Arno C. Gaebelein
…The Psalms in the form of a book as we have it now, their collection and arrangement, was the work of an unknown person or persons. There was a time when these different Psalms, though all in possession of the people, were unarranged. The arrangement in which we possess the Psalms is undoubtedly the work of the Holy Spirit, though all the details as to the instruments used and the time when it was done are lacking. Human wisdom and ingenuity could never have accomplished this task in the way it has been done, Psalms are linked with Psalms in a most wonderful way and bring out a progressive revelation. Surely such insight into the hidden things is divine. Here is a field for spiritual investigation which is inexhaustible.
In the Hebrew Bible the Book is divided into five parts. This fivefold division has a meaning of great
importance. The Pentateuch written by
Moses is composed of five books. Ancient
Hebrew sources compare the five books of Moses with the five books into which
the Psalms are divided. “Moses gave
That there is a real analogy between the five books of Moses and the five books of the Psalms can easily be verified. We call attention to a few striking facts. Genesis contains the whole Bible in a nutshell; it is the great rock foundation book of God’s revelation. So the first division of the Psalms (Psa. 1-41) contains the whole book in a nutshell. It is the same for the Book of Psalms that Genesis is for the whole Bible. The two names Jehovah and Elohim are found in this book just as in Genesis; the name of Jehovah is the prevailing name. Exodus is the book which describes the sufferings of God’s people, persecuted by their enemies, and how Jehovah redeemed them, constituted them a nation, led them forth towards the land of promise. The second Book of Psalms (Psa. 49.-79.) begins with Psalms of suffering. Godly Jews cry to the Lord for deliverance. They are away from the sanctuary. Then we see how their prayers are answered, and Jehovah once more interferes in behalf of His people and leads them out. He becomes their King and rids them of all their enemies (see Psa. 45-48). This second division closes with a Psalm which describes the reign of the King and the glories of His Kingdom. The King is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will establish His Kingdom on this earth in the midst of His own land, Immanuel’s land (Isa. 8: 8). This is not the last Psalm of David; yet at the close it is written, “The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.” The meaning is as simple as it is blessed. The Lord had promised such a kingdom to David and a son from his loins to be the king. When David beheld the glorious vision of the seventy-second Psalm, he cried out “The prayers of David are ended.” He had no more prayer for that kingdom of peace and righteousness, when he beheld its fulfilment.
Leviticus is the book which has for its keynote “holiness unto the Lord.” This fact we find impressed in the beginning of the third division of the Psalms (Psa. 73-89). This part begins with the Asaph Psalms. God is holy and He has a separated people, the Jewish remnant, which suffers in the midst of apostasy and corruption. Here are recorded their prayers and how they seek His face in the last days.
Still more striking is the similarity between the Book of Numbers and the fourth division of Psalms (Psa. 90-106). This fourth part begins with the Psalm of
Moses. May he not have written this
Psalm by divine inspiration in the wilderness wanderings, when he saw that
generation dying off on account of its unbelief and sins? The hand of man would have put the Psalm of
Moses, being the oldest Psalm, into the first place. But not so the Holy Spirit. He put this Psalm at the beginning of the
fourth Book of the Psalms. But as in the
Book of Numbers the Lord points towards the land, when at last His people
should find rest, so in this part of the Psalms the fact is made known that the
wandering nation is to be brought to rest.
The beautiful millennial Psalms are found in this section, and it closes
with a retrospect of
The fifth section begins with Psalm
107, and here we are at once face to face with the great truth in Deuteronomy. Jehovah
rehearsed again through Moses their entire history and predicted their future
as well. That predicted future, when He
These brief remarks show that the Psalms are arranged in an orderly way and that they have a prophetic meaning. This latter fact has been altogether too much overlooked. Generally, one might say almost universally, the Psalms are read for devotional purposes. We believe to do so can only result in great good to our souls. May we be kept from saying as some have done, the Psalms are not for us, and therefore we have nothing to do with them. This is unscriptural. All in the Word is for us, though it may not be about us. …
The second division beginning with Psalm
42 and ending with Psalm 72 is
therefore the Exodus section. What we find in the beginning of the book of
Exodus we also find in the opening section of this division of the book. In the first chapter of Exodus we see the
When we examine the seven Psalms with which this section
begins (42-48), we find the same conditions, but
they have nothing to do with the past.
It is a prophetic picture of the future experiences of the remnant of
“The second book of Psalms consists entirely of Elohimic Psalms; for whilst in the first book ‘Jehovah’ occurs 272 times and ‘Elohim’ only 15 times, the order here is reversed: ‘Elohim’ occurs 164 times and ‘Jehovah’ only 30 times, and in almost every instance by a departure from the customary mode of expression for reasons that lie close at hand.”
We are projected in the three opening Psalms of this Exodus section
into the time of the great tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble. Satan’s man typified in Exodus by Pharaoh,
domineers over them; it is the time of “the abomination of desolation” to which our Lord called special
attention in His Olivet discourse (Matt. 24: 15, 16). Those who apply the Olivet prophecy, the
predicted great tribulation (as is done by post-millennial teachers) to the
catastrophe which overtook
We shall find in our analytical exposition of the three Psalms
in the beginning of this Psalm-Exodus all the characteristics, though not fully
developed, of the seven years of the closing of this age, and more
particularly, the last three years and a half.
Here we find the heart cry, the longing of godly Israelites for the courts
of the Lord. They are banished from
In the Forty-third Psalm there is also mention made of the Antichrist. They go “mourning because of the oppression of the enemy.” Then comes that blessed prayer: “Send out Thy light and Thy Truth; they shall lead me; they shall bring me to Thy holy hill and to Thy tabernacles.”
In the Forty-fourth Psalm their faith is tested in the severest way, for they are now in the throes of the great tribulation. And out of that tribulation there comes the cry of despair for deliverance and salvation. “Awake! Why sleepest Thou, 0 Lord? Arise! Cast us not off forever. Why hidest Thou Thy face? And forgettest our affliction and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust, our belly cleaveth to the earth. Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.”
This cry is answered by the coming of the King, with His sword girt at his side, coming to execute vengeance upon their enemies and to deliver the trusting, God-fearing remnant. Hence in the Forty-fifth Psalm we have that beautiful prophetic picture of our Lord’s visible and glorious return. He comes in His royal Majesty and His enemies, and His people’s enemies fall under Him. He comes to receive His throne. He comes with the Queen at His side and the King’s daughters. All has its blessed prophetic meaning.
As they are now delivered and the King has come, we hear them
singing and shouting for joy. They tell
out the story of the wonderful deliverance.
Universal peace has come; the
kingdom has been established.
Throughout this section of the Psalms we read of tribulation and deliverance. In the Fifty-fifth Psalm the man of sin looms up again and we hear the godly praying their imprecatory prayers. Deliverance and the results which follow are then given again in different Psalms. One of the greatest prophetic Psalms, the sixty-eighth, is found in this section.
There is also an interesting correspondency between the ending of the book of Exodus and the ending of the Exodus section of the Psalms. We read in the last chapter of Exodus that the glory of the Lord appeared and filled the tabernacle. The book which begins with moans and groans ends with glory.
The last Psalm in this section is the Seventy-second Psalm. It describes prophetically the glories of the kingdom to come. Here we see the goal of the godly remnant; they are going to receive the kingdom.
