Psalm 1:6
For the LORD guards the path of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Sermons
Resolute Righteousness SafeSir Richard Parker.Psalm 1:6
The Divine ObservationJoseph Parker, D. D.Psalm 1:6
The Way of the RighteousD. C. Hughes, A. M.Psalm 1:6
The Way of the RighteousSir Richard Parker.Psalm 1:6
A Certain Prescription for HappinessL. A. Banks, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
A ContrastC. Short Psalm 1:1-6
A Happy RetrospectQuiver.Psalm 1:1-6
Association with SinnersJ. Logan.Psalm 1:1-6
Avoiding Evil DoersE. N. Packard.Psalm 1:1-6
BlessednessW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
CharacterW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
CompanionsArthur Mursell.Psalm 1:1-6
Counsels to the YoungJ. Witherspoon, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
Getting Used to an Ungodly AtmospherePsalm 1:1-6
Greatness, Happiness, ProsperityW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
Stages in SinSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The 1St Psalm, IntroductoryJ. J. Stewart Perowne, B. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessed ManW. Jay.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessed ManJoseph Parker, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessed Man's LikenessJoseph Parker, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessedness of the TrueW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
The Character of the Pious and ProfaneExpository OutlinesPsalm 1:1-6
The Counsel of Ungodly MenSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Fear of RidiculeQuiver.Psalm 1:1-6
The Felicity of the Godly Man, and Infelicity of the WickThomas Wilcocks.Psalm 1:1-6
The Godly Man HappySir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Happy ManD. J. Burrell, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Happy ManW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
The Refusals of GodlinessSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Title: the Book of Psalms: the Psalms - Their Variety and ValueC. Clemance Psalm 1:1-6
The Triads of TransgressionHomiletic ReviewPsalm 1:1-6
The True ChristianJ. O. Keen, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Way of Sin DangerousSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Way of the RighteousMonday Club SermonsPsalm 1:1-6
Things Marred by UngodlinessSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
True and False FriendshipR. Venting.Psalm 1:1-6
In the Book of Psalms, or, strictly speaking, in the five Books of Psalms, we have illustrations of most of the varied kinds of documents of which the entire Bible is made up. In their entirety the collection forms the Hebrews' 'Book of Praise,' or, as Professor Cheyne puts it, 'The Praises of Israel.' It is probable, however, that very few, in their private devotions, read all the Psalms with equal frequency or delight. There are some "favourites," such as Psalm 23., 46., 145., etc. The fact is that spiritual instincts are often far in advance of technical definitions, and the heart finds out that which is of permanent value over and above its historic interest, far more quickly than the intellect defines the reason thereof. Ere we pursue the study of the Psalms one by one, it may be helpful to note the main classes into which they may be grouped, as such classification will enable us the better to set in order the relation which each one bears to "the whole counsel of God." In the last of the Homiletics on Deuteronomy by the present writer, there is a threefold result indicated of communion between the Spirit of God and the spirit of man. When such fellowship is in the devotional sphere, it subserves the life of religion; when the Spirit of God impels to the going forth on a mission or the writing of a record, that is inspiration; when the Spirit of God discloses new truth or forecasts the future, that is revelation. These three divisions indicate three main groups under which the Psalms may be classified. For the most part, each one speaks for itself, and with sufficient clearness indicates to which of the three groups it belongs; and according to the group in which it is found will be the value and bearing of the psalm on the believer's experience, faith, and life.

I. MANY OF THE PSALMS ARE THE OUTCOME OF PRIVATE OR PUBLIC DEVOTION. It is in these that we get a priceless glimpse into the heartwork of Old Testament saints, and see how constant was their habit of pouring out their souls to God. Psalm 3., 4., 5., 7., 8., 10., 13., et alii, are illustrations of this. Whether the soul was elated by joy or oppressed with care, whether bowed down with fear or rejoicing over a great deliverance, whether the presence of God was enjoyed or whether his face was hidden, whether the spirit was soaring in rapture or sinking in dismay, - amid all changes, from the overhanging of the blackest thundercloud to the beaming of the brightest sunshine, all is told to God in song, or plea, or moan, or plaint, or wail, as if the ancient believers had such confidence in God that riley could tell him anything! . Many of these private prayers bear marks of limited knowledge and imperfect conception, and are by no means to be taken as models for us. But no saint ever did or could in prayer rise above the level of his own knowledge. Still, they knew that God heard and answered, not according to their thoughts, but according to his loving-kindness; hence they poured out their whole souls to God, whether in gladness or sadness. And so may we; and God will do exceeding abundantly for us above all that we ask or think.

