J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 3.)
83 Psalm 20
This Psalm begins a new subject. Just as after Psalms 1 and 2 Israel sees Christ passing through the time of His distress - His sacrifice to God sets Him as her Head before Jehovah, and she owns Him as King. Here we have the Spirit in the Jewish Remnant seeing Christ standing in their trouble and in their priesthood. The speciality of Christ's position viewed by the Spirit in the Jewish Remnant. Thus they look first for help out of the sanctuary, and strength out of Zion - the resurrection proves more to them, when understood. He will hear Him from His holy heaven. In a word, this Psalm and Psalm 21 go through the whole history of Christ, in a Jewish point of view, from His entering into the trouble of Jacob (which they have in the latter day) until they know the Lord alone exalted in that day. It is not till after the lifting up that they know that it was He.
This Psalm is the recognition by the Jehovah-taught Jews, of the latter day as in the time of their distress, of Jesus, even the crucified One, as their Saviour. Their thoughts towards Him - "Now know I." The last verse singularly depicts its force - "Jehovah, save" (the root of "Jesus") "the king hear in the day of our calling" - the recognition of Jesus, and in Jesus their own security, for God heareth Him.
It is Christ in royalty, rising and receiving glory, but all Jewish in this Psalm and in Psalm 20. "Jehovah hear thee, fulfil all thy petitions in the day of trouble." The name of the God of Jacob, so not "Hear us, thou!" but "Let the king hear us." Now it is just in connection and contrast with this that the Lord says, "In that day ye shall ask me nothing; I say not that I will pray the Father for you, for etc . . . . whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you," associating them with Him as sons. They look at Messias, wondrous sight, as in the trouble, but Himself only as entering into it, and seek the desires of His heart to be granted Him. Therefore we have the King joying with Jehovah's strength, not the Son one with the Father; we have them looking at Jehovah's dealings with the King, not we in Him, and in His name asking of the Father, He being withal in us. It is "Jehovah saveth his Messiah," i.e., known in resurrection. They know the acts, we the Person. He is the Son of God with power, we say, according to the Spirit of holiness, prevented with the blessings of goodness before He reigns as King, His glory being in this salvation and answer, honour and majesty set upon Him; see Hebrews 2. Still it is "the king trusteth in Jehovah"; He is a Jew - verses 8-12, the King is addressed The strength of Jehovah they look for.
84 In this Psalm, Israel, through all, sees the glory set on, even preventing Him. This is, as it were, to faith the key to the following Psalm, in that it gives that viewed as a whole. There He is in the day of trouble and suffering.
This Psalm is the Jewish Remnant's joy in the position of Christ with God. They perceive His acceptance, and exaltation, and are now of one mind with it, and see how He did save Him, though they had esteemed Him stricken of God and afflicted, though this be not here adverted to, but the acceptance of the King. In a word, they come to understand the resurrection and ascension of Christ, by knowing His Person, as we shall see more of hereafter. But it is as the Man, the Christ, the King (v. 7), and therefore knowing their own security, i.e., His power, as believing people, and trusting in Him as the Deliverer also of them in the latter day, for they see Him as a Jew, and in faith destroying His enemies; for them to faith, over unbelief, its own difficulties, faith its sins as the enemies of Christ, and triumph in His victory, not seeing them as associated with itself. So the Jews in the latter day - by faith in Him they see Him all through as He is; it was "against thee." We may compare the last verse with Isaiah 2:11, 17.
- 9 (8). Note the use of E'lyon (Most High) here.
The first verse declares the great burthen of this Psalm - Messiah's great burthen - even one to which the assembly of the wicked would have been as nothing; but that He should feel Himself separated from God! His God! Therein was the deep burthen - insufferable to all save Him. Yet worse, infinitely worse, to Him as a trial, than to anyone else. Is He not therefore precious to His people, yea, even as to God? For it is God in them who loves and delights therein. For herein His people have a common mystery with Christ, to feel as God, yet about themselves as men, yea, as the very people interested and needing - He for their sakes, they as in themselves, see such language as verses 14, 15; and that this was the deep trial, see verses 11 and 19, comparing verse 1. The evidence as to the Jewish personality of our Lord, as suffering, is remarkable in verses 4,5, adding verse 6. Observe too the distinction of the Person in Christ from the liable and suffering soul, i.e., human nature, yet union with all, so as Man prays for Himself, by virtue of the Spirit in Him, so yet otherwise because it was the power of the sin resting on Him by the Spirit. Christ prays for y'khidhathi (my only one); that this is Christ, we have absolute certainty, not only from verse 1, but also verse 22. Christ praying that He might be "saved from," etc., and "heard in that he feared"; so in us of necessity. Observe also "O my strength" is the same word, inserting vav (u) as the title, and "the morning" means dusk, or dark ushering in of morning on, or concerning the Beloved. This whole Psalm is concerning Jews, and as relates to Jews (save verse 18) and that which He was amongst them, rejected by them.
85 Then further it is Christ as heard, Christ as Man who speaks, "For he hath not" etc. (v. 24), and as a Jew. Then we have His first ministry in the congregation - that I apply to the saints gathered out among Jews, the Gentile saints being added thereto. "Ye that fear the Lord, praise him," we know from John 20:7, the Lord's application of this. Then all the congregation, as under Solomon, compared with David, the kahal rav (the great congregation) is His Solomon state. The rest of the Psalm follows this. I am not so ascertained of verses 30, 31, as to their application. I see that it rests on the resurrection glory of Christ as delivered, and delivering as Man. I should incline to think it the elect Remnant; if not, it would be the latter-day Jews, witnesses of His acts, witnessing who He was, and how He had delivered them, for He bore, as a Jew, their iniquities. And this was what was to be explained, for it was the strength of the dark morning that was wanting. I am not sure verses 30 and 31 apply to the same thing; verse 30 seems clearly the Remnant out of the Jewish people, "to Adon," not "Jehovah" - the Hebrew confirms the supposition. I am inclined to think verse 30, "the congregation," and verse 31, "the great congregation," or the first Remnant of it who are witnesses to Christ's righteousness all through; compare Romans 3:25, 26.
86 This Psalm exhibits the blessed Lord in the trouble when it must be borne, and His view of it, and His ways toward them - its real character is known here. It takes up this very question of trusting Jehovah - and the seed of Jacob, not the name of the God of Jacob, is now in question. It shows what entering into this trouble cost, because sin was the occasion of it. As the generation of unbelievers was not to pass away, so the Remnant shall be counted for a generation, and their posterity shall receive their character and instruction from them.
The Lord enters on it as a Jew - He was such, but there was nothing that a righteous Jew might expect. He was alone here in saying "My, etc.," and so He had anticipated, but then He was saying, "My Father is with me." Scorn, enmity, perfect depression (He was crucified in weakness, see verse 14) and Jehovah's face hidden from Him, these marked His state really there but faithful, saying "Thou art holy."
Y'khidhathi (my only one) translated "darling" in verse 20, we have noticed elsewhere.
- 22. Note, if we remark what the force of this verse is, we shall see what the character of our praise, in worship especially, ought to be; for what, since Christ leads it, must His sense be of the nature and completeness of this deliverance before God, and His new position?
Note, Christ does not declare God's name as known to the great congregation, nor call them brethren - it is the same God He praises, no doubt - nor does He say "in the midst of the congregation." In truth, His praise of Him "in the great congregation" etc. sets His rather alone, though as publishing His name, leading them to praise Him. So also He pays His vows "before those that fear" God. It is evidently more Jewish for the deliverances than the revelation of the Name, founded on verse 24, which refers to the act but not to the Name which He revealed when delivered. See Psalm 145, and then John 17, where Psalm 22 is fully brought out.
Verse 22 gives thus in Jewish sort "Thy name," but as Christians we have more. This was on resurrection, "My God and your God." But then He had more for His disciples which He had been afresh, or as a new thing, revealing to them all His life - the Father; now this was fully declared in John 17. Not only did He own Jehovah as His God and walk accordingly, but being One, the Father was seen in Him. This is quite a new thing by virtue of the divine union of the Persons, and yet He is not ashamed to call them brethren. Therefore He says too: "My Father and your Father." This was not merely Jewish, see John 4, where this begins to be opened out. Therefore this time is not mentioned in the Epistle to the Hebrews, nor introduced in force - but God, being of all the children, as such, by faith. But then this address to them in the name of brethren introduces them into the place of children as in John 1, "to them gave he authority to become the sons of God," because He was to praise for redemption in the midst of the congregation. The difference of the relationship to the Jews of Christ in the flesh, being concealed and smothered, is the root of the error of Irvingism. It is the devil's abuse of His relationship in the flesh to them, as of His mother linked with them on earth, though holy. This rejected One "Who is my mother?" is of His Father (heavenly), and so the children, and not knowing the earth save as subject, and therefore if knowing Christ after the flesh, knowing Him no more, and therefore kaine ktisis (a new creation). All their good and special knowledge is just what Christ has set aside, and they even held that unholily and it is evil; just as in Galatians, the Jewish ceremonies to a Gentile, united to Christ in resurrection, was the same thing as going back again to his own idols - quod nôta - have their natural headships, not God's family and the like. Verse 22 however, being in resurrection necessarily involves sonship, for He therein was declared Son of God with power, and it is only after resurrection He says "Go tell my brethren" but thence it is addressed to be the means of calling Kol-Israel (the whole of Israel) that they that feared should praise.
87 - 24. The reason.
The Church is always lost in Christ in these cases, as in Isaiah 50 elsewhere.
- 25. Praise in all Israel.
- 27. Gathering of Gentiles thereon.
- 28. The Kingdom.
- 29. Imbecility of Man.
88 - 30 (Heb. 31). Kôl-Israel (the whole of Israel) was a Remnant, a seed of God, see Isaiah 65; their posterity will have it from them.
I see another difference between this Psalm and Psalm 69. In the latter it is looking as a Man for something from man - Man is not presented as fully proved, but as being so. He looks for someone to have compassion, for comforters, and finds none. In Psalm 22 He does not - they are only bulls of Bashan and dogs - they part His garments and cast lots for His vesture, and He looks only to God, and finds the wondrous forsaking of wrath.
Notice in this, and also in the two following Psalms, Messiah having Jehovah for His Shepherd; compare John 10.
I have nothing particular to remark on this Psalm. "Jehovah" is the point; still there is the portion - restoration - security in the shadow of death, in the presence - in spite of enemies, security, and blessing constantly, and to dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever. This is personal association with and care of Jehovah in intimacy with Him as a Protector.
This Psalm, then, passing through the trouble, introduces Messiah, as a Man, to the Lord's house - His Father's house. In the following Psalm we have "the earth the Lord's," and the King of Glory in His coming forth. Thus in these two Psalms, Israel's Shepherd in the Person of Christ, i.e., Christ, as the Man united to Israel, owns Jehovah, in its behalf, as in righteousness One with it, as His Shepherd. So He would be baptised - come out of Egypt - obey - though a Son, learn obedience by the things which He suffered. Then also "the earth is Jehovah's, the world and they that dwell therein." This introduces all to Jacob and the hill of the Lord as a centre, and who is to sit there? Christ, the King of Glory! And who is He? He is Jehovah - Jehovah of Hosts, mighty in battle, thus identified, in these two Psalms, with the sheep of His pasture - Jehovah, His Shepherd, and manifested as Jehovah in the midst of the assembled world at Zion. What a place, and compass of glory to hold! To us it is the Cross for sin, and death the door, laying down His life for the sheep, and One with the Father; so we may compare our relative positions.
This Psalm is plainly the Lord Jesus Christ, as Man, expressing His faith as Enos. Verse 3 might seem difficult to some, but besides His resurrection, the enquiry into the way in which He entered into the suffering and sorrows of His people will, I suppose, show the force of this, and abundantly fill the hearts of them that know it. The comparison of verses 27 and 32, John 12 and the garden of Gethsemane in John 18:4, will illustrate this.
89 Psalm 24
This Psalm seems the introduction of Jehovah into the great scene of Christ's sufferings, trial, and humiliation. It is a transition Psalm - His manifestation as, and to be, Jehovah. The title of the Psalm, if correct, is remarkable; it would rather seem that something was left out, or that it was elliptical. It is not "a Psalm of, or on, David," but "On David, a Psalm on, or of Jehovah," though "Jehovah" seems also to join itself to the following words - L' David miz'mor l' Jehovah haaretz (of David, a Psalm on Jehovah, the earth is Jehovah's).
The Septuagint has the singular addition of tes mias sabbatou (on the first day of the week) which is indeed he kuriake hemera (the Lord's day). But this Psalm specially includes His dominion over the Gentiles, i.e., Christ's supreme glory - "The earth," etc., "For he hath founded it." But, being the Lord - Who shall ascend into His presence? He that walks in righteousness; that is therefore Gentile saints as well as Jews. Still, Jacob having the pre-eminence, they seek Jacob's face, or Him as the God of Jacob, for there His name is. The latter part of the Psalm is too plain to need comment. Christ here enters the gates of glory as the victorious Deliverer-Himself Jehovah of hosts.
This Psalm embraces, as the state things, that "the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." Yet His house and the seat of His present glory is in Jacob - who are those who shall ascend there? And though those, more immediately concerned, may be of the fountain of Israel, still the door is open to every one coming up with clean hands and a pure heart. Hence it is not principles on which the crowd of ungodly is avoided, but the personal state of the person who comes - not the character descriptively but the state.
We have in this Psalm the universality of power, and the character of Jehovah, and those, who have this character, will then have the blessing of Jehovah, Israel's Shepherd. He is this then to the world, by virtue of what He is necessarily in power and character. Yet herein Jacob is still held in his place, see verse 6, and compare John 6:20, 24, which, so compared with verse 23, and verse 20 compared with verse 22, much open the relative position of Christians with Jews under Jehovah, through the revelation of the Father's name.
90 The recognition of Christ as Jehovah closes it - His exaltation to the full glory of universal dominion as Jehovah, after His identification with them in sorrow, and leading them, and being over them in battle. "The Lord . . . shall fight, as when he fought in the day of battle" - it is consequent upon these battles, for and with Israel, that He sits upon the throne of the kingdom. The saints are with Him previously; but He is united as David with the Jews, and takes with them David's humiliation, as well as, intermediately, Aaron's place and David's victories moreover, but this is not sitting on the throne of the kingdom as King of Glory, as thereon and after He shall do. He will have come in His glory, as regards us indeed, "When he shall come in his glory . . . then shall he sit on the throne of his glory."
This Psalm applies the deliverance, in His Person, to Israel. Here we have the voice of the Remnant according to the Spirit of Christ in the latter day.
It seems to me that not only, as heretofore remarked, sins are not confessed, till this Psalm, after Psalm 22, but, what is perhaps the secret of this, the tone of the Psalms changes from what preceded. It is far more personal and experimental, the outgoings of the heart itself to God; previously more dispensational. There is the same general condition of the Remnant, but before that Psalm it looks at that condition and what belongs to the righteous Remnant - the place they were in, in its various aspects, and what they needed from, and God met them in; and they were the faithful ones who thus cried to Him and whom He regarded, and then largely Christ entering into these sorrows and making atonement, closing with His entering into the Temple in glory, with the character of those who should have a part with Him. It is the whole scene, which involves the personal feelings, and Christ Himself, but from this Psalm we have the individual opening out his heart to God as to himself. Christ had done this, but that is another thing and belongs to the ground of their position. Previously the appeal, though to mercy, is always on account of integrity; this, note, is much more intimate, and this is the effect of personal confession which brings, for ourselves, to God. After this Psalm, to the end of the Book, we have only Psalm 40 which speaks of Christ. Psalm 41 is the poor man's place, which He pronounced blessed and entered into, but here looked at as that of the godly, repentant Remnant whom He went before, though in Him the baptism of repentance was only fulfilling righteousness, still taking His place with them. In Psalm 40 though in the place of trial, He is simply perfectly accomplishing God's will, Himself individually a witness in the great congregation, and taking the place, as we know, of the former sacrifices.
91 In Psalms 1 to 24, we have Christ constantly - a whole series of dispensational relationships. First, God's counsels in Psalm 2 as introductory - Son of God, king in Zion to whom the kings of the earth are to be subject; Psalm 8, as Son of Man over all things; Psalms 16 and 17 trusting, even to death, and righteous, and their respective consequences in glory and joy; Psalm 18, a suffering Christ - the Centre of all God's ways with Israel from Egypt to the millennium. After Psalm 19, the witness of Creation and Law, the suffering Messiah on earth exalted and judging His adversaries, Psalms 20 and 21; atonement the ground of blessing, from the first Remnant to those born in the millennium, Psalm 22; Psalm 23 is so far Christ as that, though not a sheep, He had this path, going before them in it. But the Remnant is here - it is in Psalm 14 also, verses 3-5 - but here He is at their head as the Ring of Glory, the Lord of Hosts entering into His temple. Psalms 1-8 are a general preface - the Remnant, and Christ rejected and taking the place of Son of Man; Psalm 9 enters on latter-day Jewish ground, and the experience of the Remnant in it; Christ, Psalms 16 and 17, having a resurrection place, and at God's right hand in hope - "the joy set before him"; Psalm 18 His sufferings, the groundwork of God's dealings with Israel. Then the testimony and atonement, as we have seen, and finally the especial care of Jehovah over the sheep, in the path in which Christ trod, and then His taking His place in glory in the Temple. Psalms 23 and 24 are supplementary, shewing what is to happen in the last day, and are consequent on atonement.
92 But there is more - Psalms 25-28 give this experience, and as in Psalms 16 and 17, besides the confession of sin, we have trust and righteousness or integrity; then confidence, and the demand not to be shut up in one class with the wicked; but from Psalm 24 we have Jehovah Himself distinctly brought before us, and the acknowledgment of what He is as a resource. With this comes forgiveness, promise, and warning. This character of the Psalms goes on to the end of Psalm 37; in Psalms 38 and 39 we have governmental wrath; Psalm 40 the Spirit of Christ entering into it, but going much farther, coming to accomplish all the counsels of God. But evils "encompass" Him, as well as iniquities "are upon" Him. He is the poor and needy One as well as Substitute for all Jewish sacrifices, and (Psalm 41) blessed is He who understands the poor. But this returns to confidence in Jehovah. But we have clearly Christ both in the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, and in the sorrows and sufferings of the Remnant.
In this Psalm we have Christ as Aaron, as intercessional Priest, confessing Israel's sins in that day of trouble, that tenth day of atonement, as His sins, when they are in their trouble with their enemies.
- 7. Here first we have the confession of sin; before, it is the suffering, godly Remnant in their various exercises of heart, or Christ. This makes this Psalm, after the full glorifying of Psalm 24, of a very marked character. It begins a new series of thought.
This Psalm is the special portion of Christ in the Remnant.
In this and the two next Psalms, Messiah, and His Spirit in the residue, does not merely, as up to Psalm 16, judge the character of the wicked, contemplating it in spirit, and God's judgments, but, mixed up with the wicked in His life outwardly, He insists on His separation from them and their judgment. We have here the perfectness of Christ, in the midst of haughty Israel, by virtue of which He will accept this intercession.
