Cry out and shout, you inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the middle of you.
Civilised countries have many institutions of a voluntary kind for useful purposes. There is, however, an institution in the world, where men are laid under direct obligation to Him who has established the institution, namely, the Church of God, in relation to which the earnest appeal in the text is made.
I. THIS CHURCH PRESENTS TO US THE WAY, UNDER GOD'S HAND, TO TRUE PERSONAL GOODNESS. Men devise many recipes to correct evils and excite to virtue. But Zion accomplishes all these results by one simple method. To be in the Church of God is to be in the way of all goodness. Well may the inhabitants of Zion rejoice, for all spiritual blessings of God's kingdom are given to it.
II. Another logical conclusion follows, namely, that ALL OF US OUGHT TO BE IN THAT ZION. We are to be in it, not because the Church itself demands it; not because the minister calls for it; not because the influences around us have inculcated it. We are to belong to the Church because God, who founded the Church and created us, has laid this obligation upon us. And we are not to be simply visitors to His Church, or occasional attendants, and especially not to be patrons. We are to be inhabitants, dwelling in it; being in it with our whole souls, and complying with the obligations that are incumbent upon its inhabitants, if we would be pure men. And this is no unreasonable command.
1. The way in which the word came is both significant and instructive.
2. Another consideration is that, "Great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of her." That is the culminating and crowning glory of God's Zion.Practical reflections —
1. We must see that this Zion is a home of great dignity. It is more than a home, it is God's kingdom.
2. If this be God's Zion, then what have we to do to be in His Zion and to feel the pleasures incumbent upon members of His Zion? We are to obey Him. It is His presence, His power, His relation to us, that give sanctity to God's house and service.
3. Let me speak a word to any who are without God and without hope of eternal life. This King summons you from rebellion; He summons you to peace and goodwill to Him.
(J. Hall, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.