“The people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning; thou hast the dew of thy youth.
Do you remember the youthful exuberance that came to expression when you sang as a child:
“Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war
With the cross of Jesus going on before?”
Already then we were deeply aware of belonging to the militant church, called to fight the battle of faith in the midst of a hostile world. Confidently we confessed:
“Like a mighty army moves the Church of God.
Brethren, we are treading where the saints have trod,”
even as with misty eyes we looked for the victory awaiting the saints in glory.
Time has done something for us. As raw recruits we ran into the battle, not fearing any enemy we might meet, ready to scale any wall that might stand in our way. We had as yet almost no experience with the wiles and cunning of our inveterate enemy, the Devil. Little did we know in our sheltered life about the firm grip he holds on the world round about us only gradually we become aware of the power of that worst enemy of all, the sin that wars in our members, ever striving to lead us into the snares of sin, luring us on as sheep for the slaughter.
We have tasted the smoke of battle. We have met our formidable enemy head on. Disillusioned with our own will power, we have lost all confidence in the arm of flesh. We have learned that our only security rests in the Captain of our salvation, fixing our eye upon the victor’s crown He holds before us.
Jehovah has said to my Adonai, to my exalted Lord Jesus Christ: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.”
In the day of Thy power.
The Dutch speaks of ‘Heirkracht,’ which is military power. This is entirely in harmony with the pervading thought of Psalm 110. God spoke and it was: He commanded and it stood forth. He called His Son to come forth from the depths of hell and death’s great domain with the Word of His power, saying: “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool.” Jehovah declared Him to be “King of kings and Lord of lords,” bestowing on Him dominion over all the hosts of heaven, over His entire wide and vast creation, even to the devils that rage out of hell, and the powers of evil that wage war against Him, so that the angels wait in eager anticipation, the creation groans in pain awaiting her deliverance, and the powers of darkness are plagued with an evil conscience and shudder at their ultimate downfall. Nations may rage, and people may imagine vain things, but God has entrusted to Christ an absolute sway over them all, so that they cannot as much as stir apart from His will. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion knows no end.
This Son of God Who is exalted with power in the highest heavens is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ., God has set Him as King in Zion. His throne is set in the middle of Zion, in the center of His Church. For He holds the unique position of a double office. He is Priest-King according to the order of Melchizedek. He rules over the nations of the earth with a rod of iron, ready to consume His enemies in His wrath in the Day appointed for Him, yet He does so as Highpriest, Ambassador, and Intercessor for His people. Zion is redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. Through the judgments of this present world the Church is brought into the glorious kingdom of God’s dear Son, to live and reign with Him forever.
Today is the day of Christ’s power. What David saw in prophecy we experience in reality.
“We see Jesus . . . .” (Hebrews 2:9). We see Jesus with an eye of faith exalted in the heavens, crowned with glory and honor. Yes, we once saw Him in the flesh, in the state of humiliation, lower than the angels. Jesus had humbled Himself as a lowly servant, the lowliest of the lowly, the poorest of the poor, willingly surrendering Himself into ever deeper shame and suffering, until as a worm in the eyes of men, He was despised, rejected, condemned, cast out unto the most shameful death, the accursed death of the cross. God gave His Son in our stead to bear the burden of eternal wrath against our sins to deliver us from death and to bring us to glory with Him. The Captain of our salvation marched through death, hell and the grave, arising as the mighty Conqueror to ascend to the highest position in heaven, where He now lives and reigns as our Advocate and Savior, the Shepherd-King, drawing His sheep into His fold.
This is the day of Christ’s power, the new dispensation, which at the same time is the last day, the day of the coming of the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. He holds the Book with its seals in His hand, fulfilling the entire counsel of God as He breaks the seals one by one. He assures His Church: “Behold and see in all the happenings round about you, that I am working haste toward the day of My arrival among you. Hold that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
This is the day which the Lord hath made for us to be glad and to rejoice in it.
In the day of Christ’s power God gives to Him a willing people. This willing people is the militant Church, the army of the living God, fighting the battle of faith against all of Christ’s enemies, which are her enemies. This is a glorious Church with a marvelous inception, “in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning; thou hast the dew of thy youth.”
