Isaiah 46:13
For Israel my glory. He glories in them. He is glorified in them. He ought to be glorified in them. Some read the clauses from which the text is taken so as to throw out a different meaning: "And I appoint in Zion salvation, unto Israel (I give) my glory." God's glory is thus represented as connected with his salvation and his righteousness. God's glory is his faithfulness and his redemption. As we have so often the declaration of God's interest in Israel, his joy in her, and the honour he expects her to be to him, we take the simpler thought suggested by the English Version, and suggest such a homily as may be suitable for a week-night service or prayer-meeting. God's people are God's glory; they bring honour to him, as we see -

I. WHAT HE DOES FOR THEM. Illustrate from God's moving away all obstacles, and constraining unlikely agents to serve him in the restoring of the exiles to their loved city and country.

II. WHAT HE DOES IN THEM By the very delay of his promise, and by his gracious sanctifyings, preparing them to get the very best moral and spiritual blessings out of their deliverance.

III. WHAT HE DOES WITH THEM. Making them a spectacle and a witness for himself, to their own age and the surrounding nations; and making the marvel of their story a testimony to his faithfulness and mercy to all ages, until the end of the world shall come. - R.T.







I bring near My righteousness.
It appears from a comparison of many texts of Scripture, that when the word "righteousness" is connected, as in this passage, with "salvation," it does not mean the Divine attribute of justice or rectitude, but the work of righteousness wrought out by the Lord Jesus Christ, and which it is the grand design of the Gospel to reveal and make offer of to sinners of mankind for their justification — their salvation.

I. Let us inquire with reference to THE RIGHTEOUSNESS SPOKEN OF, why it is termed, in this and so many other parts of Scripture, "the righteousness of God"? The Lord terms the work of His Son Jesus Christ — His obedience unto death — His whole endurance of the curse, and fulfilment of the precept of the law, His own, God's righteousness. There is no difficulty in seeing why it should be called Christ's, because He wrought it out. Our question is, Why the obedience unto death of the Lord Jesus Christ is termed "the righteousness of God"?

1. It is so called, in marked contrast and opposition to man's own fancied righteousness (Romans 10:3).

2. Because it is that which God has, for the sinner's justification, devised, provided, and stamped with the seal of His approabation and acceptance.

3. Because it was wrought out by God in the person of His eternal Son — Emmanuel, "God manifest in the flesh."

II. WHERE, HOW, AND TO WHAT PARTIES OR PERSONS THE LORD BRINGS THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS NEAR?

1. Where? In the Gospel (Romans 1:16).

2. How? In the free and earnest character of the offers and invitations of the Gospel.

3. To whom? "Ye stouthearted that are far from righteousness." Ye that not only have no righteousness but are living at ease, — "stout-hearted," careless, and indifferent, for the present, at least, about finding one — "I bring near My righteousness" to you.While ye despise it, "stout-hearted," I offer it to you; while ye are "far from righteousness," righteousness is brought near to you — it is pressed and urged upon you. Improvement —

1. It may occur to some as an objection, What use in bringing near, and freely offering, a salvation to men wholly indifferent about it? There can be no doubt, that so long as men are "stout-hearted, and far from righteousness," they cannot, in the very nature of the thing, embrace this righteousness; and the offer of it to them is thus, in one sense, to no purpose. But only in one sense. For, not to speak of believers, who often find their hearts so hard, that till they see invitations to the "stout-hearted," they cannot perceive their warrant at all to trust in Christ — the very freeness and universality of the offer, coming with overwhelming grace upon the "stout-hearted" sinner, may just be among the most powerful means blessed of the Holy Ghost for awakening him to deep and serious concern and thought.

2. That you may see how little weight there is in the objection to the doctrine of Christ's righteousness as the ground of justification, observe that we read comparatively seldom in Scripture of the righteousness of Christ — generally of the righteousness of God.

3. We might have remarked, on the question, how the righteousness is brought near, that, besides the freeness and urgency of Gospel offers, the Lord comes specially near at particular seasons, in the events and dealings of His providence.

(C. J. Brown.)

The two verses express a paradox which enters deeply into the thought of the prophet. While salvation is near in point of time, yet Israel is spiritually far from it. Hence the work of salvation or righteousness has two aspects; along with the providential deliverance of which the agent is Cyrus, there is an inward and spiritual salvation which consists in bringing the nation to right thoughts about itself and God. And in this spiritual transformation the instrument is the servant of Jehovah.

(Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)

(with Isaiah 51:5): —

I. What are these two things — JEHOVAH'S RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ISRAEL'S SALVATION? How are they related to one another and connected with one another? And what in particular is the meaning of the precedence or priority assigned to the one as coming before the other — My righteousness, My salvation?

1. It is very evident that the Lord's righteousness must mean, not a Divine attribute, but a Divine work, or effect or manifestation of some kind.

2. A judicial dealing with His enemies, on the part of God, precedes and prepares the way for the deliverance or salvation of His people; and when He brings near the one, the other will not tarry.

3. God must first consult for His own righteous name before He can consult for His people's complete safety; He must first right Himself before He can consistently and conclusively deliver them. Only in the train of the righteousness of God can His salvation go forth.

II. It may be said that THE LORD BRINGS HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS NEAR, or that it is near, in three senses.

1. In the Gospel offer as a free gift, wholly of grace, not of works at all.

2. In the powerful striving and working of His Spirit.

3. In the believing appropriation of it which His Spirit enables you to make.

(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)

I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.
I. THE DIVINE PURPOSES WHICH THE SACRED SCRIPTURES REVEAL. They have respect —

1. To the exhibition of God's glory in the development of His perfections.

2. To the deliverance of mankind from the consequences of sin.

3. To the establishment of Messiah's kingdom in the earth.

4. To the total overthrow of the empire of darkness.

5. To the everlasting happiness of believers in the realms of glory.

II. WHAT MEANS ARE EMPLOYED FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THESE PURPOSES.

1. The means which are primary.

(1)The mediatorial character of Christ.

(2)The agency of the Holy Spirit.

(3)The energy of Divine providence.

2. Those means which are subordinate.

(1)The revelation of God's will in the inspired volume.

(2)The preaching of the Gospel.

(3)The constitution of the Christian Church.

III. THE CONNECTION WHICH EXISTS BETWEEN THE USE OF DIVINELY APPOINTED MEANS AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE DIVINE PURPOSES. That such a connection exists we may argue —

1. On the principle of analogy. Through all the works of God there is an evident connection between the means and the end.

2. There is a peculiar fitness in the means to accomplish the end.

3. From Divine authority. That the means shall accomplish the end is the frequent subject of the Divine promise.

4. The evidence of fact further establishes this connection.

5. To deny this connection involves the greatest absurdity.

IV. THE PRACTICAL INFLUENCE OF THE DOCTRINE.

1. Ought we not to consider our personal interest in the subject? We are within the precincts of the Divine purposes, and the means of their accomplishment.

2. This subject strongly inculcates holiness in the disciples of Christ. Both the means and the end seem encircled with a halo of sanctity.

3. We learn our obligation and encouragement in the use of appointed means.

4. Let us be careful that the means we employ are those only of Divine appointment.

5. How dreadful the condition, and dangerous the conduct, of those who oppose the Divine purposes, and despise Divinely appointed means!

(J. R. Cooper.).

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