Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land which I give you…
Sin is the great evil of the world. It has infected all hearts, and there is none righteous — no, not one. This is the witness of Scripture: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." But it needs no revelation to tell men this. The wise ones of the heathen world before Christ came to bear the same testimony, l learned Greek, called Xenophon, said, "It is clear that I have two souls; when the good one gets the upper hand it does right; when the evil it enters on wicked courses." A still wiser man, named Plato, used the image of a good and bad horse, yoked to a chariot, and driven by the same charioteer. There are two powers at work in human nature, dragging in different directions. And Crates, another great man of olden times, said that it was impossible to find a man who had not fallen; just as every pomegranate had a bad grain in it, so every character had some flaw, some seed of corruption. So we find that men of heathen lands to-day, who have never heard the name of Christ, echo the cry of the Apostle Paul, "O wretched man that I Am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" They feel their bondage to evil; they feel their need of a deliverance. Now Jesus is the Saviour of men. Only Christ has borne this great name. Mohammed is prophet; Buddha is teacher only; Jesus is Saviour. He can deliver us from the bondage of sin. One of my friends, who is a missionary in China, told me the other day that the creed of many a Christian convert may be summed up in a sentence: "I believe that Jesus Christ is able to deliver me from the opium habit." The gospel wins them by the promise of deliverance from that frightful vice. They begin with that. They put the saving power of Jesus to the proof. "I am given up to every sin you can imagine," said Liu Kisa Shan; "I am an opium smoker, a libertine, a gambler, a drunkard, an unfilial man, and everything that is bad. Can Christ Jesus save me?" He had strolled into the chapel at Hankow, and the preacher's words had stirred the hope of deliverance in his heart. "Can Christ Jesus save me?" "Yes; He can, and He will," said the preacher. And they knelt down together and cried to Him for salvation. And the new heart was given of which we were talking last week. And Liu went home to his friends, to show them how great things the Lord had done for him; and is to-day the centre of a gospel work where once he was notorious for evil living. Jesus saves men to-day. He can save you, for "He is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God through Him."
Parallel VersesKJV: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.