Isaiah 54:5
For thy Maker is thine Husband (comp. Hosea 2:16), "And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me, Ishi [my Husband], and shalt call me no more, Baali [my Lord]"). The figure Isaiah uses is that of the Goel, or next of kin, and this very suggestive and beautiful illustration may be taken from the story of Ruth and Boaz. Boaz was a "next of kin," and on him rested the formal duty of recovering Ruth's property, if the nearest kinsman failed to do his duty. But all formal relations were swallowed up in the tender love that knit Boaz and Ruth together as husband and wife.

I. THE CLAIMS OF GOD EXPRESSED IN THIS HUSBAND-FIGURE. The points to illustrate and enforce are two.

1. Claims come out of the love which brings us into such a relationship. Love-claims are altogether the most searching and the most sacred. The wife is bound with cords of love. In view of this relation we lose all sternness from the commands and requirements of God; love glorifies them.

2. Claims come out of the honour which such a relationship brings us. We must "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called."

II. THE PROVIDINGS OF GOD ASSURED BY THE HUSBAND-FIGURE. The wife is in the care of her husband, and because of his care she is free from care. He provides for the supply of all need. Apply the figure to the anxieties of the Church in exile, when required to set out on the long journey to Palestine, and enter upon unknown scenes, that would surely be full of toil and worry and danger. Infinite comfort came from the assurance that they were not as lone and friendless women, in view of the perplexities and anxieties of life. They had one who would shield them and keep them. "Their Maker was their Husband." The two figures for God, Father and Husband, still are for us full of gracious assurances. Helpless children have a Father; lonely women have a Husband - "the Lord of hosts is his Name."

III. THE PERSUADINGS OF GOD MADE THROUGH THE HUSBAND-FIGURE. The relation is a constant impulse to active duty. In the text it is a persuasion to energy in undertaking the journey, and impulse to the work of rebuilding the ruined city. It was persuasion to a bright and joyous acceptance of the Divine will, and a full belief in the largeness of the Divine restorations. Eastern sentiments concerning the protection and honour of having a husband put a keenness and fulness into this figure which we can hardly reach. What is evident to us is that God will put himself into any relation which may call out from us perfect trust in him. - R.T.







For thy Maker is thine Husband.
I. CONSIDER SOME THINGS WHICH ARE IMPLIED IN THIS RELATION WHEREIN CHRIST STANDS TO HIS PEOPLE, THAT NATURALLY TEND TO ENCOURAGE THEIR FAITH AND JOY IN HIM.

1. This relation intimates that nearness and union which there is between Christ and His Church. Among men the marriage union is the nearest and most strict of any that can possibly be. And because there is no higher allusion whereby to express the union of believers to Christ, the Holy Ghost useth this to give us the more lively apprehension of this admirable privilege (Ephesians 5:30); 1 Corinthians 6:17).

2. In this relation is implied the greatest love and tenderest affection.

3. The utmost care of and concern for those who are espoused.

4. The utmost pity and sympathy.

5. The having all convenient supplies which are in the power of a tender husband to give.

6. The relation of a husband gives his spouse a right to have with him everything that is properly his.

II. SHOW THE GROUND OR REASON WHICH HIS PEOPLE HAVE TO DEPEND UPON HIS ANSWERING TO THEM ALL THAT IS THUS INCLUDED UNDER THIS RELATION OF A HUSBAND.

III. MAKE PROPER IMPROVEMENT OF THE WHOLE.

1. This affords us an admirable instance of the riches of Divine grace, and the wonderful condescension of the Son of God, that He should demean Himself in such a manner as not to be ashamed of being styled a husband to such sinful worms as the best of His people are.

2. If it be the happiness of all God's people that their Maker is their Husband; how much does it stand us in stead to examine whether we are of this number?

3. Does Christ stand in this relation to His people? This may administer matter of great comfort and joy to them at all times, and under all circumstances.

4. If believers are Christ's spouse, how heinous and aggravated must their wilful trangressions be?

5. From the relation believers stand in to Christ we learn that the most ardent affection is due to Him from all His chosen.

6. This also teaches us how highly it concerns every Christian to pay a just regard to all the ordinances of our glorious Redeemer, and to take great satisfaction in yielding obedience to Him therein. How pleasant is it to a loving and an affectionate wife to wait in those paths in which her kind and absent spouse had appointed to meet her.

