J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 3.)
This Psalm is the assumption by Christ manifestly as Adon of the congregation, judging uprightnesses - Blessed time! The whole character of that assumption, in the suppression of evil, is clear. The only question is as to who "the fools" are specifically. It is again the recognition of God, and the joyful consciousness, before the full assumption, or results at least of power, of His Name being near.
- 1. This is the voice of the Spirit in the Remnant knowing the judgment.
- 2 and 3, are the answer of Christ as to the method.
- 4. This verse is as though He had warned, in Spirit, the high ones of the truth, for as He had not failed to declare His righteousness and truth in the great congregation, so He had not failed to warn the wicked. It is the testimony of the Spirit in Christ to them.
164 - 8. This is rather declaration than testimony.
- 9. This is His praises as the Head of the whole Jewish people, as the God of whom all their deliverances have been wrought.
- 10 is the conclusion of the whole matter.
We have the judgments announced, and God's name near - then Messiah. The Messiah of the God of Jacob announces Himself, declares He had warned the wicked, and thus would He conduct Himself when He received the congregation.
This Psalm needs little comment, save only that it is consequent upon the whole scene of God's deliverance. He is known in Judah, and His Name great in Israel (compare Zechariah 10:6) bringing in Salem and Zion as the place of His manifestation in contrast with all the strong places of the earth. It is a definite prophetic statement of the locality and extent of God's blessings in celebration.
It is not merely that Israel is delivered, but that God is known - not merely Jehovah faithful, that comes in occasionally in this class of Psalms, but God known in contrast with all else. He indeed is manifested as the God of Jacob; but this is their great glory, that God is manifested as the God of Jacob Judah and Israel are both mentioned. Salem and Zion resume their place. Blessed day! We, yet more blessed, are let into His counsels in Christ, but the nationalism of a Jew is divine. There it is He has met and broken man; the mountains of prey are nothing - as a dream passed. When God arises, Zion takes her place in beauty, owned of Him; and the men of might come to simply nothing, and all their parade passes as impotent, at the rebuke of the God of Jacob. Glorious and blessed word for that people!
- 7. This is the comment of Israel on all this. This came from heaven (v. 8). How magnificent and true the result! "The earth trembled and was still, when God arose to judgment? and to help"; for in all His name and glory, He forgets not, in infinite and condescending grace, the poor, the meek of the earth - that is His name, His character, "The God that comforteth them that are cast down."
165 - 10. "Shall praise thee." What it does, is to praise Thee, todekha.
- 11, 12. This is the summons thereon. I do not know that yiv'tzor (he shall cut off) is more than absolute, "He cutteth off."
It is a noble display of what happens in Zion, and God's manifestation of Himself in it.
This is the state of complaint in which the Remnant finds itself - God seemed to have utterly forgotten to be gracious. Still this was a God known; there was grace and life in the cry. "This is my infirmity," and the things which God had done, which gave Him this character, are referred to and come to mind. These two results are produced - "Thy way is in the sanctuary," "Thy way is in the sea." Still, in all their troubles He led His people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron; note, the whole people. Confidence is restored and well grounded. The reference is to all Israel of old.
The religious sentiment of this Psalm is too plain for more remark - this is learnt by the Spirit only. We may notice the distinction between "crying with the voice," and "communing with one's own heart." The "crying with the voice" is the point of this Psalm; this brings in God instead of the workings of the anxieties of the measure of unbelief (in present circumstances) surrounded, I will add, not as the heart with unbelief of present circumstances, but with the deliverances which He hath wrought of old, strengthening present faith in Him who will bring about any circumstances. His way is always in the sanctuary, and, when our heart gets there, we understand it. When we bring in God by this cry, we find that it was not God but our own heart we were judging from - a foolish mistake - one that must be in unbelief. Hence the importance of a real, actual cry to God (in faith), or we are seeking the living among the dead; see Hosea 7:14. The cry of the Spirit in the Remnant of the Jews in their deep waters of trouble is too manifest for enlargement. The answer, on the principle we have mentioned, is obvious.
166 Psalm 78
This Psalm exhibits the failure of all testimonial agency in deliverances, and blessings on the people as such, and the transfer into, or rather accomplishment of blessing in the raising up of David, the Prince in whom blessing and security was secured. Further, I notice the teaching of children in it, as the order of blessing; compare Genesis 18:19 and Psalm 22, at the end; Deuteronomy 4:9, 10; chap. 6:7 and chap. 11:19. It is a specific character of the dispensation, and of ordered blessing - attention can well see many instances of it in the history of Israel, closing, in Solomon, in Proverbs. There is great reckoning upon God in it, nor is it passed by in Christianity, see Ephesians 6.
There are two things in the Psalm - deliverance and ease, and blessings in the wilderness. The arm of the Lord - provocations here, and limiting the Holy One of Israel when He was their (only) portion, foolishness - judgments on their oppressors, enemies, and giving them their inheritance - their turning to false gods, when they were at ease, in spite of this distinctive salvation; compare all the Prophets, and Isaiah 43:12. Hence judgment on the people (so God known) but David raised up in grace, and the vindication of His people, see Deuteronomy 32:36.
It is a most comprehensive Psalm; maschil (causing to understand) as to the hopes, and the whole order of the hopes of Israel - their failure - the order of them - practical faithfulness - and the security (raising up) of David; compare Isaiah 55:3 and Acts 13, and so Peter, also Acts 2. Also this is a specific portion of prophecy, compare its quotation in Matthew 13, and notes on that.
The language of this Psalm is remarkable. It begins with the right of Jehovah, "Give ear, O my people." But it is in the love of the same interests "which we have heard and known, which our fathers have told us." Who makes this mighty link? The Spirit of Christ who is Jehovah, speaking in the Remnant who recognise His truth in the midst of the people, the nation. Accordingly their history is gone through, but not merely to characterise them, but to characterise Him - to afford that, in grace, which was their only security, for David was a king given in grace. Therefore there is no mention of Saul, but of perfect failure under all circumstances, and the favour of the Lord interposing in strength. The Lord awakes by His own gracious view of the desolation of His people - His pity awoke - an encouragement of grace for the latter days, in their trouble.
167 "Thou leddest thy people" - there was the great principle of favour, but there was much more that God had to reveal for their thoughts in detail. Under this leading, in the midst of all favours, they had walked in rebellion, disbelief and lust, i.e., in the wilderness with God, when He was teaching them Himself. Then, as to all the judgments God had exercised in Egypt, and on the Canaanites in their favour - forgetfulness, and giving themselves up to do the like. Then God gives them up as He had chastened them for their lust in the wilderness - "He forsook Shiloh"; to this, Jeremiah refers. Also, "He gave his people over"; these latter day trials were not the first time - it was an old history. But their misery, as ever (so in Egypt) awoke the Lord and He smote their enemies, and raised up the Beloved for their deliverer. This was the lesson, a pregnant lesson for them.
These parables and proverbs of old prove that it was not merely for David's time, that He who taught Asaph, taught this Psalm. Their business, as in Psalm 22, was to teach their children.
There are some other points in this history. First, the rejection of Ephraim, when strength and prosperity was among His own people, and therefore their early sin is mentioned, for, though God is supreme, there is always consistency of character, if supremacy in grace, though He had endured with great longsuffering. Further, the supreme choice of Zion, and Judah which He loved - the exaltation of His house. Shiloh was, I believe, in Ephraim. The rejection of Ephraim, and choice of Judah, is strongly presented in the Psalm. The Psalm is a parable really.
- 49. "The fierceness of his anger." Za-am is indignation, punitive anger against evil; see Habakkuk 3:12. Aph, anger, wrath. Ke-txeph, the breaking forth of wrath; from cutting, breaking. Kharah (he kindled) heat of anger. Kharon, wrath, in Lamentations 1:12; in chapter 2:6, we have za-am aph (b'za-am-ap-po, in the punitive anger of His wrath). Aph (anger) is very common, and so is kharah (kindled). In Psalm 102:11, we have ke-tzeph, wrath. In Lamentations 2:2, ev'rah, arrogance or wrath, seemingly one who passes beyond the bounds of self-restraint. In Habakkuk 3:8, also it is kharah (kindled) and aph (wrath). In Lamentations 2:4, khemah, warmth, heat of anger; in Daniel 11:44, it is khema, fury.
168 We have za-am (punitive anger) in Psalms 38:4; 69:24; 78:49; 102:11; Isaiah 10:5, 25; chap. 13:5; chap. 26:20; chap. 30:27; this last is judgment on the Gentiles. Jeremiah 10:10; chap. 15:17; chap. 50:25 (Gentiles). Ezekiel 21:36; chap. 22:24, 31; he uses aph (anger), and ev'rah (wrath) - noise with it. Aph is common - Daniel 8:19 (Israel), chap. 11:36 (Israel); Hosea 7:16 (unusual of men, princes); Nahum 1:6; Habakkuk 3:12; Zephaniah 3:8; here also with kha-ron appi (my fierce anger). Its sense is clear. Hosea 7:16 is the only exception.
There is also another word za-aph (displeasure), but not so strong as za-am (punitive anger). Ra-gaz (he moved with a violent commotion) is more the excitement of anger - rage - he shook with rage. Ka-as (vexation) is ill humours.
This is the siege of Jerusalem in the latter day, after their return. It is the heathen, not naval (foolish). It is destruction consequent upon its siege, not by Antichrist, as we have noted (chi, when) but the heathen, I believe from Isaiah 22. Persia also, because then the iniquity of that kingdom of the Image, which never persecuted the Jews, shall be complete. It is the utter desolation of the Jews in the midst of the last spoiling of the rivers - Jerusalem is "laid on heaps," but Jacob also is devoured.
We have still to remark that the question is between God, the exaltation of His character and truth, and man, and his ways. Still here the name of "Lord" is now early introduced. The subject of this Psalm is manifestly the attack of what is without - heathen enemies and the nation, not Antichrist the pretended friend. They have attacked and taken Jerusalem, killed the inhabitants, whom the faith of the Remnant views as God's people, praying the wrath to fall on the heathen, for God is viewed in this by faith.
- 8. This verse throws itself on mercy - as ever in faith.
- 9, 10. "For thy name's sake. Wherefore should they say, Where is their God? Let him be known." Thus they connect themselves with God's honour. Then honour from the nation for ever to the Lord. Here it is the thoughts of the nation generally; compare the note on Hosea.
169 It is not the enemy, but the heathen, for they are, in thought, now again Israel - this Remnant, and they love the nation, looking to it as the Lord's nation, and invoking His name.
The address of this Psalm conducts us to further enquiries. The Shepherd of Israel between the Cherubim according to His placement in the wilderness, the desert - yet a Vine planted and laid waste - yet for the whole nation. This last feature we have observed throughout this Book. It is before the manifestation of the power of the Son of man, at least in His full exercise of it, for it is recognised by the Spirit - the Man of His right hand.
As we find in Amos and Hosea we find here, Israel is connected with the whole nation. This Psalm seems to me the Remnant of Israel identifying itself with the nation, its earliest and better hopes, and with the ark of the covenant, from which, as their first great sin, i.e., as distinguishing them from Judah, they had departed. "Dwellest between the Cherubim" is not the "calves of Bethel and Dan" - they have repented. "Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh" was the order of Israel in the desert next the ark at the west. "Thou hast brought up a vine out of Egypt"; Ephraim no longer mars Judah, nor does Judah hurt Ephraim. The divine interests of the nation are the question now, like a humbled people, honest with their God. Also there is the recognition of the offspring of David, the Son of man. On the whole, this seems to me to be the Remnant of Israel, who have returned, considering, with thorough national, i.e., divine interest by the Spirit, the state of the whole people. This gives an additional interest to these times, and to this Book, as thus taking in all their sympathies, and makes this a very interesting Psalm. How gracious is our God!
This Psalm has no specific relation to any portion of Israel, save as Joseph more particularly implied and involved the land. The Jews being first restored into the trials and exercises of the latter day, the restoration of the others more particularly involved the full coming in of the nations. I believe this Psalm to have its application after the coming back of Ephraim, but before the acceptance of all in blessing. It acknowledges, as looking at them also, God - the God and Shepherd of all, and, while it says Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh, it places God in the midst of the whole nation, as He was when in the ark to which, in the encampment of the tribes, these tribes were next. It recognises the planting of the whole vine, and refers to the Son of man, as to His hand being upon whom all their strength would be set up. It wonderfully sanctions and clears up the whole view we have recently taken of the order of Israel's restoration. The Lord God of Hosts is He that is looked to. It is, on the whole, the Psalm of the Spirit in the Remnant (not as amongst the Jews in Jerusalem as formerly) but after the restoration outwardly of Ephraim also, when all the hearts of the just were upon them, looking to and praying for His strength to be upon David. It is a most beautiful, and simply instructive Psalm as to all these things. The allusion to the nearness of those tribes to the ark is most beautiful. The whole of these Psalms from Psalm 78 open out the whole of this subject very sweetly, and leading us in much submission of truth.
170 Psalm 81
We have still Joseph before us in these Psalms, as connected with a full restoration of the people. The certainty of the deliverance is rested on this, that when they heard a strange language, it was ordained, they heard a strange language now, they were spoken to in it; see Isaiah and Habakkuk. But there might be equal deliverance now; past deliverances are always with God the warrant of present hopes, because He is the same God, and always acts with the same mind. Our faith is to recall them, and then we go in this our might, to wit, that God is with us. We learn also the force of the "new moon." The sun was ever the same, but the moon emerged again into her light - the same moon, for a moment eclipsed and brought out anew, and yet the same moon, and then the trumpets of joy, the trumpets of gathering, for it was not an alarm, but "blowing alarms" had gone before; see Joel. Then we have the reason why all this had been otherwise. "I am the same Lord which brought thee out: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." But the position you have been in is that you would not hearken "Oh! that they had," says God - as the Lord, "how often would I have gathered thee"! Compare Isaiah 43 and Leviticus 26:40-42.
171 We have, then, again Israel, Jacob and Joseph - the true new moon of the people. Long had they been eclipsed, long hidden by the brighter rays of the intervening sun; but now they began to receive, afresh, light from the Lord. According to this, there was joy. Again also the reference is to what passed, with the whole nation, in the sortie from Egypt - he was now brought from a harder language, a bitterer and longer captivity, and God reveals Himself as the God that did it; God acted then in grace.
This reference is remarkable; from the Red Sea to Sinai all was pure grace, even to murmurers - after Sinai, chastisement and judgment for the same things. So Israel could learn it here. The reference is to grace - God answers to this proposition of joy, "you know how I delivered you then, and proposed as an abiding ground of affiance to me in blessing, to have no strange god." Full of blessing, they had but to open their mouths to the God that had already done such things, and brought them out of Egypt, "but you would not have me, you would not hearken unto me - had you done so, all would have been blessing, continually and abidingly - that is the real secret of your condition." What could Israel answer? Nothing! Their mouth is closed in silence, in such instruction of grace putting them in their right place. God had blessed, proposed to them to continue in blessing, and nothing else, and now showed that He had always desired to bless. What a ground for return! But in what humiliation, infinite humiliation! Silence best became the hearer of this in the Spirit. This was the noble answer of the Lord, the gracious - infinitely gracious - and righteous answer, in the midst of the new joy which yet returned to the old. "I never," says God, "departed from the gracious principle of it. You, O my people - it was my sorrow - departed from me, and consequently from it." A sanctifying but all consoling answer! God had never changed from this joy to which their heart returned. So with the Christian. It is Joseph specially still here.
- 5. Note the expression "I heard a language that I understood not." It is not the Lord interrupting the ensured joy, to put His interpretation on all that had happened. It was not want of love that hindered the blessing of Israel. Is not "I," the Lord placing Himself as coming down into Egypt out of all that was natural to Himself and His glory, and placing Himself there in the midst of what was strange to Him, to deliver them? "I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people, and I am come down to deliver them"; He speaks as identifying Himself with His people, for Egypt's language was strange to God. The language of Canaan - His Canaan - was the one He was familiar with, and owned. It would rest on the word "He went out through the land of Egypt" - thereon He says "I heard," etc.
172 Psalm 82
This Psalm is God assuming judgment but not exercising it - calling strength to be strength in justice. The discovery of universal iniquity gives occasion to the cry, "Arise, O God" - not only the discovery, but their not knowing nor understanding that there is a "God that judgeth." It is not testimony of grace, nor of Christ standing in the midst of the Churches, but Elohim standing in the congregation of power or strength, judging accordingly - speaking to them in Spirit, as to their conduct according to His mind and, bounden righteousness in it as His representatives. But they know not neither understand, "All the foundations of the earth are out of course"; the Jew was wrong - the Gentile powers, oppression - none believed, none recognised God - they were owned as gods, as bearing His image and expressing the mind of the Most High in title and office - but they should die like men. The sorrow was, no Jewish ruler was any better, and God would take judgment into His own hands, for in this also, as in all else, the Son must be the representative, the full representative to wit, in power, of Elohim. Thus we find also judges called "Elohim" continually, sitting on the seat or throne of judgment. It is a Psalm very instructive as to the ordinance of power, and God's part or judgment of it.
The circumstances we have viewed have put the Jewish rulers on the same ground as the others, "which," says the Apostle, "none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." All being thus corrupted and gone astray - entrusted government, which is the power of God, being entirely abused - God stands up to judge and take in His own hands the matter so long abused. Certainly it is true of the rest in whose hands Israel have thrown themselves, but we know that "Whatsoever the Law saith, it saith to them that are under the Law." In fact the judges in Israel were habitually called Elohim. The word of God (logos tou theou) came to them - they had the responsibility accordingly - but all was out of course. The transfer of power to the Gentiles in Nebuchadnezzar, no more than to Saul or David, did not alter this; the responsibility might be more abstract, i.e., depend more upon what was known by others than by them, but the thing was the same. In fact by Daniel, the Lord communicated to Nebuchadnezzar, who was representative of this transfer of power, that it was so given to him, so that the Gentiles entered on the trust with knowledge - the Word of God came to them. More or less, this has been actually the case; if otherwise, not without responsibility. But the great truth is so (that they have had the character of beasts, specially, is true, and their sin) those who were not of the four beasts, were not different in character. Still it speaks specially to those who "received the Law by the disposition of Angels, and have not kept it." God had given them the character of authority, and His Name, and He could not leave it in their hands any longer. They must descend from the character of Elohim to Adam. God, Elohim, having stamped this name of Adam (all that was real) on all that had borne His Name, and, arising in His own Name, judges all nations; compare Daniel. There is yet something in this Psalm I do not see. The general object and truth is very plain. The occasion is the announcement of this in the midst of the troubles which have come on all the nations. It is an important Psalm, and changes the whole face of things.
