For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, said the LORD…
God's family in all ages have resembled each other. Hence the Word of God is rich in consolation.
I. GOD'S WORD DEALS WITH AND IS ADDRESSED TO CHARACTERS. Two such are named.
1. The poor — the poor in spirit, conscious that they have no good in themselves. God brings all His people to this state.
2. The oppression of the poor. Poverty gives room for oppression. The rich are not oppressed. And so it is spiritually. Hezekiah, near to death, cries out, "Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me." The law on a man's conscience does this. "It strikes the dying dead." Thus the Lord deals with His people to bring them down. But their sighing is a sign of life. The dead in sin feel nothing. They may have alarming fears of hell, but no trouble of conscience; they, as Isaiah says, may "cry for sorrow of heart and howl for vexation of spirit," but "they do not cry unto God with their heart when they howl upon their beds."
II. FOR THE SIGHING OF THE NEEDY. A man may be poor without being needy, without having any desire for what he does not possess; he may be content with his poverty.
1. But the needy are they who are not content, who feel and utter their need. This is true of spiritual things. He is full of needs. He wants more and more of the grace of Jesus.
2. He sighs. He is sighing after God, sighing unto the Lord under the burden of his sins; he wants the light, life, liberty, peace of the Gospel of God.
III. THE ANSWER TO THESE CRIES.
1. "Now will I arise." As if the Lord had been looking on but sitting still; as a father may watch his child at play, but let him perceive the child in danger, then will he start up and rush to the rescue. It is this sitting still of the Lord that so puzzles and perplexes God's family; that He should seem to take no notice of them. But He will not be always so. A time is fixed when He will arise. 2. "I will set in safety,... puffeth at him." Then poor people are puffed at, not only poor and oppressed. Yes, for Satan in one that puffs at them. Sinners do also. And saints can do it to. Then much of pride and annoyance are to be found in God's children. But the Lord will set them in safety. Not, perhaps, deliver them, but set them in Himself, a safe spot indeed. And there is the puff of flattery, and of enmity. Through much tribulation we must enter the Kingdom. But thither we shall be brought.
(J. C. Philpot.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
WEB: "Because of the oppression of the weak and because of the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says Yahweh; "I will set him in safety from those who malign him."