"Handfuls of Purpose" Part 3 (Miscellaneous, chapters 15 - 30).
Let fall for eager Gleaners.
Thirty Addresses on Various Scripture Truths and Incidents
by W. T. P. Wolston. M.D.
CHAPTER 16 — THE KING IN HIS BEAUTY.
It is a great point for us to seek to cultivate that in our souls which comes out in this Psalm. What the King is Himself is that with which the queen is occupied. We should be occupied, in like manner, with what Christ is. We are very apt to drop down into occupation with the blessings which His gracious hand bestows upon us; but in this Psalm it is not what the King does, but what He is, that is dwelt upon. What the Lord values is a heart that delights in Himself.
"My heart is inditing a good matter." The margin shows the meaning of inditing to be boiling, or bubbling up. I fear we are not often in this state. It is a great thing to have the heart boiling up with love to Christ. Instead of this, we are often at the freezing-point — very far from the boiling-point in the measure of our devotedness to Christ. What the "good matter" is, the verse explains: "I speak of the things which I have made touching the King;" that is, what I know of Him; not what I have received from Him, but what He is to me. It is the place His blessed person has in my soul. Mary of Bethany chose to be with Himself She sat at His feet, and listened to His words. To be near and with Him was what her soul desired. Affection for the Lord marked her condition, and her place was at His feet. She was absorbed with the person of Christ. And did she lack intelligence? No; but it was not her object. She brake her box of precious ointment over Him, and Jesus said, "Against the day of my burying has she kept this." She feared she might not again have the opportunity of doing it. Others made a feast for Jesus; but surely you would not feast one you knew was about to die. Mary's act was in keeping with the circumstances of her Lord. The feast was not so; she was at the feast, Yet it did not occupy her. The One for whom the feast was made did. Her heart boiled with love to Him. She was the only one there really in the current of His thoughts. The Lord by His Spirit make our hearts to boil with real, true love to Christ! Love can only be satisfied with love. He loved us to death, and He seeks in return the true affection of our hearts for Himself. He is worthy of it, beloved brethren.
"My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." It is easy to speak of Christ, and to praise Him, when the heart is boiling with love to Him. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." If we are silent in worship and praise, it shows the heart must be empty. Christ as an object does not fill the affections. You say, The Spirit must move us to worship. Yes; but if there he not worship, it is evident you are not moved. It is quite true we are to be subject, in the worship of the assembly, to the leading of the Lord only. So we are taught in the first epistle to the Corinthians; but in this Psalm there is subjection to the Spirit of God, and withal a heart overflowing with that which it knows concerning the King. I envy the state of soul here manifested. Listen to the language: "Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips." The address is to Himself. She is so near she can speak to Him. This is further than the bride in Canticles ever goes. She says much about her Beloved, but not much of this nature to Him. He is to her the chief amongst ten thousand, and the altogether lovely One; but the one here is so near she can speak to the King; and all slips out so easily: "Therefore has God blessed thee for ever." In such intimate nearness there is acquaintance with the mind of God as to His purpose concerning the One He delights to honour.
"Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness." There is a right sense of the majesty of His person. He was outraged by man, and the puny but guilty arm of man had been raised against Him in the hour of betrayal and falsehood; but the day would come when He should ride prosperously because of truth. He was the meek and lowly One; but "He that humbles himself shall be exalted"; and the result of His lowly grace would be His exaltation. "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest iniquity: therefore, O God, [marg. reading] thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Here He is saluted as God; and in Psalm 2 by God as His Son. He is anointed above His fellows; He is pre-eminent amongst the fellows. Who are these fellows? Hebrews 2 shows that we are His fellows: "He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." He leads praise in their midst (Heb. 2:11, 13). And again we read: "We are made partakers (or fellows) of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast to the end" (Heb. 3:14). He is anointed with the oil of gladness, and the precious ointment drops from the head to the skirts of His garments. In the day of Christ's glory, when He will ride prosperously, we shall be with Him, and shall share that glory; the oil of His gladness will drop on us.
"All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad." There is fragrance in Christ, and that should come out in us. "We are to God a sweet savour of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:15).
"Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir." When the King is spoken of, the bride is Jerusalem; so this Psalm has a millennial bearing. Israel will look on Him whom she rejected and pierced, and will mourn. The Lord will save His people from their sins, and in divine righteousness give them a place in His presence. "Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir." Then will she consider, and incline her ear to Him. She is to forget her own people, and her father's house. But what does this teach us? That there must be the bringing in of Christ between the soul and everything here. Nature must be distanced by Him; I must forget it. Christ must be my first object. Is He the first consideration with us? or is it self and our houses, and the care of them — the family, the friend, or the father's house? The Spirit of God here says, "Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;" and Jesus said, "He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:37).
"So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty." He will then see beauty in thee. You will then be for Christ what Eve was to Adam; and there is the other side: "He is thy Lord; and worship thou him." The claims of the Lord weigh with those who have Christ as their object. What joy when our souls in any measure enter into this! Christ eclipsing everything, and worship freely flowing out to Him. And we read of the beauty of the King's daughter that she is "all glorious within." Here are her moral adornings, graced in the virtues of Christ. His beauty is that in which she shines, and because of it He gets praise: "Therefore shall the people praise thee."
What is God now doing? Is He occupied with our blessing, our comfort? or is it not rather with the glory of the One He delights to honour — with Christ, whom He will set as the centre of all things and Head over all? God seeks praise for Him; and this because of what we now are morally, as in spirit and behaviour, like Christ, adorned with His virtues; and in another day, because of what we shall be when like Him, and with Him in bodies of glory like to His own glorious body, when we shall be manifested as "the sons of God," as the fellows of Christ, and endless glory will be our happy portion. The Lord by His Spirit keep His dear Son before each of our hearts, that we may have the sense that He is ever near and with us. May we walk with Him, and ever remember "He is thy Lord, and worship thou him."