What Mercy Did for us
Israel's history is full of wonders. Wonders of grace on God's part — and wonders of sin on theirs. All that was good in their history, began with God, and was to the praise of the glory of his grace. How striking the testimony of Moses on this point. "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness. He led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye." Deuteronomy 32:10.
The words are equally applicable to us, and point out OUR NATURAL CONDITION.
WHERE we were. In a desert land — a land on which God had turned his back, where there was nothing to satisfy the cravings of an immortal — but sinful soul. Just as the traveler in the desert longs for water — but finds none, though almost dying for thirst; and as he would give all he is worth for bread — but can purchase none, though he is ready to gnaw his tongue with pain.
All is desert — nor only desert, but doleful. The howling winds of error and temptation blow. The beasts of the forest, and the serpents of the dust — track our path! Every now and then we hear the dismal howl, the shrieking cry of people lost and left to perish!
O, to the awakened sinner — the world is a desert, a dismal place; nothing . . .
suits his case,
meets his condition, or
ministers to his needs!
We found ourselves truly in a desert land.
WHAT we were. We were lost — for we had no resources, and were therefore famishing for need. We had no friend, and were therefore wretched, miserable, and undone! No traveler in a desert land, or in a waste howling wilderness, ever appeared more lost than we did — until Jesus appeared to us, and for us. But for him, our case would have been hopeless, and our end without mercy!
Let us then look at OUR DISTINGUISHING MERCY. God found us!
In his love, pity, and compassion — he came in search of us. When we could not seek him — he sought us. When we could not go to him — He came near to us.
He came where we were,
he called us to his feet,
he spoke kindly to us,
he undertook to be our Savior.
Yes, he undertook . . .
to slake our thirst,
to satisfy our hunger,
to lead us out of the desert, and
to bring us into the promised land — a land flowing with milk and honey.
He amply provided for us — all that was necessary for soul and body, for time and eternity.
"He led us about." To pleasant Elim — with its fountains and palms; to disappointing Marah — with its bitter waters; among rocks, sand, and serpents He conducted us — but He never left us, or took his eye off us!
"He instructed us." By his Spirit, by his rod, and by his ordinances — he taught us . . .
to know ourselves,
our dependence upon him,
our obligation to him, and
the glaring ingratitude of our conduct toward him.
"He kept us as the apple of his eye." That is — with the greatest care, constancy, and tenderness, he kept us.
By his angelic messengers,
by his special providence,
and by his indwelling Spirit —
he has kept and preserved us until now.
To us, his mercy has been sovereign, distinguishing, and free. To his mercy, we owe . . .
our deliverance from so great a death,
our preservation in so dangerous a place,
and our guidance along so intricate a path.
See, what SIN did for us! Sin brought us into a desert land.
See, where the LAW left us! In a waste howling wilderness.
See, how God's SOVEREIGNTY shines in our experience. We were sought, found, and saved — and all of grace; free, sovereign, and distinguishing grace!
See, how MERCY accommodated itself to us. It came to us — unsolicited and unsought. It did everything for us, and fully and freely supplied us.
See, how gloriously GRACE shines in us. Whatever we are — we are by the grace of God. All that we have — was given by the grace of God. All that we expect — is from the same source.
Grace chose us to salvation.
Grace redeemed us from death.
Grace brought us to the cross.
Grace has led us, fed us, protected, and preserved us until now.
Grace will complete its work by glorifying us.
And then throughout eternity, grace shall have all the praise!