II. ANOTHER GROUP OF PSALMS CONSISTS OF THOSE WHICH ARE THE PRODUCTS OF ANOTHER FORM OF DIVINE INSPIRATION. These are not necessarily addresses to God; they are, for the most part, an inspired and inspiriting rehearsal of the mighty acts of the Lord, and a call to the people of God to join in the song of praise. Psalm 33., 46., 48., 78., 81., 89., and many others, are illustrations of this. At the back of them all there is a revelation of God known, accepted, and enjoyed. And according to this great and glorious redemption are the people exhorted to join in songs of praise. There is, moreover, this distinction, for the most part, between the first group and the second - the first group reflects the passing moods of man; the second reflects the revealed character and ways of God. The first group is mostly for private use, as the moods of the soul may respond thereto; the. second group is also for sanctuary song, and indicates the permanent theme of the believer's faith and hope, even "the salvation of God." With regard to the first group we may say, "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man." As to the second, the motto might be, "The Lord hath made known his salvation: therefore with our songs we will praise him." Under this head may also be set those calmly and sweetly meditative psalms, such as Psalm 23., 32., in which God's revelation of his works and ways gives its own hue to the musings of the saint. These are now the delight of believers, in public and in private worship, as the expression of an experience which is renewed in regenerate hearts age after age. None of them could possibly be accounted for by the psychology of the natural man; they accord only with the pneumatology of the spiritual man.

III. THE THIRD GROUP OF PSALMS CONSISTS OF THOSE IN WHICH THERE IS A DIRECT OR INDIRECT MESSIANIC REFERENCE AND FORECAST. Of these there are three kinds.

1. There are those directly and exclusively Messianic, such as Psalm 2., 45., 47., 72., 110. Of all these, the second psalm is, perhaps, throughout, as much as any of the psalms, clearly and distinctly applicable to the Coming One, and to him only. For the purpose of seeing and showing this, it may well be carefully studied. Every verse, every phrase, every word, tells; in fact, even the glorious fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is scarcely more clearly Messianic than the second psalm. Even Professor Cheyne is compelled to admit its Messianic reference, and he tells us that Ibn Ezra does so likewise. And that some of the psalms apply to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord himself assures us (Luke 24:44). And in an age like this, when destructive criticism is so popular, it is needful for the believing student to be the more accurate, clear, and firm.

2. Some psalms point to the era rather than to the Person of the Messiah. Such are the fiftieth and the eighty-seventh psalms. They are prophetic expositions of truths which pertain to the Messianic times, and receive their full elucidation from the developed expositions of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament; they cover the ground of the Messianic age.

3. Other psalms refer immediately to the writer himself, and have come to be regarded as Messianic because some of the words therein were quoted the Lord Jesus Christ and adopted as his own. Such a one is the twenty-second psalm, in which the writer bemoans his own sufferings and (according to the LXX.)his own transgressions. But it is not possible to apply every verse of this psalm to the Lord Jesus. He, however, being in all things made like unto his brethren, was "in all points tempted like as we are;" hence the very groans of his brethren fitted his own lips. He came to have fellowship with us in our sufferings that we might have fellowship with him in his! Thus there is established a marvellously close sympathy between Jesus and his saints, since his temptations, sorrows, and groans resembled theirs, To this discriminating and believing study of the first fifty psalms, the writer ventures to invite the Christian student and expositor. We must avoid the extreme of those who, with Home, would reheard most, if not all, the psalms as Messianic; and also the extreme of those who would regard none as such. Because our Lord said that all things must be fulfilled that were written in the Psalms concerning him, we may not infer that words which were written concerning him filled up all the Psalms; nor, with the unbeliever, may we regard the claim of prophecy as invalid through any repugnance to the supernatural. Intelligent discernment and loving faith are twin sisters; may they both be our attendants during our survey of these priceless productions of Hebrew pens! And may the Spirit of God be himself our Light and our Guide! - C.







