Page 7 - November 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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in the Law. This was the mark of their life,   concluding thoughts is the substance of
        as previously written in verses 22-24 and   the “blessing.”
        recorded at the conclusion of this day in   One thing we should note promptly is
        verse 39. Obedience to God’s Word was   that blessing does not always exclude pain.
        indicative of the devotion of their hearts.   First, he notes that the child Jesus would
        Likewise, what Simeon was about to do   cause some to “fall,” which word is only
        was “according to God’s word” (v29). We   used elsewhere in the NT in Matthew 7:27
        can see here that a prophetic blessing is   in reference to those who refuse the word
        only given if it is consistent with His Word.   of Christ. It is the analogy of a house built
          The temple scene unfolds with      on sand that falls during the abundant
        Simeon taking the child in his arms, and   rains. We can reasonably conclude that
        immediately he “blessed God.” His hope   some would reject this child and thus fall
        of a peaceful departure is attributed to   in judgment (see Isa 8:14-15). Others would
        a personal revelation through the Holy   be the recipients of good in “rising again,”
        Spirit (v26). His blessing to God continued   which in the majority of NT references is
        and included “all people,” which was   linked to the resurrection of the saved.
        consistent with the Scriptures of old. When   The child would be the means of eternal
        he said his eyes had seen God’s salvation he   blessing. But to those who will fall, He is
        was holding the child in his arms; salvation   a sign (from God) that is derided, rejected
        is in a Person. Isaiah 52:10 would certainly   and “spoken against.” And in so doing,
        give personal hope to Simeon. Yet when   people reveal  their  very  thoughts  and
        linked with Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6, as well   hatred in their hearts for “this child.”
        as others, it gave him unprejudiced insight   This is certainly not the prospect that
        into the potential in God’s promises for all   any mother would want for her son! That
        the nations. This child was to be the means   would hardly seem a blessing.
        of saving “light” to Gentiles as well as the   But more than that, the parenthetical
        “glory” of the people of Israel. Isaiah 60:1-  statement that tells of a “sword piercing
        3, with other prophecies, would support   her soul” would no doubt be most
        his words regarding hope for Israel. One   haunting to Mary. In Luke 1:46, at the
        would wonder if there were a few raised   occasion of meeting her cousin Elisabeth,
        eyebrows among those within earshot of   the two ladies both carrying children of
        the faithful old man. If so, not one could   promise, we read the words of Mary:
        dispute his “song,” as some call it, for   “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” What
        all that he said was clearly confirmed in   a stark contrast in experience for this dear
        God’s Word.                          young woman who, on the one hand, was
          Simeon then promptly turned his    moved to exclaim in worship that she was
        attention  to  Joseph  and  Mary  who   blessed with joy in the knowledge of God’s
        wondered  at  all  that  he  had  just  said.   salvation. But now she must anticipate
        Luke simply says he “blessed them.”   the awful piercing of her soul when her
        The term “bless” in Greek is a compound   son faced the ultimate rejection of His
        word that conveys “to speak well” (W.E.   people. But even this could not erase the
        Vine). Perhaps we are left to imagine what   certainty of “my spirit has rejoiced in God
        Simeon said to both Joseph and Mary. Or   my Savior.” The piercing would bring the
        perhaps what was directed to Mary in his   fullness of blessing.

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