By Henry Law
A hymn here meets us earnest in prayer, bright in prospects, shining in prophecies, glorious in anticipations. Hope gazes with delight on the fullness of the Gentiles--on the consequent ingathering of the Jews, and all the glories of the second Advent. May we here find a subject for our supplications--a theme for rejoicing hope!
1-2. "God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us. That Your way may be known upon earth, Your saving health among all nations."
We rightly use the promises of God when we turn them into earnest prayer. We cannot doubt that we pursue a track which leads to all riches of fulfillment, when our lips plead that God would do unto us according to His word. Often are we assured that God is rich in mercy unto His people, and that His blessing is their promised heritage. How earnestly, then, and joyfully may we put God in remembrance, and plead with Him to be merciful unto us, and to bless us, and to lift up upon us the light of His countenance, and to cause the shining of His smile to beam around us.
But such prayer should not be limited to our own joys only. It should enfold in its embrace the whole family of man. Our supplications should beseech Him to look beyond our own needs, and to make known throughout the world His purpose, His will, His grace, His love, His design in sending Jesus to assume our flesh, His covenant of everlasting peace in Him. But such prayer lacks the essence of sincerity if it evaporates in word only, and makes no effort to secure fulfillment. How vain to pray and not to labor in the missionary cause!
3-4. "Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise You. O let the nations be glad, and sing for joy; for You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth."
What a glorious prospect here rises to our view! What joy and gladness animate the scene! What sound prevails? It is the praises of our God. Where issue forth these precious notes? Not from one heart only; not from one family only, but from all who throng the earth. From every climate, from every nation, from all who breathe the breath of life, adoration is uplifted. "Let the people praise You, O God, let all the people praise You." How earnestly should we pray, 'Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, and establish this reign of universal gladness. For then shall all nations sing for joy.'
How abundant will be the cause of this thanksgiving. The blessed Jesus shall sit upon the throne of His kingdom. His happy subjects shall adore Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. His rule shall be righteousness. The laws of His empire shall be perfect holiness. Sin, with all its miseries, shall be cast out. Its hideous features shall be no more seen. Nothing shall appear which shall mar the happiness of all the rejoicing subjects. The tabernacle of God shall be with them. The purposes of redeeming love shall be fully manifested. A righteous King shall govern righteous subjects. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."
5-7. "Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise You. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him."
Again and again shall prayer ascend for the ingathering of the Gentiles into the fold of Christ. The blessing is promised, and no rest should be given until the happy consummation comes, and the fullness of these new subjects shall be as life from the dead to the expectant world. Then, as when renewed fertility crowns the surface of the earth with goodness, so every token of joy and blessedness shall be seen throughout the world's length and breadth. "God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him." Who can conceive the blessings which Christ Jesus bestows on His ransomed heritage? How can we adequately love and bless and praise and adore Him! Let us go forth in faith, and ponder the coming wonders of His reign. Let our lips often cry, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."