The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous.
I. CONTRASTED PICTURES OF LIFE. —

1. That of the happy man illustrated by the law of attraction and repulsion. See the sentiments, habits, and disposition

(i)of the evil he is led to repel (ver. 1);

(ii)of the good to which he is attracted (ver. 2). Delighting and meditating upon God's Word.

2. By the law of vegetable life (ver. 3). The happy life of the good, like a fruit tree, is

(i)one of ceaseless appropriation and transformation,

(ii)of seasonable fruit bearing,

(iii)of prosperity under all circumstances.

3. With all this the life of the ungodly is contrasted (vers. 4-6):(i) As shown in the reason of the contrast. The character of the ungodly is self-evolved from their own nature. That of the good, from God.(ii) In the result of the contrast. The ungodly having no solidity, nothing substantial in themselves, are compared to "chaff," which is light and empty and easily carried away. And having no foundation, they cannot "stand in the judgment." And having nothing to support them, must perish while the good shall prosper evermore.

II. LESSONS FROM THESE CONTRASTED PICTURES. —

1. That true happiness is not the result of chance, but of law — fundamental, immutable, Divine. This law may be thus stated: Every effect must have an adequate cause. An uprooted tree cannot bear fruit; so a soul whose faith and love are torn away from God cannot be happy or prosperous. The specific law of spiritual good is this: Character determines destiny.

2. That God has so graciously arranged the conditions of happiness or misery that it is dependent upon each one's personal choice.

(D. C. Hughes, A. M.)

The question is not whether the righteous is apparently stronger than the ungodly, but what is the relation of the Lord to them both. The final award is not with man but with God. The destiny of the righteous and the ungodly is as distinct as their character. There is no blending of one into the other — the one lives, the other perishes. Consistently throughout the Bible life is always associated with obedience or righteousness, and death with disobedience or unrighteousness. Great value attaches to a consistency of this kind. It has a bearing upon the character of God Himself. It is because He never changes in His own moral quality that He never changes, in relation to the actions of men. That "the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous" is the good man's supreme comfort. Not that the good man challenges the Divine scrutiny in the matter of his actions, but that he is able to invite the Lord to look into the secret purpose of his heart and understand what is the supreme wish of his life. To know that the motive is right is to know that the end must be good. What we have to be supremely anxious about is the main purpose or desire of life; that being right, actions will adjust themselves accordingly, and, notwithstanding innumerable mistakes, the substance of the character shall be good, and a crown of glory shall be granted to the faithful servant.

(Joseph Parker, D. D.)

Or is it that the prophet saith not, God knoweth the righteous, but the way of the righteous; perhaps lest men, for doing one or two good deeds in all their life, should claim to be righteous, and for such righteousness claim acquaintance with God; and so indeed God might have acquaintance enough, seeing no man is so wicked but he may sometimes have good thoughts and do good deeds; but this will not serve: it must be a way of righteousness before God will know it.

(Sir Richard Parker.)

And here the godly may take his comfort by the way, that it is not their slippings or treading awry, which may he by ignorance, or infirmity, that can make, with God, this shipwreck of perishing; it must be a way of ungodliness, which is not usually made without much walking and exercising, without resolute intentions and endeavours, without set purposes and persistings, that if a man be sure he is free from these, he may then be confident he is safe from perishing.

(Sir Richard Parker.).

