The day of the Lord is not referred to under this title in the Psamls but many Psalms mention it and some are descriptive of it.  In the Nov. / Dec. 1973 issue of “Watching and Waiting” our brother Mr. Harvey dealt with a number of Psalms voicing the cry of the remnant of Israel under the Great Tribulation and depicting their triumph in the Day of the Lord.  We will not therefore go over this ground again but seek now to draw attention to some other highlights in the Psalms descriptive of the Day of the Lord. 



The first Psalm gives a description of the character of God’s perfect Man in the person of His beloved Son our Lord and the second Psalm describes briefly His triumph over all the forces of evil, in the Day of the Lord.



Moses in Deut. 32, describing the coming of the people of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness, says, “The Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance”.  But in due course His people, His inheritance; rebelled against Him and chose other gods and He cast them out of their land and scattered them abroad among the nations.  But through His prophet Zechariah He says, “I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it ... and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.  Cry yet saying, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion and shall yet choose Jerusalem”.  And again, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord, And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee ... And the LORD shall inherit Judah His portion in the holy land and shall choose Jerusalem again”.



But Psalm 2 speaks of the nations and their kings being gathered together against the Lord and against His anointed, and the disciples of the Lord after being threatened by the Jewish Council against preaching in the name of Jesus, referred to this Psalm in prayer to the Lord, saying, “Thou art God ... who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage and the people imagine vain things?  The kings of the earth stood up and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.  For of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done”.



And to-day, after nearly 2000 years the nations of the earth are still gathering together and raging against the Lord’s anointed One.  The recent action of our own Prime Minister in his visit to Russia shows only too clearly that they still choose a murderer in preference to the Prince of Life.



The Nations do not Improve



The words of the Apostle Paul to the Romans and to Timothy show all too clearly that the preaching of the Gospel has not improved the nations, as such.  When the Gospel was first preached to the Gentiles, the Apostle described the Gentile world thus: “As they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which were not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, deceit, debate, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful”.  Such was the state of the Gentile world when the Gospel was first preached to them.



Then in writing to Timothy, Paul describes their condition at the close of this age.  He says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof”.  Thus in almost identical language he describes the Gentile nations at the beginning and at the close of this age; showing that the impact of the Gospel has not altered one whit the evil heart of man nor the general character of the nations.  The purpose of the Gospel has been only to gather out from the nations “a people to His name”.



Thus, in Psalm 2, as the Lord surveys the raging of the kings of the earth and their peoples in their continued rebellion, He says, “Yet I have set My King upon My holy hill of Zion” and He thus addresses His Son; His anointed One; “Ask of Me and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession”.  Thus, in the Day of the Lord, the lot of His inheritance will no longer be confined to Jacob, but “His dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.  All kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him ... Men shall be blessed in Him and all nations shall call Him blessed”. (Psalm 72)



The Cross entitles to the Crown



Psalm 22 shows that the blessings of the Day of the Lord are the direct outcome of the Lord’s work upon the Cross.  The Lord’s plaint in verse 2 is “O my God, I cry ... but Thou hearest not”.  Then in verse 21 He says, “Thou hast heard Me from the horns of the unicorns”.  Thus being delivered in the uttermost extremity, He sounds a note of triumph, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee”.  And Paul makes clear in Hebrews 2 that the congregation here spoken of is the Church.  So the Lord leads His Church in everlasting praise to God.  Then He goes on in Psalm 22, “Ye that fear the Lord, praise Him; all ye seed of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all ye seed of Israel.  For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from Him; but when He cried unto Him, He heard”.  Thus Israel will praise Him in the light of the Cross when He is enthroned in their midst.  Then He says, “My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation ... All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee.  For the kingdom is the Lord’s and He is the governor among the nations”.  Thus, as we have seen, all nations shall worship and serve Him in the Day of the Lord.  The same truth is taught by Paul when in writing to the Philippians he says that Christ “became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross; wherefore God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow”.



In Psalm 45 we see the King with His bride who is also a king’s daughter.  As the King He rides in majesty prosperously in order to establish truth and righteousness in the earth and then the Father addresses Him as His Son, saying, “Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre.  Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows”.  That this is addressed to the Son of God, Paul makes clear in Hebrews 1.  This therefore, is the King that “shall reign in righteousness” over the nations of the world in the Day of the Lord.