Psalms 42-49 are ascribed to the sons of Korah. Korah, the great grandson of Levi, perished by a divine judgment on account his rebellion against Moses and Aaron. But his sons, however, were not involved with him in this judgment. But as we learn in Numbers 26: 10-11, they died not. They were witnesses to grace of God.
* * *
PSALMS 42- 47
THE FORTY-SECOND PSALM
we pointed out in our introductory remarks to the Exodus section of the Psalms,
the future suffering of the godly, during the great tribulation, and their
great deliverance, is here prophetically revealed, as well as their
redemption. But the redemption revealed
is not the redemption by blood, but the redemption by power. Redemption by blood took place in
1. The Heart-Cry after God. (Verses 1-5.)
As a hart which panteth after the water-brooks,
So panteth my soul after Thee, 0 God!
My soul thirsteth for God. for the living God:
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night:
While they say to me continually, Where is thy God?
When I think on these things, I pour out my soul within;
How I passed along with the masses –
How I accompanied them to the house of God,
With the voice of song and praise a throng keeping festival.
Why art thou cast down, my soul?
And why art thou disquieted within me?
Hope in God! For I shall yet praise Him,
That He is the health of my countenance and my God.
Many a saint has turned to these words for refreshment and found in them an expression of his own feeling. Here is the longing soul in thirst after God. It is a fine illustration which the author uses. The deer leaves his haunts in the densest woods, perhaps chased by a pack of fierce dogs. His tongue protrudes from his mouth; he pants for some water brook. He rushes hither and thither, panting still more, almost to sheer exhaustion. “So,” we read, “my soul panteth after Thee, 0 God!” Yet how many children of God know anything of such thirsting and panting after the living God. How little of real soul thirst there is in these days of materialism and luring pleasures. Yet the fact remains that only the living God and “the water brooks” of the Holy Spirit can satisfy.
But we must interpret these words in connection with the godly
But we must look a little deeper in order to understand more
fully the significance of these verses.
When the partial restoration of the people Israel takes place, that is a
restoration to their own land (which is even now in progress), not only a mass
of patriotic Jews, and self-seeking Jews will return, but also godly Jews,
those who still trust in the fulfilment of God’s promises, who still pray and
hope for a Messiah. All want another
temple, the house of God, so that their ancient, divinely appointed worship
might he resumed. And such a temple will
be erected in
This gives us understanding in connection with the prophetic meaning of this Psalm. They had gone for a brief time with the masses to the re-instituted temple worship, but now their brethren hate them (Isa. 66: 5) and they are once more without the outward worship which they craved.
Then comes that beautiful, refreshingly glorious outburst of their faith and hope. “Why art thou cast down, my soul? and why disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.” Eternity will reveal how many thousands of saints of all ages have been helped and cheered by these words.
2. Conflict and Perplexity. (Verses 6-1l.)
My soul is cast down within me;
Therefore do I remember Thee,
From Mizar’s hill.
Deep calleth unto deep at the sound of Thy cataracts;
All Thy waves and billows are gone over me!
Yet Jehovah will command His loving-kindness in the daytime,
And in the night shall His song be with me,
And my prayer unto the God of my life.
I will say unto God my rock, Why hast Thou forgotten me?
Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
As if they were breaking my bones, mine oppressors reproach me,
When they say all the day long to me, Where is thy God?
Why art thou cast down, my soul?
Why art thou disquieted within me?
Hope thou in God, For I shall yet praise Him,
That He is the health of my countenance and my God.
Here is a prophetic description of their conflict and perplexity
during the time of Jacob’s trouble. It
is not without significance that
Let them mock, let them sneer, let the enemy break the very bones of His people; faith never dies, it mounts up on eagles’ wings and once more breaks out in the refreshing stanzas of hope. “Why art thou cast down my soul? ... Hope thou in God.”
Once more they comfort themselves with the blessed words found twice in the forty-second Psalm.
* * *
THE FORTY-THIRD PSALM
Judge me, 0 God!
And plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
Save me from the deceitful and wicked man.
For Thou art the God of my strength;
Why hast Thou cast me off?
Why go I ourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send out Thy light and Thy Truth,
They shall guide me;
Let them bring me to Thy holy hill, to Thy tabernacles.
Then will I go unto the altar of God,
To God with exceeding joy;
Yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee 0 God, my God!
Why art thou cast down, my soul?
And why art thou disquieted within me?
Hope thou in God; For I shall yet praise Him,
That He is the health of my countenance and my God.
This Psalm is closely connected with the preceding one. Here the godly remnant appeals to God that He may act in their behalf. They are in the midst of an ungodly nation, their apostate, unbelieving brethren. Jewish apostasy will be as pronounced in the close of the present age as Gentile apostasy. We see this in our times, a faint shadow of what is yet to come. Judaism has its conservatives and its modernists, its orthodox and unorthodox. A portion clings to the Messianic hope, the vast majority are materialists who reject the faith of their fathers and are practically infidels.
Modernistic Christendom often joins hands with modernistic Judaism. The “Christian” preacher exchanges pulpits with some Jewish Rabbi; both are one in the denial and rejection of the Christ of God. They speak of “union” and “fellowship.” But this is only the beginning of the end, when there will he a complete apostasy among both, Gentiles and Jews; among the latter however, there will be a godly remnant, the hope of the nation, and in that remnant the promises of God will be finally consummated. It is then this remnant whose prayers we read so often in the Psalms and who appeal here to God to plead their cause against the ungodly nation.
The deceitful and wicked man is the false Messiah, the man of
the Antichrist. He appears as the
heading up of iniquity and apostasy. His
hatred will he directed against the godly in
Their prayer then is for deliverance from this man of sin. So great will be their troubles that they imagine they are forsaken of God.
Their prayer “Send out Thy Light and Thy Truth” is very suggestive and blessed. They need light and truth. They want led back to the holy hill and to the tabernacle, where they can praise and worship the God of Israel. But who will accomplish this for them? How will light and truth come to them in their death struggle?
The Lord Jesus Christ is both, the Light and the Truth; He is God’s Light and God’s Truth. They do not know what they are really praying for, but it is a prayer for Him to come, the Shepherd of Israel. And when He comes He will bring light, for He is the Sun of Righteousness, promised to rise over the land and the people in that day. He will end the lie, for He is theTruth, and with the breath of His lips destroy the wicked one.
Their prayers will then be answered and their long expected King will lead them back and they will worship Him in the beauty of holiness, for they will look upon Him whom they pierced, and Ezekiel’s promises will he fulfilled, “a new heart will I give you: and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye stall keep my judgments. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers” (Ezek. 36: 26-28).
* * *
THE FORTY-FOURTH PSALM
This Psalm brings before us the evil days of the time of Jacob’s trouble, the time which Daniel, the prophet, calls the great tribulation, reaffirmed by our Lord in the Olivet discourse. However, a portion is taken up with a retrospect, faith reviewing past history in which God’s merciful deliverances are so largely written. The Psalm has well been called “A Litany of Israel, hard pressed by the enemy, and yet faithful to its God.”
That this prophetic hymn has a historical background ls unquestionable.
But into what part of
However, the eminent scholar shows that the post-exilic
composition of this Psalm is untenable.
