Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:7-8)

At first, men may have very low ideas of sin. It is a trible, a mere mistake, a failure of judgment, a little going aside; but when the Holy Spirit begins to deal with them, sin grows to be an intolerable burden, a fearsome thing, full of horror and dismay.

The more men know of the evil of sin, the more astounded they are that they ever should have found any pleasure in it or could have made any excuse for it.

Now, it is well when men begin to see the truth about themselves, for even if that truth breaks into pieces, it is well that they are delivered from the dominion of falsehood.

Sin is great, and for that reason the sinner thinks it cannot be pardoned, as if he measured the Lord by his sin and fancied that his sin was greater than the mercy of God.

Hence, our difficulty with men who are really awakened is to raise their thoughts of God’s mercy in proportion to their raised idea of the greatness of sin.

While they do not feel their sin, they say that God is merciful and talk very flippantly about it, as if pardon were a trifle. But when they feel the weight of sin, then they think it impossible that sin should be forgiven.

In out text God in condescension helps the sinner to believe in pardon by elevating his idea of God. Because God is infinitely superior to man, He can abundantly pardon. ((Charles Spurgeon, At the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], December 15.))

Charles Spurgeon

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