« AnteriorContinuar »
good. His being the Lord God of their fathers, was the reason why he would fulfil to them his holy promise of bringing them out of Egypt, and planting them in the land of Canaan.
I cannot close this head without requesting it may be remembered, that Jehovah, who appeared to Abraham, and was pleased to appear to Hagar, as the angel of life, who appeared to Isaac, and also to Jacob, when he was favored with a remarkable dream, in which he saw a visionary ladder, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it, and who also was seen by him at Peniel, in the form of a man, whom he entitles God, and the angel which preserved him all his life long, was the same who spake to Moses at Horeb, and who led his people through the wilderness. And a true scriptural knowledge and belief of this would most powerfully increase our faith, and could not fail of endearing our most precious Lord Jesus Christ to our hearts. I proceed,
Scondly, To consider the Lord's mindfulness of his promise to his people, and of his being about to fulfil and most gloriously to perform it to the Israelites, their seed, and offspring. " I am the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
As the love of God is from everlasting to everlasting immutably fixed upon his people, so his eternal purpose and gracious promise must take place in them, and be fulfilled unto them. Abraham and his seed were singled out by the Lord for the Messiah to proceed from them. The circumstances the Israelites would be in be^ fore their departure from Egypt, had been shewn to their father Abraham, and the promise of their Exodus, with its precise time, had been delevered to him. This season was now drawing very near its close, therefore the Lord is pleased to appear to Moses, and gives him a commission to bring them forth, and sends him in his great name to this people, saying, "The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and my memorial to all generations." No name, no title, no revelation, could better suit the case of the Israelites; it shewed what the Lord God was to them; how he remembered for them his holy covenant; how faithful he was to his promise; that his mind was engaged to do them good; and that be would most assuredly make them partakers of the benefit of being delivered out of their present state of persecution and distress, and bring them into the promised land. We see from hence that the covenant of the Lord is had by him in everlasting remembrance; that he is always mindful of his promise, and that he keepeth truth forever: his mercy is to his people from generation to generation. How supporting to
faith must the Lord's message be, "I am the God of thy fathers:" consider what I was to them; what promises I made to them; how I revealed myself in my personalities, Godhead, and covenant offices to them; and how I am engaged by my faithfulness to fulfil my promises to you, their offspring. "I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob:'' from them the blessed seed, the Purifier, and Shiloh, is to proceed, and you are interested in all the blessings contained in these exceeding great and precious promises; I am the immutable Jehovah, and I will prove my immutability in all my designs concerning the salvation of my elect, in my fulfilling the promises already given to your ancestors, concerning your redemption from Egypt, and introduction into the land of Canaan. I am the same, as the God of all grace, to all my people, as I was to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and will work and. perform in them, and for them, the whole good counsel of my will. So that we may learn to improve what the Angel Jehovah here says of his being "the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," to our own spiritual advantage, and for our own consolation: the everlasting God, the Three in the One Jehovah are our's; the Father's love, the Son's salvation, and the Spirit's consolations belong to us; we stand before the Father as the objects of his immutable love, are accepted by him in the person of Christ, God-man; weare clothed with the righteousness, and washed in the blood of the Lamb; we have the HolyGhost dwelling in us, and are heirs of Christ, and joint heirs with fellow saints in all the promises which concern our bodies and souls in time and eternity. So that God's mindfulness of his promise here before us, and his declaration concerning the fulfilment of it to the Israelites, may serve as a pledge to our faith, and prove to us that he will remember our cases and his own promises which suit them., and will most faithfully fulfil them in us, and to us, in the way and at the time which will be most for his glory and our good. And this brings me,
Thirdly, to consider how the Lord glories in his covenant relation to these fathers and patriarchs, saying, "This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations."
The persons of God's elect are precious in his sight; their persons are the objects of his everlasting love, he chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world, and they are his portion, jewels, inheritance, and glory. These patriarchs were predestinated to be the progenitors of Christ, who was to come of them, after the flesh. They and their offspring were separated from all others on this account; the covenant between Jehovah and his anointed was made known to them ; the Angel of Jehovah had often been seen by them; he had given them many sweet visits; admitted them frequently into communion with himself; and remembered them with everlasting kindness. His union to them, his interest in them, his relation to their persons, was matter of delight to him. He, being Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, declares himself to them, with all the blessings of his love, to be their God and Father, their Friend and their Shepherd; "I am the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations;" which is as it were, expressing the infinite delight it gave the eternal Three, to contemplate their mutual transactions on the behalf of the elect, and the relation they stood in to them as their covenant God, whose will, covenant, word, and oath, gave full security for their everlasting salvation. We should learn from hence, believers, to consider that our state before God, in time and eternity, depends upon God's covenant; that his being the Lord our God is the greatest of all blessings, and contains every blessing we can possibly enjoy in earth or heaven. The Lord proclaims himself as standing in this relation to his church and people, he glories in it, saying, "They shall be my people, and I will be their God."