Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Trembling At God's Word

by Charles Spurgeon, "Trembling at the Word of the Lord"

There are men abroad nowadays—I grieve to say some of them in the ministry—who take the Bible, not that it may judge them but that they may judge it. Their judgment weighs in its balances the wisdom of God Himself. They talk exceeding proudly and their arrogance exalts itself. O Friends, I know not how you feel about the prevailing skepticism of the age but I am heart-sick of it! I shun the place where I am likely to hear the utterances of men who do not tremble at God’s Word. I turn away from the multitude of books which advocate doubt and error.

The evil is too painful for me. If I could be content to be an Ishmaelite and have my hand against every man, I might seek this company, for here I find every faculty of my being called to warfare. But as I love peace, it sickens and saddens me to meet with the enemies of my soul. If I knew that my mother’s name would be defamed in certain company, I would keep out of it. If I knew that my father’s character would be trailed in the mire, I would travel far not to hear a sound so offensive. I could wish to be deaf and blind rather than hear or read the modern falsehoods which, at this time, so often wound my spirit.

I feel more and more a tenderness for the Truth of God of the same sort as I would feel for the good name of my wife or my mother. I wish the modern revilers would have some compassion upon us old Believers to whom their talk is such torture. They might keep their doubts for home consumption. When a man was going to swear, a wise person bade him wait till he was further away from the town so that nobody might hear him—it might cause grief to a Christian ear. When a man has anything to say against the eternal Truth of God, let him speak it to those who love to hear it—to his mates and admirers. But as for us, we are determined we will not be tortured by this kind of thing—we cannot endure it. And we will not remain among those who bespatter us with it.

“Oh but surely you are open to conviction?” they say. We are open to no conviction that shall be contrary to the Truth of God that has saved us from going down to the pit. We are open to no conviction that shall rob us of our eternal hope and of our glorying in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. We do not deliberate, for we have decided. To be forever holding the Truth of God as though it might yet turn out to be a lie were to lose all the comfort of it. To be forever prepared to desert our Lord and Master to follow some brand new philosopher would be perpetual disloyalty. No, we have not come thus far at a guess. We have known our Lord and His Truth for these forty years and it is not maybe, or maybe not, with us now. We neither speculate nor hesitate. But we know whom we have believed and by His Grace we will cleave to Him in life and in death. . .

[Those who tremble] are people who do believe that there is a Word of God. There are plenty of persons who profess and call themselves Christians and yet do not believe that this sacred Book is the very Word of God. Say that it is inspired and they answer, “So is the Koran and so are the Vedas.” They talk after this fashion—“This is the religious book of the ancient Hebrew nation. A very respectable book it is, but infallible, certainly not—the very Word of God, certainly not.”

Well, then, we distinctly part company with such talkers. We can have no sort of fellowship with them in any measure or degree with regard to the things of God. They are to us as heathen men and publicans. If we are to come under the head of those that tremble at God’s Word, we must believe that there is a Word of the Lord to tremble at, as we do most assuredly believe, let others talk as they may.