God’s first words to the first sinner
‘The Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?’ Genesis 3:9
Lost, perishing sinners, hear the voice of God, for it speaks to you. ‘’Where art thou?’ for I am come to seek thee.’ ‘Lord, I am in such a place that I cannot do anything for myself.’ ‘Then I am come to seek thee and do all for thee.’ ‘Lord, I am in such a place that the law threatens me and justice frowns upon me.’ ‘I am come to answer the threatenings of the law, and to bear all the wrath of justice.’ ‘But, Lord, I am in such a place that I cannot repent as I would.’ ‘I am come to seek thee, and I am exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins.’ ‘But, Lord, I cannot believe in thee, I cannot believe as I would.’ ‘A bruised reed I will not break, and a smoking flax will I not quench; I am come to give thee faith.’ ‘But, Lord, I am in such a state that my prayers can never be acceptable.’ ‘I am come to pray for thee, and then to grant thee thy desires.’ ‘But, Lord, thou dost not know what a wretch I am.’ ‘Yes, I know thee. Though I asked thee the question, ‘Where art thou?’ it was that thou mightest know where thou art, for I know well enough.’ ‘But, Lord, I have been the chief of sinners; none can have so aggravated their guilt as I have.’ ‘But wherever thou mayest be, I have come to save thee.’ ‘But I am an outcast from society.’ ‘But I am come to gather together the outcasts of Israel.’ ‘O but I have sinned beyond all hope.’ ‘Yes, but I have come to give hope to hopeless sinners.’ ‘But, then I deserve to be lost.’ ‘Yes, but I have come to magnify the law and make it honourable, and so to give thee thy deserts in the person of Christ, and then to give thee my mercy because of his merits.’
For meditation: A story which seems to begin with a sinner seeking the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 19:1–4), ends by emphasising that it was more a case of the Lord Jesus Christ coming and seeking for the lost sinner (Luke 19:5–10).
Sermon no. 412
6 October (1861)