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The Bible's First Promise "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed;- it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3.15
THIS is the first promise to fallen man. It contains the whole gospel and the essence of the covenant of grace. It has been in great measure fulfilled. The seed of the woman, even our Lord Jesus, was bruised in His heel, and a terrible bruising it was. How terrible will be the final bruising of the serpent's head! This was virtually done when Jesus took away sin, vanquished death, and broke the power of Satan; but it awaits a still fuller accomplishment at our Lord's second advent and in the day of judgment. To us the promise stands as a prophecy that we shall be afflicted by the powers of evil in our lower nature, and thus bruised in our heel: but we shall triumph in Christ, who sets His foot on the old serpent's head. Throughout this year we may have to learn the first part of this promise by experience, through the temptations of the devil, and the unkindness of the ungodly who are his seed. They may so bruise us that we may limp with our sore heel; but let us grasp the second part of the text, and we shall not be dismayed. By faith let us rejoice that we shall still reign in Christ Jesus, the woman's seed.
May 20 We Dare Not Doubt
"I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron." Isaiah 45.2
THIS was for Cyrus; but it is evermore the heritage of all the Lord's own spiritual servants. Only let us go forward by faith, and our way will be cleared for us. Crooks and turns of human craft and satanic subtlety shall be straightened for us; we shall not need to track their devious windings. The gates of brass shall be broken, and the iron bars which fastened them shall be cut asunder. We shall not need the battering ram nor the crowbar: the Lord himself will do the impossible for us, and the unexpected shall be a tact.
Let us not sit down in coward fear. Let us press onward in the path of duty; for the Lord hath said it, "I will go before thee." Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to dare and dash forward. It is the Lord's work, and He will enable us to do it: all impediments must yield before Him. Hath He not said, "I will break in pieces the gates of brass?" What can hinder His purpose or balk His decrees? Those who serve God have infinite resources. The way is clear to faith, though barred to human strength. When Jehovah says, "I will," as He does twice in this promise, we dare not doubt.
December 30 Loved to Perfection
"Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." John 13.1
THIS fact is essentially a promise: for what our Lord was, He is; and what He was to those with whom He lived on earth, He will be to all His beloved so long as the moon endureth.
"Having loved"--here was the wonder! That He should ever have loved men at all is the marvel. What was there in His poor disciples that he should love them? What is there in me?
But when He has once begun to love, it is His nature to continue to do so. Love made the saints "his own"--what a choice title! He purchased them with blood and they became His treasure. Being His own, He will not lose them. Being His beloved, He will not cease to love them. My soul, He will not cease to love thee!
The text is well as it stands: "to the end," even till His death the ruling passion of love to His own reigned in His sacred bosom. It means also to the uttermost. He could not love them more: He gave Himself for them. Some read it, "to perfection." Truly He lavished upon them a perfect love in which there was no flaw nor failure, no unwisdom, no unfaithfulness, and no reserve.
Such is the love of Jesus to each one of His people. Let us sing to our Well-beloved a song.