By Henry Law
This Psalm presents especial grandeur and magnificence. In the first instance we have a description of the glorious reign of Solomon. But this reign soon fades before the sublimities of the reign of Jesus, the glowing words portraying it in a diversity of aspects. An appropriate ascription of glory concludes.
1. "Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king's son."
The aged monarch looks with fervent interest on his successor. Well did he know that prosperity must be the gift of God, that no talents or possessions could prevail unless God upheld him. It is a blessed thing to know that every good and perfect gift is from above. David especially supplicates that justice and equity might be the rule of the young monarch's reign, and that all his doings might be ordered by desire to execute God's will.
2-3. "He shall judge Your people with righteousness, and Your poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness."
The prayer is scarcely uttered before fulfillment is realized. The people are represented as prospering under righteous government--all orders of subordinate officers are represented as conducing to the peace and happiness of the subjects.
But a far greater than Solomon is here. We see our blessed Jesus seated on the throne of David, and wielding the scepter of His righteousness. His scepter indeed is a righteous scepter. All events regulated by Him bring peace and comfort to those who receive Him as their Lord and King. He will so govern that those who hold office in this world shall own His sway, and shall be guided according to His good pleasure to subserve the interests of His cause.
4-5. "He shall judge the poor of the people, He shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations."
The poor and needy seem to be Christ's especial care. They may have little of the things of earth, but Christ's smile and blessing marks them heirs of all things. Men may oppress them. But this mighty King will break the oppressor's rod.
This prediction finds its grand fulfillment when Jesus triumphs on the cross, and rises from the grave the mighty Conqueror of sin and Satan. The perfecting of His kingdom is next declared. He shall never lack subjects who, while they love Him, still serve with filial reverence. While the world lasts, His kingdom shall abide, and when the world passes away His kingdom shall shine forth in everlasting brightness.
6-7. "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth. In His days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endures."
A sweet and graphic emblem shows the fertilizing refreshment which His people shall receive. Let the eye look upon the pastures over which the scythe has passed. They seem brought low, they show no sign of fertility. But when the gentle rain descends and genial showers fall, how quickly will vitality spring up, and plenty flourish around. So our great King will visit the depressed hearts of people by His presence, by His Spirit, by His Word. Then sweet revivals shall occur, and grace uplift a joyous head.
The beauties of His kingdom are exceeding great. His people are all righteous, and all the fruits of righteousness abound in them, especially the fruits of peace. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you." The world may be in terrible commotion, but peace sweetly sings in the believer's heart--a peace which passes all understanding, a peace which this world can neither give nor take away. The King of Israel is "the Prince of Peace."
8-9. "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him; and His enemies shall lick the dust."
Omnipotence is the property of our great King. His dominion extends precisely as His will directs. Sometimes we seem to fear that His subjects are a little flock. But He has His hidden ones, and He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. The wildest nations shall be subdued when He is pleased to send His truth into their hearts; and those who oppose His sway shall lie low in shame. Come, Lord Jesus, reign in the midst of Your enemies!
10-11. "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him."
These words receive a striking confirmation in the historian's page. The ships of Tarshish and of the neighboring isles come laden with their treasures to enrich King Solomon. Superabundance has poured in to give supplies to render the Temple the glory of the world. The Queen of Sheba comes in person to render her homage, and her train is splendid with presents from her land.
Thus, also, when Jesus lies a newborn babe at Bethlehem, Magi from the East are guided to His lowly dwelling, and spread their offerings at His feet. In after days Isaiah prolongs this prophecy that kings shall be Your nursing fathers and their queens Your nursing mothers. Does the historian relate that in fulfillment of these words, all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom and that he reigned over all kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt; and shall we doubt that universal sway shall be our Lord's dominion, and that the crown of all shall be assigned to Him?
12-14. "For He shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him who has no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence; and precious shall their blood be in His sight."
We have here a sweet picture of the peaceful reign of Solomon; benevolent care protected all his subjects; their petitions found him ever ready to give audience; cruelty and oppression were checked, and all injury to them was regarded as the highest crime.
How sweetly do we see Jesus here! His subjects may be low in earthly state, their abode may be in the midst of poverty and need, but no earthly degradation lowers them in His esteem. They all have instant access to Him; and when their cry proclaims their need, His melting heart brings full deliverance. They may be permitted to suffer from deceit and violence, but their souls are safe in His redeeming arms. They may expire amid the martyr's pains, but injury to them is injury to Himself. He keeps them as the apple of His eye.
15-17. "And He shall live, and to Him shall be given of the gold of Sheba; prayer also shall be made for Him continually; and daily shall He be praised. There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon; and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure forever; His name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed."
Other kings grow old; their strength declines, they go down to the grave. David, when he had served his generation, fell on sleep. Not so our glorious King. Immortality is His property--eternal days are the duration of His reign. It is the joy of His willing subjects to present their offerings to Him, and prayer continually encircles His high throne. His subjects, also, shall marvelously increase. The seed of His truth sown in places unlikely to yield fruit shall bring forth abundantly, as corn cast on the top of barren tops of mountains shall sometimes gladden with signs of fertility. The crowded city, also, shall be thronged with converts--they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses. Ages shall run their course; but while the sun hangs out its glorious light, the name of Jesus shall be magnified, and nations blessed by His favor, upheld by His power, and magnified in His might shall honor Him as the one source of blessedness, and shall adore Him forever as the blessed.
18-19. "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. And blessed be His glorious name forever; and let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen."
This glorious hymn can have but one conclusion. Doxology must be its end! But how can we praise Him enough to whom alone the wonders of redemption appertain? forever and forever let blessings magnify His glorious name. Throughout the length and breadth of earth may His glory be resplendent! May our grateful hearts respond, "Amen and Amen!"