O you that are named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings?…
1. The work of the Lord, the Spirit, is wide, extended, and extensive. He is emphatically the "Comforter"; this is His principal work. He comforts the soul, made conscious how little there is in himself to nourish and strengthen; stripped, in a sense, of his self-wisdom, self-power, self-importance, and self-complacency. He testifies of Jesus as having "all fulness" in Him. He comforts the poor, tried, and harassed soul, in the midst of its trial, sorrow, and affliction, by unfolding the man of sympathy, the sympathy of the God-man Mediator. He comforts the soul by revealing the character of God; in His gracious character; in His sin-forgiving character; in His tenderness, compassion, gentleness, and holiness. He comforts His saints as they pass through the changes of a changing world, by revealing the covenant, "ordered in all things and sure." He unfolds the gracious promises of the God of grace. He is called "the Comforter," because it belongs to Him especially to comfort the saints of the Most High. But He is a Rebuker as well as a Comforter. Here it is to be feared that He is not glorified as He ought to be. He is a "Spirit of judgment" in our souls. There is no court that a natural man so dislikes as the court of an enlightened conscience. It is a solemn place. Not only in the first awakening of the soul, but in all after revealings of the Lord Jesus Christ to our hearts, there is still something of a rebuking Spirit. We have to learn out our truths in the school of God, who will be a light to guide in the way.
2. God's Word yields to the spiritual pilgrim food and nourishment, as well as light.
3. As the pilgrim's way lies through an enemy's country he is liable to various assaults, and the Word of God will furnish him with armour of defence. It is his shield and buckler, to ward off and repel the fiery darts of the wicked one.
4. When the Christian begins to be weary and faint in his mind, God's Word becomes his stay and support.
5. It is a comfort to travellers to have a prospect, though a distant and imperfect one, of the place whither they are going. The Divine Word is both a map of the heavenly country and a perspective glass through which we may view it. It is the prospect of that better country which cheers the Christian by the way, and quickens his steps through the wilderness.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?