Listen to me, you stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:…
1. The first thing on which we would fasten your attention is that God's dealings with mankind have been all of a character which may be called unexpected. We do not believe that any reason could have been given why men should be redeemed, had the question been proposed to higher ranks of intelligence. Nay, forasmuch as no provision had been made for the rescue of fallen angels, it could not have been imagined that any would have been made for the rescue of fallen man; the conclusion must rather have been that ruin followed inevitably on rebellion, and there could not be reconciliation where once there had been offence. Even now that we know of the Mediator's interference we can trace it to nothing but the unmeasured love of God, and can give no account of the wondrous matter of our redemption save that so it pleased Him "who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
2. We may be sure, that having summoned the stout-hearted to hearken, the words which immediately follow are such as God knows to be specially adapted to the case of the stout-hearted, that is, to contain the motives which are most likely to bring them to contrition and repentance. The nearness of salvation is made an argument with the ungodly why they should turn from evil courses, just as preached the Baptist — "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
3. God goes on to speak with more distinctness of His purposes of mercy — "And I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory." We may believe of this prophecy as of similar ones where Zion is mentioned, that it refers originally to what Christ would accomplish at His first appearing in Judea, and delineates also what He would effect at His Second Advent. This salvation God placed in Zion, for it was only by the going up of the Mediator as a victim to the altar, by His ascending the Cross erected upon Calvary, that the curse of the law was exhausted and the honour of the Divine attributes secured. "For Israel My glory." Wonderful words! I had thought that "the heavens declared Thy glory"; I read of the glory of the Lord like a devouring fire abiding in Sinai; and when the sun and moon are withdrawn from the firmament, of the New Jerusalem I am told that "the glory of God doth lighten, it." In. such cases, if I cannot define the glory, I am at least dazzled by its shinnings, and there Is something of correspondence between what I know of the nature of God and what I hear of His glory. But that man, fallen, sinful man should be His glory, the mortal the glory of the immortal, the corruptible the glory of the incorruptible — in this is a mystery which might seem too deep to be fathomed by our searchings, yet not a mystery while I have the Bible in my hands and know what God "hath done for us men and for our salvation."
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: