Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
The Rev. T. Toiler gives a very striking illustration of the figure used in this verse. He says, "I think I can convey the meaning of this passage so that every one may understand it, by what has taken place within my own family. One of my little children had committed a fault, for which I thought it my duty to chastise him. I called him to me, explained to him the evil of what he had done, and told him how grieved I was that I must punish him for it. He heard me in silence, and then rushed into my arms and burst into tears. I would sooner have cut off my arm than have then struck him for his fault; he had taken hold of my strength, and he had made peace with me." God, with whom sinful man is at war, alone can make peace; but he can, and he will. "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." The text is suggestive of what would be understood as a "simple gospel sermon," and the main lines may be as follows: -
I. PEACE IS BROKEN BETWEEN MAN AND GOD. Right and comfortable relations depend on man's submission and obedience. Self-will and rebelliousness break up those relations. Man is God's child; peace depends on obedience. Man is God's servant; peace depends on doing the Master's will. The essence of sin is willfulness.
II. GOD IS ABLE TO RESTORE THE BROKEN PEACE. He may be able as a matter of sovereignty; but it is more interesting to us to know that he is able through a scheme of peace-making which he has himself devised and carried out in the Person of his Son. "His own arm has brought salvation." Such aspects of the great atoning work may be here dwelt upon as most commend themselves to the preacher.
III. GOD ACTUALLY OFFERS RESTORATION OF THE BROKEN PEACE. He asks us to "lay hold of his strength;" he invites us to "come and reason with him;" he even grieves, over our hesitancy, saying, Why Will ye die, O house of Israel? why will ye die? God hath offered to us - given to us - "eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
IV. THEY MUST BE RIGHT-HEARTED WHO SEEK TO MAKE PEACE WITH GOD. What is included in right-heartedness?
2. Sense of sin.
4. Sign of earnestness in putting away sin.
5. Forsaking of self-trusts.
6. Fervent desire.
7. Whole-heartedness of purpose. Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye seek for me with your whole heart. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.