Why do the heathen rage?
But though the poem was occasioned by some national event, we must not confine its application to that event, nor need we even suppose that the singer himself did not feel that his words went beyond their first occasion. He begins to speak of an earthly king, and his wars with the nations of the earth; but his words are too great to have all their meaning exhausted in David, or Solomon, or Ahaz, or any Jewish monarch. Or ever he is aware, the local and the temporal are swallowed up in the universal and the eternal. The king who sits on David's throne has become glorified and transfigured in the light of the promise. The picture is half-ideal and half-actual. It concerns itself with the present, but with that only so far as it is typical of greater things to come. The true King who, to the prophet's mind, is to fulfil all his largest hopes, has taken the place of the visible and earthly king. The nations are not merely those who are now mustering for the battle, but whatsoever opposeth and exalteth itself against Jehovah and His anointed. Hence the Psalm is in the nature of a prophecy, and still waits for its final accomplishment. It had a real fulfilment, no doubt, in the banding together of Herod and Pontius Pilate against Christ (Acts 4:25-27). But this was not a literal one. It may be said to have an ever-repeated fulfilment in the history of the Church, which is a history of God's kingdom upon earth, a kingdom which in all ages has the powers of the world arrayed against it, and in all ages the same disastrous result to those who have risen "against the Lord and against His anointed." And so it shall be to the end, when, perhaps, that hostility will be manifested in some yet deadlier form, only to be overthrown forever, that the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ.

(J. J. S. Perowne.)

The true basis of this Psalm is not some petty revolt of subject tribes, but Nathan's prophecy in 2 Samuel 7, which sets forth the dignity and dominion of the King of Israel as God's son and representative. This grand poem may be called an idealising of the monarch of Israel, but it is an idealising with expected realisation. The Psalm is prophecy as well as poetry; and whether it had contemporaneous persons and events as a starting point or not, its theme is a real person, fully possessing the prerogatives and wielding the dominion which Nathan had declared to be God's gift to the King of Israel. The Psalm falls into four strophes of three verses each, in the first three of which the reader is made spectator and auditor of vividly painted scenes, while, in the last, the Psalmist exhorts the rebels to return to allegiance. In the first strophe (vers. 1-3) the conspiracy of banded rebels is set before us with extraordinary force. All classes and orders are united in revolt, and hurry and eagerness mark their action, and throb in their words. Vers. 4-6 change the scene to heaven. The lower half of the picture is all eager motion and strained effort; the upper is full of Divine calm. God needs not to rise from His throned tranquillity, but regards, undisturbed, the disturbances of earth. What shall we say of that daring and awful image of the laughter of God? The attribution of such action to Him is so bold that no danger of misunderstanding it is possible. It sends us at once to look for its translation, which probably lies in the thought of the essential ludicrousness of opposition, which is discerned in heaven to be so utterly groundless and hopeless as to be absurd. Another speaker is now heard, the anointed king, who in the third strophe (vers. 7-9) bears witness to himself, and claims universal dominion as his by a Divine decree. In vers. 10-12 the poet speaks in solemn exhortation. The kings addressed are the rebel monarchs whose power seemed so puny when measured against that of "my King." But all possessors of power and influences are addressed.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

A vivid picture of the revolt against Messiah.

I. THE EXTENT OF THE REVOLT. Nations, People, Kings, Rulers. Christ has encountered this opposition —

1. In all nations.

2. In all ranks.

3. In all generations. Christ was rejected by His own age (Acts 4:27).

II. THE DETERMINATION BY WHICH THIS REVOLT WAS CHARACTERISED. It is —

1. Deliberate.

2. Combined.

3. Resolute.

III. THE SECRET CAUSE OF THIS REVOLT. They rebel against the laws of God in Christ.

IV. THE VANITY OF THIS OPPOSITION TO CHRIST.

1. The unreasonableness of it. "WHY do the heathen rage?" No satisfactory answer can be given.

2. The uselessness of it. It is "vain," because useless.

V. THE CONCLUSION. The Psalmist gives —

1. An admonition: "Be wise now."

2. A direction: "Serve the Lord." Do Him homage.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

I. THE KING (vers. 6-7).

1. Divinely appointed. "I have set." The Father speaking.

2. Divinely anointed. The name Christ or Messiah signifies anointed.

3. Assured of universal rule (ver. 8). The world belongs to Him. He has created it. He has redeemed it. He shall ultimately possess it.

