"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star."
I. THE ROOT OF DAVID. So is Christ named here, or rather so does he name himself. What is the meaning of this name? The reference is to Isaiah 11., where we read, "Behold, there shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse, and a scion shall spring forth from his roots;... and in that day there shall be a root of Jesse." Hence the meaning is:
1. Not that our Lord was the Author, the Source of the family of David, as well as its Offspring. It does not mean that before David was, Christ was, as he said concerning Abraham. Many, however, have so understood these words as if they were equivalent to what we mean when we call our Lord "the second Adam;" as St. Paul does. No doubt Christ is, in this sense, the Root of David, as he is of us all. Unless we believe matter to be eternal, man must have sprung from some spiritual root. We are told that God by Christ "created the heavens and the earth," and that "the things which are made were not made of things which do appear." We and all men and things are the product of his Divine essence. No doubt these words are beyond our comprehension. It is "by faith" we accept them. Therefore, in this sense, Christ was the Root of David. But it is not the truth taught here. That truth is:
2. Christ is as a stem springing from the root of David. Oftentimes there may be seen springing up from the roots of a tree which has been cut down or broken off, and which has disappeared all but its roots, a vigorous but slender stem, which may grow up to be itself a stalwart tree. Now it was when the house of David had fallen low, its glory all gone, that as a stem out of the ancient root Christ appeared. True, he was of the house and lineage of David, but the fortunes of that house were at their lowest when Jesus was born. The crown of Judah had left the line of David, and had passed into the Asmonean, and then into the Maccabean, and then into the Herodian dynasties. And now when the noble tree had fallen, and nothing but the roots were left, and these hidden, buried, altogether unnoticed by men, lo! there springs up a stem, a shoot, out of that ancient root, small and insignificant to the eye, but destined to be great indeed. And in a spiritual sense Christ is the Root, not only of David, lint of many others also. How often, when all men's earthly pride and greatness have been taken away, the tender plant of grace springs up, and Christ becomes in and to them "the Hope of glory"! What an encouragement this fact is! Nothing seemed less likely than that the house of David should flourish once more. But in Christ it does so still. Yes, out of the roots, when all else is gone, this new, blessed, and Divine growth may spring.
II. THE OFFSPRING OF DAVID. That Christ was so is shown:
1. By many Scriptures. Continually is he called the "Son of David."
2. By the silence of his enemies. Could they have shown that he was not descended from David, they would have gained a great advantage against him. But they tacitly admitted it because they could not disprove it.
3. By the genealogies given in Matthew 1. and in Luke. The former gives our Lord's legal descent, the latter his natural descent. Jesus being adopted by Joseph, whose descent St. Matthew gives, took the place of his son, and was reckoned legally as such. But St. Luke gives the descent of Mary from the elder branch of the house of David. God had promised that it should be so, that Christ should be born of his house, and when it seemed as if the promise had failed, lo! it was abundantly fulfilled. Learn: "He is faithful that promised,"
III. THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR, This august name declares our Lord to be: The Brightness of the Father's glory. Stars have been chosen by all nations as fit symbols of majesty, and especially by the nations of the East, where the stars shine out with a glory of which we in our cloudy climates little know. Hence they were regarded as symbols of kingly rule (cf. Numbers 24., "A star shall rise, and a sceptre," etc.). And their majestic appearance led to their worship (cf. the Magi). The kingly glory of Christ, the brightness of the Father's glory, is there meant. "Thou art the King of glory, O Christ."
2. The Pledge and Bringer in of the perfect day. Not only is he the Star, but the Bright and Morning Star. The Star which foretold the day dawn; the "Day Star," as he is elsewhere called. And Christ is this. The shadows of night rest on man and his dwelling place; but Christ has come, and what treasure store of hope is there not in him for us all? - S. C.
I, Jesus, have sent Mine angelLuke 22:43 seems as if He needed and had, in the days of His flesh, such angelic guardianship as is implied in St. Matthew 18:10; and this passage is at least consistent with the view that His angel appears in His form, as St. Peter's was supposed to do (Acts 12:15). It is very ably argued by St. (de Cura pro Mortuis) that if any apparitions after death or at the moment of death are really objective and supernatural they must be ascribed to angels, not to the spirits of the dead. But we must remember that our Lord's state is not the same as that of His departed servants. He is already in the body of the resurrection, and so conceivably visible. And there can be no doubt that He appeared in His own risen body to St. Paul, and probably to St. Stephen. It may be, therefore, that He now appears personally to St. John, at once superseding and authenticating the previous ministry of the angel.
