Thursday, 14 November 2013

Psalm 19 - The Righteous One's meditations on the two fold witness to Jehovah's glory.

Standing on the platform of earth, but looking away from what in it is merely man's work, the eye of him that speaks in this Psalm has rested first on the glorious heavens, and then on the law that reveals Him who dwells in the heavens. Law here is equivalent to Revelation, that is - what he teaches.

There will be a time when, under the seven-fold light of the New Heavens that will stretch their canopy over a New Earth, it may be said yet more emphatically than now that "without voice or articulate sound",

"The heavens are telling the glory of God
"Day to day pours out a gushing stream of speech." etc.

And then too shall we be better able to read that glorious revelation that tells of Jehovah - for we shall see better then than we do now how perfect it is, how sure, never failing in threatening or promise, how right, how really eternal, better than gold, and what a future as well as present reward there is in keeping it.

But why should we not even now reach far into the understanding of all this? His revelation of his will, his teaching, is perfect or entire. Nothing is lacking. And so it can furnish the soul that needs to be restored with what suits its case. His testimony, his witness (with tacit reference to the Tabernacle of Witness) or declaration of what is really good and evil, sweet and bitter, is sure. It is worthy to be trusted as true, not being like the speculations and systems of philosophy; and so it is the very thing for the man who is easily misled, and who hitherto has had no decided principles: the simple.

His statutes are always according to rectitude. These His special charges in special circumstances (such as that at Sinai, not to touch the mountain) are right, being wisely accordant with circumstances; and so instead of being grievous, they become the occasion of gladness.

His commandment, every single precept of the law (Rom 7:12) is pure, clear, fair (Song 6:9,10) and so is a heart-cheering object, and would impart to the man who kept it (who dipped his rod in this honey - 1 Sam 14:27), cheerfulness and vigour of mind, arising from clearness of conscience and freedom from gnawing corruption. (Enlighten the eyes means invigorate, see Ezra 9:8 etc)

His fear is the solemn impression made by God's perfections on the soul, as on Jacob at Bethel. Instruction in regard to this is in its nature clean (Lev 13:18), there is in it no defilement condemned by the law to be cast out, no pollution and therefore nothing that requires removal. It stands fast forever. In a word, his judgements, his decisions as to our duty, and his modes of dealing or providential actings, following out his decisions, are all according to truth. Not capricious. Firm principle guides them: they are thoroughly righteous.

There was once one in our world who used this Psalm, and was guided by it to gaze on the glory of God, in the heavens and in the law. Our Lord and Saviour loved his Father's works and word.

Often did He sit on the high mountain's of the land of Israel, or look abroad over its broad plains and then turn upward to the blue canopy over all, to adore his Father. Often did Hew unroll the volume of the Book or sit listening to its words read in the synagogue.

He saw evil on every side; his own holy soul was the only ark which this deluge had not overtaken; and with this in full view, He might often pray: keep me clear from secret faults (v12) as well as "from presumptious sin" in a world where none are free from sin, and few care to know that they do sin; and thus shall I be found:

"Upright and innocent from transgression that abounds."

We can easily imagine our Master thus using these two witnesses to his Father's glory. Let us trace His steps; let us turn our eye from vanity to the contemplation of the glory of God.

The two witnesses resemble and help each other. Hengstenberg remarks that the law is from the same source as the sun and firmament, and has accordingly, many features of resemblance.

In all probability , the special description of the sun going forth as a bridegroom and warrior (v5), with all the images of cheerfulness and joy it is fitted to suggest was designed to hint to us a counterpart in the firmament of the spiritual heavens, which are reflected in the law.

Christ is the Sun, the Bridegroom, the Warrior whose words (v4) and going forth shall yet be from one end of the world to the other and nothing be hid from His heat.

Then shall Romans 10:18 be more thoroughly accomplished. But even if the two witnesses did not resemble each other, they do at least help each other, and point to the same object; and happy is the man who is led thereby to the glory of God.

For truly there is a GREAT REWARD (v11), both in the act of keeping His Revelation, and as the Lord's mark of approval for having kept it. A present and future recompense of reward, such as Hebrews 10:35 holds us to our view.

Happy they who are found upright and innocent (v13) because "found in Christ," found "without spot and blameless" (2 Pet 3:14) even in these last days when iniquity abounds. O Jehovah, accept this meditation, fulfil these prayers!

You are
"My rock" never shifting from your promise.
"My Deliverer" from every evil work (v14).

Thus sings this worshipper, perhaps at early dawn. But now the sun is up - gone forth on his fiery race; the altar's smoke is ascending - busy men are abroad, each pursuing his own calling, and he must join them.

We seem to see him rise up from his place of calm contemplation and return to his active duties for a season, quickened by what these two witnesses for God have presented to his soul, leaving us to ponder and apply, The Righteous One's meditations on the two fold witness to Jehovah's glory.

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