II. MESSIAH'S FOES (vers. 1, 2, 3). The citadel assailed because of its Sovereign; the Church the target of malice and mischief because of the kingly Christ. Crowned heads in general have been sworn enemies of the Lord's anointed. The hostility of these foes is —

1. Deliberate. They "imagine," rather "meditate."

2. Combined. "They take counsel together."

3. Determined. They "set themselves," as fully resolved to accomplish their object.

4. Violent. They "rage." Nothing has ever excited so much hostility as Christ and His Church.

III. MESSIAH'S VICTORY (vers. 4, 5). Fourth verse is strikingly metaphorical. The Victor is in the heavens — watching the plots, reading the thoughts, hearing the decisions of His enemies, and He "sitteth" there, serene as the march of stars and suns, calm as the glassy lake locked in the embrace of summer morning. Shall "have them in derision." Their efforts shall result in self-defeat and self-destruction, and help to the realisation of God's own purposes. The devil and his agents often outwit themselves; they mean extinction, but God overrules it for permanent extension. No decree of the Divine government can be frustrated. Truth must prevail. He shall "speak in wrath." His wrath is not vindictiveness, but the recoil of His love; not revenge, but retribution.

IV. MESSIAH'S MESSAGE (vers. 10-12). This is a call to —

1. Teachableness. "Be instructed." Learn your folly in opposing the Lord.

2. Service. "Serve the Lord." Do His bidding. Be governed by His laws.

3. Homage. "Kiss the Son." The Eastern mode of showing homage to a king.

4. A call backed by the most weighty reasons: "lest He be angry."

(J. O. Keen, D. D,)

Monday Club Sermons.
Two contrasted topics, the King and the rebellion of His subjects.

I. THE KING.

1. The dignity of His person. Not a King, or the King, but my King. One able and worthy to represent me.

2. The extent of His dominion. The nations of men measure not the realm of Christ. All grades of intelligences throughout the universe owe Him allegiance.

3. The greatness of His power. Wide as is His kingdom, His power is adequate to hold and govern it. Spiritual supremacy involves supremacy of every name. To secure it, upheavals and overturnings are inevitable. Under the pressure of spiritual forces, all other forces must give way.

4. The blessedness of His sway. The prophetic representations of the Messiah's reign are glorious and happy. All blessings come down upon the people.

II. THE REBELLION OF HIS SUBJECTS.

1. Its universality.

2. Its wickedness. Men's treatment of Christ is more gratuitously wicked than anything else. He came, self-moved, to do them infinite good.

3. Its impotence.

4. Its folly. This rebellion is misery in its progress, and ruin in its result. It fills the soul with wretchedness and fear in time, and leaves it under the wrath of God in eternity.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

I. THE DETERMINED HATE OF THE PEOPLE (vers. 1-3). The word "rage" suggests the idea of Oriental frenzy and excitement of a tumultuous concourse of crowds of people, all wildly angry. "Imagine" is the same word as is rendered "meditate" in Psalm 1:2. While the godly meditate on God's law, the ungodly meditate a project which is vain. Let us not be in league with the world, for its drift is against the Lord.

II. THE DIVINE TRANQUILLITY (vers. 4-6). The scene shifts to heaven; God is ever undismayed.

III. MESSIAH'S MANIFESTO (vers. 7-9). Standing forth, He produces and recites one of the eternal decrees. Before time was, He was the only-begotten of the Father. The world is His heritage, but the gift is conditional on prayer. For this He pleads, and let us plead with Him. The pastoral staff for the sheep; the "iron rod" for those who oppose.

IV. OVERTURES AND COUNSELS OF PEACE (vers. 10-12). "Kiss," the expression of homage (1 Samuel 10:1).

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

The Psalm is full of Christ. It is referred to six times by New Testament writers, and applied to Christ. It is a beautiful dramatic prophecy, in which several personages alternately speak momentous truths, to animate the Church of God in her conflict with sin and the powers of hell. The two leading thoughts are — the powerful opposition, but total discomfiture of Christ's enemies; the certainty, universality, and blessedness of His reign.

