Sermon 3523. A Type and Its Teaching
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 1916.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"And Abraham said, My son, God willprovide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering." Genesis 22:8.
How stern the trial! How striking the triumph! How sublime, both in action and passion, was the faith of Abraham in that terriblecrisis. It pleased God to try him on a very tender point. Abraham had received a great promise, on the fulfillment of whichhe greatly relied. Year after year elapsed, but no sign of the long-looked-for child appeared. At length old age crept overthe Patriarch and his wife. Still he looked steadfastly for the promise because he believed implicitly in the Promiser. Heconsidered not the infirmities of his own body, nor the deadness of Sarah's womb-he waited patiently, not doubting that Godwould, in due time, according to His promise, give him a son. What marvel, then, that this son, when born, should be the objectof Abraham's fondest affection? Moreover, a strange halo of hope gathers round the lad's head, for God has made him the heirof a Covenant. It is in Isaac and in Isaac's seed that God will fulfill His Covenant which He has made with Abraham. No, somethingstill more mysterious is linked with that youth's life. It is in him that all the nations of the earth will be blessed. Andnow, when the Lord says, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love," there is a cut in every word at the most tenderpart of Abraham's soul. To slay his own son, to cut off his hope of posterity, to sacrifice for a burnt-offering that sonwho was a special gift of God's bounty, to kill him in whom he looked for a further fulfillment of God's promise-to stop thatgolden pipe through which mercy is to flow to the whole world, to dam up that silver stream which is to enrich nations yetunborn-that were to blast Abraham's brightest hopes as well as to wound his most tender affections! God has cherished in himhigh anticipations. He has been pleased to give him strength of mind and faith of heart enough to see these expectations realizedin a vision. And must that vision, after all, flit from before his eyes? Must his faith become a delusion and all his hopesa mockery? So it would seem! And yet mark the faith of Abraham-he not only submits to the loss of his choicest jewel, andto tear away one who was bound to his heart by ties stronger than flesh and blood-but in doing it, he staggers not, for hestill believes that God will be true to His promise!
It strikes me that this was the master work of Abraham's faith. To sacrifice Isaac was a wonder of patient submission anddevout resignation, but the faith which was at the root of it all challenges our highest admiration! Still, to believe thatGod is able to raise Isaac from the dead, or to turn the stones which were wet with Isaac's blood into a new offspring, or,(for I know not which theory Abraham may have adopted), to believe that the whole Covenant was spiritual and that he mustwait to see the seed of Isaac in another world, and not in this-in any case to believe that God must be true, that thoughIsaac died, God would keep His word and that He is able to do so notwithstanding all apparent impossibilities-that He willtransmute stones to men, or raise that body after it has been slain, into newness of life-here was the climax of a faith thatrealized the grandeur and the goodness of the Divine Attributes and perfections, for he simply and sincerely believed andrelied upon God!
Ah, Brothers and Sisters, there are some men who can make great sacrifices for God-they have done so and herein they haveemulated the example of Abraham. But the Patriarch showed a clear understanding, an unwavering calmness, a full assuranceof hope to which few have attained. When in the very fact of presenting to God your sacrifice, can you account that you arelosing nothing, but committing your treasure to His custody? Can you believe that the promise of God is not compromised byyour parting with the earnest that gladdened your eyes? Has God given you a son, such an one as you can say of, "For thischild I prayed"? Is he the pride of your life and the joy of your life? Do you think of him as the solace of your age andthe perpetuator of your name in the world? What, now, if God shall call you to devote him
as a missionary? Could you readily comply? Would you count it all gain? Could you interpret it as a blighting of your ownprospect, or as a blooming of God's purpose? Have you Abraham's faith? Then let God be true if Heaven should reel and earthshould rock! Though the sons of men pass away like shadows and death entombs us all, the counsel of God's heart shall standand His Word shall endure forever!
Stagger not, my Friends, at the promise of God through unbelief! Be assured that whatever He has promised, He is able to perform!
Such reflections, though prolific of instruction, I must not tarry to pursue. I rather want to impress the scene and interpretthe sentence brought before us in our text.
