Psalm 149:3
Let them praise His name with dancing, and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.
Sermons
The Voice of PraiseC. Short Psalm 149:1-5
Cumulative PraisePsalm 149:1-9
The Song of the SaintsD. Dickson.Psalm 149:1-9
The expression seems to refer rather to the selection and constitution of Israel as the people of Jehovah than to the act of creation. By the restoration from Babylon, Israel had been appropriated anew in this special character; made or constituted a nation. It was in the restored and renewed national life that the people so greatly rejoiced.

I. GOD MAKES FAMILIES. It is well for us to see distinctly what is the Divine order for humanity. God made man in his image as a Father; gave him a helpmeet, through whom a family was to gather round him. That family was to be trained by Personal influence for an independent family life, into which its members would pass; and so families would reproduce families, and by means of families the whole earth would be peopled, and the moral perfection of the entire family of God attained. This, God's ideal, man's self will and passion have spoiled.

II. MAN-MADE NATIONS. Cowper says, "God made the country, and man made the town." It is answering fact to say, "God made the family, and man made the nation." It is full of significance that the aggregation of men for mutual protection, out of which nations and civil governments have been evolved, was a device of the sons of Cain; i.e. of those who, in some sense, had been "driven out from the presence of the Lord." It is easy to see that, had God's family idea been preserved, no schemes for mutual protection would have been necessary, no walled cities, no government, no army, no police; for brothers in a family would never think of injuring brothers, and the family feeling would also save the relations of families.

III. GOD OVERRULES THE MAKING OF NATIONS. He, in a way, accepts as facts, and use's for his purposes, the conditions in which man has set himself. He lets man have what has been called a "free experiment;" and as it pleases man to create nations, God is pleased to deal with nations as such, using them for his purposes, even as he uses individuals. And nations really are aggregations of men in which personal individualities are sunk in order to construct a composite individuality. God deals with that individuality, and uses it. We call it the "national genius." - R.T.







Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
I. BELIEVERS IN THEIR CHARACTER AS "THE CHILDREN OF ZION."

1. Zion is here used as the name of "the kingdom" of which all believers are the subjects.

2. But while believers are subjects they are also children.

(1)They entered "the Kingdom" by birth — "born of God."

(2)Inherit it — "brethren of Christ" — "sons of God" — "heirs of God" — joint-heirs, etc.

(3)High place in the Kingdom — children's interests and affection. "Behold, what manner of love," etc.

II. JESUS CHRIST IN HIS CHARACTER AND OFFICE OF "KING OF ZION."

1. Anointed. "I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion."

2. A Legislator. "The Lord is our Lawgiver."

3. An Administrator. "Zion, Thy God reigneth."

4. He subdues to His laws.

(1)His people are under authority.

(2)None else can, without sin, be called the King of Zion.

(3)Believers must not yield obedience to any other in Zion.

(4)Submission to Christ's officers is submission to Christ.

5. He defends His subjects (Galatians 4:22).

III. THE CHILDREN OF ZION "JOYFUL"

1. Joy — a fruit of the Spirit — "Reioice in the Lord."

2. Joy — a command — "Be joyful."

3. Joy — a feeling, often beautifully expressed in the prophecies and "songs of Zion."

4. This joy a most natural and proper feeling. They possess —

(1)Deliverance.

(2)Acquaintance.

(3)Safety.

IV. THE CHILDREN OF ZION "JOYFUL IN THEIR KING." They rejoice —

1. Because Jesus Christ the Lord reigneth.

2. Because of His greatness and glory.

(1)He is a Divine King — the Eternal God.

(2)He is a Kinsman and Brother.

(3)He is a Redeeming King.

3. Because of the blessings which He has and gives.

4. Because of the relations in which He stands to them.

5. Because of what He has done for His people — for them — in them.

6. Because of what He will still do for His people —

(1)For each of them.

(2)For the whole house.

(a)On earth.

(b)In Heaven — throughout eternity.

(J. Stewart.)

