Say you to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.…
The Book of God speaks but little of upper and lower classes; it says but little concerning the various ranks into which civil and political institutions have divided the race of man; but from its first page to its last it is taken up with this grand division, the righteous and the wicked. The line of nature and the line of grace run on the same as ever; the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent contend with each other still. A crimson line runs between the righteous and the wicked, the line of atoning sacrifice; faith crosses that line, but nothing else can. There is a sharp line of division between the righteous and the wicked, as clear as that which divides death from life. There are no "betweenites"; no amphibious dwellers in grace and out of grace; no monstrous nondescripts, who are neither sinners nor saints.
I. THE WELL-BEING OF THE RIGHTEOUS.
1. Observe the fact mentioned. "It shall be well with him"; that is the whole of the declaration; but the very fewness of the words reveals a depth of meaning.
(1) We may gather from the fact that the text is without descriptive limits; that it is well with the righteous always. It shall be well with the righteous, especially, in futurity. Well, upon Divine authority.
(2) It is well, we may rest assured again, with our best selves. The text does not say it is always well with our bodies, but our bodies are not ourselves, — they are but the casket of our nobler natures.
(3) When I looked at the text, I thought, — "Yes, and if God says it is well, He means it is well emphatically."(4) It is so well with him that God wants him to know it. He would have His saints happy, and therefore He says to His prophets, "Say ye to the righteous it shall be well with him." It is not wise sometimes to remind a man of his wealth, and rank, and prospects, for pride is so readily stirred up in us. But it is not dangerous to assure the Christian that it is well with him.
(5) It is no wonder that it is well with the believer when you consider that his greatest trouble is past. His greatest trouble was the guilt of sin.
(6) Then, your next greatest trouble is doomed — indwelling sin.
(7) With regard to the Christian, he knows that his best things are safe. As for his worst things, they only work his good.
(8) It must be well with the Christian, because God has put within him many graces, which help to make all things well. Has he difficulties? Faith laughs at them, and overcomes them. Has he trials? Love accepts them, seeing the Father's band in them all. Has he sicknesses? Patience kisses the rod. Is he weary? Hope expects a rest to come. The sparkling graces which God has put within the man's soul qualify him to overcome in all conflicts, and to make this world subject to his power in every battle; I mean that he getteth good out of the worst ill, or throweth that ill aside by the majesty of the life that is in him,
(9) Then mark how the Christian has, beside what is put within him by the Holy Spirit, this to comfort him, namely, that day by day God the Holy Ghost visits him with fresh life and fresh power. (10) Let me run over a few things which the Christian has, from each of which it may be inferred it must be well with him. He has a bank that never breaks, the glorious throne of grace; and he has only to apply on bended knee to get what he will. He has ever near him a most sweet companion, whose loving converse is so delightful that the roughest roads grow smooth, and the darkest nights glow with brightness. The believer has an arm to lean upon also, an arm that is never weary, never feeble, never ever withdrawn; so that if he hath to climb along a rugged way, the more rough the road the more heavily he leans, and the more graciously he is sustained. Moreover, he is favoured with a perpetual Comforter. It is well with the righteous when he comes to die. It is well with the righteous after death.
2. The ground upon which it is well with the righteous. "They shall eat the fruit of their doings." That is the only terms upon which the old covenant can promise that it shall be well with us; but this is not the ground upon which you and I stand under the Gospel dispensation. Absolutely to eat the fruit of all our doings would be even to us, if judgment were brought to the line and righteousness to the plummet, a very dreadful thing. Yet there is a limited sense in which the righteous man will do this. I prefer, however, to remark that there is One whose doings for us are the grounds of our dependence, and, blessed be God, we shall eat the fruit of His doings. He, the Lord Jesus, stood for us, and you know what a harvest of joy He sowed for us in His life and death.
II. THE MISERY OF THE WICKED. "Woe," etc. You have only to negative all that I have already said about the righteous. But why is it ill with the wicked? It must be ill with him; he is out of joint with all the world. The man has an enemy who is omnipotent, whose power cannot be resisted; an enemy who is all goodness, and yet this man opposes Him. How can it be well with the stubble that fighteth with the flame, or with the wax that striveth with the fire? An insect fighting with a giant, how should it overcome? And thou, poor nothingness, contending with the everlasting God, how can it be anything But ill with thee? It is ill with thee, sinner, because thy joys all hang upon a thread. It is ill with you, because when these joys are over you have no more to come. It shall be ill with the wicked, and let no present appearance lead you to doubt it.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.