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Let Him Deliver Now

Written by: Spurgeon, C.H.    Posted on: 04/03/2003

Category: Sermons

Source: CCN

                                      Let Him Deliver Him Now

                                                A Sermon                                                 (No. 2026)                             Intended for Reading on Lord's-day, June 17, 1888, by                                                   C. H. SPURGEON,                                     At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

              "He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of               God."Matthew 27:43.

          THESE WORDS ARE a fulfilment of the prophecy contained in the twenty-second Psalm. Read from the           seventh verse"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head,           saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him."           Thus to the letter doth our Lord answer to the ancient prophecy.               It is very painful to the heart to picture our blessed Master in his death-agonies, surrounded by a ribald           multitude, who watched him and mocked him, made sport of his prayer and insulted his faith. Nothing was sacred           to them: they invaded the Holy of holies of his confidence in God, and taunted him concerning that faith in           Jehovah which they were compelled to admit. See, dear friends, what an evil thing is sin, since the Sin-bearer           suffers so bitterly to make atonement for it! See, also, the shame of sin, since even the Prince of Glory, when           bearing the consequences of it, is covered with contempt! Behold, also, how he loved us! For our sake he           "endured the cross, despising the shame." He loved us so much that even scorn of the most cruel sort he deigned           to bear, that he might take away our shame and enable us to look up unto God.               Beloved, the treatment of our Lord Jesus Christ by men is the clearest proof of total depravity which can           possibly be required or discovered. Those must be stony hearts indeed which can laugh at a dying Saviour, and           mock even at his faith in God! Compassion would seem to have deserted humanity, while malice sat supreme on           the throne. Painful as the picture is, it will do you good to paint it. You will need neither canvas, nor brush, nor           palette, nor colours. Let your thoughts draw the outline, and your love fill in the detail; I shall not complain if           imagination heightens the colouring. The Son of God, whom angels adore with veiled faces, is pointed at with           scornful fingers by men who thrust out the tongue and mockingly exclaim, "He trusted on the Lord that he would           deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him."               While thus we see our Lord in his sorrow and his shame as our substitute, we must not forget that he also is           there as our representative. That which appears in many a psalm to relate to David is found in the Gospels to refer           to Jesus, our Lord. Often and often the student of the Psalm will say to himself, "Of whom speaketh the prophet           this?" He will have to disentangle the threads sometimes, and mark off that which belongs to David and that which           relates to the Son of God; and frequently he will not be able to disentangle the threads at all, because they are one,           and may relate both to David, and to David's Lord. This is meant to show us that the life of Christ is an epitome           of the life of his people. He not only suffers for us as our substitute, but he suffers before us as our pattern. In him           we see what we have in our measure to endure. "As he is, so are we also in this world." We also must be crucified           to the world, and we may look for somewhat of those tests of faith and taunts of derision which go with such a           crucifixion. "Marvel not if the world hate you." You, too, must suffer without the gate. Not for the world's           redemption, but for the accomplishment of divine purposes in you, and through you to the sons of men, you must           be made to know the cross and its shame. Christ is the mirror of the church. What the head endured every           member of the body will also have to endure in its measure. Let us read the text in this light, and come to it saying           to ourselves, "Here we see what Jesus suffered in our stead, and we learn hereby to love him with all our souls.           Here, too, we see, as in a prophecy, how great things we are to suffer for his sake at the hands of men." May the           Holy Spirit help us in our meditation, so that at the close of it we may more ardently love our Lord, who suffered           for us, and may the more carefully arm ourselves with the same mind which enabled him to endure such           contradiction of sinners against himself.               Coming at once to the text, first, observe the acknowledgment with which the text begins: "He trusted in God."           The enemies of Christ admitted his faith in God. Secondly, consider the test which is the essence of the taunt:           "Let him deliver him, if he will have him." When we have taken those two things into our minds, then let us for a           while consider the answer to that test and taunt: God does assuredly deliver his people: those who trust in him           have no reason to be ashamed of their faith.               I. First, then, my beloved brethren, you who know the Lord by faith and live by trusting in him, let me invite           you to OBSERVE THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT which these mockers made of our Lord's faith: "He trusted in           God." Yet the Saviour did not wear any peculiar garb or token by which he let men know that he trusted in God.           