‘Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.’ Psalm 25:18
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 11:23–28
A Christian counts sorrow lighter in the scale than sin; he can bear that his troubles should continue, but he cannot endure the burden of his guilt, or the weight of his transgressions. Here are two guests come to my door; both of them ask to have a lodging with me. The one is called Affliction; he has a very grave voice, and a very heavy hand, and he looks at me with fierce eyes. The other is called Sin, and he is very soft-spoken, and very fair, and his words are softer than butter. Let me scan their faces, let me examine them as to their character; I must not be deceived by appearances. I will ask my two friends who would lodge with me, to open their hands. When my friend Affliction, with some little difficulty, opens his hand, I find that, rough as it is, he carries a jewel inside it, and that he meant to leave that jewel at my house. But as for my soft-spoken friend Sin, when I force him to show me what it is that is hidden in his sleeve, I find that it is a dagger with which he would have stabbed me. What shall I do, then, if I am wise? Why, I should be very glad if they would both be good enough to go and stop somewhere else, but if I must entertain one of the two, I would shut my door in the face of smooth-spoken Sin, and say to the rougher and uglier visitor, Affliction, ‘Come and stop with me, for maybe God has sent you as a messenger of mercy to my soul.’ ‘Look upon mine affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sin.’ We must be more express and explicit about sin than we are about trouble.
For meditation: Anything has got to be better than sin; the Christian is not short of alternatives to prefer (Psalm 84:10; Matthew 18:8–9; Ephesians 4:28; 5:4,11; Hebrews 11:25). Are these your sentiments or would you rather hold on to your sin (John 3:19), regardless of what it has done to you (Romans 7:11) and what it will do to you (Romans 6:23)?
Sermon no. 741
28 May (Undated Sermon)