I will drive him like a peg into a firm place, and he will be a throne of glory for the house of his father.
I. THE SORT OF MAN WHO CAN THUS BE A NAIL FOE OTHERS TO DEPEND ON.
II. THE TYPE FULLY REALIZED IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
III. THE TYPE REALIZED, IN MEASURE, IN CHRIST-LIKE MEN AND WOMEN. Nothing better can be said of any of us than this - Men trust us. What can be said of woman nobler than this, "The heart of her husband trusteth in her?" - R.T.
And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place.
Homilist.The fastening force of Christ upon the soul of humanity is seen —
I. IN HIS HOLD UPON THE GENERAL MIND OF THE WORLD. Who, throughout the history of the ages, have laid such a firm grip upon mankind as Christ has? It is true that Buddha, Zoroaster, Confucius, Mohammed, have had — and still have — a firm hold on millions of souls. Some of them have a far wider influence than that of Christ, but they are not fastened so firmly.
1. Philosophy shows this. Their systems — if systems they can be called — only appeal to certain faculties in human nature; Christ grasps the entire man — intellect, imagination, conscience, hope, fear, love.
2. History shows this. Heathenism does not encroach upon Christianity. Christians are not converted to Zoroaster, Confucius, etc., but their followers are converted to Christianity every day. Heathendom is contracting, Christendom is extending on all hands. Its language, its literature, its institutions, are pushing themselves everywhere. The "nail" is made so fast, that to extract it would be to tear the world to pieces.
II. IN HIS HOLD UPON THE CONSECRATED MIND OF HIS DISCIPLES. His hold here is far firmer than His hold on the general mind. He goes deeper into humanity, He takes hold of the entire soul, and makes it captive. Or, to change the figure, He strikes His roots into every faculty of the soul. He becomes to the human spirit in this case what the sap is to the tree. You must tear the soul to pieces — nay, you must annihilate it — before you can extract his "nail."
Homilist.I. THE LESSON OF THE NAIL; that little things may be very important things. We read when David prepared for the building of the temple, "he prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates." So all preparation for training, for education, for the formation of character, is a kind of holy iron, hereafter to be fashioned into nails for the "sure place." And if you turn to Ezra 9:8, you will find the good man even makes this a matter of prayer, that "God would give him a nail in His holy place" — that is, that he and his might have a place of security, however insignificant it might be; for a nail, small as it is, speaks of security, it fastens things. There is an old proverb which says how, "for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost."
II. THE SURE PLACE. From which you learn, that even things good in themselves must be in a good place, in order that they may be of any good. For instance —
1. Good words, in order that they may do good, need good memories; and the good memory is the "sure place."
2. A good example in a fruitful life is "a nail in a sure place."
3. Faith fixed on a good object is "a nail in a sure place." Faith is not always good; people may believe lies. If you look to Christ and trust in Him there will be the "nail in the sure place."
III. THE LESSON OF THE FASTENING.
1. In order to the fastening a nail needs guiding. You will need strength, help, and guidance from God.
2. Fastened. Some things, once fixed, are fixed forever. What a dreadful thing it is, to think that this applies, so far as we are able to say and to see, to bad things! Habit fixes a man like "a nail in a sure place," fixes his ways of thought and life so that it seems as if he is immovable; for every time we repeat a wrong thing, it is driven farther and farther into our life. See to it, as you value your happiness for time and eternity, that, if you are fastened as "a nail in a sure place," it shall be a good place.
3. In a good place, fastened. "Be steadfast, unmovable": act in such a manner that the bad people shall never have any hopes of getting you over on their side, or of drawing you out of your sure place.
(J. N. Norton.)
I. Eliakim was a type of Christ IN BEING THE SUCCESSOR OF ONE WHO HAD PROVED HIMSELF UNWORTHY OF HIS OFFICE. As the haughty and unprincipled Shebna gave place to a man whom no selfish interests could possibly influence, so were the corrupt and evil-minded rulers of the Jewish nation to be set aside at the appearance of the Messiah who was to govern the world in righteousness.
II. Again, Eliakim was a type of Christ, IN THE AUTHORITY ENTRUSTED TO HIM. As the successor of the faithless Shebna was honoured by having "the key of the house of David laid upon his shoulder," in token of the unlimited authority which he was thenceforth to exercise, so was the Lord Jesus to be entrusted with "all power in heaven and earth;" and we find Him adopting the same lofty terms to describe His own regal attributes (Revelation 3:7).
III. A third particular in which Eliakim may be considered as a type of Christ, is IN THE BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS SECURED BY HIS RIGHTEOUS RULE. Eliakim, we are told, was "a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah," but the benefits of the wisest administration of man are few and insignificant, when compared with those which are secured to the world by the glorious reign of the Prince of Peace.
(J. N. Norton.)
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