ďHow Beautiful upon the MountainsĒ

Isaiah 52:7

 

            The prophet here pictures the church of Godís elect as a city in captivity, which begins to rejoice as it hears the sound of an army coming across the mountains to deliver it from the oppressorís hands.

 

By nature, Godís elect are in captivity, held under the curse of the law, the bondage of sin and the dominion of Satan. Godís servants are an army of men, coming over the mountains, proclaiming deliverance by Christ. Those men and women who know their need of Christ highly esteem and value those men who proclaim the gospel of his grace. Speaking as the representative of Godís church, by divine inspiration, Isaiah declares that those who preach the gospel are men whose coming is desirable, delightful, and beautiful in the esteem of Godís elect.

 

            Obviously, Isaiahís words do not apply to all who claim to be preachers and pretend to come in the name of the Lord. False prophets, preachers of free-will, works religion, are not desirable, but contemptible. They are not to be treated with respect, but with disdain.

 

The prophet tells us plainly who those men are whose feet are beautiful. They are men who bring good tidings. They bring good news from the heart of God to the hearts of needy sinners, declaring that righteousness is established and redemption is accomplished by Christ.

 

They publish peace. Godís servants do not tell men to make peace with God. They proclaim that peace has been made for all who believe (Isaiah 40:1-2).

 

They bring good tidings of good. Godís preachers constantly preach, not the possibility of salvation, but the full accomplishment of salvation by Christ.

 

They publish salvation. Godís servants do not tell men how to ďget savedĒ, or how to ďsave themselvesĒ. We proclaim to helpless, guilty sinners how that God saves sinners by the blood atonement, imputed righteousness and effectual power of his dear Son.

 

And Godís preachers say to Zion, ďThy God reigneth!Ē They declare in unmistakable terms the glorious, absolute and universal sovereignty of God in creation, providence, and grace.

 

            Any man who does not preach these things is not to be received or heard in Godís house (2 John 9-11). Any man who does preach these blessed gospel truths is to be heard and received by the church of God as the angel of God to his people.

 

            Blessed are those people to whom God gives such a man. He is truly a pastor after Godís own heart, one who feeds the souls of men with knowledge, a supernatural, God-given knowledge of Holy Scripture, and feeds them with understanding, a supernatural, God-given understanding of their soulsí needs.

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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