"In you shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Our Heavenly Father is love. The proof is the gift of His
Son. Jesus is love. The proof is the gift of Himself. The Spirit is love.
The proof is, He brings Jesus into the heart of faith. Hence, the Scripture
is framed by the hand of love, as a chart to show the glories of the Lord to
the children of men. Each page adds new tints to the glowing picture. Almost
each person is a herald preceding Jesus with a clearer note. Thus Abraham
appears from the shades of idolatry, and instantly the Gospel is preached.
The tidings sound aloud—"In you shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Faith hears and cries, This must be a prophecy of Jesus. Who but He is the
blessing of the world?
When the Patriarch was raised to this pinnacle of truth,
what prospects, as floods of light were spread before him! He gazed on
countless masses of immortals, blessed through countless ages. "Your father
Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad."
Reader! would you behold like wonders, and share like
joys? Would you be blessed while you live, and when you die, and throughout
eternity? Would you bask each day in the smiles of God's favor, and repose
each night under the shelter of His wings, and go down to the grave leaning
on His arm, and pass through the gate of death into the new Jerusalem? There
is all this blessedness in Christ. Would you at each moment lift up a
tranquil heart, and say—The great Creator is my Father—Jesus is my redeeming
kinsman—the Spirit is my indwelling teacher, and sanctifier, and
comforter—the saints in light are my brethren—the Angels are my
guardian-attendants—Heaven is my home—a throne of glory is my seat—a weight
of glory is my crown? Would you realize that the wheels of Providence
revolve for your welfare—and that the world, with all its intricate
perplexities of machinery, is a scaffold to build up the fabric of your best
There is all this blessedness in Christ. But apart from
Him, there is no blessing. The blessing hand hangs down, the blessing voice
is mute, except in Him. Such is the fact; and the clear knowledge of it lies
at the root of Gospel-truth. Do you ask, Why can no blessing fly to earth,
but on the wings of Jesus? Sin is the hindrance. Sin chokes the road.
Blessings can find no channel, until some mighty power clears the course.
But sin does more than obstruct. It mantles our race under a thick pall of
curse. The curse is the ground, on which we are born. On that dreary waste,
then, nothing but woe can fall. We must be translated into an Eden of Grace,
before showers of favor can visit us.
Many sport through life, thoughtless that they are thus
in misery's land. As you value your soul, examine then with me the solemn
case. Let us put aside all the false maxims of the world. Let the childish
conceits of puny reason hide their heads. Let the Word speak from its lofty
and infallible tribunal. Its sentence is most clear. No dullness can mistake
it. No deceit can obscure it. The Lord thus decides, "Cursed is every one
who continues not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law."
Sinner! is it not an arrow through your conscience? It
speaks of you, for it includes "every one." The net encompasses the whole
family of man. Neither the riches of the rich, nor the poverty of the poor;
neither the greatness of the great, nor the lowliness of the lowly; neither
the age of the aged; nor the youth of the youthful; neither the learning of
the learned, nor the polish of the polite, nor the ignorances of the
untutored, are a door of escape. No condition, no qualities, no attainments
can extricate. All born of woman, in every climate, and in every age, are
fast bound by the dread sentence.
Do you further ask, What is this edict of the Law? Its
one straight rule is love. This is its one requirement. But the width goes
widely over every thought; the length is as long as all time. It says, Love
God, love man, in every movement of mind, in every period of being. Love
God, love man, perfectly, without faltering, without a pause. What if there
be failure? Then comes the stern penalty, "Cursed are you." There is no
place for excuse, nor for tears, nor for penitence, nor for prayers, nor for
promises of reform. Disobedience is Curse.
Turn not from this honest dealing. But rather mark, how
the work affects yourself. Do I add to Scripture? Your answer must be, No.
Do I magnify? How can terrors be added to what is infinitely terrible? How
can unutterable awe be made more dreadful? Look around your frightful cell.
The wall has no crevice. It is high; you cannot scale it. It is broad; you
cannot find its boundary. From all points the thunder roars, "Cursed are
you." But what is the curse? It is the endless accumulation of all
the miseries which God's resources can command, and God's power can inflict.
It is the fiery torrent from the lake of fire. It is pain which cannot be
keener. It is despair which cannot be blacker. It is anguish which cannot be
more bitter. It is eternity in the oneness of all torment. It is Hell.
Reader! such is the fearful state of all who have never
fled from Sinai's terrors, and who die unblest with Zion's saving mercies.
But why have I led you to this fearful valley? It is, that you may look up
to Jesus, "leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills" of Blessing.
