Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Psalm 28 - The appeal and thanksgiving of the righteous as they view the tents of the ungodly.

The cry at the commencement is the appeal heavenward of one who anticipates, in the future (v9), full salvation to the Lord's people, and a time when their Shepherd shall feed them in green pastures, and lift them up as his heritage to their place of dignity and dominion.

The secret persuasion of this final issue pervades this song. If the previous Psalm took us up to a field of Zophim, where we might spy the encamped legions, this Psalm shows us form the same height these hosts of ungodly shattered and dissipated, in answer to the prayer of Him who makes intercession against them.

We may imagine the Psalmist - whether David or David's Son, the Church's head, or any member of the Church - as ascending an eminence, overlooking the tents of the ungodly, and there listening to their mirth and witnessing their revelry!

He is a Moses, crying to heaven against Amalek. It may be David, who is the original Anointed of v8, but he is so as uttering what the Lord and all his own might use in other days.

What intensity of earnest vehemence in v1. Not to be heard will be death. It will be the black despair of those who go down to the pit. But his reasons for being heard are powerful. I lift up my hand toward your Holy Oracle (v2). This is the Holy of Holies, where the mercy seat stood. For the oracle is the spot where Jehovah spoke to men, referring probably to his promise in Exodus 25:22. "There I will meet you and commune with you."

The supplicant refers God, in this brief way, to his own provision for sinful men, and his own promise of blessing whenever that provision should be used. If we take the words as uttered by Christ, how interesting to find him pleading with reference to the Types of his own person and work, presenting them to the Father for us.

If we use them as the words of David, or any saint, they still convey the same truth, namely that the strongest plea which can rise from earth to heaven is drawn from the person and work of Jesus.

No doubt, when Daniel prayed "with his windows open in his chamber toward Jerusalem" (Dan 6:10), he had his eye on "the Holy Oracle," - on the person and work of Him who was set forth in Jerusalem in the significant Types that were to be found in the Holy of Holies.

In v3, the sympathy of the Righteous One in God's love of holiness appears; and in v4, his sympathy in God's justice, even when his burning wrath descends. It is full acquiescence that is expressed  - almost position desire.

But it is only as the redeemed in Rev 19:1,3 are enabled to shout "Alleluia" over the lost; or as the Redeemer (Luke 13:9), in the parable of the Fig-tree, promised to cease at last from intercession, and bid the axe take its swing.

Verse 5 is the answer whispered to the conscious heart of those who pray; which causes thanksgiving and rapturous triumph in the Lord, reviving faith bestowing strength (in v6,7,8) and raising the anticipation of bright days approaching when full "salvation" comes out of Zion (v9), and there shall be no more casting down.

Every stream seems to flow onward to the future day when joy shall no more be pent up within narrow banks, but have unlimited scope - the people "saved" - the "blessing" come - there being no more curse - the heirs arrived at their inheritance, joint-heirs of Him who is "Heir of all things" - the shepherd leading them to living fountains - and reproach all fled away!

We express the tone and substance of the Psalm if we describe it as - The appeal and thanksgiving of the righteous as they view the tents of the ungodly.

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