NOTE. - In Psalms 25 and 26 we have the spirit of the converted man in Israel in that day; in Psalms 27 and 28 we have his appeal to Jehovah, as taught to seek His face, and separation from the ungodly.
93 Psalm 27
This Psalm is the word of Christ as in the tried Remnant of the latter day, as identifying Himself with their feelings, founded on His expressed experience of the Lord's faithfulness when He stood alone.
Observe, the time of trouble is the time of God's deliverance; compare Psalm 32. Mercy acted on is the foundation of fuller prayer. It is needless to observe the moral principle which gives confidence.
Here the Lord's pavilion, from all that surrounds His life outwardly here, is specially in His mind.
Christ here takes up the question, in their conflict, consequent upon the intercession and integrity uniting itself to them, so that, with His foot in an even place in the congregations, He should bless the Lord. The result is plain - His enemies and foes stumbled and fell. "Jehovah is my light and my salvation" is its thesis; "enemies" and "foes" are the words. Love of the temple for delight in His beauty, and enquiry, makes a pavilion in trouble; and meeting enemies is only to lift His head above them. The character, in such a place, is "Hear when I cry" - next is the answer of Jehovah, I conceive, "My heart said unto thee" (Messiah) "seek ye" (His people) "My face." Then the answer of Messiah for them, or on their behalf, as their given representative of Jehovah; if He said to Him "Seek ye" - wait on Jehovah is the result from Messiah to the body. Such is the position of Israel in Him.
- 1. I-ra (shall I fear) and pa-khad (he feared) are nearly the same, but it seems to me that pa-khad is more "terror," even if used of Jehovah; ya-re (he feared) more "fear" in a godly sense, as in Proverbs 1: 7. Still, as in verse 3 here, it means simply "fear."
- 8. Query, is amar libbi (my heart said) something like amar b'libbo (he said in his heart) and lil 'vavam (in their hearts) employed in the sense of "as to," "about"? So that the sense would be "I recalled" or "thought upon," "in my heart that thou saidst - seek ye my face."
- 12. "Enemies." Oppressing enemies within are worse than without - not open; nor is integrity of avail here in the same way.
94 Psalm 28
This Psalm is the voice of Christ in the Remnant in the latter-day trial; but I take the wicked to be properly the unrenewed and unyielding Jews, whose portion is told in verse 5. But the Lord has heard Christ for the Remnant. He is not only His strength, but theirs.
The last verse is the intercessional blessing of Him that intervenes, introducing, or the door into, the millennial glory under Him as the Lord, for then the Lord properly lays aside His humiliation as Mediator, i.e., in His people. We have seen this celebrated in Psalm 24.
The Spirit of Christ speaks in this Psalm (having this power of intercession) in the Remnant, or Him as the Head of the Remnant, expressing the trial of their connection with the wicked in Jerusalem, etc. But they look to Jehovah - they cry, and beg Him not to be silent. The reference is to "the Oracle" - the cry is the consequence, the expression of their unwilling connection with the wicked - praying Jehovah they may not be as in their train, being separate in spirit, and avowing this, and the benediction because the Lord has heard this (v. 7). Messiah recognises, in the midst of it all, Jehovah is His strength.
- 8. Seems to be the discovery of this by the Spirit in the Remnant receiving and acknowledging Messiah.
- 9. Then He becomes the benedictory Intercessor of this people understanding Messiah in faith.
This Psalm is manifestly the coming forth in power of David the king; compare Isaiah 66:6
The voice of the Lord settles all question of power. The Psalms which follow, up to Psalm 41 inclusive, give the full exercise of the soul of the Remnant in adversity - in integrity - forgiveness known, specially of Christ, the true Remnant - the wicked being in power, chastening, treachery, and certainty of security in Jehovah - faithfulness also in declaring His righteousness. Thus it is the Spirit of Christ, sometimes expressing what passed in His own heart, sometimes sympathising with the Remnant in the latter day, and urging on them the same constancy in Jehovah, as, for example, Psalms 34 and 37; returning then to the consciousness of His own sorrows, out of which He was called to apply the faithfulness of the Lord to the sorrows of His poor afflicted, and, alas! too unfaithful, but cherished and beloved Remnant - He also in the same position of dependence as in Psalm 35 at the end; see also the end of Psalm 40.
95 The Lord is not silent. He not only saves His people, but strangers, even the mighty of the earth, must come and submit themselves. His temple now is where all have His glory for their theme! Jehovah is above all motion of the people! Jehovah is King! Jehovah not only saves but gives strength to His people, for they are connected with Him! Yet victory, being complete, gives them the blessing of peace. Jehovah must be victorious and blessed, but this people are connected with Jehovah. It is still Jehovah, and His glorious sanctuary (see margin, verse 2), the mighty are to own. It is the universal assumption, within its power, by the Voice of the Lord of all things.
This Psalm is an important one, and embraces a broad general truth - true in power in Christ either way, and in truth in the Church. And by "Church" I mean here not the Church properly so-called, but the whole portion brought under Christ in the day in which He comes, whose right it is, and all things are gathered together in one in Him. The House was, in one sense, dedicated therefore when the Lord rose again and ascended, but it was properly fully so when the fruits of His resurrection, even the Jews, and of His ascension, even the glorified saints, are brought in - ever the saints in either case. Now the portion of all was with Him - was, to be brought into unity with Him, in that which was manifested in Him on their part, which thing, as we have said, not in full power but in truth, is love in Him and in us, as He says.
It is the assurance of triumph, then, in all, after death, whether the Jews as a body (or the Body of Christ properly) as in Isaiah 26 - the necessity of passing through death, but death overcome - that His holiness now secures them - that their previous glory cannot stand, however they may have seemed to have had it in God's strength, for it was not their glory. But the resurrection glory is that which can be properly only called "Glory"; we may compare, for the expressions, Isaiah 65:14, et seq. Indeed, I am inclined to think the Psalm more properly applies to the Jews standing, as themselves raised out of the death of the former generation, in the strength of Christ's resurrection. However some expressions seem to include the Church, but more especially Christ, the congregation, and the great congregation - the false confidence contrasted with the real confidence of the Jewish Remnant.
96 The Psalm shows the value of the resurrection to the believing Remnant; verses 6 and 7 are confidence in Jehovah, and His favour, short of death, as establishing anything short of death. This could not be, because there was no stability in creature blessing. There was still the liability, and in fact the need, seeing Jehovah was holy and the people sinners by nature, if the matter were fully probed, that Jehovah should hide His face from them - yea! though they were externally righteous. This case Christ, the Son, alone could undertake standing in the righteousness of God, responsible (in both before Him for the evil), and this He undertook, and therefore expresses the endurance, undertaking the creature liability that they might enjoy, in and under Him, the stability and immutability of resurrection blessing, which was beyond all questions, because the result of favour which took up and passed beyond all liabilities of sin, and was of purpose to bring them beyond all which regarded Him, short of this question - the exercise of power, on the results of sin viewed in their worst form, in grace. "Thou hast lifted me up," "Thou hast brought up my soul" - true personally in Christ - "Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down into the pit" - true of those of the Jews for whom He had undertaken it. Again we see the difference of our condition, for we are "quickened together with him," although the power of the victory is shown in those who are changed and die not at all; so in John 11.
The holiness of God, thus known, becomes security. His anger - how well we know it! - as under the law, endures but for a moment, the sentence indeed of death is passed - it must be, but then it is past and gone; "weeping may endure for a night, but joy," blessed truth! with every shadow gone, and all of God, "cometh in the morning." What an Interpreter is Jesus, as on the Cross, and risen from the Cross and death of, all the thoughts, and ways, and principles of God, as to and in man's estate! "Sing unto the Lord" He says, and may well say, thus knowing it. "Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his" - His glory shall sing, and not be silent, for Jehovah has not been silent. His glory is the tongue of redeeming praise, and how loud it speaks! Glory now is redemption witnessed, and His word is "Magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt his Name together!" Always together!
97 - 12 (13). Glory (ka-vod) seems to be rather the Man Himself in the image which He presents to Himself of Himself, as the object of hope, or the expression of the attainment of hope, and this is a man's glory; only here it is more abstract. We shall find that the heart of man always surrounds itself with something in which it delights, and in which it stands before others - this is its glory (ka-vod). So it is with Jehovah; He surrounds Himself, in manifestation to men or angels, with glory - whatever that may be, He expresses what He is. In the Son, He is glorified in the Son. The presence of Jehovah in favour, is the glory and the hope of Israel - Messiah is its expression. They would not then own Him to be this, because, for a deeper glory, He had laid aside the expression of it, such as mere nature and sense could take. This however is always glory, and this it is to understand glory - the glory in the Cross. We expect to be glorified with Him - this is the thing we shall be clothed with - the expression of it. Messiah takes this, not only in the expression of it from Himself, but in the reception of it from Jehovah - the Father - in testimony of the perfect acceptableness of all He has done. Resurrection is the point of this personally, as in Psalm 16, and here to us "glorified together with," because of ascension, and return, and union. Hence we see how far we can speak of glory. As to the Spirit, He glorifies Christ, because the expression of it is in Christ. Though the Spirit, as ministering in the servants, may clothe Itself with glory, yet the glory of the Spirit shall be shown in that day when its fruits shall be turned into glory - blessedly glorified. Now He is content to be, in a certain sense, a Servant, i.e., to minister in the servants, in their sorrows, trials, difficulties, their joys too in Christ. Blessed mystery, and blessed love! Man's glory is, in the energy of the Spirit, to embrace the glory of Christ. "I will extol thee, O Lord," for so He is, according to the mind of God in the Spirit. He, incarnate, glorified the Father - we, in Him and with Him, are in the mystery of God, fellowship (koinonia) of the Father, and of His Son Jesus Christ, by the Spirit (as the power) in John 17. The Spirit takes His place amongst the brethren now, and to suffer is our portion, that the glory may be the pure glory of God - our hope, our ka-vod, and that for ever. To His name be all the praise for ever and ever!
98 Psalm 31
This Psalm needs not much comment to those that are instructed in Christ. It is the confidence, and supplication of the Lord Christ, in His Enos state, as regards the enmity, particularly in its various parts, which did not slacken even to His life. We may compare, according to forementioned principles, Job 19. The reader of the Gospels, especially John, will trace some following of this Psalm, in the language of faith, in the Lord's words I think, too. It is a deeply interesting Psalm.
- 22. "I said in my haste"; note the same words in Psalm 116:11, applicable clearly, in use, to Christ, and leading to the force of the words. Here its use is clear, compare verse 5.
In the previous Psalm, the resurrection is the stable confidence of glory. In this Psalm, the resurrection is the sure answer to distress; so compare the energy of the Spirit in Romans 8, the "witness with our spirit, that we are sons," "helps our infirmities," but this, from the knowledge of glory, on the resurrection here in lieu of Jewish prosperity which would not bear trial, and Jewish sorrow to death, which was the depth of trial. "In my prosperity, I said" (Psalm 30:6), "In my haste, I said" (Psalm 31:22), it is rather "in my oppression" or "distress."
What has been said, gives the substance of this Psalm. I add, however, that Psalm 30 is more a question between God - the hand and judgment of God - and the sufferer, and therefore an appeal specially to Him. Here it is more of circumstances - God is more with Him. It is not "What profit in my blood," but "Into thy hand," there was no other, "I commend my Spirit, for" etc. - here was the Author and Finisher of faith - "Thou art my strength." Iniquity, reproachful oppressors within, enemies without - such were the sorrows of Israel, the sorrows of Christ, and the sorrows of the Remnant as owning the nation's sins, as David theirs; so, ever, the Spirit of Christ - It cannot escape from the Body. But, while casting Himself on mercies - the place of the Remnant - His times being in Jehovah's hands, we find good laid up for the righteous, hidden from pride of man without, and from the strife of reproachful tongues within. Then the blessing for the kindness in protecting strength - a strong city. Verse 22 I read as "In the pressure of my Spirit" - the thing was perfectly true, but the utterance of an oppressed Spirit, not the assertion or demand of convicting energy. So "I said in my haste," in the trouble and shrinking of my Spirit from the evil, "all men are liars" (Psalm 116:11); the sense is the same, and the assertion also true, but the utterance, the effect of pressure of Spirit. To this also Jesus submitted, compare Matthew 11, and also John 12, "Then began he," and "Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say?" Nevertheless - though on the Cross He added this, and the Remnant in their trouble shall have the thoughts as thoughts not true in them, because it was true in Him - He said "I am cut off." Yet Jehovah heard His cry, His cry against His enemies, His cry for life. The end for them is in verses 23, 24. Ani amar'ti b'shal'vi (I said in my tranquillity) Psalm 30:6 (7) and ani amar'ti b'khoph'zi (I said in my haste), Psalm 31:22 (23), answer to one another; va ani (and I) making it true in Christ, as taking their place - righteously true in Him in both cases. Not to be cast down if dealt with in se - as righteous, cast out, if viewed as made sin in se, though as to His Person, it was impossible He could be holden, but true in the spirit of unbelief, still working in Israel, because, first, they had not the righteousness; secondly because they had the mercy and faithfulness thereon, in and through Him. This made it bitterness to Him, i.e., His righteousness, but therefore more abundantly proved His fidelity to God, i.e., His perfect knowledge of, and ascription of fidelity to, God - "I trust in thee"; while confidence, i.e., perfection, is so, because it is the ascription of perfection, the ground of that confidence, to God.
99 I am not so sure of the signs of the word emeth (truth), verse 5 (6), but, if correct, "before the sons of men" is the separate part of the sentence by itself. God does it for the Jews, i.e., for the Remnant before the "sons of men."
In my opinion this Psalm applies to the Jews who receive the benefit of forgiveness in the latter day. That it is abstractedly true, as all these "blessings" are and must be, is certain, and Paul proves otherwise comes also on the Gentiles. But these Psalms concern the manifestation of these things on the earth, as to which it is in the Jews, as a body, they are prophetically accomplished of course. The energy of the Spirit, by whom they were spoken, is the witness of these things now, even in the earth, as it is written, "That ye may know that the Son of Man," etc.
100 I repeat, how completely all this Psalm is a provision for Israel in the last days! The Spirit giving all their hearts need, not merely of feeling, but of divine answer to that feeling, so that their faith can rest upon it, and get into the path of it before it comes. We can anticipate the best of it, no doubt, by pretrusting.
As to this Psalm, while the Apostle, as is well known, fully concludes that this blessedness comes on all that believe, yet his argument shows its original, natural application to the Jews, and it is entirely a new principle, i.e., to Israel - mercy in lieu of, or rather for the accomplishment, in grace, of promise. Psalm 1 gives the original blessedness of the man who has not, but here, in Psalms 30 and 31, all their hopes are dashed to the ground, and a new blessedness comes in in transgression forgiven. Verses 1 and 2 are different things. Where no law is there is no transgression. Ash'rey-Adam (O the blessings of the man) lets in anyone, and this difference is all through Romans, as noted - transgression forgiven to Jews - sin not imputed to Gentiles - righteousness to both - though this may pass practically in any soul. From verse 3, onwards, is also properly Jewish, till they bow and confess their sin. But we know how constantly it is true individually; but they are introduced there on this principle, not speaking now of individual application, verses 1-4 give the two estates learnt.
- 5, is the principle then of Jewish righteousness, i.e., not His own, but guileless acknowledging sin, and it forgiven; then the timely turning to Him, and, when the outward difficulties come upon them as a nation, i.e., after Antichrist is destroyed, they do not come nigh the faithful Remnant - it is preserved under Antichrist, and delivered from sin.
- 8. From this verse, onwards, comes the Lord's subsequent part. They that have trusted in Jehovah shall find mercy - still they are the righteous and the upright.
- 10. Harasha (the wicked); note this.
This Psalm is the question between Jehovah and the people, answering to Psalm 30. Psalm 33 is the people and circumstances answering to Christ's passing through Psalm 31. The result to the Jews respectively delivered, of what Jesus was for them in Psalms 30 and 31, but Psalm 33 also thereon celebrates the Lord's glorious title over all His works, the countries of the heathen, and all things created - such, His supremacy - such, the Lord. Then, "blessed are the people who have Jehovah for their God," for all things are His. As for all strength that man has, or has appropriated, it goes for nothing - they trust not in it - "hope in his mercy" is their place and state (Psalm 33:18-22). The earth's blessing in Israel's joy, but the glory of Israel, to have Him who is the Creator, and Head of all these things, their God - Head creatively, also in power, making man's counsels naught, and accomplishing His own, of which Israel is the object.
101 Psalm 33
This Psalm is the result - the heart's comment on what has passed, when all is set right by Psalm 32.
It is not L'David (to the Beloved). It is an interesting new view of the millennial glory - the God of Providence therein shown as the Lord, and identified in the same power and glory as the Creator, while the counsels of men come to naught, and His counsels stand in the blessing also of those who celebrate it - even His people. It takes it up also in His moral character, on which the security of His people depends. Israel being the result of the earthly system, the God of Creation and Providence is here exhibited in the result of both, as to the present world, as the Lord and towards them. Its connection with the providences by which it is brought about is plainly declared from verse 10, onward, but it is not David identified with his people, but the broad general principles, the converse, or other part of the truth, from the special election privileges, though true in them, to wit, the God and His character from which they flowed.
This Psalm should be considered with Psalm 24. There David, the Beloved, is shown to be the Lord. Here He is viewed higher up, as it were, in the same truths, for the moral character of God is before His purposes, as we view them, for those manifest Him to us, as 1 John 1. David is the beginning of His purposes, but the brightness and image of His glory and Person.
102 Psalm 34
This is the address of the Beloved to the afflicted Jews, of the latter day, from His own experience, confirmed by the testimony of the Spirit embracing prophetically the deliverance of these Jews themselves. It is a pressing upon the Jews, of the latter day, who had ears to hear, to receive and to act upon the principles which He had found the blessings of and faithfulness of God in, when He was the One Remnant. The thesis is in the two first verses. It was as by David amongst the Philistines. The prophetic declaration is in verse 5. Then the Spirit takes up from verse 6, I think, to verse 10; in verse 11, David resumes as in person. I am not sure where I should close this, for the residue seems more of a chorus-like testimony, but, withal, verse 20 leads us directly, it should seem, to its source.
This Psalm is the beautiful reunion of Christ and the Remnant, in chorus, on the deliverance - Christ leading the song as ever, "In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee," as well as graciously, in Himself, presenting our prayers. The occasion, if right in the title, was one of deep distress. The moral force of the Psalm is in "at all times." The application of the deliverance of Christ to the joy of the righteous, the humble, is most clear beyond doubt, and nothing more beautiful - "This poor man."
It begins with Christ's praise, the ground of, and attracting the united praise of faithful sufferers - they hear thereof. It is the evidence of the faithfulness of Jehovah to the cry of humble, faithful men.
- 5, 6, are the answer of the Spirit for, and in the people, taking up this deliverance of the patient, humble, rescued Jesus.
- 8. "Trust," as fleeing for refuge - to confide.
- 11. Christ takes the word again - His soul filled, as it were, with the truth of this, He can teach how to walk so as to have it; well He could, and plead the consequence!
- 19. The fidelity and truth, to a tittle, in any misery.
