By Henry Law
To the believer there is much joy in present state. There is, also, bright hope of rising to eternal life. May this joy and hope be our abiding portion!
1. "Preserve me, O God; for I put my trust in You."
The Spirit draws aside the veil, and shows that Jesus is mainly present in this psalm. May we peruse it walking by His side, listening for His voice! He who was emphatically a Man of Sorrows was emphatically a man of faith. As such He was, also, a man of prayer. In all the trials of His low estate, the mind of Jesus rested on His God. When perils came as a devouring flood, He looked upward for preserving aid. Happy the members who trust and pray in the meek spirit of their Head!
2, 3. I said to the Lord, "You are my Master! All the good things I have are from you. The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!"
Jesus professes that His inmost soul claims God as His God. Happy are our souls when they respond, O God, You are our God. The blessed state of God is perfect; it is infinite; the heaven-high pyramid cannot receive a higher stone. Redemption's work, which manifests His glory, cannot augment His bliss. Let not the foolish thought be ours that we can enlarge infinitude. We read the wondrous word, that from everlasting, Wisdom's delights were with the sons of men. In the days of Christ's flesh, the calm retreat of Bethany, the converse with His chosen followers, reflect this truth. Blessed be God, there still are saints on earth! Blessed are they who hold communion with them.
4. "Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips."
How prone is man to cast away the true and living God, and with deluded mind to rush to idol-worship! To multiply gods is to multiply sorrows. They are all devils, and their work is to torment. The godly man abhors their offerings, and spurns their very names. There was an offering of blood which Jesus offered; may we delight in it as all salvation.
5, 6. "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a goodly heritage."
Our blessed Jesus more than walked patiently in all His path below. There was joy set before Him which gladdened His every step. In Christ God is our God forever. Can we desire more? How rich is this portion! How reviving is our cup! How can we bless His grace enough who has called us to this ennobling state? Angels are ours to guard us. Providences are ours to secure our bliss. The God-Man's blood is ours to wash out every sin. A righteousness is prepared to robe us for the courts above. Heaven is promised as our endless home. We have a goodly heritage.
7. "I will bless the Lord, who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons."
Jesus bears the sweet name of Counselor, and sweetly does He execute His office. He sends His Spirit to admonish and gently to direct. This is His gracious work. To Him be all the praise. He adds instruction in times of silence and of solitude, when the world is far away. He visits the deep recesses of the heart. He communes with the secrets of the soul, and deeply writes His lessons of pure wisdom. Let us again say, "Bless the Lord."
8, 9. "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also shall rest in hope."
The mind of Jesus ever rested on God's will. He came to earth, He lived, He worked, He died to glorify His Father. He knew that God was ever by His side. He feared not the assaults of men or devils. His cause could never totter. He surely marched to triumph. Therefore in all His trials His heart was tranquil and His lips sang praise. He knew indeed that He must hang a dead man on the Cross; He must exhaust death's bitter cup. But His tomb was bright in prospect that the dark bed would soon be left. All His members share this trust. May this faith be largely ours! The eye that ever looks for God may ever see Him. He is ever near, and near to help. Can he be moved on whose right hand God stands?
10. "because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay."
The Spirit here foreshows the glorious truth that death could not detain our Lord. Christ breaks the icy shackles; He leaves the short imprisonment. No corruption taints the sacred body. He stands again alive on earth. Infallible proofs demonstrate that He who was dead is now alive. Except the Lord's near coming should prevent it, we too must sleep the sleep of death. We are not screened from corruption. Decay will riot on these frames. But short will be death's triumph. The trumpet will sound. Corruption shall put on incorruption.
11. "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
The heart of Jesus was sustained by joys before Him; joys in His Heavenly Father's throne--joys which should have no end. Shall not we too lift up expectant heads? The voice of truth assures us, "The glory which You gave Me, I have given them." Thought staggers. Minds are narrow to embrace the bliss; but faith entirely believes. Hope bounds toward the fulfillment. Happy the hours which flow in meditation on fullness of joy and pleasures with God forevermore! To gaze on this glorious prospect is heaven begun. What will the reality bestow? Lord grant that we may quickly know!