Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What Wicked Men Truly Lack

In Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices, Thomas Brooks notes that the eighth device of Satan is to present the outward mercies that vain men enjoy and the outward miseries they are freed from while they walk in the ways of sin.  Brooks's fourth remedy to this device is to consider (Kindle location 932):

"That the lack of wicked men, under all their outward mercy and freedom from adversity, is far greater than all their outward enjoyments.  They have many mercies, yet they lack more than they enjoy.  The mercies which they enjoy are nothing to the mercies they lack.  It is true, they have honors and riches, and pleasures and friends, and are mighty in power; their family is established, and their offspring are before their eyes.  'Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.'  'They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.  They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.'  'They spend their days in wealth, their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than heart can wish: and they have no bands in their death--but their strength is firm; they are not in trouble as other men.'

Yet all this is nothing to what they lack.  They lack a saving interest in God, Christ, the Spirit, the promises, the covenant of grace, and everlasting joy.  They lack acceptance and reconciliation with God; they lack righteousness, justification, sanctification, adoption, and redemption.  They lack the pardon of sin, and power against sin, and freedom from the dominion of sin.  They lack that favor with God, which is better than life, and that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory, and that peace which passes understanding, and that grace, the least of which is more worth than heaven and earth.  They lack a house that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  They lack those riches that perish not, the glory that fades not, that kingdom that shakes not.

Wicked men are the most needy in the world, yes, they lack those two things that should render their mercies sweet, that is, the blessing of God, and contentment with their condition!"

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," (Hebrews 13:5).