Like so many other Psalms e historical side cannot be located. Over and over again in the history of
But if we cannot definitely say when and under what circumstances this Psalm was written, we know the exact prophetic interpretation. It is, as stated above, the final experience of the gody Israelitish remnant before the King appears for their great deliverance and restoration.
1. What God Wrought in the Past. (Verses 1-3.)
0 God, with our own ears have we heard,
Our Fathers have given us the report,
The work Thou hast wrought in their days, the days of old.
Thou with Thine own hand didst evict nations and plantest them;
Thou didst destroy nations and cast them out.
For not by their swords did they possess the land,
Nor did their own arm give them victory.
But Thy right hand, Thine arm, and the light of Thy countenance,
Because Thou hadst accepted them.
This looks back to the times of Moses and Joshua. It was God, their God, the faithful, covenant-keeping God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which had wrought in behalf of His chosen people. The possession of the land of promise was God’s doing from start to finish, the act of Jehovah’s free grace. How this is emphasized in the ninth chapter of Deuteronomy! It was the Lord who evicted nations, destroyed and cast them out. They did not possess it through the action of their own swords, nor did the strength of their own arm save them. It was all the Lord’s doing. His right hand, His mighty arm, and His countenance had been their salvation in that memorable history, when He brought them into the land.
In order to appreciate all this we must remember that the godly remnant of Israelites, whose faith looks back, are surrounded by ungodly nation, which has cast off God. They no longer believe in the miraculous beginning of their national history, nor in the miraculous preservation of the chosen people. But the remnant knows that Jehovah is the same as He was of yore; that He is able to act in their behalf again and deliver them out of their sorrows and afflictions.
2. The Bold Language of Faith. (Verses 4-8)
Thou art He - my King, 0 God!
Command deliverances for Jacob.
Through Thee will we push down our enemies;
Through Thy Name will we tread down those that rise against us.
For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor shall my sword save me.
But Thou didst save us from our oppressors;
And put to shame those that hate us.
In God do we glory all the day long,
And Thy Name will we praise for ever. Selah.
And now faith breaks through and in boldness claims Jehovah as
King. The King is none other than our
Lord. He is the forthcoming deliverer of
His suffering and waiting people. This
King is able to command deliverances for Jacob.
Jacob is used instead of
3. The Present Testings of Faith. (Verses 9-14)
But Thou hast cast us off and put us to shame
And goest not forth with our armies;
Thou makest us to turn back from our enemies;
And those that hate us spoil for themselves.
Thou hast given us like sheep to be meat,
And hast scattered us among the nations.
Thou sellest Thy people for nought
And gettest no increase by the price.
Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours,
A scorn and a derision to them round about us.
Thou makest us a proverb among the nations;
A shaking of the head among the peoples
While faith can look ahead and see the approaching deliverances and victory, their present circumstances are still those of a nation set aside and out of touch with Jehovah. They realize they are cast off and put to shame. He is no longer with them as of old. They are a people scattered and peeled, like a flock of sheep scattered among the nations. They are a reproach, a scorn and a derision. Thus the godly remnant acknowledges their identification with the nation, as Daniel also did in his great intercessory prayer (Dan. 9).
4. Their Soul-Exercise and Confidence. (Verses 15-2l.)
My confusion is before me all the day long,
And the shame of my face has covered me,
Because of the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth -
Because of the enemy and the revengeful.
All this is upon us, yet we have not forgotten Thee,
Nor have we dealt falsely with Thy covenant.
Our heart is not turned back;
Nor have our steps declined from Thy path.
Though Thou hast sore broken us in the place of jackals,
And covered us with the shadow of death.
If we have forgotten the name of our God
Or stretched out our bands to a strange god;
Shall not God search this out?
For He knoweth the secrets of the heart.
Perplexity is great.
Confusion and shame covers them in the presence of their sneering
enemies, who reproach them and blaspheme the God of their fathers. But in the midst of all these harassing
experiences they have not forgotten their God.
There was no backsliding in their hearts nor did their feet leave paths
of righteousness. The place of jackals
(or dragons) is
5. The Greatest Trouble and the Cry for Help. (Verses 22-26.)
Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all day long;
We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Awake! Why sleepest Thou, 0 Lord?
Arise! Cast us not off for ever!
Why bidest Thou Thy face?
Forgetting our affliction and our oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
Our belly cleaveth unto the earth.
Arise for our help,
And redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.
The great trouble of the end-time, preceding the visible manifestation of our Lord as King, is now on. The enemy rages against them. The little horn is in control and he “shall wear out the saints of the most High” (this Jewish remnant) (Dan. 7: 25). He makes war with these Jewish saints and to overcome them (Rev. 13: 7). They refuse to receive the mark of the beast and are killed in large numbers. Then the desperate cry arises from their innermost souls asking the Lord to arise for their help.
How this cry will be answered by the coming of the King to overthrow their enemies and to dethrone the powers of evil is the subject of the Psalm which follows.
* * *
THE FORTY-FIFTH PSALM
The previous Psalm closed with the despondent cry of the
hard-pressed remnant of
The forty-fifth Psalm gives us a great prophetic picture of this coming event. As we have pointed out before, how remarkable is the arrangement of these Psalms! They give us progressive prophecy. The Psalms of suffering are followed by Psalms of glory.
The Psalm is another Maskill that is, for instruction. But it bears also the inscription “Shoshannim,” that is, “upon lilies.” This expression is used three times in the Psalms, here, in Psalm sixty-nine and in the eightieth Psalm. Some have thought only of a musical instrument, but there is a deeper spiritual meaning which has been recognized by all the leading commentators. The lily is the emblem of purity and simple gracefulness and charm. It often grows out of the vilest mud without being contaminated by it. It is therefore a type of Him, who is the lily of the valley, the Lord Jesus Christ. And when we read of “a song of the Beloved” (the better rendering) it also means Himself. But the word lily is in the plural – “lilies.” Luther understood by it the united and glorified Church of the future. Other Lutheran commentators as Bugenhagen, Gerhard, say “the heavenly Bridegroom and the spiritual bride, they are the lilies that are discoursed of in psalm.” They are generally understood to be the Bride, the Church. We shall see in our exposition how this Psalm should be interpreted and applied. The lilies must indicate Messiah and His redeemed people united to Him.
The Messianic interpretation of this Psalm has been rejected by the school of destructive criticism. They have indulged in wild guesses as to the authorship and purpose of this Psalm. They have said that it celebrates the nuptials of Solomon with the daughter of Pharaoh, while others suggested that the king mentioned might be Ahab, Joram, the Syrian Alexander or some unknown Persian Monarch. Yet the ancient Jewish interpretation, the Targumim and others, add to the word “king” the Messiah, expressed as follows: “Thy beauty, 0 King Messiah, is greater than that of the children of men.” The first chapter in Hebrews is conclusive, the King of beauty and glory is the Son of God in His risen, glorified humanity.
1. The Glory of the King. (Verses 1-2)
My heart bursts forth with a good matter:
I utter what I have composed touching the king.
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Thou art fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured in Thy lips;
Therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.
The Holy Spirit is upon the writer and his heart is filled to overflowing. It is like a fountain welling forth water pure and refreshing. He is to speak of the theme of all themes and therefore under divine guidance and inspiration his tongue becomes like the pen of a fluent, writer; he does not need to search for words. And we also when we meditate on Him, think of Him, and utter His praise, may be assured of the help and presence of the Holy Spirit, for He constantly will take of the things of Christ and bring them to us.
The King is the Son of Man. And how much this includes! He became Son of Man by the incarnation, the Virgin birth; as such He walked amongst the sons of men; as Son of Man was He rejected and died the sacrificial death; the Son of Man was raised from among the dead to ascend on high, and when He comes in answer to the heart cry of the suffering remnant of Israel He appears not in a spirit-phantom form, but literally as the Son of Man.
And He is fairer far than the sons of men. To apply this in an exclusively physical sense, as to His countenance, would not be correct. The fairness is more than beauty, it includes His wisdom and all His unsearchable moral glory. The study of the four Gospel records reveals His glorious pre-eminence. He towers over all the sons of men. As the holy, the spotless, the sinless Son of Man He had a moral glory which does not belong to the sons of men. “Behold, Thou art fair, my Beloved” declares the bride in Solomon’s song, and when she has described Him in terms of physical attractiveness and beauty with their deeper spiritual meaning, she cries out in ecstasy, “Yea, He is altogether lovely!” But who can tell out the fairness and loveliness of such an One! “Grace is poured in Thy lips.” His lips were filled with words of grace and truth. Never man spake as He spoke. His gracious words are the words of eternal life, giving peace, assurance and comfort to the hearts of men.
2. The Son of Man as the Conquering King. (Verses 3-5.)
Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, 0 mighty One,
With Thy glory and Thy majesty.
And in Thy majesty prosperously ride on,
Because of Truth and Meekness and Righteousness;
Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.
Thine arrows are sharp - peoples fall under Thee –
In the heart of the King’s enemies.
The Son of Man is the Saviour, but He is also the Judge; He is
the Lamb of God, meek and lowly, but He is also the Lion of the tribe of
3. His Manifestation and His Kingdom. (Verses 6-8.)
Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever,
The sceptre of Thy kingdom is a righteous sceptre.
Thou lovedst righteousness and hatedst wickedness:
Therefore God, Thy God, bath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness Above Thy fellows.
All Thy garments are myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made Thee glad.
We do not need to state the attempts made by the deniers of the Messianic character of this Psalm to explain away the great meaning of these words. The greater part of this paragraph is quoted by the Holy Spirit in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The glory of the risen Christ is the subject of the opening chapter of the Hebrew Epistle, and Christ is seen in His exaltation and glorious future higher than the angels. The Spirit of God demonstrates His exaltation and future glory mostly from the Psalms and quotes the sixth and seventh verses. When He comes as the conquering, all-victorious King, dethroning un-righteousness as represented by His enemies, He will receive His throne. It is His throne, which belongs to Him, a righteous [millennial] and an eternal throne. Nor must we overlook the fact, that He is addressed as God. Here those who have laboured to explain away the true meaning of this Psalm, without success, have invented all kinds of paraphrases. They speak of this Psalm as glorifying Solomon, or some other unknown king. But could Solomon, or any Jewish king be addressed as God? Only One can claim this address, our Lord Jesus Christ.
With His coming in power and glory His glorious reign begins, and here we see persons associated with Him. They are called His “fellows.” Who are then His fellows, those who are associated with Him when He begins His glorious [millennial] reign? Our Lord Himself is called God’s fellow in Zechariah 13: 7. It is one of the many passages in the Old Testament which teach that the Saviour is associated with God, one with Him. But who are they who are His fellows, associated with Him and one with Him? There can no question about it, the fellows mentioned here are the Saints of God gathered during this present age, constituting the Church [of the firstborn, out of] His body. They are seen here as the partakers of His glorious [millennial] Kingdom. While it is true that the Church was a mystery not made known in former ages, it is equally true that there are many saints in the Old Testament Scriptures of this mystery, which was truly then unknown in its fullest meaning, but now, the mystery having been revealed, we discover these hints. Here is one of the most striking. In the day of His glory, when He brings many sons unto glory, His redeemed ones surround Him and their glorious fellowship with Him is manifested.
His garments, the garments of righteousness, are myrrh, aloes and cassia. Myrrh and cassia were the leading ingredients of the holy anointing oil as commanded by the Lord (Exod. 30). Aloes was one of the chief spices. It is a poetic description of the perfection of the manhood of Him Whose whole life was so fragrant to God.
Then we read of the ivory palaces, out of which stringed instruments are heard, which make Him glad. His palace is His glorious dwelling place; ivory reminds us of Solomon’s throne of ivory. And in the innermost dwelling place are those who sing their everlasting praises unto Him, that which gladdens His heart, for they are the travail of His soul. But how much more all this must mean, which we do not fully understand and grasp as long as we still look into a glass darkly.
4. The gathered Companies around the Millennial Throne. (Verses 9-17.)
King’s daughters are among thine honourable women;
Upon Thy right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hearken, daughter, and see, and incline thine ear,
And forget thy people and thy father’s house;
And the King will desire thy beauty;
For He Is thy Lord, and worship thou Him.
And the daughter of
The rich among the people intreat Thy favor.
The King’s daughter is all glorious within,
Her clothing is of wrought gold.
She shall be brought to the King in embroidered raiment;
The following virgins, her companions shall be brought in to Thee;
With joy and gladness shall they be brought;
They shall enter into the King’s palace.
Instead of thy fathers shall be thy sons;
Princes Thou shalt make them in all the earth.
I will make Thy Name to be remembered throughout all generations,
Therefore shall the peoples praise Thee for ever and ever.
But few expositors have given a strict interpretation of this concluding section. They have applied the different companies mentioned to different groups of saints. The queen for instance has been made to be the Church. But the relationships, these different companies which are seen here, surrounding in worship the millennial throne, are not the heavenly, but the earthly relationships.
The Queen is not the Church but
The Queen is
The address to the daughter of the
What earthly glories the closing verses of this Psalm
indicate! Nations come and swell the
triumph of the King. The children of
* * *
THE FORTY-SIXTH PSALM
The three next Psalms give us a prophetic picture of the glorious results of the coming of the King, whose coming in majesty and glory, with His sword girded to His side, is so vividly described in the preceding Psalm. Here we have one of the most striking illustrations of the fact of unity in this great collection of inspired songs and prayers. An unknown Jewish saint (probably Ezra) arranged these Psalms and collected them. The arrangement proves that the collector was guided by the Spirit of God in putting each Psalm into the right place to give a consecutive revelation.
We had then first of all in this second section of the Psalms. Psalms in which the godly Israelitish remnant is longing for the homeland and the remnant is seen in great tribulation. Then followed the Psalm of the coming King who receives the throne and the sceptre; and now a vision of His Kingdom.
1. The Song of a Trusting People. (Verses 1-3.)
God is our refuge and strength;
A very present help in distress.
Therefore do we not fear though the earth is removed.
And the mountains are carried into the heart of the seas.
The waters thereof roar. Let them foam!
Let the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. - Selah.
