..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spurgeon on Psalm 12: The Sighing of the Needy

“For the oppression of the poor, for the
sighing of the needy, now will I arise,
says the LORD; I will set him in safety
from him that puffs at him.”
Psalm 12:5.

...“For the sighing of the needy, now will
I arise, says the Lord.” And the dear child
of God to whom I refer wrote a letter to say
how remarkably God had blessed this text to
her comfort. She was in sorrow and trouble
and somewhat given to sighing—and she thought that,
perhaps, God was grieved with her for sighing—
but this text greatly cheered her. She gives
a little picture of what she thinks the texts
means. I will tell you what she writes, for it
will be the best part of my sermon by a long way.

She says, “When I am in bed and my little child
wants its mother, if it utters a petulant cry,
I do not take any notice of it. I know that it
ought not to wake mother up and disturb her with
its selfish cry. But if, instead of crying, it
seems very weak, and very sad, and it gives a
sigh, I cannot stand that, but go to it at once!

When it does not cry to me, or cry for me, but
I only hear it sigh, then I get out of bed at
once and go over to the little cot to see what
is the matter.” “Now will I arise, says the Lord.”
See, it is the sigh that fetches the mother out
of bed! There is great power about a sigh in the
ears of a loving mother! If the child could speak
and say, “Mother, come to me,” mother might answer,
“Not so, my Dear, lie still.” Or if the child only
cried out in hastiness, “Oh, come to me!” mother
might reply, “Be still, child, be still. You are not
suffering as much as you fancy you are.”

But when the child involuntarily, in its weakness
and sorrow, utters a little sigh, mother has
heard it, and she is at once out of bed and by
the side of her little sighing child! Is not that
a capital explanation of the text, “For the sighing
of the needy, now will I arise, says the Lord”?

See, then, the power that there is in the sorrows
of God’s children to touch the heart of their great
Father when He hears their sighs! When those sorrows
come to be so bitter that the sufferers can scarcely
pray. When they cannot find any language in which to
express their grief. When even their desires seem to
fail and they are so broken down and made so
weak by the various troubles that have crushed them
that it comes to just this sighing and nothing more,
then God cannot be still, He must get up! He has gone
away and hidden His face before, but now He sees that
the time has come to manifest His unchanging love and Grace!

“Now will I arise, says the Lord; I will set him in
safety from him that puffs at him.” Yes, Brothers and
Sisters, God hears our sighs even if we cannot hear
them ourselves! When we think we have not
prayed at all, we have often prayed the best! When we
imagine that our groans have been empty, they have
often been the fullest! When we sigh because we think
we do not sigh, God hears that sort of sighing which
is only a longing to sigh! He hears the grief when the
grief has no voice. He hears the sorrow when the
sorrow cannot find a tongue. Then note that as the
Lord hears our sighs, those sighs touch His heart.

The wicked have been puffing at the godly. They said,
“Our tongues are our own, who is the ruler over us?”
The Lord took no notice of them but let them blaspheme
if they would. But there arose the sad sigh of His
children and that touched Him! He could not bear that.
It seems to me a very wonderful thing that the
Almighty, the Infinite, to whom the Heaven of heavens
is nothing, who takes up the isles as a very little
thing, to whom all this system of worlds is but as
the smallest grain of dust that does not turn the
scale, yet is,as we say, “all there,” when His
children sigh—and His heart is touched, His heart
is moved—His whole being is full of an infinite
compassion! He cannot bear that sighing. “Now will
I arise, says the Lord. I will get up from My
Throne of Glory that I may deliver My people.
I have heard their sighs and I cannot stay away
from them!

Love masters My Omnipotence! I feel but one
force—the force of my overwhelming love! It sways
Me and impels Me to speed to their relief. I will
get out of My hiding places, I will end my
withdrawals from them, I will rend the veil and
come out from between the cherubim. Now will
I arise, says the Lord.” What has caused all this
mighty movement? Nothing but the sighs of His needy

the complete sermon by Charles Spurgeon
is here

Charles Spurgeon

1 comment:

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