Verse 14. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence. These two things are the weapons with which the poor are assailed: both law and no law are employed to fleece them. The fox and the lion are combined against Christ's lambs, but the Shepherd will defeat them, and rescue the defenceless from their teeth. A soul hunted by the temptations of Satanic craft, and the insinuations of diabolical malice, will do well to fly to the throne of Jesus for shelter.
And precious shall their blood be in his sight. He will not throw away his subjects in needless wars as tyrants have done, but will take every means for preserving the humblest of them. Conquerors have reckoned thousands of lives as small items; they have reddened fields with gore, as if blood were water, and flesh but manure for harvests; but Jesus, though he gave his own blood, is very chary of the blood of his servants, and if they must die for him as martyrs, he loves their memory, and counts their lives as his precious things.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. And precious shall their blood be in his sight. The Angolani so despised their slaves that they would sometimes give as many as twenty-two for one hunting dog... But Christ prefers the soul of one of his servants to the whole world, since he died that it might be made more capable of entering into eternal felicity. For breaking one goblet the Roman cast his slave into the pond to be devoured by the muraenae. But the Son of God came down from heaven to earth to deliver mankind, his vile, ungrateful, faithless servants, from the pangs of the serpent, like the golden fleece, and save them as Jonah from the whale. Is not their blood precious in his sight? Thomas Le Blanc.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14. The martyr's hope in life and comfort in death. G. Rogers.
Verse 14. (last clause). The martyr's blood.
- Seen of God when shed.
- Remembered by him.
- Honoured by being a benefit to the church.
- Rewarded especially in heaven.