The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
So far as this world is concerned, every one of us will soon cease to be a man, and be no more than a memory. Every man leaves behind him some kind of a memory; and it depends entirely on what the man has been as to what the memory shall be. There are memories that do rot; those that dwell on them, and take a delight in them, are poisoned by the contact, and all whose feelings are healthy and pure keep at a distance, and feel as if in the presence of something that was corrupt and evil. But however short life may be, it is long enough for a man to do something that will leave a memory in the world which, when he is gone, shall be a blessing to other men.
I. THE MEMORY OF THE JUST IS BLESSED AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOLY LIVING. We never can see the force of precept fully if we never see precept embodied in action. You can never give a man a clear notion of what the image of God is unless you give him an opportunity of watching for years the life of a man who has walked with God. The memory of such s man acts as a restraint, both upon the unconverted and upon the child of God, when he is pressed by temptation. The memory of such a man acts as an encouragement. We are apt to think that the law of God is too high for us, that we cannot expect to be thoroughly consistent Christians. And yet, why not? We think those men that we see so good must be different in nature from us. But the grace that made them so holy is as free for us as it was for them. The memory is not only an encouragement, it is also a stimulus. When we hear what the good have done we feel a reproach that we have not done more. That memory is blessed which comes acting upon the spirits of men after a man is gone, and impelling them to follow him in the ways of usefulness and goodness. Such a memory is a stimulus to early consecration to God; to full and laborious consecration to God.
II. THE MEMORY OF THE JUST IS BLESSED AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOLY DYING. Even those who do not care about living well would like to die well. Others look upon a happy death only in the light of s suitable close of a good life. There is something blessed in seeing the last days of good men.
III. THE MEMORY OF THE JUST IS BLESSED AS A TIE TO ANOTHER WORLD. Are there not many of us to whom God has given ties of this kind to that better lend? The blessing in this way counteracts the curse; the curse strikes right and left with the stroke of death, and we see our dearest objects falling before our eyes. But then the blessing comes; they are redeemed; their spirits are in heaven; and our affections turn to the same objects as before. But now those affections, instead of being a tie to earth, are a tie to heaven, where those we love have gone.
(William Arthur, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.