He was not a recluse, neither did he join some little knot of separatists, who boasted their peculiar trust in           Jehovah. Although our Saviour was separate from sinners, yet he was eminently a man among men, and he went           in and out among the multitude as one of themselves. His one peculiarity was that "he trusted in God." He was so           perfectly a man that, although he was undoubtedly a Jew, there were no Jewish peculiarities about him. Any           nation might claim him; but no nation could monopolize him. The characteristics of our humanity are so palpably           about him that he belongs to all mankind. I admire the Welch sister who was of opinion that the Lord Jesus must           be Welch. When they asked her how she proved it, she said that he always spoke to her heart in Welch. Doubtless           it was so, and I can, with equal warmth, declare that he always speaks to me in English. Brethren from Germany,           France, Sweden, Italyyou all claim that he speaks to you in your own tongue. This was the one thing which           distinguished him among men"he trusted in God," and he lived such a life as naturally grows out of faith in the           Eternal Lord. This peculiarity had been visible even to that ungodly multitude who least of all cared to perceive a           spiritual point of character. Was ever any other upon a cross thus saluted by the mob who watched his execution?           Had these scorners ever mocked anyone before for such a matter as this? I trow not. Yet faith had been so           manifest in our Lord's daily life that the crowd cried out aloud, "He trusted in God."               How did they know? I suppose they could not help seeing that he made much of God in his teaching, in his           life, and in his miracles. Whenever Jesus spoke it was always godly talk; and if it was not always distinctly about           God, it was always about things that related to God, that came from God, that led to God, that magnified God. A           man may be fairly judged by that which he makes most of. The ruling passion is a fair gauge of the heart. What a           soul-ruler faith is! It sways the man as the rudder guides the ship. When a man once gets to live by faith in God, it           tinctures his thoughts, it masters his purposes, it flavours his words, it puts a tone into his actions, and it comes out           in everything by ways and means most natural and unconstrained, till men perceive that they have to do with a           man who makes much of God. The unbelieving world says outright that there is no God, and the less impudent,           who admit his existence, put him down at a very low figure, so low that it does not affect their calculations; but to           the true Christian, God is not only much, but all. To our Lord Jesus, God was all in all; and when you come to           estimate God as he did, then the most careless onlooker will soon begin to say of you, "He trusted in God."               In addition to observing that Jesus made much of God, men came to note that he was a trusting man, and not           self-confident. Certain persons are very proud because they are self-made men. I will do them the credit to admit           that they heartily worship their maker. Self made them, and they worship self. We have among us individuals who           are self-confident, and almost all-sufficient; they sneer at those who do not succeed, for they can succeed           anywhere at anything. The world to them is a football which they can kick where they like. If they do not rise to           the very highest eminence it is simply out of pity to the rest of us, who ought to have a chance. A vat of           sufficiency ferments within their ribs! There was nothing of that sort of thing in our Lord. Those who watched           him did not say that he had great self-reliance and a noble spirit of self-confidence. No, no! They said, "He trusted           in God." Indeed it was so. The words that he spake he spake not of himself, and the great deeds that he did he           never boasted of, but said "the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." He was a truster in God, not a           boaster in self. Brethren and sisters, I desire that you and I may be just of that order. Selfconfidence is the death           of confidence in God; reliance upon talent, tact, experience, and things of that kind, kills faith. Oh that we may           know what faith means, and so look out of ourselves and quit the evil confidence which looks within!               On the other hand, we may wisely remember that, while our Lord Jesus was not self-reliant, he trusted, and           was by no means despondent: he was never discouraged. He neither questioned his commission, nor despaired of           fulfilling it. He never said, "I must give it up: I can never succeed." No; "He trusted in God." And this is a grand           point in the working of faith, that while it keeps us from self-conceit, it equally preserves us from enfeebling fear.           When our blessed Lord set his face like a flint; when, being baffled, he returned to the conflict; when, being           betrayed, he still persevered in his love, then men could not help seeing that he trusted in God. His faith was not           mere repetition of a creed, or profession of belief, but it was childlike reliance upon the Most High. May ours be           of the same order!               It is evident that the Lord Jesus trusted in God openly since even yonder gibing crowd proclaimed it. Some           good people try to exercise faith on the sly: they practise it in snug corners, and in lonely hours, but they are afraid           to say much before others, for fear their faith should not see the promise fulfilled. They dare not say, with David,           "My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad." This secrecy robs God of           his honour. Brethren, we do not glorify our God as he ought to be glorified. Let us trust in him, and own it.           Wherefore should we be ashamed? Let us throw down the gauge of battle to earth and hell. God, the true and           faithful, deserves to be trusted without limit. Trust your all with him, and be not ashamed of having done so. Our           Saviour was not ashamed of trusting in his God. On the cross he cried, "Thou didst make me hope when I was           upon my mother's breast." Jesus lived by faith. We are sure that he did, for in the Epistle to the Hebrews he is           quoted as saying, "I will put my trust in him." If so glorious a personage as the only begotten Son of God lived           here by faith in God, how are you and I to live except by trust in God? If we live unto God, this is the absolute           necessity of our spiritual life "the just shall live by faith." Shall we be ashamed of that which brings life to us? The           cruel ones who saw Jesus die did not say, "He now and then trusted in God"; nor "he trusted in the Lord years           ago"; but they admitted that faith in God was the constant tenor of his life: they could not deny it. Even though,           with malicious cruelty, they turned it into a taunt, yet they did not cast a question upon the fact that "he trusted in           God" Oh, I want you so to live that those who dislike you most may, nevertheless, know that you do trust in God!           