(W. H. Simcox, M. A.)
I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morningI. THIS TITLE IMPLIES THE ENTIRE IDENTIFICATION OF CHRIST WITH HUMANITY. The certainty of final triumph for humanity rests on the fact of its vital union with Christ.
II. THE TITLE CONNECTS HIM WITH THE STREAM OF HUMAN HISTORY. A mysterious consciousness belonged to many of the members of His house and line. Some of them were prophets, and from them sounded out on the youth of the world sayings pregnant with distant meaning. They themselves were types, signs, representatives of Christ, until He Himself should appear.
III. THE TITLE ESTABLISHES A UNITY IN THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH NATION. Since, in the Divine counsels, it had been determined that the Redeemer should arise out of the bosom of humanity, some line must be necessarily selected as that of His descent. The line is that of the royal David, and this is the clue by which to traverse the maze of the world's history until the incarnation.
IV. THE TITLE EMBODIES A REFERENCE TO THE KINGLY OFFICE OF CHRIST. The favourite representation of the prophets is that of the King, whose reign shall be in peace, in truth, in equity, in righteousness for ever and ever (Psalm 122; Isaiah 2:4; 42:1-4; 52:13-15, 16; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13, 14; Micah 5:1-4).
V. THE TITLE ALLUDES TO THE VIGOROUS GROWTH AND SURPASSING GREATNESS OF THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST. The word "root" evidently refers to the prophecy in Isaiah 1:1-10 (see also Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12). Not the actual root of the tree is meant, but the scion or sucker, which sprouts from the decaying root. At the advent of the Saviour the kingdom of David was indeed like the fallen trunk of a noble tree. A foreign people treads on Judea's soil, and bows a once powerful nation beneath its yoke. Yet behold the vigorous sprout which comes forth out of this decayed root!
(E. Johnson, B. A.)
The bright and morning star
I. We might think of the precious KNOWLEDGE diffused by Christ's gospel through the world; we might think of the ideal of life presented by the life of Christ — the ideal of a life meek and lowly, loving and tender, gentle and self-sacrificing, and yet brave with unflinching courage, generous with noble self-sacrifice. But as our thoughts at Christmas rather turn to our homes, we may try to see how Christ is there "the Bright and Morning Star." The Christ-light in the home alone can make it happy. The Christ-light, the Lord Himself honoured, the influence of His wishes felt, the restraining power of His teaching moulding the character; tempers subdued for His sake, self-will controlled, self-conceit kept down with a strong hand, angry and harsh-judging words silenced, mutual bearing and forbearing, kindness, courtesy, consideration for others, proceeding from thought of Christ and wish to do His will; these are the things that make the home bright. Even one person in a household, thoroughly influenced by the love of Christ, and walking in the light of His presence, will bring wonderful brightness to a whole family. They hardly know what makes home so pleasant. What is it? It is the light from "the Bright and Morning Star." It glistens in the kind eyes and pleasant countenance of a humble follower of Jesus; and sullenness, gloom, and ill-humour flee before it like shadows before the breaking day. But homes are sometimes darkened by causes over which we seem to have less control — by poverty, sickness, anxiety, sorrow. And the greeting of "Happy Christmas" sometimes comes with a bitter sense of unreality to those who know that food is scanty, or the hearth dark and lonely. Still, there is a power that brings cheer to the poor man's board, and comfort to the mourner's sorrow. When "the Morning Star" shines in the heart, those words are often thought of, "I was hungry, and ye fed Me; thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; sick and in prison, and ye visited Me." And so Christian charity, Christian kindness, Christian sympathy, passes on the light of Christ from home to home.
II. And then our second thought of heavenly Joy applies here. If there is a sorrow too deep to be reached by human kindness, it is not too deep to be reached by the light of the "Morning Star." The revelation of the great unseen realities — is not this the true Light for a shadowed home? A Father in heaven who cares and loves, a Saviour acquainted with grief, a kind Providence which will make all work together for good — is not this revelation like the opening of the shutters of a darkened chamber, so that there streams in the light of the Morning Star — the harbinger of day?
