The Psalms, part 6.

J. N. Darby.

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(Notes and Comments Vol. 3.)

Psalm 103

This Psalm is the praise of the Jews, i.e., of Christ as having sustained their righteousness. It is the answer of thanksgiving to the last Psalm - their latter-day blessing, upon the coming in of the glory, recurring to the sure accordance of it with the testimony to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel, and the unvarying uniformity in faithfulness of the divine character with the full acknowledgment of grateful truth on which all our comfort, as converted, shall rest, "He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." Man is as grass - the link of God's mercy for ever. Christ is the sustaining link of truth - verse 19 marks the time. It is the rest of praise to the Angels, to the ministers of His pleasure; perhaps the saints executing vengeance in that day, when He will do His pleasure* on the heathen, and after in blessings, and all works in all places of His dominion - reconciling all things unto Himself by Christ Jesus - the scene in heaven and earth, and blessing there. The celebration is still of Jehovah.

{*It may be, however, more general, as in Sinai, though they shall be M'shar tav (His ministers).}

203 The glory of the Person of Jesus having been established in spite of and through His sufferings, in the midst of His sufferings the extent of resulting blessing in the character of Jehovah is estimated and spoken of, i.e., the Spirit of Christ, in the midst of the Jews, calls upon His soul, as one of the people, to bless and celebrate Jehovah. Jehovah then is blessed and celebrated in Israel - forgiving iniquity and healing diseases, as shown by Jesus in the paralytic, therein acting as Jehovah, declaring Himself yet as Son of man on earth who redeemeth, who does not always chide, who has removed their iniquities now, and who pitieth them as a Father His children. "Man," says Israel, "cannot be trusted," but the mercy of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting on those faithful to His covenant - so with the Remnant. The extent of this judicial economy of grace is then stated - Jehovah has prepared His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom ruleth over all. We are in the heavens, seeing the Father in the Son. The Jew, blessed with Messiah on the earth, recognises the throne of Jehovah in the heavens - he, the Jew, not being there. But Angels, Hosts, and all His works alike render the testimony, and are called to magnify His power and glory in His necessary and righteous exaltation.

There are the ways of God, as in this Psalm, and the acts and works of God, Revelation 15. These last lead to the knowledge of what God is afterwards, as His works of course must. But in the knowledge of His ways, the secret of His mind is known, revealed in communion. So it is said of the saints, "Who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor? But we have the mind of Christ." Christ is the key to all.

We may compare this Psalm with Isaiah 40 - the answer of the saints to the mercies there announced on God's behalf, and how God says He has done twice too much, and the people say they have not been rewarded as they deserved for their sins. And so see how truly the Spirit of Christ identifies itself with us, so as to produce in us feelings suited to a man though according to God (compare Romans 8:27) and, as created by Him in the heart, are ours, such as we ought to have - divine feelings in man, and different from what God announces by His Spirit in His heart - this through Christ, as having taken the place of Psalm 102, because as He was the expression of God's heart, so also He really took the place in true feeling, as Himself in it, in which He was and felt all the consequences of it; see the beginning of Psalm 102, and verses 23, 24 - lifted Me up as Messiah among men, and then had to be rejected. Thus His Spirit really felt what should be felt as a man in that place, and so in us according to what our position is, "according to God." Study this.

204 It appears to me that this Psalm and Psalm 104 are the blessings of the perpetuity of Jehovah in the Man-Messiah, thus revealed, Psalm 103 being the Jewish blessing, i.e., concerning the Jewish man proved nothing in this matter - Jehovah everything, Him we have seen revealed in Messiah. In Psalm 104 the Creation glory spoken of in detail elsewhere which was shown to belong to Messiah (Psalm 102) is here celebrated. I apprehend these to be the expressions of Messiah's soul, who alone has the fulness of the Spirit to do it, but the testimony of the Spirit for us, for Messiah is also Jehovah, the Creator; compare, in connection with this, as to the Church also brought in, Colossians 1:13, or rather 12-22.

Psalm 104

This Psalm shows the supremacy of Jehovah in all the earth, in all temporal blessings constituted under His hand, therefore for ever. It is intimately connected with and dependent on the former Psalm - it is a dependent subject. In the sense of this blessing the Spirit of Christ blesses Jehovah. It involves the consumption of sinners out of the earth.

It appears to me that these Psalms involve the post-millennial blessing - the new heavens and the new earth - and declare its perpetuity, and that it is the time in full when the Son shall be subject, i.e., this time contemplated in joy by the Son, and the hand of Jehovah, which shall produce it, recognised in present government. I say "of all," because the connection of the partial blessing of the millennium is shown to flow from the same faithfulness of Jehovah, the stability of whom, in blessing, is the source from which the Anointed Man, the Head of creation, who in perfect union with Him had tasted the blessing, reckons on, and prophetically (in His own joy, for joy is prophecy, i.e., joy in Jehovah's character, for He is stable) declares the fulness and perpetuity of it. It is therefore a most instructive Psalm, and associates the present existing things with the perpetuity of Jehovah's stability, though man be as grass, yea, may have introduced sin amongst it when given as a portion into his hand. But He, knowing the stability and goodness of Jehovah will sing praise to His "God while he has his being," i.e., it is manifestly the Man, Christ Jesus, in His perpetual life. It is a very wide and blessed Psalm in this reaching out into full and ultimate post-millennial blessing. Its connection with present things is its blessed importance, as marking their blessing and stability in Jehovah, not of course in se, where man is not; see verse 5.

205 So far as it is Jehovah judging, ruling, in this Psalm it is in Creation, but in the glory of Jehovah, i.e., not simply in Creation as God, as in Psalm 19, where the glory of Creation and the perfection of the Law are abstractedly shown, but as One who, governing and supreme, has His glory (to whom it belongs) as "very great" in the midst of all things - evil being, perhaps, in judgment if needed - but glorified in all, and ministers blessing to man in the midst of this state of things; but "Lord" is His Name with those that fear Him. The young lions, subject to the same power, seek their meat from God. The Spirit of Messiah will praise Him in this, verse 35. There is still a work remaining for Him who, even in the midst of disorder, sees that the earth is the Lord's, and His glory in it (as a righteous Jew should and would), "Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more." Such is the view of the righteous soul of Messiah in Spirit, viewing the position of Jehovah in the midst of a world whose efforts indeed witnessed misery, but where faith saw Him in the midst of it. "Let sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more" - such desires are imperious, and for the glory of the Lord, and the desire, providentially, of the children of God, for it is Jehovah Shaddai who calls them His children. But it belongs to the providential government of the world, not to the present position of the children - they are to grow together to the harvest; but by faith, one can have meditations of Him in the providence which precedes it, which are sweet, and most sweet to the soul - it is of a glory which shall endure for ever, despite the evil and the efforts of wicked men.

Psalms 105 - 108

206 These Psalms are in immediate connection. The first is the great general principle of Sarah's inheritance, not carried into the questions which thus sin had raised upon it; so and so had God dealt with them making them His people, that they might keep His statutes, and observe His laws.

Psalm 106 is the consideration of the great principle (elsewhere noted) of the endurance of His mercy, in spite of, and overabounding in faithfulness all their failures. Ki tov ki l'olam chasdo (for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever). The end of which is the salvation and blessing of His chosen, and closes in the recognition that they were dependent on His mercy, being among the heathen; compare the last three verses of Psalm 105 with the four last of Psalm 106.

Psalm 107 is the ways of the Lord in bringing them through all these things, when they have received the mercy sought for in the last, compare the first three verses herein; in the last three verses, we have all the principles from this question. Verse 6 appears to me what happens to them after their restoration. The wise understand these ways. From verse 23 to 30, I see manifest allusion to the position typically verified in the disciples, and exhibited for the purpose of faith in Mark 4:37, et seq, John 6, Matthew 14, etc.

Psalm 108 is then exceedingly plain. It is the joy of Jesus in putting into possession His people Israel according to the full extent of the promise, after He has vindicated the Name of God among the ammim (peoples). Herein we have again the super-celestial glory of God. His truth surpassing even that glory, and bringing it into play for the purpose of accomplishing His promises, exhibited in mercy to His people, for whom Jesus now stood. You will remark that this is Elohim, not Jehovah, for God is referred to, only this is shown to be Jehovah, even of the Jews in verse 3. He being celebrated among the people (ammim) of the Gentiles (goyim). It is the subjugation of the Israelitish nation at the close of the judgments on the ammim, as noticed elsewhere; see Isaiah 11:14, etc.

