365 days with Newton


Sought out and not forsaken

‘And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.’ Isaiah 62:12

Sought out—a city not forsaken. These are names of the church of God applicable to each of his people. They speak comfort to believers, and display the glory of their Redeemer. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He begins to make known his purposes in their favour, and he also will make an end. The first of these names excludes all boasting, the other forbids fear. The Lord’s people are possessed of great privileges: they are near to him and he is all that to them which he was to Israel in the wilderness, but in a higher sense—their guide, their guard and their glory. If you enquire how they attained to this, the answer is grace, free grace; their name is sought out—not that they loved him but that he loved them, and it pleased the Lord notwithstanding all hindrances, to make them his people.
Consider them in another view, as beset with snares and enemies, as exposed to the rage of the powers of darkness, as weak and helpless in themselves, and, what is worse, too frequently unfaithful, backsliding and provoking the Lord on whom they depend. It seems natural to ask by whom shall these rise? How shall they stand? Will they not at last be a prey to the teeth of their enemies? No, he that sought them out will keep them—this is their name: not forsaken. They are liable to many changes but they are safe, for they have an unchangeable Saviour, who fainteth not nor is weary.

FOR MEDITATION: Surely mercy and goodness have followed me all my days. He has been my guard and my guide; he found me in a waste howling wilderness, in the most helpless state of sin and misery—but in consequence of his everlasting purpose and love, he was pleased to deliver me from ruin, to call me by his grace, to give me a name and place amongst his children, and amongst his ministers. O to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be!192
John Newton to John Thornton, 4 August 1770

SERMON: ISAIAH 62:12 [1/3]

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