Your heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?…
A very pleasant picture is this of a nation or of a Church on which the full blessing of God is resting. There are several elements in its prosperity.
I. A SENSE OF THE DIVINE MERCY. "The people... shall be forgiven their iniquity" (ver. 24). A sense of pardoned sin and of reconciliation to God is at the foundation of all true peace, all sacred joy, and all holy usefulness.
II. THE MAINTENANCE or DEVOTIONAL HABITS. Zion is to be always known as "the city of solemnities" (ver. 20). There reverent prayer and grateful praise and earnest inquiry of the Lord are to be continually found.
III. THE ABIDING PRESENCE AND GREAT POWER OF GOD. The word that will most commonly be heard on the lips, because most frequently rising from the soul, will be "the Lord." "Jehovah is our Judge." "Jehovah is," etc. (ver. 22). Everything is to suggest him, is to be referred to his will, is to be ascribed to his grace.
IV. A PLEASANT RECOLLECTION OF EVILS THAT ARE OVER. (Ver. 18.) Happy the Church or the man when the dark days that have been and are gone are sufficiently removed from present experience to make the memory of them a source of joy and not of pain. Such a time does often come, and we may well rejoice and be glad in it. The home is the dearer and the more delightful for the privations that have been passed through on the way.
V. ABUNDANCE FOR EVERY PURE DESIRE. The "glorious Lord" will secure bountiful supplies for every imaginable need, even as the broad river and outstretching streams provide verdure and grain over all the surface of the well-watered land, even as the affrighted and fleeing army leaves prey which even the halt and the lame will be strong enough to take. In the day of God's blessing there will be nourishment for the thoughtful, and also for those who feel more than they think; truth for the wise and for the simple, for the mature of mind and for the little child; posts of service for the advanced Christian and also for those who have just begun their course; such fullness, even to overflow, of all that meets the wants and cravings of the heart, that the weakest as well as the strongest shall find his place and take his share.
VI. DIVINE GUARDIANSHIP. Prosperity is dangerous, but, with God's Spirit in the Church, it shall not be harmful. On the broad river of success and satisfaction the sails of the spiritual enemy shall not be seen (ver. 21). "The sun shall not smite by day;" it will illumine and warm, but will not scorch and wither. Consequently, there shall be -
VII. SOUNDNESS AND SECURITY. The inhabitant will not be sick (ver. 24); "Jerusalem will be a quiet habitation," etc. (ver. 20). Spiritual soundness, moral integrity, purity of heart, shall prevail. Anal this abounding, there will be no abatement of prosperity; the stakes will not be removed, the tent will remain; there will be no need for any going into exile; there will be a happy permanence and fixedness of abode. The picture is one that is ideal rather than actual; it is what every Church should aim to present. Only the favor of God can possibly secure it. The vital question is - How is that favor to be won? And that question resolves itself into other questions - Is there occasion for humiliation and a change of spirit and of behavior? Is there need for more internal union (Psalm 133:3)? or for more prayer (Luke 18:1; James 4:3)? or for more love both of Christ and man (1 Corinthians 13:1; Revelation 2:4)? or for more zeal (Revelation 3:15)? - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?