“At that day shall a man look to his Maker,
and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.”
In the very name “the Holy One of Israel,” there is something the sweetness of which melts the heart of a poor sensible sinner. For what is he in himself as a fallen child of Adam? A filthy, defiled, polluted wretch, unfit for the presence of God. And what can fit such an unclean, unworthy, deformed sinner for the eternal presence and enjoyment of the Triune Jehovah, but such a Saviour as the Holy One of Israel, whose blood, as a holy fountain, cleanseth from all sin? The soul that stands in him, stands complete, without spot or blemish. And must not his heart leap and dance when with a measure of faith he is able to lay hold of this Holy One of Israel?
But this living faith in and spiritual reception of the only Mediator between God and man cannot exist until a man is brought into circumstances in which he needs the Holy One of Israel. Until he is emptied and stripped of all creature strength he cannot truly understand how, nor really desire that the strength of Christ may be made perfect in his weakness. So with Christ’s wisdom; his righteousness; his blood; so with his love; his gracious presence;—all are mere words, loose and floating ideas, dim, dreamy conceptions, until poverty and need lie hard upon the soul, and the blessed Spirit makes known “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” as so many experimental realities. It is this gracious discovery which endears to him the Holy One of Israel. There is no divine faith, no going out of hope, no flowing of affection toward the Holy One of Israel, till “that day,” when he has no one else to look to, no hope in the creature; till all his righteousness fails him, and he feels that he must be saved by free grace, or eternally perish.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869