The Psalm carries the inscription “A Song upon Alamoth.” Almah (used in Isa. 7: 14)
means “virgin,” and Alamoth undoubtedly means “with virgins,” or maiden’s voices! It refers back to the first recorded song in
the Bible. This is found in the fifteenth
chapter of Exodus. The Lord had carried
His blood-redeemed people through the
Thus the future remnant of
2. The Glorious Deliverance. (Verses 4-7.)
There is a river, the streams
whereof make glad the City of
The holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall never be moved;
God helpeth her in the dawn of the morning.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
Jehovah of Hosts is with us,
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
The judgment floods have spent their force; they are
gone. And now flows forth the stream of
living water. Ezekiel saw that stream as
it gushed forth from the door of the great house of worship (Ezek. 47: 1) and Zechariah speaks of the living
waters which shall go forth from Jerusalem (Zech
14: 8). It means both physical
and spiritual blessing. The Holy Spirit
in fullest blessing is active then in His delivered earthly people. The tabernacle of the Most High (the millennial name of God) is in the midst of the
city, that is why she can never be moved.
He has chosen
Then there is a retrospect. The nations had raged and kingdoms were moved. All that which is pre-written in the prophetic Word came to pass. The visions of Daniel and of John, the beloved disciple, recorded in the final book of the Word of God, were all literally and minutely fulfilled. Then, when all was the darkest, when the enemy came in like a flood, when there seemed to be no escape “He uttered His voice”; the Lord spoke and appeared in His glory. The earth shook and melted in His presence.
Out of the midst of the judgments and political upheavals we hear once more the praise of the delivered remnant:
Jehovah of hosts is with us,
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
3. What He has Wrought and how He is Glorified. (Verses 8-11.)
Come and behold the deeds of Jehovah;
See the desolations He hath made upon the earth!
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear asunder;
He burneth the chariots in the fire.
Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth.
Jehovah of hosts is with us,
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
It must be the remnant of
“Peace on earth” is now a blessed reality. The Prince of Peace has come, spoken the word, and all swords become plowshares, spears, pruninghooks. No more war, no longer nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom. Oh! that Christendom might see and learn the lesson written in this Psalm! Well-meaning are all efforts in our days to outlaw war. Who does not praise God for temporary relief from the horrors of war. But universal peace will never come as long as the murderer from the beginning is the prince of this world and the god of this age controls.
Then He speaks. All must now acknowledge Him, that He is God. The once rejected Light and Life, the Creator, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ will be exalted among the nations; He will be exalted in the earth. Then again we hear the glorious praise, with which this prophetic Psalm closes.
* * *
THE FORTY-SEVENTH PSALM
This brief Psalm is vitally connected with the preceding
one. We find in it the praise and
worship of the millennial kingdom established with the coming of the King in
power and glory. Some older expositors
supposed that the Psalm was written, like Psalm 24, on the occasion of the
removal of the ark to
1. The Kingdom Nation Speaks. (Verses 1-4.)
All ye peoples, clap your hands,
Shout unto God with the voice of triumph,
For Jehovah Most High must be feared;
A great King over all the earth.
He subdueth the people under us,
And the Gentiles under our feet.
He hath chosen our inheritance for us,
The excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.
2. The Call to Praise and Worship. (Verses 5-9.)
God is gone up amidst shouting,
Jehovah amid the sound of the trumpet.
Sing Psalms unto God! Sing Psalms unto our King, sing Psalms!
For God is the King of all the earth-
Sing Psalms for instruction.
God reigneth over the nations;
God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.
The willing hearted of the people have gathered together
With the people of the God of Abraham;
For unto God belong the shields of the earth;
He is greatly exalted.
The fifth verse is most interesting. It tells us that He, Jehovah Most High, ascended amidst shoutings. His ascent supposes a previous descent. It may be applied to His ascension after His passion and glorious resurrection. He had come down in humiliation and ascended upon high with victor’s shout of triumph. And as there will be the sound of the trumpet on His return, there was the sound of a trumpet when He ascended. But the real meaning of this Psalm must be connected with His coming descent and His coming ascent. In His second, glorious coming He descends to the earth. He comes to fight in behalf of His people, to deal with their enemies; He comes for their deliverance; He comes to claim His crown-rights; He comes to establish His throne. But when all this is accomplished He ascends again in visible kingly glory. He returns to the New Jerusalem, for there is His body, the glorified Church, there is His throne. His glorious throne and dwelling place will be there. On earth the government under Him as King of kings, and Lord of lords is commissioned to others. In all probability He will descend and ascend at stated times during the millennium and display His visible glory.
This may be during the feast of tabernacles when the
representatives of the nations go up to
And now we hear the enthusiastic praise of the restored and spirit-filled nation. They call for singing, for the singing times have come. The groans and moans of the previous age are hushed; “Glory to God in the Highest” is bursting forth. The Psalms are sung now in the synagogical worship of the Jews; they are chanted in the liturgies of Christendom, but the future Psalm-singing will surpass it all. The Spirit of God is upon those redeemed singers and the Psalms are sung in a universal worship for instruction. What else could be done when He reigneth ovrer the nations and sitteth upon the throne of His holiness! Then the nations are willing hearted. They no longer band themselves together as it was before the millennium, to oppose God and His anointed, they gather together with the people of the God of Abraham. He is shield (protection) for all. He is greatly exalted. Such singing times will surely come when He is greatly exalted, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
* * *
PSALMS 94- 100
THE NINETY-FOURTH PSALM
This Psalm begins another interesting section; another cluster of Psalms, one linked to the other, revealing a consecutive story as we have seen so often before. The section extends from the ninety-fourth to the one hundredth Psalm. The story is prophetic throughout. Five of these Psalms are glorious millennial Psalms celebrating the glorious manifestation of the Lord and His reign as King. Inasmuch as the manifestation of the Lord and His reign is preceded by the time of Jacob’s trouble, the first Psalm of this series gives us a picture of the prevailing afflictions of the righteous remnant and their cry to the Lord to act in their behalf and deliver them.
1. The Plea to the Judge of the Earth. (Verses 1‑7.)
Jehovah, God of vengeances –
God of vengeances - Shine forth!
Lift up Thyself. Thou Judge of the earth!
Recompense the proud.
Jehovah, how long shall the wicked –
How long shall the wicked triumph?
How long shall he speak arrogantly?
All the workers of iniquity boast themselves.
They break in pieces Thy people, Jehovah,
And afflict Thine heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger,
And murder the fatherless,
And they say the Lord doth not see
Neither doth the God of Jacob regard it.
The prayer is addressed to Jehovah as the God of vengeances,
the God of righteousness, the covenant keeping God, who does not forget his
suffering and afflicted people.
It reminds us of the parable of the widow and the unjust judge spoken by our Lord (Luke 18: 1-8). She cried, “Avenge me mine adversary.” The judge would not act, but finally he, though he did not fear God nor regard man’s opinion, answered her cry. Then our Lord said: “And shall not God avenge His own elect, who cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them”.
The widow represents the godly in
It is a brief prayer, “Shine forth!” but it contains much. A similar prayer is recorded in Isaiah which belongs to the same time and will then be prayed. “Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens and come down” (Isa. 64: 1). They know One is in the heavens, One is at the right hand of God (Psa. 80: 17). They know he will descend and appear in their behalf to judge the earth in righteousness, and therefore they plead - Shine forth! Rend the heavens! Come down! Then follows a description of their suffering. The wicked triumph over them. How long shall they triumph? The workers of iniquity boast themselves in arrogancy. They crush His people and afflict that which is the Lord’s heritage. Widows and strangers are slain and the fatherless murdered. In their atheism they boast and ridicule the thought that there is a God who sees, who knows, who regards it. This is already the vicious spirit of our own times, the times when God is ruled out and defied. But how much worse will it be when the restraining influence of the Spirit of God is removed!
