March 19, 2012
Thy Salvation … Thy Glory
“He should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ … Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace … mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation.”
The story of Simeon is touching and delightful. We envision an old man (even though the Scripture does not confirm this), beginning each day with the promise of God in His ears. Each day he would perhaps begin by saying, “perhaps today.” He was waiting to see the coming Messiah. The revelation he had received from the Spirit of God was that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (v 2:26).
The remarkable day in his experience likely began as all the others. He awoke as normal but felt compelled to go to the temple. The Spirit of God was leading him to the ultimate encounter of his life. Coming into the temple, he saw Mary and Joseph and the child. But it was the child Who drew Simeon. Taking Him in his arms, he uttered words familiar to every believer.
But despite their familiarity, consider all the titles and truths brought together in his worship: the Lord’s Christ, Jesus, Thy salvation, A Light for the Gentiles, and the Glory of Israel. His grasp of the greatness of the child in his arms is remarkable and Spirit taught. It was the capstone of his life and so satisfied his every longing and desire, that he was now ready for eternity.
What a tremendous confirmation and encouragement his words must have been to young parents who had brought the child to the temple! What strengthening amidst what must have been days of reproach, as innuendos and gossip likely surrounded their circumstances and the birth of the child. How like God to give His servants encouragement amidst their trial.
1. Think of all the believers in the Old Testament who requested to die (there are at least six). All felt failure and loss. How different in the case of Simeon. What made the difference?
2. In bringing the child to the Lord they were observing the claims of redemption given in Exodus 13. How did Simeon’s praise show that this was different from Exodus 13?
3. Why is it “light” for Gentiles, and “glory” for Israel, and not the other way around?