And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body…
Let me endeavour to present to you one or two features by which a leader in the Christian army ought to be distinguished.
I. THERE MUST BE FIXED AND STRONG PRINCIPLE. The man who is to bear the standard in any army must be devotedly attached to the cause for which the army is contending. The man who is to be a guide and leader in the Christian Church ought certainly to have very definite convictions as to what Christianity is, and as to what the Church is. There are other qualities which may be of eminent service to him — a capacity to take a broad view of all questions, a ready sympathy with all who are struggling after truth, though they may be at present in darkness.
II. THE SECOND QUALIFICATION OF A STANDARD BEARER IS COURAGE. A true standard bearer may be described in a single epithet, taken from one of the prophets, as "valiant for the truth." That means that truth is his law. Truth is not with him a thing to be toyed with. It is not so much his possession, but rather he is possessed by the truth; it has laid hold of his reason, enthralled his affections, quickened and inspired his conscience.
III. THERE IS A STILL HIGHER ELEMENT, A STILL NOBLER, MIGHTIER FORCE BY WHICH THE STANDARD BEARER IN THE CHRISTIAN ARMY IS DIRECTED AND GOVERNED, AND THAT IS PERSONAL DEVOTION TO CHRIST. Christ is to him the truth, and Christ only is his law. The most illustrious of the standard bearers of the Christian army, I suppose it would be universally confessed, was the apostle of the Gentiles; and if we study his life and character, we shall perhaps arrive at the best and truest conception of an ideal leader in the Christian army.
(J. G. Rogers, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.