The middle verse of Psalm 46 tells us, “The nations raged; the kingdoms were moved”.  Psalm 2, as we have seen, asked “Why do the nations rage and the peoples imagine a vain thing  And the vanity of their ranging is seen particularly here when in response “God uttered His voice; the earth melted”.  God is in the midst of His City and Israel, in the midst of international and topographical upheavals finds that God is her refuge and strength and triumphs in the certainty that “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge”.  The river of God which is full of water, referred to in Psalm 65: 9 and also by the Prophet Zechariah and elsewhere is here said to make glad the City of God.  Then in the latter part of the Psalm it is said that God “maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth” which is a clear reference to the Day of the Lord in which, Isaiah says, men shall beat their swords into plough-shares and learn war no more.



In the latter part of this Psalm God, surveying the raging and the tumult of the nations and their armies led by the Man of Sin who has said “I am God”, says to him and them, Desist!  I am God, I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth. This He will be in the Day of the Lord.



Israel’s King reigning over the Earth



This is Israel’s triumph in Psalms 47 and 48. “O clap your hands all ye peoples!  Shout unto God with the voice of triumph.  For the LORD most high is terrible; He is a great King over all the earth.  He shall subdue the peoples under us and the nations under our feet.  God is gone up with a shout; the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.  Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises to our King, sing praises.  For God is the King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding.  God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.  He is greatly exalted”.



The “going up” here referred to is not, as is sometimes supposed, the Lord’s ascension into heaven.  The whole context of the Psalm discredits this.  It is, however, as indicated, His going up to Jerusalem; to the throne of His holiness, from whence He will reign over the nations.  In the days of His humiliation, we read, “Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the 12 disciples apart in the way and said unto them, Behold we go up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes and they shall condemn Him to death and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify Him”. He then went up to Jerusalem to suffer for His people’s sins but in the Day of the Lord He will go up to Jerusalem with a shout and with the sound of a trumpet; not then to suffer but to reign over the nations and to receive the praise of all the earth.



Then Psalm 48 commences “Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion ... the City of the great King”.  The City of God is, as our Lord Jesus himself characterised it, the City of the Great King.  This will be seen to be Himself when His title upon the Cross is verified, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”.  The following verses of Psalm 48 are ably dealt with by Mr. B. W. Newton in the Jan. / Mar. issue of “Watching and Waiting” so we will not enlarge upon them here.



Psalm 67 is the language of Israel pleading the fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant which said, “I will bless thee and thou shalt be a blessing”.  So here Israel prays, “God be merciful to us and bless us ... That Thy way may be known upon earth; Thy saving health among all nations.  O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shalt judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations upon earth”.  So, as we have seen, when Israel’s King is the King of all the earth in the Day of the Lord this will be abundantly fulfilled.  This is the desire of the true Israel of God, “Let the peoples praise Thee O God; let all the peoples praise Thee.  Then shall the earth yield her increase”.  When, as the result of our Saviour bearing the crown of thorns, the curse is removed from the earth, then it will “bring forth by handfuls” unhindered by the thorns and the thistles.   So, says Israel, “God shall bless us and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him”.



This same truth is further unfolded in Psalm 85. “Lord Thou hast been favourable to Thy land; Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.  Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people; Thou hast covered all their sin  When the Lord finally turns the captivity of Israel and establishes them again in their own land, then, as Isaiah testifies, “the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick, and the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity”.  So the Psalmist goes on, “Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land”.  So again Isaiah testifies to Israel, “Arise, shine for Thy light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee ... and His glory shall be seen upon thee”.  Then the Psalmist goes on, “Truth shall spring out of the earth and righteousness shall look down from heaven.  Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good and our land shall yield her increase”.  This shall be gloriously fulfilled in the Day of the Lord.



Prayer and Praise for the Day of the Lord



In the middle verse of Psalm 86 there is a clear reference to the Day of the Lord.  “All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, 0 Lord, and shall glorify Thy name”.  The former part of the Psalm is occupied mainly with prayer and the latter part mainly with praise.  The Psalmist prays thus, “Bow down unto me, 0 Lord; hear me; for I am poor and needy ... Be merciful unto me, O Lord; for I cry unto Thee daily … Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer ... In the day of my trouble I will call upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me”.



