Category: The God of the Bible

God’s tools and instruments (Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670)

“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7

Let us see the hand of the Lord in this recent dreadful fire which has turned our once renowned London into a ruinous heap! London’s sins were now so great, and God’s wrath was now so hot—that there was no quenching of the furious flames. The decree for the burning of London was now gone forth, and nothing could reverse it. The time of London’s fall was now come. The fire had now received its commission from God—to burn down the city and to turn it into a ruinous heap!

Certainly God is the great agent in all those dreadful judgments which befall people, cities, and kingdoms. Whoever or whatever be the rodit is God’s hand which gives the stroke! The power of bringing judgments upon cities, God takes to Himself, “When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” Amos 3:6. Whatever that judgment is, which falls upon a city—God is the author of it; He acts in it and orders it according to His own good pleasure. There is no judgment which accidentally falls upon any person, city, or country. Every judgment is inflicted by a divine power and providence. God had given a commission to the fire—to burn with that force and violence as it did—until London was laid in ashes! Whoever kindled this fire—God blew the coal! And therefore no arts, counsels, or endeavors of men were able to quench it.

All judgments are at the beck of God, and under the command of God. Whatever judgment God commands to destroy a person, a city, or country—that judgment shall certainly and effectually accomplish the command of God—in spite of all that creatures can do. If God commissions the sword of war to walk abroad, and to glut itself with blood—who can command it into the scabbard again? No art, power, or policy can cause that sword to lie still!

God, as He is our Creator, Preserver, and sovereign Lord—has an absolute power both over our persons, lives, estates, and habitations: and when we have transgressed His righteous laws, He may do with us, and all we have—as He pleases. He may turn us out of house and home, and burn up all our comforts round about us—and yet do us no wrong. “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.” Psalm 115:3. “The Lord does whatever pleases Him—in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” Psalm 135:6

Those things which seem accidental and chance to us—are ordered by the wise counsel, power, and providence of God. Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission—than the axe or the knife can cut by itself, without a hand. God makes use of whatever second causes He pleases, for the execution of His pleasure. And many times He makes the worst of men the rod of His indignation to chastise His people with! All inferior or subordinate causes—are but God’s tools and instruments, which He rules and guides according to His own will, power, and providence.

Job eyed God in the fire which fell from heaven, and in all the fiery trials which befell him. And therefore, he does not say, “The Lord gave—and the devil took away!” Nor, “The Lord gave—and the Chaldeans and Sabeans took away!” But “The Lord gave—and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised!” Job 1:20-21

Certainly without the cognizance and concurrence of a wise, omniscient, and omnipotent God—no creatures can move. Without His foresight and permission—no event can befall any person, city or country. Whatever the means or instruments of our misery are—the hand is God’s! It behooves us, in every judgment, to see the hand of the Lord, and to look through visible means to an invisible God! “The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me!” Ruth 1:21

“The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts!”   1 Samuel 2:6-7

Octavius Winslow’s, “The Emotion of Love in Christ”

The mind has often been sensible of a feeling of awe as we have stood upon the shore, and
gazed upon the vast expanse of the ocean. With a similar, yet far transcending emotion, we approach the infinite ocean of Christ’s love!
Like the eternity of God, we cannot fathom where His love begins, or where it terminates. There is no other solution to the marvellous mysteries of His Incarnation and Sacrificial Death but this: Christ has loved us.

Love originated all, explains all, illustrates all. Love is the interpreter of every Divine mystery. There is not a circumstance of our Lord’s history which is not another form or manifestation of love. His incarnation is love stooping. His sympathy is love weeping. His compassion is love supporting. His grace is love acting. His teaching is the voice of love. His silence is the repose of love. His patience is the restraint of love. His obedience is the labor of love. His suffering is the travail of love. His cross is the altar of love. His death is the burnt offering of love. His resurrection is the triumph of love. His ascension into Heaven is the enthronement of love. His sitting down at the right hand of God is the intercession of love. Such is the deep, the vast, the boundless ocean of Christ’s love!

The soul muses in silent awe as it gazes upon this fathomless, limitless sea! Nothing short of a divine love could or would have borne our sins, and the punishment of our sins. The weight of the one, and the terribleness of the other, would have crushed and annihilated a mere ‘created’ affection. There existed no love but the love of Jesus equal to the work of salvation. Who was willing, who was able, to bear that heavy load, to endure that overwhelming curse, but Jesus?

