The Privilege of the Strong
Isaiah 35:3, 4
Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

In this strenuous and vigorous appeal we have -

I. THE COMPREHENSIVE CHARACTER OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. In it are the weak as well as the strong. There is nothing whatever that is narrow about the Christian faith. It is not adapted to any particular class or character. In Jesus Christ there is neither male nor female, Greek nor Jew, cultivated nor uncultivated, bond nor free. And in him there is no favor reserved for any special disposition. It is not a gospel for those in particular who are most admired of men - for the strong, for the brave, for the wise, for the winning; it is a refuge for the weak, for the timid, for the unknown and the unbeloved. Those who are of no account at all amongst men, those whom human leaders would gladly leave out of their army as weakening rather than strengthening their forces, - these are all welcome to flock to the standard and to fight under the banner of the heavenly Prince.

II. THE PRIVILEGE OF THE STRONG. Untaught by the truth of Christ, unchanged by his Spirit, it has been considered the privilege of the strong

(1) to despise the weak;

(2) to displace them and to enjoy their portion;

(3) to delight in playing the part of despot over them.

These have been the uses which the strong have made of their strength. But we have not so learned Christ. So far as we possess his Spirit and have any right to bear his Name, we shall count it our privilege:

1. To show them a genuine sympathy; remembering that often, if not always, their weakness reflects no discredit on them, and our strength no credit on ourselves.

2. To render them effectual succor; to grant them needful protection and guidance, to instill courage into their minds, to impart vigor to their souls, to make them partakers of our own strength. We shall say to them, speaking in more ways than one, "Be strong."

III. THE MAIN SOURCE OF THEIR SUCCOR. The strong will help the weak:

1. By offering them the honor which is their due, instead of the disdain to which they have been accustomed. The former elevates, the latter crushes.

2. By their inspiriting example. Walking with them, working or struggling by their side, the fellowship which they afford imparts a constant access of strength to their soul.

3. By words of wise encouragement. And of these the best and the most effective will be those which bring out the nearness and the salvation of God. "Behold, your God will come... and save you." If we would do our very best to strengthen the weak, we must bring them into conscious relation to the Divine Source of all power. Let men realize that God is with them and for them, and they will be strong to do the bravest deeds and to endure the sharpest sufferings. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

WEB: Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

Solicitude for the Sorrowful
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