And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to your word:…
I. THE IMPORT OF THE PROMISE BEFORE US. Glory is the manifestation of excellence. The glory of God is that display of His most blessed character and will which opens the way for His intelligent creatures to know, to love, and to obey Him. This glory is exhibited in various ways. It shines in all the works of creation. All the works of God, we are told, praise Him. Again, the glory of God is manifested by the works of His providence. But above all is the glory of God displayed in the work of redemption. Now, when the gospel, which proclaims this plan of mercy, shall be preached and received throughout the world, when every kindred and people and nation and tongue shall not only be instructed in its sublime doctrines, but also brought under its benign and sanctifying power, then, with emphatic propriety, may it be said that "the earth is filled," &c.
II. WHAT REASON HAVE WE FOR BELIEVING THAT THESE SCENES OF GLORY WILL ONE DAY BE REALISED?
1. Our hope is founded on Jehovah's faithful and unerring promise. "Hath He said, and shall He not do it?"
2. Our confidence that the religion of Christ will one day fill the whole earth with its glory is confirmed by the consideration that this religion is, in its nature, adapted above all others to be a universal religion. Its doctrines, its worship, and its system of moral duty are all equally adapted to universality.
3. The present aspect of the world furnishes much reason to hope that the accomplishment of this promise is drawing nigh.
III. WHAT IS OUR PRESENT DUTY IN RELATION TO THE PROMISE BEFORE US.
1. Undoubtedly our first duty is to believe the promise. Unbelief poisons the very fountain of Christian confidence, cuts the nerves of all spiritual exertion, and tends to despondency.
2. Another duty incumbent upon us in relation to this promise is to labour and pray without ceasing for its accomplishment.
3. A third duty in relation to the promise in the text is that in labouring for the spread of the gospel no adverse occurrence, however painful, ought to discourage us or at all to weaken either our confidence or our efforts.
4. A further duty in reference to the promise before us is that we pray without ceasing for the power of the Holy Spirit, to render all the means which are employed for its accomplishment effectual.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: