"Brethren, I see this same man, in after life, attacked by his old sins. There is a certain "Cut-throat Lane" on the way to heaven; I have been down it myself, and I am afraid I may have to go down it yet again. It is a place where the hedges meet, and it is very dark, and it is withal very miry and muddy; and when a man is slipping about, and can hardly see his own hand, there are certain villains that come pouncing upon him, not with the highwayman's cry, "Your money or your life," but they seek to seize his treasure, and his life, and all that he has. At such a moment as that, it sometimes happens that the man puts his hand to his side to draw his sword, but he finds that it is gone! He determines to fight as best he can; but what can he do against such terrible odds when he is alone and unarmed? But oh, what a blessed thing it is for him just then to hear, as Bunyan says, the sound of a horse's hoof, and to know that there is a patrol going down the King's highway! And he can not only hear the ring of his horse's hoofs, but he can hear the King's own voice, crying out from the throne itself, "Deliver him! deliver him! deliver him from going down to the pit." That voice you shall always hear, if you are a child of God, when you get into a fix, when you are brought into peril and trouble. God has given commandment to save you, and you shall be saved,—saved from yourself, and from all the attacks of your old sins; saved from the devil; saved from ill-company; for God has said it, "Deliver him from going down to the pit." That deliverance of God is an eternal one; nor shall the infernal lion ever be able to rend one sheep or lamb that the Great Shepherd deigns to keep."
Deliverance from the Pit
Intended for Reading on Lord's-Day,
February 21st, 1897,
Delivered By C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
On Lord's-day Evening, June 21st, 1885.
"Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom."— Job 33:24.
Let it never be forgotten that, in all that God does, he acts from good reasons. You observe that the text, speaking of the sick man, represents God as saying, "Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom." If I understand the passage as relating solely to a sick man, and take the words just on the natural common level where some place them, I would still say that the Lord here gives a reason why he suspends the operations of pain and disease, and raises up the sufferer: "I have found a ransom." There is always a reason for every act of grace which God performs for man. He acts sovereignly, and therefore he is not bound to give any reason for his actions; but he always acts wisely, and therefore he has a reason for so acting. Writing to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul says that God "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." It is not an arbitrary will, but a will arising out of the wisdom and holiness of his character. So God has a reason for raising men up from their sickness, but that reason is found, not in them, but in himself. The sick man does not give God a reason for restoring him, but God finds it himself: "I have found a ransom." Possibly, the man does not even know the reason for his restoration; he may be so blind of heart that he does not care to think whether there is any reason for it or not; but God finds a reason for his mercy, and finds it entirely in himself. He is gracious to whom he will be gracious, and he has compassion on whom he will have compassion. So let each one of us think, "If I have been raised from sickness, if my life, which was almost gone, has been spared, I may not know why God has done it, but certainly he has done it in infinite wisdom and compassion: and it is only right for me to feel that a life which has been so remarkably prolonged ought to be entirely dedicated unto him who has prolonged it.
"Having begun my sermon with that thought, I shall take a deep dive, and go to another and a fuller meaning of our text, if not more true than this which I have first mentioned. Beloved friends, there is a higher restoration than recovery from bodily sickness. There is such a thing as sickness of the soul which is, in God's esteem, far worse than disease of body; and, blessed be his name, there is such a thing as recovery from soul-sickness even to those who are so far gone that they appear to be going down into the pit. God can deal with sinners when they are on the very brink of hell. He can deal in love with them when the soil slips from under their feet, and they themselves are about to dash into that pit that is bottomless. We can come in even then and rescue them to the praise of the glory of his grace.