The scene itself suggests to us three pictures. The first picture will naturally rise up in your imagination without my attemptingany graphic description of it. The old man, a kind and doting father, bears in his hands a sharp knife, and hot blazing coalsof fire. The younger man, perhaps twenty-five-so Josephus thinks-possibly 33 years of age and, if so, very manifestly thetype of Christ, who was about that age when He came to die. The young man comes toiling up the side of the hill, bearing aload of wood upon his back. He knows that that wood is destined to burn some victim, for his father carries the fire and theknife. He understands that they are about to worship God yonder in the most solemn manner by a sacrifice of blood. On theway he puts but one question, marveling where the victim can be. He sees the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb? heasks. Abraham tells him with a bursting heart, that-
I. GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB.
Little did Isaac think that he was to be that lamb! They came to the spot. No doubt Abraham there tells Isaac what God hadbid him do. The young man is strong-the old man has lost some of his youthful vigor. If that young man chose to struggle,the intent would be frustrated. But he, like his father, is ready to say to that Sovereign command of God, "Here I am." Heallows himself to be bound by his aged sire, no, helps to put himself upon the altar! And there he lies, a willing victim,cheerfully consenting to be bound, willing then and there to die at God's command!
Here you have a picture of the Almighty One, whom we every day address as, "Our Father, who are in Heaven." You see His son,His only Son, whom He loves. His Isaac, who has filled His heart with gladness. He bears upon his back the load of wood-theCross-no, heavier than the Cross is the load which the antitype of Isaac, our blessed Jesus, bears- the sin of all His peoplelay heavy upon His shoulders. He turns upwards to the hill of Calvary and there, in that thick darkness, through which nohuman eye could peer, however much it might desire it, God, the eternal Father, binds His Son! He cheerfully submits Himselfto be fastened to the tree. The Omnipotent hand unsheathes the knife to slay His Son, and draws not back, but in SovereignVengeance slays Him! That picture of Abraham-the knife in his hand, about to execute Isaac-presents to you a picture of theGod of gods about to smite His only-begotten Son upon Mount Calvary!
Beloved, the one point an which I wish to concentrate your attention is the emotion of the Father. Oh, what grief, what love,what pity! What stern resolve and strong affections must have striven together in Abraham's bosom! We read an ancient storyof a father whose two sons were taken prisoners. They were both condemned to die. The old man appeared on the scene to offerup his life-all that he had to offer-and to die, himself, if his sons' lives might be spared. For some reason the soldiers,melting to pity, went as far as they could, and told him he might have whichever of his sons he chose to be spared for theransom. He looked first at one, and then at the other. He would gladly say, "Spare that one," but then they would put theother to death! And he would gladly say, "Spare this one," but then the other must die! And so the old man alternated betweenone and the other, undecided which should be released, till both were slain! History tells us of another case at the siegeof Benda. A German nobleman, seeing a young man charging the hosts of the besiegers, remarked to those who stood by how valiantlyhe was fighting-he felt that a hero was in the camp. The enemy gathered so thickly round the warrior that at length he fell."Give that young man a public funeral," said the nobleman. His counsel was accepted, a charge was made, the body was rescued.But judge his surprise as he looked down upon the face of the young man and perceived it was his only son! He stood aghastfor a moment, no tears could he shed-his eyes were as though they would start from their sockets-he seemed transfixed. Hefell backward-his heart was broken-his soul had taken its flight. Such a surprise, such a sorrow, such a sense of the losshe had sustained overwhelmed him. In neither of these cases had the father any hand in the death of his child. The parentin each instance was passive.
Here, however, the knife must be handled by none other than the sire, and plunged into the vitals of his son. Oh, Abraham!Ah, Isaac-the tale of your trial makes my nerves tingle. But who of all the heavenly host, what angel near the
Throne of God can tell of the Eternal Father, how His heart was moved, how His heart yearned! Do I speak after the mannerof men? How else can I speak?
