365 days with Newton


Look up with hope

‘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

Not forsaken. This may be argued from his purpose, his covenant, his promise, and is to be pleaded against:
(i) Satan. He often threatens like Rabshakeh before Jerusalem.
(ii) unbelief. This musters and magnifies the difficulties in the way and says, ‘Ah, what shall we do?’ But infinite wisdom, power and love will not be disappointed.
(iii) guilt. For sin the Lord will often hide his face and permit dark clouds to hang over us. Yet we must not give way. We cannot recover ourselves but by believing. To keep at a distance and despond makes bad worse. So David encouraged himself when greatly distressed (1 Samuel 30:6 [And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God]). So also 12:20–22. Let the poor backslider look up with hope—he knew what his poor people would prove. Let this subject lead us to admire Jesus for his love, his power, his patience—praise him and trust him.

FOR MEDITATION: Tonight I attended an eclipse of the moon. I thought, my Lord, of thine eclipse. The horrible darkness which overwhelmed thy mind when thou saidst, Why hast thou forsaken me?’ Ah, sin was the cause—my sin. Diary, 30 July 1776 [prompting the following hymn]

Fain would my thankful heart and lips
Dark, like the moon without the sun,
Unite in praise to thee;
I mourn thine absence, LORD!
And meditate on thy eclipse,
For light or comfort have I none,
In sad Gethsemane.
But what thy beams afford.

Thy people’s guilt, a heavy load!
But lo! the hour draws near apace,
(When standing in their room)
When changes shall be o’er;
Deprived thee of the light of GOD,
Then shall I see thee face to face,
And filled thy soul with gloom.
And be eclipsed no more.

SERMON: ISAIAH 62:12 [3/3]

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