We have again here Christ identified with the Jews (Remnant). It begins by the spiritual Remnant identifying itself with Christ the Beloved - He will praise God among the peoples, even Jehovah, recognising Jehovah as Elohim, otherwise it is always Elohim. It knows now the mercy of Elohim above the heavens, therefore it is after the exaltation of the saints in Christ, and His truth reaching unto the clouds in Jesus and His saints. Therefore He prays that God assume this glory and power in order to the rescue of the Beloved. Christ then, as identified with the Jews, is now brought out into ultimate deliverance in verse 6, which takes up the request of the Remnant, and thereupon Elohim answers that He will vindicate all His territory to Himself, for it is His, and He will own it. There is however the strong city, Edom, a question of conquest, into which the Beloved enquires "Who will bring" Him there? Then is the chorus of all the Remnant nation in the consciousness of recognition that the God who had cast off their hosts would do it, and in Him they would do valiantly. It is that part then of the conflict in which God vindicates the Jewish victory to Himself as then to be possessed, and in which Christ accordingly brings in His unity with the people. Verse 12 casts off the help of man.

207 Thus in Psalms 105 and 106 we have the position of Israel, often noticed, in grace according to the promise of Abraham, and in their own character under the correction therefore and discipline of God.

Psalm 105

The seed of Abraham remember His covenant made with Abraham, confirmed with oath to Isaac, and confirmed for a law and testimony to Jacob and Israel - to wit, the promise of the Land. He guarded them as wanderers - He delivered them as captives, to give them the inheritance of the heathen.

Psalm 106

Here therefore they have to recount mercy, enduring mercy - "Who can show forth all his praise?" "We have sinned," confesses the Spirit of prophecy in Christ (compare Daniel's prayer) always. The Lord says even as on earth (in heaven being One Body, and in expiation, He says "Me") "that we offend not," "thus it becometh us to fulfil," etc. Here, suffering in their sorrow and sin, He desires to see them in the joy of their inheritance as God's chosen - Egypt was not understood, but He delivered them - and they felt and praised. But they soon forgat, and tempted God in the desert and they made a calf. In Egypt, and from Egypt to Sinai, for Psalm 105 (compare Exodus 15:18) records grace. Egypt was forgotten - the Red Sea forgotten in murmurs, and the calf made in Horeb. Psalm 106:14 gives the quails after the law - Psalm 105:40, they are given in grace, as before the law. This evil, however, introduced, and its consequences arrested by intercession which God had provided - "they lusted" - "envied Moses and Aaron" - judgment came - apostatised and "forgat God their Saviour." Intercession interposed here. "They despised His promises and rest" - "disbelieved and murmured" - He left them according to their thoughts in the wilderness. They joined to idols - the zeal of Phinehas stayed the plague. They brought Moses into trouble by their perverseness. They mingled with the heathen - filled the Land with their wickedness. Therefore the wrath of the Lord was against His people, and He abhorred His inheritance, and gave them into the hand of the heathen, instead of the heathen into theirs. "He delivered them oft" when brought low, but they provoked Him still. Nevertheless "He regarded their affliction when he heard their cry" - "He remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies." This reconciled all His ways.

208 The humbled word of faith is, now brought low, "Save us, O Jehovah our God" - for all this is in relationship and faith - "Gather us to praise and triumph in thy Name." Therefore, according to the apostolic direction, it is "with thanksgiving," because with faith. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting" - He changes not, and all the people are called on to say Amen to this solemn truth. What marvellous grace first, and patience of mercy afterwards! Such is the hope of Israel!

Psalm 107

We begin here a new sphere. Israel restored is the occasion of the display of all the characters of God's dealing with the world, as to His righteousness and judgment; and, by the introduction of the personal history of Christ in His rejection and exaltation, of deeper principles of His dealings relative to the Person of Jesus as the Centre of all economy. It is Jewish, but Jewish as to circumstances which concern all mankind. Thanks to Jehovah characterise its introduction, proclaimed by restored Israel - witness that His mercy, their well-known song, in the end, endures for ever; verses 2 and 3 call especially for this praise in the circumstances of Israel. The Psalm itself speaks of the restoration, and though there was a similar deliverance from Egypt, that shall be no more mentioned, for they shall not say "The Lord liveth who brought them up out of the land of Egypt." "They wandered" therefore (v. 4) I take to be on their return in the latter day - they had been (v. 10) sitting "in darkness" - for (v. 16) "He hath broken the gates of brass"; so of their tossings on the sea.

209  - 32. From this verse is what happens to them after they find their place in the Land; and though they are minished and brought low, yet all iniquity, in result, shall stop her mouth. Those who observe and understand these things will, in spite of and even through all the miseries of Israel (as men) understand the loving-kindness of the Lord. But His dealings are a pattern of instruction for the children of men in those days, and they are called (vv. 31, 32) to execute this praise in Israel in the assembly joining with them.

Psalm 108

We have here the full political arrangement under the glory of Christ - God is to be exalted. Messiah, as Man, addresses God, and the Lord Himself, with God, making His glory as Man the expression of what He is thereto subservient. The Lord among the peoples as Chief of Israel, for His mercy is above the heavens, and His truth above all seats and ways of authority, or appearances which may pass through the heavens - He, even God, is to be exalted that His Beloved, the Messiah, Israel in Him, may be delivered. The right hand of God's power is to be manifested.

- 3. "Ammim" (peoples), and "l'ummim" (the nations).

- 7. God, Elohim, answers "in his holiness," from which He cannot depart; thus generally.

- 10. Edom is singled out, long, and specially now, hostile, see Obadiah 1, 3, 7; and Messiah, in the name of Israel, demands who will go out and bring Him into Edom, the centre of hostile power - so in many passages. Man's help now vain, God will do it - God's immutable glory leaving all earthly appearances far behind, and producing its own upon the earth. Israel concludes, thus encouraged, "Through God we shall do valiantly."

210  - 11. For the last part see Psalm 60:10, the same words, and I suppose rightly there, but query.

Psalm 109

Having, in Psalm 107, the providence, and in Psalm 108, the determined glory of God, we have now, in this Psalm and in Psalm 110, the part of Christ respectively in rejection and heavenly glory, until His manifestation, in this Psalm, as the poor Man entirely and self-emptyingly dependent upon God, but therefore the prey of the treachery, and wanton, but proud hostility of the Jews, and those who lead them, who were guides to those who took Jesus. The Jews are manifestly noticed, as verse 4, and Judas, but both are headed up in the "wicked man" who shall be set over them - the representative of both the Jews and Judas. But, after all, it was "the Lord's doing," and then "Let them curse, but bless thou."

- 22-25. Oh, how this brings out the sufferings of the blessed Lord!

- 27. Note this verse as to the questions which have been raised. Psalm 110 seems to be the answer.

- 29-31. This is faith's estimate, as from the Lord's truth, of the result.

This is a deeply instructive and interesting Psalm. That it is the judgment of Christ against His worst enemies (wicked) is evident, but the question is in what character He speaks it, and who holds the place of wickedness. We have the Apostle Judas spoken of by Peter, under the terms of this Psalm, but it appears clear, I think, from verses 3, 4, etc., that the Jews hold their place also in this Psalm. But, I confess, it appears to me the hostility of the Gentiles in the latter day, connected with Antichrist as against Christ and His office, and consequently the Remnant associated with Him, is included. This would give it a definite meaning, which I believe it has - the accomplishment of the wickedness of the Jews in Judas, but in this he did but represent them in the latter day, betraying Christ, and put under Antichrist. If this be borne in mind, and we see our blessed Lord, as the Sufferer, as identified with the Jews, the use of this Psalm will be easy.

211 Psalm 110

This Psalm I take to be Jehovah's, and the Jewish Remnant's testimony of, and consideration concerning Christ; but in spirit David speaks the word of the Remnant all through. Only first the testimony of Jehovah to what He was in spite of and upon His rejection - David's Son He might be, that all pre-eminence might be His, but David's Lord also. This then was Jehovah's mind, on His rejection, concerning Christ the Anointed One, "Sit thou on my right hand till" - the times and seasons of that "till" were no part of Christ's mediatorial office; the rod of His power should be sent forth out of Jerusalem - Zion. When He was rejected He would rule among His enemies - this would be all enemies of the Jewish people, not, I believe, Antichrist. His people who rejected Him should then be "willingnesses" in the day of His power - in glories of holiness, according to resurrection power, i.e., in Him, as we (anothen) from above - they (me-rechem mish-char), "from the womb of the morning"; there the stop is by accent. "To thee shall be" (surely is) "the dew of thy youth," i.e., I take it, the new-born Israelites, the Remnant in this character of holiness, and freshness, shall be to Him, "Instead of thy fathers thou shalt have children." The glory of the Jewish people, new born, would hang upon, rather than the old descend (though that were, in one sense, of honour as the only true One) upon Him. He is then, in the power of an endless life, constituted Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedek, not exercised in this office till the day of His power. Then comes the recognition of the Remnant - this Christ is Adonai, at the right hand of the Father - Adonai, the name of God in power "Christ, the power," etc., at Thy right hand, shall wound even kings in the day of His wrath; compare Psalm 2, which also constituted Him Priest. It is still heathen, Jewish enemies, not, as I observed, Antichrist - unholy power. I do not know why it is put "heads," nor that Rosh (head) is a collective noun - I should say "the chief of a great mighty land." "He shall drink of the brook," He shall receive supplies of grace, He shall humble Himself but be refreshed in His humiliation. Therefore He shall be exalted, "shall lift up the head." How true all this was, I need not say. It is a sort of answer to Psalm 109.

