"The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed." The figure of weighing suggests a thorough testing andan accurate estimating of the matters under consideration. Solomon says, "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,but the Lord weighs the spirits." God sees men's actions, notes them, thinks upon them and deliberately forms an estimateof them. "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all his goings."
Our first note here shall stand thus-this is not as man dreams. Many imagine that God takes no note of what is done amongthe sons of men. Indeed, their god does not appear to be a personal, intelligent existence at all. Or, if intelligent, theyboast that he is too great to mark the trivial actions of men-that is to say-in order to make their god great, they wouldmake him blind! Their idea of his greatness would seem to be loftiness, impassiveness and a measure of ignorance. Our notionof greatness is the reverse-we believe in the great God to whom all things are known and by whom the least matters are observed!Our God is neither unobservant nor indifferent. "He humbles Himself to behold the things that are in Heaven and in the earth!"He is constantly observant of all that is done in Heaven above, in the earth beneath and in all deep places.
Each movement of the tiniest worm upon the sea bottom is marked by Him, together with the migration of fishes, the flightof birds and the falling of the sear leaves. There are no forces so minute as to be beneath His notice, no movements so rapidas to escape His observation. The Psalmist says, "Yes, the darkness hides not from You; but the night shivers as the day:the darkness and the light are both alike to You." The atheist cries, "No god" and he who would deny universal knowledge toGod is twin brother to him! As good have no god at all as a god who does not know. "Jehovah is the God of knowledge and byHim actions are weighed." This text plainly rebukes those who say God is too merciful to take much account of what we do-poorcreatures that we are-shot out of the back of a tumbrel into the midst of a
society all in chaos which tempts us to indulge the passions of our nature! They dream that God will surely wink at such inconsiderablethings as the actions of men! But surely it is not so, since it is written, "The Lord is the God of knowledge and by Him actionsare weighed."
The Lord our God is merciful, but this mercy is consistent with the severest justice-He pardons sin, but He never suffersit to go unpunished! Strange as the statement may seem, the Lord never ceases to be the righteous Judge, even when He is passingby transgression. The great and glorious God does not forgive sin because He does not know of it, or does not remember howsinful it is-but this is the wonder of His mercy-He blots out the sins of His people with the fullest knowledge of their foulness!After having weighed sin, noted its motive, marked its meaning and considered its consequences, the Lord nevertheless forgivesit for Jesus' sake. Do not fall into any error on this point, or imagine that the Lord thinks little of human guilt and, therefore,readily pardons it. No! "The Lord is the God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed."
Consider, next, that this form of procedure is not as man judges. By men, actions are judged flippantly, but, "by God actionsare weighed." By men, actions are more frequently counted. Such a man has done this, and that, and that, and that, and that-whata wonderful man he is! Yes, but by God, human deeds are not so much measured in the bushel as weighed in the scale. A man'slife may be made up of countless bubbles, each one brilliant as the rainbow-but what a collapse there will be when the Lordcomes with the balances to weigh the deeds done in the body! By men, actions are frequently measured as to apparent bulk,and persons placed in certain positions bulk very largely upon the public mind. Their doings fill the newspapers though theyare empty enough in themselves. You scarcely get a day's issue of a journal but what something is reported of a man of mark-notthat what he has done is by any means surprisingly good, or wise, or benevolent, but it is done by him and, therefore, itmust be emblazoned. Men and women must have something to talk about and certain persons are selected for observation and,therefore, to their lives an exaggerated importance is attached.
Let no such person delude himself! At the bar of Divine Justice, the acts of princes and peasants, of lords and laborers,shall have an equal trial and shall be tested in the same scales! Apparent greatness shrivels before the Divine balance! Measurea cloud by its volume and it is vast. But condense it and how small is the weight of the water! When our lives shall be freedfrom vapor and judged by their solid contents, how small will some of us appear! Constantly men measure actions by their brilliance.Oh, it was a splendid action! It was so dashing, so unlooked for, so extraordinary! Was it right and pure and holy? If not,the light of genius cannot save it from condemnation! He who gave Â£10,000 to a fund did a brilliant act of charity. And yetthe legacy may not have weighed so much as the two mites that made a farthing which were all the poor widow's living.
