God's Foreknowledge of Man's Sin
Isaiah 48:8
Yes, you heard not; yes, you knew not; yes, from that time that your ear was not opened…

As in a looking-glass, let us see ourselves. 1. Let the unconverted man see his own picture. God has spoken quite as pointedly to you as ever He did to the seed of Israel. He has called you by providences of different kinds. As for the Bible, has it not often addressed you with a voice most clear and simple, "Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die?" You have, some of you, been called by the admonitions of godly parents; you were further invited to the path of holiness by loving friends in the Sabbath school. Frequently the voice of God's minister has bidden you to come to Jesus from the pulpit; and conscience, a nearer pleader still, has echoed the voice of God. And yet it may be said, "Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not," &c. Three times a "yea" is put in our text, as if to show God's wonder at man's obstinacy, and the certainty that such was the state of the heart. It was certainly so. You heard, but it went in at one ear and out at the other; you heard and heard not. 2. More painful still is it to remember that in a certain degree the same accusation may be laid at the door of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Even those who have received grace to become the sons of God, have not such a degree of spiritual sensibility as they should have. Having thus reminded you of your sin, trusting we may be led to confess it with deep humility, I have now an encouraging truth to tell to you — that all this folly and ignorance, and obstinacy, and rebellion on our part, was foreknown by God, and notwithstanding that foreknowledge, He yet has been pleased to deal with us in a way of mercy. I. We shall endeabour to address the truth to THE BELIEVER. 1. The latter part of our text mentions a mournful fact, "I knew that thou wouldest deal," &c. Thou art the beloved of heaven, redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the Beloved, on thy way to heaven, and yet "thou hast dealt very treacherously"; very treacherously with God, thy best friend; with Jesus, whose thou art; with the Holy Spirit, by whom alone thou canst be quickened unto life eternal. That word "treacherously" is one which a man would not like to have applied to himself in the common transactions of life; he would feel it to be very galling, and, if there were truth in it, very degrading. How treacherous you and I have been to our own vows and promises when we were first converted! Instead of a heavenly mind there have been carnal cares, worldly vanities, and thoughts of evil. Instead of service there has been disobedience; instead of fervency, lukewarmness; instead of patience, petulance; instead of faith, confidence in an arm of flesh. This is not all. It is not merely that we have failed in promises which were made in a period of excitement, but we have been treacherous to obligations which were altogether apart front voluntary vows on our part; we have been treacherous to the most blessed relationships which mercy could have instituted. Know ye not that ye are redeemed men and women, and therefore the property of the Lord Jesus? Have you not found yourselves full often spending your strength for self and for the world, and robbing Jesus of that which He purchased at so dear a price? Remember that we are soldiers of Christ, soldiers enlisted, sworn in for a life-long campaign. As soldiers, by cowardice, disobedience and desertion, we have been treacherous to a very shameful degree. You know what the military doom is of a treacherous soldier on earth! truly, if we had been accused, and condemned by court-martial, and ordered to be shot forthwith, we should have been dealt with most righteously. We have been armed, and carried bows. and have turned back in the day of battle. Worst of all is the fact that we have been treacherous to our Lord in a relationship where fidelity constitutes the very essence of bliss, I mean in the marriage bond which exists between our soul and Christ. We are one with Him, by eternal union one, and yet we treat Him ill! Never did He have a thought towards us that was unkind, never one faithless wandering of His holy immutable mind; but as for us, we have thought of a thousand lovers, and suffered our heart to be seduced by rivals, which were no more to be compared with Christ than darkness is to be compared with the blaze of noon. 2. We pass on to the Divine statement of the text, that all this was known. "I knew." As the Lord foreknew the fountain of sin, so He knew all the streams which would gush from it. Wherein is the edification to the people of God? (1) Adore the amazing grace of God. (2) Our security is clearly manifest. (3) This truth should tend very much to enhance our sense of the fulness which is treasured up in Christ Jesus. God has provided for us in Christ, for all the necessities that can occur, for He has foreknown all these necessities. II. I have to use the text in its relation to UNCONVERTED PERSONS. You have discovered lately the natural vileness of your heart. You have a deep regret for your long delay in seeking mercy. You are willing to acknowledge that there have been special aggravations in your case. Now, the Gospel says to you, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." All these sins, delays, aggravations, and rebellions of yours, were all foreknown to God; therefore, since He has sent the Gospel to you, be not slow to accept it. since it is not possible that your sins, whatever they may be, can at all militate against the fact that if you believe and receive the Gospel, you shall be saved. For, if God had not intended to save men upon believing, then, since He foreknew these things, He would never have planned the plan of salvation at all.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.

WEB: Yes, you didn't hear; yes, you didn't know; yes, from of old your ear was not opened: for I knew that you did deal very treacherously, and was called a transgressor from the womb.

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