Verse 9. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation. The purest morality and the highest holiness were preached by Jesus. Righteousness divine was his theme. Our Lord's whole life was a sermon, eloquent beyond compare, and it is heard each day by myriads. Moreover, he never shunned in his ministry to declare the whole counsel of God; God's great plan of righteousness he plainly set forth. He taught openly in the temple, and was not ashamed to be a faithful and a true witness. He was the great evangelist; the master of itinerant preachers; the head of the clan of open air missionaries. O servants of the Lord, hide not your lights, but reveal to others what your God has revealed to you; and especially by your lives testify for holiness, be champions for the right, both in word and deed. Lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. Never either from love of ease, of fear of men, did the Great Teacher's lips become closed. He was instant in season and out of season. The poor listened to him, and princes heard his rebuke; Publicans rejoiced at him, and Pharisees raged, but to them both he proclaimed the truth from heaven. It is well for a tried believer when he can appeal to God and call him to witness that he has not been ashamed to bear witness for him; for rest assured if we are not ashamed to confess our God, he will never be ashamed to own us. Yet what a wonder is here, that the Son of God should plead, just as we plead, and urge just such arguments as would befit the mouths of his diligent minsters! How truly is he "made like unto his brethren."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9. I have preached righteousness, etc. It is Jesus who speaks, and he speaks of himself as a PREACHER. He was a preacher, and a great preacher too. He was great --
- In genuine eloquence. All the handmaids of the choicest rhetoric ministered to him as he spake. His mind touched the minds of his auditors on all sides.
- He was great in knowledge. Many who have an astonishing command of words, and who can use their words with astonishing rhetorical adroitness, spoil their influence by their "lack of knowledge." They go blunderingly onward when they attempt to think for themselves, or to guide their hearers into fields of thought which have not been tracked by minds of the pioneer order.
- He was great also in goodness. There is a greatness in goodness, and the greatness of goodness is an important element in the greatness of a preacher.
- Jesus was great, too, in official status. Official status, whether in things civil, literary, or sacred, when conferred on worthy individuals, confers, in its turn, undoubted weight and moral authority. Now Jesus was the highest official in the universe. His authority extended to all other office bearers, his office exceeded all others offices. He came from above, and was "above all." He was Lord of lords, and King of kings.
- Another element still in the greatness of Jesus, as a preacher, consisted in the greatness of his essential dignity. He was God as well as man. Such was Christ as a preacher. True he was more than a preacher; he was likewise a pattern, and a priest, and a propitiator; and as pattern, priest, and propitiator, he stands without a peer. But he was a preacher too, and as a preacher, he has never had, and never will have an equal. James Frame.
Verse 9. The great congregation. The congregation here referred to was great not only in numbers, but great also in the necessities of its individual members, and great in pollution. James Frame.
Verse 9-10. I have published ... I would not refrain ... I have not covered ... I have uttered ... I have not hid: words are heaped upon words to express the eager forwardness of a heart burning to show forth its gratitude. No elaborate description could so well have given us the likeness of one whose "life was a thanksgiving." J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 9-10. See Psalms on "Psalms 40:9" for further information.
Verse 9-10. Thy. See Psalms on "Psalms 40:9" for further information.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 9. Referring to our Lord; a great preacher, a great subject, a great congregation, and his great faithfulness in the work.