Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
How can man take hold of God's strength? The answer depends on the kind of strength which God is putting forth; and his strength is manifold. He is strong -
I. IN WISDOM, and the effectuating power which results therefrom. It is in virtue of his wisdom that the elements of nature have their various attributes, and the processes of nature their constant laws - that seeds sprout, and shrubs and trees bear flower and fruit; that living bodies grow, and minds advance, and souls mature. We take hold of God's strength of wisdom when we do our human, instrumental part in these his workings - when we plough and sow and weed; when we observe and study; when we use the privileges of devotion.
II. IN MAGNANIMITY. God is strong indeed in this grace. Provoked by everything in man that is fitted to arouse his anger, he has withheld his retributive hand (Psalm 103:10). He has not sentenced us to eternal exile; he has continued his loving-kindnesses even to the most obdurate and rebellious (Matthew 5:45). He has shown himself willing to receive again the sons and daughters that have wandered farthest away from his home. We take hold of this his strength when we avail ourselves of his merciful overtures, and hasten in penitence and faith to his feet.
III. IN COMPASSION. God is strong in pity. "Like as a father pitieth his children, so he pitieth," etc. His commiseration, his tenderness, his parental responsiveness to our various sorrows, is quick, is immediate, is perfect; there is great strength of loving sympathy in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15). We take hold of his strength when, in our dark days, in our heavier sorrows, we unburden our hearts to him, realize the fullness of his compassion, make our earnest, confident appeal for his sympathy and succor.
IV. IN UPHOLDING POWER. In such a world as this with all its allurements and its dangers, with such a nature as is ours with all its frailty, there is required great power to preserve us in our integrity and to build us up on the foundation of our faith. But God is able to do this; he is able to "make us stand" (Romans 14:4), to "keep us from falling, and present us faultless," etc. (Jude 1:24). We take hold of his strength when we act with such obedience and wisdom that we place ourselves in the path where that power is acting - the path of reflection, of moral safety, of Christian fellowship, of worship, of holy activity.
V. IN TRANSFORMING POWER. It is impossible for us to make even Divine truth effectual to the regeneration of a sinful soul. But God is mightier than we; the things which are impossible to us are possible to him (Matthew 19:26). His strength is not unequal even to the softening of the hard heart, the bending of the proud and stubborn will, even of the hardest and haughtiest of souls. We take hold of this his strength when we faithfully plead with our fellow-men that they should return to God, and when we earnestly plead with God that he should put into exercise that renewing and transforming energy. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.