Monday, 18 November 2013

Psalm 21 - Messiah's present joy and future victory.

We have entered on a series of Psalms that more directly fix the eye on Messiah alone as their theme.

It takes up the theme of the former Psalm. We are at once shown the King Messiah, already triumphant at the Father's right hand; and yet, as King, to triumph more before all is done.

David now on the throne at Hebron, and soon to be on a loftier throne at Jerusalem, might be the original of the Typical scene; but certainly he was not more than this. It is of our King that the Holy Spirit speaks.

The plan is very simple. From v1-7 we have Messiah's exaltation after his suffering; then v8-12, His future acts when He rises up to sweep away his foes; and v13, the cry of His own for that day, as their day of realised bliss:

"Be exalted, Lord, in your strength!
So will we sing and praise your power."

He who was the "man of sorrows" and "whose flesh was weak", now (v1), "joys in your strength, greatly rejoices."

And how sweet to us to hear v2, "you have given Him His heart's desire," remembering in connection with it John 11:42, "I know that you hear me always" for it assures us that He did not mistake the depth of the Father's love, or err in His faith in the Father's kindness of purpose toward Him.

He knew what was in man, but he knew what was in God also, and declares it to us, sealing it with the "Selah" pause of solemn thought.

The Father "came before Him with" or rather anticipated, outran, His desires; for that is the meaning of "for you prevented him with the blessings of your goodness."

And in the crown of pure gold, already set on His head, we see this verified, as it is not the crown which he is to get at his appearing.

The Father has at present given Him the crown, mentioned in Hebrews 2:9, "glory and honour" but is as an assurance and pledge of something more and better, the "many crowns" (Rev 19:12).

Let us often stay to rejoice that the man of sorrows is happy now - "most blessed for ever!"

He feeds among the lilies. Shall we not rejoice in the refreshment of our Head - in the ointment poured on him - in the glory resting on his brow - in the smile of the Father which his eye ever sees!

Shall the members not be glad when their Head is so gladdened and lifted up?
Shall such verses as v5,6, not form our frequent themes of praise?

In v4, his prayers are refered to  - those prayers that He offered during the lonely nights, when He made the desert places of Galilee echo to his moans and the voice of His cry - such prayers as Hebrews 5:7 tells of, and such as Psalm 139:10,11, give.

He asked for deliverance from death and the grace - and lo! He has now "endless life" (Heb 7:16) in all its power.

Verse 6 resembles in construction v9 and so presents the contrast of meaning more forcibly. The one is "you have set him blessings" and the other "you have set them like a furnace."

And here we see that "He is the author and finisher of faith" for if his prayers and cries prove him to have had truly our very humanity in sinless weakness, no less does v7 show that his holy human soul fixed itself for support, like ivy twining round the tower, on the Father by faith.

In this He was our pattern.
"The King trusted in the Lord." (v7)

He is the true example of faith, surpassed all the elders who have obtained a good report; he is captain and perfector of faith; he leads the van and brings up the rear in the examples of faith given on this world's theatre.

And the Father's love rests on Him forever; that love (tender mercy, v7) of which he prayed in John 17:26, that the same might ever be on us.

And now the scene changes; for lo, he has risen up !
"Your hand finds out all your enemies;
"Yes, your hand finds all who hate them!

"You put them in a furnace of fire" (v8,9)

It is his rising up to judgment! His foes hide in the caves and rocks of earth, but he finds them out. It is the day which burns as an oven (Malachi 4:1) that has come at length. It is the time of his presence; the day of his appearing; the day of his face - that face before which heaven and earth flee.

His enemies flee. They perish in their impotence. His arrows strike them through, v12. They formed a design which they could not effect. This is truly the history of man's attempts to thwart God, from the day of Babel's tower to the day when Babylon and Anti-christ perish together.

Who would not have it so? Who will not join the Church in her song - "Rise high, O Lord, in your strength?" - the song of Messiah's present joy and future victory.

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