THE DAY OF THE LORD AS PREDICTED IN THE PSALMS
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
The first Psalm gives a description of the character of Gods 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
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
And to-day, after nearly 2000 years
the nations of the earth are still gathering together and raging against the
Lords anointed One.
The recent action of our own Prime Minister in his visit to
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 Lords work upon the Cross. The Lords 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
will declare Thy name unto My brethren; in the midst
of the congregation will I praise Thee. And Paul makes clear
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
In Psalm 45 we see the King with His bride who is also a kings 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
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.
The going up here referred to is not, as is
sometimes supposed, the Lords ascension into heaven. The whole context of the Psalm discredits
this. It is, however, as indicated, His going up to
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
Psalm 67 is the language of
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
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
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
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
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.
So similarly in Psalm 99, The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble ...
The Lord is
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
So in the midst of his affliction he
is transported in spirit to the time of the final restoration of his city. And he
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
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.
shall send the rod of Thy strength out of
[* 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!
COULD YE NOT WATCH WITH ME ONE HOUR?
MATTHEW 26: 40
The night is dark: behold, the shade was deeper
In the old
When the calm voice awoke the weary sleeper,
Couldst 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.
Canst thou forget thy Christian superscription,
Behold, we count them happy which endure?
What treasure wouldst 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 canst 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.])