173 Psalm 83
- 3. As to "hidden ones," see Psalm 31:20, 23.
The Psalm I take to be the acting of the enemies who are within the bounds of the territories of the Jews, after the destruction of their public enemies, after the cutting off too of the ungodly Jews and Israelites, after God had judges among the gods. All these Psalms, from Psalm 73 to the end of Psalm 85, are progressive history or celebration of circumstances subsequent to the return of the Jews to their own land, and through the actings of the great drama or scene of Israel in the latter day, till, through amiableness of God's tabernacles frequented with desire, truth springs out of the earth. This Psalm is after the destruction of all the Beast-powers, and the question of the people in the Land with those who, still enemies to God, inhabit its borders, who will not rest till they are cut off. This also must be accomplished.
174 This Psalm recognises the national rising of a confederacy against Israel looking to God again in the Land. We have the list already of the confederacy. The Spirit in the Remnant in faith says "Thine enemies"; "they are confederate against thee." It is all national. It is Jacob, Israel (not Messiah) and Jehovah. The judgment will be the occasion of the manifestation of Jehovah - the God of Israel being Elion (the Most High) over all the earth. The Assyrian is found with the people in the limits of Israel. "Possessor of heaven" does not come in here - it is the earthly part of it. Israel is just being established to be a nation - they come to cut them off from it. It is the general character - it presents these nations in their aspect with Israel in the latter day. The cry is to God, as usual (v. 16) by intervening for Israel. He is sought in this character, and this Name becomes exalted.
It seems to me that, at least on the result, Antichrist is out of the way. These nations will act thus, confederate against Israel. Whether they begin before Antichrist is out of the way, is not the question here; it is an earthly national question, whence the other is left out of sight for the moment - only the result is knowledge of the relationship with Israel over the earth.
We have, I apprehend, in Psalm 55, the overwhelming sense of the position when Antichrist has broken his covenant, and has turned against the Jews, particularly the saints but rejecting everything Jewish, and wickedness is rampant in the city, but it is also especially the place of Christ among the Jews, and Judas. And in the scene of the latter days, though the occasion be this critical moment of the change in the conduct of Antichrist, that which is specially in view is the state of the associate Jews. Psalms 56 and 57 are the expression of the state and confidence of him who is subjected to this dreadful time. I add, His word and power above all in faithfulness are celebrated. There is provision for the Remnant of the woman's seed, etc., as well as those that are fled and at the ends of the earth (land). Christ however has passed here in His sojourn upon earth; see Psalm 56:5, 6.
175 Psalm 84
This Psalm opens out a new and special source of delight, but which unfolds itself in many other passages. When God put man in Paradise, it was not God's dwelling but man's - God visited him there - though man was already unfit for His presence; but, at best, it was man's dwelling though prepared of God for him. But now God calls us to dwell in His house, His tabernacle. This is altogether a new thing and of sovereign grace - our dwelling with Him and in His house (compare John 14 - we learn this by His dwelling in us and so our dwelling in Him) for thus we know the joy of what belongs to the place where God has made His house, and thus become the home of the soul where He dwells. The passages above, Ephesians 2, at the end - Revelation 21 - 1 John 4, and last verse of chapter 3, all open this out.
In this beautiful Psalm, beautiful in its principles for all saints, we find the heart and thoughts of the saints in Israel find a rest again in the courts and dwelling-place of the Lord of Hosts. The relation resumes its place. "The Lord God of Hosts," "The God of Jacob," He is enthroned again in Zion, and in the hearts of all the people. Zion is the centre of the hopes and pleasures of the people, happy in God their Lord.
- 9. We have here the centre on which the desired rays of His glory shine. "Blessed the man who dwells!" "Blessed the man in whose heart are the ways!"
This Psalm I believe to be the representation of the blessedness of those who are gathering in, one by one, after the close of and clearing of the Jewish land, and those, it appears to me, whether the Remnant in the Land, or rather His elect gathered from the four winds, who have had their strength in Jehovah. It is their return to the joy of their tabernacle, or God's, however now the gathering-point and resort of the people though it be one by one. The last verse has its aspect to Christ, who was the only Faithful One, when the real day of crisis and moral trouble came; all the rest was the fruit of that. The Psalm is full of lovely beauty. I only give its actual basis. It only shows, and there only shows, how every moral blessedness or principle shall be drawn out in the exigencies and orderings of that latter day of restoration.
In this Psalm we have the rest of joy, and strength for the way; in Psalm 63 we have joy in God Himself in contrast with the desert, and hence blessing while we live.
176 It is well then to compare these two Psalms, as showing, the former the joy of the common celebration of joyful service and praise in God's house - the tabernacles of God - and hence the love to the ways that lead there, let them, as they will, be tears and the Cross, and the deeper sense that, come what will, though sensible of this estrangement from the public celebration of His praise (see Psalm 42, which gives its tone to Psalm 84) God Himself was sufficient for the soul that sought Him, thirsted for Him in the dry and thirsty land where there was not the smallest refreshment - nothing that life could find its object in and refresh itself by; and hence because His loving-kindness was better than life, it could always praise - was satisfied as with marrow and fatness while it lived - though there was nothing for life, could praise still. Nothing separated it from God's love - the thirsty land only threw it more completely on its proper portion.
I cannot enter into God's dealings here to produce this; but what an amazingly blessed and admirable place it sets the soul in! Where God and nothing else makes its happiness - suffices, fills it, and with His own proper purity - Himself in what He is, and nought human to sustain mere nature, and distract the soul from Him. It is divine joy, and independent of all mere creature (as Romans 8). This enables one to enjoy rightly gifts and blessings, and carries one calmly through sorrows too, for nothing separates from His love. It is not a question of journeying to His tabernacles here, or the way there; only in the thirsty land, the wilderness, God has been and is a help, and one rests under the shadow of His wings there where one is. It is evident how Psalm 42 puts the soul, thus, tried, there; and God knows how to do it for us.
This seems to be a supplication for the positive blessings which result from God's pardon being theirs, and His favour to the Land and people declared, i.e., the owning this and acknowledging their blessing to be under it, and therefore looking for it. Conversion to blessing is consequent upon pardon and forgiveness - so always, not the contrary. The two first verses state the basis of the supplication - wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. The last verses of the Psalm are remarkable. "Mercy and truth are met together" - not so now; the truth of God was accounted nought by them - in Jesus, the minister of the circumcision, therefore shown in justice as against them. Now they come in on sole mercy, forgiveness (eleethosi) and therein the truth of all the promises is fulfilled withal. They are "met together" - righteousness, the consistency of God with His own character, or the truth of that character, finds its development in peace with His people. Moreover "Truth springs out of the earth" not only in the conduct of His saints, but the power and witness of it in facts, so that "He that blesseth himself in the earth," etc. (Isaiah 45:16) and righteousness looks with unclouded aspect from heaven - nought to hinder the flow of the consistency of God's character - what now found its unhindered vent upon earth. His righteousness could do so - it is exercised in Christ's reign - and the Lord consequently, as even unhindered, flows forth in blessing - gives that which is good, "every good and perfect gift." The Land yields her increase, and righteousness goes before and leads the path of Christ, who places and sets them in the way of His steps, guides them, not in searchings of the Spirit, but a plain and present cloudless path. It is present righteousness. It is a beautiful Psalm.
177 We find the captivity of Jacob brought back - "The iniquity of thy people forgiven." God is the God of their salvation; but the blessings, consequent on this, are not arrived at, but God is enquired of for them, "That the glory may dwell in our Land," not merely Israel. By these dealings, truth as to the promises of old, and mercy towards the objects of them, who deserved none, are met - these great elements of what God is - righteousness, which would have been against, and peace, for "He has made peace" - the favour and prosperity of God are fully united. As effect, truth, a new thing (guile was there) springs out of the earth - the return to blessing, peace-making blessing; and righteousness, either hid or punishing, can now show the glory of its face unclouded. The full blessing of the Lord shall take its way through the Land. These are the consequences, or what is destined to follow as the consummation of restoration.
In verse 10 we have the truth realised in God's character; in verse 11 between heaven and earth, between men and God; in verses 12, 13, consequent blessing upon earth.
178 Psalm 86
This seems to be the assertion, in the midst of all those scenes, of the identity of Christ with all the sufferings of the troubled Remnant. It is exceedingly gracious to introduce into the midst of the Remnant-trials the interest of Christ in them; verse 14 shows the circumstances, verse 16 the looking for strength in them. For, note, at this time the Lord going forth, goes forth in His previous character, not in His assumed strength as Son of man, as may be seen in Revelation 19.
We have the character and Spirit of Christ in the Remnant of Israel - the nation brought into relationship - if heretofore the providential circumstances and trials, now the moral condition in the circumstances; a very important point, and full of blessing. It begins with the Lord at once, i.e., Jehovah fully recognised, as in relationship with Him. The comparison is with the nations - other gods. All nations are to come, on this deliverance, and worship before the Lord (Jehovah then); they had risen against Israel.
- 13. We have here the principle of resurrection introduced - the ground, in Christ, of all hope.
This Psalm is the celebration of Zion as the place of associate glory. There are two points - His foundation, and who belongs to it.
