Appendix 1: Thoughts on the Closing Psalms

PSA 1-7-150  •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 6
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But these closing Psalms, I may observe, do not spread out before us the materials of the millennial world. Jerusalem, Israel, the nations with their kings, princes, and judges, the heavens and the earth, and all creation throughout its order, are contemplated as in “the restitution” and “refreshing,” but they are detailed, as there, in their mere circumstances. It is rather the praise of all that is heard. The Psalmist anticipates the harps rather than the glories of the kingdom; and this is beautifully characteristic.
Praise crowns the scene. The vision passes from before us with the chanting of all kinds of music. Man has taken the instrument of joy into his hand; to strike it, however, only to God’s glory. And this is the perfect result of all things—the creature is happy and God glorified. “Glory and honor are in His presence; strength and gladness are in His place” (1 Chron. 16:2727Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. (1 Chronicles 16:27)).
What a close of the Psalms of David! what a close of the ways of God! Joy indeed has come in the morning, and struck its note for the “one eternal day.” Praise ye the Lord! Amen.
Yes, praise, all praise; untiring, satisfying fruit of lips uttering the joy of creation, and owning the glory of the Blessed One. This is righteous happiness.
And here, in connection with this, and on closing these meditations, let the thought cheer us, beloved, that happiness, and that forever, is ours. There may have been a path through Calvary, and the scorn of the world, and the grave of death; but it led to joy and everlasting pleasures. The way for a season lay by the waters of Babylon, but Jerusalem was regained—as our Psalms have shown us. The valley of Baca was the way to the house of God. “Tribulation,” it may be; but, “I will see you again,” said Jesus.
As to our title to it, there is to be no reserve, no suspicion in our souls. It is our divinely appointed portion. To come short of happiness will be the end only of revolted hearts. Our title to look for it is of God Himself. It lies in the blood of Jesus, the Son of God, the God-man, given for us, in the riches of divine grace; and faith in us reads, understands, and pleads that title. And there is no reason for hesitating to enjoy its fruit and benefit—none whatever. No more reason than Adam would have had to question his right to enjoy the garden of Eden, because he had never planted it; nor for the camp of Israel in the desert to drink of the water from the rock, because they had never opened it. The garden was planted for Adam, the rock was opened for Israel, and so has the Saviour, and all the joy that His salvation brings with it, been as simply and surely provided for sinners. Our souls are to make it a question of Christ’s glory, and not of our worthiness. He made it so when He was here. He never led a diseased or maimed one to inquire into his own fitness, but simply to own His hand and His glory. “If thou canst believe,” that is, if thou art ready to glorify me, to be debtor to me for this blessing, then take it and welcome.
Then as to our resources. It is not merely love we have to do with, power is on our side also. Love and power together shall form the scene we are to gaze on forever, as they have from the beginning been “workers together” for us, teaching us our wondrous resources.
See them thus working together in some little instances in the days of the Lord Jesus. Five thousand are fed with five loaves and two fishes. Fed to the full—and twelve baskets of fragments left! This tells the wealth of the Lord of the feast, as well as His kindness. And what satisfaction of heart does this communicate! If we draw on the bounty of another, and have reason to fear that we have partaken of what he needed himself, our enjoyment abates. This fear will intrude, and rightly so, and spoil our ease while we sit at his table. But when we know that behind the table which is spread for us, there are stores in the house, such fears are forbidden. The thought of the wealth of the host, as well as of his love, sets all at ease. And it is to be thus with us in our enjoyment of Christ.
So in using His strength as well as His wealth, His resources are immeasurable. Look at this in the scene of danger on the lake of Galilee. He shows Himself on high above all the difficulty that was frightening the disciples. He walks on the tops of those waves and amid the blowings of those winds, which were bringing them to “their wit’s end.” What triumphant relief for them was this! Danger could be nothing in the presence of such a deliverer. How easily could He manage a boat for them in the storm, who thus controlled the storm without any boat at all! There was strength enough and to spare here, as there was bread enough and to spare before, and they could not perish. (See Mark 6.)
Here are pictures of our resources! We draw on a wealthy Lord as well as on a loving one. We use a mighty arm as well as an outstretched one. We consult a physician who can heal death as well as sickness. It is as David speaks, “the kindness of God” we enjoy. “A fullness resides in Jesus our Head.” We are fed and rescued and healed in ways worthy of Him whose wealth and strength and skill know no measure. His resources, and therefore ours, are glorious and fathomless, and fragments remain, let who will draw on them. And the coming kingdom will disclose them to perfection.
Then, after thus inspecting our title and our resources, I may just say as to the joy itself, the character of it will be worthy of its Giver, and will utter itself, as we find in these Psalms, in a loud noise, as from overflowing hearts, in all kinds of music. And joy of such rare quality this will be, that it will never satiate, never weary, never end, but still begin with more than earliest freshness.
Divers orders of glory, as we know, there will be then. “The glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” But both will be glory—and glory is the fruit of love, or the manifestation of what love has prepared for its object.
And this coming day has had its past shadows. The joy of Adam in Eden with his days of coronation and espousals (Gen. 2); the settlement of the land under Joseph (Gen. 47); the meeting of Jethro and the camp of Israel at the mount of God (Ex. 18); the feast of tabernacles and the year of jubilee (Lev. 23; 25); the brilliant and palmy days of Solomon, with the nations paying their honors and gathering their joys at Jerusalem (2 Chron. 1-9); the holy mount and its two companies (Matt. 17): these are among the past or fled shadows of these future glories shining together, or in their several spheres. In spirit we can sing of them beforehand, and also distinguish their orders, heavenly and earthly, as these verses of our hymn witness:
“Blessed morning! long expected,
Lo, they fill the peopled air!
Mourners once, by man rejected,
They, with Him exalted there,
Sing His praises,
And His throne of glory share.
“King of kings! let earth adore Him,
High on His exalted throne;
Fall, ye nations! fall before Him,
And His righteous scepter own:
All the glory
Be to Him and Him alone!”
O for power to long after such joys in the present unsatisfied desires of our hearts! we are to count largely, and richly, and with unmeasured confidence, on being unspeakably happy.
But there is to be reserve in this point—that we take heed that our expected happiness be righteous happiness, such as God can warrant and Jesus Himself can share. (See on Psa. 132.) And this cannot be in the earth as it now is. The gospel does not propose to produce a happy world, or to replant Eden here. The return of the glory, the presence of the Lord, must do that. For where the glory is, there alone is the scene of righteous joys and expectations. If that have left the earth, our expectations should leave it also. When that returns, our delights and prospects may return with it. Happy scene, when all tells of God again, and He finds a footstool on earth as grateful to Him in its place as His throne in heaven! And then it will be rebellion in the nations not to find their joy here. The bread of mourners was not to be eaten before the Lord. And so, when it is said of Jerusalem, “the Lord is there,” if the nations come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles, if they refuse to be joyful before the Lord the King, they must suffer the rebuke and the judgment.
Oh that, with world-weaned hearts, and desirous affections towards Himself, we could indeed say, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
Great Father of mercies, we bow,
With thanks for our headship above!
Nor less, holy Jesus, art Thou
The object of praise and of love!
In the three glorious persons in God,
Whose sovereignty all shall adore,
Through Christ, and by faith in His blood,
We’ll glory and boast evermore.