365 days with Newton

2 SEPTEMBER

The effect of peace

‘Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.’ Isaiah 38:17
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Isaiah 38:1–22

[Contd from 1/2] Another instance [of being at their wits’ end] is Hezekiah in this chapter. He had feared the Lord from his youth and been an instrument of great public service, yet perhaps he never thoroughly knew himself till this sickness. We see something of a self-righteous spirit in his prayer—see verse 3. He speaks more of what he had done for the Lord than of what the Lord had done for him. But this sickness cured him. It was accompanied with sharp exercises of mind which gave him a deeper sense of sin and showed him greater abominations in his heart than he was aware of. See how he speaks—verses 13–14. And thus he was taught to speak of gospel grace. He no more says, ‘See how I have walked’, but, ‘See how gracious the Lord has been to me, in love to my soul …’ This passage is similar to Psalms 40 and 41. When the Lord delivers his people from the pit, and sets their feet upon a rock, it puts a new song in their mouths. They love to look back and to speak of his mercy. And these things are written to encourage others who are yet in distress. The Lord’s arm is not shortened—he is able to save you likewise.
FOR MEDITATION:
They often murmured by the way,
The way was right their hearts to prove,
Because they judged by sight;
To make God’s glory known;
But were at length constrained to say,
And show his wisdom, power and love,
The Lord had led them right.
Engaged to save his own.

         Just so the true believer’s path
         Through many dangers lies;
         Though dark to sense, ’tis right to faith,
         And leads us to the skies.

SERMON: ISAIAH 38:17 [2/2]

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