But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his transgression…
It is supposed that this chapter belongs to the reign of Hezekiah; if so, the mournful state of matters which it depicts cannot have begun until towards its close. These words lead us to consider the true prophet.
I. The WORK of a true prophet. "To declare unto Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin." It is a characteristic of all true prophets that they have a keen moral sense to discern wrong, to loathe it, and to burn at it. No man is a true prophet who is not roused to thunder by the wrong. Where have we men now to "declare unto Jacob his transgression, and unto Israel his sin"?
1. This is a painful work. It will incur the disfavour of some and rouse the antagonism of the delinquents.
2. This is an urgent work. No work is more needed in England to day. To expose wrong goes a great way towards its extinction. St. Peter on the day of Pentecost charged home the terrible crime of the crucifixion to the men he addressed!
II. The POWER of a true prophet. "Truly, I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of judgment and of might." There is no egotism in this. A powerful man knows his power and will ascribe it to the right source — the "Spirit of the Lord." His power was moral; it was the might of conscience, moral conviction of invincible sympathy with eternal right and truth. This is a very different power to that of mere intellect, imagina tion, or what is called genius. It is higher, more creditable, more influential, more Godlike.
III. The FIDELITY of a true prophet. This is seen here in three things —
1. In the class he denounces. "Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, princes of the house of Israel." He struck at the higher classes of life.
2. The prophet's fidelity is seen in the charges he makes. "They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity."
(1) He charges them with extortionate cruelty.
(2) With base mercenariness.Money was the motive power of all. The prophet's faithfulness is seen —
3. In the doom he proclaims. The reference may be to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.
Parallel VersesKJV: But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.