And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, said the LORD.
Of the true man, we might ask, as Delilah did of Samson, "Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth?" The answer includes several things.
I. SELF-MASTERY. Reason must rule, and not passion. The Spirit, not the flesh.
II. DIVINE INVIGORATION. Need constant aid. The plant thrives by commerce with the sun, so the soul gains energy from God. The prayer of all true men is that favourite one of David, "Quicken thou me."
III. DEVOTION TO THE RIGHT. Doing evil is dissipation of strength. Doing good brings its own recompense. The Sandwich Islanders believed that the souls of the braves slain in war pass into those who slay them, and that therefore the more a man kills the stronger he becomes. This is true spiritually. It was fabled of the giant Antares that when he touched the earth he renewed his strength; so when we touch right we are renewed after the image of God.
IV. ASSOCIATION WITH THE NOBLEST. To be allied with the bad is not only criminal, but ruinous. Fellowship with the good elevates and ennobles.
V. GROWING NOBLENESS OF CHARACTER, There is the consciousness of advance. Settled principles. Enlarged experience. Progress in faith and godliness. All this prophesies of victory. Peter was far stronger at Pentecost than when he made his great confession; when he wrote his Epistles than when Paul had to withstand him to the face for dissembling at Antioch.
VI. HOPE OF IMMORTALITY. The strength won will never be lost. The life given by God in Christ is everlasting.
Whene'er right feelings fire thy languid heart,
Let them not smoulder out in sighs and songs,
But flash them into living acts forthwith.
Thus strength Divine shall nerve thy mortal frame,
And light from upper worlds shall fall upon thy path." F.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.