His foundation is in the Holy mountain - the great conclusion of the contemplation of the purposes of God, and hence its importance; but the Lord conferred its importance also. "This (man) was born there." This seems to me the placing Christ, as born in purpose into the world, as the Child of Zion. Egypt and Babylon disappear in glory before it. Her children - children to God - shall be multiplied there, for, though we look to Jerusalem which is above, which is our mother, this is more specific. He was born there. The children given after she had lost the other. Our Lord could not be said to be born in Jerusalem at His first coming, though He was rejected there, but in the new Jerusalem He is the Firstborn, and alone in His place. This constitutes the Lord's necessary tie to the place. The external testimony and positive ministers of it in personal praise shall be there too, all God's fresh-springs are then in it. It is a remarkable Psalm - the celebration of Zion, in identity with God and His purposes, established in the presence of Immanuel, with that which flows from it. A great many deliverances and exigencies go on elsewhere, but this Man was born there - the native country of God's power.
179 We have then Zion established, according to the favour of the Lord, in her place according to the Lord's purpose and delight. I say "purpose," because its aspect is in contrast with the grandeur of the world on all sides, but its condition after the fall of these. Egypt, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, all pass in review, but Zion is not afraid of the comparison for those that know her - all Jehovah's fresh-springs are in her. It is His foundation now. Also the Lord establishes Zion among the dwellings of Jacob - favour and delight within as well as contrast of glory without - a centre of affections for the people, just because divine - a link with God; not so all other patriotism, but that is.
This seems to be the recognition of the full subjection of Christ to death, and the utter holding aloof of men, but this is identified, as in verse 15, with the Jews as from Mount Sinai. The subject is the Jews, but it discovered the identity of Christ with them. It is the plea of the Remnant; it also implies their desolateness.
Christ seems to have entered into the spirit of this Psalm - to have drawn it forth rather - when he describes the elect, God's elect, as those who "cry night and day" unto God, Luke 18; and I suppose (connect here the close of Luke 17) He alludes in that passage to the circumstances to which that Psalm refers. His Spirit, in the Psalm, enters into the circumstances of full sympathy because in full affection, in which Israel the elect, and the elect heart - widowed Israel (righteous in affection, yet feeling all the effects of wickedness, and for others - Christ's true character and state) found themselves in protracted sorrow in that long yet, through mercy, shortened day; compare the confession in Daniel's prayer.
He enters into the long course of righteous judgment due to the people - terrible and awful thought! For the soul of Christ felt it - the judgment of a broken law from the outset - the array of terror which it brought against the Soul who understood its curse, and the weight of it, in holiness - who understood the effect of the law - the terrors of God - wrath lying hard upon Him. Outward mercies are nothing, in such a case, but mockeries, thin as the light air or what passes vainly through it. Still a call daily on the Lord (for the law is the Law of the Lord, therefore its terror) and God with whom we are in relation who has shut us up in this terror, forgotten seemingly of God, but only in the darkness of His anger when we cannot find Him - the more we know what He is, the more terrible to find nothing but darkness - still the cry is maintained, yea "day and night."
180 It is a matter of the grave and destruction. Enemies there were withal - lovers and friends none. Such is the estimate of the Spirit of Christ, the just estimate it forms, and forms therefore in the people in the latter day under the Law - shut up into terror, and alone there with the Lord, their Lord against whom they had transgressed. So much the more joyful and blessed their deliverance! Still, being the Spirit of Christ which alone can feel this, it cries "day and night." What a picture, and how the truth!
This Psalm then gives us the condition of the righteous Remnant, who know the law, understand the law is spiritual, see it broken from the outset, and the circumstances but the consequences of a vastly, infinitely deeper state of things - a real return to God according to their circumstances - death was what stared them in their face, and this, under which they were, was the ministration of death. Their history, in this view, did but add to their misery, but their condition (in soul) before the Lord blotted out their history. They could not get forth - death was before them, but they cried. What could they add to this engulfing in the terror of a righteous judgment, and a broken law - a law against a relationship, and ministration of death? They could add nothing - had there been hope, they would not have been where they were, nor thrown, in the knowledge of righteousness, on a God of grace. It ends thus in perfect misery, but in a cry - the righteous cry of right affections in God's elect. There was One who, taking their sorrow and the curse of the law - being made a curse - understood their cry, and heard it. When they understood it, so as to be brought with Him, He delivered; but death must be, in some sort, read here. Paul, I suppose, understood this much. All must know it in light (for we begin with resurrection), not necessarily in darkness, but for experience, knowledge even often of God, and action through the region of death, i.e., the world. It is often, as neutralising it, and introducing us within the veil of it, very profitable and useful. For them Christ has, at any rate, gone through it; but He has gone through it, so we are really free.
181 It is a very deep and, when known, through grace, a very blessed subject, because it introduces to God, and whatever introduces us there is blessed. The Spirit of Christ alone can make us know it - it is known only by the Spirit of Christ, and He has known it.
This Psalm takes another ground - it sings of the mercy of Jehovah, quite other, and introduces therefore His promise and covenant, with David, of grace, but He is to be "feared in the assembly of his saints."
This Psalm treats of many miseries, but it takes up the covenant of grace, and mercies, and their centering in the seed of David, or David and his seed. He sings of mercies, though mercies in circumstances may sometimes seem to fail. But the Law is not mercy. The more I regard and the more truly Jehovah, being under the Law, the more thoroughly awful my position - the more I regard Him in mercies, though those mercies may have an apparent momentary failure, the more I can triumph in His goodness and fidelity to His character - fidelity to His character under the Law is ruin. He sings then here of mercies - mercy to be established for ever - and recalls I their faithfulness in the time of their distress, a faithfulness established in the heavens. This has been accomplished in Christ, even when all the foundations of the earth are out of course. "Touch me not," "Recognise me not," said the Lord, the blessed Lord, "Own me not as your covenant King of hope, for I am not yet ascended," i.e., unto the heavens to establish these very mercies. Still this establishment in the heavens secures, whatever intervenes, "the sure mercies of David"; and here they are - Jehovah is our defence, k'dosh (Holy One of), Israel is our King. But then He has spoken in visions of His chasid (Holy One). "Holy One" is not then k'dosh, i.e., of Him in whom all the mercies centre, and are accomplished. They are recounted therefore, and the covenant made, and then the circumstances and miseries recounted in the light of this covenant, and presented to God with the praise of faith on this ground - the Anointed with whom God is in covenant. The footsteps of the Anointed have been reproached - He bears in His bosom the reproach of all the mighty men of the earth; terrible when judgment burst forth therefore upon them.
182 In the Psalms which follow, we have the introduction of Messiah into blessedness, in the immediate circumstances, to wit, of Israel in that day.
I suppose the Lord must enter into the sorrows and humiliation of the house of David, as such, as well as of man and Israel.
This is a remarkable Psalm, as declaring the mercies of the Lord in the midst of trials. It seems to me to have its application subsequent to the destruction of Antichrist, and during the time of the subsequent trial. It is after David has taken the crown, but His crown is profaned as it were to the ground, but it is the mind of the Spirit, at that time. "His mercy endureth for ever," was the great article of Jewish faith. The righteousness of the Jew also was in confessing mercy, etc.; thus the Psalm begins: "I will sing of thy mercies for ever." The rejection of the Jew was that he might be fully brought under this principle; Rom. 11:31, 32. His faithfulness is establishing mercy for ever, but it is ruled now in the heavens. This (in the throne of David) is the great thesis of the Psalm.
- 3, 4. These seem to be the Spirit recounting, as before in the Remnant, so here in Jehovah, the answer of God as to the manner in which He would act in the accomplishment of that which the Spirit in them expected - "I have made a covenant with my chosen." But while this, as to the purpose of God, is established, a brighter scene is behind, and it appears that the following verses open out this, as a bright appendix seen and recognised (quod nota, for it is joy, and also shows the mercy, as our looking at the Jews does) by the Jews in the Spirit.
- 5. "And the heavens shall praise thy wonders," for they also recognise His works below, and hence they minister one to another. Thus they are known in the heavenlies as now raised and set there, and God known in the midst of them. Then come His dealings on earth - Rahab slain, and the enemies scattered, i.e., first Antichrist and pride, and then the other nations, as elsewhere, as first Egypt and then the nations of Canaan. Then comes the possessions of the Lord thereon, i.e., thereon in result - the bringing in Israel, subjection however various yet Israel. The strength that is in it in joy, as before, in scattering and judgment - the character of the throne then set - the happiness of the people that know it, i.e., the joy of the righteousness of that throne, to wit, the Remnant of the Jews, who having learned the truth (so now), the reality as however formed on this truth, and then he breaks out into all the blessedness of the people of Israel, as a definite object before him (vv. 16-18).
183 - 8. "Who is like unto thee, a strong Jah" - in the sense of compact in which a breach cannot be made.
Note, mercy and truth having met us, we can dwell with God in the habitation of judgment and justice - the abiding dwelling-place of its constant residence. Observe, too, the constant order in which these things are said to meet us. Jehovah, kodesh Israel, closes this scene in the view of faith. Then the Lord, the Father, the God of Israel takes up the word, i.e., the Spirit realises Him in the prophet thus speaking. But I take the vision la chasideka (to Thy Holy One) to be the accepted manhood of Christ, brought in in the recognition of Jehovah of the Jews. This is the Person - He is the Jehovah - the Help of might, and as the former was Jehovah li k'dosh (to the Holy One of) this la chasideka in the prospect or vision of the Person of Christ who is the chasid, the righteous Jew, the Head of them. The Anointed Man is the chasid with, though in vision, them. Things were spoken about David - the accomplishment of mercy in truth (in the Person of Him who could realise both); for chasid is the same as "I will sing of the mercies (chas-de) of Jehovah," only with the emphatic he, so that the whole tenor of the Psalm is plain in representing the mercies of Jehovah (accomplished) in the Person of Christ as ha chasid, i.e., in the Man. Nothing can be more interesting than the deposit of all the mercies (chas-de) in the risen Jesus, ha chasid - the Man anointed; and then compare verse 28, and again verse 34, so His faithfulness.