7. This relation Christ stands in to His people calls for their cheerful dependence upon Him.

(E. Walker.)

Homilist.
I. THE DOCTRINE THESE WORDS CONTAIN.

1. "Husband" means house-band — the head and band of the family. Hence the word denotes unison, community of interests, and special affection.

2. We learn that the Maker of all things, who fainteth not, condescends to bear to His creatures the closest and most sacred relationship In Hosea 11:19, 20, He says — I will betroth thee unto Me for ever. And the Christian in reply says, My Beloved is mine and I am His. The parallel is carried on in the New Testament (Matthew 9:14, 15). St. Paul refers to it-"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church."

3. Observe that in the original the word is in the plural — "Thy Makers are thy Husband," evidently alluding to the Trinity. We learn, then, that the love of the Father, the atonement of the Son, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, all pertain to saving, blessing, and comforting those who love God.

II. THE APPLICATION OF THE TRUTHS TO OURSELVES.

1. The wonderful sympathy of our God. He feels for our woes. We see a picture of widowhood, orphanage, a woman bereaved, forsaken in spirit. What volumes of suffering are depicted in the words mourning, solitude, and woe I So with orphanage, want of protection, and love. To them our Redeemer speaks, and Christ repeats the promises, for He says to His disciples, "I will not leave you orphans." The Divine Being cannot see His children suffer. He will be their Husband, Friend, and Protector.

2. The wonderful efficacy of our God's assistance. He will be the Husband of His people. This indicates nearness of relationship. It also indicates His right to help. The husband is the natural protector, stay, and support of his wife. It is he who makes all things conduce to the safety and happiness of his household.

3. The wonderful efficiency of our God's protection. "Thy Maker is Thy Husband." It is as if He said, He who is able to create thee is also able to preserve. And, oh, what is implied in that word "Maker!" What power, what skill, what marvellous foresight! And all is concentrated also in human preservation. Here is a word to the bereaved, the sorrowing, the tried, the longing. Here is a fulness for him that craves for sympathy and yearns for love. Here is blessedness for him that desires peace and protection.

(Homilist.)

I. THE DIGNIFIED CHARACTER OF THE BRIDEGROOM.

1. His creating power. "Thy Maker."

2. His glorious sway. "The Lord of hosts is His name."

3. His redeeming love. "Thy Redeemer."

4. His spotless holiness. "The Holy One of Israel.'

5. His universal dominion. "The God of the whole earth."

II. THE INTERESTING NATURE OF THE UNION.

1. Its qualities.

(1)It is gracious in its origin.

(2)Powerful in its accomplishment.

(3)Spiritual in its nature.

(4)Permanent in its duration.

2. Its privileges.

(1)Communion.

(2)Riches.

(3)Protection.

3. Its terms.

(1)Undivided affection.

(2)Mutual consent.Conclusion:

1. I hail those who are married to the Lord.

2. I would address such as are wedded to sin. What profit? etc.

(E. Temple.)

If I marry the Merchant, the old Puritans said in their quaint and homely fashion, all His wares shall be mine.

The God of the whole earth.
A candle does not belong to the candlestick that holds it, but to every one in the room where it shines; and the knowledge of God, the preciousness of the Divine revelation, does not belong to the nation in which it is first and most clearly disclosed. They hold it as a torch; but it is that all may have the benefit of its shining.

(H. W. Beecher.)

If God is the God of the whole earth, He must be the God of the whole earth just as it is; and I remark that while believers in the true God were tribal and national, the natural mistake which was made, and which should put us on our guard lest we fall into it again in substance, was that of supposing that God was in a special manner the God of a particular class. So let us not forget that if He is the God of the whole earth He is the God of all those physical conditions under which men are born. He is the God of those laws of descent which make the character of the parent go down to the children through many generations. He is the God of those decrees by which the drunkard's children inherit the drunkard's proclivities; by which deceit propagates deceit; by which honour breeds honour; by which motives brought to bear upon parents have an effect on the welfare of their children reaching down to the depths of futurity. He is the God of the climate in which every person lives — of that climate which drives the Esquimaux under ground during most of the months of the year, and that climate which brings the swarthy African all the year into the open air, without clothes and without a swelling. If He is the God of all the earth, then He is the God that establishes those laws which determine the occupations of men, and their characters, in a large degree. He is the God of the physical globe, in this sense: that whatever affects men by its nature, by its unconscious and continuous influence upon them, is of His ordination. Being the God of the whole earth, He is the God of the mountains and of the valleys; of the winter and of the summer; of industry and of commerce; of all the arrangements of life by which men are influenced. Men's places of abode, and their nature, are largely determined by their circumstances; and these circumstances are God's decrees.

