As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
The Bible is a warm letter of affection from a parent to a child; and yet there are many who see chiefly the severer passages. As there may be fifty or sixty nights of gentle dew in one summer, that will not cause as much remark as one hailstorm of half-an-hour; so there are those who are more struck by those passages of the Bible that announce the indignation of God than by those that announce His affection.
1. God has a mother simplicity of instruction. A father does not know how to teach a child the A B C. Men are not skilful in the primary department. But a mother has so much patience that she will tell a child for the hundredth time the difference between F and G and between I and J. She thus teaches the child, and has no awkwardness of condescension in so doing. So God, our Mother, stoops down to our infantile minds. God has been teaching some of us thirty years, and some sixty years, one word of one syllable, and we do not know it yet — f-a-i-t-h, faith. When we come to that word, we stumble, we halt, we lose our place, we pronounce it wrong. Still, God's patience is not exhausted. God, our Mother, puts us in the school of prosperity, and the letters are in sunshine, and we cannot spell them. God puts us in the school of adversity, and the letters are black, and we cannot spell them. If God were merely a king, He would punish us. If He were simply a father, He would whip us. But God is a mother, and so we are borne with and helped all the way through. A mother teaches her child chiefly by pictures. God, our Mother, teaches us almost everything by pictures. Is the Divine goodness to be set forth? How does God teach us? By an autumnal picture. The barns are full. The wheat-stacks are rounded. The orchards are dropping the ripe pippins into the lap of the farmer. Does God, our Mother, want to set forth what a foolish thing it is to go away from the right, and how glad Divine mercy is to take back the wanderer? How is it to be done? By a picture.
2. God has a mother's favouritism. A father sometimes shows a sort of favouritism. Here is a boy — strong, well, of high forehead and quick intellect. The father says, "I will take that boy into my firm yet; or, "I will give him the very best possible education. There are instances where, for the culture of the one boy,, all the others have been robbed. A sad favouritism; but that is not the mother's favourite. I will tell you her favourite. There is a child who, at two years of age, had a fall. He has never got over it. The scarlet fever muffled his hearing. He is not what he once was. The children of the family all know that he is the favourite. So he ought to be; for if there is any one in the world who needs sympathy more than another, it is an invalid child. Weary on the first mile of life's journey; carrying an aching head, a weak side, an irritated lung. So the mother ought to make him a favourite. God loves us all; but there is one weak, and sick, and sore, and wounded, and suffering, and faint. That is the one who lies nearest and more perpetually on the great,, loving heart of God. There is not such a watcher as God.
3. God has a mother's capacity for attending to little hurts. The father is shocked at the broken bone of the child, or at the sickness that sets the cradle on fire with fever, but it takes the mother to sympathize with all the little ailments and little bruises of the child. If the child has a splinter in its hand, it wants the mother to take it out, and not the father. So with God our Mother: all our annoyances are important enough to look at and sympathize with.
4. God has a mother's patience for the erring. If one does wrong, first his associates in life cast him off; if he goes on in the wrong way, his business partner cuts him off; if he goes on, his best friends cast him off. But after all others have cast him off, where does he go? Who holds no grudge, and forgives the last time as well as the first? Who sits by the murderer's counsel all through the long trial? Who tarries the longest at the windows of a culprit's cell? Who, when all others think ill of a man, keeps on thinking well of him? It is his mother.
5. God has a mother's, way of putting a child to sleep. You know there is no cradle-song like a mother s. The time will come when we will be wanting to be put to sleep. Then we want God to soothe us, to hush us to sleep.
(T. De W. Talmage, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.