III. And this brings us to our last thought, the "Morning Star" is a star of heavenly HOPE. There are many young and happy hearts at Christmastide. But among them all there are few that have not felt the chill of disappointment, the shadow of doubt and uncertainty from the mystery of life, the solemn darkness of self-reproach and an accusing conscience. The soul is getting farther away from God. Ideas have been entertained, habits have been allowed to grow that have made the gap wider and wider between daily life and the aspirations after goodness that were once felt. The soul is in darkness. Yes, say what we will, the soul must be dark if it is without God. Show me a man who does not know God, who does not care for God, who does not trust and honour the infinite Lord, and I can tell you that whatever be his outward circumstances, his spirit is in awful darkness. On Christmas Day, let any such listen to the words of Jesus — "I am the Bright and Morning Star." Let that Day Star from on high arise and shine in your heart. Christ loves you, and came into the world and lived and died for you. Let His glory enlighten your soul.
1. First, then, we are reminded here that as "His commandments are not grievous," so the principles He gives to animate His follower to obedience are not melancholy. The life eternal, the annihilation of the second death, is the knowledge of Himself; and to know Him is to live in light indeed. It is to touch a sympathy boundless alike in its tenderness and its power; it is to deal perpetually and everywhere with One who is not poetic legend but the central rock of History; One who has proved Himself in the fields of fact to be a reality for ever, and who is exercising at this hour in human experience a multiplicity of personal influence too vast and too peculiar to be accounted for by any mere memory of departed power. He being such, and such being the knowledge of Him, what in brief are His sacred principles for the soul that seeks Him? Simply these in their essence: — first to trust Him, then, to follow Him.
2. And again, this glorious epithet of the Star of salvation — this morning-word — reminds us that not for a part only but for the whole of the earthly course, early as well as late, and late as well as early, Jesus Christ is the true Light to light every man. Not for the sick-man's room only and the dying bed is His faith good. Let us thank God often that it is good there. But this same religion is not only the last light for dying eyes. It is the star of the morning of even this lower life. There is that in it (or rather in Him who is His own religion), which is of all things fittest to enter with harmonious power into all the confiding joy of childhood, and all the strongest aspirations of youthful thought and will. One condition does the Lord propose to the young soul, as to all others — the condition of submission to Himself. And where that condition is, through grace, in its true sense, accepted, there will there be found to develop within the life an influence essentially of strength and gladness; an assurance of a companionship most tender because Divine; of a sympathy meeting every true need of grief or of happiness; of a wisdom which concerns itself with every detail of every day; of an affection to which the best endearments of earth can but point as to their glorious archetype; and, above all this and with it all, the power of the presence of an invisible but awful purity, and the spoken promise, in connection with that presence, of a final life of endless joy.
3. In a few short years there may, there must, come over you the sense of approaching maturity and fixity as to earthly conditions of life and action. You must find, soon or late, as to the world, that your rate of movement in vigour and enjoyment is no longer, in itself, what once it was. But if Christ dwells in your heart by faith, there will be a charm there which will not only console you under the change, but will glorify it to you. As eternity approaches, you will more distinctly see the connection between it and time. The appointed task, even under the burthen of the slow failure of outward power, will be met by you as those only can meet it who know that these things are links in the indissoluble will of an eternal Friend, and that the veil is already parting which shuts out for a season the open view of the perfection and acceptability of all that will.
4. May we not, in conclusion, move a step further in our meditation, and find here a promise which is concerned also with the immortal world itself? We remember, of course, that He who is here called the Star is elsewhere called the Sun; and we might think, therefore, that He here speaks as, in a certain sense, His own forerunner; the Firstborn of the dead, whose own resurrection is the herald of His own final triumph. But it seems truer to the analogy of His other metaphoric titles to view this title as belonging to no passing phrase of His majesty, if such could be, but to its essence for ever. What elsewhere he claims to be, He is in perpetuity. On the throne as truly as on the Cross, He is the Lamb. In the fields of heaven He is still the Shepherd, "leading His flock to the living fountains of waters." And surely in the upper sky He will be for ever the Star of Morning, so far as He will be the eternal pledge and joy of a life that will be for ever young, of energies that will accumulate without end, of a service before the throne that will always deepen in its ardour and its triumph, of discoveries in the knowledge of the Eternal which will carry the experience of the blessed from glory to glory in a succession that cannot close.
