Sunday, October 25, 2009
"COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE"
"Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith God."
The chief instrument employed by God in the comforting of His mourners is His Holy Word. Listen to the confession of the Psalmist, "This is my comfort in my affliction; for thy word has quickened me," (Psalm 119:50).
The same continuing conflict is experienced by all the people of God, and to them the consolations of the Spirit with the comforts of the word ever abide, and are ever the same. That term, "thy word," embraces God's decree, determination, promise, and performance.
We see it set forth in Romans 15:4.
"For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."
This is blessedly true to us because they testify to our hearts of the Consolation of Israel, of what His Father, "the God of all comfort," has made Him to us. The abiding Comforter sweetly reveals this in the second verse of our chapter, "Speak comfortably to Jerusalem," that is, to the heart, "and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished," Christ has done all the fighting with Satan, sin and death, and, "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us," "that her iniquity is pardoned."
All Zion's iniquity in the lump was removed in one day when Jesus put it away by the sacrifice of Himself. How comfortable the privilege to say with the Psalmist, "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and do not forget all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquities," (Psalm 103:2-3).
"All your iniquities." How clearly Paul states this in Colossians 2:13: "having forgiven you all trespasses."
Well might dear John Kent sing with all his heart, and so may I,
"Here's pardon full for sin that's past,
It matters not how black the cast;
And, O my soul, with wonder view,
For sins to come here's pardon too."
Where are the sins of God's people?
Hezekiah says, "You have cast all my sins behind Your back," (Isaiah 38:17).
The soul says, "Sought for, they shall not be found," (Jeremiah 50:20).
Micah says, "You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea," (Micah 7:19).
Not in the shallows, but where they can never be seen or re-appear. The soul that once enjoys the comfort of that, is very uncomfortable without the enjoyment of it. And what a blessing to know that we are now receiving double favors, favors more abundant, in spite of all our sins. "Yours, O Lord, is the glory!" Amen.
By Thomas Bradbury - 1897