The Alternative

James Smith

"Let Him take hold of my strength, that He may make peace with me; and He shall make peace with me." Isaiah 27:5

We are all, by nature, in opposition to God His avowed and determined foes! This enmity is written out in our conduct, it is rooted in our hearts.

But how wicked to hate a God who is love!

How dangerous to be at war with one who is Omnipotent!

How dreadful to fight against one whose mercy is infinite, and whose wrath is a consuming fire!

Yet such is the case such are our circumstances. And all the fault is on our side, all the blame is attached to us. It was we that went to war with Him; we have persevered in our opposition to Him; and we have insultingly rejected all His overtures for peace. Yet, we are only like briars and thorns before a devouring fire; we are every moment liable to be consumed; there is but a step between us and destruction! We have provoked His wrath, and deserve to feel His indignation!

But must we suffer the due desert of our crime? Is there no possibility of avoiding the dreadful doom? Yes, the Lord proposes an alternative; we must either stand against Him in battle, like briars and thorns placed before the consuming fire or we must take hold of His strength and make peace with Him. He has laid help upon ONE that is mighty; He has appointed a Peacemaker; to Him He has entrusted the great work if reconciling sinners; and He calls Him His Strength the Strong One the Mighty God.

He appears before us, full of grace and truth; and His appearance is, as though the Lord stretched out His hand, and in the most alluring accents said, "Come, and be reconciled to me. I will pardon all your sins. I will forget all your crimes. I will take you to me as a people. I will make you my friends. I will treat you as dear children whom I tenderly love. I will rejoice over you to do you good. I will delight in you, and you shall be my sons and daughters. I have made provision for all this in my Son. His life of obedience shall be set against your life of folly; His sacrifice shall atone for your guilt. I will accept you, bless you, and glorify you in Him. I present Him to you, receive Him; rely on His perfect work, plead His worthy name; submit yourselves in penitence at my feet and peace is made; reconciliation is effected, and I am your God and Friend forever!"

Dear friend, peace with God is most desirable; for without it there can be no true comfort; no permanent safety; no salvation. Its importance is infinite. It is essential to usefulness, holiness and joy. Let us take hold of the Lord's strength; that is, let us believe in Jesus, repent of sin, and seek Him in prayer so shall the strength of God be ours. His power, which is engaged against the obstinate sinner is on the side of the believer, to befriend and protect him. So shall we make peace with Him, not meritoriously, that is done by the blood of the cross; but instrumentally, we shall find peace, obtain peace, enjoy peace. The peace of Jesus will be ours. The peace of God will rule in our hearts, and be to us a present Heaven.

Observe: Peace with God is attainable. But it can only be obtained in God's way by believing in Jesus. Seeking peace is acceptable to God. Every seeker is encouraged by God. You are reduced to this dilemma   you must knowingly, wickedly, and inexcusably maintain war with God, and take the consequences or submit to His authority, accept His terms, take hold of His strength, and be at peace with Him.