(H. C. G. Moule, M. A.)I. BECAUSE, BY HIS COMING IN THE FLESH, HE INTRODUCES INTO OUR WORLD THE LIGHT OF GOSPEL DAY. What was the state of the world when the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among men? In the emphatic language of holy writ, "darkness covered the earth, and thick darkness the people." Survey the state of the heathen at this eventful crisis of the world's history. How dark and how confused were the notions of Deity entertained by the shrewdest of their philosophers! Their religious rites were full of lust and cruelty, and were so far from having a tendency to promote virtue, that they excited them to every species of crime and wickedness. Truly they sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death. And what was the state of the Jews at this eventful period? Theirs, doubtless, was a less deplorable condition. They had the oracles of God, and some faint glimmerings of light, by means of figures, and prophecies, and sacrifices; still theirs was s, dispensation of types and of shadows. And at the time when God was manifested in the flesh, the Scribes and the Pharisees had spread a mist over the Mosaic observances; the elders, by their vain traditions had rendered its shadows tenfold more obscure, and the whole Jewish system was enveloped in gloom and darkness. But the fulness of time arrived when the bright and morning star appeared above the earth's horizon, scattering the shadows of the Jewish Economy, and pouring a flood of light upon the darkness of Pagan delusions. This light of the world came, and gave to mankind a clear and a full revelation of the nature and perfections of the Deity, made known the way of reconciliation with an offended God, taught man his duty, and unfolded to him the bliss and the glory of heaven.
II. BECAUSE, BY HIS RISING IN THE HEART, HE INTRODUCES THE DAY OF SALVATION INTO THE SOUL OF SINNER. The soul of man, in its native and unrenewed state, is full of disorder and darkness. He cannot see himself, or God, or Christ, or the way to heaven, in their true light. He may, indeed, give his assent to statements which he hears made upon these subjects, but he cannot have an experimental or abiding sense, even of the most obvious spiritual truths, till his mind is enlightened by the grace of God's Son; till then, even the light that is in him, is darkness. But when the morning star arises in the heart of a sinful being, it produces change at once great and glorious. Before its rays, the darkness of the mind is dispelled, the understanding is illumined, and the whole soul is renewed in know. ledge, as well as in righteousness and true holiness. How vast, for instance, was the change from darkness to light in the case of Saul and Tarsus.
III. BECAUSE, BY HIS RISING AT THE TIME APPOINTED IN PROPHECY, HE WILL INTRODUCE INTO OUR WORLD THE GLORY OF MILLENNIAL DAY.
IV. BECAUSE, BY HIS RISING AT THE END OF TIME, HE WILL USHER IN THE BLISS AND THE LIGHT OF ETERNAL DAY.
(John McGregor.)I. THE TITLE DECLARES THE BRILLIANCE OF HIS LUSTRE. Amongst the Orientals, the morning star is the favourite emblem of great ruler, a martial leader, or a wise teacher. Christ claims this epithet on the ground of possessing the truest glory; that of being the Witness for the Truth, of being the truth itself, and thus of bringing minds under His sway. Compare this title which Christ gives of Himself in the vision of St. John, with that He gives of Himself in the gospel: "I am the Light of the World." In that Light alone can the solution of the great world problems be found. His lustre cannot now be withdrawn, nor can men refuse to open their eyes to its presence. He is the Morning Star of all humanity, the brightest light that has ever dawned upon the world — that guides it onwards to the eternal day.
II. IT IMPLIES THE POWER OF HIS ATTRACTION. Man can be moved and drawn only by man. Hence the wisdom of "God manifest in the flesh."
III. IT IMPLIES THE FIXITY OF HIS OFFICE. Amidst the progress and the changes of human thought, the revolutions of opinion, the advances or the retrogressions of moral and spiritual life, He abides a steady, ever-shining light. All others are flickering torches, throwing a momentary and misleading glare, then waning and dying out.
