Listen to Me, you who know what is right, you people with My law in your hearts: Do not fear the scorn of men; do not be broken by their insults.
I. A SURE CRITERION OF CHARACTER.
1. It is well to be hearers of God's Word. All the Jews were that; they were all the children of privilege. This, however, was by no means sufficient to prove that they were the children of God.
2. It is better to know his Word and to understand his will. It says something for us if we can be thus addressed, "Ye that know righteousness." But there are many who clearly apprehend their duty, and who, for one reason or another, refrain from doing it.
3. The certain test of spiritual worth is that God's Law is in the heart: "In whose heart is my Law." They who can say with the psalmist," Oh how love I thy Law! it is my meditation all the day" (Psalm 119:97, 111); who esteem God's precepts as more desirable than gold and more sweet than honey (Psalm 19:10); who delight to do his will, for his Law is within their heart, the object of their affection, the source of their joy, the well-spring of their comfort, the treasury of their hope; - these are they whom God loves and honours; and theirs is the kingdom of heaven (see John 14:15, 16, 21, 23; Matthew 7:21).
II. A PROBABLE INCIDENT OF A FAITHFUL LIFE. "Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings." It is highly probable, indeed morally certain, that if we are thoroughly loyal to our Lord and true to our own convictions we shall incur the secret dislike and also the active opposition of men. Implicitly, if not explicitly, we shall condemn their theories and their doings, and they will turn upon us in anger or in self-detente. He who never comes into sharp collision with the sentiments and habits of wicked men must either live a life of very unusual seclusion or else have grave reason to suspect his fidelity to Christ.
III. TWO DECISIVE CONSIDERATIONS.
1. Fidelity to conviction means the preference of God to man. Men are saying, "Hearken unto us" - unto us, thy fellows, thy partners, thy confederates; unto us who will share thy responsibility and thy sin, and perish with thee when thou tallest. But God is saying, "Hearken unto me" - unto me, thy Creator, thy Benefactor, thy Divine Friend. A Divine Saviour is saying unto us, "Follow me," in the paths of purity, of integrity, of piety, of consecration (see vers. 12, 13).
2. Fidelity to conviction means ultimate triumph, but unfaithfulness means final ruin. The devices of iniquity will come to nought, and the guilty themselves will perish. "The moth shall eat them up like a garment." But "he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." "God's righteousness shall be for ever," and they who are loving and living it shall never be confounded. Theirs is the present favour and everlasting friendship of the Eternal. - C.
Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness.I. THE PERSONS ADDRESSED.
1. Those who "know righteousness."
2. They have the law of God in their heart.
II. THE ADDRESS MADE TO THEM. "Hearken unto Me," etc.
1. Let us remember who is the speaker of these words.
2. The address may be considered as containing an encouraging exhortation enforced by powerful arguments.
3. Consider by what powerful arguments this exhortation is enforced: They who now revile the people of God will quickly be brought to an end. If their malice be not extinguished, yet the means of gratifying it will be no more. They are mortals, and as such they must soon die.
4. On the other hand, "My righteousness (saith the Lord) shall be for ever, and My salvation from generation to generation." In vain do ungodly men speak evil of His cause. It shall survive all their attacks; and shall increase, when they who reviled, or opposed it, shall be silent in darkness. In vain are His people reproached. They cannot be really injured by such attempts.
( M. Henry.)
( M. Henry.)
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