On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that enfolds all the peoples, the sheet that covers all the nations;
I. THE EXISTENCE OF SPIRITUAL VEILS. They are those of:
1. Credulity. Often the mind freely accepts all kinds of irrational, superstitious errors, which coat and cover the truth of God, rendering it invisible beneath a mass of error.
2. Prejudice. Men who act as did the Jews in our Lord's time, determining beforehand and judging irrespective of the evidence before their eyes, making up their minds in advance of any facts or reasons which have to be alleged, are sure to miss their way. They cannot see through the veil of prejudice.
3. Intellectual pride: unwillingness to believe anything which our finite faculties cannot comprehend; practical forgetfulness that the heavenly Father must have many more truths that we can only very dimly discern to reveal to his children, than earthly fathers have to make intelligible to their sons.
4. Worldliness: allowing the interests, occupations, gratifications, of this world to assume a magnitude and importance to which they have no claim; and allowing the conventional maxims of society to pass current as heavenly truth, when they are only too often misleading and even deadly errors.
5. Passion. The false glare of passion hides from many souls the truth which otherwise they would see and by which they' would live.
II. THEIR REMOVAL God "will destroy... the veil that is spread over all the nations."
1. It is a blessed fact, in the far future, which God will establish. By means he is now employing, and perhaps by ways and methods of which we may have no conception now, he will bring it to pass; the day will come when the nations shall walk in the light of the Lord; both Jew (2 Corinthians 3:16) and Gentile (Isaiah 60:3).
2. We may contribute our share toward this happy issue: there are mental errors and spiritual delusions which we can help to expose, both by enlightening words and convincing action.
3. We are bound to make every effort to put away whatever veil may be over our own eyes. Unconscious spiritual blindness is sin (see John 9:41). It may be in part a man's misfortune, but it is partly his fault. There may be that which palliates it, but nothing will excuse it. We must betake ourselves to God (Psalm 139:23, 24). - C.
And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over an people.I. THE GOSPEL DESTROYS THE COVERING WHICH HIDES THE TRUE NATURE OF MAN. The covering of sin has ever concealed the nature, the nobility of nature, the capabilities of nature, and the possibilities of nature in mankind. The covering is thick and coarse. Ignorance, brutality, discord, war, barbaric customs, plunder, and gross immoralities are the threads of the textile. They are so closely woven that the very features of human nature are hidden. Take off the covering. You have seen the earth when winter has possessed its vales, its forests, its gardens, and its fields. The frost has ploughed the ground. The sleet has destroyed every vestige of verdure. Even the ivy leaf is covered with the snow. Spring will destroy that covering, and life will shoot up from the roots to the highest boughs. So the advent of Christ introduced revivifying influences, and the true nature of man is discovered in kind words and deeds of goodness. Our forefathers never thought that nature had concealed such precious ores in the hearts of the mountains. A few years ago even we had no conception that down deep in the bosom of the earth wells of oil waited to be drawn to the surface. The covering has been taken away since, and these valuables have seen the light. Jesus Christ sunk shafts through the outward crust of sin, and brought forth precious ores to be smelted in the furnace of His love, moulded in His example, and circulated through the ages.
II. THE GOSPEL DESTROYS THE COVERING WHICH HIDES THE TRUE NATURE OF GOD. Communion with the source of peace was broken by the first shadow of guilt. Man in the dark is seized with fear Of the God who made him. This fear grows into dislike, and dislike into indifference, and indifference into defiance. The fool desireth in his heart that there might be no God, and the dislike grows into a positive refusal of entertaining God in his thoughts. But sin has not succeeded to remove all traces of God item the human mind. The sinner cannot altogether close his eyes and ears to those manifestations and voices which force the idea of God upon him. Under the covert of sin conceptions of Him are entertained at variance with His nature, and in opposition to His dealings. Christ came to reveal the Father. The power of reconciliation is in that word.
III. THE GOSPEL DESTROYS THE COVERING WHICH HIDES THE TRUE AFFINITY BETWEEN MAN AND MAN. "Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be." The basis of the Church is union with the Father. We meet in Him befogs we meet in one another. National prejudice and society caste, family feuds and personal animosity will perish under the influence of the Cross; humanity will be raised into union with the Father, and "God will be all and in all."
IV. THE GOSPEL WILL DESTROY THAT WHICH HIDES THE FUTURE. "He will swallow up death in victory." It was a new declaration when One said, "I am the resurrection and the life."
(T. Davies, M. A.)
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