“And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers.” -Deuteronomy 13:17
Israel must conquer idolatrous cities and destroy all the spoil, regarding all that had been polluted by idolatry as an accursed thing to be burned with fire. Now, sin of all sorts must be treated by Christians in the same manner. We must not allow a single evil habit to remain. It is now war to the knife with sins of all sorts and sizes, whether of the body, the mind, or the spirit. We do not look upon this giving up of evil as deserving mercy, but we regard it as a fruit of the grace of God, which we would on no account miss.
When God causes us to have no mercy on our sins, then He has great mercy on us. When we are angry with evil, God is no more angry with us. When we multiply our efforts against iniquity, the Lord multiplies our blessings. The way of peace, of growth, of safety, of joy in Christ Jesus will be found by following out these words: “There shall nought of the cursed thing cleave to thine hand.” Lord, purify me this day. Compassion, prosperity, increase, and joy will surely be given to those who put away sin with solemn resolution.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon]
“I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.” -Hosea 11:9
The Lord thus makes known His sparing mercies. It may be that the reader is now under heavy displeasure, and everything threatens his speedy doom. Let the text hold him up from despair. The Lord now invites you to consider your ways and confess your sins. If He had been man, He would long ago have cut you off. If He were now to act after the manner of men, it would be a word and a blow and then there would be an end of you: but it is not so, for “as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are his ways above your ways.”
You rightly judge that He is angry, but He keepeth not His anger forever: if you turn from sin to Jesus, God will turn from wrath. Because God is God, and not man, there is still forgiveness for you, even though you may be steeped up to your throat in iniquity. You have a God to deal with and not a hard man, or even a merely just man. No human being could have patience with you. You would have wearied out an angel, as you have wearied your sorrowing Father; but God is longsuffering. Come and try Him at once. Confess, believe, and turn from your evil way, and you shall be saved.
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and He shall save thee. -Proverbs 20:22
Be not in haste. Let anger cool down. Say nothing and do nothing to avenge yourself. You will be sure to act unwisely if you take up the cudgels and fight your own battles; and, certainly, you will not show the spirit of the Lord Jesus. It is nobler to forgive and let the offense pass. To let an injury rankle in your bosom and to meditate revenge is to keep old wounds open and to make new ones. Better forget and forgive.
Peradventure, you say that you must do something or be a great loser; then do what this morning’s promise advises: “Wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.” This advice will not cost you money but is worth far more, Be calm and quiet. Wait upon the Lord; tell Him your grievance; spread Rabshakeh’s letter before the Lord, and this of itself will be an ease to your burdened mind. Besides, there is the promise “He shall save thee.” God will find a way of deliverance for you. How He will do it neither you nor I can guess, but do it He will, If the Lord saves you, this will be a deal better than getting into petty quarrels and covering yourself with filth by wrestling with the unclean, Be no more angry. Leave your suit with the Judge of all.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon]
Pardon and Forgiveness
“He will not always chide: neither will He keep his anger for ever.” -Psalm 103:9
He will chide sometimes, or He would not be a wise Father for such poor, erring children as we are. His chiding is very painful to those who are true, because they feel how sadly they deserve it and how wrong it is on their part to grieve Him. We know what this chiding means, and we bow before the Lord, mourning that we should cause Him to be angry with us.
But what a comfort we find in these lines! “Not always” will He chide. If we repent and turn to Him with hearts broken for sin and broken from sin, He will smile upon us at once. It is no pleasure to Him to turn a frowning face toward those whom He loves with all His heart: it is His joy that our joy should be full.
Come, let us seek His face. There is no reason for despair, nor even for despondency. Let us love a chiding God, and before long we shall sing, “Thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me.” Be gone, ye dark forebodings, ye ravens of the soul! Come in, ye humble hopes and grateful memories, ye doves of the heart! He who pardoned us long ago as a judge will again forgive us as a father, and we shall rejoice in His sweet, unchanging love.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon, November 24 entry]