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between them and their pursuers; feeds them with bread from heaven and with water from the Rock; and conducts them in strength and triumph, till He sets them in the place of glory at his own holy hill — and all this (with the song which He put into their lips on the banks of the Red Sea) tells us of the full " delight” with which He had brought forth His anointed for them (Exod. xii.-xviii.).
This is surely a great and magnificent scene, and all is unchanged. The Christ of God " set up” from everlasting, is still with God for us, though our need arise again and again. He is at hand as One prepared and provided for “ the sons of men,” and brought forth in their behalf with “the delight” of God, according to this beautiful word in Prov. viii.
And I may here pause to say, prophets and oracles have also told this, and His own lips have uttered it. “Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth," says Jehovah of His Anointed by Isaiah: “This is my Beloved Son in whom I well pleased," was heard over Him again and again in the days of His flesh here." Therefore doth my Father love me," says Jesus Himself, “because I lay down my life that I might take it again;" such words and like words telling, like the whole current of divine history, the joy which is known in our God over the manifestation and work of His Anointed in the behalf of us sinners.
But now, in still following that current of divine or scriptural history, we reach Ex. xix., and there we see God in a character in which we had not seen Him since the day of Gen. ii. He is now a lawgiver a second time. He who had been in a burning bush, has now taken His seat on a burning mount. The God of the Fathers, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of Grace, now appears as the God of destructive righteousness and judgment. Through the self-confidence of Israel, their God is now rather a Lawgiver than a Redeemer ; a character, again we say, in which He had not appeared since the time of Adam, and the Garden of Eden. (See Rom. v. 13, 14).
This was a change indeed. The people had procured it for themselves, and however ruinous it may prove, they have to accept it all at their own hands.
But then, we read 6 the covenant confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after, could not disannul.” And so, the eternal purpose, which had been taken ere the world was, and not merely four hundred and thirty years before, could not be disturbed by all this. No, indeed! The Anointed One, " brought forth” and “set up," possessed of God " in the beginning of His ways, before His works of old,” no after-works could displace. This we have already seen, at different successive seasons from the beginning ; and now again we are to see the same in this day of man's self-confidence, leading the God of grace to the hill of judgment. Quickly again is Christ by Him, as one brought up with Him," ready at hand to be used, and used with “ delight,” for “the sons of men"-all this changing, shifting scenery, which sin, and judgment, and law, and human
assumption induce ; only sealing and verifying, and settling for ever, the unchanging purpose of God, and his grace in the person, and work, and value of His Anointed.
This new condition into which Israel had now brought themselves, would work ruin as surely as sin had wrought it in Eden. Fallen man can no more answer law, than
had resented temptation. But God's Anointed is still “ by Him." We see this now in Ex. XXV., as we saw it then in Gen. iii. The shadows of good things to come, now shown to Moses, tell us this now, as the promise to Adam had told it then. Moses is called up to a region above and beyond that of darkDess and thunder and tempest ; and there, in figure, Christ is shewn to him Christ in the sanctuary of peace. The people had not yet broken the law ; when this is done at least they had not been convicted. The national or conditional covenant is sealed in chap. xxiv., and this exhibition of the Anointed One is made to Moses in chaps. xxv.—xxx., that is, immediately
afterwards. No delay takes place, for Christ was “ by Him." The thing is done suddenly. No counsel or preparation
VOL. X PT. III.
He had gone
was needed for counsel had been taken “in the beginning, before His works of old.” Just as in the day when sin entered, God's resource was in Him that had been “set up from everlasting," and thus was at hand for immediate use ; so that He now left the fiery mount, the place of judgment for the higher regions, the place of grace and of His Anointed One, not to say with all convenient, but with all immediate speed.