The darkness of the night is broken. There appeared a small streak of purple on the eastern horizon. For the moment the night seemed to grow darker as it fought off the dawn. Yet that ray of light grew, spread itself into the morning sky, gradually bursting forth in hues of lavender, pink, and red. The night is driven away, the dawn reaches into the new day. Dew drops appear as out of nowhere, myriads of sparkling lights on every sprout of grass, leaf, plant flower, bush and tree; The new day had dawned in dazzling splendor.
Our Lord brought this new day. Centuries before, the day appeared in paradise, yet only for a brief moment. For a short time our parents stood in the state of rectitude, beholding the beauty of the Lord in all His grand creation, extolling His matchless Name of power. Satan made encroachments on that day, enticing Adam and Eve into sin and bringing upon them God’s curse of horrible darkness.
In the midst of that weary night the Psalmist gave expression to the longings of the Church as he pleaded,
O send the day of joy and light,
For long has been our sorrow’s night;
Afflicted through the weary years,
We wait until Thy help appears;
With us and with our sons abide,
In us let God be glorified.
That prayer was answered. Christ came as the Son of righteousness. The first ray of light broke over lowly Bethlehem where Jesus was born, arousing new hopes in those who had waited so long. But the night grew darker as it tried to prevent the dawn. A sword pierced Mary’s soul. The disciples all forsook their Master and fled. The Son of righteousness disappeared completely in that awesome moment of Calvary, when darkness covered the earth even into the soul of the Savior. For a moment the powers of darkness took courage; victory seemed within their grasp. Then the powerful Hand of the Almighty Jehovah caused the new day to burst forth in glorious splendor. He arose! Christ arose as Victor over death’s domain. He ascended to heaven, where He lives forever to reign with His saints.
As the Son of righteousness brought the dawning of a new day, there appeared, as marvelously as the day itself, thousands of new, sparkling dew drops, a multitude of saints rejoicing in the dawn. Insignificant drops of water, yet capable of reflecting the light of the Sun in all the colors of the rainbow. God spoke, and His Spirit went forth to the upper room in Jerusalem. There was a sound of a powerful, irresistible presence. Powerful in His roaring, was He yet soothing in His serenity. Tongues of fire showed the sanctifying, cleansing, enlightening power of the Spirit now present in the hearts of the saints. Young men saw visions, old men dreamed dreams, daughters and handmaidens burst forth with the glad tidings of the new day, even as the Spirit gave them power to speak to every one they met in his native tongue. If they had not spoken the very stones would have cried out.
A small, waithing church grew by the power of the Word and Spirit into a universal church in a comparatively short time. Christ added daily to their numbers such as should be saved. He gathers His army from every race, color, nation, tribe, and tongue. He draws His own out of death into life, transforming children of Satan into willing subjects of the heavenly kingdom. We can but marvel as we behold what God has wrought.
As marvelous as its inception is this grand army itself. Every soldier is fully equipped. Already at his baptism he receives the august uniform that distinguishes him as belonging to the forces of His Lord and Captain Jesus Christ. No stately uniform with splendid epaulets and numerous badges of rank and honor can ever compare to this one, which can best be described as being adorned with the beauty of holiness.” The only one privileged to wear this uniform is a saint, separated from the world and sanctified in Christ unto God by the precious blood of Calvary. Upon his banner is written, “Holiness unto the Lord.” Each piece of armor bears the stamp of having been cast in the armory of God. The soldier’s headpiece is the helmet of salvation, his breastplate is the breastplate of righteousness, his girdle is the girdle of truth. His feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. In his left hand he displays the shield of faith, and with his right hand he manipulates the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Each soldier is known for his courage. He has and retains the strength of youth; for his strength is renewed every moment. On the march his Captain leads him to sparkling fresh waters that rush through the brooks in the way (Verse 7). Streams of grace flow from the throne to Christ, and by the power of His indwelling Spirit into the heart of every warrior to quench his thirst and to renew his strength like an eagle’s. Each member of the army is a son of the king; together they comprise a priesthood of kings, consecrated to God with their whole being.
This mighty army of the church of God moves in the highway of the saints who have gone before them. In the rumblings of warfare and in the heat of battle they follow their Lord as He goes forth conquering and to conquer. Confidently they meet the foe day after day with the assurance: conquerors, more than conquerors are we. They have never suffered any casualties, never lost a battle; their home and country remain unscarred, unhurt. In eager anticipation they face the future with a joyous: Our King is coming!