Speak, Thus said the LORD, Even the carcasses of men shall fall as dung on the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman…
Comparison of the earthly acquisitions and properties of the natural man with those which are spiritual and Divine frequent in Scripture. In history and in life they are seen in competition. It is not that the one class of gifts is to be wholly despised and the other alone sought. A correct perspective must be established. It is the "glory" of a man that requires in the first place to be determined. After that is settled, all other things will take their due place and precedency.
I. THE "GLORY" OF MAN MUST DEPEND UPON THE END FOR WHICH HE HAS BEEN BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE. This is written in his nature, confirmed by providence, and made clear by revelation. In the words of the Westminster Catechism," The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever." Everything else must be subordinated to this; but if pursued in its place, will show itself to be a perversion of his nature, and will end in calamity and misery. How very few care to satisfy themselves upon this momentous question! Hence the necessity for the teachings and warnings of experience.
1. The "glory ' of man will be declared by the manner in which the circumstances of his earthly lot affect it in the working out of that end. Each of the qualities and properties upon which men usually pride themselves has been tried in this way and found deficient. The wisdom of the world has a thousand times been shown to be foolishness before God. There are a myriad problems for which it has no key. "Might" has been reduced to nothingness by the least of the duties and experiences of the spiritual life. Disease and death can bring down the mighty from their seats, and stay the greatest worker at his task. Many a time has the cherished object after which one has labored with apparent success been snatched away just when about to be attained. And "wealth" is similarly discredited. The moth and the rust can corrupt the treasures of earth, and the thief breaks through and steals them from their most guarded security. The accident of fortune may give or take away the greatest fortune. And when death comes, all these earthly possessions have to be left behind. They cannot avail for what lies beyond. How seldom are these gifts used for the highest end! And how unavailing of themselves would they be to secure it!
2. The "glory of man must depend upon the success with which it contributes to secure that end.
II. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS INDICATED UNMISTAKABLY BY THESE TESTS AS THE ONLY TRUE GLORY" OF MAN. God is identified with the ultimate aim of our being. He made us, and it is for him we live. Consequently, the better we know him, the better shall we be able to serve him.
1. Imitation of God will spring from the knowledge of him. The more we know of him the more we must love him, and admiration will lead to resemblance in spirit and in life. "We love him, because he first loved us."
2. Knowledge depends on and leads to obedience. (John 7:17.) The knowledge of God sheds light upon the universe and life, and directs the soul and body into the channels of health, happiness, and usefulness.
3. It is connected with and culminates in Divine fellowship. In this way the character and presence of God are brought into closest contact with the spirit of man, his character is molded into the image of the Divine original, and the joys of communion deepen and enlarge into the blessedness of heaven. "This is life eternal, [even now] to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: Speak, Thus saith the LORD, Even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.