He who silently adores the Lord may have given Him a greater weight of praise than he whose charming voice led the great congregation.The godly life of a poor bedridden woman may have been more highly esteemed by the Lord than the flaming eloquence of thegreat preacher. Ah me! How easily we are deceived by appearances! But not so the Lord, for, "By Him actions are weighed."Men are exceedingly apt to measure actions by their consequences. How wrong it is to measure actions by results, rather thanby their own intrinsic character A man upon the railway neglected to turn a switch, but, by the care of another, no accidentoccurred. Is he to be excused? Another man was equally negligent, certainly not more so, but in his case the natural resultfollowed-there was a collision and many lives were lost. This last man was blamed most deservedly, but yet the former offenderwas equally guilty!
If we do wrong and no harm comes of it, we are not thereby justified. Yes, if we did evil and good came of it, the evil wouldbe just as evil! It is not the result of the action but the action itself which God weighs! He who swindles and prospers isjust as vile as he whose theft lodged him in prison. He who acts uprightly and becomes a loser thereby, is just as honoredbefore God as if his honesty had led on to wealth. If we seek to do good and fail in our endeavor, we shall be accepted forthe attempt and not condemned for the failure! You have all admired Grace Darling because of her gallant act in rescuing marinersfrom a wreck-but suppose she had not saved a single sailor-and had herself been drowned? Would she not have been equally aheroine? Of course she would! Her success had nothing to do with the excellence of her actions-the moral weight of her conductlay in the self-sacrificing courage which led her on such a howling, murky night to risk her life upon the cruel waters forher unknown follow men! Had she been swallowed up by the remorseless
deep, her actions would have weighed as much before the Throne of God as when she landed the saved ones at the lighthouse.
If a man gives his life to convert the heathen and he does not succeed, he shall have as much reward from God as he who turnsa nation to the faith. Two ministers have labored in the same field-the first preached the Gospel faithfully, but saw scantresults. The second, following him, found the rough work done and reaped full sheaves from the field. The thoughtless areapt to think the second man greatly superior to the first, but it is not so-one sows and another reaps. When God comes toweigh the actions of men, He may give greater praise to the sower than to the reaper. We have odd ways of measuring up ourfellow men-odd, I mean, as compared with our self-measurement. Usually we have two sets of weights-one for ourselves and asecond for our friends. When we place ourselves in the scale, we weigh pretty heavily- we are full weight, and a little bitover! It is very different with our fellow men-they may really weigh more than we do, but we adjust the machine in such away that it is greatly to their disadvantage. I am not an admirer of the machine called a "steel yard," for it is singularlyeasy to fix it according to your wishes and certainly our estimates of others are as easily affected by prejudice. But byGod, "actions are weighed" truly, honestly, righteously-and the result is very different from the judgment of men.
I would now have you note that this weighing is a very searching business. "By Him actions are weighed." A man eaters a goldsmith'sshop and says, "Here is old gold to sell. See, I have quite a lot of it." "Yes," says the goldsmith, "let me weigh it." "Weighit? Why, look at the quantity! It fills this basket!" What is the goldsmith doing? Looking for his weights and certain acidsby which he means to test the metal. When he has used his acids, he puts the trinkets into the scale. "You are not going tobuy by weight?" "I never buy in any other way," says the goldsmith. "But there is such a quantity." "That may be, but I buyby weight." It is always so with God in all our actions-He estimates their real weight. We may hammer out our little goldand make a great show of it, but the Lord is not mocked or deceived. Every dealing between us and God will have to be by ajust balance and standard weight.
And in what way will He weigh it? The weights are somewhat of this sort. The standard is His just and holy Law and all whichfalls short of that is sin. Any lack of conformity to the Law of God is sin and by so much our acts are found wanting. Rememberthis, you who would justify yourselves! The Lord also enquires how much of sincerity is found in the action. You acted insuch a manner and therein you were right-but did you do this in pretense, or from force, or in sincerity and in truth? Inworship did you heartily adore? In charity did you give cheerfully? Did your heart go with your voice and hand? You prayedso long but did your heart truly pray? You attended so many religious services, but did you personally attend them, or didyou send your chrysalis and leave the living thing at home? Yes, you preached the Truth of God-but did you believe it in yourown soul? You gave your gold-was it with the motive of doing good, or that your name might be on a list, or because it wouldnot look well for your name to be left out? That which is not done sincerely has no weight in it! It is weighed in the balancesand found wanting.