- 19. Chasid, see verse 1; verse 18 is k'dosh.
- 35. The oath is in His holiness.
- 40, then shows that it is His interest in the inheritance - the plea of David in the time of trial in the latter day.
- 49. We have the chasadeyka (Thy mercies) again.
- 51. This shows that, while it was Christ in Spirit, but on the road of the many peoples, yet this was the reproach really of God's Name; compare Isaiah 55:3.
184 Verses 19 and 20 give the key to the Psalm, only that the latter part brings in the trouble, and David thereon, the intercessor under it, as identified with the help, i.e., of them, as the beginning gives the general result to the people owning it in Jehovah. Jehovah shows it in the Person of Jesus, and Jesus-David takes up the sorrows which enable them so to trust and rejoice. Note, the Kod-shi (my Holy) as connected there with Jehovah k'dosh (Holy One of); and see the note as to Kod-shi (my Holy) of the saints, and Khas-di (my mercy) of the Jewish people in Remnant. For, observe, verse 52 is the great summary thesis, "Blessed be Jehovah for ever more" (Baruk Jehovah l'olam amen v'amen). "Amen and Amen."
We must note, however, that Jesus was rightfully King at His birth, and His crown, in Person, was cast down to the ground then, and He assumed that position in fact with them in their trouble, as noticed, in the latter day.
This Psalm is evidently a singular one. It seems to be the stability of the faithfulness in which they were originally called in. Moses pleaded by the Spirit, in the recognition of the long desolation in which as men - dying men - they had been involved, still saying in faith, "Thou hast been our dwelling-place from generation to generation," and noting it, i.e., themselves, therefore on the everlasting, and therefore immutable character of their Lord, "I am the same, I change not, therefore, O house of Israel, ye are not consumed," for He was their dwelling-place after all. It is, intrinsically, a Jewish Psalm.
It addresses Jehovah at once as the God who had always been the dwelling-place of the nation. He who was God before the world was, whose power turns man to destruction, and whose word recalls him. Israel was before Him, in ruin - his misery felt, as caused by his iniquity, all before Him; his days passed away in His wrath - terrible, yet now humbled condition - a true state of soul wrought of God, though not fully knowing God. He prays that, in the sense of their ruin, marked in the shortening of their days - their state of vanity - they may learn the wisdom of reference to God. Praying, "Return, O Jehovah," that He, their Lord, might repent Him, casts them entirely on mercy. Desiring it "early," owning another point of truth - the affliction as of Him, that His work might appear to His servants, and the beauty of Jehovah their God be upon them.
185 Such is the prayer of the Spirit in Israel, looking for blessing - humbled, but calling on the name of Jehovah, the Name of covenant and perpetuity, as their God, yet in mercy, but in benediction on the work of their hands. It is a prayer properly to Jehovah on His name, as known amongst them, revealed to them of old by that Name - faith applying its covenant obligation to their present circumstances.
This Psalm then is more abstract, and speaks from a higher ground, yet is still more specially Jewish, but Jewish in what Jehovah their God is, rather than in relation to circumstances. Nothing to me can be more calm, confident and beautiful - the confidence of righteous humility in faith - the Spirit of Christ - than this Psalm.
In this, the fourth Book of the Psalms, we have God's ways publicly in the world in government, but the secret place of Messiah in it, and the Jews distinctly set as the centre in it. Thus in this Psalm they are set as those who have had Jehovah for their dwelling-place from all generations, and then the government of Jehovah, with whom a thousand years are but as yesterday, is set forth, and man's condition here contrasted with it. In Psalm 91 we have Messiah finding in Jehovah the God of the Jews, by an understanding heart, Him to whom all the power and government belong; and the Lord owns Him. In Psalm 92 we have the double name, and the loving-kindness and judgment of the Lord are shown as regards the condition of the world; before, it was only guarding Him who had the secret of the Most High. In Psalm 93 the reign of Jehovah is announced, in spite of the haughty rage of man against Him. In Psalm 94, the residue demand that Jehovah show Himself Judge of the earth; the detail of His ways is shown as to them, and the throne of iniquity brought into contrast. In Psalm 95 we have the progress of the testimony - the Jews are called; in Psalm 96 the Gentiles. In Psalm 97 the Lord appears. In Psalm 98 judgment is executed in favour of Zion. In Psalm 99 He is seated between the cherubim. In Psalm 100 all lands are called up with joy to worship before Him. In Psalm 101 Messiah takes His royalty and house. The glory and humiliation of His Person are shown in Psalm 102. In Psalm 103 He praises in Israel; in Psalm 104 in Creation. We have, in Psalm 105, all the grace toward Israel recounted from beginning to end - God's ways with them; in Psalm 106, their ways with God, but withal the mercy He showed when they eat the fruit of their ways.
186 All this for the Jews, in the latter day, though it has the same centre in the Person of Christ, is a larger circle and more general principles than what we have had hitherto, and will be more general for them in that day.
Though the difference be not very material, I am disposed to think that Psalms 90-93 go together as preface, Psalm 94 beginning the historical progress. Psalm 90 associates the nation, in its ancient state, with Jehovah, and the Remnant with Israel of old, as a Son is born to Naomi.
This is an exceedingly interesting Psalm. It evidently involves different speakers. Messiah, and the part He takes in identity with the Jews, is the subject of it. It is a conversation, of which He is the subject, with His avowal of the position He takes. It begins by the testimony of the Spirit generally, of which Christ consequently on the confession of Jehovah gets the blessing. One, dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, i.e., entering into the purposes of Him who is over heaven and earth, compare Genesis 14:19, 20, shall abide under the shadow of Shaddai - the name of Abraham's God. Then, says Jesus, I will own Jehovah, the God of the Jews, the name in which the true God, Jah, was known to the Jews, see Exodus 6:2, 3. This was His faith - this Jewish God I will own. He recognises the Object of His faith in His identity with the Jews, pledges Himself to them, i.e., to their God, which is faith, but this is El Shaddai Elion (God Almighty, the Most High). Then the Spirit, in the prospective Jewish Remnant, asserts what He, this Jehovah, will do, "Surely he will cover thee with his feathers"; compare verse 9. In verse 14, El Shaddai answers as Jehovah, "Because he hath set," etc. - two things, "His love upon me," and the full recognition of His character, "Know my name," i.e., Jehovah, who He is, always the same, the God of the Jews. The result is trouble, but audience in it, and the full life of resurrection in salvation.
We have then the connection of the names in which God was revealed to Abraham, and the covenant name with Israel. The love of Jehovah, of Shaddai Elion, was on Israel - but how bless them in iniquity? First then, according to the secret of this love, the righteous One declares, on the announcement of Abraham's God, that it is Israel's He takes as His refuge. Thus the love known has its way in righteousness - grace reigns through righteousness.
187 - 1. This is the announcement of the Spirit.
- 2. The declaration of Messiah.
- 3. The reply of the Spirit in announcement.
But in saying "I will say of the Lord," He has satisfied the love of the Lord in setting up Israel. But the Remnant, led by the Spirit of Christ and identified with His blessing, come in under the promises - He could say, "Fear not little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," then indeed in a higher sense.
- 8. Here "Only with thine eyes," being thus separated to Jehovah, "Thou shalt see the reward of the wicked."
- 9. This seems to be the address of the Spirit in the Remnant to Christ, verified in the blessing on the Remnant.
- 14. This is the answer of Jehovah.
Identification of Christ with Israel, and of the Most High, who is over all things, with Jehovah, is the great point of this Psalm.
It is evident that the Lord gave up the place and promises of this Psalm, to accomplish His Father's glory in obedience - even His earliest temptation shows Satan trying to get Him to take up this ground, and not simply obey and wait upon God. In vain! Overcome! He is Deliverer, as Son of man, of man from Satan, never in our Gospels presenting Himself as Christ to the people; then, at the close, the question was not of His being obedient and not claiming them, but of giving them all up in death. And this He did - the Shepherd was smitten, Messiah cut off, and had nothing. Hence the sure mercies of David are cited as a proof of resurrection - Paul knowing no man after the flesh, not even Messiah. It was deep suffering, but the more I learn from Scripture, the more I see that, though this were a part of its accompaniments, expiation was a totally different thing, and of an infinitely deeper nature - the moral wrath of God falling on the Blessed One about sin.
188 Psalm 92
This Psalm is the rejoicing of Messiah, in the rest of righteousness, in the Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth. The enemies, the Most High's enemies, the springing up of the wicked is only to destruction, and then the rest, the rest of Messiah and His people. Their then state will show the righteousness of the Lord - their previous state was their own fault - and this was prerogative mercy; compare Isaiah 48:18 and Matthew 23:37. It owns also Jehovah in the place of lordship and His faithfulness.
