Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.
It should seem as if no gospel could be more full, precious, clear, and heart uplifting than this. It is paralleled but not surpassed by St. John's word, "God is love." Why, then, was it needful for Christ to come in order to reveal to us another gospel? Have we not everything here, in this utterance of the Old Testament, and in those others in the same Old Testament, which are like unto it? What more, then, could be needed? We reply -
I. THE MISSION OF CHRIST WAS NEEDED IN ORDER TO REVIVE AND QUICKEN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH OF THE LOVE OF GOD. It had been, when our Lord came, so limited, petrified, and practically lost, that it was almost as if it had not been. Pharisaism and Sadduceeism had so overlaid or lessened it, that only a few elect souls knew of it or believed it. God's Fatherhood was not much more in our Lord's day than a dead letter.
II. TO MAKE IT REAL TO MEN. True, our text stood there in the psalm, but the life of the Lord here on earth could alone make it stand out as a real, living truth. Then there was held up - placarded, as St. Paul says (Galatians 3:1) - before the eyes of all men, what the pity and love of God could do and endure for the sake of sinful men. And so, as our Lord said, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all," etc.
III. TO ENSURE ITS BEING SPREAD ABROAD. The Jews, we well know, would never have allowed this. Their inveterate exclusiveness and scorn of all other nations would have kept it to themselves alone. It was necessary that Christ should come and command his disciples to "go into all the world, and preach," etc.
IV. TO REVEAL ITS ENLARGED SCOPE AND AIM. Life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel. Death, till Christ came, kept its sting, and the grave its victory, but he took both away. Such were some of the reasons wherefore God became man, and lived and suffered and died in the Person of Christ. Doubtless there are others, but amongst them all that horrible one, so sadly dear to theologians of a bygone age, is not to be found - that it was to turn the heart of God from anger to love, for God was and eternally is Love - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.