- 20. We know the full accomplishment and truth of this. How sweet the confidence! How sweet to have this gracious and well-experienced Jesus in our sorrows! Thus instructing us in the experience of His own love, and as taking our place. Jehovah's faithfulness - He can tell us this, so that we need not fear. Most sweet!
103 Psalm 35
This Psalm is the appeal of Messiah, on behalf of the oppressed Remnant of the Jews, in His own Person. It is not the cry merely of the Remnant at the ungodliness that surrounded them amongst the Jews, nor for help against the Gentiles, but the critical intervention of Messiah, in respect of the whole purpose of God concerning them. It regards especially the triumph of the ungodly Jews at the apparent oppression of those, of whom they had been long weary, the saints amongst them, and their deliverance from them, they having joined the Gentiles; verse 18 marks the result. Psalm 22 applies itself personally to Messiah - this, to the Remnant exclusively in the latter day, identifying Him with them, and spoken, as on His behalf; see verse 27, as showing the manner of the identification.
From this Psalm to the end of Psalm 40 Christ is viewed more as in the midst of the unrighteous, and trying evil within, hindered in the practicability of making (by following His ways) the cause of the nation the cause of God. He - the cause of the servant of God - is in the presence of enemies, but while the enemies without hate it, the whole name of the people of God on account of this, the body of the people within hate it because of righteousness, and are in fact one with the enemy. Thus it was with the chief priests and Pilate - thus shall it be at the close, which in these Psalms is prophetically taken up in Israel in Jerusalem. The righteous cause of Christ, hated by those within, as evil by their evil state, and the enemies coming from without - Christ and His cause, and those who favour it being the only real stay of the people. In the meanwhile the religious leaders of the Jewish people, trusting in the flesh, hate the sentence on their state by the Spirit - so with the Lord - so with Jeremiah who was, as it were, a representant of this; a trying case when He, who can trust Jehovah, knows Jehovah is hated by those He would defend, because of that which can alone be their defence. In the midst of this Christ, the Spirit of Christ found Himself - He was faithful - He trusts, and He alone in Jehovah alone - the righteousness which Jehovah can defend. The chief pressure here is the evil and hostility connected with evil within (v. 8). This Psalm notices a leader of this wickedness and evil - first Judas, then Antichrist.
104 - 17. Notices first the Person, the humanity of Christ as a Jew, as in Psalm 22, then the Remnant which shall be, as in Isaiah 26:19.
- 18. This verse takes in the Remnant as the nation, the great congregation (kahal rav).
Compare these two verses, which omit the brethren, and praise in the congregation, with Psalm 22:20-25. This Psalm may perhaps, give the example of how the Lord speaks in His own name, identifying Himself with the Remnant who walk with Him and in His Spirit in the latter day; see also verse 27, and indeed all through. Note this well.
- 19. This first speaks of enemies - Christ being thus distinguished with the Remnant. They are now "mine enemies" (o-y'vay). This verse is a sort of hinge to the difference between Christ in Person and the Remnant. The hope of the just is in Jehovah, for there is no refuge in the heart of man, for the fear of God is not there. But the exaltation of Jehovah against the pride and wickedness of man (the wicked) makes way for the outflowing of His goodness - for what He is as God - towards the sons of Adam. Verse 10 is the application of this to the present circumstances of Israel, by the Spirit of Christ. There is something large and magnificent, beautiful and sweet in this Psalm. It leads one forth from the sufferings which affect, into the wide scene, the garden of goodness, through which the streams of the fountain of life flow, through the means of those blessed and loving sufferings.
This is a very interesting Psalm, but there is not much to comment on in it. It is explained in the expression of L'evedh-Jehovah (to the servant of Jehovah). It is Christ in that character, as proposing to meet the wickedness of ungodly men, as to whom He felt that there was no restraint upon them, because the fear of God was not before their eyes, and His conferring with Jehovah, so to speak, as to this case. Unrestrained will is their character here, which is the greatest trial a man can be subject to, as the Lord says: "They have done unto him whatsoever they listed" - "Likewise also must the Son of Man suffer" etc.; nor would He have suffered fully without this. The security of God's people, in such case then, is not in the restraint of the will of the enemies, but on our dependence on the divine care under their unrestrained will. This is a most important principle; verse 1 is the thesis of this. The description is perfect and complete to our faith. In the meanwhile we are servants of the Lord (av'dey-Jehovah) (compare John 11:7, etc.), and so to act, and therein the Lord's will is exercised continually, compare Psalm 91; verse 9 is our joy meanwhile, verse 12 is deliverance. Note this Psalm.
105 Psalm 37
The application of this Psalm to the Jews, as of faith, i.e., the Remnant, but manifested by their acting on this Psalm, is obvious, and its direct application to the land as the inheritance of blessing; see verses 3, 9, 11, 22, 27 and 34. The subject is plainly set forth in the three first verses, but there is more detail of direction as well as of promise. "Fret not thyself" - "Trust" - "Delight thyself" - "Commit thy way" - "Rest in"; then again, "Cease from anger." The reason in the general result to verse 20. Then there is a contrast of the principles, of their character also, i.e., of the wicked and good. Verse 24 resumes the instruction or thesis, and promise directly. The crisis of this Psalm particularly arises at the time that those that forsake the Lord, the unconverted Jews and their friends the Gentiles, seem to have the world with them. The Lord as a God of faith and hope is put in present contrast in verses 3, 4, 5 and 7, then again in verse 34.
The connection of this Psalm with the Remnant of the latter day, is as plain as possible; then connect Matthew 5 with its modifications.
- 3. "And delight in faithfulness," literally "feed on."
- 20. Gesenius under ya-kar, makes it "preciousness* of pastures," instead of taking "karim" lambs; this seems more natural on account of (bea-shan) "into smoke."
Well then, "Fret not thyself," "The Lord knows" all this matter, and the way He leads the just - His people. The full and spiritually instructive answer of the Spirit of Christ as viewing these things, and answering on the part of Jehovah, where and what the part and path of the saint should be. It is, as addressed to the circumstances, purely Jewish, but the spirit of it contains the most abundant and full instruction. If one would lead the principle of life in it further on, into the course and circumstances of the people and kingdom of God, one should go to the Sermon on the Mount, our blessed Lord's then interpretation and application of this, introducing therein withal, as His service, the name of Father and applying it to the existing condition where His disciples were. May we be guided by the Spirit in the wisdom of the application of them to present circumstances, according to the eternal truth of God, and principle contained in them! "Fret not," "Trust," "Delight," "Commit," "Rest," "Cease from anger," "Fret not thyself"!
106 - 28. "Saints" are khe-sed (gracious), the righteous, Jewish Remnant in patience - meek; verse 11 gives their character in the midst of the power of evil - verse 29 their intrinsic character before men as, on the part of God, owning God. Perfectness (tom), uprightness (ya-sher) the principle of His life; compare specially verses 37 and 33. The operation of this principle in grace is, in Romans 6, by resurrection; for the circumstances are not the same. Now we are in, and to be partakers of, the death of Christ, by starting from the power of the resurrection, having it all in Him - their portion, deliverance here, still of the Lord in grace. "I have been young, and now am old," though true of David doubtless, is the Spirit of Christ speaking as conversant with the ways of Jehovah from Israel's youth, their birth in Egypt, till their then old age under Christ, or Antichrist, if then found. Mercy is not the proper subject of this Psalm, though mercy it be, but righteousness.
This Psalm, as noted before, is the looking to God to take up the despised Messiah's cause, against insulting and rebellious Israel seeking His downfall in the details of life; not the cry to God about His forsaking Him. Hence the deliverance of His darling (ya-khid) brings thanks in the great congregation before all Israel, as delivered there. It is within the limits of Israel, where He was dishonoured. There is no declaration of a name to gather a Remnant in a peculiar way as in Psalm 22.
- 26, 27 give the two classes in Israel, in respect of Messiah's cause, very clearly.
- 1. "Indignation" (ke-tzeph) - from breaking out into anger. Both words are of discipline, but I suppose khe-mah (heat of anger) rather stronger.
- 11. Ne-ga, "stroke," not "sore," see margin.
107 This is wonderful; but the comparison of it with Job (taking both as expressive of character) is full of interest and instruction. Every expression of Job's suffering seems concentrated, with less loquacity, with this remarkable difference - there seems the sense of sin with the confidence of help, and that all His desire was before God. Job's heart was pride, which he wished was before God, and it was to bring to remembrance. What Christ was bearing is manifest, but He bore it in Himself. We may wonder indeed, and be astonished at Christ, when there was none to take pity on Him. The reproaches of them that reproached God fell on Him, because He was faithful unto Him, and of Him, and the bruisings of God's wrath fell upon Him because He was to pour out His soul unto death for these very sinners, and at once; for when all men deserted Him, and even His lovers and kinsmen stood afar off, His enemies surrounding Him, then it was also that, as to suffering, God also forsook Him and wrath had its course. It was this, as we have seen indeed, He deprecated in Psalm 22, and this was felt as in verse 3, though the very opposite to being charged as unrighteousness, as in Job. The comparison of this with Job is very full of instruction, see verse 6; he thought to stand in his strength with God, but see the Spirit of Christ in us, verses 9 and 2. Compare also verses 18 and 15, with Psalm 23:1.
Note these confessions are individual; Christ's entering into them in grace is another thing, which He surely did, in the whole depth of them, and for the Remnant.