The Lord also weighs actions according to their motives. He asks not only what you did, but why you did it? Was self the motiveforce? The preacher weighs his sermon, this morning, and asks his conscience whether he seeks only the glory of God. Willnot you, my Brothers and Sisters, weigh what you are doing in this world? To what end are you living? What wind is fillingyour sails? You have been kept from outward transgressions. Your life has been moral and pure in the sight of men-but haveyou lived for God's glory? Have you sought to obey God and please Him? Have you been moved by love to God and man? Have youbeen in heart, God's servant? If not, if another motive has ruled you, you are his servant whom you have obeyed.
The motive which lies at the fountainhead colors all the streams of action and God, who judges us, not according to what isdone externally, but according to what is meant internally, will make short work of a great multitude of human virtues! Whenyou cannot find a fault with a day's life as to what you have outwardly done, it may yet be faulty all through because ofthe reason which actuated you. When you sum up your actions at night, Pride may lean over your shoulder and whisper, "Youhave done well today!" At such a time it may be well for Conscience to awaken itself and ask, "But was this done purely forthe Lord's glory and in dependence upon His Grace?" An ill motive will poison all!
Another mode ofjudging is by our spirit and temper. If we live proudly, our actions lose weight. If we act from envy and will,we fall short. If we are flippant, inconsiderate, prayerless, we spoil all. The odor of actions is a great thing-if they arenot steeped in Grace they miss acceptance. An inch of Grace has more weight in it than a mile of nature! To be in
the fear of the Lord is solid living-all else is froth. Sometimes actions may be weighed by the circumstances which surroundthem. Men are not to be considered good if their surroundings forbid their being what they would like to be. "As a man thinksin his heart, so he is." Yonder man has been strictly truthful. Yes, but he could not have made a sixpence by being false,or it may be he would have lied. Another man is placed where the whole custom of his trade is trickery, but he takes a firmstand and, at great risk, refuses to swerve from strict integrity. Now, this second man will bear weighing, but the firstwill not.
Are not some children so carefully brought up from their childhood, happily for them, that their character is never discovereduntil they get out into life and are tempted? And then it is seen that the truthful boy was a little hypocrite and the thoughtfulgirl was as frivolous as any of the giddy throng. So you see that the fruit of tender culture may not always be what it shouldbe or what it seems to be. It is wonderful how amiable we all are until we are irritated! What a deal of patience we havewhen we have no sickness to bear! I had enough and to spare till my pains multiplied-and then my stock ran very low. I amafraid that most of us have a great quantity of fictitious goodness which arises out of our favorable circumstances and hasno other foundation. Now God judges with this before Him, for He places some men into peculiar difficulties and others inpositions of special advantage. And this He takes into account in the weighing.
Some men cannot run in the crooked road because they are lame and inactive-let them not lay a flattering unction to theirsouls and dream that they excel in goodness! Many a man thinks himself a Joseph, but the only reason is that no Potiphar'swife has tried him! Many a man has never been tempted because no wedge of gold or goodly Babylonian garment has come in hisway. Multitudes of men are honest because they never had a chance of making a grand haul by setting up a bubble company-whichis the modern mode of thieving. The lion in the Zoological Gardens is very good because he is behind iron bars-and many aman's goodness owes more to the iron bars of his position than to his own heart and motive.
