Behold, God exalts by his power: who teaches like him?
Both of these are from God, and both of them exceed any human effort. It is his power that exalts; he is the incomparable Teacher. Let us look at both of these truths and then at their mutual relations.
I. DIVINE EXALTATION.
1. The experience. God's people are not kept in perpetual depression. Sometimes they are cast down to the dust. But this is not their continual state. Salvation is not attained by means of ceaseless humiliation. There is exaltation
(1) in gladness, rejoicing over the love of God;
(2) in strength, rising to achieve great service in the kingdom;
(3) in victory, triumphing over failure and evil.
2. Its source. God exalts. Man cannot truly exalt himself, and when he tries to do so, pride and vanity give him an ugly fall. Success in this world even is dependent on God's providence; much more are true elevation of character and exaltation of energy dependent on his favour.
3. Its accomplishment. God exalts by his power. It is much to know that God is almighty as well as most merciful and gracious. To be favoured by one who had small resources would be pleasant, but it could not be very helpful. But God's power goes with his love to effect his good designs.
II. INCOMPABARLE INSTRUCTION. "Who teacheth like him?"
1. How God teaches
(1) By experience. He puts us to a school of life; he makes us feel the reality of his lessons. The sorrows and joys, the humiliations and the exaltations are all parts of the Divine instruction.
(2) In revelation. This Divine instruction carries us out of ourselves and opens to us visions of heavenly truth. God teaches partly through prophets and apostles in the Scriptures, but mainly through Christ in his great life, death, and resurrection.
2. Why his teaching is incomparable.
(1) Because he knows the lesson. The Teacher is a master of his subject. God knows all truth. Who, then, can teach it as he will teach it?
(2) Because he understands the pupils. This condition is necessary if the lesson is not to miss the mark. Great scholars are not always great teachers, because they cannot always enter into the difficulties of beginners and expound to the simple and ignorant what they are themselves most familiar with.
(3) Because he spares no pains. He is in earnest in desiring to teach his children. He is not like the listless teacher who drones over his perfunctory task. God means to get his lessons into the dullest of his pupils, and, being in earnest and full of sympathy, he is unequalled.
III. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE EXALTATION AND THE INSTRUCTION. Each helps the other.
1. The exaltation a method of instruction. As we rise higher we leave the mists of the valley, and at the same time our horizon expands. Gladness and strength and victory open our eyes to the love of God and the glory of the kingdom. Adversity has its lessons, but so also has prosperity.
2. The instruction an element of the exaltation. We cannot become great in mind until we rise above the petty, narrow, ignorant conceptions that belong to our more backward state. Spiritual greatness implies enlarged knowledge as well as an increase in other graces. When Christ sets his people in places of joy and honour, they have to show appreciation of their privileges by opening their souls to receive the fuller truth that he reveals. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?
WEB: Behold, God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?