1. The opposition would be universal, and characterise all classes of men.

2. It is intense. The heathen "rage."

3. It is organised. They consult to find pretexts to justify their hostility. It is violent and aggressive. The restraints of the gospel are irksome and hateful. When argument and oratory failed, force was employed. It was foretold that all the crafty counsel and all the violent opposition should fail. Vain to imagine that human craft can contravene omniscience, or human power overcome omnipotence. It is the potsherd striving with his Maker. If God's expostulation be disregarded, then He speaketh in judgment. While adverse nations perish, the kingdom of Christ shall continue and become universal. When the Son says, "I will declare the decree," He has respect to future revelations as well as to the one then announced. He intimates that henceforth there shall be brighter and more ample discoveries of the Divine purpose. And the promise was verified by fact. The decree is not only declared, it is confirmed by the resurrection, the intercession and the enthronement of Messiah. The universality of the Redeemer's kingdom is certain, but do existing facts look towards its consummation? Wonderful preparations are indicative of this. The great programmes of discovery and of instrumentality nearly complete. The great programme of prophecy is nearly accomplished.

(W. Cooke, D. D.)

This Psalm belongs to the class called Messianic. It is full of that great national hope of the Jews concerning Him who was to come. A nation without hope is like a man without hope. Cut off hope from any man, or any group of men, and at once you paralyse the worth of everything. The Jewish nation was full of vitality. The noblest kind of national hope, the highest idea of "manifest destiny," is not simply a great event, but a great character. It is the ideal of a great character that is to come to them, and then to create great character throughout all the people. The hope of the coming of such a being was the ruling idea of the Jewish people. A character is always nobler than any event that is going to happen. A great nature remains as a perpetual inspiration. Every Jewish child that was born might be the Messiah; every king might hold in his hand the Messianic sceptre. Through all their life there ran this great anticipation, this inextinguishable hope. We do not know of whom this second Psalm was written; we do not even know by whom it was written. What is the philosophy of the Messianic Psalms? Shall we say that back in those distant days men anticipated just what was going to come when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and did His work in Galilee? There was nothing so monstrous as that. The whole of the Bible is much more natural than we are apt to make it. This Messianic Psalm was taken and applied in its completeness to the Messiah, who had really revealed Himself at last. The words then found a kingship worthy of them, and were sung of Christ. There are three speakers, or series of utterances. The first is the writer of the Psalm, who stands, as it were, to call the attention of the people to the two great speakers. These are the Lord Jehovah, and the Coming One, the Anointed, the King, the Messiah Himself. The writer stands as the chorus in the great tragedy. It is a great cry of astonishment from one who sees a great mercy coming to the world of guilt, bringing in redemption to the world, and the world setting itself against it. It is the everlasting wonder of the soul that knows Jesus Christ, that this world, with Jesus Christ waiting at its doors to save it, can set itself against Him, and not let Him in. But God's great purpose of making Jesus King of the world is unchanged and unchangeable. Whether the world will have Him or not, Christ is to be King of the world. The world has heard that, and it has brought a certain deep peace into the soul of mankind. The third speaker is Christ Himself. He says, "I will declare the decree." Christ is in the world, and He is sure of the world. Sitting upon the throne, recognising clearly who set Him there, He will never leave it until all the nations shall be His nations. Among the wonders of these last nineteen centuries has been the quiet certain confidence of Christianity. It cannot be crowded out and lost among the multitudes of mankind who are careless or hostile. It possesses Divine grace, which some day will be sufficient for the healing of the nations. At the close we come back to the writer or the chorus that tells us what the meaning of it all is. The Messianic Psalm presses itself into the lives we are living, and declares that if we are wicked we shall be powerless. If the most humble man puts himself upon the side of righteousness in company with Christ, if in his own little lot he does things pure and good and kind, he shall have a part with Christ in His great conquest of the world. He whom we worship as Christ is the centre of the world. Everything is verging to Him. All the past, however unconsciously, is ruled by Him; and all the future, however little it may now know its Master, will ultimately recognise Him. He who is everything, sanctification, redemption, in the fortunes of the individual soul, is the world's redemption.

(Phillips Brooks, D. D.)

