Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.…
I. THE FULL, CLEAR DECLARATION OF THIS IS FOUND ONLY IN THE BALE.
1. It is not in ancient mythology. The gods of the heathen were strong and much else, but not pitiful.
2. Nor in Nature. How heartless, how cruel, how utterly unsympathizing, she is! The dearly loved, the precious, the innocent, suffer, die in thousands, and Nature has not a solitary tear for them.
3. Nor in society. Law, the bond of society, cannot pity, it can only enforce its commands.
II. NEVERTHELESS, SUGGESTIONS OF IT ARE TO BE FOUND. The lower animals seem to have no affection for their offspring; but:
1. Such suggestions are traceable amongst the higher orders of animal life. See the affection of the mother bird or beast. See the affection of the dog for his master. And of the horse. A blackbird has been known to care for and feed a young robin that had fallen from its nest.
2. And amongst men. Not much amongst savages; but pity advances as we observe the higher races and the more civilized.
III. BUT FAR MORE IS HUMAN PITY SEEN IN THE HUMAN FAMILY AND HOME.
1. There we get the idea most of all realized. "Like as a father," etc. God has made use of our happy familiarity with parental love and pity to teach us what he himself is.
2. And there we learn what pity is and will do. It will inflict pain. Every father and mother do, but not, if they be wise, in anger, in revenge, or in passion, or carelessly, but ever out of love, for the sake of the child.
IV. THUS WE LEARN THE PITY OF GOD.
1. It will inflict pain if for our good.
2. But such infliction does not argue that the sufferer is shut out from the love of God. Man's punishments too often are utterly loveless. See how we treat our criminals, both in prison and when they come out. What a contrast to the Lord's way I See how the father of the prodigal forgave, but the elder brother did not. See the parable of the two debtors.
3. It bids us trust it utterly and forever. - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.