COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE
“Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.” [Isaiah 40:1]
WHAT A SWEET TITLE: “My people!” What a cheering revelation: “Your God!” How much of meaning is couched in those two words, “My people!” Here is speciality. The whole world is God’s; the heaven, even the heaven of heavens are the Lord’s and he reigneth among the children of men. But he saith of a certain number, “My people.” Of those whom he hath chosen, whom he hath purchased to himself, he saith what he saith not of others. While nations and kindreds are passed by as being simply nations, he says of THEM “My people.”
In this word there is the idea of proprietorship to teach us that we are the property of God. In some special manner the “Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” All the nations upon earth are his; he taketh up the isles as a very little thing; the whole world is in his power; yet are his people, his chosen, favoured people, more especially his possesion; for he has done more for them than others; he has bought them with his blood; he has brought them nigh to himself; he has set his great heart upon them; he has loved them with an everlasting love, a love which many waters cannot quench, and which the revolutions of time shall never suffice in the least degree to diminish.
“My people!” O my hearers, can you by faith put yourselves in that number who believe that God says of them, “My people?” Can you look up to heaven to-night, and say, “My Lord, and my God: mine by that sweet relationship which entitles me to call thee Father; mine by that hallowed fellowship which I delight to hold with thee when thou art pleased to manifest thyself unto me as thou dost not unto the world?” Canst thou, beloved, put thine hand into thine heart and find there the indentures of thy salvation? Canst thou read thy title writ in precious blood? Canst thou by humble faith lay hold of Jesus’s garments, and say, “My Christ?” If thou canst, then God saith of thee, “My people;” for if God be your God, and Christ your Christ, the Lord has a special, peculiar favour to you; you are the object of his choice, and you shall be accepted, at last, in his beloved Son.
How careful God is of his people; those of whom he says, “My people;” mark, how anxious he is concerning them, not only for their life, but for their comfort. He does not say, “strengthen ye, strengthen ye my people;” he does not say to the angel, “protect my people;” he does not say to the heavens, “drop down manna to feed my people;”—all that and more also his tender regard secures to them; but on this occasion, to show us that he is not only regardful of our interests, but also of our superfluities, he says, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.” He would not only have us his living people, his preserved people, but he would have us be his happy people too.
He likes his people to be fed, but what is more, he likes to give them “wines on the lees well refined,” to make glad their hearts. He will not only give them bread, but he will give them honey too; he will not simply give them milk, but he will give them wine and milk, and all the sweet things which their hearts can desire. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people;” it is the Father’s yearning heart, careful even for the little things of his people. “Comfort ye, comfort ye,”—that one with a tearful eye; “Comfort ye, comfort ye,”—you child of mine with an aching heart “Comfort ye,”—that poor bemoaning one; “Comfort ye, comfort ye—my people, saith your God.”