Scripture Notes.


Psalm 110:3.

If the translation of this scripture be difficult the sense may easily be gathered. It is altogether a remarkable psalm. In verse 1 we have the exaltation of Christ at the right hand of God as the answer to His rejection on earth; and the period of His session there is indicated by the words, "Until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

Verse 2 passes over the whole of the present interval, the day of grace, even over the actual circumstances of His appearing in glory, as well as the destruction of the beast and antichrist, also the deliverance of His people as recorded in Zechariah 12-14, and exhibits the Messiah as already established in Zion. Hence the words, "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." This will at once explain the phrase in the succeeding verse, "The day of thy power." Messiah has come, and He has established His throne upon His holy hill of Zion; and it is consequently the day of His power, when in His majesty He will "ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness," and when "thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things." (Psalm 45:4.) It is at this time, under the influence of the display of His power, their hearts also being touched, that His people will be willing, will be as "freewill offerings;," i.e., will offer themselves willingly for His service. "The beauties of holiness" should be probably rendered "in holy attire," only the idea of the beauty or magnificence of such a spectacle must be added. After "holiness" there should be a stop, the last clause reading, "From the womb of the morning thou hast the dew of thy youth." The womb of the morning represents the dawn of. the new day, ushered in by the reign of the Messiah; and "the dew of thy youth" would seem to mean that the youths, who will spring up to follow their Messiah in the early morning of His kingdom, will be as the dew, either in the sense of being for blessing, as the dew is for the earth (see Micah 5:7), or in that of being as numerous as the dew-drops of the morning. Both of these senses should probably be combined. The reader will notice the interchange of persons in verses 4, 5. JEHOVAH hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek; and then it is, ADONAI at thy (Jehovah's) right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath - this verse being a direct address to Jehovah. It adds to the interest of the psalm to remember the use of it made by the Lord Himself in dealing with the Pharisees as to the person of the Christ (Matt. 22:41-45); and also by the apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in setting forth the true character of the priesthood of our blessed Lord.


1 John 5:18 20.

It is a wonderful conclusion, which we find in this scripture, to the whole epistle. Three times the apostle says, "We know;" and in each case the word employed indicates inward conscious knowledge; that is, not only knowledge of the fact as revealed, and testified to, in the Scripture, but this knowledge also made good in the soul in the power of the Holy Ghost, so that we have the inward conviction and certainty of its truth, and in such wise that living in the enjoyment of it, we are moulded and governed by it. First, "we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not," etc. This is according to John's presentation of the truth (see chapter 3:6-9), confining himself entirely to what is born of God, being, what is often termed, an abstract view of the case; so that thinking only of the believer as possessing a divine nature, he can truly say that, so regarded, he does not sin. The next clause reveals his liability and his danger, and hence John adds, "He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." Next we have, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" (or, "the wicked one"). It is of immense moment to possess this certainty (compare John 8:38-45); and having it, as every believer should, we can never be deceived as to the character of the world; for knowing that we are of God, we also know that the whole world lies in, is in the power of, and morally exists in, the wicked one. For all who have this inward consciousness, an impassable barrier is raised between them and the world, as morally impassable as that which existed between Lazarus in Abraham's bosom and the rich man in torment. Lastly, "We know that the Son of God has come," etc. And having come He has "given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true." Here the word "know" is different, the reason being that the Son of God is presented to us as the object of faith (compare Gal. 2:20), and thus, while we may inwardly apprehend Him and His presence, it is ever true that we know Him objectively. The reality and the truth of His person is in this way guarded. (See 1 John 1:1.) Then it is added, "And we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ." The Lord thus said, after speaking of the coming of the Comforter, "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." (John 14:20.) The Son is "divinely one" with the Father, and we, having a divine nature and eternal life, are in the Son, as to our place before the Father, as also in His own relationship, as we know from His words, "My Father, and your Father." (John 20:17.) He, moreover, is in us, and this brings in our responsibility before the world. But this travels beyond our scripture. Having said that we are in Him that is true, John concludes: "This is the true God and Eternal Life." He who is the Son, and Jesus Christ, is, blessed be His name, no less than the true God and eternal life. What grace! And what a privilege to "know" this even now! E. D.