Thursday, September 29, 2011

Questions we should not ask #4

We are not to ask such a question as that: “Wherefore have we fasted, and Thou hast not seen? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” (Isa. 58. 3). This is the language of the hypocrite and legalist, who hath an over-rating thought of all his duties: “Wherefore have we fasted, and Thou hast not seen? Wherefore have we prayed, and Thou hast not heard?” They challenge God of injustice, for not giving them what they think they merit. “I thank God,” said the Pharisee, “that I am not as other men, no adulterer, no murderer, nor like this publican; I fast twice a week, I give alms of all that I possess.” This was no prayer, but a proud boasting of what he had done for God, and what obligations he laid upon heaven. A poor believer is of another spirit; let him do never so much, he sees all his righteousness to be rotten rags, a menstruous cloth; my tears need to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Ralph Erskine