We have, on the rejection of Messiah, the answer of Jehovah, and Christ recognised, in the midst of all this suffering and rejection, by His Spirit even in the mouth of the most exalted of Israel and of all Israel, as Lord. David in Spirit calls Him "Lord." Foes He had found plenty, the same as all - for His love they were His adversaries - but He was to sit at the right hand of Jehovah until His enemies were made His footstool. Thereafter the Lord would send the rod of His power out of Zion - He should rule, instead of suffer, among His enemies. His people should be willing, not in the day of His humiliation, but of His power.

212  - 1. We should learn from this verse partly, how the Spirit of Christ speaks in assuming the people's or the saint's or the Remnant's interest, because it speaks of Christ here as "My Lord" in Person, quod nota bene, for it makes it and the identification more remarkable.

- 3. "The dew of thy youth" - this is, I apprehend, the progeny given Him in Israel instead of fathers in that day.

- 4. Moreover "Jehovah hath sworn," He shall be a Priest after the order of Melchisedek. He does not say He is on high - that was not Melchisedek's place - but a royal priesthood of the Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, though the title of His life is such, "on high."

- 5. Further, there is a day of Adonai's wrath, as well as power, "He shall smite through kings in the day of his wrath."

- 6. In that day, "He shall judge" also "among the heathen" - wide shall be His empire, powerful and decisive His judgment. "He shall smite" not only many leaving there their carcases, but the haughty "head of a great country." I used to think this was Antichrist, but it does not appear to me certain that it is not Gog, for he is exercising apparently his authority rather amongst the Jews than with the saints. One may enquire more of both, for both are true, but it is rather, I conceive, Antichrist.

- 7. He shall be humbled, in dependence on the refreshings of God in the way, therefore shall He lift it up. The other had exalted it, and he shall be brought low.

Such is the proposed glory of Messiah as such, as Jehovah's answer to His adversaries' betrayal and humiliation. One cannot exclude Antichrist without further enquiry, however.

The three Psalms which follow are the joint Hallelujah upon these things.

213 Psalm 111

Messiah here leads the chorus, or instructs it rather, of the assembly of His people - of the upright. The works of the Lord, in providential power for the accomplishment of all the promises of His covenant, are the theme - redemption for them - truth for Him - power and judgment - His covenant proved and established also, as commanded for ever - His holy glory proved in it - and the fear of Him, the way of understanding, despite all the rebellions of man.

This Psalm is evidently a celebration, after the Lord's doings upon earth, of what a God He is. It is a remembrance of His covenant, even for ever. Whatever they had done, He had maintained His own Name and glory; His acts were mighty, but they were all done in maintenance of this, yet were they done in grace and compassion to them (Israel) for in their favour were all these things done - in their favour was His Name of association with them vindicated. It is by the Remnant, or the Spirit referring to them, after the full glory of His Name in deliverance.

There is a distinction still alluded to between the upright, the preserved Remnant who feared the Lord through the troubles, which proved the true wisdom as it was so intrinsically, and the congregation, quod nota, for it introduces the Jewish millennium. The examination of this Psalm will show the most wonderful collection of the attributes of God "Jehovah" in this work, and of the principles of His dealing with and towards His people, and this His acts show, and declare - thence their character consideratively, and importance.

- 1. Sod (the assembly or secret) is a word of common counsel - a band of friends.

Psalm 112

This Psalm gives the difference of the character and results (as God's part previously) of the fearers of the Lord, who delight - for the heart is active in these things - greatly in the Lord's commandments. Here now is the way even of earthly grandeur, but the desire of the wicked shall perish.

These three Psalms go together, and I know nothing more instructive than the comparison of this and the other (former) one; all three are "Hallelujah" - the first, o-deh Jehovah (I will give thanks to Jehovah) - the second ash-re-ish (O the blessings of the man) - the third hal'lu av'de Jehovah (Praise ye, ye servants of Jehovah) hal'lu eth shem Jehovah (Praise ye the name of Jehovah) i.e., the third being under and in the blessings of the second, by virtue of what Jehovah is in the first as in those blessings, the servant of Jehovah praises His Name so known in them. The person spoken of in this Psalm 112) is one then who, through or without reference to circumstances, fears the Lord - that constitutes his character and he delights exceedingly in His commandments. But this, while taken abstractedly true, has its trial and accomplishment in the evil day; he who is so shall be not only blessed himself, but his seed shall be gibbor (powerful) in the earth - they shall be the great ones "Princes in all lands" - the generation, company, class of the upright ones shall be blessed. Darkness he may be and will be in - is proud in it - the darkness even of Antichrist, for it is of the Jew, yea and worse apparently, after even the indignation, but light ariseth up to him.

214 Then specially what we have to notice is that, verse by verse, the thing celebrated in Jehovah in the other Psalm is exhibited in the blessing or character of him that fears Him in this; compare 2 Corinthians 3 and 4. Where it is the exercise of power, it is actual blessing; where it is the exhibition of character it is forming into it, the likeness or image of Him that created him as the enjoyer of His blessings; and each verse, I think, will be found to disclose this most instructively. But, how blessed that we should have all! How creatively wonderful! The blessing of Jehovah's character transferred, as it were, to us with this entire difference because of its nature and Jehovah's Name, a Name of perpetuity, that it is not, as Adam, defeasible blessing as separate merely and accessible to evil, but even as Jehovah, "His righteousness endureth for ever" - for this wondrous blessing is alike affirmed of both; compare verses 3 and 4 of each Psalm, and verse 9 of each Psalm. And note the two things connected with His righteousness enduring for ever; and compare every verse, as verse 7, etc.

Psalm 113

The dealings of the Lord, the result and character of uprightness, and His fear in Man being shown, the results break forth in praise in the chorus of those happy through it. Christ summons them in Spirit, thus blessed at their head, to praise the Name of Jehovah - the subject of the Hallelujahs in each, for none is like to Jehovah, the God of that people, high above all the heathen, and His glory above the heavens - all things in heaven and earth united under His possession, and specially blessing the poor and lowly Israel. This is Psalm 113. Note, His Name is to be praised to the end of the earth.

215 As to the particulars of this Psalm, it is still "Hallelujah," then embraces the two points mentioned - "Praise, O ye servants of Jehovah" - "Praise the Name of Jehovah."

- 2. The answer begins from the servants of Jehovah, "Blessed be the Name of Jehovah from this" (the time of blessing) "for ever." Praise upon it in every place! "Jehovah," who is the God of the Jews, Hebrews, "is high above all nations" - all earthly supremacy of glory - "Above the heavens," it is not confined there but above them all. "None like him, even Jehovah our God," with which it now closes because He exalts Himself - in grace He humbleth Himself - and who hath made this known? Jesus! That is now known to believers in Jesus. But indeed His supremacy is known in this grace, for thus He does, "He humbles himself," etc., verses 7, 8. The exaltation is clearly Jewish.

- 9. The reader of Isaiah 54 and Galatians must be familiar with this verse. It is plainly Jerusalem, the joyful mother of children. Hallelujah!

Psalm 114

Psalms 109 and 110 having brought in the rejection of Messiah by the Jews, and His exaltation to the right hand of Jehovah, and so judgment on Antichrist, or at least "the head over a great country," on account of His humiliation (it may possibly mean, and more probably, Israel's after enemies, not Antichrist), then the relation of Jehovah and Israel, and what is connected with it - this Psalm begins the application and effect of this to the earth, the effect of the presence of Israel's God. It recalls to the earth, to what happened when Israel was first delivered by Him. But Israel was now brought back to refer to God - their souls were in communion with Him, and their minds were so full of Jehovah Elohim, that they say "Him" without mentioning Him. They know Him as their God, and conceal His name, as it were in a sort of secret triumph, as belonging to themselves, and put forth only His works until, having stated them, it calls upon them to triumph before Him, the God of Jacob.

216 There is great beauty and natural power in the structure of this Psalm. Of old time this was the case - Israel went out of Egypt, Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion. What happened? How did nature quail before Him, before this power in Israel, before Israel coming forth! What ailed the Sea and the Mountains? Tremble then now at the presence of Jehovah the God of Jacob! What joy for Israel! It was the earth, for in Jacob He is on the earth, and when Jacob says "Tremble," he still remembers that to him He was a God of grace - "He turned the rock into a standing water."

