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December 9

Ezekiel 33; Revelation 2:1-17

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? —Ezekiel xxxiii. 11.

Among the most subtle devices of sin to keep the soul under its power, and prevent the man's turning to God, is the slandering of the Most High by misrepresenting His character. As dust blinds the eye, so does sin prevent the sinner from seeing God aright. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God"; but the wicked only see what they think to be God, and that, alas, is an image as unlike to God as possible! They say, for instance, that God is unmerciful, whereas He delighteth in mercy….

When men once get this false idea of God into their minds they become hardened in heart: believing that it is useless to turn to God, they go on in their sins with greater determination. Either they conceive that God is implacable, or that He is indifferent to human prayers, or that if He should hear them yet He is not in the least likely to grant a favourable answer. Men darkly dream that God will not attend to the guilty and the miserable when they cry to Him; that their prayers are not good enough for Him; that He expects so much from His creatures that they cannot even pray so as to please Him; that, in fact He seeketh a quarrel against us, and is a taskmaster who will grind all He can out of us…. Thus they belie the Most High: they make Him who is the best of Kings to be a tyrant; Him who is the dearest of friends they regard as an enemy; and Him whose very name is love they look upon as the embodiment of hate.

Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Bible, Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1962), pp. 265-266.

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