Friday, 10 January 2014

Psalm 60 - The Righteous One asks and rejoices in, Israel's restoration.

The Sweet Singer outlived the dismal days of Saul. Seated firmly on his throne, he saw his armies go forth adn return crowned with victory.

 One of his victories, gained by Joab, was over the king of Zobah, who it appers had engaged the men of Mesopotamia (Aram-naharaim) to take his side. When the trophies of victory from the river Euphrates (2 Sam 8:3) were brought in, David's harp awoke, touched by the Spirit of God.

 It sang of a happier day to come - happier than that triumphant day of Israel in the birth-land of their father Abraham - a day when Israel's breaches shall be for ever healed, and Israel's strongest foes for ever subdued. Sometimes it is the nation, sometimes it is the leader of the nation, that sings (See v1,5,9.)

It may be used by Israel, or by Israel's Lord as one of themselves. But what is "upon Shushan-eduth"? It must be connected with "joy" or "lilies" and may speak of an instriument as in Psalm 45 and 80. No writer has come near certainty of "eduth" than that it may allude to Israel as the nation that had the "Testimony" or the Ark of Testimony.

"To teach" - as if pointing back to Moses' song, Deut 31:19, and indicating that thsi also is such a National Song.

 The Psalm may be said to take up the hope of the precedinng one. The dispersion of Israel does not last for ever. Though they have been broken, though God has put into their hands the cup of wrath than stuns them (Isaiah 51:22), yet they shall arise.

Their's is not the malefctor's cup of myrrh that deadens pain just as a prelude to death and utter extinction. Though Israel be broken, and his land cleft apart a thousandfold more terribly than David's wars or any of the desolations of his time ever threatended, yet that desolation ends (v4).

 "You have given a Banner to those who fear you." 

 Here is the voice of Israel owning the LORD's gift of Messiah to them.

Messiah is the ensign or banner, Isaiah 11:10.
 "To be lifted up as an ensign, because of truth" 

 Holding up this banner - in other words, owning God's truth, or the fulfillment of his ancient promise to Adam, to Abraham, to all the fathers - Israel may expect favour; and they find it.

 For suddenly, verse 5, Messiah appears, himself urging their request, and at verse 6 he gets a favourable answer; "God speaks in holiness," (or, as Israel's Holy One,) and grants the desire of him who asks. 

Shechem, on the west side of Jordan, where Jacob's first altar was raised, and where ie bought the first parcel of ground (Gen 33:18), and where afterwards destruction threatened the whole feeble family because of Levi and Simeon's enormity, is now re-possessed in peace.

 Succoth, on the east side of Jordan, where Jacob first erected a dwelling (Gen 33:17) and booths for cattle, as one intending to remain, is next claimed permanently.

 The country eastward beyond Jordan, under the name Gilead, where stood the mounatin famed for healing balm, emblematic of healing to Israel, comes next, as well as westward Mannaseh, on the opposite side; thus showing us the stretching of the wing over the breadth of the land.

 Ephraim, full of power, comes in as being to push the foe with his horns (Deut 33:17), while Judah appears as "Lawgiver" or "Ruler", the tribe of Messiah.

 The nations round submit; Moab stands as a slave at his master's foot; Edom picks up the sandal cast down at his feet by his lord (Hengstenberg); and Philistia is compelled to receive the king with triumphant shouts.

 "Philistia, shout to me The Conqueror!"

 And whose power is it that accomplished all this? Who is it that leads the conquering nation and its king to the strong city? Even to Edom's strongholds, and to the battlefield of Edom in the latter day? (Isaiah 58:1) It is the very God who once cast them off - the very God who scattered them. Glory to the Lord of hosts, and to Him only! Israel and Israel's Leader rest on him, and so do valiantly - as Balaam, pointing to Moab and Edom, long since foretold (Numbers 24:18,19).

And thus the scene of Psalm 59 is happily reversed at length.
 The Righteous One asks and rejoices in, Israel's restoration.

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