Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy
The ransomed of Jehovah (Perowne). This has been well called "the psalm of life." While its figures are partly suggested by the history of Israel, it is a meditative rather than historical psalm. "It presents to us, first, a magnificent series of pictures of various crises of human life - of the distress which throws men at such times on God in prayer, and of his gracious answer of deliverance; and next, a more thoughtful contemplation of God's government of the world by blessing and chastisement, by exaltation of the meek and humiliation of the proud." It is evidently composed by one of the returned exiles, and represents the pious feeling of a man who is rejoicing in some new and wonderful redemption of God. In the light of the new experience he reads his own life, and the story of his race, and he can see that God has always been, in every sphere, the Redeemer, Deliverer, and Ransomer. God has a fourfold claim to be called the "Redeemer" of his people.
I. GOD'S CLAIM ON THE GROUND OF THE GREAT REDEMPTION. That was the deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian bondage. Of it Israel was ever kept in mind by the Passover rite; by Divine revelations; by appeals of psalmist and prophet. It was a great redemption in view of
(1) the distress from which it delivered;
(2) the wisdom and power displayed in it;
(3) the issues to which it led.
Israel was bound to regard itself as a redeemed people, bound in allegiance to its Redeemer, who is to be served by thankful, loving obedience.
II. GOD'S CLAIM ON THE GROUND OF THE MANY REDEMPTIONS.
1. These appear to view in the wilderness-journey, when again and again God delivered the people from their circumstances, their enemies, and themselves.
2. They appear to view in the period of the Judges, when God graciously responded to penitence and prayer, and raised up national deliverers.
3. They appear to view in the period of the prophets, when God held back again and again his threatened judgments. The true reading of each individual life shows the same ever delivering, rescuing, redeeming God.
III. GOD'S CLAIM ON THE GROUND OF HIS LATEST REDEMPTION. That, to the psalmist, was the rescue from the Babylonish captivity. A wonderful restoration considered as to
(1) its time,
(2) unexpected manner,
(3) important issues,
(4) fulfillment of promises.
The feature of it that most pleased the psalmist was the gathering of the scattered Israelites, and the uniting of representatives from all the tribes to form the new nation.
IV. GOD'S CLAIM ON THE GROUND OF HIS SPIRITUAL REDEMPTION. That which was wrought by the agency of the Lord Jesus Christ. The soul-redemption, of which all other redemptions could be only the foreshadowing and illustration. Jesus reveals God the Redeemer. - R.T.
At the Isthmian Games, A.D. 197, Flaminius caused a trumpet to command silence and a crier to proclaim that the Roman Senate restored to the Grecians their lands, laws, and liberties. So astonished were the people that they asked the crier to repeat it. Then a shout arose that was heard from Corinth to the sea.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
An overture, an antiphon, a doxology is this psalm, and in my text the psalmist calls for an outspoken religion, and requests all who have been rescued and blessed no longer to hide the glorious facts, but to publish them, and, as far as possible, let all the world know about it. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so." If you have in your heart the pearl of great price, why not let others see it? If you got off the wreck in the breakers, why not tell of the crew and the stout lifeboat that safely landed you? If from the fourth storey you are rescued in time of conflagration, why not tell of the fireman and the ladder down which be carried you? If you have a mansion in heaven awaiting you, why not show the deed to those who may by the same process get a home on the same boulevard? By the last two words of my text the psalmist calls upon all of us who have received any mercy at the hand of God to stop impersonating the asylums for the dumb, and, in the presence of men, women, angels, devils, and all worlds, say so. What a thrill went through the meeting in Portland, Oregon, when an ex-Attorney-General of the United States arose and said: "Last night I got up and asked the prayers of God's people. I feel now perfectly satisfied. The burden is rolled off and all gone, and I feel that I could run or fly into the arms of Jesus Christ!" What a confirmation would come if all who had answers to prayers would speak out! If all merchants in tight places because of hard times would tell how, in response to supplication, they got the money to pay the note! If all parents who prayed for a wandering son to come home would tell how, not long after, they heard the boy's hand on the latch of the front door! This psalm from which I take my text mentions several classes of persons who ought to be outspoken; among them all those who go on a journey. What an opportunity you have, you who spend so much of your time on rail-trains or on shipboard, whether on lake or river or seal Spread the story of God's goodness and your own redemption wherever you go.
A heart without gratitude is like a grate filled with fuel unlighted, and the room all the colder because of the unfulfilled promise of glow and warmth. A grateful heart is one in which the fire of holy love is kindled. Let those who have received favours and feel their obligation either to God or man, give some expression of it. The world is filled with illustrations of the propriety of such acknowledgments. You must have observed how in great campaigns it is customary for commanders to make honourable mention of those who have distinguished themselves by successful valour — not for the purpose of ministering to the soldier's pride or flattering his vanity, but for awarding him a tribute founded in justice and truth. It is right that the soldier who has stood upon the bloody front of battle and vindicated his valour and patriotism should receive the grateful acknowledgment of the country he has served. The leader of brave men is not content with thinking well of the prowess of those who have done nobly; he proclaims it as something due to those who have struggled and triumphed. In kind words from such a source there is both inspiration and reward. There was something pathetic in the appeal which a little boy made to his father, when he cried, "I often do wrong, I know, and then you scold me and I deserve it; but, father, sometimes I do my best to do right! Won't you let me know when I do please you?" Let the discriminating parent, pleased with the child's progress in any right direction — "say so." So, too, there are parents who have to wait long for the recognition of their devotion to their children — a devotion which gathers into itself the prayers, the anguish, the sacrifices of body, soul, and spirit. An old Virginia minister said lately, "Men of my profession see much of the tragic side of life. I have seen men die in battle, have seen children die, but no death ever seemed so pathetic to me as the death of an aged mother in my church. The children gathered around her bedside. The oldest son took her in his arms. He said, 'You have been a good mother to us.' That was not much to say, was it? It was much to her, who had never heard anything like it. A flush came ever her pallid face, and with husky voice she whispered, 'My son, you never said so before!'" The text directs our thought and affection to what we owe to the very Father of mercies. "His mercy endureth for ever." How illimitably broad is the field which is thus opened before us — the field of the Divine mercy! It is like the field of creation. In that field the telescope cannot pierce to depths of space where shining worlds do not declare the glory of God — nor can the microscope search out a point which is not still bright with evidences of His handiwork. The eye of sense looks out and everywhere goodness and mercy rise before it, until the horizon shuts down and bounds the vision. And then the eye of faith opens, and new fields, measureless and glorious, meet its gaze, until, in its turn, its powers fail. Yes, its powers fail, but the field has not failed; onward it stretches, illimitably, and over it the redeemed shall range with every new delight to all eternity. God's mercy is from everlasting, and so the treasures of memory will ever be increasing; it is to everlasting, and so the anticipations of hope can never be diminished.
We need appreciation and the expression of it in our religious life. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!" Redemption and all implied in it is surely a gift that demands acknowledgment! If you were struggling in the grip of some mysterious or deadly disease, and after many disappointments at last you found a doctor who understood your case, conquered the disease, and set you in perfect health again, what would you do? You would blazon that doctor's name abroad, you would tell everybody of his skill, you would speak of yourself as a living illustration of his healing power.
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