"The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver
from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and unto him shall the
gathering of the people be." Genesis 49:10
Shiloh is a word first uttered in a dying chamber, and by
dying lips. Reader! how soon may your eyes be closing to the speck of earth,
and opening on the expanse of boundless being! Accept the humble hope, that
in such hour Shiloh, who is Christ, may be your solid support; and that the
light of His presence may make the dark valley bright.
Shiloh introduces us to a solemn scene, in which death
and joy stand hand in hand. The aged patriarch had known the perils and
tossings of a stormy voyage. But the longed-for haven now opens to receive
him. Our billows, too, may rage and swell. But let us struggle on in hope.
They waft the believer by rapid tide to the calm water of eternal rest.
Shiloh is almost the last testimony of the expiring parent. Happy is it thus
to leave a legacy of cheering blessings to those who watch around us! Happy
to direct the mourner's thought to Him, who has abolished death, and who
will gather all His children into one home of blessed union—where union is
Shiloh. It is a sweet and mighty name. Sweet, for it is
His, whose name is as ointment poured forth. Mighty, for it is His, whose
name is above every name. In it He comes near to hold enlightening converse
with our minds. His love delights to reveal the riches of His goodness, and
of His glory, to His people. Thus while the highest angels veil their faces
while they worship at His throne, He draws the poor sinner to His side, and
bids him read, line upon line, the records of His grace. He passes before us
in a long train of titles: each giving fresh knowledge and awakening fresh
rapture. But while other names shine each as one ray of attribute, Shiloh is
a very wreath of light. Others are as separate jewels. This is a fully-set
diadem. It has many tongues. May each, by the Spirit's power, speak much to
Shiloh is the Sent. "Go, wash in the pool of
Siloam, which is by interpretation, Sent." Here then Jesus spreads, as it
were, His credentials before us. He bids us mark, that He comes not without
authority; that He is commissioned by some court. Yes, truly, He brings a
message from a far-off kingdom. He speaks an absent Sovereign's will. By
whom is He thus sent? Hear one of the many voices, with which Scripture
scatters the reply throughout its pages. "In this was manifested the love of
God toward us; because God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that
we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that
He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." The
eternal Father sends the eternal Son. We adore the love of Jesus,
in visiting this earth. We adore the love of the Spirit, in aiding us
to see His work and hear His voice. Let us adore, with every power of
adoration, the love of the Father, in opening the door by which He came. The
praise of every breath can never reach the glorious Giver's glorious gift.
The fountain of redemption lies deep in the Father's heart. The first link
of salvation's golden chain is in the Father's hand. The thought, "Let us
send a Savior," sprang into being in His mind. "God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son." "God commends His love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Let us strive to measure the greatness of the love in the
greatness of the Sent One. The Father's Shiloh is the Father's Son. In the
fullness of time "God sent forth His Son." If He had emptied heaven of all
its shining hosts, and despatched them in glorious array, it would indeed
have been a brilliant embassage. But all would have been as dross, compared
with Jesus. He as much transcends all multitudes of angels, as the Creator
can transcend the thing which He has made. He had lived a whole eternity,
while they were wrapped in nothingness. How much more precious He than they!
Could then no other Shiloh execute the errand? Impossible! The work to be
accomplished is the sinner's redemption. Infinite righteousness must be
spread over the unrighteous. For this Jesus is needed. For this Jesus is
sent. Expiation must be made for sins, infinite in number, and each infinite
in guilt, and therefore Jesus comes. Jesus alone is able to atone.
Believer, read then in your Shiloh the tender graces of
the Father's heart. He sends so much to save you, that He could send no
more. Read the boundless worth of your soul. Shiloh's merits are its only
price. Read the unutterable anguish of the lost. Shiloh alone had strength
to bear it for you. Read the inconceivable glories of the redeemed. That
heaven must be bright indeed, which is the purchase of a divine Shiloh's
Shiloh! The next expression of the word is—He for whom
it is reserved: He to whom the kingdom appertains: He, who is the heir
of all things. Thus Jesus is revealed, as seated on the throne of
redemption's glories. We catch the sound of the proclamation, "There was
given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and
languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which
shall not pass away, and His kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed."
Here is that sure purpose, and that sure promise, which is faith's high
tower of undoubting confidence. Here is the foreshadow of the onward coming
of victories, which must be.
What though the world is foolish, in mad rebellion
against Shiloh? What though iniquity may seem a mighty potentate? What
though the pure truths of Jesus are trodden as the mire beneath ungodly
feet? The name of Shiloh laughs all foes to scorn. It is a banner of
triumph, on which is inscribed, "His is the kingdom, and the scepter, and
the sway." "Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion." "Sit at My
right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool." Yet a little while,
and Jesus will take to Himself His great power and reign, "and the wicked
shall be silent in darkness."
