Thus said the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem…
This charming word picture is a representation at once vivid and sublime of the new human race. It sets before us a city in the time of prosperity and peace. In time of peace children crowd in the open spaces, and engage in gleeful play. The spiritual idea is — men and women of the Gospel age — their characteristics as represented by the city street scene. Old photographs of new people.
I. THE NEW HUMANITY IS CHARACTERISED BY YOUTHFULNESS. Childhood is peculiar to Christianity. God's religion is the only one that makes a speciality of children. Jesus made children a type of believers. "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." Childlikeness is characteristic of Christians in a state of grace and in a state of glory.
1. In a state of grace. Children are humble, obedient, forgiving, contented, hopeful, loving. So are Christians.
2. In a state of glory. Christianity reveals a future state, where the good are ever young. Heaven is the land of the living. Religion a life of eternal juvenility transfigured with eternal glory.
I. THE NEW HUMANITY IS CHARACTERISED BY ENJOYMENT. "Playing." All young life is playful — the colt, kitten, lamb, child. The Gospel is a system to make men glad. Joy is a duty. God is our best friend — our Father. Christians possess the secret of happiness — relation to Him. Externally, all may be forbidding, but there are hidden springs within. The Christian, though poor, is rich.
III. THE NEW HUMANITY IS CHARACTERISED BY SAFETY. "In the streets."
1. God's affection for them proves this. He has loved man best of all. His affection is means to an end. All the attributes of God work for His love.
2. God's sacrifice for them proves this. God willingly sent forth His Son.
3. God's work in them proves this. His resources are boundless, and His purposes unalterable. To commence is to consummate. He who is Alpha is also Omega.
4. His promises to them prove this. "We severally and jointly promise to pay," — so reads the promissory note. The Trinity are personally and collectively pledged to save the believer. We can trust them. The bridge of God's promises grips the Rock of Ages.
IV. THE NEW HUMANITY IS CHARACTERISED BY MULTITUDE. "Full." Jesus will save a multitude untold.
1. The plan in operation proves this. "Power of God." "Mighty through God."
2. Divine promises to Christ prove this. "Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance."
3. The expectations of Christ prove this. "Many shall come," etc. Apply —
(1) Seek the new nature.
(2) Live the new life.
(3) Then will come the new song in the new Jerusalem.
(B. D. Johns.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
WEB: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Old men and old women will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age.