We see from our text that God looks upon man, for He says of Ephraim, “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” I come here to-night in God’s stead, my friends, to plead with you as God’s ambassador, to charge many of you with a sin. It is concerning this blessed book, the Bible - this Word of God. First, its author, “I have written;” secondly, its subjects — the great things of God’s law; and thirdly, its common treatment — It has been accounted by most men a strange thing.
Here lies my Bible — who wrote it? The text says that it is God. “I have written to him the great things of my law.” This volume is the writing of the living God, each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit. Albeit, that Moses was employed to write his histories with his fiery pen, God guided that pen. It may be that David touched his harp and let sweet Psalms of melody drop from his fingers, but God moved his hands over the living strings of his golden harp. It may be that Solomon sang Canticles of love, or gave forth words of consummate wisdom, but God directed his lips, and made the Preacher eloquent. If I follow the thundering Nahum when his horses plough the waters, or Habbakuk when he sees the tents of Cushan in affliction; if I read Malachi, when the earth is burning like an oven; if I turn to the smooth page of John, who tells of love, or the rugged, fiery chapters of Peter, who speaks of the fire devouring God’s enemies; if I turn to Jude, who launches forth anathemas upon the foes of God, everywhere I find God speaking: it is God’s voice, not man’s; the words are God’s words, the words of the Eternal, the Invisible, the Almighty, the Jehovah of this earth. This Bible is God’s Bible.
How do you know that God wrote the book? That is just what I shall not try to prove to you. I might tell you, if I pleased, that the grandeur of the style is above that of any mortal writing, and that all the poets who have ever existed, could not, with all their works united, give us such sublime poetry and such mighty language as is to be found in the Scriptures. I might insist upon it, that the subjects of which it treats are beyond the human intellect; that man could never have invented the grand doctrines of a Trinity in the Godhead; man could not have told us anything of the creation of the universe; he could never have been the author of the majestic idea of Providence, that all things are ordered according to the will of one great Supreme Being, and work together for good. I might enlarge upon its honesty, since it tells the faults of its writers; its unity, since it never belies itself; its master simplicity, that he who runs may read it; and I might mention a hundred more things, which would all prove to a demonstration, that the book is of God. But I come not here to prove it. I am a Christian minister, and you are Christians, or profess to be so; and there is never any necessity for Christian ministers to make a point of bringing forth infidel arguments in order to answer them. It is the greatest folly in the world. You profess to be Christian men, or else you would not be here. Your profession may be lies; what you say you are, may be the very contrary to what you really are; but still I suppose you all admit that this is the Word of God.
Let us stop and consider the merciful nature of God, in having written us a Bible at all. Ah! He might have left us without it, to grope our dark way, as blind men seek the wall; He might have suffered us to wander on with the star of reason as our only guide. If this be the Word of God, what will become of some of you who have not read it for the last month? “Month, sir! I have not read it for this year.” Ay, there are some of you who have not read it at all. Most people treat the Bible very politely. They have a small pocket volume, neatly bound; they put a white pocket-handkerchief around it, and carry it to their places of worship; when they get home, they lay it up in a drawer till next Sunday morning; then it comes out again for a little bit of a treat and goes to chapel; that is all the poor Bible gets in the way of an airing. That is your style of entertaining this heavenly messenger. There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write “damnation” with your fingers. There are some of you who have not turned over your Bibles for a long, long, long while, and what think you? I tell you blunt words, but true words. What will God say at last? When you shall come before Him, he shall say, “Did you read my Bible?” “No.” “I wrote you a letter of mercy; did you read it?” “No.” “I have sent thee a letter inviting thee to Me: didst thou ever read it?”
Great things of God’s Law
All things in the Bible are great. The Bible treats of great things, and of great things only. There is nothing in this Bible which is unimportant. Every verse in it has a solemn meaning, and if we have not found it out yet, we hope yet to do it. God says, “I have written to him the great things of my law.” Do you doubt their greatness? Do ye think they are not worth your attention? Reflect a moment, man. Where art thou standing now?
This Book tells me that if I am converted, when I die there is a heaven of joy and love to receive me. But them, poor unregenerate soul, the Bible says, if thou art lost, thou art lost for ever; it tells thee, that if thou diest without Christ, without God, there is no hope for thee.
THE TREATMENT WHICH THE POOR BIBLE RECEIVES IN THIS WORLD. It is accounted a strange thing. What does that mean — the Bible accounted a strange thing? In the first place, it means that it is very strange to some people, because they never read it. Ah! you know more about your ledgers than your Bible; you know more about your day-books than what God has written. Many of you will read a novel from beginning to end. But you cannot read the Bible. I charge you with this: you do not read your Bibles. Some of you never have read it through. I know I speak what your heart must say, is honest truth. You are not Bible readers. You say you have the Bible in your houses: do I think you are such heathens as not to have a Bible? But when did you read it last? How do you know that your spectacles, which you have lost, have not been there for the last three years? Many people have not turned over its pages for a long time.
Others there be who read the Bible, but when they read it, they say it is so horribly dry. You do not love the Bible, do you? “No, there is nothing in it which is interesting.” Ah! I thought so. But a little while ago I could not see anything in it. Do you know why? Blind men cannot see, can they? But when the Spirit touches the scales of the eyes they fall off, and when He puts eye-salve on, then the Bible becomes precious. If you have tried God’s word and proved it; if it is precious to your souls, then you are Christians.
I have heard of a woman, who, when she was asked what she remembered of the minister’s sermon, said, “I don’t recollect anything of it.” May God, in His infinite mercy, when you read your Bibles, pour into your soul, the illuminating rays of the Sun of Righteousness, by the agency of the ever-adorable Spirit; then you will read to your profit and to your soul’s salvation.
Excerpted from the sermon titled “The Bible” (Hosea 8:12) by CH Spurgeon dated 18 March 1885. You are encouraged to read the full text of the sermon from The Spurgeon Library | The Bible