And “delight” again waits on this action, as it had done in earlier days, as we have already seen. For when the congregation, in the obedience of faith, prepare the Tabernacle, and all is finished, the glory enters and takes its place there, and takes it with most evident and full joy. It will have the whole of it to itself, so that even Moses could not follow (Ex. xl.) — all this again bespeaking the delight of the Lord God in seating Himself where Christ was seen. It was not after this manner He had taken His place on Mount Sinai. there with evident reserve. See this in chap. xix. But now, it is not with reserve He fills the sanctuary, but with readiness and fervency, and manifest enjoyment, occupying the whole of it, courts and holy places and all. As we sing betimes —
“ His wakened wrath doth slowly move,
His willing mercy flies apace.' And all this was but the expression of that “ delight which our Scripture (Prov. viii.) tells us was known in counsel before the world was. For this delight is a “ daily” delight - as fresh after ages as at the beginning
in action repeated again and again, as it was, in counsel, ere the world was.
There might be other witnesses to prove, that Christ, the Anointed One, is God's resource in the day of the need of “ the sons of men,” and is still called forth for them. But I would pass on only to one other illustration of this.
The nation of Israel are set in the land, and there they are proved again, as they had been under the law in the wilderness. But they violate the very first article of their commission, as they had broken already the very
first commandment of their law. They strike confede-
, therefore, is wreck and ruin again. Adam in the Garden, man under law, Israel with their covenant in the land, alike witness this wreck and ruin. And as it thus began, so it goes on, with the nation set in their inheritance. This unfaithfulness, beginning in Judg. i. with the tribes, is found again in their own King Saul, the son of Cis, in 1 Samuel. Like people, like prince, as Judg. i. and 1 Sam. xv. tell us.
But God is the same in grace, if man be the same in unfaithfulness and
apostacy. For upon all this we quickly read," How long wilt thou mourn for Saul ?" (says the Lord to Samuel, who was weeping over the fall of the king, as the angel had wept over the fall of the nation at Bochim) " how long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel ; fill thine horn with oil and go, I will send thee to Jesse, the Bethlehemite, for I have provided me a king among his sons.” (1 Sam. xvi.). This son of Jesse was unknown to men, but in secret God had provided him for Himself. David, the beloved, was known to God in counsel now, and David, the beloved, was the witness or the type of the Anointed One. Bethlenem carried the witness now, as it did, in due time, the Christ Himself. In the ear of faith, “ good tidings of great joy" were now, in their measure, heard in the fields of that town of Judah. 66 Out of thee shall shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel,” began to be said to her now. David was an arrow in the Lord's quiver, and he was the arrow of the Lord for deliverance to Israel, in this terrible day of Israel's calamity. He was the Bethlehemite, the anointed, the beloved, the pledge of Him who has since appeared for redemption and salvation — the type of Him who in purpose was the Anointed One ere worlds began.
Thus, in these various but consistent forms, was this mystery again and again told out, that Christ was provided for is the sons of men" in their time of need. *On
the entrance of sin — in the day of the doom of the world, before the food in the call of Abraham forth from the overspreading of abominations - in the hour of the judgment of Egypt- in the ruin of Israel under the law and again, in the day of their ruin under their own national covenant, Christ is at hand,“ set up" and “ brought forth" for sinners - the One whom God has " by Him” for immediate use, and that, too, at all times, and with “delight” for “the sons of men.”
I might, of course, have gone further down, even to the end of the volume, with this story of God's His Anointed One
- nay, with a more vivid witness of it, as we got to the New Testament. But I stop here. The promise, the first promise, that of the seed of the woman, began to tell this story; and, after many other witnesses to it, as we have now seen, David, the shepherdboy of Bethlehem, of the stem of Jesse, repeats it in our hearing, after so long a time
“ Jesus Christ! the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever."
ERE God had built the mountains,
Or raised the fruitful hills;
That feed the running rills;
The wonderful I AM
And Wisdom is Thy name.
He spread the skies abroad,
Of ocean's mighty flood :
And Thou wast with Him then:
And Thine, the sons of men.
Thy glory and Thy grace,
Of our unworthy race !
Ere stars were seen above;
And died for us in love.
With creatures such as we,
And nail'd Thee to a tree !
And mystery divine !
Says, “Sinner, I am thine !"