22. And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
22. Et eritis mihi in populum, et ego ero vobis in Deum (Quod postea confirmat primo versu capitis, 31, cum dicit, In tempore illo, dicit Jehova, Ero in Deum cunctis cognationibus Israel, et ipsi erunt mihi in populum)
As this verse and what occurs in the first verse of the next chapter are materially the same, they shall be both explained here. God then says that the Jews would become a people to him, and that he would become a God to them. This mode of speaking is what we meet with everywhere in the Prophets; and it is very expressive, and includes the whole of true happiness. For when have we life, except when we become the people of God? We ought also to bear in mind that saying of the Psalmist,
"Blessed are the people whose God is Jehovah."
It confirms what I have just said, that a happy life is complete in all its parts, when God promises to be a God to us and takes us as his people. The Prophets, therefore, do not without reason so often inculcate this truth; for though nothing else might be wanting to us that could be expected, yet until we feel assured that God is a Father to us, and that we are his people, whatever happiness we may have, it will only end in misery.
But the Prophet expresses himself more fully, when he says,
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast manifested to us in thine only-begotten Son all the paternal goodness of which the fathers formerly tasted, and hast so really and fully exhibited it, that nothing more can be desired by us, -- O grant, that we may remain fixed in our trust in thee, and so cleave by true faith and in sincerity of heart to our Redeemer, that we may expect from him all things necessary for our salvation: and may we know that whatever may happen to us, we are still blessed, provided we enjoy this singular privilege, to call on thee as our Father through the name of the same thy Son. -- Amen.
Lecture One Hundred and Seventeenth
We compared yesterday the two verses in which God promises that he would yet be a God to his people. We stated what this promise means. But the latter verse specifies the time, in order that the Israelites might wait for and expect this favor, though not as yet evident: hence it is said,
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