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BENEDICTIONS UPON THE WRESTLER.pdf

BENEDICTIONS UPON THE WRESTLER.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D., LL.D.,


I will be as the dew unto Israel : he shall grow as the lily, and
cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread ; and his
beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. — HosEA
14:5,6.
BY JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D., LL.D.,


I will be as the dew unto Israel : he shall grow as the lily, and
cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread ; and his
beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. — HosEA
14:5,6.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 30, 2013
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BENEDICTIONS UPON THE WRESTLER.BY JOSEPH A. SEISS, D.D., LL.D.,I will be as the dew unto Israel : he shall grow as the lily, andcast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread ; and hisbeauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. — HosEA14:5,6.ISRAEL was the name given to Jacobwhen he wrestled with the Jehovah-Angel, and conquered to himself thedivine blessing. It is a name whichprimarily refers to spiritual qualities. It describesthe characteristics of those who succeed in theirendeavors to secure the divine favor. He whowrestles to win the grace and benediction of God, and perseveres in his efforts until he pre-vails, is a true Israel.It is a name which describes every Christian,for Christian life is the struggle to secure and re-tain the divine favor and blessing. There isdeadly wrath against us by reason of our sins, andwe are exiled now. The goal of our existence isto get back into reconciliation and peace. Forthis also every right man longs, and prays, andwrestles, as did Jacob. Knowing and feeling hisunworthiness and guilt, he cannot give up the438SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. 439effort nor demit the struggle to secure so great aboon. Many are indifferent, and give themselveslittle or no concern about it ; but every genuine
 
Israel strives and agonizes to be on terms withGod and to have His blessing.Nor are such efforts without good hope of suc-cess. Jacob wrestled for the divine benediction,and he prevailed and got it. God is not inexora-ble. He is willing to be entreated even by thosewho have wronged Him most. In our ownstrength and merit no one can win ; but earnestlypleading the mediation, mercy, and promises of Jesus, and persevering with a determination neverto leave off, God himself will yield to our entreatyand acknowledge us as victors. It may cost ussuffering, but we shall prevail.Notice then the items of blessing here promisedto every such spiritual wrestler.God says, ' ' / will be as the dew to Israel. ' 'Gently and invisibly the dew distills upon theworld, refreshing, comforting, and sustaining thedrooping vegetation. And thus God promises tobless all who earnestly seek His favor. What a joy to the thirsting and famishing soul to learnthat wrath is gone, and that condemnation iseffectually turned away ! What a blessed cheercomes with the Gospel word of pardon and peace !Like a balmy and healing moisture from heaven,it brings hope, and life, and gladness. God isever graciously with His struggling people. Hishand upholds them. His promises cheer them.His comforts delight them. His orraces enliven440 BENEDICTIONS UPON THE WRESTLER.and sustain them. In spite of all earth's draw-backs and nature's infirmities, they are blessed ;for God is to them as the dew upon the grass.
 
And the further promise to every such wrestleris : " //fc' shall grow as the lilyy There be manyplants which cannot stand the frosts of winter northe heat of summer ; but the lily is one of thosebulbous growths that carry in them such a storeof life-elements as to enable them to live andthrive when other plants are blasted and dead.And as with the lily, so with every true Israel.By the mercy and grace of God he is furnishedwith vitality and grace against all times of adver-sity, trial, and despair. He has vigor and sub-stance enough in his "root of faith" to with-stand the winter's frosts and the summer's drought.He abides and puts forth in freshness and thriftwhen others are cut down as the grass or witheras the grreen herb. The grace of God is sufficientfor him, making him strong amid weakness, joy-ous in tears, and triumphant even in seemingdefeat. As the lily. He grows and flourishes.Furthermore, "Z/^ casteth forth his roots asLebanon^ Here is the idea of strength, firm-ness, and deep-seated power. Lebanon is Pales-tine's greatest mountain. It rises out of theearth's deep bosom and bathes its snowy summitin heaven. It is remarkable for its " roots," — itsgreat rocky buttresses, which it sends out eveninto the sea. And so every true Israel's posi-tion is fixed and firm, as if rooted in the world'sheart and girded by the granite framework of theSEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. 44Imountains. His foundation is the Rock of Ages.Nor waves nor storms can move or displace Him.There are many weaklings in the world, drivenabout by every wind of doctrine, and ready to yield

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