By Henry Law
Bright views of redeeming love shine forth in the opening of this Psalm. Prayer is made that grace may still abound. God's attributes are shown to be all reconciled in Christ. May we gaze with delight, and give all glory to our God!
1-3. "Lord, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned Yourself from the fierceness of Your anger."
The immediate occasion of this triumphant joy is doubtless the deliverance of Israel's sons from some oppressing enemy. But the predictive shadow is soon chased away by the bright shining of redemption's rescue. In this scheme the riches of God's grace are seen. Free favor comes forth mighty to save. The wonders of mercy are ascribed to this love as their source. We see the origin of complete salvation. Wrath had existed against all sin; anger had fiercely blazed against iniquity; but vengeance is quenched in the ocean of redeeming blood. Where is iniquity? It is all forgiven. Where are sins? They are all covered. Let our rejoicing souls testify, Lord, You have been favorable to us.
4-7. "Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? will You draw out Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation."
But the ransomed heritage often fails to realize secured salvation. They tremble lest God's anger should return, and favor cease to smile. Let this temptation always drive to prayer. This is the time to supplicate that dying graces may revive, and that joy and gladness may reoccupy the soul; that mercy may again abound; and that salvation's glories may illustriously shine.
8. "I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak peace to His people, and to His saints; but let them not turn again to folly."
Answers will surely come. Let us open wide our hearts to welcome their arrival. They will fly on the wings of peace. The voice will be heard, Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. The Lord of peace Himself will give us peace always by all means. But let us take heed, and never turn aside to folly's fears and doubts and ways. Let us ever listen to wisdom's teaching, and walk in wisdom's ways.
9-10. "Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
It is rich mercy that salvation is not to be sought in a far-distant region. Tedious efforts and protracted wanderings are not needed. It is ever by our side. We may open the hand and take it. What a constellation of blessedness brightens in the thought! Mercy, which ever pitifully yearns, has ample scope. Truth hastens to meet her with the assurance that it no more opposes. Righteousness enrobes the ransomed flock. All heaven is at peace, and all God's attributes embrace. Oh! blessed Jesus, we adore You for your saving work!
11-13. "Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yes, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before Him, and shall set us in the way of His steps."
Glorious results follow. On earth truth shall be as a fruitful crop, and righteousness shall flow down as showers from heaven. Every grace shall flourish and abound. The Good Shepherd shall precede His flock, and shall guide them safely in all righteous ways. How glorious is our Gospel, in its origin, in its work, in its effects! May we fully receive it! It is the blessing of blessings.