Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blogging through Altogether Lovely Sermon #3

The third sermon in Altogether Lovely (Jonathan, Edwards. Altogether Lovely Jonathan Edwards on the glory and excellency of Jesus Christ. Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997. 81-114) is entitled Safety, Fullness, and Sweet Refreshment in Christ. It takes for its Scripture reference Isaiah 32:2.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

From this verse, Edwards observes 2 things:

1. The person who is here prophesied of and commended: the Lord Jesus Christ, the King spoken of in the preceding verse, who shall reign in righteousness.

2. The things here foretold of him, and the commendations given him.

Edwards, in his first observation, determines that the verse under consideration was indeed a prophecy about Christ. "This King is abundantly prophesied of in the Old Testament, and especially in this prophecy of Isaiah. Glorious predictions were from time to time uttered by the prophets concerning that great King who was to come: there is no subject which is spoken of in so magnificent and exalted a style by the prophets of the Old Testament, as the Messiah. They saw his day and rejoiced, and searched diligently, together with the angels, into those things." (81-2) In his second observation, Edwards expounds briefly what exactly this verse predicts about Jesus. " "He shall be a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest:" that is, he shall be the safety and defence of his people, to which they shall flee for protection in the time of their danger and trouble ... He shall be as "rivers of water in a dry place." ... Christ was typified by the river of water that issued out of the rock for the children of Israel in this desert: he is compared to a river, because there is such a plenty and fulness in him ...He is the "shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Allusion is still made to the desert of Arabia ... They who come to Christ find such rest and refreshment as the weary traveller in that hot and desolate country finds under the shadow of a great rock."(82-3)

After this introduction, Edwards clarifies the three propositions he intends to make in this address:

I. There is in Christ Jesus abundant foundation of peace and safety for those who are in fear and danger. "A man shall be a hiding-place from the wind, a covert from the tempest."

II. There is in Christ provision for the satisfaction, and full contentment, of the needy and thirsty soul. He shall be "as rivers of water in a dry place."

III. There are quiet rest and sweet refreshment in Christ Jesus for him who is weary. He shall be "as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." (83)

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