This Psalm takes up the name of God, spoken of in Psalm 91, as united. It involves the blessing of all the earth, and even heaven (Possessor of heaven and earth) with the special election of Israel as a people - exactly the character and power of the millennium. Psalms 90, 91, 92 then follow in full succession - Psalm go, "Jehovah, our dwelling-place," the thing actually in question on the earth. Then, Psalm 91, the Most High, the Almighty, the Source of all the blessings and promises in power and universality of supreme possession and dominion, introduced and recognised by the righteous Remnant, even by Messiah, and so the rest in the Lord, even Jehovah. This connects the blessing and promise and universality with the specialty - both centred in Messiah. This makes the Psalms very important. Psalm 92 seems the first song of Messiah on both these Names - Jehovah, Elion, the true joy of the Sabbath and rest of God, when, in the praise of Messiah, these two Names are united. "Most High" is rather the name of Melchisedek than of Abraham, which makes it the more marked - also recognised in Nebuchadnezzar.
In Psalm 90 then we have the prayer of Israel to Jehovah, according to the faith of ancient promises. Psalm 91, the names of Abraham's God identified with the secret of Israel's God, by the intervention of Messiah, known and recognised by the Jewish Remnant by the Spirit. In Psalm 92, the rest celebrated by Messiah in behalf of Israel, which is the consequence of all this - Jehovah and Most High are one. Now He celebrates, in joy and triumph, the works and thoughts of the Lord. Before, they had been as brutish and ignorant, now they can confidently sing, "A brutish man doth not know, neither doth a fool consider this." The righteous are now to "flourish like the palm tree," to show that the Lord is upright.
189 Whatever men may judge of the origin of the titles, it is well entitled "A Psalm or song for the Sabbath day" - the great Sabbath that remains - the witness of God's thoughts in result.
The simple purport of this Psalm needs little comment. Only we may remark that, the throne being of old, its character is essential, and in action on the testimonies, meanwhile we come into the power of the throne, in verse 5. The calm majesty of His dominion is shown in verses 3 and 4, for He hath "girded himself over" - He doth that there is an end of all question. It is still Jehovah.
It is a short and noble Psalm - noble in its simplicity of the character of the establishment of God's throne. The floods had lifted up their voice, but the thoughts of the Lord were before and beyond all these. The Lord on high, now known there, is mightier than many waters, but there is now a clearer appropriation of all that to the saint. His power is manifested, but it has authenticated all the testimonies on which the saint in trial has built his hope. He has walked in holiness in the midst of rebuke and scorn and rejection, because of this testimony for its own sake, and encouraged by the promises, yea, and that though He tarried long He would surely come, He would not tarry. "Thy testimonies are very sure." Holiness, known in the truth of promise, enjoyed in the character of God, is the delight of the saint in God's house, in a long and continued perspective. The principles being stated, the application follows, ever being the spirit of prophecy, and provided for the people. If the rest and glory be declared, their word, before it comes, is given them.
This is a Psalm of great spiritual intelligence, but on the same topic. It is the mind of the Remnant under the prevalence of Antichrist, when the ungodly people are going along with him; but the chief grief is about them, the wilful Jews. It seemed to falsify all hope to the nation, but the righteousness of the Remnant is shown in their utter opposition to and horror of them. It is looked at as the triumph of the wicked.
Psalms 91, 92 and 93 were announcement; here we have the people in the circumstances preceding the joy, before the celebration of joy. The Lord is addressed as the "God of vengeance" in the controversy with the nation about Zion. It is the language of faith, for vengeance is in God's heart, and He would even clothe Himself with it. Faith always knows, calls for, and acts upon what is in God's heart. The special subject immediately before them is the existing union between Antichrist and the people, specially the scornful men which rule this people which dwell at Jerusalem - and there is no help but in God. But Jehovah is addressed as known, for the time is near at hand, and His righteousness, the righteousness of God, ready to go forth. The charge is specially against the Jews - boarim baam (ye brutish among the people).
190 - 11. This is the judgment, for there is a link between Jehovah and the righteous by faith.
- 12, 13. The sweet and blessed testimony of where the faithful righteous, trusting in the God who seems at least to bear long, but will avenge speedily the desolate of his adversary, will be. The Lord be praised, and hasten His work!
- 14, 15. This is the reasoning of the confidence of faith. But it was a trying time. He could look for none to be against the evil doers, Still there was Jehovah, and when he said even "My foot slippeth," the mercy of the Lord did not permit it. And within, thus turning to Him, all was peace; there was this - a multitude of thoughts, still Jehovah beamed like a ray through them all, to make the value of His promise of future rest more felt, and this was the point of His reasoning. And here he views Antichrist established on his throne in Jerusalem. The Lord is coming. This is misery, but is He coming to ratify the presence of Antichrist here? Is his throne to have fellowship with Thee, whose law is iniquity which he deviseth? The Lord "shall bring upon them their own iniquity," they shall be cut off. Such is the position of the faithful before the Sabbath - the judgment of the Spirit of Christ in the midst of, looking at the settlement of evil even by a law in Jerusalem, and in authority. No doubt this gave occasion to a multitude of thoughts. He turns then, in the following Psalm, to summon the people finally, in the spirit of prophecy, to look to and put their trust in Jehovah, upon His greatness, upon His relationship with them, His power, their ancient history - proposing to them this real Sabbath of rest which now remained to them - even now, to-day, after so long rebellion, after all, if they would only believe.
191 Psalm 95
As Psalm 91 is the testimony of the Spirit, concerning the Most High, taken up by Jesus, in the acknowledgment of Jehovah, on whom the Spirit then pours His testimony, i.e., on confession applies to the Confessor all the value of that which is in Him, confessed, even the Most High - that the God of Israel is the Most High, profitless as that Name seemed in the person of the Jews to the Gentiles (i.e., infidels), so Psalm 92 is the celebration of Jehovah by Jesus in that which He is in righteousness. Psalm go is the identification of Jehovah with the people of Moses from old, in order to this process in Jesus, i.e., that He, Jehovah, should be known as the God of the Jews, and that would involve all the consequences of His character to them, on which Jesus takes it up, faithful in knowing and owning that character "I will declare thy Name unto my brethren." It is then the celebration of Jehovah by Jesus we have in Psalm 93, therefore Jehovah malak (reigns) in Psalm 94 - Jehovah King, Jehovah the strong One of revenges.
From this then to Psalm 100 inclusive, and in a new strain, we have the consequences - songs to Jehovah. "Jehovah our God" was the last word of Psalm 94. Then they sing unto Jehovah, coming into His presence. This is the song of the Jews to whom song, the songs of Jehovah, exclusively belong, properly speaking. We know the Father, so that, save in Spirit, we who have believed have in this no part. We have a higher portion - sons with the Father, one with Christ. But we know who declares His Name unto His brethren, and sings in the midst of the congregation. This, then, is the summons of Jesus, in the knowledge of Jehovah, to the Jews, His brethren (in this we have a portion by faith, He being Son of man) but of Jesus as one with them, bringing that word in, "In the midst of the Church will I sing." It is not then the congregation, nor the great congregation, but the summons instead to the great congregation - the result, perhaps, is a small Remnant, but of that He makes a great nation (born in a day), Jehovah, here owned, being in the midst of it, being so owned, and therefore He says, "To-day if ye will hear his voice." Now Jesus addressed this call practically to the congregation in that day, avowing He knew Jehovah, and that He was His Father, and they hearkened not, not knowing the day of their visitation, but now then He takes up the Remnant thus met, and who must own Him, and puts them in the position of blessing. We may learn much as to the Church also from this - one in glory, but seeing Him now.
192 Psalm 96
These Psalms seem the answer of the Spirit in the congregation - this their call to the heathen, the people; hence it is specifically the celebration of Jehovah which we have seen to be the subject of all these Psalms. It is not what "Jehovah hath done" - that is for the Jews - but the Jehovah that hath done it. "Sing unto Jehovah all the earth"; before Him all the earth shall fear, even the Jehovah that hath done all these things, quod nota. In Psalm 98 it is "before the Lord, the King," for the Lord being it, being indeed King, but to the Jews, you will see that the celebration of His Gentile glory includes the gathering into one, heavens and earth - "Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad" (Psalm 96) - whereas the Jewish blessing is the blessing of the world; see Psalm 98:7. The field and the trees take the place of the floods and hills.
The connection of the heavens, the heavenly glory, with the recognition of Jehovah in Jesus, is most instructive here of one of the many ties and boundlessness of the latter-day glory. We own Jesus to be Jehovah - He is then, the Jehovah of the Jews, but it is He who is our Lord, whom we have owned to be such in the time of His humiliation, even Jesus, and are therefore with Him in glory where we see Him whom they once rejected - the Jehovah of the Jews, even our Jesus. The time is however the same, the Sabbath day. "The Lord cometh," "cometh to judge."
It cannot but be noticed, the constant mention or suggestion of "Jehovah" to the Gentiles in this Psalm to bring them to remembrance. Jehovah Elohim of the Hebrews - the recognition of Jehovah by Jesus, as a Jew, in all His ways - and our recognition that Jesus is indeed Jehovah, is the deep, deep mystery developed in these Psalms in dispensation; so, and in the Person of Jesus only, we know it, with all its vast results. Psalm 90, "Jehovah, the dwelling-place" of the Jews; Psalm 91, recognised by the faithful One; Psalm 92, the preparation for the Sabbath - Psalms 93 and 94, the light through the night of the Sabbath, when the light should overcome it in the morning; Psalms 95-99, the morning service - the new song that the whole Creation, on the summons of Jesus their Head, the Firstborn, shall sing in heaven and earth - the sea and all the world, the floods and hills - the head of redemption, of which He is the Head in His saints - the Gentiles below, called in also. It is indeed the Sabbath day or day of restraint, but of restraint of joy, when none of the redeemed may be wanting - above - below. Joy and glory in heaven and earth - and, in the Jews received, life from the dead to the world - the union of the headship of Creation and redemption, of the Lord Jesus, the Firstborn of every creature, and Firstborn from the dead; compare Colossians 1.
