Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
I. THERE IS A TENDENCY IN THE INFLUENCE OF A REPENTANT SOUL TO BRING BACK TO THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE THE FORFEITED JOY IT WAS DESTINED TO POSSESS. "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things." The land is here said to have been in the mend of fear. It had abundant cause for terror. It had been stricken by the retributive hand of God. All its produce had been destroyed. It was desolate. It was yet threatened with more awful agencies of destruction. Sin has made the material universe to tremble. The mood of man is reflected in the material things by which he is surrounded; they reflect the terror of sin and the joy of repentance. Let man obey God, and Eden is a garden of the Lord. Let him disobey God, and earth becomes the abode of Satan. Let man be redeemed, and the earth begins to smile. Let man be glorified, and there is no more curse. When the race is saved, "the Lord will do great things" in nature. He will entirely change her moods. When the new earth dawns, she will know no fear.
II. THERE IS A TENDENCY IN THE INFLUENCE OF A REPENTANT SOUL TO RENDER MORE FRUITFUL THE BENEFICENT OPERATIONS OF NATURE. "Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil."
1. There is peace. Man has in his soul the key to the quietude of the universe; when his soul is at peace with God, then the entire world is at rest.
2. There is growth. When man is at peace with God, then the earth is most potent in the exercise of its vitalities. The fruits of the earth are not far removed from the fruits of the Spirit.
3. There is super abundance. When man turns to God, the earth in superabundant blessing turns to man. When repentant in soul our cup runneth over. Nature is rich in treasure to the pure in heart. Repentance is a good friend to commerce.
III. THERE IS A TENDENCY IN THE INFLUENCE OF A REPENTANT SOUL TO CAUSE A SPIRIT OF HOLY SATISFACTION TO REST UPON THE WORLD. "And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed."
1. There is true enjoyment. Man shall eat in plenty. Nature shall not refuse to supply his want.
2. Here is real satisfaction. Not merely shall nature supply the need of man, but shall appropriately satisfy it.
3. Here is devout praise. The gifts of nature shall awaken men to holy thanksgiving. This is an ideal state of society. Thus will it be when all souls repose in the love of the eternal God.
IV. THERE IS A TENDENCY IN THE INFLUENCE OF A REPENTANT SOUL TO AWAKEN MEN TO A MORE THOUGHTFUL RECOGNITION OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN THE MIDST OF LIFE. "And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else." When a nation is given over to a sinful method of life, it has no recognition of God in its midst. It forgets Him. But repentance opens the eye of the moral nature and renders it keen in vision, so that it sees God. To see God in the midst of life is the supreme joy of the pure soul, because all things around partake of the lustre of His presence. This gives a solemn view of life. Lessons —
1. That the joy of the universe is conditioned by the moral sentiments of man.
2. That a pure soul is often the most enriched by nature.
3. That God is in the midst of a repentant humanity.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.