Evening, April 28, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.” — Ezekiel 3:7
Are there no exceptions? No, not one. Even the favored nation is described this way. Are the best so bad? Then what must the worst be? Come, my heart, consider how far you have a share in this universal accusation, and while considering, be ready to take to yourself shame where you may have been guilty. The first charge is stubbornness, or hardness of forehead, a lack of holy shame, an unholy boldness in evil. Before my conversion, I could sin and feel no compunction, hear of my guilt and yet remain unhumbled, and even confess my iniquity and manifest no inward humiliation because of it. For a sinner to go to God’s house and pretend to pray to him and praise him argues presumption of the worst kind! Alas! Since the day of my new birth I have doubted my Lord to his face, complained unblushingly in his presence, worshipped before him in a careless manner, and sinned without lamenting concerning it. If my forehead were not as adamant, harder than flint, I should have far more holy fear, and a far deeper contrition of spirit. Woe is me, I am one of the stubborn house of Israel. The second charge is hardheartedness, and I must not venture to plead innocent here. Once I had nothing but a heart of stone, and although through grace I now have a new heart of flesh, much of my former obstinacy remains. I am not affected by the death of Jesus as I ought to be; neither am I moved by the ruin of my fellow men, the wickedness of the times, the discipline of my heavenly Father, and my own failures, as I should be. O that my heart would melt at the recital of my Savior’s sufferings and death. Would to God I could be rid of this heavy millstone within me, this hateful body of death. Blessed be the name of the Lord; the disease is not incurable, the Savior’s precious blood is the universal solvent, and it will successfully soften me, even me, until my heart melts as wax before the fire.