« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
sembled universe, that not so much as one jot'oror tittle of God's word hath failed of its accomplishment. Thus, will all of them be put into possession of “ that rest, which remained for them,” in the hope and expectation of which, they endured the labours of travel, and the fatigues of war."] INFER
1. How earnestly, and how humbly, should all submit themselves to Jesus!
(Notwithstanding Joshua's commission was, utterly to destroy the inhabitants of that sinful land, yet he both spared the Gibeonites, and made a league with them, when they humbled themselves before him;' he, moreover, gave a special charge respecting the preservation of the harlot Rahab, who, in faith, had concealed his spies. But resistance to him was vain: there were none that could stand before him. Thus must all thine enemies, O Lord, perish, if they do not prostrate themselves before thee in humility and faith. Shall we not then believingly receive his messengers, and, in the use of his appointed means, expect his mercy? Shall we not go and make a covenant with him, and yield up ourselves, with upreserved submission, to his commands? Yes: and if this conduct provoke the world to combine against us, we will call him in to our aid, and despise the assaults of earth and hell.]
2. How confidently may the very weakest Christians go forth to their future conflicts!
[Though Canaan was promised to the Israelites, yet they were all to fight for it: so neither is heaven to be gained without many severe conflicts. But what have we to fear, when we have such a Captain? “ If he be for us, who can be against us?” Did he ever yet suffer one of his faithful followers to perish? If they have been wounded, has he not healed their wounds? If they have fainted, has he not renewed their strength? Has he not made them conquerors, yea, 6 more than conquerors?”? What then, though we have mighty Anakims to contend with, and their fortresses be walled up to heaven? Let us “be strong and very courageous;" and we shall find that “ the weapons of prayer and faith, though weak and contemptible to a carnal eye, are mighty through God to the casting down of strong holds, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” Let us then “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Let us “put on the whole armour of God.” And
c Josh. ix. 15.
d Josh. vi. 22, 25. & 2 Cor. x, 4, 5.
b Heb. iv. 1, 9, 11.
let us look forward with confidence to the joyful period, when we shall receive our portion in the promised land, “the land that floweth with milk and honey.”]
CXII. DAVID A TYPE OF CHRIST. Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24. I will set up one shepherd over them, and
he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them: I the Lord have spoken it.
THERE is nothing so comforting to an afflicted soul, as to contemplate the promises of God: indeed they were given to us for this very purpose, that they might be our support and consolation in the time of trouble. The same may be observed with respect to the prophecies that relate to Christ: they were delivered to the church in seasons of peculiar trial, as encouragements to the saints to hold fast their profession. It was under circumstances of this nature, that the glorious prophecy before us was revealed. Both the ecclesiastical and civil governors of
Israel had greatly oppressed the poor, and especially the · godly: but God afforded them seasonable support, by de
claring, that he would not only espouse their cause, but would raise up to them a Shepherd, and a Governor of a very different description, even the Messiah himself, who should redress all their wrongs, and bring them into the possession of perfect happiness.
Such being the occasion of the words, we proceed to enquiro 1. Why Christ is so often called David i
It is undoubtedly the Messiah that is here called " David"
[David himself had been dead many hundred years; nor has there been any other person after him, to whom this appellation was ever given. But Christ is frequently spoken of in the prophets by the name of David;a and to him the characters, here annexed to that name, most eminently belong. ]
He is called by that name, because David was a very distinguished type of him
a Jer. xxx. 9. Hos. iii. 5.
[David was chosen by God from a very low state, and was anointed to be King over Israel. He was also made a prophet of the Most High; and under the influence of the holy Spirit, often spake as actually personating the Messiah himself. Many parts of his heavenly compositions, though apparently intended respecting himself, have indeed no reference to himself at all, except as he was a type of Christ, in whom the very things predicted were literally fulfilled.b And so exact was the correspondence between the type and antitype, that Christ, springing “from the root of Jesse," " as a root out of the dry ground,” and “ anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows," was born (according to the predictions) in the very place of David's nativity,e was constituted a prophet like unto him, and was raised to “ the throne of his father David."f7
His resemblance to David will yet further appear, if we consider II. What offices are here assigned him
Like his honoured representative, he was to be 1. A shepherd
[David, in his early youth, followed the occupation of a shepherd, and repeatedly exposed his life to most imininent danger in delence of the flock entrusted to him. And, after he became a king, he stili, figuratively at least, sustained the same office, “ feeding his people, according to the integrity of his heart, and guiding them by the skilfulness of his hands.”! But he, whom David typified, was, in a far more exalted sense, “the great Shepherd of the sheep."i He not only exposed, but willingly sacrificed, his life for his sheep:k nor can a juster description of him be conveyed in words, than that, which is given us in the preceding context: He is incessantly “ seeking the lost, bringing back that which has been driven away, binding up the broken, strengthening the sick,” and administering to the necessities of all.] 2. A prince
[The promises of David's exaltation were at last fulfilled, and he was seated on the throne, to which he had been appointed. He did indeed meet with innumerable conflicts in his way to it: at one time, we see him encountering Goliah; at another, fleeing from the murderous attacks of Saul: yea, he was even driven from his kingdom by his own nearest relative, and treasonably sacrificed by his most familiar friend;
b Ps. xxii. 18. & lxix. 21. c Isai. xi. 1. & liji 2. d Ps. xlv. 7. c Mic. v. 2. with Matt. ii. 5, 6.
