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Now is the time for the Son of Righteousness to arise

by Peter Benyola
"Simeon's Moment" by Ron DiCianni

“Simeon’s Moment” by Ron DiCianni

 

What is that light so brilliant, breaking
Here in the night across our eyes?
Never so bright, the daystar waking,
Started to climb the morning skies!
What is that light so brilliant, breaking
Here in the night across our eyes?

Psalms. Praises. Canticles. God’s gifts to His people to remind us of the many occasions He has provided salvation. We revisit as far back as the Exodus and we hear the Song of Moses and Miriam, exalting the power of the Lord as His people’s opponents with their the horses, chariots and riders were swallowed by the sea (Exodus 15). We go to the book of Judges and we hear the Song of Deborah about the defeat of Sisera and the rest (Judges 5). Throughout the annals of Scripture, the work of God is celebrated and sung, but there’s no more majestic compilation of such songs to be found than those rendered during the incarnation and infancy of our Lord. There’s the Magnificat of Mary, the Benedictus of Zacharias, and the Song of Simeon, called the Nunc dimittis. These great canticles are sometimes mentioned by their Latin titles, taken from the beginning words of the song, such as the Magnificat, where Mary says, “My soul doth mangify the Lord.”

In the Song of Simeon and his short episode in Luke chapter 2, he exemplifies the doctrine of justification by faith alone. In the Old Testament, the prophet Habakkuk mentioned that “the righteous shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). That almost passing statement buried in one of the books of the Jewish minor prophets was repeated three times in the New Testament (Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38), and became a core tenet of Apostle Paul in his exposition of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. “The just shall live by faith” can be as accurately rendered as “the righteous shall live by trust.” To be just before God is to be righteous before God, and that is a righteousness which only He can provide. We find with Simeon a righteous man who trusted the Word of God — specifically, the promise of a Messiah, personally affirmed to him — and he did it not for a moment, but presumably during a long period of time. Simeon believed when nobody else among his contemporaries believed, that he would not die before he would see the Messiah come. He was indefatigable in his perseverance of trust in what God told him.

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