2. Jehovah Knows and Sees. (Verses 8-13.)
Understand, ye brutish among the people;
And ye fools, when will you get knowledge?
He that planted the ear - shall He not hear?
He that formed the eye - shall He not see?
He that restraineth the nations, shall not He correct?
And He that teacheth knowledge?
Jehovah knoweth the thoughts of man,
That they are vanity.
Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, Jehovah,
And teachest him out of the law;
To give him rest in the days of evil
Until the pit he digged for the wicked.
Jehovah knows and sees! The ungodly are like the dumb beasts, they are brutes.
The brute does not know God, for the animal creation has not the capacity which man, the offspring of God, has. Man, refusing to listen to God, sinks down to the level of the brute. They reject His Word and become fools with no understanding.
But he that formed the ear, hears. He that formed the eye so wonderfully, sees. When the [this] age ends, mankind will have cast off the fear of God and become brutish. What happened to Nebuchadnezzar, the proud monarch, will happen to the apostates among Jews and Gentiles. But Jehovah knows all, He knoweth the thoughts of man. But blessed is the man who yields to the restrainings of Jehovah, who is taught in His law and in His Word. He can even have rest and quietness in the evil day and wait patiently till the time comes when the pit is digged for the wicked.
3. The Comfort of Faith. (Verses 14-19.)
For Jehovah will not cast off His people
Neither forsake His heritage.
But judgment shall return unto righteousness,
And all the upright in heart shall follow it.
Who will rise up for me against the evil-doers?
Who will take a stand for me against the evil workers?
Unless Jehovah had been my help
My soul would soon have dwelt in silence.
When I said, my foot slippeth,
Thy mercy sustained me.
In the multitudes of my anxieties within me
Thy comforts calm my soul.
God is faithful! He has
pledged Himself not to leave, nor to forsake.
He is a God whose gifts and calling are without repentance. The long history and experience of
4. Jehovah Will Cut Them Off. (Verses 20-23.)
Shall the throne of wickedness be in fellowship with thee,
Which frameth mischief according to statute?
They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous,
And condemn the innocent blood.
But Jehovah is my defence,
And my God is the rock of refuge for me.
And He shall bring upon them their own iniquity,
And shall cut them off in their wickedness.
Jehovah our God will cut them off.
The throne of wickedness will ere long
be established on the earth. The rightful One, the King
of glory, is not enthroned, and before His enthronement comes, another one will
reign for a short time, the man of sin, the lawless one, Satan’s man. But will God tolerate this forever? Will He stand by when the evil forces gather
against the righteous and shed innocent blood?
The trusting soul knows the answer.
* * *
THE NINETY-FIFTH PSALM
This Psalm is a delightful hymn of praise. It may be termed the preface to the
millennial Psalms which follow. The
praise comes from the lips of the saved remnant of
1. The Praise of Jehovah. (Verses 1-5.)
Come, let us sing unto Jehovah;
Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us make a joyful sound unto Him with psalms.
For Jehovah is a great God,
And a great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
And the heights of the hills are His.
The sea is His, and He made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.
They break forth into singing for the signs of the dawn of the morning are about them. They realize that the answer from above to the prayer of the preceding Psalm “Shine forth!” is about to come, and He whom they expect will soon appear. So they begin to sing though the full outburst of praise is not yet. The Psalms which follow record this full praise. They speak of Jehovah as a great God and King. He controls the sea and the land, the deep places of the earth and the heights of the hills are His. Here we must think of Him, who is Jehovah and who was manifested in the flesh, our Lord. He is the One by whom and for whom all things were created. In that impressive scene in Revelation (Chapter 10) He is revealed as the mighty angel clothed with the sun, His face shining like the sun and His feet as pillars of fire. Then He is seen setting His right foot upon the sea and His left foot upon the earth. “And He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth; and when He had cried seven thunders uttered their voices.” In this vision He is seen about to claim that which is His, sea and land, while the loud voice like the voice of a roaring lion is symbolical of the impending judgment. It falls in line with the words of this Psalm.
2. The Call to Worship and the Warning. (Verses 6-1l.)
Come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker.
For He is our God
And we are the people of His pasture,
The sheep of His hand.
Today if ye will hear His voice,
Harden not your heart, as at Meribah,
In the days of
When your fathers tempted Me,
Proved Me and saw My work.
Forty years was I grieved with that generation, and said
It is a people that do err in their hearts,
And they have not known My ways;
Wherefore I sware in Mine anger,
That they should not enter into My rest.
It is a call to all
But they must hear His
voice, they must return unto Him, the must be obedient; if stiff-necked as
their fathers were and unbelieving, they cannot enter into the rest and
promised glory. And as other
Scriptures tell us, the disobedient in
* * *
THE NINETY-SIXTH PSALM
The next Psalms, from the ninety-sixth
to the one hundredth celebrate prophetically the manifestation of Jehovah and
His reign on and over the earth. We call them the singing Psalms. The groans have ceased, and the singing has
begun, because “Jehovah reigneth.” Ritualistic denominations use these Psalms as if all is now found
accomplished in Christendom, but they overlook the prophetic feature. So do many of our psalm-singing
Presbyterians, who spiritualize these Psalms and read into them the spiritual reign of Christ in the Church. But
these Psalms are prophetic throughout.
They look forward to the day
when He appears, when the Messianic kingdom as revealed to David in a previous
Psalm (the 72) has come, when righteousness
and peace are enthroned through Him, who is the King of righteousness and the
King of peace. The Greek
translation, known as the Septuagint, invented an inscription which must be
rejected. The translators state that it
refers to the time “when the house was built after the
captivity.” This is the view of
the destructive school of criticism, which also claims that most of the Psalms
are post-exilic. But this is
contradicted by 1 Chronicles 16: 23-33 in which we find this Psalm, with
some variations, quoted and used in the times of David when the
1. The New Song. (Verses 1-3.)
O sing unto Jehovah a new song,
Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth.
Sing unto Jehovah! Bless His Name!
Publish His Salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvellous works among all the peoples.
It is a glorious beginning!
He has come and by His coming He has fulfilled and continues to fulfil
all that had been spoken by His prophets of old. The remnant of
2. Jehovah Alone is Great. (Verses 4-6.)
For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised;
He must be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But Jehovah made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before Him.
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
Idolatry is mentioned here, for it will end with His glorious manifestation. Idolatry is the result of man’s darkened heart and Satan’s deceptions. How it all came into existence, the origin, development and degrading process of idolatry is written in the opening chapter of the Roman Epistle. Man turned away from God, who has revealed Himself in the works of creation. The terrible evolution of man’s false worship starts with “thinking themselves wise,” leaving the worship of the one God. So-called “philosophy” (the human love of wisdom) still leads in the same way. Then followed in ancient times man-hero worship, followed by the worship of birds, by the worship of quadrupeds, and finally, the worship of the creeping things, the serpent itself. Then came the terrible plunge into the vilest abyss. The story of idolatry is still being written. Nor must we forget that the modern man with all his assumed culture and nobleness, but rejecting God and His Truth, is also an idolater. He bows his knee to the creatures and makes his own idols. All will be stopped when the Lord is visibly manifested and Satan is chained, , “to seduce the nations no more,” when Atheism, Deism, Polytheism and Pantheism will be answered by the glorious manifestation of Him who has made the heavens and whose beauty and majesty will be beheld in that day.