Then he contemplates the Day of the Lord in the verse already quoted and he bursts into praise and adoration:  “For Thou art great and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone ... I will praise Thee O Lord my God, with all my heart and I will glorify Thy name for evermore ... O God, the proud are risen against me and the assembly of violent men have sought after my soul ... But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion and gracious, longsuffering and plenteous in mercy and truth”.  And are not we filled with the same feeling of adoration when we contemplate the final triumph of our Saviour as King of kings and Lord of lords?



“All nations whom Thou hast made” says the Psalmist.  The nations were ordained of God.  We read of Noah and his seed that “by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood”. And in Deut. 32 we read, “When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.  For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance”.  Paul confirms this when speaking from Mars’ Hill he says, “God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation”.  Job also says concerning this, “He increaseth the nations and destroyeth them: He enlargeth the nations and straiteneth them again”.



And so to-day the Lord is still controlling the nations for the working out of His purposes in anticipation of the time when they shall be brought under the control of Israel in the Day of the Lord.  When the Lord Jesus sits upon the throne of His father David, then, says Daniel, “all dominions shall serve and obey Him”.  This, John in the Revelation confirms in the song of Moses and of the Lamb, “Who shall not fear Thee, 0 Lord and glorify Thy name? For Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee”.



Let us also thus pray and in anticipation, praise, for the Day of the Lord when His inheritance shall be extended to all the nations and when “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea”.



For His inheritance shall be shared by us as His joint-heirs.  Peter speaks of “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away; reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.  And again, “the hope that is laid up for you in heaven whereby ye have heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel”.  We therefore shall share the inheritance in the heavenly glory and also the inheritance of the nations upon earth, for “if we suffer we shall also reign with Him”; in accordance with His promise, “To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations” and “to him [the overcomer] will I grant to sit with Me in My throne even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne”.



O sing unto the Lord! - The Lord Reigneth



The introduction to Psalms 96-99 alternate with these words: “O sing unto the Lord a new song” – “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice”.  “O sing unto the Lord a new song” – “The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble”.



This then is the subject of these Psalms - a new song because of the reigning Lord.  “Sing unto the Lord all the earth”.  Such a call to the earth would be most inappropriate for these days.  The language of the Apostle James would be much more fitting, “Be afflicted and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy into heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up”.  But the language of Psalm 96 is, “O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before Him all the earth.  Say ye among the nations that the Lord reigneth ... He shall judge the peoples righteously ... He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His truth”.



These words are repeated almost verbatim at the close of Psalm 98 which speaks of the new song of victory, “O sing unto the Lord a new song, for He hath done marvellous things: His right hand and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory.  The Lord hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly showed in the sight of the nations.  He hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God”.  The call of the Lord to Zion by the Prophet Isaiah is in almost exactly the same terms, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings … that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth ... Break forth into joy and sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted His people; He hath redeemed Jerusalem.  The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God”.  Then Psalm 98 continues “With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD the King ... for He cometh to judge the earth, etc.”



The emphasis in Psalms 97 and 99 is the manifest reign of the Lord, the King.  “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice ... A fire goeth before Him and burneth up His enemies round about.  His lightenings enlightened the world; the earth saw and trembled.  The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord; at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.  The heavens declare His righteousness and all the peoples see His glory.  Confounded be all they that serve graven images; that boast themselves of idols: worship Him all ye gods.  Zion heard and was glad and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of Thy judgments 0 Lord”.  Could anything describe more vividly the coming of the Lord in glory in the Day of the Lord?  The language here used could not refer to the Lord’s first coming; nor to the triumphs of the Gospel.  It must therefore refer to the coming in of His [millennial] kingdom.



So similarly in Psalm 99, “The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble ... The Lord is great in Zion and He is high above all the people”.  And then the repeated refrain, “Exalt ye the Lord our God and worship at His holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy”.



A King shall Reign in Righteousness



The tenor of Psalm 102 is somewhat similar to that of Psalm 86.  The oppressed servant of Jehovah takes comfort in the contemplation of the Day of the Lord.  The Psalmist says, “Hear my prayer, O Lord and let my cry come unto Thee.  Hide not Thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble.  For my days are consumed like smoke and my bones are burned as an hearth.  My heart is smitten and withered like grass ... Mine enemies reproach me all the day and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.  For I have eaten ashes like bread and mingled my drink with weeping ... My days are like a shadow that declineth and I am withered like grass.  But Thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever, and Thy remembrance unto all generations.  Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come”.