Another weight to put in the scale is this-Was there any godliness about your life? I may be speaking to men in Exeter Hallwhose lives are such that they think themselves examples, but their lives are spoiled from end to end by a grievous flaw.This point must be enquired into. You are to be weighed by God and this will be the main matter-Has God been recognized inyour life? O Sirs, I fear that many of you are fitly described by David-"God is not in all their thoughts." You have livedfrom childhood to manhood, and from manhood to old age, but God has not been considered in any of your actions! You have hadgreat respect to society and to the law of the land, but if there has been no God, you would not have acted otherwise thanyou have done-God has not been an active agent in the influences which have moved you conduct! Your life has wandered fromits true end which has not God for its leading star. If you have not lived for your God, for whom have you lived? You areHis creature-have you never served your Creator? You say that Christ is your Redeemer but how has He redeemed you if you liveunto yourself-and not as one that is bought with a price? This is the enquiry to test us all! Is God the main objective ofour living? Do we throw ourselves with intensity into the pursuit of that which will glorify His blessed name? If not, thescales of the sanctuary will soon discover that we are sadly wanting!
Once more-have we lived by faith? Without faith it is impossible to please God! And if there is no faith in our life, thenwe are worth nothing! Hear me, O Man, and answer these questions! Have you believed in God and done anything because of believingin Him? Have you trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior and has this faith cleansed your way and purged your thoughts? Haveyou believed the promises of God and His Covenant? Has your life been ordered according to this belief? If not, you are weighedand rejected! Without faith in Him whom God has sent, you cannot be acceptable with God! Thus, you see, in different ways,God searches deeply into the life of man, and woe to that man who cannot bear the weighing-the greater his pretensions themore terrible his dismay when the scales refuse him.
This weighing of our lives must be exceedingly accurate because it is done personally by God, Himself. Notice my text-"TheLord is the God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed." One might not mind the text if it said actions are weighed byGabriel, for he is fallible-an angel might make mistakes and he might wink and be partial. But when it is written that byGod, Himself, actions are weighed, O Man, there is no possibility of bribing this great Tester of your life-He will judgerighteous judgment! He is the God of knowledge and, therefore, He knows not only your outward deeds, but your secret designsand desires.
Moreover, He knows the standard of right-with Him are the weights and the scales. Therefore knowing what our actions are andwhat they ought to be, He readily enough discovers our discrepancies and mistakes-and there will be no possibility of ourescaping His Infallible decision. I am amazed we are so ready to deceive ourselves as we are. I marvel that so many countit worth their while to deceive their fellow Christians and their ministers! It is a poor ambition to live a life of deceit.Be what you seem to be and seem to be what you are! But oh, if we could cheat ourselves throughout life, and deceive all thosewho watch us, yet we could never once have deceived God, "for by Him actions are weighed" so accurately that a mistake isnever made!
Ah me! I fear that many professors live a life of utter lies, comforting themselves with them. I once heard a story, (I donot know if it is true), of an old banker who said to his son to whom he bequeathed the business, "This is the key of ourlarge iron safe-take great care of it. The bank depends upon that safe. Let the people see that you have such a safe, butnever open it unless the bank should be in the utmost difficulty." The bank went on all right as long as the iron safe wasfast closed, but, at last, there came a run upon it. In his greatest extremity the young gentleman opened it-and he foundnothing at all in it! That was the stock of the bank-poverty carefully concealed; imaginary wealth winning con-fidence-andliving on the results.
Are there not many persons who, all their lives, are doing a spiritual banking business and deriving a considerable incomeof reputation from that which will turn out to be nothing? Beware of driving a trade for eternity upon fictitious capital,for failure will be the sure result! Time tries most things, but eternity tries all. Who among us would care to trade withoutcapital? Who would go to sea in a rotten boat painted to look seaworthy? How wise it is to invite Divine inspection that wemay not be deceived! What a dreadful thing it is that so many professing Christian people are never willing to open the ironsafe! They do not want to know whether all is right between God and themselves-they prefer to go on saying, "Peace, peace."They love the lullaby of, "It is well; it is well." Preach sweetly-comforting sermons and they will be well content-and trulythey might wisely be content if it were not written, "By Him actions are weighed." God will not be charmed by our self-approvingsongs-He will weigh us and our actions-and reveal us before the sun.