3. His Glorious Worship. (Verses 7-10.)
Give unto Jehovah, all families of the peoples,
Give unto Jehovah glory and strength.
Give unto Jehovah the glory of His name;
Bring an offering and come into His courts.
Worship Jehovah in the beauty of holiness,
Tremble before Him all the earth.
Say it among the nations - Jehovah is King.
The world is established, it cannot be moved;
He shall judge the peoples righteously.
The true universal worship will then be introduced and all false worship ends. The times of the Gentiles began with a false worship, when a monarch assumed headship over worship and demanded that all people should worship alike according to his dictates (Dan 3). Such attempts to create a unified worship persisted throughout the times of the Gentiles. The Romish Church has done the same thing, and still does it. She persecutes all who refuse to worship her idols. Protestantism also attempts such unified worship and has its federation. Finally the times of the Gentiles end as they began, with the false worship of the beast and his image (Rev. 13).
But when He is revealed it will
all end and true worship follow. “The Lord
shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord and His
Name shall be one.” (Zech. 14: 9). The nations of the earth will go up to
4. Creation’s Worship. (Verses 11-13.)
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar and the fulness thereof.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein;
Then shall all the trees of the wood sing joyously
Before the Lord; for He is come.
He is come to judge the earth.
He judges the world in righteousness
And the peoples in His faithfulness.
All will fall in line with this true worship. It will not be confined to man. All creation will burst out in singing. The heavens above make known their joy. The whole earth is glad. The thundering sea-waves join in the Hallelujah chorus. The trees, too, sing and express their gladness in some way known to the Creator, who alone is worthy. Creation’s Lord and Creation’s Redeemer is here to finish redemption’s story. What a glorious day it will be!
0 scenes surpassing fable, and yet true,
Scenes of accomplished bliss! which who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy?
Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach
Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field
Laughs with abundance; and the land once lean,
Or fertile only in its own disgrace,
Exults to see its thistly curse repealed.
The various seasons woven into one,
And that one season an eternal spring.
- W. Cowper.
* * *
THE NINETY-SEVENTH PSALM
This Psalm is closely linked with the preceding one. The reign of Jehovah after His return, what it is and what it includes, is prophetically revealed. He is King, the empty throne, not in heaven, but here on earth, is now filled. Gabriel’s great message to the Virgin of Nazareth is now historically fulfilled – “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David.” It is a beautiful Psalm prophecy. In reading it and meditating upon it we can even now enjoy in the anticipation of faith these coming glorious events.
1. Jehovah Reigneth. (Verses 1-5.)
Jehovah reigneth, let the earth exult:
Let the multitude of the isles rejoice.
Cloud and darkness are round about Him,
Righteousness and judgment are the foundations of His throne.
A fire goeth before Him,
And consumeth His adversaries all around.
His lightnings flash over the world:
The earth saw and trembled,
The mountains melted like wax at the presence of Jehovah –
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
In a certain hymn Christians sing: “Joy to the world the Lord has come.” It refers to His coming in humiliation. But the real joy will come when He appears again in power and great glory when all things will be put under His feet. The cloud mentioned is the glory, the visible glory, the Shekinah which is so frequently seen in the theophanies of the Old Testament and which is equally prominent in the New. The darkness is symbolic of His judicial acts which He will execute. The description of His appearing is much like Habakkuk’s great prophetic ode (chap. 3). The foundations of His judgment throne are righteousness and judgment. His [millennial] reign begins with great judgments. This is the meaning of the statement, “A fire goeth before Him and consumeth the adversaries round about.” He therefore does not find a world converted to Him, welcoming Him as King, as an unscriptural post- millennialism dreams. It will be the very opposite. He finds nations banded together, opposing Him and His coming reign. The satanically staged world revolution has then reached its God-defying climax. Then comes the lightning-like flash of His glory which will be known all over the earth. Then the hills, symbolical of that which is high and exalted, melt like wax; the high and lofty things will be made low, as we read in Isaiah (chapter 2). What a change comes in human history, when “the Lord of the whole earth” appears in majesty and power, when every mouth will be stopped and His enemies will lick the dust.
2. The Display of Glory and
The heavens declare His righteousness;
And all the peoples see His glory.
Ashamed are all they that serve graven images,
That boast themselves of idols;
All the gods worship Him.
And the daughters of
Because of Thy judgments, 0 Jehovah,
For Thou, Jehovah, art most high above all the earth,
Thou art greatly exalted above all gods.
Once more the end of all idolatry is mentioned. It does not come till He comes. The testimony of the Gospel is nowhere
mentioned as bringing a change into the great pagan religious systems. The idol worship of
Interesting is the statement, “The heavens declare His righteousness,
and all the peoples see His glory.” In the nineteenth Psalm we read that the heavens declare
the glory of God (Elohim) the Creator. Here is the declaration of
His righteousness written in the heavens, and the dwellers upon the earth, the
nations everywhere will see the glory not of God as Creator, but the glory of
Jehovah, the Redeemer. The New Testament
revelation will give us light here. When
He comes to reign He does not come alone. He brings His Saints, His co-heirs with Him. That redeemed body, the many sons He brings
with Him to glory, makes known His righteousness, that great work of
The verse, “All the gods worship Him” is quoted in the opening chapter of
the Hebrew Epistle and there the word “angels” is used. Angels, the mighty ones, will be there to
attend Him in His triumph. And on earth
3. His Holiness. (Verses 10-12.)
Ye that love Jehovah, hate evil;
He keepeth the souls of His Saints,
He delivereth them from the hands of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Be rejoicing, ye righteous, in Jehovah,
And give thanks to His holy Name.
This is an exhortation in view of that coming day. It is addressed, as all
these Psalm exhortations are, to the godly in
* * *
THE NINETY-EIGHTH PSALM
This Psalm begins
with the call to sing. The forty-fifth
and forty-sixth begin in a similar way. It
is another great millennial Psalm. It
has been called, “an echo of the previous Psalms”:
but it is not, for there are no echoes in God’s Word, no vain repetitions. Nor is it true that much of this Psalm is
taken from the second part of the Prophet Isaiah. The Psalm gives us a precious prophetic
picture of the final victory of God, where His righteousness and His Salvation
are manifested to His people
It is like a great symphony, with a great theme and its beautiful variations. The theme is stated in the first three verses and the variations in the rest of the Psalm.
1. The Great Theme of the New Song. (Verses 1-3.)
Sing unto the Lord a new song.
For He bath done wonderful things;
His right hand and His holy arm hath achieved
For Him the victory.
Jehovah hath revealed His salvation;
He hath made known His righteousness
Visibly in the sight of the nations.
He hath remembered His loving-kindness and
His faithfulness to the
All the ends of the earth have seen
The salvation of our God.