This is a splendid Psalm of memorial to Jacob and summons to the world on the reassumption of it by the Lord Jehovah. There were old times of deep distress, when Israel was a bondslave in an enemy's land, owned of none, but Judah was His sanctuary and Israel His dominion - now scattered and separated, the staff of bands long broken in the eyes of the peoples and the poor of the flock. The sea saw that and fled, Jordan was driven back, the mountains and hills skipped like rams, and lambs (b'ney-tzon), before Jacob, His dominion, His sanctuary. How beautiful is the concealment of Jehovah behind His people, and when brought forward! "Tremble thou earth at the presence of Jehovah." "What is all this, this skipping of the mountains - this astonishment of the waters?" "Where is Jacob?" "Who is he?" The presence of Jehovah is with Jacob - tremble at the presence of Jehovah, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who has power over the creature to turn it to His purpose, as He did in the wilderness, and turn the rock and the flint (and such too was Israel) into pools and streams of water.

Psalm 115

But though Israel may boast themselves triumphantly, turning to the earth, when it looks on high it can only say He hath done what pleased Him, "Not unto us, not to us, O Jehovah" - the expression not merely of humble consciousness but of righteous desire, "Unto thy Name give glory." But His Name is identified, for He has identified it with them. "For thy mercy and for thy truth's sake," for thus His Name was manifested towards Israel - if only truth, then must Israel have been rejected, for they had crucified their Messiah, as well as broken their law, but the promises of Jehovah must not fail because man does, and therefore, in His inscrutable wisdom, He brings in by mercy the accomplishment of His truth, and when, instead of going about to establish their own righteousness they stumble at the stumbling stone, they take mercy as their only and just hope, then the truth is established according to God's own promises and heart; and Jesus is owned as the way of it, for grace (khesed) and truth (emeth) came by Him, and, though rejected, will be established with additional splendour and glory therefore by Him. This then was how different a ground for Israel! Not the law - the law was given by Moses - that was their righteousness, but they had failed, utterly failed. Such is the ground Israel rests on then, and therefore the question can really be raised between God in Jacob and the heathen acting in scornful despite of their old sorrows and present abasement, saying "Where is he?" The answer is of faith. Though Jesus may not yet be publicly manifested, yet, by the Spirit of Christ in the midst of them, "Our God is in the heavens," and, as to all the prosperity of the Gentiles, and their abasement, they say, as Jesus on the non-repentance of Israel, "He hath done whatsoever it pleased him" - the heathen idols are nothing (compare the chapters of Isaiah, onwards, after chapter 40, where the question is raised, and the humiliation of Christ also brought in) and so they that trust in them. Then the Spirit of Christ thereon turns and addresses itself to Israel, "O Israel, trust in Jehovah," and asserts also the mercy - He is their help, etc.; and then the promise of millennial blessing from verse 14, but Jewish and earthly - those spared - (vv. 17, 18) - full of blessing, but blessing for Israel on the earth.

217 This Psalm is the manifest supplication of Israel in the extremity of the Heathen's presence in the latter day, claiming not that they should but the necessity of Jehovah's Name, for there Israel was, and the Heathen saying, ready to say, "Where is now their God?" The earth seemed to say "Not here." But Jehovah was indeed identified with Israel, so their faith now recognised, but in the way of mercy before - truth to Israel, mercy to the Gentiles. Now, they having been in unbelief, "Mercy and truth are met together," but mercy must be their first claim. Their God was indeed in the heavens, and He had done whatsoever it pleased Him. Their idols indeed were on earth, and they were nothing at all - those that made them and those that trust in them - for the question in the latter day shall be indeed the God of Jacob and owning Him. "Let Israel trust in Jehovah," in the midst of all that was going on. Whosoever feared Jehovah should be owned. We can always say yir'e Jehovah bit'khu ba Jehovah (Ye who fear Jehovah trust in Jehovah).

218  - 12, 13. This is the manifest recognition that God had not forgotten, consequently He would bless, answering to trust, the vow of the Remnant.

- 14, 15. Here the Lord turns to the poor Remnant, and declares their portion - too strong for recognition of promise in them, filling their hearts, it burst forth and flows over in blessing on them; compare verse 15 with what we have noticed on al-khas-d'ka (because of Thy mercy) - verse 16 hangs on it. The earthly blessing is the subject here, but under the blessing of Him whose is the heaven and the heavens, but as sent it was in the Jews.

- 17, 18. Isaiah 26 clearly explains these verses, as does Ezekiel. As the Psalm begins with humiliation, it ends in blessing of fulness.

Psalm 116

As in the previous Psalm, the Spirit of Christ entered into the confidence of Israel on the footing to them of mercy, so here into the sorrows in sympathy - there, as mercy was to them merely, it begins "To us" - here, being their sorrows, it begins at once "I love the Lord." Though in answer to a cry, for He cried for them, and was just the One that did, taking their sorrows - present salvation, i.e., in the world, was the point, when only faith in the Lord could enable Him to speak, such was the persecution. Death so wrought in him - not thanatos, where this is quoted, as the portion of the Remnant partaking of the sufferings of Christ, but nekrosis - but here still referring to the Jews' portion, "I will walk before the Lord in the Land of the living," which the Lord, as amongst the Jews, sought, "if it had been possible"; but it was not, for sin was in the world - "The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die" - a man "must be born again." But the Apostle uses it in the energy of the Spirit, when the sufferings of Christ abounded in him, "always bearing about" etc. And, after all, if even better things were reserved for them, the hairs of their head were all numbered. Satan could do nothing unpermitted (and then for glory and sowing precious seed of faith - "striving" - there was a better resurrection, so that with us men could be "baptised for the dead"), for "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints"; He did not lightly permit it. Oh, for faith to go straight on in this confidence, not fearing "them which can kill the body"! And if we have to say "All men are liars," still, speaking because we believe, because we must trust in the living God, we shall soon say with Paul, "Thou hast loosed my bonds," "I am thy servant" (not to their enemies) "he hath delivered us from so great a death," and will though life be despaired of, for "Precious in the sight of Jehovah is the death of his chasidim" (saints). Specially will this be manifested in the latter day for the Remnant - in the land of the living they will walk before the Lord - the flesh of the elect will be saved - for their sake the terrible days will be shortened, and the vows of the Lord will be repaid in the presence of His people, "In the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of thee," for it is addressed as a present thing, "O Jerusalem."

219 The union between the Church and Christ, and the Jewish Remnant and Christ is different - we being as His Body above, and therefore in a heavenly manner being one Spirit - the other as their Head, and standing for them in present blessing, and manifested, yet still completely taking their cause as His own, and in His Spirit entirely one with them, and therefore in this sense the passage alluded to, and Paul's quotation, "I believed and therefore have I spoken" has its force. The latter however was during life, and so with the Remnant. Light is here also thrown on the going out of the Remnant of Jacob "as dew" - the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, a more general expression (John Baptist could do that) - and the outpouring of the Spirit; compare 2 Corinthians 6:9; Psalm 44:22; Romans 8:36; 1 Corinthians 15:31.

This practical connection of the then Jewish Remnant with those of the latter day, and thus with Christ, may be further searched out, for it clears up many things; in this also Matthew 24 is involved. We do not attach sufficient importance to the Remnant in this character - the Lord looks at it specially. In Psalms 117 and 118 the results are fully brought out.

220 We must remark that Psalm 116 is a Psalm of thanksgiving, and, on the principle recognised above, He does not love the Lord as under the law, but as first loved as for deliverance, because heard when judgment and evil was upon His soul. Christ leads this thanksgiving or return of heart to Jehovah, saying (v. 5), "Our God is merciful." It is the thanksgiving song for deliverance producing love, and love and voice of praise and thanksgiving in remembrance of their estate. The vows are now to be paid, and they can be paid "in the midst of Jerusalem," for the deliverance is wrought; compare Psalms 42, 43, 44, and the Psalms there. There they are under the sorrow - here, the Spirit of Christ puts itself in the place of deliverance; there it was the people, "We have heard," and Christ the object as King - here He Himself leads, as a matter too of individual joy to His people, "I love Jehovah." This makes the position quite different - more near, and a matter of affection and intimacy, because of what was wrought, and Christ intimate with Jehovah in union, but as helped, and the people having put Himself in their place, His hand laid on both. This makes Psalm 116 more blessed. It is His own Spirit rejoicing in the deliverance as One of the people, and so saying "Our God."

