Verse 16. More is promised than was prayed for. See how the ninth verse asks for the priests to be clad in righteousness, and the answer is, I will also clothe her priests with salvation. God is wont to do exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or even think. Righteousness is but one feature of blessing, salvation is the whole of it. What cloth of gold is this! What more than regal array! Garments of salvation! we know who has woven them, who has dyed them, and who has given them to his people. These are the best robes for priests and preachers, for princes and people; there is none like them; give them me. Not every priest shall be thus clothed, but only her priests, those who truly belong to Zion by faith which is in Christ Jesus who hath made them priests unto God. These, are clothed by the Lord himself, and none can clothe as he does. It even the grass of the field is so clothed by the Creator as to out do Solomon in all his glory, how must his own children be clad? Truly he shall be admired in his saints; the liveries of his servants shall be the wonder of heaven. And her saints shall shout aloud for joy. Again we have a golden answer to a silver prayer. The Psalmist would have the "saints shout for joy." "That they shall do", saith the Lord, "and aloud too"; they shall be exceedingly full of delight; their songs and shouts shall be so hearty that they shall sound as the noise of many waters, and as great thunders. These joyful ones are not, however, the mimic saints of superstition, but her saints, saints of the Most High, "sanctified in Christ Jesus." These shall be so abundantly blessed and so satisfied, and so apparelled that they can do no otherwise than shout to show their astonishment, their triumph, their gratitude, their exultation, their enthusiasm, their joy in the Lord. Zion has no dumb saints. The sight of God at rest among his chosen is enough to make the most silent shout. If the morning stars sang together when the earth and heavens were made, much more will all the sons of God shout for joy when the new heavens and the new earth are finished, and the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride for her husband. Meanwhile, even now the dwelling of the Lord among us is a perennial fountain of sparkling delight to all holy minds. This shouting for joy is guaranteed to Zion's holy ones: God says they shall shout aloud, and depend upon it they will: who shall stop them of this glorying? The Lord hath said by his Spirit, "let them shout aloud": who is he that shall make them hold their peace? The Bridegroom is with them, and shall the children of the bride chamber fast?: Nay, verily, we rejoice, yea and will rejoice.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 16. I will clothe her priests with salvation. Their salvation shall be evident and conspicuous, just as a garment is. --Aben Ezra.
Verse 16. God's presence is an earnest of all good; for all this follows upon "here will I dwell." By it he giveth meat to the hungry, and comfort to the poor, even the Bread of Life to the believing and repenting soul; by it he himself is the sanctification of his priests, and his righteousness and salvation is their most glorious vesture; and by his presence he maketh his elect ever glad, filling their hearts with joy and their mouths with songs. --J. W. Burgon.
Verse 16. Her saints shall shout aloud for joy. It would astonish and amuse a European stranger to hear these natives sing. They have not the least idea either of harmony or melody; noise is what they best understand, and he that sings the loudest is considered to sing the best. I have occasionally remonstrated with them on the subject; but the reply I once received silenced me for ever after. "Sing softly, brother", I said to one of the principal members. "Sing softly!" he replied, "is it you, our father, who tells us to sing softly? Did you ever hear us sing the praises of our Hindu gods? how we threw our heads backward, and with all our might shouted out the praises of those who are no gods I and now do you tell us to whisper the praises of Jesus? No, sir, we cannot -- we must express in loud tones our gratitude to him who loved us, and died for us!" And so they continued to sing with all their might, and without further remonstrance. --G. Gogerly, in "The Pioneers: a Narrative of the Bengal Mission," 1870
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 16,18. Two forms of clothing: salvation and shame, prepared for his priests and Iris enemies. Which will you wear?