Again, I want you to notice that this weighing is carried on at this present-"By Him actions are weighed." Not only shallthey be weighed at the Last Great Day, but every minute they are being weighed. How stupid is a hypocrite if he believes thathe has never once deceived God! He knelt in prayer, but he did not pray. God knew that he did not and perceived the insult.At worship he sang with the assembly, but his heart was never in communion with God, and the Lord knew it. He never establisheda good reputation within Heaven. His conduct was understood at all times and he was always branded as false-hearted. A manhas joined the Christian Church-he has risen in esteem till he has become an officer among his brethren-yet all the whilehe was never converted, Grace was never in his soul. Does he think that God is taken in by him? Let him not be deceived! TheLord has gone on weighing all his acts as they have happened-and He has put them all aside as of short weight.
As at the bank all moneys are put through a process by which the light coins are detected, so our life always passes overthe great weighing machine of the Lord's Justice and He separates that which is short in weight from that which is precious,doing this at the moment as Infallibly as at Judgment Day! "By Him actions are weighed." Please remember, dear Hearers, thatthis is true of all of us-not only of open sinners, but of those who are considered saints. You are getting old I see, myFriend, but not too old to have your actions weighed! Old age is venerable, it cannot screen you from inspection. "Oh," saidan old man the other day, "you can trust me! I am past temptation." Gray hairs should not talk such nonsense! You can stillbe tempted and your actions are still weighed as well as those of that silly boy whom you blame for his rashness. And you,good Sir, who have been a professor of religion for 40 years and who, when you rise up to pray, stand like a cedar in thegarden of God-your actions are still examined! And if you are rotten at heart, it is no matter how green you seem to be withthe verdure of apparent Grace-you will, in due time, be detected and destroyed!
The preacher, here, is being daily weighed and he knows it! And so are all the members of this Church! And however excellentour outward lives may be, we must still pass through the testing house. Not one of us shall escape from the upright judgmentof the Most High. And one day, to conclude this point, the King's weighings will be published-set up where men and angelsshall read them! Oh, can you bear it that the whole of the secrets of your soul should be made public in the marketplace ofthe universe? That the actions which seemed so admirable should have their secret motives searched out and should be seento be leprous with selfishness? Can you endure to have your secret sins laid bare? Your
private designs, deep intentions and evil purposes set out in the open daylight? Can you bear to have your envying, jealousies,plots, lies, all held up to public gaze? With what shame will the wicked cover their faces when all their hidden things shallbe read out and published through the streets of the universe! Then shall they be ashamed and confounded, while everlastingcontempt shall be poured upon them.
Most of all will men be ashamed who came into the Church of God and wore Christ's livery, but all the while were servantsof Satan! And of these, most of all the ministers who climbed into pulpits, professing to preach Christ, and all the whiledeclared their own vain thoughts instead of the Gospel of salvation! How will men gaze on the unmasked! When the visors areknocked off and all their masquerade shall be over, how will men despise the hypocrites! They looked like kings, but, behold,the puppets were nothing but beggars! They seemed pure and holy, but a ray from the sun of the Truth of God has revealed theirulcered inner life and all holy intelligences shrink from them! Oh, what discoveries there will be in that day when the recordof the King's weighings shall be read of men and angels!
II. It is now time for me to observe THE HUMBLING NATURE OF THIS CONSIDERATION. "Talk no more so exceedingly proud; let notarrogance come out of your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed." The fact of DivineJudgment on ourselves should forever prevent our insulting others. When you see anyone found out in wrong-doing, do not actas if you were his executioner. When you pass by a person who has lost his or her character, do not straighten your back anddisdainfully regard him as the mire of the streets. Do not act the part of the very superior person. "By Him actions are weighed."
Your actions are none too good. Perhaps there is not so much difference between you and the person whom you condemn, if allwere known. You and the sinful one are not the least alike as to your outside wrappings and labeling, for you are labeled,"saint," and she is labeled, "a fallen woman." But if all were known, and all is known by God-the man without fault-who woulddare to cast the first stone is not sitting in your seat! Ah, how the fact that we are, ourselves, to be judged, should makeus speak with bated breath when we are tempted to judge others! Let us not judge one another any more, for the Judge is atthe door and, "by Him actions are weighed." Let us leave judging to the Judge! Let everyone look to himself and let no mandespise his neighbor.
