The Church under affliction, speaks with some pain of the frequency of it from persecutions: but towards the close of the Psalm she takes comfort, from the consideration that the Lord will recompense her enemies.
A Song of Degrees.
It is beautiful to observe how the Scriptures sometimes speak of the church, and sometimes of Christ the head of the church, as one and the same. Hence the church is sometimes called by Christ's name; Jeremiah 33:16. compared with Jeremiah 23:6. And as in name, so in interest, all Christ hath as mediator, is his church's, 1 Corinthians 3:22-23. Now the afflictions of the church are first spoken of in this psalm; and afterwards the personal sorrows of Jesus. Before Christ's incarnation, the seed of Hagar persecuted the child of promise, Galatians 1:24: and from Christ's birth his own persecutions took place, Hosea 11:1, which scripture the Evangelist Matthew refers to Christ, Matthew 2:14-15.
Surely here we find Christ most emphatically pointed out: Jesus, the Prophet, described as giving his back to the smiters; and in the hall of Pilate we know that Jesus was scourged. Isaiah 50:6; John 19:1.
These expressions are delivered in the. Spirit of prophecy; as if The sacred Writer had said, such will be the sure consequence of all Zion's foes; they must perish forever. And to which every true follower of the Lord Jesus cannot but say Amen. So spake Deborah in that divine song; So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might, Judges 5:31.
PAUSE, my soul! look back and see what part thou hast borne in the afflictions of the Church. Depend upon it, among the truest evidences of the renewed life, a sincere love to Zion forms a principal part. If I truly love Jesus, I must love every member of the mystical body of Jesus; and as one of old said it, and all find it, the remembrance of Zion, taking part in her sorrows, and participating in her joys, proves a connexion with the King and Lord of Zion: If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right-hand forget her cunning. if I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth: If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. And oh! thou glorious Head of thy Church and people! shall I not find the blessedness of meditating on thine unequalled sorrows; when, for the redemption of our souls, the ploughers ploughed upon thy back, and made long their furrows! Didst thou give thy back to the smiters, and thy cheeks to them that plucked off the hair? And shall my soul look on, and feel no interest, no concern! Gracious Lord! let it be among the first of my thoughts to follow thee both to the cross, and to thy throne: to the doleful Gethsemane, and to the joy on which thou hast entered and taken everlasting possession. And let my soul feel all that sweet consolation in the consciousness, that I not only partake of what is thine, but that thou partakest of what is mine. Thou hast fellowship in all my exercises, trials, wants, difficulties: my sufferings are thine, for the lowest member of thy mystical body cannot be afflicted but the Head feels; and thou hast said he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of thine eye. Hence, dearest Lord, let my soul rejoice in tribulation, when I know that that tribulation Jesus appoints, Jesus supports, Jesus takes part in, and Jesus will bless. Hallelujah. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. He takes part in all that concerns me, and, my soul, do thou take part in all that concerns him. If Jesus feels for my sorrows, he gives me to participate in his blessedness. What though I now sow in tears, I shall finally reap in joy: like the true spiritual mower, I shall bring home the full sheaves of corn to Jesus's granary, and my bosom will be filled with his love. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 129". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany