Verse 27. In reading this verse one is struck with the Messiah's missionary spirit. It is evidently his grand consolation that Jehovah will be known throughout all places of his dominion.
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord. Out from the inner circle of the present church the blessing is to spread in growing power until the remotest parts of the earth shall be ashamed of their idols, mindful of the true God, penitent for their offences, and unanimously earnest for reconciliation with Jehovah. Then shall false worship cease, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee, O thou only living and true God. This hope which was the reward of Jesus is a stimulus to those who fight his battles. It is well to mark the order of conversion as here set forth; they shall "remember" -- this is reflection, like the prodigal who came unto himself; "and turn unto Jehovah" -- this is repentance, like Manasseh who left his idols and "worship" -- this is holy service, as Paul adored the Christ whom once he abhorred.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYING
Verse 27. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him. This passage is a prediction of the conversion of the Gentiles. It furnishes us with two interesting ideas; the nature of true conversion -- and the extent of it under the reign of the Messiah.
- The NATURE of true conversion: -- It is to "remember" -- to "turn to the Lord" -- and to "worship before him." This is a plain and simple process. Perhaps the first religious exercise of mind of which we are conscious is reflection. A state of unregeneracy is a state of forgetfulness. God is forgotten. Sinners have lost all just sense of his glory, authority, mercy, and judgment; living as if there were no God, or as if they thought there was none. But if ever we are brought to be the subjects of true conversion, we shall be brought to remember these things. This divine change is fitly expressed by the case of the prodigal, who is said to have come to himself, or to his right mind. But further, true conversion consists not only in remembering, but in "turning to the Lord." This part of the passage is expressive of a cordial relinquishment of our idols, whatever they have been, and an acquiescence in the gospel way of salvation by Christ alone. Once more, true conversion to Christ will be accompanied with the "worship" of him. Worship, as a religious exercise, is the homage of the heart, presented to God according to his revealed will...
- The EXTENT of conversion under the kingdom or reign of the Messiah: "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him." It was fit that the accession of the Gentiles should be reserved for the gospel day, that it might grace the triumph of Christ over his enemies, and appear to be what it is, "the travail of his soul." This great and good work, begun in the apostles' day, must go on, and "must increase," till "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn", and "all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him." Conversion work has been individual; God has gathered sinners one by one. Thus it is at present with us; but it will not be thus always. People will flock to Zion as doves to their windows. Further, conversion work has hitherto been circumscribed within certain parts of the world. But the time will come when "all the kindreds of the earth" shall worship. These hopes are not the flight of an ardent imagination; they are founded on the true sayings of God. Finally, while we are concerned for the world, let us not forget our own souls. So the whole world be saved and we lost, what will it avail us? Condensed from Andrew Fuller.
Verse 27. All the ends of the world shall REMEMBER -- this is a remarkable expression. It implies that man has forgotten God. It represents all the successive generations of the world as but one, and then it exhibits that one generation, as if it had been once in paradise, suddenly remembering the Lord whom it had known there, but had long forgotten... The converted nations, we learn by this verse, will not only obtain remembrance of their past loss, but will also be filled with the knowledge of present duty. John Stevenson.
Verse 27. All the nations of the world ((wrkzy) jizkeru, the same Hebrew root with (rykza) azkir) shall remember; why? what is that? or what shall they remember? Even this: they shall turn to the Lord, and worship him, in his name, in his ordinances; as is explained in the words following of this verse: And all the families of the nations ((wwhtfyw) jishtachavu, "shall bow" down themselves, or) worship before thee, etc. And so in Psalms 86:9 , "All nations whom thou hast made shall come" ((wwxtayw) vejishtachavu) "and they shall worship before thee;" and how shall they do so? Even by recording, remembering, and making mention of the glory of thy name; as in the words following (($mf wdbkyw) vicabbedu lishmecha), "and shall glorify thy name." William Strong's "Saints Communion with God", 1656.
Verse 27-28. The one undeviating object of the Son all through was, the glory of the Father: he came to do his will, and he fulfilled it with all the unvarying intensity of the most heavenly affection. What, then, will not be the exuberant joy of his heart, when in his glorious kingdom, he shall see the Father beyond all measure glorified?... The praise and honour and blessing which will be yielded to the Father in that day through him, so that God shall be all in all, will make him feel he underwent not a sorrow too much for such a precious consummation... Every note of thanksgiving which ascends to the Father, whether from the fowls of the air, or the beasts of the field, or the fishes of the sea, or the hills, or the mountains, or the trees of the forest, or the rivers of the valleys -- all shall gladden his heart, as sweet in the ears of God, for the sake of him who redeemed even them from the curse, and restored to them a harmony more musical than burst from them on the birthday of their creation. And man! renewed and regenerated man! for whose soul the blood was spilt, and for the redemption of whose body death was overcome, how shall the chorus of his thanksgiving, in its intelligent and articulate hallelujahs, be the incense which that Saviour shall still love to present unto the Father, a sweet smelling savour through himself, who, that he might sanctify his people by his own blood, suffered without the camp. How are the channels choked up or impaired in this evil world, wherein the praise and glory of our God should flow as a river! How will Christ then witness, to the delight of his soul, all cleared and restored! No chill upon the heart, no stammering in the tongue, in his Father's praises! No understanding dull, or eye feeble, in the apprehension of his glory! No hand unready, or foot stumbling, in the fulfilling of his commandments. God, the glory of his creatures: his glory their service and their love; and all this the reward to Jesus of once suffering himself. C. J. Goodhart, M.A., in "Bloomsbury Lent Lectures", 1848.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 27. (last clause). Life everlasting. What lives? Source of life. Manner of life. Why for ever? What occupation? What comfort to be derived from it?
Verse 27. Nature of true conversion, and extent of it under the reign of the Messiah. Andrew Fuller.
Verse 27. The universal triumph of Christianity certain.
Verse 27. The order of conversion. See the Exposition.