193 We have then the introductory songs, a sort of instruction of the Sabbath eve, the day of preparation, Psalms 96, 97, 98 and 99. "The new song." I believe I have noticed, heretofore, all that is necessary for the general character of these Psalms, but there is a special point in Psalm 96, which remains - the connection of Jehovah with the earth, with Creation. It is not Bara Elohim (God created) merely, nor Jehovah Elohim, but the world established by Jehovah. God shall then lose none of His characters, but they shall be verified in greater glory. "All the earth" here, being not merely "the Land" seems, I think, plain though that shall be the centre. The world shall be established under Jehovah, Zechariah 14, where the same question occurs.
In this Psalm also, for the true millennial blessedness, we have the heavens introduced, for it is the general and extended character of it. This is left out in the corresponding Israelitish part; Psalm 93. It is not the Church's, nor the Father's glory in the heavens, but Jehovah who created them (who is the God of the Jews) ministers in creation a providential, authoritative blessing - the government and blessing of the whole earth. This may be for the glory of the Jews, whose God He is, but it is for His glory - His glory - the glory of His character in all the earth. This is a very interesting point, and a link in the character of the blessedness of that day. All that is judicially and authoritatively distribution of that blessing comes in. What we have seen in Judaea is but a type of the administration which shall then take place, for it belongs to Him by virtue of His glory. It is not merely God generally but a God known in relation character and covenant - that Jehovah, that was known in Israel, reigneth. This is to be announced among the heathen. It was a wider glory, in se, than that over Israel, but it was the same Jehovah. So shall He be in that day. Accordingly Psalm 98 celebrates Him in the consequence of His character manifested in power for Israel, terminating in the same joy, but in the lower sphere merely, for the power is a link with a higher thing, not indeed revealed here, but understood by the saints, that He is the God of the heaven and earth, for these are ours - an Abrahamic inheritance in Christ in God.
194 Psalm 97
We have now the new song that is to be sung, i.e., the Lord has become King. This is the thesis of the song, we have seen. This is of the Gentiles, hence we have "the earth," and "the multitude of the isles" - the destruction of "His enemies" - all that was high, exalted, like wax at His presence, from before the face "of the Lord of the whole earth." "The heavens" also, observe, we have again, and "all people," and "all the gods" are to worship Him, but this is the Jehovah of the Jews. "Zion heard it and was glad," and the "daughters of Judah" rejoiced because of and with the words of the Lord, "Thy judgments O Lord" (Jehovah), "For thou Jehovah art high above all the earth, and exalted far above all gods."
- 6, 7. We have accordingly, the heavens declaring His righteousness, and His glory seen to the confusion of idols. The joy of Zion is here derivative, for the saints by grace, at the last, take the lead.
- 10-12. This is an address to the believers, those that are, under grace, chasidim (holy ones), among the Jews. "The righteous" is particularly Jesus - though true of His character, we have also "Rejoice ye righteous ones," and "We know he that doeth righteousness is righteous even as he is righteous."
You will observe that Zion here is spoken of, not Israel generally, i.e., it is the special place of the glory. Note also the Gentiles are witnesses of His glory - the Jewish song of His relative power. It would appear to me also, that, in dealing with the Gentiles, the Lord is more particularly in Zion, the place of His glory, and the place of His grace, for there He was rejected, Judah shall be His young horse. It applies more to the former part than of the latter-day history, but it is generally true because it is the place of His glory. In Psalm 99, the Lord is known there, in respect of His government in the nation, for it is of the Jacob glory; hence, historically, there is decided progress in the two.
195 Psalm 98
This is, as we have said then, consecutively the Jewish celebration. The Gentile part must come first in this scene, that theirs is the heavenlies, and Jesus Jehovah takes His place here first, and then associates Himself with Zion in judgment, knowing the righteous then the subjects of grace. Now He rules the world in Zion, great above all the people there. The Lord's taking the heavens is the blessing to the earth. His association with Zion surer than that if a woman forgot her sucking child, the Lord would not forget her. He becomes blessing and glory to Israel ruling the world, recurring back, as it were, to the song of Moses. In verse 9 accordingly we have accomplished victory - "He hath done," "He hath made known," "He hath remembered." This in fact is the accomplishment and result of His identity with Zion. Thus these verses are most distinct in their application. It is Elohim, as in that word of faith, Jehovah Elohim. The summons then to the earth is from the Remnant in Zion - Zion bringing glad tidings - it is "a joyful noise to Jehovah," for it shall be a joyful noise when it is to Jehovah, the King (hammelech). There are then also happy multitudes, and peacefully associated authorities, and the world happy - every element - the chorus of His praise, "For he cometh."
And here I must remark that there is a repetition of the ki ba (for He came) in Psalm 96, I imagine because there His coming to the heavens, though it involves the other, is included in the Jewish celebration which hangs upon the existence of the other, and with which, as to present blessing, they have association, save as declaring His righteousness. His place, on coming, is Zion - His feet shall stand upon Mount Olivet. Anticipatively therefore, the Spirit says, "He has come," i.e., to the heavens, and the great general fact (to our glory, as we know elsewhere) He has come "to judge the earth"; in Psalm 96, the latter word to them. "He has come to judge the earth."
Here again "Jehovah hath become King." This Psalm is after His taking His place in Zion, but not subsequent to the destruction of Gog prince of Magog, but the summons to the peoples upon His taking His place then "between the cherubim" (yoshev k'ruvim). And besides the general truth, the great truth comes forth, the thought in fact, "The Lord is great in Zion, and he is high, exalted is he" - "Let them therefore praise for it is holy" (v. 3).
196 "The King" then is brought in, and the ministrations in which it has exercised itself.
- 4. Observe "The King's strength" - it is the character of the King's strength; so in addressing the King, "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity." It is judicial strength; I hold these to be past tenses. It is "in Jacob," therefore "exalt," yet "our God." We have here, in contrast with Psalm 97:7, the King. "The Lord is great in Zion," and "between the cherubim," the first thing. It is "The Lord, our God," "He spake in the cloudy pillar," "Exalt the Lord our God."
We must remark, after Psalm 91, Messiah's announcement there that He took Jehovah for His refuge and His God - all these Psalms are the praise of Jehovah.
The end of verses 3 and 5 seem to be identical, absolute propositions - one to the peoples on His Jehovahship kadosh hu (it is holy) - one on the King's judgment kadosh hu (He is holy). We then have the reference to the original character of blessing, that it was to be found in Israel priest and prophet or caller on His, Jehovah's, name under these though vengeance was taken on their inventions, yet Israel was forgiven now; also was there the King. It closes with the same great truth, "Exalt Jehovah, our God; worship him in his holy mountain, for holy is Jehovah our God."
Then comes the full blessing in this Psalm. It is the avowal of Israel that it is not their praise but Jehovah's - that Jehovah, their God, He is the Elohim, their unknown God; "We are his people," therefore we are in this position - therefore you are to own us, because He owns us. "Come" therefore "into his courts" - He is your God - here His place of worship; we can tell you what He is. The faithfulness of the Jews says, "Praise Jehovah, bless him, for he is good, his mercy endures for ever" - this is the special Jewish song - and "His truth to generation and generation." This can only be sung and declared by Jews - the restored Remnant - but, being revealed to them, He is this, and now developedly, and so "Rejoice in Jehovah, all ye lands" is the song now. It is consequent upon the other two or four.
197 It is a very beautiful Psalm, and, if understood in this connection, its force is very obvious and glorious, and full. It is a Psalm of blessing - the summons from Zion, to all nations, to rejoice in Jehovah.
In this Psalm Israel, blessed of the honourable for ancient associations, instructs the nations (kol haaretz, the whole earth) how to behave themselves in the courts of Israel's God. Israel could now well teach how His gates should be entered with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise - a lesson taught of old - an ancient title of mastership with the heathen, but how deeply learnt now! Then shall call the ministers of the Lord, and the priests of their God, they say, "Know ye" - "Enter" - "for see, Jehovah is good!" With what heart could they say this; and, observe, it is Israel's choral song from David, the time of assured grace in all times, as often observed. "The Lord is good" (l' olam chas'do, His mercy is for ever) - so in Hebrews - so in many songs of Zion's mercy.
I apprehend this term haaretz (the earth) is used on purpose to serve for Israel proper as an instruction to them, as a whole people, as when David, etc., brought them up together, addressed by the Levites and priests to all the land, and for all the earth, as we say, when they should become, before the Lord in the eyes of the nations, the ministers and priests of their God. Such a place is sweetly beautiful, and blessed for Israel. It is a song of grace too, always - "It is he that hath made us."
- 1. "The Land" or "Earth"; "lands" has no warrant at all.
This Psalm gives us the desires of David in the government of His house - its principles, for it is the representation of Jehovah. "I will sing the mercy and the judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing." Behold the principles of my conduct, the ground on which I act! It is His representation of His conduct unto the Lord. "When wilt thou come to me?" It appears to me that this alludes to the Solomon reign of Christ, in which the glory of the Lord should fill the house; meanwhile He is acting on all the perfect principles of that glory.