Oh, think, beloved reader, what the love of Christ has done and suffered for you…. the burden it bore, the sorrow it felt, the humiliation it underwent, the insults, the ignominy, the privation through which it traveled; its groans, its sighs, its tears, its darkness, how inconceivably it agonized, how freely it bled, how voluntarily it died, the sins it has pardoned, the guilt it has cleansed, the declensions it has restored, the backslidings it has healed, the sorrows it has soothed, the patience it has exercised, the gentleness it has exhibited, and then ask, could any other but the love of Jesus have done all this, and endured all this? Such is the love of Christ!

To have saved us upon such terms… a stoop so low, a humiliation so profound, a labor so immense, mental anguish so acute, bodily suffering so agonizing, a death so ignominious… Was ever love like this? Was it ever equaled? Where shall we find its parallel? Love less divine, less strong, less gentle, could never have won your heart, uprooted your enmity, tore you from your idols; enthroning Christ, all of Christ, Christ only, Christ supremely, Christ forever!

The love of Christ will be the wonder, the study, and the song of all pure, holy intelligences through eternity!

Beloved, nothing shall take the love of Christ from you, or separate you from it. It does not ebb with the ebbing of your feelings; it does not chill with the chill of your affections; it does not change with the changing scenes and circumstances of your life. The love of Christ has depths we cannot sound, heights we cannot explore, an infinite fulness and freeness tiding over all the sins, infirmities, and sorrows of its blessed and favored objects.
Seek to know this love of Christ, though it is so vast that it ‘passes knowledge.’ Infinite though it is, you may experience its reality, taste its sweetness, and be influenced by its all commanding, all constraining power. Do not limit your heart experience of Christ’s love, for it is infinite in its nature, and boundless in its extent. As yet, how many of us stand but upon the shore of this ocean! How little do we know, experimentally, of the love of Christ in our souls! Bring your heart with…. its profoundest emptiness, its most startling discovery of sin, its lowest frame, its deepest sorrow, and sink it into the depths of the Savior’s love!

That infinite sea will flow over all, erase all, absorb all, and your soul shall swim and sport amid its gentle waves, exclaiming in your joy and transport, “Oh, the depths!”
The Lord direct your heart into the love of God! Just as it is… hard, cold, fickle, sinful, sad and sorrowful.

Christ’s love touching your hard heart, will dissolve it!
Christ’s love touching your cold heart, will warm it!
Christ’s love touching your sinful heart, will purify it!
Christ’s love touching your sorrowful heart, will soothe it!
Christ’s love touching your wandering heart, will draw it back to Himself.
Only bring your heart to Christ’s love!
Believe that He loves you, and just as love begets love, so the simple belief in the love of Jesus will inspire you with a reflected, responsive affection; and your soul, like the flower, will burst from its captivity, and bloom, and, soaring in life, liberty, and beauty, will float in the sunbeams of Gods full, free, and eternal love; and, in a little while, will find itself in Heaven, where all is love!
“Blessed Jesus! Your love, like Your agonies, is an unknown and unfathomable depth! It passes knowledge. Let it rise and expand before me, until it fills the entire scope of my soul’s vision; occupies every niche of my heart; and bears me onward by its all commanding, all constraining
influence, in the path of a holy loving obedience and surrender.”
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.” Ephes. 3:19

               The unconverted would go to the Lake of Fire not because God did not elect them, but because of their willful rebellion before God. However, the believer will go to Heaven not because the person chose God but because God has chosen the person for salvation. Salvation is of the Lord. If you are saved it is only because God the Father has chosen you before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1); the Lord Jesus Christ took you place under the wrath of the Father (2 Corinthians 5:21) thus paying your penalty in full; and the Holy Spirit, in the appointed time of God, has regenerated you–giving your spiritual deadness new life that you can now see your need of salvation and you come to God in repentance of your sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone as your one and only way of salvation. Sola Gratia.

There is a caption to this video; just click on the cc button if the caption does not appear. Maximize the video if it does not play smoothly on the player. The musical symphony was arranged by Brent Fischer.