Reprove me when you can believe in a God who has no feelings, no emotions, no affections, no life, no love. Hardly could Isubscribe to the dictum of theologians who pronounce God incapable of suffering! Surely He is capable of anything! He is Sovereignof all senses and sacred sensibilities! His benignant tender Fatherhood are as clear to my faith as His eternal power andGodhead! How, then, can I conceive of His putting His own Son to death without a grief that I must defer to as possible, becauseI cannot describe it as actual? If we may not liken ourselves to God, yet may God liken Himself to us! This He has done, otherwisehad we not known Him. Can you smite your own child without feeling more anguish than you inflict? Solomon says, "Spare notfor his crying"-but it is hard to keep Solomon's advice, for the crying of your child makes you weep more than he does! Yet,behold how God, full of love, His very name being Love, smites even to the death His Only-Begotten, till that Darling criesout, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" And this was done out of love to us! "He that spared not His own Son, butdelivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Oh, what love! His love is an indefinitequantity! It is expressed by an indefinite word-so! "God soloved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoeverbelieves in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life." What measure or gauge can compass that wonderful affirmation-Heso loved Rude as my sketch may be-royal, indeed-is the scene! Let it be vividly portrayed on the tablet of your memories.Let its gracious effect diffuse itself over your hearts! Oh, for such love as angels cannot know, let us reciprocate witha love intense and vehement that inflames our whole heart-
"Had we a thousand hearts to give Lord, they should all be Yours." Even now, with adoring gratitude, offer your homage tothe Father, who gives His Son, and to that Son who cheerfully submits to plead by the altar for our sins.
A second picture rises to our view. You will remember that our Lord Jesus once said, "Abraham saw My day." When did he seeit? Why, I think it must have been on this occasion! The venerable Patriarch certainly had in his son Isaac- II. A VIVID PICTUREOF THE SON OF GOD.
When you see that his hand is stayed, you perceive at once that the portrait is not complete. A ram is caught in the thicket.This ram is caught, laid hold on, dragged out and put into the place of Isaac. So far the delineation is accurate, for theram dies. It is really slain, even as Christ was sacrificed for us. But the vision changes its form. Isaac goes free- notso the ram! Isaac's blood still flows in his veins-not so that of the poor ram, the knife sternly severs his arteries andthe blood flows out. There he is laid upon the wood, which forthwith begins to glow and smoke for a burnt offering. Isaacgazes on himself in a burning figure-he owes his life to the victim that was presented as a substitute. Look earnestly, gazeintently, linger fondly on the picture, for it represents your own salvation! Let us take the place of Isaac-it is ours. Weare children according to promise. If we, Beloved, have "fled for refuge to the hope set before us," we are saved. How weare saved you know. Because our Lord Jesus Christ, the ram of God's burnt-offering, did burn upon the altar for us, we arespared. It would baffle me to tell how Isaac felt when cords were unbound and he saw how narrowly he had escaped from death.Nor can I tell you how I felt when standing at the foot of the Cross-
"Ibeheld the flowing Of my dear Redeemer's blood, With assurance, knowing He had made my peace with God." How can you perish,Believer, now that Christ has died for you? There is not a cord on Isaac as you see him now. He is free. So are you, my Friend-thereare no bonds on you. Most gratefully can you cry with David, "I am Your servant; and the son of Your handmaid; You have loosedmy bonds." As you gather round the Lord's Table, let the thought of Substitution be fresh in your mind. He bore, that we mightnever bear the Divine Wrath. He drank the cup, even to its dregs, that we might never drink a drop of it. In short, He sufferedHell's torments for us, that we might never enter its gates. My Hearers, did Christ thus suffer for you? Yes, surely, if soyou are believing and depending upon Him, then He was your true and proper Substitute! Or if in His life you have no interest,then in His death you have no Redemption- and His blood shall never save you! Alas, alas, you must perish in your sins!
Pass from that scene. Inspect it more narrowly, more privately another time. Let me now unveil to you another picture. Beholdthe aged parent, with glistening eyes and placid brow, receiving his son, as it were, alive from the dead, when the angelstayed his hand. How joyously he cuts those cords! How they seem to leap together! I think I see them going homeward downthe side of the hill to the tent where Sarah was. With what elastic step, with what grateful emotion, with what heartfeltjoy they journey! And of what is this an emblem?
III. THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST JESUS-and in that of the resurrection of every Believer! The Apostle Paul says that, "Abrahamreceived Isaac from the dead in a figure." Now our Covenant God and Father has received His Only-Begotten from the dead, notmerely in figure, but in reality! The morning has broken, the sun has risen on the third day. He cannot be held by the bondsof death any longer. He snaps them asunder and in incomparable beauty, the once slain Savior arises refreshed from His sleep!The stone had been rolled away by the angel. He comes out and the watchmen, in terror, fall on their faces in fright! He manifestsHimself to Mary and then to His disciples afterwards, saying, "Peace be unto you," and in due time He ascends up to the righthand of the Majesty in Heaven. Angel hosts escort Him with trumpets' joyful sound-
"They bring His chariot from on high, To bear Him to His Throne! Clap their triumphant wings, and cry, 'The glorious workis done!'"