Paul quotes both these Psalms in Corinthians and in Romans 8. There is an analogous exercise of the Spirit in us - we may look at Christ as taking us as united to Himself, and so presenting us before God, and there in the highest perfection and place before Him, and also as in us, looking up towards Him and saying, "We." The Spirit realises our union, and then all is liberty and joy, because for us accomplished. The Spirit realises our position, and looks up to Him alone there, saying, "We." And here is the difference of the Remnant then and now, or in apostolic days; when we speak of union, we speak of glory and perfection and rest, whereas in the suffering we are substitutes for Christ in the world, though it be only by union we can go through, and we say, "As it is written, I believed and therefore I spake" - we also - and therefore adds positive resurrection de facto, as to his direct testimony, whereas He says "I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living," and the bonds are loosed - the power is shown in 2 Corinthians 1; whereas, the suffering being before them as their portion before they find Christ, He comes down as it were, and enters into them, and says "I." And thus, while there is a strong connection, there is a real difference. The moment it was a mere fact, and Christ looked at as an Object, it could be taken up directly, "As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long, we are appointed," etc. - it was common to both.

221 This is altogether a Jewish Psalm, and is the assertion, as it seems to me, of the continuance of our Lord in His Jewish character upon His resurrection; but it goes farther and accredits the continuance of the Name of Jehovah of which the Jewish economy was but the dispensed instrument of revelation - as we in Jesus of Father. Hence note also the very important principle that these dispensations upon earth are for the purpose, though blessing in them, of developing and revealing those characters and fulness of God which is the continuous object of perpetual worship and adoration to those so knowing them. God has been so revealed now - the Lord as God-Man, both reveals God in these characters and acts alone in the perfection of His Manhood towards them, nor do I see (though exalted in the faithfulness of God) but this is the perpetual condition of His Manhood, i.e., not that there should be Jews for ever, but that the glory of that character of God, so known in them, should continue for ever. In this sense it is I connect "the Son" to be "subject for ever." Now this is all rehearsed in the millennium, so to speak, the Jews holding the place of the earthly son or servant, as taking the official, respective place, towards God, of the children of men, and Christ the Son of man at the head of them.

Thus this Psalm, I believe, speaks, including or looking on to as involving the principle of the other, but excluding the heavenlies. It is the assertion of Jesus in resurrection, "I still love Jehovah" - I am still in this position, not forgetting what Jehovah was to me in the day of my humiliation - and thus righteously owning and magnifying the righteousness therein exhibited, for God, Jehovah, does nothing to be lost, yea, not even in its fragments. We are of course speaking here solely of the manhood of our Lord - though fully recognised, it is seldom dwelt upon in the Psalms as being more particularly His connection with the Jews, which of course through their Jehovah (see Isaiah 50) was in His manhood, or human fellowship and nature. This then is the perfect position of Jesus toward Jehovah - His full trial, and perfectness in it, and perfectness shown, as else it would not be, in it, and Himself Witness to Jehovah's sure faithfulness in it, as else He could not be - the Son of man glorified, and God glorified in Him. "I love the Lord" - the command was "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God" - but here through and in the midst of all trouble which might have turned away any but His heart, speaking after the manner of men. But Christ declares He will be the perpetual witness of Jehovah's faithfulness, He will own Him because His faithfulness was absolutely proved, hence now, as to connection with the Jews, they live during the millennium, see Psalm 115:13 - touching the Lord, it is perpetual for evermore, He is the everlasting Witness of this. He declares then standing as the Jew He was, as, the Man in the sorrows of death, He proved Jehovah there, not failing in faithfulness even there. Need we say "He was heard"? We are therefore living because, etc.; hence the result in verse 9, "I will walk being alive," i.e., in resurrection, "before Jehovah in the land of the living," compare again Psalm 115:18, for the first two verses are the general thesis, in verse 3 begins the explanation; then compare verses 2 and 4. "The land of death" it had been really, He had made it "the land of the living." Jehovah's full character had however been brought out.

222  - 14. We have the Lord Christ fully and publicly owning all that was in Jehovah, so that His character should be fully valued in the day of His glory.

- 16. This seems to me to assert the continuance of Jesus as Servant, the assertion of His perfect position of Servant, the Son of Jehovah's handmaid, be it Mary or the Church in figure, and in this sense, i.e., as born among the Jews, here bayith (house) though indeed bar Elohim, (Son of God) in another character a Servant but the Lord's freed man or freeman, but the Lord's, Jehovah's Servant, and in this character He acknowledged all the blessing, and is willing to own the blessing before all the people, as the Servant of Jehovah owning His Name. In the courts of Jehovah's house ever sings the heart of the Lord when it wept, and rested continually graven upon the palms of His hands (and where He would rejoice) when He was rejected, but His love in sorrow only the rather therefore drawn out. "In the midst of thee O Jerusalem" - "thee," for it was alone before His mind and closed up the blessing. Blessed mystery and blessed truth! It is the resurrection return of Jesus to Jerusalem.

223 Psalm 117

We have here all the nations called in to the blessing and praise of Israel's deliverance. It is still the mercy and truth of Jehovah. Jerusalem having now been made a centre, they are called around. The possession of blessing in mercy begets the spirit of blessing; though once forbidding to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, because they rejected mercy, filling up their sins, for wrath was come upon them to the end (eis telos) - now, they had tasted mercy, and they can say to the nations, "Praise the Lord, for he is merciful to us."

Here, note too, the greatness of the mercy is felt and put first, for so Israel comes in - brought in under mercy; and then the truth, they being morally restored, is found to have endured and been for ever. They could not find it under their lie, yet their lie had abounded to the enduring glory of His truth - under mercy, they had come into this. How deep is the wisdom of God!

This Lord Jehovah, the nations, all the nations are to praise, for this Psalm is the summons by the restored Jews (Israel) as thus under blessing, to the nations to bless Jehovah thus known i.e., upon the ground of the blessing to them, what He had done for them. The summons of Israel restored, for then can they say (so we, in the Gospel of God the Father by Jesus) "for his kindness" (still, observe, putting mercy first) "was strong" or "prevailed," and the truth of Jehovah "for ever." This last word is familiar to any reader in the Psalms. Hallelujah! Their knowledge of Jehovah in their own deliverance enables them to speak of Him to others, and call them in in blessing - so of us as to the Gospel.

Psalm 118

This Psalm takes up mercy as enduring for ever, not merely the sense of the present greatness of it - but when they saw how God's truth had abided in spite of their sin, they see the incomparable patience of God - His own character celebrated in them, as of "mercy for ever." Israel, Aaron, and all may now say, "Indeed, his mercy endures for ever."

As the Lord going before, or amongst the people, had been announced to the earth in Psalm 115, so here we have the fellowship of Christ with the national, special sorrows of Israel in that day, and thus bringing Jehovah to be with them (vv. 4, 5-7, et seq.).

224 All the nations had gathered together against Jerusalem, but Christ was there with them in His heart in the trouble. With Him Jehovah could be, for He trusted in Him, and in His Name He destroys them. The adversary thrust sore to make him fall, but Jehovah was with him. Lastly Jehovah had chastened him sore, but He had not given him over to death. There were three points (and so known in an individual soul); the nations around compassing him; the adversary thrusting sore; and lastly, the real secret, deepest in sorrow, yet the key to all deliverance in it - Jehovah had chastened him sore.

- 14-17. This is the triumph against the adversary, because the Lord must be exalted; trusting in Jehovah's name, of which this is still the celebration, Jehovah's name must be exalted above all these things.

- 17. This verse is Jewish confidence clearly. The Psalm is a remarkable summary of the identification of Jesus and all the circumstances of the Jews in the latter day.

- 19. In this verse Christ's victory through trust in Jehovah in all circumstances opens to Him the gates of righteousness (v. 20). Now this more deeply true even in the resurrection, for heavenly righteousness for the Church but here, as speaking for the Jews not given over to death, it is Jehovah's gate for the righteous.

- 21. This is the praise of Christ as heard (in Israel).

- 22. This is the assertion of the great fact, to wit, by the Spirit of Christ about Himself as Man.

- 23. Here it is recognised by the Jews as Jehovah's doings.

- 24. They make their celebration, owning the rejected One; and then, verse 27, the song recognising Elohim here, and returning, verse 29, to the known Israelitish song. I question whether in verse 27 it should not be "Jehovah is El" - the mighty God.

Thus the division of this closing Psalm, closing i.e., as to this subject, is this:

- 1. First the celebration of the truth for Israel; compare 1 Chronicles 16:34, and the structure of that Psalm very particularly; 2 Chronicles 5:13, and chap. 7:3; Ezra 3:11; and Psalms 106, 107 and 136. The Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 is a summary of the heads of what Jews are interested in, as the ground, exhibition, and resting-place of confidence in the latter day, but there only the blessings and prayer, for it supposes the first step of blessing in accomplishment, and therefore can rehearse together the statements of "Mercy endureth for ever," and omit the intermediate miseries.

225  - 2, 3, 4. Then the summons to each sort of person to use the song;

- 5. Messiah, for Israel's trust in Jehovah, and that answered - this goes on to verse 9.

- 10-12. These are the circumstances of Israel, in the latter day, as to the nations.

