Andrew A. (Andrew Alexander) Bonar.

Christ and His Church in the Book of Psalms online

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6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning :
I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

7 Let Israel hope in the Lord :

For with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

A NEW series begins here. Though Horsley suggests the oc-
casion of this Psalm to be " Upon bringing a sin-offering,"
there is nothing to fix it specially to this occasion. The cos-
tume of it is taken from a Levite, says the Targum, waiting
for the first intimation of the hour of morniug sacrifice ; but it
may just as well be said to be taken from the case of any watch-
man on his watch-tower, wearying for the dawn of day. It
reminds us of Hab. ii. 2.


The worshipper relates his former earnest cry (ver. 1, 2)
from troubles and darkness that were to him like Jonah's deep
waters, or the water-deeps of Psa. Ixix. 1 4. The Lord of Pil-
grims, as well as each of his band, became familiar with such
deeps. He cried the cry of verse 1, feeling intense agony all
the while, under his load of imputed guilt,

" Iftlwu, Lord (Jah), loert to mark (Job x. 14, IG) iniquity, lolio, Lord,
coidd stand 1 " (Ver. 3.)

But he cried in expectation of being heard, being able to point
to satisfaction given to the law for tliat guilt.

"For ivitli tliee the forgiveness is" (nnvDn) — Se2)t., 6 iXasfj-og \6ti-

The forgiveness spoken of in the law of sacrifice, such as Lev.
iv. 20, 26, 31, verses 10, 13, and proclaimed at Horeb, Exod.
xxxiv. 9, and in the Temple, 1 Kings viii. 34, 36, 39. This
being so, the worshipper learns there ''the fear of the Lord"
and goes on his way, waiting for further light and teaching,
waiting for the opening out of the Lord's hid treasures from
day to day, waiting for these discoveries with intenser interest
than watchman wait for morning. With intense desire Israel
waited for Christ's coming in the flesh, and for the offering up
of the " one sacrifice for ever," that was to make the worship-
per " perfect as pertaining to the conscience." Yet still he sees
only a part ; he waits for more of " the Spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge of Him." And if the Lord's
Second Coming be the chief time for the unfolding of all that
the worshipper desires, then the waiting for that day is not one
of the least intense of his feelings. And so, " Israel, hope
thou in the Lord ;" for who knoweth the flood of mercies that
shall yet burst on them and on earth, when Jacob's redeeming
God (Gen. Ixviii. 17) brings "plenteous redemption," or, as it
is literally, "shall multiply to his people redemptions," as
he " multiplied pardons" (Isa. Iv. 6), at their first return to
him. To all of them he fulfils the name "Jesus," saving
from all transgressions. In such strains we find
The Lord's servant relating his earnest cry and its results.

The theme.



A Song of degrees of David.

1 Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty :
Neither do I exercise myself in great matters.

Or in things too high for me.

2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
As a child that is weaned of his mother :
My soul is even as a weaned child.

3 Let Israel hope in the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

Thine of the calm bosom of the Lake of Galilee that morning
after Christ had spoken peace to the tempest — think of that
glassy sea, resting in a morning without clouds under the ris-
ing sun. Was it not a fit and fair emblem of the soul of the
man whose name had once been " Legion/' whom Jesus that
morning met, and whose spiritual storms Jesus calmed by a
word ? Is that man's soul now not as peaceful and at rest as
that lake ? It is such a picture of repose we have here. In
the case of the Master, no previous storm had vexed it ; in the
case of the disciple, the tempest has preceded the peace.

It is the Master who can in full measure look up to his
Father and say —

" Lord, iny heart is not haughty, neither are mine eyes lofty ;
I ivalk not in great things, and matters too high for me."

He was willing on earth to be ignorant even of the day of his
own glory — his Second Coming — and, while grieving intensely
over Capernaum, and the other cities, was content to rest his
spirit in this one consideration, " Even so, Father ; for so it
seemed good in thy sight."
" Surely {i^^ D^^ like Isa. v. 9, &c.) I have smoothed and silenced my soid,
As a child weaned from its mother. My soul in me is as a iceaned child^
Others say,

" As a iveaned child leans upon his mother,"' (iQi^ ^/S?,) '"'ithout any de-
sire to suck the breast as before.

Not of this world, loving the Father, Christ walked through
earth without a murmur, or suspicion, or doubt, as to his Fa-
ther's will — " Not my will, but thine be done." And his heart


overflowed toward man also (ver. 3) ; he pressed men to partake
of his joy in the Lord. Such was the Master.

His followers are only in some measure like him. It is
when they shall " see him as he is/' that they shall be able to
take up the Psalm in all its breadth. True, they receive the
kingdom of God "as a little child ;" they are " not of the world,
even as he is not of the world ;" they have accepted the pun-
ishment of their iniquity, and their once uncircumcised hearts
have been humbled. Still, they have only some measure of
this " mind that was in Him ;" but they are expecting the entire
likeness, on that day when Israel realizes what is written in Lev.
xxvi. 41, and hopes in the Lord, from henceforth and forever.''
Thus the harp sings of

Jhe Lord's serva^it's co7itentment with Jehovah's will.


A Song of degrees.

