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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: Acts and the Larger Epistles

Chapter 55 - Romans 10:16 - The Rejected Report Light & Truth: Acts and the Larger Epistles by Bonar, Horatius


Let us observe four things here:

I. The report. The "gospel" mentioned in the first clause of this verse is the same as the "report" in the second. It is short and simple. It is thoroughly true. It is divine and perfect. It is well authenticated, so that doubt seems an impossibility. It is altogether glad. It is for the sons of men. It is the very report, concerning the very things which sinners need. It is truly suitable. It is the story of Jesus of Nazareth.

II. Man's rejection of it. "Who bath believed"? Who? As if there were none who had accepted it! Not one! God has spoken; but men have 'neither believed nor listened. God has loved; but men have refused His love. Men are not asked to do, but to take; yet they will not. They are not asked to save themselves, but to accept salvation; yet they turn away. God's words are as the idle wind. His love is the last love they will ever turn to. His truthfulness is time thing which they question most; as if to make Him a liar, and His words of little worth, were no sin at all. This is man's treatment of God and of His Son! God is not to be believed on any account, and least of all when He speaks in love! Christ is preached only to be slighted; and His gospel flung aside as not true; or, if true, still as a gospel which brings no certain pardon, no assurance of salvation; nay, which may be believed without making a man happy, or making him a child of God; which may be believed for years without giving peace, or light, or liberty.

III. The prophet's disappointment. "Lord, who hath believed our report." He expected something very different. He thought men would all receive it at once; that he would be surrounded with believing crowds! But "no man receiveth his testimony"! He is sorely perplexed, disappointed, confounded. Ah, it is in the very bitterness of disappointment that these words are spoken. He is grieved in spirit; troubled because of the dishonour done to God, and to His truthfulness; sad because of the ruin which men were bringing on themselves. He is like Jeremiah: "Oh that my head were waters"! He is like Paul, "Having sorrow in his heart." He is like Christ weeping over Jerusalem. Such is a minister's disappointment. He expects to be believed; and he is not! He expects God to be believed; and He is not! And were it not that he knows that God's purpose concerning the many called and few chosen is now fulfilling, he would be a thoroughly disappointed man.

IV. The prophet's appeal to Jehovah. Like Micah (7:7) in the midst of abounding iniquity, he says, "I will look unto the Lord." Like the Lord, he says, "Even so, Father." He turns from man to God. He does not upbraid man with unbelief; but turns to God. This is his refuge. Here he stays his soul. Into the bosom of his God he pours out all his griefs. It is a heavy burden; but he casts it on the Lord.