C. H. Spurgeon
Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
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82. The Little Wrath and the Great Wrath.

For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. - Isaiah 54:7-9.

THIS text is the property of all believers. Their title to it is seen at the end of the chapter (verse 17). Let them not fail to enjoy it. It follows upon the prophecy of their Lord's great griefs (Isa. 53). We are never so able to believe a great promise as when we have been at the cross.

The people of God are often greatly tried, and their griefs are sometimes spiritual, and more deep than those of the wicked.

Their grand comfort lies in this, that in all their afflictions there is no penal wrath, no great indignation, no final judgment from the Lord. We shall speak upon,

I. THE LITTLE WRATH AND ITS MODIFICATIONS.

The Lord calls it"a little wrath? and speaks of the time of its continuance as "a moment," "a small moment."

1. Our view of it differs from the Lord's. To us it appears to be an utter forsaking, and the hiding of his face forever.

We are too foolish, too agitated, too unbelieving, to judge aright.

God's view is truth itself, therefore let us believe it.

2. The time of it is short. What is less than "a small moment"?

As compared with eternal love.

When looked back upon in after years of holy peace.

In reality it only endures for a little while.

It will soon be over if we repent and pray.

3. The recompense is great. Jehovah vows to give "mercies;' many, divine, everlasting, great, effectual: "with great mercies will I gather thee."

4. The wrath itself is little. A Husband's wrath, a Redeemer's wrath, a Pitier's wrath; wrath occasioned by holy love.

5. The expression of it is not severe.

Not set my face against thee; nor change my mind.

But hide my face, and that only for a moment.

Thus God views the matter of our chastisement, seeing the end from the beginning.

6. It is quite consistent with eternal love. This love will endure forever, is present during the little wrath, is the cause of the wrath, and will continue unchanged forever.

The chastened child is none the less loved.

7. It does not change our relationship to the Lord. He is still our Redeemer (verse 8), and we are still the redeemed of the Lord. Our duty is to grieve because of the Lord's anger; to be humbled and sanctified by it; but not to faint, or despair under it.

II. THE GREAT WRATH AND OUR SECURITY AGAINST IT.

1. The wrath of God against his people can no more break out upon them than can Noah's flood return to go over the earth. That flood has not returned during these many centuries, and it never will. Seed-time and harvest continue, and the bow is in the cloud. We have no dread of another universal deluge of water, nor need believers fear a return of divine wrath (enlarge on verse 9).

2. The great flood of wrath has broken forth once for all. On our Lord it has burst, and thus it has been ended forever. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us" (Gal. 3:13). "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Ps. 103:12). "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died" (Rom. 8: 34). "The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found" (Jer. 50:20). This is real, true, effectual, eternal atonement.

3. We have the oath of God that it shall not return: "so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee." In a way of punishment there shall not even be a hard word uttered "nor rebuke thee."

4. We have a covenant of peace as sure as that made with Noah, and of a higher order, for it is made with Jesus our Lord.

5. We have pledges of immutable, immovable mercy: "the mountains and the hills" (verse 10). These may depart and be removed, but never the kindness of the Lord.

6. All this is spoken to us by Jehovah the Merciful: "saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."

How wicked it is to doubt and distrust!

How safe is the condition of the covenanted ones!

How glorious is our God of everlasting kindness!

How careful should we be that we do not grieve him!


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