So in the midst of his affliction he is transported in spirit to the time of the final restoration of his city.   And he continues, “So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.  When the Lord shall build up Zion He shall appear in His glory ... For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from the heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the LORD in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem; when the peoples are gathered together and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord”.  Thus he envisages the time described by the Prophet Zechariah when “everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts and to keep the feast of tabernacles”.



Finally we have Psalm 110 which was so ably dealt with in our Conference last September by Mr. Jack Green so that we need not enlarge upon it now.  The quotations from this Psalm in the New Testament make it clear that the opening words are addressed by God the Father to His beloved Son, “Sit Thou on My right hand until I make thine enemies Thy footstool”.  Then “Jehovah shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion”.  In the days of His humiliation his enemies put a reed in His hand and mockingly bowed the knee before Him.  But in the day of His triumph they will be compelled to bow the knee before Him because of the rod of His strength.  Then it is that Jehovah commands, “Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies”.  Not until then shall He leave the right hand of the Father where now He sits, and come in all His glory to give relief to His persecuted people and to place His enemies beneath His feet.  Then “He shall judge among the nations ... He shall wound the head over many countries”.  The Man of Sin, the head and leader of those in rebellion against Him shall receive his final doom and the true Messiah who in the days of His flesh “bowed His head and gave up the Ghost [‘spirit’]*” shall now lift up His head over His enemies and govern the nations upon earth.  In His triumphal march from Mount Olivet to His city, “He shall drink of the brook in the way”; that river mentioned in Psalm 46, “the streams whereof make glad the City of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High”.


[* That is, the animating spirit.  See Luke 8: 55. cf. Acts 7: 59 and James, - “As the body without the spirit is dead…”]



The Spirit of Christ in the Prophets



On the day of Pentecost Peter reminded the people that David “spake of the resurrection of Christ”.  And in his epistle he tells us that the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets when they “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow”.  We saw something of the glory predicted as following the suffering in Psalm 22.  And David in his famous “last words” when he spake of the coming just ruler over men, ruling in the fear of the Lord, said, “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me and His word was in my tongue”.  This was confirmed by Peter when he said, “No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy, men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. So in many of the Psalms we have the Spirit of Christ showing through David the glory of the coming Saviour and King of whom it is said, “The Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears but with righteousness shall He judge the poor and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the Wicked One”.



“Jesus is coming! Sing the glad word!

Coming for those He redeemed by His blood;

Coming to reign as the glorified Lord!

Jesus is coming again







MATTHEW 26: 40



The night is dark: behold, the shade was deeper

In the old garden of Gethesemane,

When the calm voice awoke the weary sleeper,

“Could’st thou not watch one hour alone with Me



O thou! So weary of thy self-denials,

And so impatient of thy little cross,

Is it so hard to bear thy daily trials,

To count all earthly things a gainful loss?



What if thou always suffer tribulation,

And if thy Christian warfare never cease?

The gaining of the quiet habitation

Shall gather thee to everlasting peace.



But here we all must suffer,* walking lonely

The path that Jesus once Himself hath gone;

Watch thou in patience, through the dark hour only -

This one dark hour - before the [millennial] dawn.


[*Rom. 8: 17b; Phil. 3: 10b; 2 Tim. 3: 12; Rev. 2: 10.]

Can’st thou forget thy Christian superscription,

“Behold, we count them happy which endure

What treasure would’st thou, in the land Egyptian,

Repass the stormy water to secure?



Poor wandering soul!  I know that thou art seeking

Some easier way, as all have sought before,

To silence the reproachful inward speaking –

Some landward path into an island shore.



The cross is heavy in thy human measure,

The way too narrow for thy inward pride;

Thou can’st not lay thine intellectual treasure

At the low footstool of the Crucified.



In meek obedience to the Heavenly Teacher,

Thy weary soul can find its only peace;

Seeking no aid from any human creature –

Looking to God alone for His release.



And He will come, in His own time and power,

To set His earnest-hearted children free;**

Watch only through this dark and painful hour,

And the bright [millennial] morning yet will break for thee.***


[** Matt. 12: 40. cf. Heb. 9: 28b; 10: 36; 11: 39, 40; Rev. 9: 9-11.

*** Rev. 20: 4.  cf. Luke 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35b.]


                                                                            - (Author unknown: [It has been slightly altered. - Ed.])