Luke i. 32. 70–72. 6 1 Sam. xvii. 34, 35. h Ps. Ixxviii. i Heb. xiii. 20. k John x. 11.
i Ver. 11-16.
in consequence of which, he fled weeping over that very brook Kidron, over which his Lord passed afterwards to crucifixion. But God preserved him from every danger, and made him “ Head over Israel,” and “the heathen” too." Thus it was also that Christ was raised to his throne: He had scarcely made his appearance in the world before he became an object of Herod's jealousy, and was forced to seek an asylum in a heathen land. On many occasions he escaped only by a miraculous exertion of his own almighty power.' When his time was come, he was betrayed by one of his own disciples, who, like David's treacherous friend, speedily went and hanged himself. But, 'infinitely beyond David, was Christ “a man of sorrows;” “his vissage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." Yet after all, “ the stone, which the builders refused, was made the head-stone of the corner.” He was “ exalted to be a prince and a saviour,"q" the utmost ends of the earth were given him for his dominion,” and “ of his kingdom there shall be no end.”r]
Nor are we uninterested in these offices; as will appear, if we enquire III. What is the state of those on whose behalf he
To have God “a God unto us,” comprchends all that men or angels can receive .
[It is not possible for a finite imagination to conceive the full import of such an expression as this. It must certainly imply, that he will protect us from all kinds of evil, and fill us with the richest consolation both in this world, and the world to come: every perfection, which God himself possesses, shall be improved for our present benefit, and all his glory shall be enjoyed for our eternal happiness.]
This will most assuredly be our portion, if we be numbered among the flock of Christ
[It is to these that the promise in the text must be confined. As for the ungodly world, they have no prospect whatever of such a blessing: there is not one word in all the hly viacles, that warrants such an hope. But to those who Lciieve in Christ the promises are made: to those, who bave been brought into his fold, who feed in his pastures, and yield up themselves unfeignedly to his dominion, God has pledged himself to be their God. He himself espatiates upon
m P's. xviii. 43. Matt. ii. 14, 15. Luke iv. 29, 30.
p Ps. Ixix. 25. and cix. 8. with Acts i. 20. shew Ahitophel to be in this a type of Jud.s.
9 Acts iv. 1 1. and v. 31. *P's. ii. 8. Luke i. 33.
this privilege in this view, and almost in the very words of the text;' and assures us in the most solemn manner, that all, who seek him in his appointed way, shall be partakers of it.] INFER
1. How deeply are we concerned to become the sheep of Christ!
[Could we obtain mercy with God in any other way, there were the less reason for concerning ourselves about an interest in Christ. But in vain shall we attempt to ingratiate ourselves in the divine favour by any other means: we must obey the voice of that good shepherd, and follow him: we must submit ourselves to the government of that prince, and become his faithful subjects: then, and then only, will God acknowledge us as his people, and give himself to us as our God. Let us not then neglect the Saviour any more: let us rather go to him with one accord: let us intreat him, to take us under his charge; and thus endeavour to become “one fold under one shepherd.” Then, whatever may be the fate of those, who are at a distance from him, we shall be delivered from our spiritual enemies, and, having suffered awhile with him, shall in due time be glorified together.'] 2. How safely may we trust the promises of God!
[Many hundred years before the coming of Christ was this prophecy delivered: and how exactly was it accomplished in every thing that respected Him! He was appointed our Shepherd; he was exalted to be our Prince; and to this very hour has he executed these offices in their fullest extent. Shail we doubt then whether the prophecy shall be fulfilled as it respects us? Will God refuse to be our God, when we desire to bę his people? Or will he be only nominally our God, and withhold from us the blessings, that are implied in that relation? Has he done what is so infinitely greater, and will he decline to do the less? Has he not “delivered up for us his only Son, and will he not with him also freely give us all things?u We cannot doubt. He says, “ I the Lord hath spoken it:" we may be certain, therefore, that he will perform; since “ with him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Let us trust then, and not be afraid; and, in due season we shall enjoy, “ according to his covenant, the sure mercies of David.si
s Ezek. xxxvii. 24-28.
+ Rom. viii. 17.