Precious Promises Fulfilled

churchwindow“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people  and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,  as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies  and from the hand of all who hate us;  to show the mercy promised to our fathers  and to remember his holy covenant,  the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us  that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,  might serve him without fear,  in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;  for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people  in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God,   whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high  to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68-79 ESV)

In sending the Messiah, God has made a gracious visit to his people, whom for many ages he had seemed to neglect, and to be estranged from; he hath visited them as a friend, to take cognizance of their case. God is said to have visited his people in bondage when he delivered them (Exo_3:16; Exo_4:31), to have visited his people in famine when he gave them bread, Rth_1:6. He had often sent to them by his prophets, and had still kept up a correspondence with them; but now he himself made them a visit.

He has wrought out redemption for them: He has redeemed his people. This was the errand on which Christ came into the world, to redeem those that were sold for sin, and sold under sin; even God’s own people, his Israel, his son, his first-born, his free-born, need to be redeemed, and are undone if they be not. Christ redeems them by price out of the hands of God’s justice, and redeems them by power out of the hands of Satan’s tyranny, as Israel out of Egypt.

He has fulfilled the covenant of royalty made with the most famous Old Testament prince, that is, David. Glorious things had been said of his family, that on him, as a mighty one, help should be laid, that his horn should be exalted, and his seed perpetuated, Psa_89:19, Psa_89:20, Psa_89:24, Psa_89:29. But that family had been long in a manner cast off and abhorred, Psa_89:38. Now here it is glorified in, that, according to the promise, the horn of David should again be made to bud; for, Psa_132:17, he hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (Luk_1:69), there, where it was promised and expected to arise. David is called God’s servant, not only as a good man, but as a king that ruled for God; and he was an instrument of the salvation of Israel, by being employed in the government of Israel; so Christ is the author of eternal redemption to those only that obey him. There is in Christ, and in him only, salvation for us, and it is a horn of salvation; for, [1.] It is an honourable salvation. It is raised up above all other salvations, none of which are to be compared with it: in it the glory both of the Redeemer and of the redeemed are advanced, and their horn exalted with honour. [2.] It is a plentiful salvation. It is a cornucopia – a horn of plenty, a salvation in which we are blessed with spiritual blessings, in heavenly things, abundantly. [3.] It is a powerful salvation: the strength of the beast is in his horn. He has raised up such a salvation as shall pull down our spiritual enemies, and protect us from them. In the chariots of this salvation the Redeemer shall go forth, and go on, conquering and to conquer.

He has fulfilled all the precious promises made to the church by the most famous Old Testament prophets (Luk_1:70): As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets. His doctrine of salvation by the Messiah is confirmed by an appeal to the prophets, and the greatness and importance of that salvation thereby evidenced and magnified; it is the same that they spoke of, which therefore ought to be expected and welcomed; it is what they enquired and searched diligently after (1Pe_1:10, 1Pe_1:11), which therefore ought not to be slighted or thought meanly of. God is now doing that which he has long ago spoken of; and therefore be silent, O all flesh, before him, and attend to him. See, [1.] How sacred the prophecies of this salvation were. The prophets who delivered them were holy prophets, who durst not deceive and who aimed at promoting holiness among men; and it was the holy God himself that spoke by them. [2.] How ancient they were: ever since the world began. God having promised, when the world began, that the Seed of the woman should break the serpent’s head, that promise was echoed to when Adam called his wife’s name Eve – Life, for the sake of that Seed of hers; when Eve called her first son Cain, saying, I have gotten a man from the Lord, and another son, Seth, settled; when Noah was called rest, and foretold that God should dwell in the tents of Shem. And it was not long after the new world began in Noah that the promise was made to Abraham that in his Seed the nations of the earth should be blessed. [3.] What a wonderful harmony and concert we perceive among them. God spoke the same thing by them all, and therefore it is said to be dia stomatos, not by the mouths, but by the mouth, of the prophets, for they all speak of Christ as it were with one mouth.

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Matthew Henry Commentary

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