But there the glorious LORD will be to us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars…
I. THE LORD HIMSELF IS THE FOUNDATION OR CAUSE OF THE SAINTS' SAFETY AND BLESSEDNESS. "For there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams." This is a consideration which may well allay our fears, excite our hopes, and confirm our faith.
1. The Lord is here called "glorious." He is glorious in His personal excellence, glorious in His essential attributes, glorious in His works of creation and providence. Above all, He is glorious to the believer's view, in the marvellous work of redemption, where He displays the glorious perfections of His nature, His power, faithfulness, truth, holiness, mercy, love, and grace. His glory is manifested in the Church where His glorious Gospel is preached, where He grants His gracious and glorious presence, and where saints meet together to see and speak of His glory. "In His temple doth every one," saith the Psalmist, "speak of His glory." Yea, "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory."
2. This glorious Lord will be unto His Church and people "a place of broad rivers and streams." God promises to be that to His Jerusalem, which will be instead of, and vastly superior to a river, however broad its streams. This is expressive of the abundance of His grace, and the freeness of it for the supply of His Church, and for the purification, consolation, refreshment, and confirmation in the faith of all its members. The streams of this river are the everlasting love of God, Father, Son, and Spirit; the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises; the provision and mission of Christ as a Saviour, and the blessings which flow from these, called "streams" because they flow from the fountain of divine love, and because of the rapidity, force, and power of the grace of God in the application of these blessings in conversion, which carries all before it; and because of the abundance, continuance, and freeness of them, and the gratefulness and acceptableness of them to those who see the worth of them, and feel their interest in them.
II. THIS RIVER OF GOD ALSO SERVES FOR THEIR DEFENCE AND SECURITY AGAINST ALL ENEMIES. The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, &c. It was the case with literal Jerusalem, that although it had no river for its pleasure, profit, and protection, yet it had this advantage from the circumstances, that no enemy could approach it in this way. And the Lord, though He be indeed instead of a broad river to His people for their supply and safety, yet He is such an one as will not admit any enemy, great or small, signified by the "galley with oars," and the "gallant ship," to come near to hurt them.
III. The text adds, as a further CONFIRMATION AND PROOF OF THE SECURITY AND TRIUMPH OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD, that "the Lord is our Judge." All their wrongs will be righted and their injuries avenged.
IV. The text states, as a FURTHER ENCOURAGEMENT, that "the Lord is our Lawgiver." He hath not only enacted wholesome laws for the government of His Church and people, in keeping of which there is great reward; but He writes them on their heart, and puts His Spirit within them to enable them to keep His commandments, and walk in His ways.
V. THE LORD IS ALSO OUR KING. He is King of Zion and King of saints. "The government shall be upon His shoulder." He manages and directs all the concerns of His people. "His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and His dominion endureth throughout all ages."
VI. The text concludes with an EPITOME OF THE WHOLE in a few words, "He will save us." Whom will He save? Those who receive Him as their Lawgiver and King.
(J. Shore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.