Messiah, on the arrows of Jehovah piercing the people, makes confession of sin in their behalf, as being His. Then they are arrows of correction, yea, as Christ taking them in Himself. All is done - they stick fast in Him, not the people. Jehovah bruises Him - His soul is the butt for the arrows of wrath - Jehovah must deliver. It is quite another thing now - He must by virtue of this cry, deliver - He cannot smite again, but as smiting Christ, and this cry being the testimony that He in love has borne it, is the necessary witness of sufficiency. It is His cry as smitten. The thundercloud spent, must roll away - it could do no more afterwards - and be discharged in blessings on those for whose sake the stroke was borne, which spent, as it were, its power. The cry raised which drew forth the love, the recognition of righteousness in Him who placed it to the account of those for whom He bore the stroke willingly, drawn out against their evil - He felt what the stroke of God was. In none else could it have been so honoured. As for earthly enemies, they were little matter here, but He would be open, as though the sinner before Jehovah, and declare this the Lord's perfection - not conceal but bear the stroke and justify; compare verses 18 and 20. The position and character under the imputation of, and making the sin His, in the midst of enemies, of reproach, is most deeply instructive as to the position and character of Christ. In Psalm 39 it is therefore viewed as correction by the Spirit of Christ in the nation or Remnant.
108 Psalm 39
This Psalm is the turning of the soul inward, on rebukes without, arresting all service of God. It is the Supreme God whom the rebuke affects, turning to the profit of man, in his Enos state, his helplessness as such, before the wickedness of men of will, and, though He gives power, it is His power, and when He gives not and subdues not the adversary, man can do nothing in His service. But then, under grace, it turns to the profitable testimony of the true state of things.
This is the song of Enos, as heard and delivered in that He feared, but revealing withal the Son as entering into that state, as explaining and able now to speak of His humiliation into it, according to its wisdom, and the counsel of God in it, as being (having triumphed) in the glory which He had before. Yet is it too a voice remarkably, and decidedly, in the Jewish Remnant; and note, His resurrection belongs to the Jews, i.e., as on earth, actually as His state. It would be too large a field to follow this here; suffice it to say, it includes His reign, not as sitting in heavenly places - but it is an assurance of this unto all men. If we seek argument, let us see not only our Lord's, after the resurrection, but Peter's and Paul's in the Acts. The great congregation is the Jewish people at large - Christ had not failed in testifying to them. The three first verses are a statement of the results of which Christ is the Witness as heretofore; the rest, the principles on which it went, and circumstances which thereon necessarily accompanied it. It is a sort of comment, so to speak, by Christ on the whole transaction. Note, His Enos state was in connection with the Jewish Remnant, and includes His whole manifestation as to its actual associations and development, i.e., His Enos state was exhibited while a Jew, for it was also under the law, which was one of its grand trials, according to the very estate and subjection of man, quod nôta, before God's holiness, or He would not be put to full trial, and Christ accordingly was so placed - born under the whole argument sub modo of Paul in the Epistle to the Romans.
109 This Psalm is the whole conduct of Christ throughout, and the explanation of it, on deeper principles, from its source, in the will and character and law of God - He becoming a Servant. Of this, there can be no need of comment, for we have the Apostle's - only note - and it is quoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews, as other like passages.
- 5. The way in which Christ in this Psalm takes part with Israel, though His eternal undertakings to do so are brought out in it, is very remarkable; compare this verse with verse 3.
- 6. Rather "Thou hast dug ears for me," i.e., as the Apostle translates it, giving the sense from the Septuagint, "prepared a body," the place of obedience and servitude, where commands are received. It is different from Isaiah 50, that is the exhibition of the patient consequence - here it is "digged" (ka-rah), there "opened" (pa-thakh). Christ's service among the Jews, glorifying the Father at all cost in verse 9 is very affecting. Verses 1 and 2 are the resurrection or waiting for it, instead of seeking present deliverance. Therefore in verse 3, "My mouth," "our God," for then He could join them to Himself. But the body of the Psalm is still His condition amongst them, and, as we have said, the real interpretation, meaning and power of it - His expression of His mind, meaning, and conduct, and thoughts in it. This is most exquisite - His thoughts and acts, not His feelings merely, as oppressed - His perfectness.
- 10, 11. These also are very affecting. The appeal of Christ, our Lord, on the faithfulness He had shown in declaring the character of God, Jehovah, in spite of all that the congregation (Kahal rav) was. The characters of integrity and sin, mixed all through here, are very definite and remarkable, they leave a truth in the soul of every believer - they are true efficiently only in Christ, however.
110 The Psalm is the interpretation in the wisdom of God, the expression of the meaning of all these circumstances. Consequently Christ is identifying the Remnant with Him, accomplishing the will of God - faithful in all circumstances, and bearing iniquities, interceding thereon for the full peace of the people; the Remnant thus preserving Him given - Himself their Substitute for anger, and He entirely dependent upon God as poor and needy, and waiting His deliverance under the stroke, as Paul says by the Spirit of Christ, as "poor yet making many rich," and again "so then death worketh in us and life in you," for he filled up that which was left of the sufferings of Christ for His "Body's sake, which is the Church."
I do not know that it is more than suitability, but it is striking how in this Psalm the Zevach (offering) and min'chah (meal-offering) are connected with incarnation, having ears (preparing a body) for the Lord, and the cha-ta-ah (sin-offering) and o-lah (burnt-offering) with His doing Jehovah's will (compare Hebrews 10). I am aware fire was applied to all, and blood sprinkling with the peace-offerings, and in Hebrews they are all thrown together the second time they are mentioned. Still I cannot help thinking there is suitableness, marking the o-lah and cha-ta-ah as that offering of the body once for all, which could not be disconnected from the life, as the purity and perfection of the Victim was needed and proved in obedience, and trial too, but was yet distinct. The rejection is general I admit fully, and all go on to or are founded on, if not expression of, Christ's death, but the two are specifically expressive of it. The "once for all" would not apply to the other two, because the peace-offering went on to our feeding on it, and the min'chah depicted His Person, though that was offered.
In this Psalm, though it be not the principal subject, yet the desire for confounding the enemies is found; the fourfold offerings are found too, to all which the incarnation and obedience of Christ are substituted. But while this gives the scope and purport of the obedience, the obedience of Messiah, His willingly undertaking the place of obedience, and Jehovah's will and service being His delight, is the object of the Psalm, not expiatory work. Observe, it is mutual - "Thou hast prepared," "Lo! I come." In Christ's part there are two things, besides faithful accomplishment. "It is written" - "in the Volume of the Book" - it was in the divine counsels; His own willingness - "Lo! I come." Then comes also, to fulfil it, His state - "I delight to do thy will, thy law is within my heart," faithfulness in the face of the fuller congregation. This also, I think, twofold; first, moral righteousness - "I have preached righteousness," but besides this, Jehovah's righteousness and faithfulness, and salvation and loving-kindness. This was different from simply preaching righteousness. He was faithful between right and man, and preached righteousness. But He pleaded also Jehovah's cause, His character and ways and faithfulness. Thus grace (chesed) and truth (emeth) came by Jesus Christ, but this was, as Peter says, "by the righteousness of God their Saviour." But then He feels the sins of the people.
111 Psalm 41
This Psalm is the estimation of Christ, in His humiliation, as showing the real spirit a man is of, but as holding a certain character and therefore not exclusively applicable to Him. So the Lord, "Blessed are ye poor for" etc., and so Matthew "Blessed are the poor in spirit." It also describes the mind of the poor man under this humiliation, connected with the despite of the world - the proved under it.
I think it may be very distinctly remarked that, though oppression may incidentally accompany it, the distress in the first Book arises from the wickedness of the wicked within, deceit, guile, absence of all conscience, hatred of the good carried recklessly out. The second Book is different.
This Psalm is the consequence of the recognition of Christ in His depression. This consequence being that, in the day of evil, that time of trouble which shall come, the Lord will deliver such an one - "keep him alive," so that "he shall be blessed upon the earth"; compare here the remarks on the Lord's prayer as to "Deliver us from evil" in Matthew; not in Luke in most MSS. The Jewish character of the Psalm is here very plain also. This closes, i.e., the account of the recognition of Christ, thus utterly depressed - the beatitudes, so to speak, and in Jehovah's estimation of Christ thus depressed (v. 12), "The Lord God of Israel is blessed for ever." "Blessed is the man that walketh," etc. - " Blessed is the man whose sin is forgiven, is covered" - "Blessed is the man who recogniseth," or "owneth," "considereth," "pays attention to," Christ, that poor Man, in His utter, utter, humiliation!
112 - 4. We have again this specification of Christ and His mind, as in Psalm 31; and note, I observe, the same in Christ in the Gospel, "And I say unto you" as in the parable of the unjust steward, the Sermon on the Mount, and the like. The full sense of humiliation will be recognised in verse 9.
- 9. This is another example of the way in which a general expression is applied to the Lord Himself, without being a proper prophecy of Him. These moral prophecies, so to speak, have as much to be fulfilled as the circumstantial ones - so in the Epistles to the Churches.
Nothing can be more affecting than this Psalm, and the thought that it is Jesus, the Lord, that is there. How true of the wickedness! And He to be in it! Alas! we have not fathomed the depth of this unwearied, this infinite, all-suited love, suiting itself to all our need in it, searching it out in suffering, "learning obedience by the things which he suffered" - His enemies and His friends almost alike, but He perfect, and therefore the rather shown so in His trust in One, v'ani amar'ti (and I said).
It is distinguished as a blessed thing, to understand this poor Man. "Enemy" is o-yev. I have the same remark here as Psalm 35:19, the exhibition of Christ, or the Remnant united with Him in His affliction, puts the people, within now, into the character of enemies (oy 'vim). Here, as we have said, this Book, containing these things, closes.
This seems to me to be a complaint of the Gentiles, and therefore specially referable to the latter days. The Remnant are driven out.
- 8. Here alone "Jehovah" is introduced till Messiah is brought in. And here it is confidence looking out of present circumstances. After Psalm 45 "Jehovah" is used.
