I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws…
Let us see what this goodness did for Israel, and what it does still for God's people. Three leading articles.
I. ATTRACTION. "I drew them." God attracted the Jews to Himself as their Lord and portion by conviction and affection. The attraction is to Him as well as by Him. In pushing and driving you urge a thing from you; but in drawing it you bring it towards you. God's aim is to bring us to Himself. This aim regards the state that we are previously in — a state of distance and alienation from Him. As in this state we see his sin, so we equally see his misery, for with God is the fountain of life, and we can never be happy save as we are near Him. Look at the manner in which this attraction is accomplished. "With the cords of a man." That Is —
1. "Rationally. Hence religion is called a reasonable service."
2. Affectionately. Love is the supreme attraction. There are four heads of goodness which are peculiarly attractive and powerful.
(1) Unreserved kindness is very attractive. So is
(2) Disinterested kindness. And
(3) Magnanimous kindness. And
(4) Costly and expensive kindness.
II. PROVISION. "I laid meat unto them." Meat means food generally. To show the plenitude and riches of the Gospel provision it is represented in the Scriptures by a feast. The provision is found in the Scriptures. It is "laid unto you in the preaching of the Gospel."
III. EMANCIPATION. He takes off the yoke from our jaws. What yoke?
1. The yoke of Judaism.
2. Of popery.
3. Of persecution.
4. Of bigotry.
5. Of ignorance.
Parallel VersesKJV: I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.