- 13, is the adversary's part - this, Satan and by Antichrist, but the adversary.

- 18, is the Lord's hand in it - chastening, but preserving. Verses 10-18 therefore are, in a measure, a common subject.

- 19. Messiah takes the advance, being in this now living, accepted position, and then it is the Lord's relation with Israel in connection with Messiah, not Messiah's connection with Israel in respect of the evil that was over them. Messiah's grace in subjecting Himself to their sorrows in this, though they esteemed Him stricken, is the way by which He can take them, now again at the last recognising Him, with Him into the blessedness into which as their Head, as the righteous Jew, He is going. The Lord's own use of it makes its force and application manifest.

This Psalm is one of great importance, it need scarcely be said so indeed, looking at verses 22, 26. But it embraces the whole identification of the Lord with the Jews, and yet it is Him as the objective Object of their trust; the same is true of the Church. It is the celebration of the answer to Psalm 115. It is still thanks to Jehovah in the certainty of His mercy to Israel; compare 1 Chronicles 16:41, so as to the whole chapter - there is first the portion of Israel not taking in their failure in it intermediately, then the blessing of the earth as in Psalm 96, and then the beginning verse of those Psalms which may be called Jewish Psalms, the certainty of Jewish endurance and preservation in mercy.

Now this Psalm is the taking up of this for ever in the Person of Jesus, and after the celebration of the great Jewish thesis in the first four verses answering to verses 9, 10 and 11 of Psalm 115, from verse 5 to verse 22 is the Lord absorbing into His Person the whole necessity of the Jewish people as one whole thing, wherein and whereby comes out the result of Jehovah's truth and mercy. It is our Lord speaking, in the voice, as Leader of the Jews, of Jewish necessities and deliverance in His own Person, centring the nation in Himself. Verse 5 is in His own Person, thus bringing it in, and then the difficulties are national difficulties and questions; thus verse 10 brings in the latter day difficulties of the Jews. And you may observe "the Lord" mentioned in every verse - "jehovah" is the theme in every verse; compare Habakkuk 2:4, particularly as to verse 17. When I say "Jehovah" is the theme, it needs correction - verses 5, 14, 17, 18, 19 use the expression "Jah." Jah seems the objective Name of God, as simply God, I AM - the great Name of God as such, not a covenant or dispensation name, but He is known in works and in covenant as Jehovah. This covenant or faithfulness of God, the righteous Man relies on, and is righteous in Himself, being perfect for and as Israel with Jehovah, Israel's God; compare 1 Chronicles 16:16, where it is prescribed as a covenant of Jehovah to Israel, with Psalm 105:8, where the fact of God's remembrance of it is celebrated. Thereupon the righteous Man claims for Israel, for He is going to praise Jah, the Immutable, whose revealed covenant in attributes He has proved Himself faithful to vindicating in His acting on them all - the Jehovah (as all) attributes revealed in Jah or from Jah - but claims for Israel, with whom in covenant fulfilment He had identified Himself - righteous in Him, mercy to them - but now claiming on this righteousness shown acting under Jehovah, He so righteous says, "Open me the gates," He can go in and praise Jah, God, the only One, in Himself, but praise Him for the proof of what He is in Jehovah, so He states, "This gate of Jehovah," for Jehovah and Jah are One. "The righteous ones shall go in there," and so praise Jah. This is, I take it, the admission, not merely in principle, of the children - Remnant in the Lord's time, i.e., on resurrection, but the introduction of all Israel, i.e., the righteous, preserved Remnant, the righteous ones preserved in Him in the latter day - for He was "bruised for our iniquities" places it in the mouth of the Israel Remnant in that day.

226 The application of the verses from verse 21 is too certain to need much comment. It discovers the secret of all that was done in the rest - the meaning of their previous rejection - the hidden, faithful One in whom they were sustained, in whom Jehovah was faithful - in the midst of all their unbelief, Jehovah's doing is manifest. It was from Jehovah that was, and it was mercy, their sustainment in the rejected Stone, and it now the Head of the corner. They own Jehovah now in Jesus (we, the Father). Well and worthily did He come, be shem Jehovah (in the Name of Jehovah), for where else did we learn it really, however due to learn? But they have but, it appears to me withal, the blessing in the Father's Name; compare the opening of Ephesians and Colossians.

227 Psalm 119

This exceedingly beautiful and well-known Psalm appears to me to be this - other Psalms testify of the circumstances surrounding the Remnant, as having the Spirit of Christ - this of their state, i.e., the Spirit of Christ in them expressing that state, the law written in their hearts, judgments being executed, so that there is what shows the Lord's interference, so that the sense of this is expressed; but, not yet delivered finally from the oppressor, their estimate of their whole condition under and as connected with their circumstances - the mind of the Spirit of Christ in them. It is most interesting in this point of view - all the holy yet humble thoughts and feelings of this poor people, expressed in the now returning righteous confidence of their delight in God, breaking forth to God who has put His law in their hearts when He is interfering for their deliverance.

Its moral depth too is admirable and blessed in instruction and joy, if we delight in His holy will - the expression and commandments and holy roots of His will - for we know His law is spiritual and we carnal. The condition, however, prophetically in strict application is a Jew, a godly Jew, in that day.

This Psalm gives then the law written on the heart in the fullest and most perfect way; in the midst of trial, after failure and in view of deliverance and blessing, which softens the heart and makes God in goodness an object to it in confidence - opens it to God, and God necessary to it. But these are merely means, the law written there in its full moral aspect - it is not grace, not sovereign goodness, though He who is sovereignly good alone could give it. It is not promise. It is the whole judgment of God as to what is good - the expression of good by Him, in respect of good, moral good, according to His own nature (but not what is essential in Him) but revealed in His word, applied in commandments, precepts, statutes to man and man's circumstances, but the perception of what is agreeable to God, as revealed by Him and revealing Him, not in the essence of His nature but in the judgment of His mind. In His nature He is Light and Love - but He knows good and evil. It is the necessity, the necessary judgment of His nature, applied to all capable of apprehending it to make known good, and now livingly produced in the affections of man's nature, yet objectively present to it as what God wills - His law written in my heart. It is not conscience - that is a very real thing obtained by the Fall, but the will remains what it was; thus no law is written on the heart. It is not sovereign grace, which makes us dwell in love and so in God and God in us, and makes us Light, partakers of the divine nature, with the Holy Spirit filling our hearts with it and fixing them on the divine Object, and finally placing us in glory, though there will, in downward manifestation, be the effect of producing what is conformable to it. But, in itself, it is not union.

228 The law written on the heart supposes a new nature no doubt, but it is delight in that in which God morally delights, with reference to Him as willing it, but not simply in nature or capacity of nature, but as He has revealed it - in obedience as commandment, delight as statutes and ordinances, heart-approbation as judgments, intelligence by the revealed Word in all as good in itself, but good as God's will, and referred to God as His delight in His nature, but a link with God because the heart delights in it, and in it as His expressed mind and will. It is a moral delight within the circle of circumstances, i.e., not within their reach - littleness allows of it - scorn does not hinder it - princes may sit and speak against it. This does not change moral delight, and the thought of God makes others' disapproval simply nothing. It is blessing to the heart, cleanses, is the heart's delight as of God, guides, is sought when the heart is broken. He who thus relies, leans on, the truth of God's revealed will, according to His moral nature, can count on it for result.

We need divine teaching to apprehend it, showing it is more than conscience, though the measure of it for what is right in man. It gives God His authority in the soul, so that we are the willing companions of them that fear Him. In man, as he is, it makes affliction a blessing, to break him into this law, setting aside his will. The heart so taught will look for liberty and largeness of moral room to keep it, but delights in it and is comforted when in trouble - it sustains the soul in affliction because it gives a moral joy which affliction cannot touch, and a heart-reference to God. The Word has the stability of God's unchangeable perfection and nature - it has fixed creation, judges wickedness, and is itself delighted in and counted on. It gives divine wisdom as to our path, wisdom beyond man s, though in simple obedience, confidence as to the power of enemies against us, because the path leads as the way to His results in power. It judges the vanity of all mere human thoughts, and leaves the spirit tranquil and unpretending. It brings in intelligence (indeed life and courage practically) but we need to be guided and held up ever in it. It engages the earnest affections of the soul. Its purity is a delight to the renewed spirit. It abides for ever, but the wicked, the pursuers of man's thoughts and will, will perish. Following it, engages the mercy of God. The desire of the heart is to it. In this mixed scene, the heart is characterised by the desire of it; when full deliverance comes, the heart will praise because of it, formed morally according to the character of God Himself. What an immense blessing, that the divine mind as to good and evil (good morally in God, and evil in man) is fully revealed! Eternal right and good, according to the thoughts and nature of God, revealed in the heart of this world! Christ showed it livingly, but then Christian ground and motive is beyond all this. It is founded on and expresses sovereign grace, though in the children after Christ this will be accomplished. But this is law in the highest sense - the divine estimate of good and evil according to the divine nature and character; but, I repeat, it is a judgment - not what is in God. And here is the difference besides sovereign grace, but this will be produced in us when we are made partakers of the divine nature. We shall judge as it judges, approve, love (morally) and abhor as it loves and abhors.

