‘I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.’ Isaiah 45:19
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 65:1–5
For the Lord to hear prayer is consistent with his nature. Whatever is consistent with God’s nature, we believe is true. Now, we cannot perceive any attribute of God which would stand in the way of his hearing prayer. It might be supposed that his justice would; but that has been so satisfied by the atonement of Christ, that it rather pleads the other way. Since Christ has ‘put away sin,’ since he has purchased the blessing, it seems but just that God should accept those for whom Jesus died, and give the blessing which Christ has bought. All the attributes of God say to a sinner, ‘Come, come; come to the throne of grace, and you shall have what you want.’ Power puts out his strong arm and cries, ‘I will help thee; fear not.’ Love smiles through her bright eyes, and cries, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’ Truth speaks in her clear, plain language, saying, ‘He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ Immutability says, ‘I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’ Every single attribute of the divine character—but you can think of these as well as I can—pleads for the man who prays; and I do not know—I never dreamed of a single attribute of Deity which could enter an objection. Therefore, I think, if the thing really will glorify God, and not dishonour him, he will certainly do it. ‘But,’ you say, ‘I am such a great sinner.’ That gives me another argument. Would it not greatly extol the love and the grace of God for him to give his grace to those that deserve it least?
For meditation: The God whom we have all offended is not further offended, but pleased, when we admit that we deserve to be punished for our sin but ask him to save us for Jesus’ sake (Luke 18:13–14; 2 Peter 3:9). The people who continue to offend him are those who by their refusal to seek him say ‘Pay me that thou owest’ (Matthew 18:28); that is extremely foolish, ‘for the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23).
Sermon no. 508
10 May (1863)