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…
I. THE UNCOERCIVENESS OF HIS REDEMPTIVE AGENCY. He draws, not drives. This Divine mode of action implies two things —
1. That God respects the moral freedom of human nature. He has endowed us with moral agency. We have a consciousness of freedom which defies and spurns all the logic that would prove us slaves. The Holy Father treats us according to the natures He has given us. God neither condemns nor saves men contrary to their own will.
2. That God's moral power in the Gospel is extraordinarily great.
(1) It is a power to draw souls. Brute force can only drive bodies. Mere might has no magnetism for the soul. There is a moral power, the power of anger, falsehood, disgusting immorality, that can drive souls away — repel them with disgust. But holy moral power alone can draw the entire soul.
(2) It is a power to draw depraved souls. It is something therefore extraordinary — greater than the moral power of nature. It is the power of infinite love, embodied in the life of Christ.
II. THE HUMANITY OF GOD'S REDEMPTIVE AGENCY. It is by a man's intellect, heart, life, example, influence that he draws. God saves man by man.
1. The reasonable draws man. God appeals to our reason through man.
2. The merciful draws man. God appeals to our gratitude through man.
3. The excellent draws man.
4. The desirable draws man.
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.