Luke 1:50
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
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(50) His mercy is on them that fear him.—The words, as read by those for whom St. Luke wrote, would seem almost to foreshadow the Gospel of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Those that “feared God” were to be found not only among the children of Abraham, but also among “every nation” (Acts 10:2; Acts 10:35), and He would shew forth His mercy to all in whom that temper should be found.

1:39-56 It is very good for those who have the work of grace begun in their souls, to communicate one to another. On Mary's arrival, Elisabeth was conscious of the approach of her who was to be the mother of the great Redeemer. At the same time she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and under his influence declared that Mary and her expected child were most blessed and happy, as peculiarly honoured of and dear to the Most High God. Mary, animated by Elisabeth's address, and being also under the influence of the Holy Ghost, broke out into joy, admiration, and gratitude. She knew herself to be a sinner who needed a Saviour, and that she could no otherwise rejoice in God than as interested in his salvation through the promised Messiah. Those who see their need of Christ, and are desirous of righteousness and life in him, he fills with good things, with the best things; and they are abundantly satisfied with the blessings he gives. He will satisfy the desires of the poor in spirit who long for spiritual blessings, while the self-sufficient shall be sent empty away.His mercy - Favor shown to the miserable and the guilty.

Is on them - Is shown or manifested to them.

That fear him - That "reverence" or honor Him. One kind of fear is that which a servant has of a cruel master, or which a man has of a precipice, the plague, or death. This is not the "fear" which we ought to have toward God. It is the fear which a dutiful child has of a kind and virtuous father a fear of injuring his feelings; of dishonoring him by our life; of doing anything which he would disapprove. It is on those who have such fear of God that his mercy descends. This is the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom, Psalm 111:10; Job 28:28.From generation to generation - From one age to another - that is, it is unceasing; it continues and abounds. But it means also more than this. It means that God's mercy will descend on the children and children's children of those that fear him and keep his commandments, Exodus 20:6. In this respect it is an unspeakable privilege to be descended from pious parents; to have been the subject of their prayers, and to have received their blessing. It is also a matter of vast guilt not to copy their example and to walk in their steps. If God is "disposed" to show mercy to thousands of generations, how heavy will be the condemnation if the children of pious parents do not avail themselves of it and early seek his favor!

47. my Saviour—Mary, poor heart, never dreamt, we see, of her own "immaculate conception"—in the offensive language of the Romanists—any more than of her own immaculate life. Having celebrated God for his glory and majesty, she here celebrates him for his mercy, which extends to all, but especially is showed to such as fear him. She certainly respecteth the promise of God to be the God of Abraham and this seed, but declareth this to be most eminently made good to those who are truly pious, all piety being expressed ordinarily in Scripture (especially in the Old Testament) under the notion of the fear of God. We have almost the same words Psalm 103:17. It is elsewhere expressed under the notion of thousands, Exodus 20:6, signifying not only the extent of the Divine goodness to all his people, but the continuance of it for ever.

And his mercy is on them that fear him,.... Not with slavish fear of hell and damnation, but with reverence and godly fear; with a filial fear, with a reverential love of God, and affection for him; with that fear which springs from the goodness of God, which has that for its object, and is encouraged by it: and though this fear is not the cause and reason of the mercy of God, yet is descriptive of the persons towards whom it is exercised in various ways, and to whom it is openly shown; they hereby appearing to be the vessels of mercy, afore prepared to glory; and in whose redemption, mercy and truth have met together, and who, according to the abundant mercy of God the Father, have been begotten again; whose unrighteousnesses he has been merciful to, and whose sins he will remember no more: and it may have a particular regard to the incarnation of Christ, which in this chapter is said to be in remembrance of mercy; to be the mercy promised, and to come through the tender mercy of our God, Luke 1:54. And which was a mercy Mary considered, not as peculiar to herself, but as extended to all that fear the Lord; not in that age only, but from

generation to generation; to the end of the world, to God's elect in all times and places, who should all be partakers of it, and sharers in it.

And his mercy is on them {s} that fear him from generation to generation.

(s) To those that live godly and religiously, as the Hebrews say.

50. his mercy] Psalm 89:2-3 and passim.

From generation to generation] Rather, Unto generations and generations; ledôr vadôr, Genesis 17:9, &c. See Deuteronomy 7:9.

Luke 1:50. Εἰς γενεὰς, to the generations) Although the promise may seem to be long retarded, yet it is fulfilled, and that too, to everlasting. It is the same generations which call Mary blessed, Luke 1:48.

Luke 1:50Mercy (ἔλεος)

The word emphasizes the misery with which grace (see on Luke 1:30) deals; hence, peculiarly the sense of human wretchedness coupled with the impulse to relieve it, which issues in gracious ministry. Bengel remarks, "Grace takes away the fault, mercy the misery."

From generation to generation (εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς)

Lit., as Rev., unto generations and generations.

Fear (φοβουμένος)

The word is used in both a good and a bad sense in the New Testament. For the latter, see Matthew 21:46; Mark 6:20; Mark 11:32; Luke 12:4 :. For the former, as here, in the sense of godly reverence, Acts 10:2, Acts 10:22, Acts 10:35; Colossians 3:22; Revelation 14:7; Revelation 15:4.

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