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229 This Psalm is the judgment of Christ's Spirit (of man as in His Spirit) concerning the law under the circumstances in which the Jews were placed, and that not without reference, distinct reference, to the latter day. It is the application of all that we have learned previously, of the identity of Christ and the Jews, to the Law. This will account for the expressions of perfection and the expressions of error as nothing else, properly speaking, does, as it does also of the analogous language; Isaiah 42:19, 20, et seq., is directly connected with thus; compare Isaiah 43:8, et seq. It is not the experience of a Christian, but of one having the Spirit of Christ under the law, and therefore not properly applicable, save to a Jew, one who knew the law, though in many instances practically we are no more servants but sons, Galatians 4:7, but here we have no mention of sons but servants, as frequently may be observed in the Psalm, hence its character to those, who know the difference between the Law and the Gospel, may be clearly seen and ascertained. But as the estimate of the Law in spirit, oidamen gar hoti ho nomos pneumatikos estin by the Spirit of Christ, it is a most blessed and beautiful Psalm, and, as showing the spirit of the restored Jews as acted in by the Spirit of Christ, a most affecting one, for the real proper application of the Psalm is of the restored spiritualised Jews (Remnant), expressing (as acted in by the Spirit of holiness and of Christ) in faith, according to the faith of Deuteronomy, therefore not in the full reign of restoration, their estimate of the Law and the Lord, and thus expressing itself partly as regarded Christ who kept, partly as regarded themselves, i.e., corporate Israel, who had gone astray like a sheep, and went astray before they were afflicted. The Spirit of Christ, the body of the Jews have. Much may be applied to a regenerate believer, but it is not resurrection power nor expression of liberty, which is properly Christianity. It is Christ and His people under the Law, not under resurrection liberty or deliverance. The spirituality of the Law, and God's faithfulness in it, is the portion of the delight of the Remnant during the latter-day trouble and difficulties of the Jews. When the Lord appears there is actual deliverance into liberty of joy, and joy of deliverance and liberty - their oppressors gone. There may be analogy in our case. It is then the expression of Jewish faith before their deliverance after their restoration, partly true only in Christ. Other Psalms have given their outward circumstances, and Jesus' sympathy with them in this; here their moral position and Christ's way of filling up this, for He is "The Undefiled in the way." But it is the expression of the restored Jew about it, as speaking by the Spirit of Christ, and therefore expressing what was true in Christ, the real Remnant, only in part, and of them as planted in Him.

231 Psalm 120

The Psalms from this Psalm to Psalm 134, are confessedly one series, and are to be viewed together, and are songs of Zion, describing, if I may so speak, the process of their restoration. It supposes them to be already altogether in the latter-day times, and that in a very definite character indeed. Generally they are retrospective of its earlier character, and, to say the least, commence with the certainty of the destruction of Antichrist; and that is entered into rather by retrospective operation of the Spirit. It is, on the whole of it, rather the restoration of Israel - "All Israel"; that is the subject - the people leaning fully on Jehovah as One they knew, and that distinctly, and He known and recognised, and they knowing Him, and openly owning Him as their Resource, not in any uncertainty of position. It has more the character of a recital of what they had been enduring, than the expression of those who had none that cared for their soul.

- 1. "In my distress I called on Jehovah, and He answered me." This Psalm tells the cry under Antichrist - the judgment on the false tongue; for deceit was his and characterised him, as Christ was the Truth.

- 5. The next thing is the sorrow of sojourning among hostile powers, with whom they had no wish for war, but who were men of violence - men, not godly men, still less God for their habitation - they were weary of their spirit. Meshech connected with Gog. Kedar would seem from Isaiah 21 to be before the last capture of Jerusalem

- 6. What force there is in that word "Long dwelt"! It seems to me that these songs of degrees all relate to the condition of the Jews in the latter day, simply bringing them into their various positions and relations in that time, and expressing the mind of the Spirit in their necessity - repentance or joy under them. The first point here seems that in their distress they refuse the lying pretences of Antichrist and rather lean on Jehovah. They detect in him the lying spirit opposed to truth, the lying character of the enemy, though not openly revealed as Satan or the adversary. On Jehovah, though unrevealed, they prefer to lean. Thus they are shown to be the Lord's from this - they seek the deliverance of their soul instead of help in a lie. This detection of Antichrist, while a liar, is an important point in their character; which importance we may transfer to ourselves in principle - the first point in which the Remnant is marked, "Deliver me from" - detecting what he is, the very help of the unbeliever. Then, what shall be given to them? "Sharp arrows," to wit, of Christ, the mighty Man; compare Psalm 45:6, subduing power, and then judgment of fire "coals of fire." But while he thus judged of the Antichrist, yet was he still in sorrow beyond that he so proved in Meshech and dwelt among the tents of Kedar. Now though Meshech and Kedar are the latter-day nations that affect the Jews, yet, I apprehend the point specially here is, he was but a sojourner among quite strange nations. Though rejecting Antichrist he had no home of his own - long has the soul of the poor Jew dwelt among those who know not peace. Now speaking of the Remnant, he is peace; but when he speaks, they are war. This Psalm still has the gloom of his position hanging over him.

232 It is a most important point the detection of an enemy undetected, the evidence of the presence of the Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the revealing Spirit and saving power. I suspect Meshech and Kedar to be the mother and son - their adversaries.

Psalm 121

He will look around then to the hills for help. Whence should it come? Ah! there is the well-known truth for Israel, "My help comes from Jehovah, who hath made," everything man could trust in. "He keeps Israel." "He will never slumber nor sleep" - a sure Guardian. No power of evil shall smite thee. "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth and for evermore." The first of the two - the evil to which they were liable; the second - their sure, safe, and secure refuge - that for ever.

This Psalm is the direct putting of Israel under the help of the Lord, of Jehovah; His character in such help is declared, and His perpetual and unfailing character.

- 1. This verse is quite as probably, I should think, an enquiry - at any rate verse 2 is the direct assertion "My help is from Jehovah," in the character of most High God; compare Psalm 91.

233 The dictionaries say that me-ayin (from whence) is always an interrogation. This makes verse 2 clearly an answer to the latter part of verse 1.

- 3. This verse is the Spirit's answer to the trusting Remnant, and then the affirmation "Jehovah is thy keeper," and this, as it is perfect, so it is perpetual. This is a blessed answer concerning Jehovah to the Jews. It seems addressed to Christ as the Head of Israel.

Psalm 122

We have here the happy results in worship - the third part of the sentiments of the delivered Remnant, the happiness of Christ in them. It is ever Israel in all this. These three Psalms are rather prefatial, such as will be used, but retrospective, as I have said, not historical; from Psalm 123, it enters more into detail. They respect the full restoration, in one form or another, though it may not be viewed as accomplished in them all.

This Psalm is the joy of Christ's Spirit, in the fruits of it in others, in actually going up; but all is restored joy of Israel.

- 4. This is in assembled thanksgiving of worship in the Temple.

- 5. "Judgment" - his delight in the place of judgment.

- 6. The heart of the Lord, who once wept, here goes out in yearnings over His beloved Jerusalem; and, calling to prayer for its peace, pronounces peace upon it. Two great motives too, animating to the brethren, and glorifying to God, draw it out; them He still is not ashamed to call "brethren," and "companions"; and, having so blessedly named them, He, at once introducing them into full connection with the glory and blessing, says, "Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek to do thee good." Nothing could be added to this.

As Psalm 121 is the answer to Christ as the Head; so this of Christ to the Remnant of His brethren in His own love to Jerusalem. Psalm 120 is the state out of which these are the deliverances.

This Psalm is the restoration, in the person of David, of Jerusalem the portion of the Lord - the gladness of being able to have it as a common opportunity to go "before his footstool." It is evidently out of, and from a state of trial, but now of assurance, "Our feet shall stand." "Jerusalem" is the point - the point of concurrence to the tribes. The testimony; not, I apprehend, the ark; compare Jeremiah 3:16. Previously it had been in heaven, compare Revelation frequently. Then, proving the faithfulness of the testimony, thanks would be given to the Lord there - thrones of judgment there - the throne of the house of David.

234  - 7-9. I take these verses to be the words of the Anointed owning His brethren, and God, as the Lord our God, and His house to be theirs. It is the bringing in, in the rest of Jerusalem, as the portion into which Christ came, as the Lord's. It is still the celebration of Jehovah.

