Monday, July 1, 2013

The Mercy Of God To The Nations

How matchless is his patience! How enduring his mercy! The wicked provoke him, and he feels the provocation, but yet he does not smite. Week after week they still insult him, they even touch the apple of his eye by persecuting his people, but still he lets the lifted thunder drop, and gives space for repentance. He sends them messages of mercy, he implores them to turn from the error of their ways; but they harden their hearts, they blaspheme him, they take his holy name in vain. Still, by the space of many years he bears with their incessant rebellions, and though he is grieved with the hardness of their hearts, he keepeth back his indignation.

This patience is shown, not here and there to one of our race, but to myriads of the human family, and not for one generation only, but from generation after generation still doth his good Spirit strive, still doth he stretch out his hands all the day long even to the disobedient and to the gainsayers. Not willing that any should perish, he waiteth long and patiently, because he delighteth in mercy. Equally wonderful, I think, is the power which God hath over his own mind in the ultimate pardoning of many of these transgressors. It is marvellous that he should be able to forgive any, and so perfectly to forgive.

It often happeneth to us that we feel compelled to say when greatly offended, “I can forgive you, but I fear I shall never forget the wrong.” God goeth far beyond this, for he casteth all our sins behind his back, and he declares that he will not remember them against us any more for ever. What, never! Such deep offenses; such heinous crimes! Such provoking transgressions! Shall they never be remembered? What, not even remembered? Shall there not be at least a frown, or a degree of coolness on account of them? No. “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins." It shows the great-mindedness of God that he should be able to act thus, and to act thus towards the very chief of sinners.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Magnanimity Of God," delivered October 21, 1877. Image by Xristoforos on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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