As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you
Though ordinances are means, and ministers are instruments of comfort, God is the sole efficient cause of it; and very wonderful it is that he should condescend to administer it, since he is an immense and infinite Being, the high and lofty One, possessed of all perfections, and yet deigns to revive the spirit of the humble and contrite; since he is the Maker of heaven and earth, and all things, and those he comforts are dust and ashes; and especially since they have sinned against him, and rendered themselves abominable to him; and moreover, seeing he is so strictly just and righteous, and they also continually guilty of backslidings and revoltings from him: and yet there are many things which confirm that he will comfort them, as he here declares; since he has loved them with an everlasting love, insomuch as to give his Son for them, and to quicken them when dead in sin; and seeing he has taken them into covenant with himself, and is their covenant God and Father; and, besides, has promised to do it, who never fails, and who is able, being God all sufficient. The Targum is,
``my Word shall comfort you;''his essential Word Christ, the consolation of Israel, from whom all true and solid comforts flow; or the written word, read or heard, and especially as applied by the Spirit of God, who is another Comforter, and whose consolations the people of God walk in, nor are they small. Now the manner in which the Lord comforts the saints, especially young converts, is the most kind, tender, and affectionate; as a tender hearted mother comforts her child; when it has fallen and hurt itself, and cries, she takes it up in her arms, hugs it in her bosom, and speaks comfortably to it, to still and quiet it. The children of God often fall into sin, and hurt themselves, their peace and joy, break their bones, and lose the enjoyment of God; when, being sensible of their evils, they roar as David did, and weep bitterly as Peter; then the Lord speaks comfortably unto them, and bids them be of good cheer, for their sins are forgiven them. Or as, when a mother has an afflicted child more so than the rest, her heart yearns most after it, and she does all she can to comfort it. The people of God are an afflicted people, and their afflictions are grievous and painful; and they cry to God in their distress, who pities them, visits them, looks upon their afflictions, grants them his presence, supplies them with his grace, supports with his everlasting arms, makes their bed for them, and comforts them in all their tribulations. Or as, when a child behaves ill, the mother looks shy at it, and carries herself at a distance; which being observed, the child takes it to heart, and then that affects her, and she returns to it, and comforts it: thus, for faults committed, the Lord hides himself from his people, which grieves and troubles them; and then he gathers them to himself with great mercies, and with lovingkindness has mercy on them; and having also chastised them for their sins; and hearing them bemoaning themselves, his heart is moved towards them, and he restores comforts to them, to their mourning souls; see ( Isaiah 49:14 ) ( Isaiah 54:7 Isaiah 54:8 ) ( Isaiah 57:17 Isaiah 57:18 ) ( 63:9 ) ( Jeremiah 31:18-20 ) , it is in the original, "as a man whom his mother comforteth" F1; for mothers have a tender regard to their sons when grown up to men's estate; and all the things above mentioned may befall the people of God, when they are become young men, yea, fathers: and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem; nothing shall hinder comfort when God speaks it, or resolves to give it; not Satan, and all his temptations; the world, and all its afflictions; nor all their sins and transgressions, and the sense they have of them; nor all their unbelief, by reason of which sometimes they refuse to be comforted; but when it is the will of God they should, a tide of comfort flows in, that overpowers all: and this is often done in Jerusalem, in the church, where the Lord grants his presence, and commands his blessings; where his word is preached unto consolation, and the ordinances, those breasts of consolation, are ministered and held forth; though this is said not to the exclusion of other places, where the Lord may meet his people and comfort them, in their own houses, in their closets, in their shops, in rising up and lying down, in going out and coming in.
F1 (wnmxnt wma rva vyak) "sicut vir quem mater sua consolatur", Pagninus; "consolabitur eum", Montanus.