Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest. He will do whatever is in My heart and mind. And I will build for him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed one for all time.
1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). But taking the expression as equivalent to "a faithful ministry," consisting of men appointed by Christ to a special service for him (Malachi 2:6, 7; Acts 6:4; Ephesians 4:11; Colossians 1:7; 2 Timothy 2:2), and faithfully fulfilling the purpose of their appointment, it leads us to notice -
I. WHENCE IT IS DERIVED. "I will raise up."
1. He alone can do it. From him come natural gifts and, still more, spiritual graces, eminent faith and patience, humility, courage, meekness, tender compassion "on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way," etc.
2. He has promised and made provision for it (Jeremiah 3:15). "I will build him a sure (enduring) house." "The death of Christ hath a great influence unto this gift of the ministry. It is a branch that grew out of the grave of Christ; let it be esteemed as lightly as men please, had not Christ died for it we had not had a ministry in the world" (Owen, vol. 9. p. 441). He "will be inquired of" for it. If Churches would have "good ministers of Jesus Christ," they must seek them from God (Matthew 9:38).
II. WHEREIN IT APPEARS. "Shall do according to that which is in my heart and in my mind."
1. Supreme regard to his will as the rule of character and labour.
2. Clear insight into his mind in relation to the special requirements of the time, place, and circumstances.
3. Practical, earnest, and constant devotion to it in all things, the least as well as the greatest. Even as "Christ himself." "I have given you an example."
III. WHEREBY IT IS HONOURED. "And he shall walk before mine anointed forever."
1. Enjoyment of the King's favour (Proverbs 16:15).
2. Employment in the King's service; in continued, honourable, beneficent, and increasing cooperation with him.
And I will raise me up a faithful priest.I. THE PRINCIPLE OF DIVINE REJECTION IS ALWAYS THE SAME.
1. There is nothing arbitrary in God's dealings with men.(1) They seem so to us —(2) Only because we are ignorant of many of the facts with which He is acquainted.(3) If we know the whole, we should see how entirely all His doings are referable to His eternal love and wisdom.(4) We must never there. fore justify God's dealings by mere appeals to His power, to His right to do as He pleases, as though His pleasure could ever be at variance with the dictates of infinite love and perfect wisdom.
2. The real cause of rejection is always found in the enmity against God in the natural man. And this enmity shows itself in self-will. "Them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despite Me shall be lightly esteemed "(ver. 30).(1) So it was in Saul: "Hath the Lord as much pleasure in burnt offerings and in sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?"(2) So in the sons of Eli. They did not love God's will or way.(3) The most awful example in Judas.
II. GOD WILL NOT HAVE HIS WORK NEGLECTED ON ACCOUNT OF OUR UNFAITHFULNESS. "I will raise up a faithful priest" (ver. 35). In the Old Testament, Samuel came into the place of Eli's family. In the New Testament, Matthias came into the place of Judas. Note here, in conclusion, two separate lessons.
1. To those who refuse God's work. They will be rejected, but the work will not be left undone.
2. To those who offer themselves to that work in sincerity and devotion. What is their course?(1) Fidelity: "a faithful priest."(2) Sympathy with the purposes of God: "Do according to that which is in mine heart."(3) The protection and blessing of God: "I will build him a sure house."(4) Endurance: "He shall walk before mine anointed forever."
(W. R. Clark, M. A.)
He shall walk before Mine anointed forever.
( C. H. Spurgeon.).
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