Home > C. H. Spurgeon, quotes, Sermon illustrations > God’s Truths To Us In Similitudes

God’s Truths To Us In Similitudes


A Spurgeon sermon I read recently pointed out the many ways in which God uses similitudes, or comparisons, from our everyday lives, to communicate His truths to us.  In this sermon (Everybody’s Sermon, #206) Spurgeon specifically mentioned many similitudes that can warn us of the danger of hell fire and our great need to repent, to flee from the wrath to come.  Through these I was also reminded of the point of Romans 1, that all men are without excuse since even creation itself gives us enough light to damn us.

From Spurgeon:

Now it struck me that God is preaching to us every day by similitudes. When Christ was on earth He preached in parables and, though He is now in Heaven, He is preaching in parables today! Providence is God’s sermon. The things which we see about us are God’s thoughts and God’s words to us. And if we were but wise, there is not a step that we take which we would not find to be full of mighty instruction. O you sons of men, God warns you every day by His own Word!  He speaks to you by the lips of His servants, His ministers, but besides this, He addresses you at every turn by similitudes!  He leaves no stone unturned to bring His wandering children to Himself, to make the lost sheep of the house of Israel return to the fold. In addressing myself to you this morning, I shall endeavor to show how every day and every season of the year, in every place and in every calling which you are made to exercise, God is speaking to you by similitudes.

Indeed we can find truths of God’s word in the creation around us every day, both in nature itself and in many of our areas of employment.  Among the many examples cited by Spurgeon:

  • times of the day, sunrise and sunset, night time
  • the seasons of the year and farmer’s work of seeds, gardening, the sowing and reaping the harvest
  • winter weather – blackness of sin like bleakness of nature
  • wind — the Spirit of the Lord “blows where it wishes”
  • heat — the eternal heat and fierce anger of God against wicked men
  • the mountains and hills — God endures forever, even beyond these

Then Spurgeon listed many occupations and ways in which they can send warnings and exhortations to us.  Obvious ones such as the farmer’s life come to mind, but others include:

  • baker:  dealing with ovens and bread:  “For the Day comes that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud and they who do wickedly shall be as stubble. They shall be consumed.”
  • butcher
  • shoemaker
  • brewer
  • businesses with scales and measurements, reference to our being weighed and perhaps being found lacking (ref. Daniel 5)
  • general servant with diverse occupations
  • writer:  “know that your life is a writing!… You are writing your sins or else your holy confidence in Him who loved you.”
  • physician or chemist: the idea of writing prescriptions… “Man, you are sick. I can prescribe for you. The blood and righteousness of Christ, laid hold of by faith, and applied by the Spirit can cure your soul. I can compound a medicine for you that shall rid you of your sins and bring you to the place where the inhabitants shall no more say, ‘I am sick.’
  • jeweler — God makes up His jewels, contrasted with the common pebbles that are not included in His jewels
  • builders (construction work):  “are you building on the right foundation?”

I further considered how to relate Spurgeon’s list to modern-day occupations.  Even some such occupations did exist in his day, yet were omitted from this list, especially more abstract and/or higher-paid paper-pushing jobs.  Not surprisingly, Spurgeon did not include similitudes for bureaucrats or politicians (jobs that have always existed if more so today), or even lawyers or accountants.  Then again, perhaps the majority of his audience actually worked in more down-to-earth jobs.  (Undoubtedly 19th century England did not employ so many attorneys as 21st century America — home to 3/4 of the world’s lawyers).

Still, it would be nice to relate this to our lives today, and upon further reflection I thought of one further similitude, for the computer programmer / analyst (my secular vocation):  the programmer is designing and coding a sequence of steps to complete tasks, even to integrating different files and systems.  Herein we can see God the master-planner with His Divine Purpose, and His amazing providence including the very complex and detailed overall design, even to the programs God puts into the DNA of all plants, animals, and even into us, for God’s specific “programs” in this life. We can take the warning, too, to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” to know that we are in the Lamb’s book of life, in God’s care within His great Divine Purpose.

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