If there be curse in the Law, wide and relentless, there is blessing in Him,
co-extensive and co-eternal. He abolishes the curse. He crowns himself
with thorns, that He may crown His people with glory. He transacts this
gracious work in the garden and on the cross. But how? Not by denying any
claim. Not by suing for mitigation. Not by pleading extenuations. Not by
asking clemency. No, He honors and magnifies the law to the uttermost. He
glorifies the command as just, and righteous, and good. He grants, that the
curse is fully merited, and that it must be fully borne. Let it, then, all
descend, He cries, but not on the poor sinner. I offer Myself, as
substitute, to endure the whole, and upon Him the whole is poured. He is
made a curse for us. The sword of vengeance to the very hilt is sheathed in
His breast. The last dreg of wrath is drained by Him. Not one drop remains
for those whom He represents. Thus He takes all the curse out of the
hands of God, and stands the one Blessing of the world.
Sincerely would I invite you to adore with me our
Blessing of blessings. But before such glories, all thoughts and words are
the shadows of a shade. Is freedom a blessing to a pining prisoner; and the
sovereign's pardon to a convicted traitor; and the endearments of his native
land to a returning exile? Is ease a blessing to the pain-racked, and the
voice of health to the wasted in sickness, and opening sight to the
sightless? Is comfort a blessing to the comfortless—rest to the weary—a home
to the houseless—bread to the famished—peace to the fearful? This is but a
faint outline of the blessings which abound in Jesus. It would be joy to
roam over all the Scriptures, which re-echo these tidings. But one brief
notice must suffice. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places
in Christ." The saying is one, but it leaves nothing unsaid.
Survey this treasure-house of grace; how rich! how full!
The believer may say, This heritage is all my own. Measure, if it be
possible, the golden chain, which extends from one hand of God in
eternity past to the other in eternity to come. Every link is a Blessing.
Behold the starry canopy. The glittering orbs outshine all beauty, and
exceed all number. Such is the firmament of Christ. It is studded with
blessings. But millions of worlds are less than the least; and millions of
tongues are weak to tell them. Mark how they sparkle in the eye of faith.
There are constellations of pardons. "In Him we have redemption through His
blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
There is the bright shining of adoption into the
family of God. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the
sons of God." There is the milky-way of peace—perfect peace, heaven's
own peace. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." There is the
morning-star of sin destroyed. "God, having raised up His Son Jesus,
sent Him to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."
There is the luster of divine Righteousness. "This is His name,
whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness." There is the light
of life. "I give unto them eternal life." There is all glory.
"The glory which You gave Me, I have given them." There is the possession of
all present, and the promise of all future good. "All things are
yours," "things present—things to come." There is the assurance that
nothing shall harm. "All things work together for good to those who love
God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
Such is the blaze of Blessings, on which the
believer calmly gazes. But are they yours? They are, if you have found
refuge in the ever-blessing arms of Jesus. If not, take warning! Yours is
the starless night of the terrific curse.
Perhaps I address some minister of the Lord. Sir,
like Jesus, you are set for the falling and rising again of many. If you
would happily work happiness, tell your flock of Him. Preach Him
clearly—fully—only—in season—out of season. Guide from the wilderness of the
curse to the only pastures in which true Blessings can be gathered.
Do I address a parent? You love your children.
With yearning heart, and tearful eye, you often sigh, Oh that the Lord would
bless them indeed! Teach them Christ. Other instruction, if He be omitted,
only adds sting to the curse, and accomplishes for hell.
Reader! you have friends dear to you as life. To advance
their interests you count all labors light. Remember, he is a foe who
befriends not the soul. To befriend the soul is to point it to Christ.
Perhaps you occupy a position of responsibility. You have dependents in the
family—the trade—the shop—the farm. You feel for their comfort, and you
provide for it. They look to you for support, and you give it. This is so
far well. If this world were all, you would be a Blessing to them. But
the world beyond the grave is all. Therefore to be a Blessing to them,
you must win them to the knowledge, and faith, and love, and service of
But perhaps you are of humbler station. Be it so.
Some of the Lord's most successful laborers were poor, yet making many rich.
You have a tongue, which daily utters many words. Each word enters some ear,
and may enter some heart. Be persuaded then, and let your lowly words
minister grace and blessedness, by being channels to convey the salvation of
Whoever you are, turn not then from these earnest truths,
until the Spirit bear witness with your spirit, that the one Blessing of all
the families of the earth is the Blessing of your heart. Abide in Him; and
the Blessing of the friend of God is yours. "I will bless you, and you shall
be blessed." But the full grant of blessedness cannot be imagined, until His
own welcome be heard, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world."