by George H. Morrison

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The Deceptions of God
George H. Morrison
Jeremiah 20:7

When Jeremiah cried this cry, he had been a prophet for some twenty years. Everything was dark and ominous for him; he was set in the stocks as a troubler of Israel. He looked back to the day when he was called, and he remembered all that had happened to him since. He thought of the glorious promises God had made him, and he compared them with all he had suffered in the years. "I will be with thee to deliver thee," God had said, yet here he was a prisoner in the stocks. "I will make thy word a word of power," God had said, yet his word had been tossed aside and laughed to scorn. It is little wonder that the prophet, plunged in the deepest melancholy and haunted by an overwhelming sense of failure, should have cried, "O Lord, Thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived." We know, looking back upon it all, that he was not deceived. Every promise made him was royally fulfilled. He came through a sea of troubles safe and sound, and his word is living and powerful to this day. But the point is that to this great prophet there came an hour when heaven seemed to cheat him-"O Lord, Thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived." On that, then, I wish to dwell tonight, and I shall arrange what I wish to say under these heads: First, there are times when we are ready to say that God deceives us. Second, there are loving purposes in what we think deceit.

First, then, there are times when we are ready to say that God deceives us. Think of the ideals of our childhood. It is one of the sweet illusions of the child that father or mother has neither fault nor flaw. The mother may be vain or very worldly, the father without principle, or worse; but not the angels clad in snow-white garments, nor God Himself in the glory of His throne, are more ideally perfect to the child than are the father and the mother in the home. But that illusion cannot always last. There breaks the day of the knowledge of good and evil. Sometime in bo ...

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