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We have in this Psalm the blessed effects most fully described of strong confidence and faith in God. The happiness of communion with God is also very beautifully set forth, and the certainty of God answering prayer.
A Psalm of David.
We shall enter into the spirit of this most lovely Psalm with double delight, if, as it refers so highly to Christ, we keep him in view through the whole of it. And that it is Jesus who is principally intended by what is here said, is most evident from this very passage at the opening of it; for we never read in the life of David of the stumbling of his enemies before his face. But we see this most strikingly displayed in the life of Christ. To stumble and fall at the sight of another, is a peculiarity of expression deserving our attention, because it should seem as if the Holy Ghost by it would direct the church to the Lord Christ. David conquered, through the Lord, a host of foes, it is true; but never did the mere speaking of a man cause others to fall, until in the garden, when the band of men and officers, with the wicked Judas, went to apprehend, Christ, they, at a word speaking, went backward, and fell to the ground. Reader, think of this; and consider how frequently, during the Lord Christ's exercising his ministry upon earth, the power of the Godhead broke forth through the veil of that flesh, which was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. John 18:3-6 . And, Reader, make a double improvement of this sweet scripture. First, let it teach thee, that this Psalm plainly and decidedly points to Jesus. And secondly, ask yourself what greater testimony you would require of the Godhead of Christ, than the moment of his life to which this refers. Was it ever heard, in all the histories of wars, that the voice of a whole army caused others to fall backward on the ground? And yet this was wrought by Christ in such a season. What a confirmation of that prophecy, He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:4 . Precious Jesus, how animating it is to thy faithful followers, when, under the leadings and guidings of thy Holy Spirit, they are enabled to discover here and there in the scriptures, and in places least expected by them, such incontestible evidences of thy glorious person and Godhead.
While we distinguish Christ here also, as our glorious Head, thus seeking, above all things, communion with the Father; and while we behold the blessed Jesus spending whole nights in prayer to God (Luke 6:12 ), we may, by virtue of our union with him, and interest in him, see how delightful an evidence this becomes of our new life. My brother, if the Lord Jehovah be indeed your light and salvation, then this one thing will also be the one thing needful, and the grand desire of your soul: no one, who hath once seen the King in his beauty, will feel his heart captivated with any other. To contemplate the glory, grace, wisdom, love, and faithfulness, in God the Father, as manifested most eminently in the redemption by his dear Son; to behold the glories of Christ's person, the infinite beauties in himself, and the infinite riches in his salvation; And to admire and adore the love, and grace, and condescension of God the Spirit: whoever hath thus seen Jehovah, in his threefold character of person, will find, under Christ, a heart constrained, by the same influence, to desire this one thing, and this one only, as the sum total of all happiness.
These are some of the blessed effects of the knowledge and enjoyment of the Lord. Oh, how blessed is it to be in Christ, the sanctuary! Oh, how blessed to lift up the head in his strength! And oh, how blessed to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, here below; while the church above is singing the same at the fountain-head of joy.
These also are precious things, if considered with an eye to Christ: but, without him, as was said by Joseph to the sons of Israel, ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. Genesis 43:5 . But in Christ, as the way, the new and living way in his blood, and through Christ, as the means and end, the very life of the soul consisteth in prayers going up, and answers coming down, in a perpetual communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Reader, all connections cease but this of Jesus. Hence, when flesh and heart both fail, what an everlasting resource is that, that Christ, is the strength of our heart, and our portion forever. Psalms 73:26 .
I detain the Reader just to remark on this beautiful verse, the two things here prayed for. It is not enough to teach, but the Holy Ghost will lead also. He will not only show the path, and point to Jesus, but he will incline the heart into the love and delight of him.
Here again, if it had been needed by way of confirmation, that this whole Psalm primarily belongs to, and is speaking of the blessed Jesus, this verse most plainly testifies. Mark 14:55-59 .
How beautiful this verse is also, if read as the words of Jesus. Through the whole of Christ's ministry, he had an eye to the promised aid of his Father. God had said that he would strengthen him for the work, and carry him through it; and therefore Jesus is continually reminding the Father of his covenant-engagement. Psalms 89:21 , etc. Psalms 22:1 .
Nothing can be more blessed than viewing Christ in the promises, and pleading for the fulfillment and accomplishment of them, in and for him. Isaiah 40:31 .
READER, how beautiful is that scripture which hath Christ for its one glorious object, and that by holding him forth to the church's view, in the blessed work the Father gave him to do, represents him at the same time to his people, as their glorious Head, and as their glorious example. We shall derive all the blessedness which faith can derive from the many delightful encouragements held forth in this precious Psalm, if we keep up an unceasing dependence upon our glorious Redeemer, and approach to plead, for every blessing here sought for, from our sole interest in him. Jesus is our light, our life, our salvation, and the lifter up of our heads. Without him we have neither life, nor light, nor strength, nor confidence. In him, we find all: the source, the fountain, the means, the end, of every temporal, spiritual, and eternal security. And while we thus behold him, as our great Mediator, desiring to be everlastingly in communion with the Father, let us behold our vast privileges, and plead for some sweet and spiritual enjoyment in him, and through him, who is the one object of desire, to his redeemed in all nations. And, Reader, let us seek grace to resemble the blessed Jesus, who, in the days of his flesh, was assaulted by all the powers of darkness, by waiting until the hour of deliverance arrives, which will preserve us from fainting, or from being weary in our minds. Let us pray him, who hath gone before in the trying path, that we may be looking unto him, until we find our souls strengthened with his Spirit's might in our inward man. And depend upon it, while that grace within imparts strength to resist enemies without, neither the remains of unbelief, nor the corruptions of our nature, no, nor all the powers of darkness, will cast us down; but his strength will be perfected in our weakness, and we shall be more than conquerors, through his grace helping us.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 27". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter