This is what the LORD says: "As the new wine is found in a cluster of grapes, and men say, 'Do not destroy it, for it contains a blessing,' so I will act on behalf of My servants: I will not destroy them all.
I. THE APPEARANCE OF SPIRITUAL DEATH. The Church is so degenerate, that the teaching of Divine truth is found to be ineffectual; the nation so corrupt, that the statesman and the magistrate and the teacher are powerless; the family so depraved, that it is a pest to the community; the child so wayward, that parental authority is no restraint. Then is entertained -
II. THE POLICY OF ABANDONMENT. Those who are pure, reverent, loyal; they to whom iniquity is found to be hateful; men that are anxious to use their opportunities, so as to get some spiritual returns: - these say, or are inclined to say," Let us leave these souls so fast imbedded in sin whom we cannot extricate, and let us seek and save those who can be reached and rescued." Then comes -
III. THE PLEA OF FAITH AND PITY. "Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it." "Let it alone this year" (Luke 13:6-9). That root that looks dead is not dead, and under careful nourishment it will revive. That soul that seems dead is not dead; there is a seed of life in it still; beneath all its folly, its waywardness, its vice, its guilt, there is a possibility of true repentance; there is a sensibility which will respond to patient, human love; there is a spiritual capacity which the truth of God, made mighty by the Spirit of God, will touch with renewing power, and from which unsuspected beauties and graces will arise. Within the ugliest and most worthless souls there may lie concealed germs of real nobility. Wait long, very long, before you abandon to destruction. Over them, and of them, the Divine voice may be whispering, "There is a blessing in them for the loving, patient, prayerful workman." - C.
Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster.As one does not destroy a cluster consisting of good and bad berries, because one would also destroy the Divine blessing contained in it, so Jehovah for His servants' sake will not annihilate Israel. He will not destroy all indiscriminately; the sense is not" the sap along with husk and shell (Knobel, Hahn), but: the berries having good sap along with the preponderant bad berries (J. H. Michaelis, Seinecke). (F. Delitzsch, D.D.) It is an application to new circumstances of Isaiah's doctrine of the remnant (Isaiah 6:18).
(Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)
Destroy it not.
I. GOD'S ANCIENT PEOPLE, THE JEWS.
II. CITIES AND NATIONS GENERALLY.
III. THE STATE OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES.
IV. PENITENT BACK SLIDERS.
V. YOUNG INQUIRERS.
VI. THOSE WHO ARE CALLED MOST UNPROMISING CHARACTERS.
(J. G. Pearsall.)
I. THAT GREAT GOOD MAY BE STORED IN LITTLE THINGS. A bunch of grapes is a little thing, and yet there is a blessing in it. With a heart given to Jesus, a child is a sun which cannot but shine, a fountain which cannot but send out streams, a flower which cannot but fill the air with sweetness.
II. GOD ALONE PUTS THE BLESSING INTO LITTLE THINGS. In this He displays —
1. His wisdom.
2. His omnipotence
3. His condescension and compassion.
III. LITTLE THINGS ARE TO BE SPARED FOR THIS BLESSING IN THEM. There are plenty of little things which you are apt to despise because they are little, and yet, destroy them not, says God, for a blessing is in them.
1. Your vows and resolutions.
2. Your principles.
3. Your habits.
4. Your character.
5. Your friendships.
6. Your interest in the heathen.
IV. IF THE BLESSING IS LACKING IN THEM THEY WILL BE UNDONE FOP. EVER. "Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it." As if it were said, If there were no blessing in it, then it might be destroyed. It is the blessing which delivers. If there is no blessing in us, we are doomed. The unprofitable servant hid his talent in the napkin, but he could not hide himself from his master's indignation.
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