By Henry Law
A song of praise is here added to our stores. Motives to this exercise claim attention. In many portions Christ is distinctly seen. May He thus become dearer to our hearts!
1-4. "O give thanks to the Lord; for He is good; because His mercy endures forever. Let Israel now say, that His mercy endures forever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that His mercy endures forever. Let those now who fear the Lord say, that His mercy endures forever."
Our sluggish hearts cannot be too thankful for exhortations to sing of mercy. All classes, all ranks should be incessantly earnest in this duty. Let God's ministering servants lead the hymn. Let all the company of believers respond, "His mercy endures forever."
5-7. "I called upon the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do to me? The Lord takes my part with those who help me; therefore shall I see my desire upon those who hate me."
Faith hears Christ in these professions. He speaks not in His own person only, but as representing all His people. Let us, then, cast away all fear. God in Him and He in us is triumph over every foe.
8-12. "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man; it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. All nations compassed me about; but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them. They surrounded me; yes, they compassed me about; but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns; for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them."
To trust in the Lord is help and victory. To trust in man is to walk on a quicksand. May the Lord raise us above such folly! Our great Head here testifies for Himself and for His followers, that though His enemies might be countless in number and terrible in sting, they must vanish before the presence of the Lord.
13-16. "You have thrust sore at me, that I might fall; but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and song, and has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly."
We should be grateful for these precious assurances. Mighty, indeed, is our main adversary, but he is as nothing before the Lord. In our God we have all strength and all salvation. His right hand will fight mightily and triumphantly in our behalf. Thus the voice of thanksgiving shall be heard in our homes.
17-21. "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has chastened me sore; but He has not given me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord; this gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise You; for You have heard me, and have become my salvation."
We are again warned that, though our feet stand on the rock of salvation, we are not beyond the reach of trials. But let nothing shake our confidence. The praises of the Lord shall yet be our song.
22-24. "The stone which the builders refused has become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Christ is again manifest. He has been, and He still is, the despised and rejected of men. But He is the foundation on which His Church rests, and the ornament of the beautiful fabric. It was a glorious day when, rising from the dead, He was displayed as the Son of God. It is indeed to each believer a glorious day when He shines in their hearts as all their salvation.
25-29. "Save now, I beseech You, O Lord; O Lord, I beseech You, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, who has shown us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy endures forever."
Shall we not bless Him who comes in the name of the Lord? Shall we not bring our hearts and souls as a willing sacrifice to Him? While we live let us bless and serve Him. This will be our glad occupation throughout eternity. Let the song now begin which never can conclude, "His mercy endures forever."