Thus said the LORD, Keep you judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
God evidently requires of us that, when we are anticipating any special manifestation on his part, there should be special purity on our part. We look at -
I. OUR CONDITION. This is one of complete dependence on God. We need the action of the Divine power to give efficacy to all our labour; nothing that we do, of any kind whatever, is effectual without the energizing touch of his hand. We need also the manifestation of this Divine power for deliverance from danger and trouble. Salvation from any evil, temporal or spiritual, can come only from God. "All our springs are in him."
II. OUR EXPECTATION. We hope for great things of God. He has taught us to hope from the beginning (Psalm 22:9). It is with a true instinct that the farmer looks up to God for his annual harvest; that the soldier trusts for victory in the favour and the aid of the God of battles; that the sailor cries to Heaven for help when his ship is tossing on the waves in the overwhelming storm; that the faithful witness of Jesus Christ appeals to his Divine Lord when the persecutor is on his track or has him in his cruel grasp. We hope in God, for we know
(1) the benignity of his Spirit, his desire to bless his children, and his compassion for them in their distresses;
(2) the faithfulness of his word, and that he has said, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee" (Psalm 50:15).
III. THE RIGHT ATTITUDE OF EXPECTATION. It is that of special purity or righteousness; separating ourselves from all that is offensive in the sight of God. To expect any unusual manifestation of Divine power or grace when we are holding any iniquity to our heart, is only to delude ourselves, and to be the heirs of disillusion and disappointment.
1. When God manifested himself at Sinai he required that the people should be sanctified in readiness for his coming (Exodus 19:10).
2. When the Lord of hosts would give victory to the armies of Israel he required that they sanctified themselves, not only by religious rite, but by cleansing themselves of their sin (Joshua 3:5; Joshua 5; Joshua 7.).
3. When the children of Israel were delivered from the land of captivity they fasted and prayed that the hand of God. might be upon them (Ezra 8:21-23).
4. When the kingdom of God was announced there was a solemn summons to repent (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17).
5. When we seek Divine mercy and eternal life in Jesus Christ we must put away evil from our heart and life; repentance never has been and never can be dissociated from a living and saving faith (Acts 20:21).
6. When we draw near to God in worship we must come to him with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 15:24;66:18; Isaiah 33:15, 16; Matthew 5:8; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Timothy 2:8).
7. When we look for a manifestation of God's power in the renewal of a Church, or the regeneration of a community, we must appear before him in purity of heart and integrity of life; or his "salvation ' will not "come," his "righteousness" will not "be revealed." - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.