198 In this Psalm David takes His house and waits only for Jehovah to be set up in it, for Christ is set King in Zion by Jehovah, and as His King, so that it is ever Jehovah's kingdom; when Christ's, the character of earthly righteousness acted on in detail, is presented before the Lord as the manner of His conduct when He takes the house - so with Christ in the land.
This Psalm is neither judgment on enemies of Christ nor the declaration of the fruit of His work - though there are facts that are such - but Christ looked at personally in sorrows, cut off in the midst of His days. How could He have a part in the future blessing of Israel? The answer is His divine Person - the same and for ever, and the children of His servants would continue. It has thus its own very peculiar character.
What is so peculiar in this Psalm is that it brings out the Person of Christ - His divine nature in answer to His sufferings and cutting off. It is not grace to others by His sufferings, nor judgment on others because of their iniquity in inflicting them, but in reply to His utter loneliness in sorrow, and touching appeal to Jehovah of a heart withered like grass, He is owned as Jehovah, the Creator Himself. It is not what He is for others through His suffering and humiliation, but Himself - the answer is His own glory - the blessed title of His Person. This it is which gives it such a peculiar interest.
This Psalm is the righteous faith of Christ in the Lord's enduringness, in the weakness in which He could sympathise with the Jews as cut off in the midst of His days, and His connection with Zion. It applies, to the Jews in the latter day, His faithfulness in intercession by pleading for them in Spirit, in the Spirit of His faith and faithfulness. As the suffering but faithful Man, He pleads in verses 11, 12 and the reply, the testimony, comes to Him in verses 25-27. On the petition specially in verse 24, the great character of Christ comes out. The application of all this is from verse 14 to 22, in which the abidingness of Christ (the Jew) is the revealed security of them, and the people, and their restoration and blessing witness of it, as His glory hung upon that.
It is a song still upon Jehovah. Verse 4 seems Christ's answer of His own experience, and the testimony to Him, to reach the necessities of the case. The stability of Zion was as the new heavens and earth (not the old, which were removable) as depending on Christ the Lord, to whom verses 25, 26, we know, apply.
199 - 10. He does not say "Wrath against me," which I think of moment. In Psalm 22, it is "Why hast thou forsaken me?" It is a most important and impressive Psalm - the circumstances of Christ connected with all this Jehovah-blessing; He is Jehovah. It begins with the suffering of Christ (a sort of résumé of all the Psalms after Psalms 1 and 2) instead of blessing in the midst of Israel. He is a Suppliant in the midst of the nation - but note, this is the salvation of the nation, for He has identified Himself with it - Suppliant to Jehovah, for this is all "of Jehovah" the God of the Jews - having title to the earth also. Nothing could exceed His depression and kenosis. Still (strange as all that might be, as He declares, for His faith and truth fail not) Jehovah endures for ever. This faith is in the sufferings of Christ. The Pillar of the nation, He holds them up, while they reject Him - the evidence of their evil, even though against Him, being the occasion of His intercession and effective sufferings. "Thou," saith He to Jehovah, "Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion." The set time was come - utter desolation, no help, but the memorial of it presented by the Spirit of Jesus. So, for Jehovah was interested in it, the heathen would fear Jehovah's name, etc. See how He keeps up the thought of identifying Jerusalem and Jehovah, even in her dust. Then comes a revelation, "When Jehovah shall build up Zion, he shall appear." In mercy to the destitute He hath looked down from heaven for this - to declare the name of Jehovah in Zion, such was the manner of it - and the peoples and the kingdoms are gathered together to serve Jehovah. If this be all so - if He hears the destitute and delivers - if this be the name of the Lord, and His glory in Jerusalem - how concerning the Lord? As to Him, His strength was weakened and His days shortened - He cried in this position to His God not to be cut off. Then the glory of the Lord bursts forth in all its splendour - "Of old thou hast laid the foundation of the earth." Creation hangs on this smitten poor One. He made it. Creation shall change, shall be rolled up, renewed, but Thou, He (attah hu) exists ever the same. Such might have been His work, but His nature was eternal existence - His years in time shall have no end. Such is the rejected Messiah. Not only shall Jerusalem be the scene then of His praise, but all Creation shall welcome the return of her Lord in blessing, relieved by these very circumstances. In the midst of it the children of His servants should have an abiding portion - honoured those who honoured Him - and their seed shall be established before Him. Thus is the power of this blessing of Jerusalem and Creation fully revealed in the Person of Christ - His sufferings seen.
200 I have spoken of attah hu (Thou He) in this Psalm. In Isaiah 43:10, we have Ani hu (I, He) spoken by Jehovah. This confirms the force of hu (He) as the ho on, the existing One, see 2 Samuel 7:28. Of the force of ani (I) or a-no-chi Jehovah (I Jehovah) I am not quite sure, i.e., how far "am" is to be added for its full correct force in such phrases as ani Jehovah v'en od (I Jehovah and none else). It would give a peculiar force to "Jehovah"; "am" may be all right to make an English sentence, but what is the force of it? Ki ani-EI v'en od (for I God, and none else) is plain enough; Isaiah 45:22 and 5. But the hu (He) is essential and immutable existence. It is in Jehovah, but Jehovah takes in time, as in Revelation ho on kai ho en kai ho erchomenos (He who is and who was and who is to come). Perhaps the force of ani (I) is "I am" - the One who subsists as Jehovah, and there is none besides me; see Isaiah 42:8, Ani Jehovah hu sh'mi (I Jehovah: that my name).
It appears to me there are two parts in this very beautiful and most holy Psalm. I speak of it thus as concerning the Person of Jesus. The first part closes at the end of verse 16, though the one is the answer to the other - the latter, the revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ the Messiah down to the end of verse 16. It is the Spirit of Christ as identified with the trial and trouble of the Jews, "praising even in their calamities" - He not altering, though they did.
To the end of verse 12 is the presenting, in the full power of His own identification of experience, and therefore all prevailingly with God, the misery and destitution of the Jewish Remnant, and an appeal to interest even from the cause of sorrow in verse 11; so we find in verse 22.
- 13-16. Here we have the reference to the continuance of Jehovah; why then not of that He loved? His Spirit in the servants affecting Zion showed where the Lord's mind, and His heart tender. It was there discoverable; and in verse 16, there was appeal, if we may so speak, to the interest of Jehovah. But this was the interference of the power merely of Jehovah - the external results and the manner of them shown in verses 14 and 16, and identified with Zion; but this was the prayer of the humbled Jesus, i.e., identified with their sorrow, the Spirit making intercession as for them - instructing us in His thoughts, and the reference to Jehovah simply for help. The answer by the same Spirit, taking now the form of an answer, for when we speak of any person in the Psalms, it is the Spirit exercising itself as in the place of that person, thus generalising it, and thus here the testimony continues but becomes a revelation in answer. "He will regard the prayer of the destitute," but how so? "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory." This shall be Hallelujah to the people that shall be created. I admit the principle of grace here. Am niv'ra (the people to be created) lets in the Gentiles here in principle. So the Spirit of God testifies in 2 Corinthians 5 and Ephesians 2, but it seems to me here to put the Jews directly under grace in that day, the latter day. Dor akharon (the generation to come) is just the Jews not of this generation; compare Psalm 22, last verses, and Deuteronomy 32:5, 20, 29, and Matthew 24:34. It is as in Psalm 22 and Acts 13, resurrection principle, and stability in the hand of Christ; thus was the generation akharon (afterwards) and am niv'ra (the people to be created). Jehovah would declare the Name, unalterable in its purpose, power and accomplishment, of Jehovah in Jerusalem appearing in His glory. Three points are connected with it - hearing the groaning of the prisoner, for Jehovah hath looked down from heaven - to declare the Name of Jehovah - and the Ammim (peoples) gathered together to serve Jehovah. This is the full manifestation of glory in result (not merely vexing in wrath), not merely, nor now, declaring the decree, etc., but the Name of Jehovah in Zion. Thus shall Jehovah be declared then - this is the answer, but there must be a more particular account of the Person of Messiah, in whom it is wrought, who is this.
201 - 23. Here then He declares this humiliation, and is presented as in that He feared, His strength afflicted and bowed down in the way - there He drank of the brook; He took days which might be shortened, in which He could feel death and was humbled to "cry to him who," etc., to God as His God. He was simply everlasting. Such was Messiah. He who was the Intercessor in Spirit in the previous supplication, the other part of His character, rather what He was, is given in the revelation of the answer "Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth," etc. Messiah was the Creator in old time or in the beginning. He endured - was the same - and, though His days might be shortened, His years indeed had no end - He still wielded the folding up of Creation as a garment. But He had intrinsic duration, or so existed - folding up others, but Himself the same. Nor should His given or communicated life, His years have end; and Messiah would withal communicate the same enduringness - they would have it, "The children of thy servants shall dwell" ("continue") and their seed shall be established in thy sight," or "before thee," compare Psalm 37:27, 29. Though there are also mansions (mone) in the Father's house, perhaps it is thus left at large here to let in this also for those faithful during the Lord's absence; John 13 and 14 just touches this very point - His days were shortening, and He was explaining the very truth of the abiding place in the Father's house.
202 The Jewish character of the question raised in the Psalm and the Spirit of Christ's intercession in it will be manifest from comparing verse 13 with Exodus 3:15 and Psalm 135:13.
The twofold nature of our Lord is wonderfully brought out in verses 24, 25, and 26-28; verse 27 is our portion therein.