Believer, cease then to be downcast, because you see not
yet all things put under Him. Your Shiloh must prevail. Look back and
see what wonders have followed the preaching of His name. Look around
and see what numbers are flying to the cross, as doves to their windows.
Look onward, and delight yourself in the view of fields ripening for
the harvest. In following Him, you follow a mighty Conqueror to mighty
victories. In His service you march to blessed triumphs. How soon, and every
foe shall lick the dust! How soon, and every cry of opposition shall have
died away! How soon, and His chariot-wheels shall drive gloriously, and
Satan, and the grave, and hell, and all the legion of sin's slaves, shall
writhe in captive chains! The kingdom is reserved for Shiloh. It may be you
have often prayed, "Your kingdom come." It is at hand. The answer tarries
not. How will it find you? Does faith bear witness, that you are called to
inherit the kingdom? Or does conscience tremble, lest His glory should be
your everlasting shame. Prepare to meet Him. Shiloh's reign is at the door.
Shiloh brings another message. It means—His Son.
Do you ask, whose Son? Faith takes the largest view. It answers, the Son of
God—for Jacob's mind is fixed on God. The Son of Man—for Jacob speaks of
Judah. Deity and humanity are here claimed for Christ, and both are His.
He is Jehovah's Son. This is the keystone of salvation's
arch. This is the light of salvation's skies. He is one with the Father. One
in nature—one in essence—one in every perfection. In every sense He is His
co-eternal and co-equal fellow. From everlasting to everlasting He is the
Mighty God. Before all worlds, and world without end, He is God over all.
They know no hope, who know not Christ, as God. It is mockery to say, "Look
unto Me and be saved," unless the speaker be divine. If He were less, He
could not remove one speck of iniquity from a sin-soiled soul. It cannot be
too firmly maintained, that each sin is an infinite evil, and therefore
requires the expiation of infinite merit! But you have all infinitudes
in Shiloh. He is omnipotent to bear away the countless sins of the whole
multitude of the redeemed. He is sufficient to clothe them with
righteousness fit for heaven. He is irresistible to subdue every foe. He is
all-glorious to present them all-glorious before the throne of God—and to
encircle them with all glories forever. This He can do, because He is
Shiloh, the Son of God.
But Shiloh—His Son—may mean the Son of Judah. Here
then we have another sign of the Woman's Seed. Jesus shall be the Lion of
Judah's tribe. He shall put on the rags of our poor flesh, as the offspring
of one of Judah's daughters—cradled in Judah's city. This is the wonder of
heaven, of earth, of hell, of all eternity. Does it fill your heart with
raptures of adoring praise? Do you find in it precious token of His
boundless love, and sure proof that He is qualified to redeem?
Ponder well the fact. If Christ is not truly man, there
is no atoning death—no expiating blood—no justifying righteousness—no
kindred sympathy—no open way to God—no center of union. God is infinitely
far from man. And man is immeasurably below God. But Shiloh comes to make
them one, with every property and faculty of man, and every power of God.
Faith is satisfied, and cries, "My kinsman, my Lord, my God, my full, my
But there is yet another chord from Shiloh's harp. It
sounds the sound of Peacemaker. What sweet music to a poor trembling
sinner! He knows that sin makes tremendous enmity. It turns the heart of God
to wrath. It fills His lips with threats, and His hands with destroying
weapons. It builds the walls of hell, and kindles the fire, and hurries its
victims to the never-dying worm. But Shiloh flies to earth, and wrath
departs, and love resumes the throne, and peace puts on the crown. He takes
away the provoking cause. He buries sin in the fathomless ocean of His
blood. God looks on the believer wrapped up in Jesus, and loves him with
immeasurable love, and blesses him with countless blessings, and honors him
with heaven's honors, and glorifies him with heaven's glories! Shiloh is our
peace with God.
But He is more. He causes the waters of perfect peace to
flow in sweetest tides over the troubled surface of an awakened soul. When
the Spirit-taught conscience feels what we really are, and what we really
merit, what agonies come over him! There can be no ease, no hope, until
Shiloh bears us to His cross, and opens to us His wrath-appeasing wounds.
But when we see all our punishment descending upon Him, each fear is lulled
to rest. The storm of anguish becomes the calm of heaven's own joy. The
trial of life, the apprehensions of trouble, the threats of poverty and of
pain, the frowns of the ungodly, no more can harass. He, who has Shiloh in
his heart, has no room for anything but peace. He hears no voice, but that
of the Prince of Peace, always whispering, "Peace I leave with you, My peace
I give unto you." Such is the Shiloh promised by the dying patriarch. He has
come. He has fulfilled all.
Reader! Do not put aside this feeble testimony, until you
can say, I know Him—I love Him—I cling to Him in all the offices, which the
large terms reveal.