Thy Rowers have Brought Thee into Great Waters
Ezekiel 27:26
Your rowers have brought you into great waters: the east wind has broken you in the middle of the seas.…

I. This is truly applicable to SINNERS WHO ARE BEGINNING TO TASTE OF THE RESULT OF THEIR SINS — ungodly persons, who have chosen their own ways and followed their own devices, and now at last are finding that the way of transgressors is hard.

1. Certain transgressors are beginning to feel the result of wrong-doing in their circumstances. They have brought themselves from wealth to poverty by drunkenness, dishonesty, or vice.

2. Others who have not yet been afflicted by any outward providence are beginning to feel the sting of sin upon their conscience. This will, I trust, be used for their good.

3. O soul, thou art come now where thy sins compass thee about, and shut thee in on every side. Listen to me, while I speak to thee words which may seem harsh, but they are all meant in love to thee. If the waters be great today, what will they be ere long? If now thou canst not bear the wages of sin, what wilt thou do when they are paid thee in full? "What wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?" Learn, I pray thee, this piece of timely wisdom. Thy rowers have brought thee into no quiet waters; they have found thee no harbours of delight: shall they any longer be thy rowers? Do this one thing to thine own soul if thou hast any sense left, or any pity on thyself; cry out against those who are ruining thee. Oh, that the Spirit of the Lord may help thee to break the oars and cast the rowers into the sea! Remember, also, that they have rowed thee into the stormy waters, but they cannot row thee out of them. Thou canst find no rest by continuing in sin, neither canst thou save thyself from thy present forlorn condition. O man, cry mightily unto God. He will hear thee.

II. I see another ship. It is not black with the grime of the world; it resembles the gilded barge of a mighty prince; but still, for all that, its rowers have brought it into great waters. This represents THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS BROUGHT INTO DISTRESS. Many men are fondly persuaded that either they need no saving, or that they can save themselves. There is no end to the gallant show which self-righteousness can exhibit. No ship of Tyre can excel it. Yet to this glorious ship a trying voyage is appointed. Alas, my friend! thy rowers have brought thee into great waters. Think of the difficult journey which lies before you. The proposal is that you shall row yourself by your good works across yon sea of sin to the port of glory. Before you enter upon a matter it is well to count the cost. Do you not know that, if you are to be saved by obedience to the law of God, your obedience must be absolutely perfect? Look, sirs, you have been resting in your own righteousness; have you never sinned? Do you claim to have been absolutely perfect before your Maker from your childhood? Surely, you must have a brow of brass to make such a boast. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Verily, my friend, "thy rowers have brought thee into great waters." If thou art to be saved by thy works, see where thou art! Any one day thou mayest slip and stumble, and then what becomes of all thy past life? If this be thy style of standing before God, it is a poor standing indeed. Canst thou ever be sure that thou wilt be safe in an hour's time? Come, my friend, canst thou be sure that thou hast done enough, and felt enough, and prayed enough, and given enough alms, and gone a sufficient number of times to the meeting house, or to the church? Canst thou be sure that it is well with thee even now? The religion of self-righteousness never proposes such a thing as security. It does not give the quiet of faith, much less the deep repose of full assurance. "Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters." Uncertainty follows uncertainty, and the wind of fear tosses the billows of doubt.

III. There is a third case, THE ERRORIST IN HIS DIFFICULTIES. This is a very common sight in these wayward times. I might say to many a man who has ventured out to sea under the strong impulse of curiosity, trusting to his own proud intellect, "Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters." The only safe course for a thoughtful man is to trust in God, and to accept the Scriptures as infallible truth. There is our anchorage. But there are men who cannot abide this; and, first of all, I think that they begin to get into great waters when they resolve to be guided by their own judgment and their own intellect, without submitting to the teachings of Christ. O my wise and thoughtful friend, do you know what will soon happen to you? You will probably fall under the domination of another's intellect: you will become the shadow of some greater man. The man who will be guided by nobody is usually guided by someone more foolish or more knavish than himself. In the dogmas of modern thought there is not enough mental meat to bait a mousetrap: as to food for a soul, there is none of it; an ant would starve on such small gram. No atonement, no regeneration, no eternal love, no covenant: what is there worth thinking upon? "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." They have taken away the light, the life, the love, the liberty of free grace, and they have given us nothing in the stead thereof but pretty toys, which they themselves will break before many days are past. How many who only meant to go a little from the old ways of truth have gone too far aside even for themselves! Truly, my speculative friend, "thy rowers have brought thee into great waters."

IV. Behold THE BACKSLIDER FILLED WITH HIS OWN WAYS. O wanderer from the Lord thy God, "thy rowers have brought thee into great waters." You know how it begins: first of all, that holy, joyful walk with God is lost. It did not seem much merely to lose rapturous enjoyment; but it was much in itself, and it meant more. Then there came a loss of relish for the means of grace. Secret prayer was neglected, and the Bible was unread. The forms of religion were kept up longer than the enjoyment of it; but there was no life, no power in them. After that there came a general fault-finding with brethren, a quarrelling with sisters, a constant cavilling at this and that. Then there came a distaste for Christian company: godly people were too common place and prosaic. The love of something "brighter" called them away from solid conversation. Songs other than those of Zion began to be relished, and teachings not of the Bible were listened to. At last it went further: it came to actual and open sin, and ruin followed. O friend, "thy rowers have brought thee into great waters." Oh, that He would come who owns thy barque, who shed His blood for thee! Oh, that He would step into thy vessel, and take the helm and turn thee round tonight by a great stroke of His almighty grace, and turn thy head to the port of peace!

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

WEB: Your rowers have brought you into great waters: the east wind has broken you in the heart of the seas.

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