Why (as the Holy Ghost said, To day if you will hear his voice,…
I. WHEN WE HEAR GOD'S VOICE THE HEART MUST RESPOND. The assent of the intellect, the admiration of the understanding, the fervour of the imagination, and even the conviction of the conscience, do not suffice. God speaks to the heart. Oh that Christ may dwell there! God's voice is to soften the heart. Alas I by nature we are bard-hearted; and what we call good and soft-hearted is not so in reality and in God's sight. God wishes us to be delivered from hardness of heart, that is, from dulness of perception of His love and beauty, from ingratitude and lukewarmness towards Him, from pride and impenitence, from self-seeking and unrest. When we receive God's Word in the heart, when we acknowledge our sin, when we adore God's mercy, when we desire God's fellowship, when we see Jesus, who came to serve us, the heart becomes soft and tender. For repentance, faith, prayer, patience, hope of heaven, all these things make the heart tender. Can we be hard — thinking much of ourselves, discontented with our lot, envious or unforgiving, worldly and restless — when we hear the voice of God — "I am the Lord thy God; I have loved thee with an everlasting love; thou art Mine." "As I have loved you, love one another."
II. ALL SIN BEGINS IN THE HEART. And what is the error of the heart? What else hut unbelief? God speaks, and the heart is to believe. If the heart is hardened, it believes not; and regarding neither the threatenings nor the promises, it leans not on the strength and love of God: unbelief is the mother of all sin and sorrow.
III. UNBELIEF IS DEPARTURE FROM THE LIVING GOD. HOW simple is this!" As long as you trust God you are near Him. The moment you doubt Him your soul has departed into the strange country. Faith is the link between God's fulness and strength and our emptiness and weakness. If the soul cries out, Abide with me, or Nearer to Thee, the answer of Jesus is, Only believe!
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,