IV. IT IS EMBLEMATIC OF THE HOPE OF HUMANITY. The morning star is the herald of the dawn. So our hope of a morning for humanity is in Christ. Our only hope is in Him. He is one with us; He has come to His own, and knows its wants, its weakness, its sorrow, and its sin. He shines down upon us now, with powerful and influential brilliance; and He will be associated with all our future struggles as He has been with all our past. Therefore, as Christians, we are confident and hopeful.
(E. Johnson, B. A.)I. THE PROMISE OF MESSIAH WAS THE MORNING STAR TO THE ANCIENT BELIEVER. When first introduced to the faith of the sinning pair in the garden of Eden, it became their "Morning Star"; all besides was dark! They had lost the favour of God.
II. THE ADVENT OF JESUS WAS THE MORNING STAR OF A MORE PERFECT ECONOMY.
III. CHRIST PREACHED, IS THE MORNING STAR OF ANY PEOPLE TO WHOM HE IS PROCLAIMED.
IV. CHRIST IS THE MORNING STAR TO ALL WHO BELIEVE ON HIM.
(H. Wilkes, D. D.)
1. Apt and beautiful emblem this, of the gentle but glorious light, which Jesus has darted upon the souls of His people! Previous to the coming of Christ, the character of God was, in a great measure, unknown. The adversary had trampled on the shrine of the Lord of Hosts; it was as if that name had ceased to be manifested; it was as if the fire by which he was wont to maintain it, had been quenched. But the Morning Star at length arose: and an uncreated glory, streaming from the revealed attitude of a God at once just and the justifier of the ungodly, flowed with it. But had nothing more than the true character of God been included in this revelation, it had been made in vain. What cares man for the character of God? Were he, indeed, a being much better than he is, we could conceive him, in this case, entertaining such a care; starting up perhaps suddenly, and shivering with fear, at the bare idea of his God being charged with cruelty or injustice. But man as he is, sensual, selfish, unthinking, diseased, deluded, or despairing, entertains not one anxiety about the character of his Maker. But for his own destiny he must care; and he will ask eagerly, "What sort of light has the Morning Star brought, concerning this? What am I told about my future state?" Open the volume and see; start not at the apparent darkness; gaze steadily, and you will be richly rewarded. There are, indeed, no minute views of the future state. The Bible communicates only a few great facts, and leading features of the eternal world. But Christ has cast a light also upon the duty of man. This Moses had, in a great measure, done; but he had not taught man to answer the question fully, "What shall I do to be saved?" Christ came at once to prompt the question, and to provide the reply. Here is no list of austerities; no staggering invitation to swallow down absurdities, to believe what is impossible or revolting; no requirement of an ideal perfection from a child of clay; all is plain and easy, yet leadeth to heaven. Oh, then, will ye not bless the Morning Star, which has risen to guide you along this path to glory? and will you not walk on in its tender light, trusting that it will shine on more and more unto the perfect day?
2. Christ further resembles the morning star, as He is a giver of joy. The sun-rising is, in truth, a summons to rejoice; and it is obeyed and echoed in a thousand voices of gladness. The moon-beam also communicates its own pensive pleasures, and quieter harmonies to those who can baptize their spirits in its beauty. Nor is the morning star destitute of joy-giving influence. How does it cheer the labourer as he goes forth to his toil, amid the dews of the dawn! How does it soothe the soul of the mariner who gazes at it, till quiet tears bedim his eyelids! How is it the "sun of the sleepless," especially of those who are awake through sorrow! Count up the raptures of earth, and you will find the rarest of them coming from Christ. Consult your own bosoms, and you will find your purest pleasure coming from Him. Sum up the ecstasies of the departed saints, and you will find all of them coming from Him.
3. Again, Christ resembles the morning star, as He is the precursor of a brighter revelation. The morning star is a pledge in the sky that the day is dawning, and at length it "melts away into the light of heaven." So the light we have is comparatively dim; but there is a day behind it.
4. This Morning Star is a precursor of the day of Millennial brightness. There is no change in the outward aspect of the world; the same alternation of hill and valley, of waste and woodland, is presented to the view. But the shadow of sin has passed away. Man has become a nobler being; he is holler and happier. His land is not heaven; but it is no longer accursed in the anger of God. It is a land redeemed, though not glorified. On all its landscapes is written, "Holiness to the Lord."
