Will you please mark very keenly that the failure always comes because of man's unwillingness to work with God? It always takes two for God's plan—Himself and a man. All His working is through human partnership. In all His working among men He needs to work with men.
Some good earnest people don't like, and won't like, that blunt statement that God fails sometimes. It seems to them to cast a reproach upon God. They may likely think it lacking in due reverence. But if these kind friends will sink the shaft of their thinking just a little deeper down into the mine of truth, they will find that the reproach is somewhere else.
There is reproach. Every failure that could have been prevented by honest work and earnest faithfulness spells reproach. And there is reproach here. But it isn't upon God; it is upon man. God's plan depends upon man. It is always man's failure to do his simple part faithfully that causes God's plan to fail.
There is a false reverence that fears to speak plainly of God. It seeks by holding back some things, and speaking of others with very carefully thought-out phrase, to bolster up God's side. True love has two marked traits: it is always plain-spoken in telling all the truth when it should be known; and it is always reverential. It can't be otherwise. The bluntest words on the lips combine with the deepest reverence of spirit. God doesn't need to be defended. The plain truth need never be apologized for.
It's a false reverence that holds back some of the truth, lest stating it may seem to reflect on God's character. Such false reverence is a distinct hindrance. It holds back from us some of the truth, and the strong emphasis that the truth needs to arouse our attention and get into our some-time thick heads. We men need the stirring up of plain truth, told in plainest speech. The Church has suffered for lack of plain telling of the truth. The deepest, tenderest reverence insists upon plain talk, and reveals itself in such talk.
It is irreverent to hold back some of God's truth. For so men get wrong impressions of God. It is unfair as well as irreverent. Theology has sometimes been greatly taken up with adjusting its statements so as to defend God's character. But the plainest, fullest telling of truth is the greatest revealer of His great wisdom and purity and unfailing love.