Heedlessness in religion
‘But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.’ 2 Kings 10:31
Suggested Further Reading: Luke 6:37–42
Jehu was very angry at other people’s sins, and we may be without being delivered from our own. It is a very fine sight to see a man work himself up into a furore against drunkenness; he himself has never been guilty of it. It is true that all the indignation which he pours upon it, it well deserves; for is it not the great net of the devil, in which he catches multitudes? I may be very furious against adultery, or theft, or immorality of some other kind, which I do not happen to practise myself, yet my own sins may cry out against me; and it will not be possible to compound for my own sins by denouncing those of others. That is a very cheap sort of virtue; bullying other people’s vices. The easiest thing in all the world is to be constantly denouncing popular faults; but to wring the neck of one of my own bosom sins is a harder work by far, and a much better sign of conversion. To be earnest against the sin of others may be praiseworthy, but it is no sign of grace in the heart; for natural men have been some of the greatest leaders in this matter. To loathe my own sin, to humble myself on account of my own personal faults, and to endeavour in the sight of God to renounce every false way, is a work of something more than human nature. Will you also notice Jehu was very bitter against one sin. The very mention of the name of Baal brought the blood into his face, and there are persons in the world who cannot bear some one sin to which they have aversion; they love to hammer away against that; their whole soul takes fire at the mention of it. This is all very well; but, unless you hate all sin, unless you hate especially the besetting sin which is most congenial to your own nature, you need to be converted.
For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ could rightly be described as ‘the friend of sinners’ (Luke 7:34; 15:2), but never as ‘the friend of fault-finders’ (Matthew 12:2,7; Mark 7:5–9; Luke 5:30–32; 7:39,44–47; 11:38–40,42; John 8:3–7). What fault do you habitually find in others?
Sermon no. 685
15 April (1866)