Posted by: William | March 19, 2008

Toad’s Poison & Man’s

While reading in True Bounds of Christian Freedom by Samuel Bolton I came across another beautiful quotation that nicely and eloquently describes God’s perspective on us and our sin. I found it both comforting, convicting and motivating to intercede on behalf of my generation.


Bolton writes as follows:


Sin in a believer makes him the object of God’s pity. Men, you know, hate poison in a toad, but pity it in a man. In the one it is their nature, in the other it is their disease. Sin in a wicked man is as poison in a toad; God hates it and him; it is the man’s nature. But sin in a child of God is like poison in a man; God pities him. He pities the saints for sin and infirmities, but hates the wicked. It is the nature of the one, the disease of the other.”


I have no doubt at all that there are quite more than a handful of people who will recoil at this statement, especially where he says “God hates… him”. So quickly I’d like to throw a little light on that wording before I get thoroughly attacked. The puritan writers often refer to God hating sinners, but loving believers. This has nothing to do with any intrinsic value found in the believer that God should ‘love’ him, but rather his own sovereign choice. Among other scriptures, Psalm 5:5 is often the foundation laid under this kind of statement, “You [God] hate all who do iniquity.”. In reality, it’s a complex discussion that likely boils down to the puritan usage of the word “hate” which I, would guess, is usually not as strong a word in their usage as it is in ours. Regardless, I don’t want to digress there right now.


I found comfort in this quotation finding some affirmation that in God’s eyes there is not burning fire toward me; that is satisfied in Jesus’ death on the cross. Rather, in God’s eyes there is a deep concern and pity for my weakness—a place and time where he is pleased to be proven strong (2 Cor 12:9). At the same time however, I look at my broken generation running headlong into the fires of hell. To hear a word that affirms the wrath that still burns in God’s eyes toward those who haven’t been covered by the blood of Jesus sets a sense of sadness and fear for them in my heart. Will you join me in praying for this generation of people who have not known our Lord.


Jesus, I pray that you would strengthen you church with words of encouragement and comfort. Remind us of your atoning work on the cross and the peace we now eternally enjoy because of it. Jesus, I pray that at the same time you would give us a sense of urgency in prayer and evangelistic lifestyle. Jesus, I pray for this generation of the lost that you would bring revival by your Holy Spirit, for your glory and their satisfaction in you. Jesus, I pray that you would get your glory in their salvation, instead of their damnation. Sanctify us, God. For your glory and through the Holy Spirit, sanctify us. Teach us how to love like you.


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