Evening, August 21, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.” — Isaiah 45:19

We may gain much encouragement by considering what God has not said. What he has said is indescribably full of comfort and delight; what he has not said is scarcely less rich in consolation. It was one of these “said nots” which preserved the kingdom of Israel in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, for “the Lord said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven.” (2 Kings 14:27). In our text we have an assurance that God will answer prayer, because he has “not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.'” You who adopt bitter attitudes against yourselves should remember that — despite what your doubts and fears say — if God has not cut you off from mercy, there is no room for despair. Even the voice of conscience is of little importance if it’s not seconded by the voice of God. What God has said, tremble at! But don’t allow your useless imagination to overwhelm you with despondency and sinful despair. Many fearful persons have been vexed by the suspicion that there may be something in God’s judgment which shuts them out from hope, but here is a complete refutation to that troublesome fear, for no true seeker can be judged to condemnation. “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I have not said,” even in the secret of my unsearchable determinations, “Seek me in vain.” God has clearly revealed that he will hear the prayer of those who call upon him, and that declaration cannot be contravened. He has so firmly, so truthfully, so righteously spoken, that there can be no room for doubt. He does not reveal his mind in unintelligible words, but he speaks plainly and positively, “Ask, and you shall receive.” Believe this sure truth, that prayer must and shall be heard, Oh, fearful one, and remember that never, even in the secrets of eternity, has the Lord said to any living soul, “Seek me in vain.”