Oh, you saints, celebrate the triumph afresh! Your Lord and Savior is risen and ascended! Isaac is not dead! He, in whom allnations of the earth shall be blessed, lives, forever lives! In Him, the Child of promise, the Seed of the woman, are younow a heritor of the blessing if you believe! In Him shall you rise again! Though your flesh shall see corruption, you shallburst the bonds of death and, because He lives, you shall live also-
"Nor does it yet appear-How great you shall be made, Yet when you see your Savior here, You shall be like your Head."
Have these pictures impressed your minds? May the meditation they excite prove instructive to you! But lend me your ears whileI proceed to commend to you the sweet prophetic words of Abraham.
The name of the Lord-that particular name, Jehovah-Jireh-has been the comfort of many an indigent Believer, and sustainedhim under great difficulty. Sometimes it has been to him like the cake baked upon the coals, of which Elijah partook whenhe journeyed for 40 days. Oh, how graciously God has provided Himself a burnt-offering! The choicest Substitute for the mostundeserving criminals. Lies there a wretch in Newgate for whom a royal heir would stand surety? No novelist would broach sucha fiction! "Scarcely for a righteous man will one die; perhaps for a good man one might even dare to die; but God commendsHis love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly." If every one of us had been left to endurethe penalty of our own transgressions-had no Substitute been found to bear our sins-God would have been unimpeachably justand infinitely glorious!
The voice of our torments would have only been a deep bass note to tell the universe the terrible justice of the Most High!It could not have impeached His mercy. To find a Substitute was an act of gratuitous, undeserved Grace. Such provision wasnot only undeserved, but it was most unexpected. What amazement must have wrapped the sky when celestial creatures heard thata Substitute for man was found! Where? Among angels, principalities, or powers? No, but at God's right hand! The co-equalSon, Himself, becomes the Substitute for rebel man! Nor less in dignity than the brightness of the Father's Glory, and theexpress image of His Person, is He who takes upon Himself flesh and blood and subjects Himself to our infirmities, that He,Himself, may bear our sins in His own body on the tree! Are we indifferent, or are incredulous, or what manner of men arewe that one can talk and another can listen to so startling a fact, to so astounding a revelation without a thrilling emotion,a faltering tongue and tingling ears? Throughout eternity this will be a ceaseless wonder in Heaven, that the Creator shouldstoop to bear the creature's sin will never cease to be a mystery of Mercy that challenges endless admiration! God did, indeed,provide such a provision as makes His Providence startling! What a Gospel it is! Great God, will You redeem sinners at sucha cost, at no less price than blood and that the blood of Imma-nuel? And is it so that Jehovah must veil Himself in humanflesh? Must the Infinite become an Infant? Must the Omnipotent hang on a woman's breast? Must the eternal self-existent Godbreathe out an expiring life in ignominy and torture?
Must all this be experienced by the Man who is Jehovah's Fellow? Yes. Manhood comes into such union with Deity that we cannotdivide the two! There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus. Oh, what a step was this fromthe highest Throne of Glory to the Cross of deepest woe! Well did an Apostle say, "You were not redeemed with corruptiblethings, such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ." Silver and gold? What are they in comparison withthis costly Sacrifice? The merest tinsel, the sweepings of dross, not worthy to be thought of in the same minute as the preciousblood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot!
St. Augustine somewhere holds a kind of controversy with himself as to whether Christ shall die or not. As if he said, "Yes,let the sinner live, but Christ must die. No, He must not die! He is far too good, too great to die! Then let the creaturedie. No, but we cannot let the creature perish, God's mercy would prevent that. Then He must die." Then he seems to say, "No,the price is too great. Sooner let them perish than buy them at such a price! A company of worms redeemed by the blood ofthe Son of God? The price is too high! Yet God paid it. Oh, let us love and bless His name!"
