365 days with Newton

14 SEPTEMBER (PREACHED HARVEST 14 SEPTEMBER 1766)

Crowned with his goodness

‘For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.’ Hosea 2:8
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Deuteronomy 32:1–18

The exceeding goodness, patience and bounty of God cannot be rightly conceived unless we compare it with the returns and provocations he meets with from sinful, rebellious man. Observe his carriage to Israel of old. He found them in the waste howling wilderness [Deuteronomy 32:10], he guarded them there, and at last placed them in a good land. There he was an enemy to their enemies, and blessed them with abundant increase. But what was their behaviour towards him? Always rebellious and disobedient from their first settlement. In the prophet’s time they were like their fathers. They are here charged with two great evils: insensibility—they knew not he gave them their good things; ingratitude—in abusing his gifts that he afforded them and intended as bonds of gratitude upon their souls; they misemployed to the worst purposes—they prepared them for Baal. But was Israel the only people who acted thus? Rather they were a sample of all mankind. In what respect can it be said we are better than they? I have chosen this as a proper subject for the present season. The Lord has crowned this year with his goodness, removed the threatening appearances which were against us some time ago, and favoured us with seasonable weather for gathering the fruits of the earth. There has been a general satisfaction amongst us that the harvest is happily closed. But against how many does this double charge lie—that they know not, consider not, the hand of God in giving them corn—and that they are disposed and determined to abuse his bounties by consuming them on their lusts?

FOR MEDITATION: ‘Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness’ (Psalm 107:8–9).
‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation’ (Psalm 68:19).

SERMON: HOSEA 2:8 [1/2]

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