The Blessing Commanded
Peace, unity, and love are among the greatest blessings which a church of Christ can enjoy — and they are generally found in company. Without love — there can be no unity; and without unity — there can be no peace. Where brethren dwell together in unity, God's blessing rests — it descends copiously, regularly, and suitably; like the ointment on the head of Aaron, or the dew on the mount Hermon, or on the mountains of Zion. "It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing — even life forevermore." Psalm 133:3. Mount Zion and its fructifying dews, is a beautiful picture of a peaceful, united, and prosperous Church.
THE PLACE. Mount Zion, the spot chosen for the erection of the temple, the palace and dwelling-place of God. God's church is God's choice. He has chosen it for his habitation. It is his earthly dwelling place. It is all that is good, or excellent or desirable. It exists as the effect of God's choice of it in Christ, his connecting of it with Christ, and the grace which he gave it in Christ before the world began.
God's Church — is the Savior's rest. Here be rests with his people, enjoys communion with them, and indulges them with the manifestations of him blessed self. Here he unfolds his truth, bestows his grace, and imparts his Spirit.
God's church — is the saint's home. Here the brethren dwell. Here the Father presides. Here the Savior and elder Brother expends the riches of his grace. Nowhere on earth, do believers enjoy so much home feeling, as in the church. It is often like the ante-chamber of Heaven, where they enjoy foretastes of the inheritance of the saints in light. God's church, is the Spirit's temple. Here the Comforter is worshiped and adored. Here he bestows his gifts, carries on his work, assists the family in their devotions, and glorifies the exalted Redeemer. Blessed place! Glorious society! May the church of God be my choice, my resting-place, my home on earth, and the temple where I worship a triune God!
"There the Lord commanded the blessing." Here is sovereignty. There, not everywhere — there, not anywhere — there in his church, the Lord, in the exercise of his unquestionable right, gives the blessing.
Here is authority. "He commanded the blessing." God's will — is his creature's law. If he commands — the universe must obey. If he blesses — none can hinder, or revoke it. He has blessed his church, and blessed her with all spiritual blessings.
Here is love. He might have exercised his sovereignty, he might have displayed his majesty — without his showing infinite love. Sovereignty, authority, and love, are alike exercised and displayed — when God blesses his church. The blessing he gives is great, like the all-pervading dew. The blessing he gives is numerous, as the myriads of drops that compose it. The blessing he gives is constant, as the dew falls in eastern countries.
THE NATURE OF THE BLESSING. "Even life for evermore!" LIFE is God's greatest blessing, for by this — he banishes death, introduces happiness, and stamps with immortality. It is life in his likeness — for we shall be made as much like God as creatures can be! It is life in his service — for we shall be employed in serving and glorifying him forever! It is life in his presence — when we shall see his face, hear his voice and enjoy his manifestations forever! It is life in his favor — in the sunshine of his smile, under a sense of his approbation, and persuaded of his infinite and eternal love!
The happiest place on earth, is God's Zion. Here . . .
his people meet,
his presence is enjoyed, and
the dew of his blessing continually descends.
Perfect happiness is no where to be found on earth — but the nearest claim to it, is what is enjoyed in a holy, peaceful, and prosperous gospel church.
The greatest gift is eternal life. This Jesus gives to all of his sheep. This God confers upon the whole of his beloved church. Let us therefore live in expectation of eternal life. Let us in the midst of this dead and dying world — rejoice in the prospect of life for evermore.
Authority and grace unite to make the Lord's people blessed. The Sovereign and the Father are alike seen, in the blessedness of the Lord's people. God, on the throne of his holiness — commanded the blessing to descend. God, in the exercise of his paternal love — sent his only begotten Son to bless us! Thus the prayer is answered, "O that you would bless me indeed!"
The benefit arising from peace, unity, and brotherly love — is incalculable. Wherever these reign, there the text is fulfilled, the fructifying dew descends — and the blessing, even life for evermore, is commanded. Sinners are converted, believers are quickened, and the whole body is favored with lively hopes, vigorous faith, and spiritual joys.
Gracious God, give to every Church of Jesus, union, and love; and on the whole of your family on earth, let your blessing be copiously enjoyed.
O Jesus, you are the life — as such dwell in me, and dwell among your people with whom I meet and worship, for your mercy's sake.
Holy Spirit, you are the spiritual dew, descend, O descend on your people, and make them fruitful, beautiful, and glorious!
O that God would command the blessing on our poor fallen world — even life for evermore!