There can be no greater source of joy to the awakened sons of GOD, than that message which declares “HE cometh”, regardless of the age in which they have lived. Enoch, only seven generations removed from Adam, expressed his expectation. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” (Jude 1:14) Abraham rejoiced to hear that HE would come and multiply his seed as the stars in heaven for multitude, yet his greater joy was in the prospect of HIS coming to reign in the earth as the REDEEMER KING. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56) He had a glimpse of HIM when MELCHISEDEK (“the PRIEST of the MOST HIGH GOD” (Gen.14:18)) met him, bringing “bread and wine”. “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (Gal 3:8-9)
The LORD blessed Abraham with a “son of promise” when both he and Sarah were well on in years and it was through Isaac that the LORD would bring the SON of promise into the world. “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” (Gen 17:19) “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal 3:16) “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” (Heb 11:17-19) Herein the LORD demonstrated to him that it was not through his own power that redemption would come in the Earth, but that the LORD would “provide HIMSELF an offering.”
Isaac too, rejoiced that “HE cometh”, as he was given a son, Jacob, whom the LORD loved, and to whom was the birthright bestowed. “Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.” (Isa 65:8-9)
Jacob rejoiced as he could see that “HE cometh”, as he blessed Judah saying, “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. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.” (Gen 49:10-12)
Joseph, a most favored son of Jacob, though sold into slavery, rejoiced in the fact that “HE cometh”, even though he lived his whole life amongst the pagan darkness of Egypt. For as he was dying he took an oath of his brethren. “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.” (Gen 50:24-25) He did not want to be left behind.
Moses rejoiced that “HE cometh”, as he surveyed the land of Promise from Pisgah’s lofty height, penning Psalm 90:13-14, “Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Psa 90:13-14) Though he was not able to enter in to that land of Promise (“by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom 3:20)) yet his eye was turned to look upon HIM with anticipation who had faithfully led them through the wilderness and who he expected would guide them (including himself) to the end.
David, a man after GOD’s own heart, sinned greatly on many occasions, yet no one can rival his rejoicing that “HE cometh”; calling upon the whole earth to worship HIM in the beauty of HIS holiness. “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” (Psa 72:6-8) “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.” (Psa 53:6)
This is the expectation of the saints in all ages, even as Simeon who waited for “the CONSOLATION of Israel” and was blessed to hold HIM in his arms. “Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:28-32)
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Heb 11:13) They all clearly longed to see HIM, but none of those old testament saints (whose thoughts are recorded) were given that privilege with the exception of John the Baptist and Simeon. Yet even they did not live to see the complete fulfillment of HIS redemptive work. Nonetheless they were satisfied that “HE cometh.”
We are blessed to be those who have seen the unfolding of that mystery which was kept hid from the foundation of the world. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor 4:6) “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph 3:10-11) We have seen HIM who has died for sinners. He has arisen, triumphant over death, and is now ascended to sit at the right hand of GOD, having made HIS enemies HIS footstool.
We now expectantly wait, believing that indeed “HE cometh” to gather that possession, (i.e.; HIS bride, the church) which HE has purchased with HIS own blood. Even as HE fulfills that purpose which the Psalmist declared, “for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Paul describes HIS coming, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Thes 1:8) This is the comfort of the saints and the rejoicing of those found in HIM.
Lo! he comes, arrayed in vengeance, Riding down the heavenly road;
Floods of fury roll before him; Who can meet an angry God?
Tremble, sinners; Who can stand before his rod?
Lo! he comes in glory shining; Saints, arise and meet your King!
“Glorious Captain of Salvation, Welcome, welcome,” hear them sing!
Shouts of triumph Make the heavens with echoes ring.
Every island, sea, and mountain –Heaven and earth, shall flee away;
All who hate him must, confounded, Hear the trump proclaim the day;
Come to judgment! Come to judgment! come away!
Now redemption, long expected, See in solemn pomp appear!
All his saints, by man rejected, Now shall meet him in the air!
Hallelujah! See the day of God appear! (Gadsby’s Hymns #493; 495)
Behold, HE cometh. Even so come LORD JESUS!