(H. W. Beecher.)

God is the God of all nations. The Bible says that He is the God of all the earth, and I suppose there are people enough in other nations besides our own to occupy a considerable part of His sympathy and heart and attention. Well, patriotism is a good thing, but when patriotism is the influence that separates us from the other nations of the earth, it is a very narrow, mean thing, it is only another name for selfishness.

(H. W. Beecher.)

the superior and the inferior; the men of knowledge belong to God's sympathy and care, the men of virtue, the men of great acquisitions, the men of great capacity to acquire, the active, the popular, the administrative, the successful men; they are all the Lord's because they are men. And the poor, and the lower classes, the lowest, the very slaves are all God's. I have. sometimes, thought that He reveals, more of Himself to them than He does to their superiors. In other words, their utter helplessness, the necessity of leaning upon something to support them in their weakness, has brought them into such moods of mind, that God has shown some elements and attributes of His character to them, to true Christian slave mothers and fathers, that other men have not had. There are things that happen among them that look as much like miracles as those in the Gospels. There are things that happen among them that look almost as if God had opened the heavens and had personally spoken to them. It agrees with the exhibition of the sympathy of God, to give ourselves to the lower rather than to the higher, because they need it most.

(H. W. Beecher.)

There are four great names by which Almighty God is most commonly called in Christendom — Creator, King, Judge, Father. The first and last, Creator and Father, are probably absolute and literal descriptions of Him; there is no other Creator but He, and all parentage but shadows the great fact of His Fatherhood. The other two names, King and Judge, are figurative and illustrative only. But all four are revealed names; authorized names; names given by God Himself to the yearning, importunate inquiries of men who, like wrestling Jacob, cry to Him, "Tell me I pray Thee, Thy name." We must know God by more than His names if we are in any true sense to know Him; we must realize His presence; be quickened by His life; the presence everywhere revealed; the life everywhere felt. Yet on a consideration of each of His names we may find some interpretation of what is meant by the declaration that He is "the God of the whole earth."

I. He is the God as being the Creator of the whole earth. The earth would not have come into existence, and would not be to-day, but for the will, the power, the goodness of God. In the architecture of the whole earth there is God's design; in the structure there is God's might; in both there is God's love.

II. He is the God as being the King of the whole earth. Kingship is often a very conventional conception; royalty often a very conventional idea. Back of it all, in essential reality, is intended, not pomp and splendour, not rank and arbitrary authority, but genuine supremacy, the supremacy that must govern, that ought to control, and the glory that is inherent in such supremacy. We do not find much help to understanding the government of God in the kings and queens whose empire is but as an inch, whose reign n hour. Christ's kingship, and not Caesar's, nor Alexander's, nor Solomon's, nor Pharaoh's, is the true specimen of monarchy, of Divine sovereignty. He is Lord of a moral dominion, King of a spiritual empire, and yet, when He willed it, His sceptre controlled material nature, multiplying the handful of loaves and fishes into a sudden harvest by a touch, and calming the tempestuous winds and waves by a word.

III. He is the God as being the JUDGE of the whole earth. A world in which there is iniquity demands a Judge. Nay, the necessities of God's own righteous nature compel Him to be a Judge. The whole earth's God must be a universal Judge; between nations like France and Madagascar, between man and man, and between man and law, the God of all must be the supreme Judge. Unerring in His all-pervading knowledge, righteous in His infinite inspiration, infallible in His verdicts, "shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

IV. He is the God as being the FATHER of the whole earth. The heart of humanity cries, "Show us the Father and it sufficeth us," and Jesus, by the words of His lips and by the works of His hands — yet more exceedingly by His Cross, by His character, and by His Spirit is ever revealing the Father.

(U. R. Thomas, B. A.)

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