When you come to die, may your dear children say of you, "Our dear mother did trust in the Lord"! May that           boy, who has gone furthest away from Christ, and grieved your heart the most, nevertheless say in his heart,           "There may be hypocrites in the world, but my dear father does truly trust in God"! Oh, that our faith may be           known unmistakably! We do not wish it to be advertised to our own honour. That be far from our minds. But yet           we would have it known that others may be encouraged, and that God may be glorified. If nobody else trusts in           God, let us do so; and thus may we uplift a testimony to the honour of his faithfulness. When we die, may this be           our epitaph"He trusted in God."               David, in the twenty-second Psalm, represents the enemies as saying of our Lord"He trusted on the Lord           that he would deliver him." This practical faith is sure to be known wherever it is in operation, because it is           exceedingly rare. Multitudes of people have a kind of faith it God, but it does not come to the practical point of           trusting that God will deliver them. I see upon the newspaper placards, "Startling New! People in the Planets!"           Not a very practical discovery. For many a day there has been a tendency to refer God's promises and our faith to           the planets, or somewhere beyond this present every-day life. We say to ourselves, "Oh yes, God delivers his           people." We mean that he did so in the days of Moses, and possibly he may be doing so now in some obscure           island of the sea. Ah me! The glory of faith lies it its being fit for every-day wear. Can it be said of you, "He           trusted in God, that he would deliver him"? Have you faith of the kind which will make you lean upon the Lord in           poverty, in sickness, in bereavement, in persecution, in slander, in contempt? Have you a trust in God to bear you           up in holy living at all costs, and in active service even beyond your strength? Can you trust in God definitely           about this and that? Can you trust about food, and raiment, and home? Can you trust God even about your shoes,           that they shall be iron and brass, and about the hairs of your head that they are all numbered? What we need is           less theory and more actual trust it God.               The faith of the text was personal: "that he would deliver him." Blessed is that faith which can reach its arm           of compassion around the world, but that faith must begin at home. Of what use were the longest arm if it were           not fixed to the man himself at the shoulder? If you have no faith about yourself, what faith can you have about           others? "He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him." Come, beloved, have you such a faith in the living           God? Do you trust in God through Christ Jesus that he will save you? Yes, you poor, unworthy one, the Lord will           deliver you if you trust him. Yes, poor woman, or unknown man, the Lord can help you in your present trouble,           and in every other, and he will do so if you trust him to that end. May the Holy Spirit lead you to first trust the           Lord Jesus for the pardon of sin, and then to trust in God for all things.               Let us pause a minute. Let a man trust in God; not in fiction but in fact, and he will find that he has solid rock           under his feet. Let him trust about his own daily needs and trials, and rest assured that the Lord will actually           appear for him, and he will not be disappointed. Such a trust in God is a very reasonable thing; its absence is most           unreasonable. If there be a God, he knows all about my case. If he made my ear he can hear me; if he made my           eye he can see me; and therefore he perceives my condition. If he be my Father, as he says he is, he will certainly           care for me, and will help me in my hour of need if he can. We are sure that he can, for he is omnipotent. Is there           anything unreasonable, then, in trusting in God that he will deliver us? I venture to say that if all the forces in the           universe were put together, and all the kindly intents of all who are our friends were put together, and we were           then to rely upon those united forces and intents, we should not have a thousandth part so much justification for           our confidence as when we depend upon God, whose intents and forces are infinitely greater than those of all the           world beside. "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man; it is better to trust in the Lord than to           put confidence in princes." If you view things in the white light of pure reason, it is infinitely more reasonable to           trust in the living God than in all his creatures put together.               Certainly, dear friends, it is extremely comfortable to trust in God. I find it so, and therefore speak. To roll           your burden upon the Lord, since he will sustain you, is a blessed way of being quit of care. We know him to be           faithful, and as powerful as he is faithful; and our dependence upon him is the solid foundation of a profound           peace.               While it is comfortable, it is also uplifting. If you trust in men, the best of men, you are likely to be lowered           by your trust. We are apt to cringe before these who patronize us. If your prosperity depends upon a person's           smile, you are tempted to pay homage even when it is undeserved. The old saying mentions a certain person as           "knowing on which side his bread is buttered." Thousands are practically degraded by their trusting in men. But           when our reliance is upon the living God we are raised by it, and elevated both morally and spiritually. You may           bow in deepest reverence before God, and yet there will be no fawning. You may lie in the dust before the           Majesty of heaven, and yet not be dishonoured by your humility; in fact, it is our greatness to be nothing in the           presence of the Most High.               