31st December 2020
“My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46:10
There is one grand idea running through the whole of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation; and this one grand idea runs through every part of the sacred page, and, like a golden band, unites the whole together. What is this one grand thought? God has many thoughts as well as we, for he tells us that “the thoughts of his heart stand to all generations.” But we read also in the same verse of “the counsel of the Lord, which standeth for ever;” and elsewhere of his “working all things after the counsel of his own will” (Psalm 33:11; Ephes. 1:11). Thus in the mind of God, as well as in the mode of his subsistence, there is unity and variety. There is his one thought, and his many thoughts; for though his thoughts are many, his counsel is but one; and this counsel is the exaltation and glorification of his dear Son. It may be as well briefly to trace this unity of thought and the variety of its expression. We see it, then, first expressed in the creation of the first man, when God made him “in his own image, after his own likeness.” There was the expression of God’s one thought; for Adam the first was a type of Adam the second, and as Christ was by lineal descent “the son of Adam,” there was a foreview in the creation of the first man of the incarnation of God’s dear Son, who is the brightness of his glory and the express image of his Person. Now next observe how all things were put under Adam’s feet, and he thus made the visible head of creation. Read this exaltation of Adam in the light of Psalm 8, and you will see how the inspired Psalmist, as interpreted by the Apostle (Heb: 2:7-9), viewed Adam, in having all things put under his feet, as a type of Jesus, whom God has crowned with glory and honour, set him over the works of his hands, and put all things in subjection under his feet. Look next at the first promise given after the fall, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. There we have God’s one thought again expressed, his dominant counsel in the incarnation of his dear Son, as the seed of the woman, to bruise Satan’s head. Look at Noah preserved in the ark with his family when the rest of the world was swept away by the deluge, that from the loins of Adam might come the promised seed. Take the case of Abraham, called by a special calling, that in him and his seed all the nations of the earth might be blessed. Here we have again God’s one thought. Take, again, the whole of the Levitical dispensation. Every rite, every sacrifice, every type, every ordinance, all still bear the same stamp of God’s one thought, and indeed every part of Scripture is but an exposition of this one thought of God’s heart, of this one counsel of his eternal will. The word of God is a perfect mystery to us, and we see no beauty or harmony in the various books of either the Old Testament or the New until we see the mind of God in it, gather up God’s thoughts, and especially that grand thought which I have spoken of as binding the whole together, viz. the exaltation of his dear Son to his own right hand as the promised reward of his sufferings and death, and the glorious result of his resurrection and ascension up to the courts of bliss.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869