1. Christ heralded the coming of the creation. Oh, it is an interesting thought to me to know that Christ had something to do with the creation! I see now why it was so easy for Him to change our water into wine; He first created the water. I see now why it was so easy for Him to cure the maniac; He first created the intellect. I see now why it was so easy for Him to hush the tempest; He sank Genessaret. I see now why it was so easy for Him to give sight to the blind man; He created the optic nerve. I see now why it was so easy for Him to raise Lazarus from the dead; He created the body of Lazarus, and the rock that shut him in. Hail! Lord Jesus, Morning Star of the first creation.
2. Christ heralds the dawn of comfort in a Christian soul. You are building up some great enterprise. You have built the foundation — the wail — you are just about to put on the capstone, when everything is demolished. Instead of the quick feet in the hall, the heavy tread of those who march to the grave. Oh! what are people to do amid all these sorrows? Some know not which way to turn. But not so the Christian man. He looks up toward the heavens. He sees a bright appearance in the heavens. Can it be only a flashing meteor? Can it be only a failing star? Nay, nay. The longer he looks the more distinct it becomes, until, after a while, he cries out: "A star! a morning star! a star of comfort! a star of grace! a star of peace! The star of the Redeemer!" "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Peace, troubled soul! I put the balm on your wounded heart to-night. The morning star, the morning star of the Redeemer.
3. Christ heralds the dawn of Millennial glory. It is night in China, night in India, night in Siberia, night for the vast majority of the world's population. But it seems to me there are some intimations of the morning. The Hottentot will come out of his mud hovel to look at the dawn; the Chinaman will come up on the granite cliffs, the Norwegian will get up on the rocks, and all the beach of heaven will be crowded with celestial inhabitants come out to see the sun rise over the ocean of the world's agony. They shall come from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
4. Christ heralds the dawn of heaven upon every Christian's dying pillow. All other lights will fail — the light that falls from the scroll of fame, the light that flashes from the gem in the beautiful apparel, the light that flames from the burning lamps of a banquet — but this light burns on and burns on. No other star ever pointed a mariner into so safe a harbour. No other star ever sunk its silvered anchor so deep into the waters. No other star ever pierced such accumulated cloud, or beckoned with such a holy lustre.
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Christian Age.Throughout the Bible the star is made a symbol of dominion, glory, and triumph.
1. What figure more exquisite, more apt in illustrating the relation of the Lord Jesus Christ to His kingdom and to the destinies of humanity! The star appears small up yonder, and yet it is a very vast planet; so Christ appears small to the bystanders at His coming — a mere humble man like ourselves. How little did they know what was in Him! The star is small, but how wide-spreading is its light! And so, in reference to the breadth of Christ's kingdom and its extent, is the figure exquisite and applicable.
2. In a time of gloom the star appeared. The Roman Empire was apparently in its pride and strength; but, as we all know now, it was bloom outside and worm within. All the hopes of the Jews, one after another, had disappeared. The desires for the coming of a Deliverer, which had been cherished and expressed here and there and yonder — not merely in Judea, but in all other countries, by the foremost minds, whether inspired or uninspired — had failed, and it was an era of desolateness, vice, and darkness, of intellectual pride, along with intellectual weakness when Christ came upon earth. It was what the Apostle calls the fulness of time. It is fitting that this manifestation of Christ at such a time should be called the dawning of the day-star.
3. The birds of night cannot stand before the coming dawn when Venus shines in her lustre in the sky. When Christ appeared upon the earth, the very first scintillation of the day-star was to warn all the old systems of wrong and outrage, oppression and darkness, that their time had come.
