The Lords People
James Smith, 1860
If in anything we are especially deficient, it is in gratitude to God, for his many, great, and invaluable blessings. But if we would be grateful to God, for his mercies in general, we should be especially thankful for that greatest of all mercies, when he took our nature, and appeared in our world, to put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself. Well may we exclaim with Zacharias, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has visited and redeemed his people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us, in the house of his servant David." Luke 1:68, 69
THE LORD HAS A PEOPLE.
All the earth is his, and all people are his by creation; but he has a special people, a people peculiarly his own. God's special people are chosen as individuals out of every nation, and kingdom, and tongue, and people. As an act of his own most free and sovereign grace, he chose them in his beloved Son, to be a peculiar people unto himself above all people that dwell upon the face of the earth. Having chosen them, he favors them, overruling all things in providence to bring about his purposes of love to them. In favoring them, he claims them as his own, by the agency and operation of his Spirit, and through trials, afflictions, and troubles, leads them on from grace to glory.
In their natural state they needed redemption, and required a Savior, for they were . . .
ignorant, and needed instruction,
weak, and needed strength,
enslaved, and needed emancipation,
wretched, and needed salvation.
Yes, they needed so much, that none but God could do it for them; and if God would do it, he must assume their nature, their place, and their responsibilities.
THE LORD HAS VISITED HIS PEOPLE.
He had often sent to them his servants, and appeared among them in various forms. But now he becomes incarnate. The WORD, who was God, and the revealer of God; "the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us." He came on purpose to redeem us, and to redeem us by paying a ransom price for us. Yes, he came to redeem us from all evil, and to put us in possession of all real good. He came to redeem us from among men, to redeem us to God, by his own blood, and to make us a people to show forth his praise. He visited us to raise up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.
The horn is the emblem of power, he has raised up for us a mighty Savior. The horn is the emblem of plenty, and he has provided for us a plentiful salvation. He raised up this horn in the royal house of David, so that we have a royal Savior. One to flee to, and be saved by.
Let us then admire the wondrous condescension of our God, in looking, visiting, and becoming one of us. Let us be grateful for his great mercy and condescending goodness. Let us love him in return for his great love to us. Let us prostrate ourselves before him filled with solemn reverence, and give him hearty praise. God's people may yet be reduced to straits, and be placed in circumstances of difficulty — but God will look upon them, visit them, and redeem them out of all their troubles.
When God visits, it is to relieve, deliver, and sanctify his people unto himself. Well then, may we say, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has visited and redeemed his people, and has raised up an horn of salvation for us, in the house of his servant David."
Reader, do you need a Savior? Here is one that will just suit you, he is mighty to save, and can therefore save you; here is plentiful salvation, and therefore enough for you; here is a royal Savior, who freely gives — but never sells; who grants — but never barters. Would you be redeemed from all evil, and be entitled to all good? Then come to Jesus, and his precious blood will avail to remove every legal obstacle; and his powerful arm will conquer every opposing power.
Flee to Jesus, as you would flee from a devouring flame, to a place of safety; he will receive you, he will bless you, and he will be a perfect Savior unto you. For this purpose he came into our world; for this purpose he shed his precious blood; for this purpose he lives and pleads in Heaven.
If you are not saved, it will not be because he could not save you — if you are not saved, it will not be because he was unwilling to save you; but the fault will be all your own, for it will be because you would not come unto him that you might have life. You would not come, though invited. You would not come, though exhorted. Would not come, though entreated. You would not come, though assured of a hearty welcome. You would not come, though a full, free, and everlasting salvation was promised you if you did. O the folly, the consummate folly of such conduct!