Psalm 123

The intercourse is all here entirely with Jehovah, and expresses their position and feelings towards Him. It is this, rather than the circumstances, that is entered into. They are occupied with themselves and Him, being with Him. The Lord is looked at as dwelling out of the reach of circumstances, where rule really was. There, out of the reach of circumstances, the believer could direct his heart, and there there was the ground of patient faith. As Psalm 119 gave the position of the Jewish Remnant, as regards law, in that day; so this, as regards faith. It was their condition, as to their heart, that was in question or expression. They wait upon the Lord their God who was in the heavens, as the eyes of a maiden or a servant to her master or mistress - helpless, and who have no business till they get the word of their master. Until He have mercy upon them; patience, submission, the consciousness of no desert, yet the confidence of mercy - this characterised this waiting people. Then their sorrow, and despisedness was an occasion for mercy - a plea, and so it is in their mouth, and so ever when one is in this disposition. So in the plea of this, strong to mercy, they have to wait. They have nothing else to say, but this is strong on the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord. There were others, "at ease" and "proud" - they were associated with and dependent on the Lord. This was the blessed, holy, and submissive position of heart of the Remnant - this was the perfection of faith in their position, the expression of the Spirit of Christ which enters into all our conditions - in all their afflictions, afflicted.

235 The power and progress of faith, and herein moral deliverance of the Jew, are remarkably shown in this Psalm, together with Christ's and their identification as led of His Spirit; as Christ in the days of His flesh acted so and was perfect, refusing help around, so now they, brought in in the midst of like misery, cease to look any more to human helps and human succours, but to Jehovah (our God). Here is their moral perfection, and help is now in the heavens - the rest of the Jews will have gone to other help - and here their soul is delivered consequently, the help coming from Jehovah. Isaiah 10:20, etc., becomes true and fulfilled. You will remark there, it is the Assyrian is in question.

Psalm 124

This Psalm celebrates this in actual deliverance; in Psalm 123 the contempt of the proud was there - here "If," etc., they would have "overwhelmed," and "gone over their soul." But there was One into whose soul the waters had come in, and therefore it did not come nigh them - their power was gone, for Jehovah was on their side. "Men rose up," all the power of man there, their gibborim (powerful ones) were wakened up, and come down with their weapons to the valley of Jehoshaphat, but there the Lord and His gibborim, whom He had caused to come down, were. It was multitudes - multitudes, but in "the valley of decision," and the day of the Lord near. Joel is just the expression of the great inroad on the Remnant, or nation, or of all the nations - chapters I and 2 describing it with the Lord's summons, and chapter 3, what He turns it into - "the valley of decision." Here is the escape of the Remnant whose hope was in "the name of the Lord." "The snare was broken," wide as its cords were spread, and strong to the eyes of men, but the Lord was there. It is not Antichrist so much, as the power of man in the trouble which ensues upon his destruction. The universal character of Jehovah is carefully brought in, because it is His millennial blessedness, His comprehensive Name herein, so manifested in blessing.

It was well they did trust in Jehovah, for, if Jehovah Himself had not been on their side, in man all hope was utterly lost. Men rose up against them and the proud waters had gone over their soul, but it was the occasion of their being able surely to say, Jehovah Himself was for them, for there were none else, and to Him they had looked. Such the effect of extreme and hopeless trouble - in Jehovah's deliverance, the clear certainty that Jehovah is for them. This Israel might now say - a long-lost word in the mouth of the sorrowing but still loved people, "Jehovah is on our side." "Blessed be Jehovah," was now therefore their word. The snare is broken, they delivered, and they could say now with experience, "Our help is in the Name of the Lord who made heaven and earth." Their great and hopeless trouble thus becomes the certainty of Jehovah's being with them.

Psalm 125

236 Then is the celebration of their distinctive confidence. They can now speak about it in the maturity of peace rather than the joyous excitement of deliverance, when they were just saved from being a prey to their teeth.

- 1. "Those that trust in Jehovah shall be even as Mount Zion which abideth for ever," for the peace of Mount Zion is now a witness of deliverance - the same Mount Zion as of old, the seat of the gracious counsels of God uncovered. They trust in the Lord - have the same portion; as "the mountains round Jerusalem so Jehovah around his people, and that henceforth even for ever." But then it was a distinctive blessing. It was judgment - "the rod of the wicked" (and those came against them) "should not rest on the lot of the righteous." There was no mingling; and this applied to the wicked among Israel. It was not a distinction merely between Israel and the nations, but a distinction in the deliverance of the righteous Remnant. So the prayer is for them, "the good and upright in heart"; "as for those that turn aside to crooked ways," Jehovah gives them a portion with the wicked, but these will not be now any more therefore numbered with Israel. Peace shall rest on Israel now accepted and righteous before God - the righteous Remnant become the nation.

This Psalm gives the character of the division and separation. The trusters in Jehovah are as stable as the Mount Zion, which the Lord Jesus loves - are identified, so it is revealed, with His purposes in it. These are the persons who are stable, and the reason and consequence - as the mountains about Jerusalem from this great time out, the Lord, Jehovah, is round about His people and for ever - so the bot'khim (they that trust) now become. For this reason there must be separation, and the Lord honoured before the close, and therefore He rids Himself entirely, so that the wicked being destroyed - searched out till none were found - excluded from the congregation of the righteous, the righteous serve in uninterrupted security.

237  - 4. This seems to me a prayer of Christ bringing down good upon the good, the upright in heart, the Remnant. As for the wicked even among Israel, they turn aside from Jehovah's ways to their own - Jehovah shall lead them forth from His ways to the paths and portion of the wicked whom they have chosen. Yet though they are excluded with the wicked, "Peace shall be upon Israel," though they see it not. Thus the external wickedness is removed, and the wicked among the Remnant of Israel cast forth with it, then peace; the briars and thorns have now been dealt with and no longer choke.

Psalm 126

This restoration of the captivity of Zion is now specially noticed. The very heathen were astonished and noticed the hand of the Lord for them, and the echo of praise came from the people, "He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." How simple and eloquent this word!

- 4. This verse takes the restoration of the captivity of Zion as the pledge of the restoration of the whole people.

- 5. This is the joyful experience of Israel, the humbled and sorrowful Remnant, ground and laid low, but with godly sorrow now reaped with joy. But there was One above all who had sown precious seed in Israel, and in love as well as in righteousness, and in both combined, had been a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, their faces hid from Him, but now He filled His bosom with the sheaves, for, though sown in tears, the seed was indeed precious seed, and the fruit sweet to His taste, and the joy of His labour of love, now He reaped it. The husbandman had had long patience for it, and waited the early and the latter rain, but now the precious, blessed fruit came - first labouring, He now partook of the fruits - He came again rejoicing.

238 I have had difficulty in this Psalm, but the point of it seems to rest on "Zion." It had been mentioned in the former Psalm. The hills were "round about" her. But the restoration of Zion is the occasion of the burst of day upon the nation and wanderers - the word is of the Remnant. The last would seem to be of Jesus. All was dark - no titular deliverance - no throne taken - no definite re-recognition of the Lord in the City of solemnities. But when the Lord "turned the captivity" or "restored the rest" of Zion, then were they "like them that dream." The deliverance was then plain in its great pledge - Jerusalem was to be the throne of the Lord. This was to be "trodden down of the Gentile till" - but the "till" was now come. Zion was taken into the hand of Jehovah - He had aroused Himself to take His place on the earth. It was owned even of the heathen - it was the Lord's deliverance; compare Psalm 132:13, 14. It was so, "The Lord had done great things" for them; they were glad. This forms the ground of the desire of the believing Remnant for their restoration, including I suppose the people in the countries. The Lord has done this - we may now expect all. This remained now for the Lord to do - their heart was in Zion - it was restored - the Lord's heart was there, His hand was there, the rest would follow. It would be as refreshing streams I suppose where the heat and desert was - they had now sown "in tears," not rejoicing when iniquity prevailed, but labouring in trial; compare John 4:36, 37, etc. But this is the Remnant generally.

- 6. I believe this to be specially of the great Sower - One who did weep over Zion, but, though so He went forth, He returned rejoicing, nor were the streams of His love wanting, and He brings the fruit of the travail of His soul. It is a lovely Psalm, and puts the Lord in a sweet and precious light - light of truth; compare Psalm 14:7, and see Romans 11:26. Compare, as to Israel, Jeremiah 31:6, 12 and chap. 3:14. And note in these Psalms we have the union of Israel (the first stating their distress, first under Antichrist, then under Mesech and Kedar north and south) in connection with and brought up to Zion. As to this last, see Psalms 2:6; 48; 49:35; 87:2; 102:13, 16; Christ's interest in it; Psalms 129:5; 132:13; 146:10; 147; and 149:2. Isaiah, Micah and Zechariah pursue this subject.