I. GUIDANCE. Our sailors understand this better than any other people. And there is nothing that we need so much as guidance. We know not how to steer our vessel so as to be able to reach that blessed harbour. And one reason why Jesus is called "the bright and morning star" is because He shows us the way to heaven, and guides us in that way. There are rocks and shoals in the sailor's way, and he needs guidance to enable him to steer clear of them, and keep from being wrecked. And, in trying to make our way to heaven, the sins and temptations around us are the rocks and shoals we meet with; and if we look to Jesus, as our star, He will guide us, so that we can steer clear of these dangers. It is mainly through the Bible that Jesus, our bright and Morning Star, gives us the guidance that we need. If we read it carefully and follow its teachings, it will help us to escape a great many dangers, and keep us safe from a great many troubles
II. HOPE. The morning star is very beautiful to look at. It does not give a great deal of light. You cannot see to read by that star. But, as you look at it, it tells you that the night is almost gone. You know that the sun will soon rise and shine, and then there will be light enough for everything. You will be able to see the fields and the woods, and the beautiful flowers, and all the glorious things that God has made. That morning star gives us the hope that the darkness will soon be gone, and the light of day be shining all about us. And Jesus may well be compared to such a star, because when He rises and shines on our hearts He fills them with the sweet hope that the darkness of this world will soon pass away, and the bright, clear light of heaven will be shining around us. And this hope is a bright and beautiful thing. It is able to make us happy, when nothing else in the world can do so.
III. JOY. One of our great poets has said: "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." The meaning of this is, that it always makes people glad, or gives them joy, to see a beautiful thing. And this is true. Now a star is a beautiful thing. And "the bright and morning star" is very beautiful. Whenever I think of this star I am reminded of my first visit to Switzerland a good many years ago. We went up from Geneva to the valley of Chamouni, to see Mont Blanc. It was Saturday evening when we arrived there. I wanted very much to see how that great mountain would look when the sun was rising on it, So, on the next morning, I got up between three and four o'clock to be in good time to see the sun rise. I dressed myself, and, all alone, walked quietly down the valley, that I might be ready to catch the first sight of the beams of the sun, as they began to shine upon the snowy summit of the mountain, and gild it with golden beauty. It was a beautifully clear night, or rather morning, though it was still quite dark. There was no mist around the mountain, and not a cloud in the sky. The summit of Mont Blanc is a great, rounded dome of snow. This was lifted far up into the clear, dark sky. And right over the top of the mountain I saw the morning star. How calm it seemed there! How soft and silvery was the light it shed! How brightly and beautifully it was shining down on the snowy summit of that great mountain. It was one of the most lovely sights I ever saw. I thought it was worth while to go all the way to Switzerland, if there had been nothing else to see there but just that beautiful sight of the morning star above the summit of Mont Blanc. As I walked slowly down the valley, looking at that beautiful star, I thought of these sweet words of Jesus: "I am the bright and morning star." The sight of that star made me glad. It gave me joy then, while I was looking at it. And it gives me joy now, whenever I think about it. But all the stars in the world put together are not half so beautiful as Jesus is. And when we see Him, and know Him, as our "bright and Morning Star," there is no joy to be found in anything so great as that which He gives.
(R. Newton, D. D.)
TopicsAngel, Assemblies, Bright, Churches, David, Declare, Descendant, Messenger, Morning, Morning-star, Offspring, Root, Solemnly, Star, Testify, Testimony, Witness
Outline1. The river of the water of life.
2. The tree of life.
5. The light of the city of God is himself.
7. Jesus Is Coming.
9. The angel will not be worshipped.
18. Nothing may be added to the word of God, nor taken away.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesRevelation 22:16
1351 covenant, with David
LibraryCome and Welcome
Nay, further than this, this is not only Christ's cry to you; but if you be a believer, this is your cry to Christ--"Come! come!" You will be longing for his second advent; you will be saying, "Come quickly, even so come Lord Jesus." And you will be always panting for nearer and closer communion with him. As his voice to you is "Come," even so will be your prayer to him, "Come, Lord, and abide in my house. Come, and consecrate me more fully to thy service; come, and without a rival reign; come, occupy …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859
Sanctification and Justification (Continued).
The Need of the New Testament Scripture.
Rivers in the Desert
Letter xix (A. D. 1127) to Suger, Abbot of S. Denis
Wesley at Sevenoaks
The Water of Life;
The Jerusalem Sinner Saved;
The Last Words of the Old and New Testaments
God's Will and Man's Will
The Properties of Sanctifying Grace
Of Love to God
"The Lord Hath Need of Him. " Mark xi, 3
Luke's History: what it Professes to Be
Three Inscriptions with one Meaning
Thirty-First Day. Holiness and Heaven.
All are Commanded to Pray --Prayer the Great Means of Salvation
That Worthy Name.
The Apostles Chosen
An Essay on the Mosaic Account of the Creation and Fall of Man
Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome.
Christ's Prophetic Office
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