And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, to our fathers:…
It is a thing of deepest interest and significance that we can note so clearly, so repeatedly, what it was ever lay so close to the heart that craved the better, that was not dead, that reached towards light. It was ever that one transporting hope that grows out of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the hope of future and eternal life, the vista of an abiding city, a heavenly Canaan, and for their behoove "an house not made with hands," We learn here that, under whatever various aspects and with whatever needful accompaniments -
I. THE OLD ORIGINAL REVELATION WAS A REVELATION OF WHAT SHOULD BE THE CONTRADICTION OF SIN'S PRONOUNCED WORK, DEATH. The hope of the promise was the hope of eternal life and of heaven.
II. THAT THIS FIRST REAL REVELATION SHAPED ITSELF IN THE FORM OF A "PROMISE," "MADE OF GOD," TO A CERTAIN FEW, WHO WOULD HALLOW IT ABOVE ALL ELSE THEY HAD.
III. THAT IT WAS ONE LONG REMEMBERED, CLUNG TO TENACIOUSLY, AND IN THESE RESPECTS WELL JUSTIFYING ITS DIVINE ADAPTATION.
IV. THAT, MISUNDERSTOOD THOUGH IT MIGHT BE, IT TURNED ON THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, IN ONE TREMENDOUS INSTANCE OF IT, NAMELY, THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS.
V. THAT, THE FATAL WEAKNESS AND SIN OF THOSE TO WHOM THIS PROMISE, AN HEIRLOOM SO PRECIOUS, WAS GIVEN, REVEALED THEMSELVES, WHEN THE VERY HOUR OF UNSPEAKABLE GLORY CAME, AND WITH IT THE TEST CAME, AND NATURE REGARDED REVELATION AS INCREDIBLE, AND THE EYES OF NATURE DISCREDITED THEIR OWN TESTIMONY, THOUGH THE DIVINE FACT WAS THERE, THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS. One of the correctest commentaries on the letter and the spirit of this striking and beautiful passage and the similar parallel passages, is found in the exquisite little poem of J. H. Newman, entitled "Moses seeing the Land."
"My father's hope! my childhood's dream!
The promise from on high!
Long waited for I its glories beam
Now when my death is nigh.
"My death is come, but not decay;
Nor eye nor mind is dim;
The keenness of youth's vigorous day
Thrills in each nerve and limb.
"Blest scene! thrice welcome after toil -
If no deceit I view;
Oh, might my lips but press the soil,
And prove the vision true!
"Its glorious heights, its wealthy plains,
Its many-tinted groves,
They call! But he my steps restrains
Who chastens whom he loves.
"Ah! now they melt... they are but shades...
I die! - yet is no rest,
O Lord! in store, since Canaan fades
But seen, and not possest?" = -B.
Parallel VersesKJV: And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: