‘Come ye near unto Me.’—Isa. xlviii. 16.
‘ SHE obeyed not the voice; . . . she trusted O not in the Lord, she drew not near to her God.” What was her portion ? ‘Woe to her!’
* But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, though we thus speak.” For Jesus says that if He is lifted up. He will draw all men unto Him.*
And it is the Lord Jesus Himself (see context) who says, ‘ Come ye near unto Me, hear ye this !’1 No matter how far off you may be, this call of peace is to you who are far off.’ And if you hearken, then shall your peace be as a river. * And if you have already come to Jesus, still He says to them that are nigh, ‘Now ye have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near,’*—nearer still, closer and closer to the Lord who loves you.There is only one way of coming near or being made near, but that way is open for you. Not into the outer court of religious profession, but ‘into the Holiest,’ into the reality of most sacred nearness to your Lord, you may enter ‘by the blood of Jesus.’5 The moment you claim by faith the power of that precious blood,6—the moment you let your Great High Priest put it upon you,7 that moment ‘ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. ‘8 Then, having this High Priest,* and having this one blessed and unfailing means of access, ‘let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith.’10
Do not be discouraged from coming near because you feel far off. Take that rather as your very claim to be included in the call, for He says, ‘Hear ye that are far off, what I have done!'” and take it as your very reason for coming; come just because you are ‘a great way off,’ for He says, ‘They that are far off shall come.’ 12
1 Isa. xlviii. 16. 2 Isa, lvii. 19. 3Isa. xlviii. 18.
4 2 Chron. xxix. 31. 5 Heb. x. 19. 6 Heb. xiii. 12.
7 Lev. xiv. 14; Heb. ix. 13, 14. 8 Eph. ii. 13.
9 Heb. iv. 14. 10 Rom. v. 9; Eph. iii. 12; Heb. x. 21, 22.
11 Isa. xxxiii. 13. 12 Zech. vi. 15.
If you feel very powerless about it, plead and claim the promise of His enabling grace, ‘I will cause him to draw near.’1 And then you will find that ‘blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee; ” and your experience will be, ‘ It is good for me to draw near unto God.”
He who causes you to come near will keep you near. Joseph did not only say to his brethren, ‘Come near to me,’* in that moment of tenderest love when he made himself known to them, but his promise was, ‘And thou shalt be near unto me.’5 This is your calling. Never to be far off any more! Never any more distance and separation !6 Never any more wandering in the far country7 without God,8 but henceforth to be ‘a people near unto Him I” ‘No more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,”0 having found the very home of the weary heart, from which you shall no more go out.11
1 Jer. XXX. 21. 2 Ps. Ixv. 4. 3 Ps. Ixxiii. 28.
4 Gen. xlv. 4. 5 Gen. xlv. 10. 6 Rom. viii. 35-39.
7 Luke XV. 13. 8 Eph. ii. 12. 9 Ps. cxlviii. 14.
10 Eph. ii. 19. 11 Rev. iii. 12.