7 DECEMBER (PREACHED 6 DECEMBER 1767)
A hiding place
‘And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest …’ Isaiah 32:2
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Daniel 5:1–30
Here is a wind spoken of and a hiding place provided. In fair weather a hiding place is not thought of, but when a storm arises, everyone is glad of a shelter. Sinners are like those servants of Pharaoh, who, when Moses threatened a tempest, made light of it, and even ventured their people and cattle in the fields. The wrath of God is denounced against sin, and yet sinners are secure. But when the Spirit convinces the heart, then all is found true. O when a charge does conviction make, and how welcome would a hiding place be then. This may be compared to a storm of wind for:
(i) suddenness: the storm often rises when little expected. So conviction comes upon a soul unawares. Such was Belshazzar’s case [Daniel 5]—and such the jailer’s, though a vessel of mercy [Acts 16].
(ii) violence: who can stand before the whirlwind? It is uncomfortable to face a storm, yet when a building is known to be weak, fear forces people into the air lest their shelter should fail and bury them in the ruins. Such is the sinner’s case—he had a refuge before the storm came, some good works or good resolutions, but now he dares not trust—the storm forces him out—and though he cannot stand, he cannot flee or hide.
(iii) The wind is searching: it will find its way, as we say, through a crevice. So is the wind of the Spirit—it pierces the inner man, it reaches to the remembrance of past and long-forgotten sins. It lays open the soul.
(iv) The wind cannot be stopped or moderated by all the art or power of man. It will blow where it listeth.
FOR MEDITATION: [for the Fast Day 10 February 1779]
Happy they, who love his name!
Hark! his voice in accents mild,
They shall always find him near;
(Oh, how comforting and sweet!)
Though the earth were wrapped in flame,
Speaks to every humble child,
They have no just cause for fear.
Pointing out a sure retreat.
SERMON SERIES: ISAIAH 32:2, NO. 1 [2/3]