Evening, December 16, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“You have not heard, you have not known. Even from long ago your ear has not been open.” — Isaiah 48:8
It is painful to remember that, to a certain degree, this accusation may be laid at the door of believers, who too often are spiritually oblivious. We may well lament that we do not hear the voice of God as we ought, “Yes, you have not heard.” There are gentle motions of the Holy Spirit in the soul which are unheeded by us: there are whisperings of divine command and of heavenly love which are alike unobserved by our leaden intellects. Alas! We have been carelessly ignorant; “you have not known.” There are matters which we ought to have discerned, corruption which has made headway unnoticed; precious affection which is being blighted like flowers in the frost, untended by us; glimpses of the divine face which might be perceived if we did not wall up the windows of our soul. But we “have not known.” As we think of it we are humbled in the deepest humiliation. How must we adore the grace of God as we learn from the context that all this folly and ignorance, on our part, was foreknown by God, and, despite that foreknowledge, he still has been pleased to deal with us in a way of mercy! Admire the marvelous sovereign grace which could have chosen us in the sight of all this! Wonder at the price that was paid for us when Christ knew what kind of people we should be! He who hung upon the cross foresaw us as unbelieving, backsliding, cold of heart, indifferent, careless, lax in prayer, and yet he said, “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.” O redemption, how wondrously resplendent do you shine when we think how black we are! O Holy Spirit, give us from this time forward hearing ear, the understanding heart!