1 LoKD, remember David, and all his afflictions :

2 How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of

Jacob ;

3 Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up iiuo

my bed,

4 I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,

5 Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God

of Jacob.

6 Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.

7 We will go into his tabernacles : we will worship at bis footstool.

8 Arise, O Lord, into thy rest ; thou, and the ark of thy strength.

9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness ; and let thy saints shout

for joy.

10 For thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of thine anointed.

11 The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David ; he will not turn from it ;
Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach

Their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.

13 For the Lord hath chosen Zion ; he hath desired it for his habitation.

14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell ; for I have desired it.

15 1 will abundantly bless her provision : I will satisfy her poor with bread.

16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation : and her saints shall shout

aloud for joy.




17 There will 1 make the horn of Diivid to bud : I have ordained a lamp for

mine anointed.

18 His enemies will I clothe with shame : but upon himself shall his crown


Tiie tiieme. The pilgrim-worsliipper spreads before his God the pledges of
of God. ■ his favour to Zion, reminds him of pra3rers presented, and gets
a reply that leaves him in adoring silence. The anxiety David
felt about the Ark, and the Lord's care in general, is meant in
verse 1. ''Lord, remember i^) as to David all his trouble:"
all his efforts to establish thy sanctuary, and all he has under-
gone for thee, (or, in behalf of) even as 2 Chron. vi. 42, Solo-
mon prays — " Remember the mercies of David thy servant."
Remember David's solemn oath to the " Mighty One of Jacob"
(see Gen. xlix. 25) — the Blesser of Joseph with all blessings of
heaven, and earth, and the deep beneath. As the men of Israel
so resolutely pursued the evil-doers of Gibeah that they swore
(Judges XX. 8), " We will not any of lis go to his tent, neither
will any of us turn into his house," so did he swear, in fol-
lowing hard after the Lord's glory, when desiring to build the

It seems as if the appeal altered its form at verse 6. The
worshippers refer to the past history of the Ark, when dwelling
at Shiloh ; for by " Ephratah," we do not understand Bethle-
hem,* the place where David spent his youth, but the district of
Ephraim.\ As a man of Mount Ephraim is called ""jnEli^, in
1 Sam. i. 1, so the district wovdd be rTJn"13i;iJ. The worship-
pers say, " We have heard the past history of the Ark at Shiloh
in Ephraim ; how the Lord ^warned Israel by judgments there
against all formality and all irreverence. We have found it at
Kirjath-jearim, where the Lord blessed those who made it wel-
come ; and so we have learnt to honour it." For, " fields jof the
wood," is agreed to be a name equivalent to " city of the woods,"
i. 6-, Kirjath-jearim.

* It will not at all accord with the original, to find here an allusion to
Christ's journeying through the land — born at Ephratah, sitting on Jacob's
Well, &c. Nor, as Alexander would have it, " When in my youth I resided
at Bethlehem, I heard of the Ark's movements."

f So, J. H. Michaelis' Bible, note on 1 Sam xvii. 12, " Regio, Ephraia dici
videtur." And Tholuck says here that Sliiloh in Ephraim is meant.


" Let us come to his tabernacles (the IIolj and Most Holy),
Let us worship at Ids footstool (the Ark with its Mercy-seat, Lam. ii. 1).
Arise, Lord, (to go) to thy resting-place,
Thou and thy mighty Ark."" (2 Chron. vi. 41.)

Let US notice the prayer, verse 9, with the answer, verse 1 6.
The prayer asks in behalf of the priests " righteousness," i. e.,
what shews forth God's righteous character ; the answer is,
" I will clothe her priests with salvation," i. e., with what shews
forth God's gracious character. Caring for the interests of
God, the worshipper finds his own interests fully cared for.
And now, after spreading the Lord's pledged word (verses 1 ] ,
12), before him, the worshipper hears the Lord himself utter the
rejDly, q. d., " I will do all that has been sought."

" For the Lord hath chosen Zion. (Ver. 13.)
There will I make a horn bud up to David (one full of power, Messiah).
IJmve prepared C^J^yii^ as Exod.xxvii. 20) a lamp for mine anointed One."

In time of darkness, lo ! the lamp (like the burners on the
seven-branched lamp,) of mine Anointed shines ! Messiah
and his Church, the light of the world ! As yet this has been
fulfilled only in part ; the lamp is lighted ; the horn of David
has shot up ; but it is only in part that the last verse has been
accomplished. The Lord's Second Coming will accomplish all
to the full.

" His enemies will I clothe with shame,
But upon himself shall the crown fonrish.^'

It is thus the pilgrim- worshippers going up to the feasts re-
mind their Lord of the mercies he has given them reason to
expect. They imitate the heavenly worshippers in Rev. v. 8,
holding up their golden vials " full of incense," i. e., of prayers
as yet unanswered. When the type of the Ark at rest in Solo-
mon's Temple is fulfilled, all our prayers shall be answered.
Meanwhile let us often use such an appeal as this, an appeal in
which our Master could take part in the days of his flesh. It
is a Psalm wherein we hear,

The Lord's servant reminding Jehovah that he has pledged
himself to hlec

Online LibraryAndrew A. (Andrew Alexander) BonarChrist and His Church in the Book of Psalms → online text (page 37 of 42)