Next, I think we must give up all idea of speaking proudly in the Presence of God. Our good works-what are they when weighed?They look very pretty, indeed, as we set them out in array-but when God puts them into the scales, they look very different.We thought we weighed something, but in the scales they seem turned into feathers! Our good works are high up in the air andwe are disappointed to see that the Law of God is not lifted up by all that we have done. I remember a good man who said,when he was dying, that he once began to separate his good works from his bad works. But he found them so much like one another,in the light of eternity, that he ceased separating them and threw them all away, determined to float to Heaven on the Crossof Christ.
This was wisely done, for our best things are so stained with sin and the whole of a holy life is worth so little in the wayof merit, that the shortcut of the whole matter is just to cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner," and rest ourselves on JesusChrist alone. Dear Friend, if ever you have had the weighing process carried on in your own heart, I know you have given upall hope of being saved by your own merit or strength! If conscience has been awakened and if the Law of God has fulfilledits office upon you, you have given up all idea of appearing before God in your own righteousness! The man who boasts thathe is perfect in the flesh either fails to weigh himself at all, or else he is in great need of a visit from the inspector,for his weights and scales are sadly out of repair.
It is very easy to appear perfect if you have an imperfect standard to measure by-but when the Lord Himself weighs us by HisLaw, we cry out, "Who can understand his errors?" We have nothing with which to glory before God! The perfect Character ofour Lord Jesus Christ shuts our mouths as to all self-congratulation and compels us to fall at His feet in deep humiliation!May the Lord carry on the weighing process in your consciences till you glory only in the Lord and every false, pretentiousthing is banished forever!
III. In closing, let us briefly consider THE POSITION IN WHICH ALL THIS LEAVES US. If God weighs our actions and we are, thereby,found wanting, and can only cry, "Guilty" in His sight, what then? Then we are in God's hands! That is where I wish everyone of my Hearers felt himself to be. But who is the Lord? First, according to Hannah, He is a God of salvation! "My spirithas rejoiced in Your salvation." Salvation for sinners, salvation for the guilty, salvation for those that are weighed inthe balance and found wanting! Free pardon, full remission, gracious acceptance even
for the worst and vilest-this is the Gospel of the blessed God! How sweet to be in the hands of a God who is able to save-anddelights to save-and makes it His glory to save!
Next, according to Hannah's song, He is the God who delights in reversing the order of things. He throws down those who arehigh and sets up those that are down. "He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He has sent away empty." Isnot that a hint to you to be empty, to be hungry, to be poor and needy? If God is going to pick men from the dunghill andset them among princes, even the princes of His people, then the surest road to princely preferment is consciously to takeyour place on the dunghill! If the shields of the mighty are broken, but the weak are girded with strength, then it is wiseto be weak before the Lord! Down, pride! Down! Down! Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and He shall exalt youin due time!
Once more, this God is one who delights to carry on strange processes in the hearts of His people. "The Lord kills, and makesalive: He brings down to the grave, and brings up. The Lord makes poor, and makes rich; He brings low, and lifts up." Thisis God's way of making men live-He kills them! This is God's way of giving them resurrection-He brings them to the grave!This is God's way of making men rich-He first makes them poor! This is God's way of lifting men up-they are first broughtdown! Are you brought down this morning? Be of good courage-this is the royal road to comfort in Christ Jesus! Is the HolySpirit making you conscious of sin? He does so that you may be conscious of pardon! Do you feel condemned? The Lord condemnsyou, now, that you may not be condemned with the world! Are you evil, foul and vile in your own sight? It is that you maywash and be whiter than snow through the Lord Jesus!
Oh how I rejoice to meet with a real sinner! Sham sinners are a vexation, but those who are really and truly so are preciousin our sight! We hear of the bona fide traveler-give me the bona fide sinner-
"A sinner is a sacred thing The Holy Spirit has made him so." He who is made to feel that he is truly lost is well-near saved!Christ died for such. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world tosave sinners." O you who are really a sinner, catch at that word! God grant you may find salvation now, for Jesus' sake. Amen.