The second Book of the Psalms is far more Jewish, properly speaking, treating not of exercises of soul in the midst of enemies in general and before God, but of enemies against Jewish people. There is no mention of resurrection, that I am aware of, at all. Christ may suffer rejection, but it is rejection with His people as a Jew. I recognise what I before remarked, that it is those who have left the city, and are without, and look for Jewish blessing as being without - those previously, it would seem to me, suppose the possibility of being with Christ in resurrection - these would not - the others have a special place, even as preserved on earth. All the ideas are, in this second part, as deprived of Jewish privileges, and then the God of Jacob is with them - praise waits in Zion - it is the judgment of the people, not, as I said, an exercise of the soul with Christ before God. Psalms 42-49 give the historical scope of this, and Psalm 50 its judicial conclusion; afterwards come the sentiments and circumstances of exercise through which they pass, and Christ withal sympathising in suffering with them. Compare Psalms 14 and 53, which are the link, at the same time, as to the position, of the same wickedness which has been against them; Psalm 51 is the repentance, it would seem, after the manifestation of Jesus, when the Spirit of grace and supplication is poured on the people; so Psalm 50, God has called the people to judgment.
113 Note all this Book is, though of the Remnant driven out, yet still of the people with whom Jesus had been associated in His life here below. He knows what it is to be outside the Camp - the Holy City - and, though Himself crying to God from the ends of the earth (land), to interest Himself in that which was within the city, for, however wicked in their hands, to Him it was the City of God. Hence so much that is still personal though Jewish. They are cast out of Jerusalem when Antichrist is there, but He is with them cast out, and it is still to Him Jerusalem, known in His heart's desire. Hence in Psalm 69 He looks at the condition of His enemies as acting, when God had smitten Him (and the residue), as adding to His affliction. It was not deliverance from Jehovah, when they surrounded Him as in Psalm 22, but, as taking the place of guilt, and smitten of God, He presents the iniquity which oppressed Him, and counts on God saving Zion, not on praising amidst His brethren. The servants of Elohim will inherit it.
In this Book we have evidently the time of the great tribulation, with those features of the sorrows of Christ which have specially this character, so that He went through it, and applies the exercises of His soul to intercession for His people, the residue in that day.
114 In the first two Books we find the Remnant, and so Christ, driven out, no longer enjoying the public service of God The second Book, particularly, marks the Jews as concerned in this, the nation lo chasid (not mercied). Psalm 42 is more general, and applies to other enemies and the great oppressor. Psalms 44 to 48 give the pleading of the Lord, on to full restoration. Psalm 49 is the publicly announced moral on it. In Psalm 50 we have the public summons, of God from on high, to judgment, which is apart, not the progress seen and followed by the Remnant on earth. God issues and enters into the scene, and the heavens declare His righteousness - He calls to heaven above as well as to the earth beneath. Psalm 51 gives the moral estate of the Remnant, humbled and contrite, owning its sin, not merely feeling the oppression, so that there is moral separation. After that we have the state in which things are in that day, and in the city also, so that the Remnant of the woman's seed have their portion also here.
In the Psalms which follow, we have the strongest expression of the deep and terrible sorrow in which they will be, but at the same time we find Christ Himself as having passed, as to the distress of it, there, and thus entering into it with them. The tribulation of that day is part of the grand conspiracy against His authority, of which He felt all the force in the acutest way. We have the power of the antichristian tyrant, and the malice of the rebellious Jews; Psalms 55:13, 14; 59:11; 62:3, 4; 63 (all); 52; 50 and 55:9, 11. In Psalm 53 we have the character of the wickedness, in extent, which the Apostle applies to the Jews. From Psalm 60 the light breaks in more clearly, and in Psalm 65 praise is ready; God has only to give the occasion in fact - a beautiful and touching thought, furnished by the Spirit! In Psalm 66 the deliverance is celebrated, and in Psalm 67 the blessing on Jacob - the means of making known God's way, and bringing blessing to all the earth. In Psalm 68 God's blessing in Israel and on Israel, as rising up for them, as ever with the ark, is celebrated and, while applied (v. 6), to the establishment of the residue and judgment of the wicked, it is traced to the exaltation of Jesus on high (the Lord who had erst conducted them through the desert) that He might dwell among the rebellious in grace. The full triumph of blessing, through judgment, is then celebrated by the sorrows of Christ, even to death, from the hands of these wicked Jews. Psalm 70, also, is the effusion of a rejected Saviour, but in love to the Remnant.
115 I have not a very clear idea of the mind of God in Psalm 71. It is clear that the Spirit looks to the setting aside the power of the unrighteous and cruel man. It is the language of Christ, but as taking up the position of Israel and speaking on their behalf, i.e., of the Remnant according to the position of Israel - this I suppose to be the application of "old age." They look for deliverance because God had always been their help, and they counted He would not reject them now at the close of their career. He had always instructed them, and they look to be vessels of His knowledge now to those to come. The Spirit looks for the definite setting aside of the power of the usurper. The result is judgment given to the King's Son - a Psalm which needs no comment, and closes the Book.
The occasion of Psalm 71 may have been perhaps Adonijah's rebellion in the extreme old age of David, introducing Solomon; at any rate, we have the seed of David, and, as to the people, no strength, none shut up nor left.
From Psalm 42 to 49 we have a distinct subject - the local circumstances and state of Christ and the Remnant, when Antichrist possesses, and after he is turned out of and they are again in Jerusalem. It is not now Christ or the Remnant in Jerusalem, but driven out, separate - separate from the wickedness - triumphed over by it, and now thirsting after God - thus in separation.
Up to Psalm 42, except Psalm 16, in which Christ takes His place with the saints as Man, all the Psalms have been as in Israel, i.e., addressed to Jehovah as such. Psalm 16 is specifically Christ taking His humanity, His place as it were as a Saint, amongst His brethren, there at once addressing Jehovah. Now we come to a Remnant cast out - out of the place of promises - their faith (the evidence of life) being in God at any rate; see also Galatians 3 and 4. They are of Korah, not David - poor, shorn, and cast off Israel.
Briefly then Psalm 42 is complaint of the Gentiles.
Note there is the same mixture of enemies without and within, in Psalms 42 and 43, as observed before. In Psalm 42, the Remnant are driven out; God, in the loss of all present portion with Jehovah, is their Hope. Their acquaintance with Him therefore more deep - so indeed necessary. "I had gone with the multitude"; it was a different thing now. Jehovah is matter of hope only. The progress in verses 3-11 has been observed heretofore - "Thy," "my," and "Thy God" added. The nation in Psalm 43 is lo chasid (not mercied), nominally it was chesed (mercy).
116 From this Psalm then to the end of Psalm 49, we have a collection of Psalms, as noticed heretofore; Psalms 42, 43 and 44, showing the position of Israel as driven out, whether by Gentiles or Jews - the recollection of God's power of old, and the faithfulness of the Remnant in the midst of the suffering; Psalm 45 Messiah introduced, then the God of Jacob owning the Remnant - the Remnant exalted of God in presence of the earth; Psalm 48, God in Zion, and what they had heard of, now fulfilled; Psalm 49, all this is the judgment of man as such - such is the moral of it. From Psalm 50 we have the details of relationship between God and Israel in all this matter.
Note the deep and blessed instruction from a comparison of this Psalm with Psalms 63 and 84. In all they are "athirst" before God, but see the difference. In this Psalm they had been driven out, accustomed to go with the multitude, with a voice of joy and praise, with them that kept holyday. His desire was the need of what he had not got, he was panting like a thirsty hart after the water-brooks. He was taunted as to the public enjoyment of Him - "where was his God?" He had lost the outward manifestation, the common joy. The soul may lean upon that, and in our case unconsciously depend much on it, drink at the streams and pools. He wanted to appear before God; when he remembers these things, he pours out his soul in him. His soul was cast down, still he hoped in God for that which was to come.
In Psalm 63 he is quite in the wilderness, but it is another thing. He also is athirst for God, but it is for Himself, as he had known Him in the sanctuary. He was in a dry and thirsty land where no water was, but his soul was dealing with a known God, and with Himself, not with the joy that surrounded Him, or even appearing before Him, desirable as it was.
He begins with God then, asking God - "Early will I seek thee." It was a longing for Himself. Hence, bitter as outwardly his life was, he could bless while he lived, because Elohim's loving-kindness was better than life; nay, his soul would be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and his mouth praise Him with joyful lips, when he remembered Him on his bed. In all loneliness, he had this ineffable joy of feeding on and delighting in God. It was not: "When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me" but "My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness . . . when I remember thee," having none else. Thus taught to be satisfied with, and to lean on God, to find his all in Him.
117 In Psalm 84, he is returning, perhaps through the valley of tears, to fuller communion, and from his knowing God Himself - not only the joy of going with the multitude - he can say "How amiable are thy tabernacles" but it is the desire from delight, not from loss, learned in Psalm 63. "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of Jehovah; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." The sparrow had a nest - surely God's own saint would not want one, even the altar of God, where he could adore Him that was the home and resting place of his soul - his nest.
Hence the house became a sure place of joy, but it was from the knowledge of God. Such was his sense of what God was, that he knew that they that were dwelling in His house would be, could not but be always praising Him. Hence the way there, through the desert, through the valley of tears, had itself its character of joy. God was fully confided in, known - the soul's strength was not in the multitude, but in Him; the valley of Baca is turned into a well, rain from above fills the pools, if there is none from beneath. Such will go from strength to strength, till they appear before God in Zion; that was his desire in Psalm 42. But what a difference, now that he knows, and draws his joy immediately from God! It is good to be deprived of all, in such sort that God may be so necessary, that we may find an infallible spring of joy and strength in Him, and so be able to enjoy His goodness with others.
