15 DECEMBER (PREACHED 13 DECEMBER 1767)
A refuge from the floods of temptation
‘And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.’ Isaiah 32:2
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 2 Corinthians 4:1–18
Temptation may be compared to a flood—so it is expressed in Isaiah 57 and 59:19 [When the enemy shall come in like a flood …]. Indeed it is by this influence the other flood rises so high. I shall not say much of this. It is not needful to those who have felt it, and would not be well understood by those who do not. But, as by all temptations Satan’s aim is to overturn the foundation of faith, they may be compared to a flood. Now in these floods or storms Jesus is a covert or refuge.
With regard to sin: his atonement—there is forgiveness; his intercession (Luke 22:32); his power and promise (Isaiah 41:10).
So against temptation: his experimental sympathy (Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15); his gracious promise (Isaiah 43:2); his engagement to interpose, as set forth (Zechariah 3:2).
You that are setting out—be not secure, be not discouraged. You that have found him faithful—go on trusting him. You shall soon be out of reach of storms and floods. You that know him not are exposed to a flood of wrath.
Unless the LORD had been my stay
Loud in my ears a charge he read,
(With trembling joy my soul may say)
(My conscience witnessed all he said)
My cruel foe had gained his end:
My long black list of outward sin;
But he appeared for my relief,
Then bringing forth my heart to view,
And Satan sees, with shame and grief,
Too well what’s hidden there he knew,
That I have an almighty Friend.
He showed me ten-times worse within.
O, ’twas a dark and trying hour,
’Tis all too true, my soul replied,
When harassed by the tempter’s power,
But I remember JESUS died,
I felt my strongest hopes decline!
And now he fills a throne of grace;
You only who have known his arts,
I’ll go, as I have done before,
You only who have felt his darts,
His mercy I may still implore,
Can pity such a case as mine.
I have his promise, ‘Seek my face.’
SERMON SERIES: ISAIAH 32:2, NO. 2 [3/3]