Spurgeon Thursday


NO. 2734


Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.” Job 14: 4.

JOB considered himself to be unclean in the sight of God. Yet, if we speak the plain truth about him, we must say that he was as clean as any man who lived in that age, or, indeed, in any other! We have the witness of the Holy Spirit, in this very Book, that Job, “was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” We have also the practical confirmation by the devil of the same fact, for, when the Lord said to him, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil?” he could not deny it, but could only insinuate that there was an evil motive at the back of the Patriarch’s uprightness—“Does Job fear God for nothing?”  Sometimes the unwilling acknowledgment  of an enemy is a stronger proof than the hearty declaration of a friend—and it was so in Job’s case.

He was one of the best, truest, sincerest, cleanest men to be found throughout  the whole world, yet he called himself unclean and he probably did so because, just in proportion as a spurgeon 2man becomes really pure, he discovers his own impurity. The impure man has a very low standard  of what true holiness is, and possibly he thinks that he comes nearly up to it or, if not, he tries to lower the standard down to his own level. But the man who is really pure in heart has a very high ideal of what the Truth  of God is, and uprightness  is, and holiness is and, because his ideal is so high, he feels that he has not yet attained to it and he thinks more of the distance between his present condition and his idea of perfection than he does of all that he has as yet attained.  Such a man says, with the Apostle Paul, “Forgetting  those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

It is always a bad sign when a man begins to think exceedingly well of himself. I had rather, a great deal, hear a man complain and cry out before God, under a deep sense of humiliation, than hear him utter a single word that reveals a spirit of complacency with his own condition.  What we are in Christ is a thing to be perfectly satisfied with and rejoiced over, for, in Christ, Believers are justified and accepted. But as for what we are in our own personal character, the very best of us must still feel that  there is much over which we have to mourn. However nearly we may have approached to the example of Christ, that very nearness will make us the more regret the points in which we have fallen short of a complete imitation  of Him and we shall still cry out, “O wretched man that I am”—blessed to have come so far on the way of holiness, but wretched that I have not gone still further—“who  shall deliver me from the present thralldom of the body of this death? Who shall perfectly emancipate me from its control, that I may live wholly unto God and be holy even as God is holy?”

Then, as Job considered himself an unclean thing, we need not wonder that he should have despaired of ever, Continue reading