Though it was so costly a provision, it was the most suitable that could be devised! Who else could have borne our sins butGod? No mere man could possibly have stood as the substitute for millions of the human race! He might, if innocent, himself,suffer for one, and so save one, but unless Deity should lend its unutterable perfections, it was not possible for human natureto sustain the weight of human guilt! But now by the suffering of a Man, the Law is vindicated and honored! By the personalinterposition of God, sacred validity and Sovereign efficacy are imparted to the great work He has achieved. And oh, whatan effectual provision it is! For the blood of Christ has saved, does save and will save millions of souls! Whatever elsemay be a myth, the Atonement is a veritable fact! Whatever empty rites and worthless pretensions may be foisted on credulousmen and silly women, you cannot exasperate the power of the blood of Christ! Come here, come here, you blackest, foulest,vilest of mankind! Try it and see if the crimson streams do not wash your crimson stains, and make you white as snow! Comehere, you old transgressors, steeped in infamy, quivering on the brink of Hell, see if the drops of this blessed stream cannotcool your fevered brow and give your troubled conscience rest! Come here, you distracted maniacs who would gladly lay suicidalhands upon yourselves, and rush blood-red into your Maker's awful Presence, and see if, bowing down before that awful Cross,you do not hear a voice that says, "Peace. Be still. Go your way, your sins, which are many, are forgiven you." Yes, thereis life in a look at the Crucified One! None shall ever look to Him in vain! Millions of spirits around the Throne of Godrejoice in the efficacy of God's provision. Jehovah-Jireh is extolled today in matchless songs of human praise around thestarry Throne! And here on earth we repeat their strains with glad accord-
"DDear, dying Lamb, Your precious blood Shall never lose its power, Till all the ransomed Church of God Are saved to sin nomore."
And then, once more, it is an ample provision. God has provided a ram for a burnt-offering and there is enough efficacy inthat sacrifice for all that seek the ransom it supplies. I do not preach a stinted salvation, blessed be God! I have seenin my soul the vision that Zachariah saw. He saw a young man with a measuring line in his hand. "Where are you going? he asked."To take the dimensions of Jerusalem," he replied, "to record the breadth and the length thereof." "Run, speak to this youngman," said the angels, "measure not the city! Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitudes of mentherein."
Some people have a strange disposition to use the measuring line and count the population, and number the souls that are savedby the precious blood of Jesus. Their estimate is commonly limited to a very few. Let us not measure it, for we know not whatcountless multitudes will be given to Christ for the travail of His soul. A multitude that no man can number has already beengathered! To come is a host, defying human arithmetic, that will lie marshaled there and still they muster day by day. O Beloved,this one thing we know, without entering into any vexed questions of Particular Redemption or General Redemption, there isenough in Christ for every sinner that desires salvation and comes and puts his trust in Him-enough to cleanse the vilestsin that ever disgraced humanity-enough to wash you white, though you are ever so begrimed! It is provision for the sins ofall ages, of all ranks, of all conditions! The harlot, cleansed here, becomes chaste and sings, with Rahab, the new song!The thief, washed here, becomes forgiven and is accepted in the Beloved! If you are the most abandoned of sinners and havestrolled in here to gratify curiosity or to idle away an hour, let me tell you that He who died-the Just for the unjust-alwayslives and He is mighty to save! Rest on Jesus! There is
provision here to save you! With His infinite foreknowledge He has foreseen your case. You shall never find a case too hardfor the Master-no sin too heinous for Him to forgive, no circumstance so extravagant in its guilt as to go beyond the Graceand the generosity which are treasured up in Christ Jesus-and the goodness and virtue flowing from His wounds!
I have painted the pictures. I have proclaimed the purpose. Let me conclude with- IV. A POINTED QUESTION.
Since God has provided so great a Sacrifice, has He provided it for me? Am I a participator in the blood of Christ? To howmany thousands of you do I speak? Let each one put the question to himself. My weak voice will soon exhaust its emphasis.Is there no echo in your conscience? What I say may drop from your memories. Let every soul among you earnestly enquire, "HaveI Christ?" Give yourself a candid reply concerning yourself. Do you put your trust in Him? I do not ask you what possessionsyou can boast! The poor are very welcome in God's House. I do not ask you what reputation you have. The wise are not electedfor their wisdom with God! The foolish and the base are not rejected for their worthlessness! What I do ask is this, "Haveyou Christ for your portion?" Remember, Soul, that whoever believes in Jesus receives Him as God's gift to his soul. TrustChrist and He is yours! Fall flat upon your face upon the promises of God in Christ! Have done with all the props on whichyou were known to lean, with all the pleas on which you were known to rely, with all the works of which you were known toboast! Go as you are to Christ, trust Him. To Him the Spirit of God leads every earnest, anxious seeker. If you trust Him,Heaven and earth may pass away, but the promise of Your salvation shall not fail. You shall be His in life, in death, in judgment,and all eternity, safe from Hell, secure in Heaven!