This confidence in God makes men strong. I should advise the enemy not to oppose the man who trusts in           God. In the long run he will be beaten, as Haman found it with Mordecai. He had been warned of this by Zeresh,           his wife, and his wise men, who said, " If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to           fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him." Contend not with a man who has God at           his back. Years ago the Mentonese desired to break away from the dominion of the Prince of Monaco. They           therefore drove out his agent. The prince came with his army, not a very great one, it is true, but still formidable to           the Mentonese. I know not what the high and mighty princeling was not going to do; but the news came that the           King of Sardinia was coming up in the rear to help the Mentonese and therefore his lordship of Monaco very           prudently retired to his own rock. When a believer stands out against evil he may be sure that the Lord of hosts           will not be far away. The enemy shall hear the dash of his horse-hoof and the blast of his trumpet, and shall flee           before him. Wherefore be of good courage, and compel the world to say of you, "He trusted in the Lord that he           would deliver him."               II. Secondly, I want you to follow me briefly in considering THE Test WHICH IS THE ESSENCE OF THE           TAUNT which was hurled by the mockers against our Lord"Let him deliver him now, if he will have him."               Such a test will come to all believers. It may come as a taunt from enemies; it will certainly come as a trial of           your faith. The arch-enemy will assuredly hiss out, "Let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him."               This taunt has about it the appearance of being very logical, and indeed in a measure so it is. If God has           promised to deliver us, and we have openly professed to believe the promise, it is only natural that others should           say, "Let us see whether he does deliver him. This man believes that the Lord will help him; and he must help           him, or else the man's faith is a delusion." This is the sort of test to which we ourselves would have put others           before our conversion, and we cannot object to be proved in the same manner ourselves. Perhaps we incline to           run away from the ordeal, but this very shrinking should be a solemn call to us to question the genuineness of that           faith which we are afraid to test. "He trusted on the Lord," says the enemy, "that he would deliver him: let him           deliver him"; and surely, however malicious the design, there is no escaping from the logic of the challenge.               It is peculiarly painful to have this stern inference driven home to you in the hour of sorrow. Because one           cannot deny the fairness of the appeal, it is all the more trying. In the time of depression of spirit it is hard to have           one's faith questioned, or the ground on which it stands made a matter of dispute. Either to be mistaken in one's           belief, or to have no real faith, or to find the ground of one's faith fail is an exceedingly grievous thing. Yet as our           Lord was not spared this painful ordeal, we must not expect to be kept clear of it, and Satan knows well how to           work these questions, till the poison of them sets the blood on fire. "He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver           him; let him deliver him;" he hurls this fiery dart into the soul, till the man is sorely wounded, and can scarcely           hold his ground.               The taunt is specially pointed and personal. It is put thus: "He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him:           let him deliver him"; "Do not come to us with your fiddle-faddle about God's helping all his chosen. Here is a man           who is one of his people, will he help him? Do not talk to us big things about Jehovah at the Red Sea, or in the           Desert of Sinai, or God helping his people in ages past. Here is a living man before us who trusted in God that he           would deliver him: let him deliver him now." You know how Satan will pick out one of the most afflicted, and           pointing his fingers at him will cry, "Let him deliver HIM." Brethren, the test is fair. God will be true to every           believer. If any one child of God could be lost, it would be quite enough to enable the devil to spoil all the glory of           God for ever. If one promise of God to one of his people should fail, that one failure would suffice to mar the           veracity of the Lord to all eternity; they would publish it in the "Diabolical Gazette," and in every street of Tophet           they would howl it out, "God has failed. God has broken his promise. God has ceased to be faithful to his people."           It would then be a horrible reproach"He trusted in God to deliver him, but he did not deliver him."               Much emphasis lies in its being in the present tense: "He trusted in God that he would deliver him: let him           deliver him now." I see Thee, O Lord Jesus, thou art now in the wilderness, where the fiend is saying, "If thou be           the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." No. Thou art nailed to the tree; thine enemies have           hemmed thee in. The legionaries of Rome are at the foot of the cross, the scribes and Pharisees and raging Jews           compass thee about. There is no escape from death for thee! Hence their cry"Let him deliver him now." Ah,           brothers and sisters! this is how Satan assails us, using our present and pressing tribulations as the barbs of his           arrows. Yet here also there is reason and logic in the challenge.               If God does not deliver his servants at one time as well as another he has not ke

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