And note too the difference of Psalms 42 and 63. In the former, the saint was cast out, and was thirsting after God, and to appear before Him. Men were saying in the oppression of the godly: "Where is his God?" i.e., circumstances seem to say it was all no use. Faith then thirsts after, and looks to Him, pleads with the soul, and the soul says to itself: "Well, you have lost all, but hope in God. The health of His countenance will be there, and yours lightened up." It ends with "the health of my countenance and my God." It is by being weaned from circumstances, cast on God directly, and on God as his portion too. Psalm 63 begins here: "O God, thou art my God." And here it is a settled thing, not that the soul has lost anything here, nor even the fellowship of the saints, true loss as that is in its way. It knows itself to be in a "dry and thirsty land, where no water is." The divine nature, as such, has nothing in this world; there is no water for it there, but it is earnestly and with energy directed to what is its necessary and one object - God. So Christ, who came down from heaven, could not (save His own grace) find anything in this world, but He had seen God the Father's glory in the sanctuary. There all His thoughts centred; even as Man, through divine union all His desires were there. So we, for we have known God in Him. It is the proper, diligent search of the soul from its own desires, and this is very blessed - a true divine association with God. We joy in God, and He has been, as an Object of delight, perfectly revealed. It is settled that God is its God, no question or cloud there - it is a known relationship in which it is at home. Then there is the unhindered, earnest longing of the divine nature in us after its true and one Object. He is, besides, our Safeguard, "The shadow of his wings," and help and upholding in the way.
118 Thus, athirst for God, i.e., directly, because of what He is as our delight, as partakers of His nature, our soul will be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, so that, while we live where there is no water, we shall praise with joyful lips, for while He is enough to awake and draw earnest and longing desires after Himself in His own blessedness, yet this leaves the feeling in the soul at the present, "His loving-kindness is better than life," and therefore he who is "of all men most miserable," can "rejoice always." Psalm 87 also speaks of the same longing, but is also somewhat different.
Psalms 42, 84, 63 and the end of Psalm 16 may be taken in this succession, as showing the relationship of the heart with God. The first, distress and longing after Him; then circumstances of joy and blessing which surround Him where He dwells, towards which we are going. Then intrinsic delight in Him; and lastly, the fulness of joy to which one arrives in His presence, in which intrinsic delight in Him is satisfied, and there only. The last is personally Christ, as we know - but through Him, ours too.
119 Psalm 43
This seems a complaint of the Jews; that it is the complaint of the godly in the latter days, I cannot doubt, compare Joel 2:17. But we must always remember that Christ fulfilled these sufferings in His own Person (especially as far as the elect are concerned in them) and therefore was, on the one hand Witness in them of the faithfulness of God for others to act on, and thus able to help (Heb. 2), and therefore can speak them in His own Person. This, however, is of the Remnant, more especially of themselves; it is not, observe, l'David (of David). It is complaint of Israel.
This is the voice of the Remnant arguing, from the faithfulness of faith, that it was the Lord and not their own arm which had delivered them - that the same Arm could deliver through any circumstances. It is spoken under the apparent utter dereliction of the latter day, i.e., the time between their outward prosperity, in which the wickedness of the Jews had grown up in the Land, and the full blessing of Immanuel's deliverance, when the latter day enemies should then come up on the Land, and the Remnant should, between them and the ungodly Jews, seem to be deserted. Paul quotes it as evidence of the portion of the Remnant. And as the Holy Ghost recognises it as the portion of the accepted Remnant, and the voice of the Spirit in their mouth, it was evidence of anything but their rejection, and thus the testimony of evil becomes the evidence of acceptance, to secure their faith, of those on whom the evil falls when it comes; so the Lord, "These things I tell you before it come," etc. This is a gracious arrangement of God. The written sufferings are evidence of the acceptance of those on whom they fall, when their faith might be taken, so that "Out of the eater comes forth sweetness," and "We are more than conquerors," etc.; and so I have found it in beginning my course in these Psalms in sorrow.
This Psalm is on the inroad of Gog, I apprehend, which drives the unbelieving Jews into collusion with Antichrist. It is the display of their condition in comparison with former enemies, but now a separated, faithful Remnant, not mixed with the national sin, though smitten "in the place of dragons" - the happy effect of judgments there, better than with sinners united to them.
120 I remark, in this Psalm, God only is acknowledged King; Psalm 45 brings in Messiah, Christ revealed - faithfulness to God only is pleaded before - known as Man, all blessing comes in. Psalm 44 itself is a positive point of progress, for God is owned. As separated to Him as the only Power, the character of Christ then is clearly shown. The queen is Jerusalem. The discovery of who God is then comes forth in declared and promised covenant mercies, but as mercies, see verse 26, and therefore Jehovah of Hosts is now known; and, though God be spoken of, Jehovah, Most High, in covenant and special relation in His own place, is fully known (Psalm 47), and thus Psalm 48 praises Him as such. The establishment of Zion, in her own place, is very remarkable.
The subject of this Psalm is the triumph, reign and union of Christ with the Jewish Remnant. It seems to me the Spirit as in the Remnant. It is Christ as the Head of the Jewish Remnant, as King - the full spiritual recognition of Him. Verse 10 manifestly turns from the celebration of Christ the King, to address just admonition to the Jewish Queen, or Remnant, at His right hand. This is, manifestly to me, the Jewish Remnant in its perfect state, but it is as received in the way of grace, and therefore a daughter, and to forget her father's house. The whole question once argued between Christ and the professors of that company - the people who are to praise her thus restored, are the nations (ammim), the gathered converted Gentiles of the latter day, or new day rather. Having these points determined, the Psalm is manifest in its contents, and full of the richest matter. It is the union of Christ with the Jewish Remnant, in its proper character, with the glory of both celebrated by the Spirit. Righteousness is the character of Christ as a Jew, so therefore "God, thy God," etc. It is prophetic, and the voice, as of the Remnant who did not see His glory as a present thing, to the Jewish company as called to Him in the latter day, and recognising His glory in Spirit when so coming, and consolation for Christ as the real mind of the Spirit in His humiliation, for thus spake "the groanings which could not be uttered" of Simeon and Anna, and all those who looked for, etc., and were so interpreted by God.
121 - 7. "Lovedst" - "hatedst." Note here it is not "Jehovah," covenant title, but the essential nature and character of God, as such. It is God's righteous judgment of the path of the Messiah; compare Psalm 22, "My God, my God." There was relationship, but as God Himself, and according to faith in what He was. When personal relationship was spoken of, it was "Father," not "Jehovah" the covenant name with Israel. Here God righteously meets what He was.
- 13-16. Mark the character of consequent grace instead of successional title. I am more inclined to think "the virgins her fellows" to be the cities of Judah than anything else. Psalm 49 is the action of this, on a great principle of what God is, on the world - the resurrection of Christ the only power over it, for us. Psalm 50 unites the two, and judges the case of Israel, not for ceremonial but moral faults; compare Isaiah 43. Psalm 51 is the full confession of Israel on these grounds including the guilt of Christ's death - confession upon the deep principles of truth of God's character - a new birth needed, and even desired with understanding in its fruits, as in John 3; compare Ezekiel 36 "at large" being the hinge of it, and the desire of the presence of the Holy Ghost consequently, though when Zion is restored He may well offer sacrifices of praise, purging is desired before comfort. Psalm 52 is the triumph of the Spirit of Christ in the goodness of God against Antichrist - the mighty man in his own will and strength. The contrast with Antichrist is remarkable.
- 16. This is characteristic of Christ and spiritual energy come in; compare verse 10, the past of nature as of tradition are alike left. If we look back, it is only at a suffering and rejected Christ, and at the grace that gave Him, see Philippians 3:13, 14 - this is not nature.
The King is introduced, revealed, as it were, to them in an instruction when the Spirit has put this into the heart of the "ready writer" - the spirit of revelation in knowledge of Him. Immediately thereon (Psalm 46) comes deliverance - the Remnant being thereon the nation, the Lord of Hosts with them; the triumphant consequence in summons to the world (Psalm 47) and (Psalm 48) the praise, in the city, of their joy; compare Psalms 42:6; 48:9; 44:1; 48:8, and I may add 48:2, with Psalm 45:14, with Psalm 46:10, et seq, with Psalm 47 more generally.
122 Psalm 45 is remarkable in another sense - the special introduction of the Person of Messiah - the Jews, Jerusalem was the Lord's wife, see Isaiah 50 (the Church is not that yet - she will be the Lamb's wife) and He was her King. But He came and was rejected - came suitably and lovingly, in most loving condescension to her state, and they were proud and wicked, and were divorced, divorced themselves; so spoken of Psalm 44, but then in righteousness they are there cast off, smitten into "the place of dragons," hence, in the Remnant, repentance towards God, hence receiving the Spirit, i.e., listening to the Spirit - of Christ as a Spirit of prophecy. Then Christ revealing Himself to them as their King, and therefore it could be in grace. Hence the recognition of the Person of Christ is the great thing - that that Man, come in grace and therefore known in grace, is the Lord. So we find in Zechariah, "They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn." The previous work is seen in Isaiah 50 at the end, and at the beginning of Isaiah 51. "Fearing the Lord, and obeying the voice of his Servant." But this shows, i.e., these Psalms, how the Spirit of Christ, as He who had suffered, was in all their griefs, in all their afflictions, afflicted as afterwards they will find, knowing their path, and putting Himself in their sorrow, leading the blind by a way that they knew not - the process of misery, under God's hand, leading to moral profit and truth - the discovery of where they were, and then the discovery of Christ, producing joy and triumph, and results themselves to be celebrated as the accomplishment and more (in grace) of all old promises. This was the wonder also of Paul. In fact such a process passes in every converted soul; compare Galatians 4:27.