Evening, September 21, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Do not take my soul away along with sinners.” — Psalm 26:9
Fear made David pray this way, for something whispered, “Perhaps, after all, you may be taken with the wicked.” That fear, although marred by unbelief, springs mainly from godly concerns arising from the recollection of past sin. Even the pardoned man will enquire, “What if at the end my sins should be remembered, and I should be left out of the list of the saved?” He recollects his present unfruitfulness — so little grace, so little love, so little holiness — and looking forward to the future, he considers his weakness and the many temptations which afflict him, and he fears that he may fall, and become a prey to the enemy. A sense of sin and present evil, and his prevailing vices, compel him to pray, in fear and trembling, “Gather not my soul with sinners.” Reader, if you have prayed this prayer, and if your character be rightly described in the Psalm from which it is taken, you need not be afraid that you shall be gathered with sinners. Have you the two virtues which David had–the outward walking in integrity, and the inward trusting in the Lord? Are you resting upon Christ’s sacrifice, and can you embrace the altar of God with humble hope? If so, rest assured, you never shall be gathered with the wicked, for that tragedy is impossible. The gathering at the judgment is like kind to like kind. “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” If, then, you are like God’s people, you shall be with God’s people. You cannot be gathered with the wicked, for you are too dearly bought. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are his forever, and where he is, there must his people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with the sinners. Shall one who is dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold you! Heaven claims you! Trust in your Guarantor and fear not!