The inspired Psalmist is projected into the distant future. The singing times have come. The Lord so long silent has broken that
mysterious age-long silence; the heavens have been opened and wonderful marvellous
things have been done by Him. Not
redemption by blood is here in view, but redemption by power. As we have seen in so many previous Psalms the
That salvation is beautifully and symbolically stated in this first verse. “His right hand and His holy arm hath achieved for Him the victory.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s right hand in salvation. After His finished work on the Cross in which
He did what was needed so that the holy and righteous God can save unholy and
unrighteous man, He took His seat at the right hand of God, to exercise His
offices as Priest and as Advocate. And
when He comes again He will act as God’s right hand and as His holy arm in the
execution of His judgments. Through Him
God makes known in that coming day His righteousness before the nations. Once more He remembered His covenant with
Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob (Exod. 2: 24). The faithful and
covenant keeping God acted and His mercy and loving-kindness were displayed in
their behalf and all the promises of blessing were fulfilled. The display of that salvation and the great
victory was not confined to
2. The Great Praise of the Redeemed People. (Verses 4-6.)
Shout aloud unto Jehovah, all the land;
Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises!
Sing unto the Lord with the harp;
With the harp and the voice of a psalm.
With trumpets and the sound of the cornet
Make a joyful noise before Jehovab, the King.
Here then we have the first variation. It is the praise of
But as we shall learn in the next variation this praise is not
3. The Great Finale. Universal Praise. (Verses 7-9.)
Let the sea roar and the fulness thereof;
The world and its inhabitants.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the hills together sing for joy
Before Jehovah - For He came to judge the earth;
He shall judge the world in righteousness.
And the peoples with fairmess.
This is the final variation. The sea waves thunder their praises. All nature will join in praise as it is more fully revealed in the great Hallelujah chorus in the close of this book. All the inhabitants of the world will join in. Groaning creation groans no longer. Peace on earth is fully come. Then “the mountains and the hill; shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isa. 55: 12). He judged in His manifestation. He dealt that judgment stroke through which all His enemies and the enemies of His people were defeated. He continues to judge in righteousness.
* * *
THE NINETY-NINTH PSALM
Again we find, as we have so often before, that this short and beautiful Psalm is another link in this prophetic chain. While in the preceding one we heard the singing of that coming day, when His salvation is fully known, in the Psalm which is before us now we have a brief description of the reign of the Lord, His supremacy and His victory.
1. Jehovah Reigneth. (Verses 1-3.)
Jehovah reigneth; and the peoples tremble;
He is throned above the cherubim; the earth is moved.
Jehovah is great in
And He is exalted above all the peoples.
Let them praise Thy great and fearful Name; it is holy.
Jehovah has now become King. Well may we remember here who this Jehovah is. It is God the
Son. Of Him Micah wrote “Whose goings
forth have been from of old, from everlasting”
(Micah 5: 2). He first
appeared on the threshold of human history, and is seen in fellowship with man,
created in His own image. When sin had
come He came “to seek and to save what was lost.” It was His voice which said, “Adam, where
art thou?” Throughout the Old Testament history He
appeared many times. He called Abraham
His reign is in
2. Judgment, Service and Worship. (Verses 4-6.)
And the might of the King loveth judgment;
Thou hast established equity,
Executing judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt Jehovah our God, and worship at His foot-stool; He is holy.
Moses and Aaron were among His priests,
And Samuel among them that called upon His Name;
They called upon Jehovah, and he answered them.
The King has all power; He is mighty. But He is not a tyrant – “the King loveth judgment.” There can be no unrighteousness in His government, as it is in all forms of government during man’s day. He has established equity. What David beheld and described in the Seventy-second Psalm has now come to pass. “He shall judge the poor of the people. He shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.” Man attempts to produce a new government. Socialism and Communism promise to put judgment with equity into the world. One only needs to look to the Soviets and their Utopia to find it is all a delusion and leads to a worse tyranny. The true Christian is exhorted in the New Testament to be patient, when the conditions are in the earth preceding the coming of the King, to wait for His coming (James 5: 7, 8). The world then is called to exalt Jehovah upon His throne and to bow at His footstool.
The past is recalled. Moses and Aaron were His priests and drew nigh unto Him. Samuel also called upon His Name; they all called upon Jehovah and He answered them graciously. And as they did once on earth, so people are now encouraged to draw near in worship, no longer through the blood of a sacrifice, but through Him who is sacrifice and priest in His own person, the Priest-King after the order of Melchisedek, having His own throne. But how much greater will be His answer when the dispensation of the fullness of time has come! Isaiah 65: 24 will then be fulfilled “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”
3. Jehovah in His Holiness and Love. (Verses 7-9.)
In the pillar of cloud He spake unto them;
They kept His testimonies, and the statute He gave unto them.
Jehovah our God, Thou didst answer them;
A forgiving God Thou wast unto them,
Even while taking vengeance on their doings.
Exalt Jehovah our God;
And worship at His holy hill;
For Jehovah our God is holy.
Jehovah is holy and demands holiness from His people. But He is also a forgiving Lord. John in his first Epistle gives us the two
definitions of God - “God is Light,” this is holiness; “God is Love.” He dwelt with them of old in the pillar of
cloud. He dwells now with them again,
for Isaiah 4: 5 will have its fulfilment. “And the Lord will create upon every
dwelling place of
Then will come universal praise and
* * *
THE ONE HUNDREDTH PSALM
Shout aloud unto Jehovah, all the earth!
Serve ye Jehovah with gladness;
Come before Him with a joyous song.
Know that Jehovah - He is God;
It is He that made us and not we ourselves,
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Come into His gates with thanksgiving,
Into His courts with praise.
Give thanks unto Him; bless His Name.
For Jehovah is good,
His loving-kindness is for ever,
And His faithfulness unto all generations.
What a glorious finale to this precious cluster of Psalms we have followed (94 to 100)! “Jehovah is King.” Jehovah is enthroned, sing unto Him! Praise Him! Worship Him! Such is the keynote of these great prophetic utterances strung together by the Holy Spirit like a brilliant necklace of wonderful gems.
And now comes the One Hundredth Psalm which we may rightly regard as a great doxology. There are many doxologies in the Word of God. True believers sing today the one found in the first chapter of the Ephesian Epistle. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ.” Another great doxology for us to sing now is the one given to us by the Holy Spirit in the first chapter of Revelation. “Unto Him who loveth us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us priests and kings unto God His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” But the doxology of the One Hundredth Psalm will be sung when the Lord is King upon the throne.
The whole earth is called upon to shout aloud unto Jehovah, to sing a mighty Hallelujah, for the whole earth knows now His salvation and enjoys the marvellous blessings of His [millennial] kingdom. Nor do the nations brought to the knowledge of Jehovah praise only. They have become His servants and therefore serve Him with gladness, in willing service. They come before Him with a joyous song.
In the third verse is a blending together of creation and
redemption. God is spoken of as creator
first of all. Jehovah, He is God! How this applies to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus is God! By Him and for Him were all things created. He hath made us and we are His, by right of
creation. This applies first of all to
Then follows the gathering of other
nations. They come to worship with redeemed
The great post-exilic prophet Zechariah gives the same testimony.
“Sing and rejoice, 0 daughter of
A great worship will then be in the earth, located in