2008-08-20 - God is Dead
Hosea 1:10, It will be said to them, 'You are the sons of the living God.'
There are some events in church history that simply must not be forgotten. They are instructive to us, and they can, as in the story below, put things in a clear and understandable matter. The following is a classic story of Luther, and maybe even more importantly his wife, who set him straight. We all have our down days, even down periods, but what a blessing it is to be reminded that we serve the Living God. This is taken - word for word - as Charles Haddon Spurgeon related it in sermon #1,450
Great-souled Martin Luther could believe and doubt against any man of his time; in believing, he could excel the angels, and in horrible thoughts of doubts, he could almost match the devils. Great-hearted men are subject to horrible fits of faintness and despair, unknown to minds of smaller caliber. One day, he fell so low in spirit that his friends were frightened at what he might say or do. Things were going ill with the great cause, and the Reformer might in his dreadful condition have upset everything. So his friends got him out of the way, saying to themselves, 'The man must be alone; his brain is overworked, he must be quiet He rested a bit, and came back, looking as sour and gloomy as ever. Rest and seclusion had not stilled the winds nor lulled the waves. Luther was still in a storm, and judged that the good cause was shipwrecked.
I will now give you my own version of the method, adopted for the great man's cure. He went home, but when he came to the door, nobody welcomed him. He entered their best room, and there sat Catherine his wife, all dressed in black, weeping as from a death in the house. By her side lay a mourning cloak, such as ladies wore at funerals. 'Ah,' says he, 'Kate, what matters now, is the child dead?' She shook her head and said the little ones were alive, but something much worse than that had happened. Luther cried 'Oh, what has befallen us? Tell me quick! I am sad enough as it is. Tell me quick!' 'Good man,' said she, 'have you not heard? Is it possible that the terrible news has not reached you?' This made the Reformer the more inquisitive and ardent, and he pressed to be immediately told of the cause of sorrow. 'Why,' said Kate, 'have you not been told that our heavenly Father is dead, and his cause in the world is therefore overturned?' Martin stood and looked at her, and burst into such a laugh that he could not possibly contain himself, but cried, 'Kate, I read thy riddle, -- what a fool I am! God is not dead, he ever lives, but I have acted as if he were. Thou hast taught me a good lesson.' It is only by realizing the everlasting, abiding love of God that they that trust in the Lord shall come to feel steadfast as mount Zion which shall never be removed. The man of God may know that he is safe, and yet there may be such a rush and tumult in his experience that he may not be able to understand himself or realize his true position.
It is a good lesson from history for us. The loving merciful Lord is a living Lord. Storms may assail us, trials puzzle us, temptations attack us - and yet through Him that loves us - in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer (Romans 8:37). Let us be ever thankful to the Lord for His abundant mercies to us. They are new every morning.
Soli Deo Gloria,