The Honor and Glory of the Lord's Name (continued)
So we went on to see, to look at Gideon as the kind of instrument that the Lord will use for the recovery of the honor of His Name by bringing about these name-honoring conditions among His people. That point we take things up to date. It is a matter then of the recovery and continuance of the testimony of the Name of the Lord. While Gideon on one side does set forth the absolute "sovereignty of God" as we were saying, on the other side he indicates the ground on which that sovereignty works. It is not a contradiction to say that while God acts in absolute sovereignty He does look for certain things to bring that sovereignty into action. Even the sovereignty of God where God's people are concerned demands certain conditions. And those conditions are to be found indicated at least in the case of Gideon this representative instrument of God's honor.
Now I am going to take some space to say some things that I doubt if I have ever said here before but which comes out of a very real exercise of my own heart and which I feel to be of very great importance and it centers in the first thing about Gideon. Gideon was a young man. In saying that and what it implies we really do get to the point of God's reactions, God's recovery and continuance of His testimony; the honor and glory of His Name. What is true in nature is true in the realm of things spiritual; the great factor and principle of spiritual youth. The law of nature is ever "fresh reproduction", as soon as any organism in nature ceases to reproduce, death has commenced and death is the law. The law of life is "reproduction", God having once created does not create a second time. He proceeds by "reproduction", not by fresh creations. Every new generation is mute by God to be; the past values brought into freshness. No new generation is a new creation.
Creation and generation are two different words belonging to entirely two different things. I think some young people think that they are a new beginning; they are not. They are to be the gathering up and carrying on of what has been. But to gather it up and to carry it on in freshness. They are to be the sum of what has gone before but brought back again to its primal freshness. That which is past, if you like old, (I repudiate that word, but for the sake of explanation I use it) is kept fresh by new generations. Now this has two sides: the side of ourselves, we who are a passing generation, some of us are a passing generation, but if you are included in that, listen. Our freshness and life will be just in so far as we equip the next generation. If we hold things to ourselves - and oh, what tragedies are resultant from old Christians keeping everything to themselves, old servants of God still hanging on, keeping it in their own hands - if we keep everything to ourselves the thing will die, and die with us, and we are bringing things to death.
This of course is the spiritual law of blessing of families. You see everything has a spiritual law behind it in God's mind. The blessing of families is on the one side to keep the old people young. Find the old people who have no young people around them and they are old indeed, they are older than they ought to be. You might sometimes feel that you must qualify that, they have a way of wearing you out. But nevertheless, the principle holds good. It is a Divine principle. The blessing of families on the one side is to rob old people of their age, to stop them getting old; that's the principle, that is the law, that's the Divine thought. You see a mark that God has not come to an end, is not finished up but means to go on, is that He brings young people in. My older friends take note of that, don't you be jealous of the young people, don't feel that they are getting in your place and you are having to hand everything over to them and they are being too much made of. We will talk to them in a minute. Let me talk to you first.
(continued with # 3)