By Horatius Bonar
"And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour." -- Psalm 45:12
THIS is a latter-day scene; for the whole psalm is resplendent with latter-day glory; the glory of Christ the King; the glory of the Church the bride; the glory of the palace, the throne, the retinue, the kingdom. All here is glory, gladness, righteousness. It is the time of the restitution of all things. We ask,
I. Who is this daughter of Tyre? She is the old Phoenician city, lying on the sea coast at the foot of Lebanon; the representative of the old world's commerce.
(1.) What she was. The great merchant-city of the old world, the representative of ancient commerce, and splendour, and wealth; the centre of magnificent villas, extending for miles north and south,--down to the water's edge and up the slopes of Lebanon.
(2.) What she is. Desolate; the old city swept away; the new one, a small sea-port; hardly more than a fishing village.
(3.) What she is to be. More than one prophecy foretells the resuscitation of Tyre in the latter day. (Isaiah 23:18.) Though the old city shall "not be found," yet there shall be a representative of it,--the same great merchant-city, only "holy."
II. To whom she comes. It is to Christ and his church that she comes. She seeks them out and bows before them. For the position of all things and parties is reversed in that day. The Church is on the throne; the world seeks her out and does homage. What a contrast to the condition of things during these ages past! The church no longer dishonoured, trodden on, persecuted, despised; but honoured and set on high; sought unto by all the earth, even its greatest; "the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." The saints, along with their Lord, receive the tribute of earthly homage. The Bride of Christ shares his dignity and glory.
III. What she brings. It is here simply called "a gift;" but in that how much is comprehended. As the wise men from the east brought their peculiar gifts, so is it with the daughter of Tyre. She comes and lays her merchandise, her wealth, her splendour at Immanuel's feet. In Ezekiel we have the full enumeration of her articles of value and beauty. All luxuries, all necessaries, all precious metals, all gems, apparel,-- everything that the world admires, gathered from every region. What a gift! Unsought by the church. Tyre brings her gift, hastening to do homage to the glorious King, and adorning her with all that is beautiful, and precious, and perfect.
IV. What she teaches us. To lay our all at Christ's feet,-- nationally and individually. That shall be the day of full consecration to God, the acknowledgment of Christ's right to the ownership of everything. As yet we have no true idea of consecration,--the consecration of ourselves, all that we have, things common or precious, to God and His Christ. But we shall know it then, and see it as it has never been seen before. And what a consecration shall there be in the latter day, even were it only of Tyre. How much more when it is of far greater cities and kingdoms than Tyre, our own for instance, to which Tyre is a mere village, or merchant depot. As Tyre was the great commercial metropolis of the old world, so is Great Britain, with its mighty London, the great commercial metropolis of the modern earth. All that made Tyre great and glorious is to be found ten times magnified and multiplied in her.
All things that God has made are precious, and meant to glorify him. Every creature of God is good. We are not to conclude that because gold, and silver, and gems have been abused for pride, and luxury, and vain glory, they Ought to be despised by the Christian. They are all capable of consecration to God; all intended to glorify him. It is not easy to consecrate the splendid and the beautiful things of earth to his glory just now. There are so many evil influences at work, perverting them, degrading them, defiling them. They are, and have been so long, the ministers of creature pride; idols, vanities, follies. But still they are all capable of good and noble uses; and shall one day take their proper place in creation, like the stars above and the flowers below.
Meanwhile let us use all we have for God. The widowed church just now does not need the gems of earth to adorn her; nay, they would be incongruous with her widow's weeds. We can dispense with ornament and show God does not need these at present, though he will one day bring to light all the treasures hid in his storehouse of the beautiful and glorious; and they shall adorn the new Jerusalem, and the new earth, where dwelleth righteousness. But our substance, our money, let us consecrate to God, lay out our gains for him. He calls on our commercial nation thus to honour him,--to use their gains not for themselves, but for him. He asks for honour and service from our commerce. Men of business, consecrate your gain to him. Jesus is worthy to receive all you have. Give it to him; grudge not. He will repay you a thousandfold.