The LORD has brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.
The Lord hath...come, and let us etc.
I. WHAT THE LORD HATH DONE. "Brought forth our righteousness." Now, by this we may understand:
1. The Lord lath brought forth, made known, revealed, him who is our Righteousness (cf. homily on "The Lord our Righteousness," vol. 1. p. 527). By his representative character, what is done by him is as done by us. "We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead" (2 Corinthians 5:14). There is nothing unreasonable in this. We are perpetually imputing to others what is not in them or but very faintly in them. We do so when we treat strangers with all kindness for the sake of those - some honoured and beloved ones - who commend them to us. We cause to flow over on them the worth and goodness of those by whom they are commended. They may not merely be strangers, but unworthy and evil, and yet, for the sake of others, we deal with them, not as they are, but as those are from whom they come. So is the Lord Jesus our Righteousness, blessed be his Name!
2. The Lord hath brought forth righteousness in us. But for him there would have been no righteousness at all. Some speak of "natural goodness." There is no such thing. All goodness, like all light, has but one source. Divines tell of ruined arches, stately pillars, etc., relies of the noble fabric that once was. But Scripture rather teaches that sin wrought death. If, then, there be aught that is beautiful and good, fair and righteous - and there is, and much - it is not a relic, but a new creation. It comes from him who is "the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1.; cf. James 1:16). And when a man yields up his soul to Christ, then - vitally grafted into him, the true Vine, and having become a living branch - he will more and more yield the fruit of righteousness, as he never did or could before.
3. The Lord hath brought forth his covenant. That is to say, he hath brought forth in his own mind, so as to remember, his covenant that he made (cf. Psalm 105:8-15; Psalm 111., etc.). It is ever declared to be on the ground of this covenant that God dealt well with his people. Now, that covenant had been, as it were, put out of the Divine mind by the multitude of their sins. But now he brings it forth again.
4. The Lord hath vindicated us. The enemies of the Lord blasphemed his people. Counted them as having no worth or goodness at all; as far inferior to all others. But, despised as his people were and condemned, now, by God's redemption of them, he was to bring forth their righteousness, vindicate them, on and before all (cf. Psalm 37:5-7). This, which he did for Israel, he will do for all his people - "will bring forth their righteousness as the light, and their judgment as the noonday."
II. WHAT, THEREFORE, SHOULD WE DO? "Come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God." This is what we are to do.
1. Why should we do this? For the honour of God. It is his due. For our own soul's sake; to keep silence on what he has done for us is not only dishonouring to him, but disastrous to our own souls. For the encouragement of others, that they may be led to trust in him.
2. How should we do this? Openly: "Let us declare in Zion," etc. Not concealing our obligation, not refusing to confess him. Unitedly: "Come, and let us," etc. Join with them of a like mind. Heartily: calling on others to do the like, "Come," etc. In his Church: "In Zion." There taking our place, falling into rank in the army of the Lord. In the heavenly Zion the redeemed of the Lord never tire of thus declaring the work of the Lord. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.