What if you struggle with all your natural feelings as Abraham did? The more simple your faith, the more sure will be yourtriumph! Believe in the dark and you shall soon come into the light. As soon as you believe, there are signs following. Venturetoday to lay your hands upon that dear head of the victim Lamb, and tomorrow I will summon you as witnesses who can testifyto others that there is joy and peace in believing! "He will deliver your soul from going down into the Pit, and your lifeshall see the light. Lo, all these things God often works with man, to bring his soul back from the edge of the Pit to beenlightened with the light of the living!" May this be yours! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: HOSEA 11.
1. When Israel was a child, I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt God remembers what He did for us when we were young.And sin against Him is much aggravated by His long kindness to us. He brings this up against His rebellious people, "WhenIsrael was a child, I loved him." Some of you may remember your childhood with deep regret-when you used to sing your hymnand bow your knees on your mother's lap. Times have greatly changed since then, but God remembers them.
2. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to carved images. These peopleonly had to be called away, and away they went. There are some of that sort. You have only to beckon them anywhere. Like adog that is whistled to, they will follow anybody's call. They leave God for anything, for nothing. These people went andforgot the true God and burned incense to carved images.
3. I taught Ephraim also to walk, taking them by their arms: but they knew not that I healed them. God describes Himself asacting like a nurse that holds a child up by its arms and teaches it its first steps. Yet they did not know what God was doingfor them! God has done great things for many of us, and perhaps we have never recognized His command. Years of mercy, andyet never a day of gratitude! It is sad that it should be so.
4. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, andI stooped and fed them. As the good farmer, when the oxen come to the end of the field, takes off the yoke and puts on thenosebag, so has God often done with us in the day of our trouble. He has unyoked us and He has relieved our needs and fedus. Yet we have forgotten Him.
5. 6. He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return. Andthe sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels. Whenmen will have their own way, God sometimes lets them have their way-and that turns out to be the most unhap-
py thing that can be! They make a rod for their own backs. They pile the firewood for their own burning. It is a great pitythat it should be so, but often and often have we seen it.
7. And My people are bent on backsliding from Me: though they called on the Most High, none at all would exalt Him. Thereis a propensity in the human heart to go away from God-even in the hearts of God's own people! Oh, how sad it is that, thoughoften called to God by the voice of Providence, and by the call of His Word, yet none at all would exalt Him!
8. How shall I give you up, Ephraim? How shall I deliver you, Israel? How shall I make you as Admah? How shall I set you asZeboim? My heart is turned within Me, My sympathy is stirred. God represents Himself as holding a controversy within Himself."These people I must punish. These people I love. I shall have to give them up. I cannot give them up." Justice debating withMercy, and Mercy triumphant over Justice!
9. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God and not man: the HolyOne in the midst of you; and I will not enter into the city. Remember that when God entered into Sodom and saw its sin, thenHe destroyed it! But He determines to have pity upon Samaria, and not to enter into it, lest, seeing it, He should feel compelledto destroy it.
10. They shall walk after the LORD: He shall roar like a lion-If God can make His people follow Him when He roars like a lion,how we ought to follow Him who is the Lamb of God, who takes our sins upon Him!
10. When He shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. When God puts on the lion's form and His grave, majesticvoice is heard, full of thundering threats-then men are constrained and tremble!
11. They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria. They shall come on hasty wings, tremblingalong, to find a shelter.
11, 12. And I will place them in their houses, says the LORD. Ephraim compasses about with lies, and the house of Israel withdeceit It is a dreadful thing when men go to God and, as it were, make a ring round about Him and compass Him about with falsehoodand with lies. Many profess to worship God when they are not worshipping at all. Their bodies are in the assembly of the saints,but their minds are far away.
12. But Judah yet rules with God, and is faithful with the saints. And it was to the honor of Judah that it was so. When othersare false, then is the time for God's servants to be true. If you held your tongue before, speak out for God and His Truthin the day when God is compassed about with deceit!