Monday, December 22, 2014

Simeon's Song

Rembrandt: Simeon's Song
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Story of Jesus' Incarnation is Simeon's Song.

"And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And the same man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him." (Luke 2:25).

Of those verses, Charles Spurgeon said it best:
WHAT a biography of a man! How short and yet how complete! We have seen biographies so wordy, full one half is nonsense and much of the other half too dull to be worth reading. We have seen large volumes spun out of men's letters. Writing desks have been broken open and private diaries exposed to the world. Nowadays if a man is a little celebrated, his signature, the house in which be was born, the place where he dines and everything else is thought worthy of public notice.

Short biographies, which give a concise and exact account of the whole man, are the best. What do we care about what Simeon did—where he was born, where he was married, what street he used to walk through, or what colored coat he wore? We have a very concise account of his history and that is enough. His "name was Simeon." He lived "in Jerusalem." "The same man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him." Beloved, that is enough of a biography for any one of us. If, when we die, so much as this can be said of us—our name. Our business, "waiting for the Consolation of Israel." Our character, "just and devout." Our companionship, having the Holy Spirit upon us—that will be sufficient to hand us down, not to time, but to eternity memorable among the just and estimable among all them that are sanctified!
At the time in Israel, faith was in short supply. Of course, Christianity didn't exist yet, it would fully flower in their generation, but not yet. Judaism, which was supposed to have brought the light to the world, had become dark and corrupt- unrecognizable to the One it was supposed to point to. (Jeremiah 7:11). This was a time when what was supposed to bring the Light was at its darkest and most corrupt. Where was faith? Where was a right heart? Where was a mind with a right understanding of the promise of Israel? In a few people, and as we see here, it was in Simeon.

Simeon's character was enumerated in Luke 2:25 gloriously and concisely. Note that his entire being was laying in hopeful wait for the Messiah. His old body tottered up to the temple each day, waiting and waiting, for what? To be with the Messiah that was promised, maybe even to say (as Spurgeon proposed) "Perhaps He will come today."

We can learn from Simeon's example. Despite the corruption ongoing all around him, despite national occupation and oppression by a hostile regime, despite widespread apostasy, despite greed, pride, and the blackened hearts of the priests, scribes and Pharisees who were supposed to shepherd the people, Simeon persevered in joyful expectation and faith.

He had the Spirit with him, but we have the Spirit IN us! We have the New Testament, knowing the second advent will occur, that the rectification of all that is evil will happen. We know that Jesus will return to take His place on HIS earth as rightful owner, finally and blessedly crushing the head of the serpent. (Genesis 2:15).

Upon seeing the Babe presented at the Temple, Simeon "took him up in his arms and blessed God"... Let us take Jesus up into our hearts and minds with all our strength and soul, and let us bless God for Him, Shiloh.

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. (Genesis 49:10).


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