The moment comes for which so long prepared, the raising up of worthy men of God, whose singleness of heart in ages past shone forth as lights in this dark earth.
Each one a life of simple trust deterred by nothing that this world could bring to contradict that vision of an all-wise God. How these will first appear once more upon this earth we cannot tell. Perhaps at first unnoticed they will rise like soldiers from the fields in which they fell in far off days, picked men of valor proved, the army of Immanuel, their presence to be felt in that great hour of need beyond the battle of the day of God, a time when poor bewildered men surviving desolation know not which way to go, or where to find the heart to start again.
For such an hour of man's "wit's end" the Father has reserved this band He has prepared to witness to the power of holy walk with God. However they come forth, that moment of rebirth of these, faith?itnesses, will surely draw the praise of countless hosts above, admiring angels, who sustained the courage of these noble minds that claimed the shadow of Almighty care, for they had found the "secret place" reserved for total trust, not in seen material things of dust, but in that deep unfathomed love of God.
They walked in faith, nor did faith need to lean on human comforts of the flesh. Prosperity was theirs, but founded not in earthly bliss, nor yet in smoothed untroubled road of tranquil life. They knew no city built by man with walls sufficient to repel the enemies of the soul, while sin and sorrow stalked the earth, and death was in control. It was their inner man that prospered, not their flesh. Their mind found stay in God and thus found rest. The Rock of Ages was foundation sure of better prospects glimpsed, and welcomed from afar. Their city He would build, without Whom every man but built in vain. For God to sign the deeds was in their minds enough, and they could confidently wait secure, for they endured as seeing One above. From hope they borrowed for each day its joy, and thanked their God.
Now each comes forth, with wondering eyes survey the scene, perhaps with feelings mixed, as Noah did first behold the life-drained earth, flood-washed, and desolate. Yet eyes accustomed to faith's vision keen regard not anxiously immediate things of natural sight. So trained they are to see far off, no present view confines the mind, nor does a faith so tried regard the natural boundaries of human strength. What seems impossible to man they wave aside who know their God. Through every obstacle they see a way, and mountains fall at faith's command, nor do they hesitate to face the giants that stalk the land, for giants there are that stand between man and his rest.
That confidence will never be misplaced that hangs its all on heavenly powers above, and ways and purposes of Him Who framed the worlds. However dark the scene that time of trouble leaves each hour they know will brighter be, and in their faith poor man will see way out of his tragedy. If enemy appears (and enemies will there be in that fair day), or limits are revealed of natural strength, they know of old the Lord did so arrange that thus His glory be explored. What noble leaders these as earth's returning multitudes come forth from death to learn the ways of life. For these shall lead the blind in ways they have not known, and as man feels for God it will be men of faith who then will shine, inspire, enlighten, share the eye-salve they have learned so well to use.
New senses they will rouse in man's bewildered mind, and purpose in his step, and light of hope will turn out darkness from the soul. The King in holy beauty men will "see", and will explore the land of untold breadth, the wondrous everlastings and the infinite that are the realms of the Eternal God. These teachers of mankind will point men to the Word, and in the leaves of Scripture men will find the healing of their mind.
When Ezra stood to read God?aw, the Levites helped men understand what truth was all about, and so will these. Thus man will come to know the love, and find the arms, and feel the bond, and every other joy that can be known, belonging to the family of God. The trivial transient toys of present state will be exchanged for things that satisfy the perfect mind in tune with God, a mind that, like its Maker, can create, and man with wisdom true will be endowed, to take once more dominion of this earth. And "willing offerings" then men will be, who once distorted judgment, hated light, and evilly disposed of men of faith. As one who wakens from a fitful dream, man's past will seem unreal in that fair day, and gladly will he welcome in new light the very ones his eyes, once blind, despised.
How touching then the scenes this change will bring. The helping hand of Abel reaches out to wipe away the guilty mark of Cain, and brothers cleaved by hate will love again. And everywhere the story is the same. There Joseph's brethren stand, now filled with awe. At last they understand and seek the door, in terror of a wrath they well deserve. But Joseph had wisely worked on all their hearts, through circumstance and trial overruled, and knew that they had learned at last the way of self denial. No longer could they break their father's heart. So when they looked on Joseph now with fear, his tears and kindly words filled them with cheer, as arms outstretch he said to them, "Come near."
Look back on every record of the past, and mark the enemies of men of God. Each foe is marked out for the aid of those who once despitefully they misused. The hand of mercy and of grace will wipe the fear and guilt from every face, and readily onetime enemy embrace. The wicked hands by which the Savior died will one day reach out to the Crucified with penitential grief. How great then their relief, to hear the "forgiveness", and "Come near." "You meant it for evil, God for good." Such gems of truth they never understood when Satan reigned. Those very hardships disciplines and pain, prepared just men, and tested faith to uttermost degree. Men?ives He gave, examples now to me. And in the age now opening they will see fruit of their suffering in the hearts of men who through their work of faith will live again.
How fit will Moses be, as closing eyes reopen to ignore the passing age that intervened, when God shall tell him, "There's the land, go forth!" "The straggling band of Israel first you'll lead, but there behind them see the Gentiles too." Then Samson will share secrets of his strength to all who seek to take the Nazarite vow of consecration to Almighty God. Then all will Samson's victory know, together bring the house of sin to ruin, when in men's hearts the power of God is shown. When princes rule in judgment (Isaiah 32 ) who can tell the sum of earthly blessings that will flow from righteousness? As faithful hearts of old behold the special part the Lord has long prepared for those who love His Word, what deep emotions fill that worthy band, who greeted from afar Emmanuel?and.
CONCLUSION of this story cannot be until we shall exhaust eternity! Nor can we now with noonday sight appreciate the things of which we write as we shall then. So near to us the hour, so dear the hope for which we long. Yet close proximity leaves still a veil between those blessed things and me. Six thousand years have passed since Abel's blood was shed, and we have reached that resurrection day, as saints beyond the veil will testify. Yet none of us below can visualize the scene when resurrected hosts of men rise from their graves. The answer to the questions voiced by Paul, how man will rise and how will he be clothed, he now, at last, may know, but while we wait below, these things must still remain hid from our eyes. The program we hold dear, but we must wait the hour the curtain will be raised before the blessed details are exposed. The intellect of saints is tied to time, and cannot clearly see beyond this hour. The words we use are based on present need, and, like dear Paul, if we were carried now to view those scenes and then return to earth, we could not tell what we had seen, for human language fails when trying to describe another realm.
The Lord so understands both our desires and all the limits of our present state. Hence here throughout the Word He uses poetry to convey the feelings and the joys of things unspeakable...The earth transformed to paradise, the lion and lamb in sweet accord, the little child that tames the wild beast... Through types and shadows too He speaks, and men of old act out for us great truths.... In glory garments does the priest emerge to bless the flock of God... Where speech and intellect fail the heart may still pass veil and human boundary. If now it burns within, we know that He Who fills our minds this day with precious glimpses of the truth for which we long, Himself has blessed to us the bread of life, and hears our prayer to with us stay until this night be gone.
May hope's sweet vision brighter grow each hour until we meet beyond to break death's power, and know in greater fullness then those joys He waits to share. Amen.