Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.Creation's Witness to the Youth of Jesus
On the one hand, we have the eternal youth of Christ, and for us who are Christians, Christ is the Creator. On the other hand, we have this great creation, the handiwork of this eternal youth. Let us try and discover the witness of creation to the perpetual youth of Jesus Christ.
I. First, then, youth is the season of abounding energy. There is an eager strenuousness in opening life that is tamed or tempered by the advance of years: I look abroad upon creation, I watch the motion of the tides; I hear the roaring of the breakers; I mark the sweep of the rivers; I am told of the resistless progress of the glacier. And I cannot think of these resistless powers but I feel the stamp of energy on nature. Now as I see these energies of nature, I feel that the heart that fashioned it was young. Christ may have lived from everlasting ages before the moment of creation came; but the eternal morning was still upon His brow when He conceived and bodied out the world.
II. Once more, youth is the season of romance. It is in youth if ever that every dream is sweet and every sound is melody. In other words, life's time of light and time of colour comes not in age but in youth. Well, now, I lift my eyes into the face of nature, and the splendour of light and the wealth of colour amaze me. I cannot watch the play of light and shade upon the sea, nor the magnificent splendours of the setting sun, but I feel that this is the romance of youth. That light and colour is not the work of age, it is the outpouring of a youthful heart. It speaks to me of the perpetual youth of Jesus.
III. But again, youth is the season of vast designs. To youth there is nothing impossible. Now we live in a world of vast design. Its distances are vast Its times are vast. This vastness, then, of space and time, that are inwrought into the design of the creation are eloquent of youth. And as I dwell on that, I turn to Christ and say, 'Thou hast the dew of Thy youth'.
IV. Lastly, youth is the time of hope. There is a royal hopefulness in youth that is magnificent. And I must be blind, indeed, if in the world around me I have found no traces of that youthful spirit. In every spring there is the hope of summer. In every summer there is hope of harvest. So as we go out into the summer world, we shall take with us that thought of its creator. And we will remember that the Creator is our portion, and that He gives eternal life and eternal youth to us.
—G. H. Morrison, Flood-Tide, p. 282.
The Dew of the Morning
It is fitting that a little child should be a Christian, because our Master, like every good man, loved children, and the child heart in its simplicity and purity is the symbol of the kingdom of Heaven. It is fitting that an old man be a Christian, because Christ only of all teachers has lifted the veil from the other world and assured the human soul that the grave is the gate of life It is fitting that a woman be a Christian, because Christ cast His shield over womanhood, and fulfilled the finest aspirations of a woman's heart. It is fitting that a man bearing the burden of life in his middle years should be a Christian, because the peace of Christ can alone garrison the heart and mind against corrupting worldliness. But there are reasons why of all people it is most fitting that a man in the flush of his youth should accept Christ, and why the religion of Jesus makes its most persuasive appeal to men in their early life, and why the words of this ancient prophecy should ever come true: 'Thou hast thy young warriors as the dew of the morning'.
And the reason I wish to urge this is because our Master was a young man.
References.—CX. 3.—J. Vaughan, Children's Sermons, 1875, p. 132. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii. No. 74. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 397.
A Priest After the Order of Melchizedek
Let us consider what a priest means, and what place, if any, he holds in the Church of Christ. The profession of priest is, I suppose, the oldest in the world. The opponents of religion in the eighteenth century pretended that the priests invented religion. Of course that is not true. Religion invented the priests. But since religion is practically universal we find priests everywhere and in all times.
I. What is the essential idea of a priest? What does the word imply, over and above what is implied by such words as minister or pastor? It implies this, the priest is an ambassador between God and man. The traditions in his case are, or should be, part of the stored wisdom of humanity in Divine things, the experience of God's saints in their dealings with God. The true and false priests are thus as far apart as heaven and hell. The false priest desires that men should remain bound till he comes to set them free. He will plunder his people like the sons of Eli; he will sacrifice the innocent blood like Caiaphas; to maintain the supposed interests of the Church he will buy the gift of God to sell it at a profit like Simon Magus. But the true priest is a born teacher and healer. He teaches and he heals because he cannot help it, necessity is laid upon him—yea, woe is me (he says) if I preach not the Gospel.
II. In the Church of Christ the grace of the priestly office is not reserved for a particular caste or profession. This power of helping others in their spiritual life, of lifting them up when they have fallen, of encouraging them when they are faint, and showing them the right path when they are in doubt is the most blessed gift which God gives to any man. It is given irrespectively of profession or sex, and it is given to be used.
—W. R. Inge, All Saints' Sermons, p. 161.
References.—CX. 4.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 398. J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons (2nd Series), p. 29. CX.—International Critical Commentary, vol. ii. p. 373. CXI. 2.—Bishop Wilberforce, Sermons, p. 182.
The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.