If Jesus had not been their Savior, their Shepherd, and their Shield!
The gracious purposes to which the Lord makes the sense and feeling of our depravity subservient, are manifold.
Hereby His own power, wisdom, faithfulness and love — are more signally displayed.
His power is displayed — in maintaining His own work in the midst of such opposition, like a spark burning in the water, or a bush unconsumed in the flames.
His wisdom is displayed in defeating and controlling all the devices which Satan — who, from his knowledge of the evil of our nature, is encouraged to practice his wily arts against us.
The unchangeableness of the Lord's love, and the riches of His mercy, are likewise more illustrated, by the multiplied pardons He bestows upon His people — than if they needed no forgiveness at all.
Hereby the Lord Jesus Christ is more endeared to the soul; all boasting is effectually excluded; and the glory of a full and free salvation is ascribed to Him alone.
After a long experience of their own deceitful hearts, after repeated proofs of their weakness, willfulness, ingratitude, and insensibility — they find that none of these things can separate them from the love of God — and Jesus becomes more and more precious to their souls. They love much — because much has been forgiven them.
They dare not, they will not ascribe anything to themselves, but are glad to acknowledge that they would have perished a thousand times over — if Jesus had not been their Savior, their Shepherd, and their Shield.
When they were wandering — He brought them back.
When they were fallen — He raised them.
When they were wounded — He healed them.
When they were fainting — He revived them.
In a word, some of the clearest proofs they have had of His excellence, have been occasioned by the mortifying proofs they have had of their own vileness. They would not have known so much of Him — if they had not known so much of themselves!
These are some of the advantages and good fruits which the Lord enables us to obtain from that bitter root, indwelling sin.