Imagine a vain thing.
The Psalm opens abruptly. Here is no prelude; it is an utterance of amazement, begotten in the soul, and breaking from the lips of one who locks out upon the nations and generations of man. He discerns, in all the widespread view, one perpetual restlessness, one ceaseless movement of discontent, the throbbing of a rebellion that cannot be appeased, of a vain, bitter, and ceaseless revolt. It is a revolt against God and His Christ running through the centuries, underlying human history, breaking out in fresh manifestations age after age, finding new utterance from the kings and rulers and wise men of this world. Why does the world fret against the government of God? Why does the world resent and resist the rule of the righteous God, and of the redeeming Lord Jesus Christ? Whether it be the sins and sorrows of one city that come within your range; whether it be the notes and tones of the very last phase and stage of philosophic speculation; whether it be the problems that vex and chafe and worry the civilised world; whether the spectacle of our exaggerated, over-developed militarism, under which the whole continent of Europe groans and bleeds; or whether the vexed problems that lie in our own streets and houses, alike the question arises — Why does the world, in things great and small, chafe against the rule of God — God the Source of wisdom, the Giver of all good? against Christ, the. Redeemer of human nature! against Christ, man's true King, Leader and Guide and Friend and Shepherd and Bishop of souls? "Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?"

(F. W. Macdonald, M. A.)

The thoughts of the Psalm are so fresh and bold, and the poetical elevation so great, that the thoughts here seem to have for the first time taken hold of the writer, who is one, whom they directly concern.

1. Some young king, entering upon the rule of God's Kingdom, has borne in upon his mind, from his very position, those strange and unprecedented words of Nathan — words of inexhaustible meaning, and yet quite fresh from their novelty — and entering into their spirit as, to a pure and thoughtful mind, they opened up regions of contemplation interminable in extent and full of wonders, and combining them perhaps with some show of opposition to his rule at home, or some threatened defection from his authority by tribes abroad, — the young king east his thoughts and aspirations into this hymn.

2. And what young monarch was in such a condition except Solomon? Every one of the conditions of the problem suits him. He was the seed of David, and therefore the Son of God. He was appointed king on Zion Hill. His rule tended to universality, and his aspirations, being those of a profound intellect and, at the same time, of an uncorrupted youth, must have aimed at conferring on all peoples the blessings of God's Kingdom.

3. If we could realise to ourselves the thoughts and emotions of those early Davidic kings — standing, as all of them did, to Jehovah as His anointed, bearing all of them the title of His Son, and pointing forward to such a heritage, even all peoples; and yet so surrounded with darkness, and having but such imperfect instruments in their hands wherewith to realise their ideal, and so circumscribed on every side — what aspirations must have filled their hearts as they stood thus before so high a destiny! And yet, as all things seemed to make it impossible for them to reach it, what perplexities must have tormented them till, wearied out by the riddles of their position, some of them turned wilfully aside from the true path!

4. But if we can ill fathom the thoughts of these great creative minds, how much less those of the true theocratic King, the true Messiah and Son of God, when entering upon His kingdom, and standing at its threshold with all the possibilities of it clear before Him, and the way needful to be trod to reach it also clear! We know that He was sometimes troubled in spirit, and sometimes rejoiced greatly, alternating between a gloom more dark than falls on any son of man and a rightness more luminous than created light. But with full view of His work He entered on it, and with full view of the glory He prosecuted it to the end.

5. The Psalm, if a typical Psalm in the mind of its human author, referred to the installation of the theocratic king on Zion, who took God's place over His kingdom, and stood to Him in all the endearing relations expressed by the name of Son. The writer to the Hebrews finds in it the statement of the manifestation of the true theocratic King and Son in power from His resurrection and ascension; and His principle is just. The one was a rehearsal of the other. All this Old Testament machinery, and this calling one who was king by the name Son, and the like, would never have been but for the other; it was only in order to suggest the other and prepare for it. It was a prophecy of the other. It contained the same ideas. And its having been imperfect, as it was, implied that the other — that which was perfect — should also be. Only, that which the Old Testament writer had not yet foreseen had now taken place; the material embodiment of the ideas of the kingdom had passed away, and all things had become spiritual in Christ.

(Professor A. B. Davidson.)

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