I. BELIEVERS ARE "THE CHILDREN OF ZION."

1. Zion is often used as an emblem of the Church of God (Psalm 2:6; Isaiah 28:16; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:6).(1) It was stable (Psalm 125:1); so is the Church (Matthew 16:18).(2) It was secure (Psalm 48:3, 11, 12); so is the Church (Ephesians 5:29).(3) The situation of Zion was exceeding beautiful (Psalm 48:2); so is that of the Church (Matthew 5:14).(4) Zion was a holy mountain; because on Mount Moriah, which joined it on the north-east, the temple of God was built (2 Chronicles 3:1; Psalm 48:1); the Church is holy (Ephesians 5:27).(5) Mount Zion was peculiarly loved by God (Psalm 88:2); so is the Church (Ephesians 5:25).

2. Believers are children of Zion by birth. Naturally we are all "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise" (Ephesians 2:11, 12).

3. Believers can continue children of Zion no longer than while they retain faith (Hebrews 10:38).

4. Zion is emblematic of heaven (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 22:4, 10-27).

5. Believers are children of Zion by a title to heaven (Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:12; 1 Peter 1:3, 4).

II. BELIEVERS HAVE A "KING."

1. Royalty is the centre of supremacy. A king is a supreme governor. God in this sense is the King of believers.

2. Royalty is the source of legislation. God is the Legislator of His people. His code is more pure than any ever conceived by the human mind for the perfection of human jurisprudence (Romans 7:12).

3. Royalty is the fountain of protection (Job 1:10; Psalm 5:12; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 37:17, 39; Psalm 55:22; Psalm 118:8-12; Psalm 146:3-6).

III. BELIEVERS SHOULD BE "JOYFUL IN THEIR KING."

1. Because He is the most glorious and dignified of all beings.

(1)Consider His nature. He is the independent Jehovah.

(2)Consider His moral attributes.

2. Because by His charter they enjoy great privileges and immunities. He communicates to them through His Spirit an evidence of their acceptance (Romans 8:16); and through His Word exceeding great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). They possess peace and joy (Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13).

3. Because the monuments of their great men are protected. The Bible is a record of the saints. In it are contained monuments of their patience, meekness, courage, faith and heavenly-mindedness, Here we are taught to admire their virtues, and excited to follow their example (Hebrews 11.; 6:12).

4. Because their enemies are totally inefficient to disturb His government (Deuteronomy 33:26-29; Psalm 93:1).

5. Because His kingdom will ultimately be universal, and all opposing powers will be destroyed.

IV. REMARKS.

1. How great and glorious is the moral elevation of a believer, and how insignificant does the honour of this world appear contrasted with the dignity of a Christian!

2. How great should be our solicitude to become subjects of the spiritual kingdom of Jehovah.

3. How indefatigable should we be in spreading the knowledge of God by personal instruction, by example, and by the dedication of property, talents and influence!

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

I. THE LORD JESUS IS OUR KING.

1. He is in person and character pre-eminent-above all others even of the saintliest, and wisest, and noblest.

2. To each believer He is a King to be obeyed. When His blood cleanses us, His love rules us.

3. He is King in the midst of His Church. Secular courts have no authority in the Kingdom of Jesus.

4. He will be seen to be King in the day of His second advent.

II. HIS ROYAL CHARACTER.

1. Was there ever such a Prince as our Emmanuel, if we think of His person, His pedigree, His descent, His nature? This King of ours is not only the flower and crown of manhood, but He is also very God of very God. He is God over all, blessed for ever: the Son of the Highest.

2. His deeds of love to us.

3. His glorious achievements.

4. The principles of His government. They are fountains of peace and purity.

III. THE BENEFITS OF HIS REIGN.

1. He is the Creator of His own empire. Each one of us must own for himself, and all of us together unitedly, that He hath made us, and not we ourselves; by His sovereign grace He has chosen, and redeemed, and called, and sanctified us, therefore will we be joyful in Him.

2. While our King has created His own kingdom, He has also sanctified and sustained that kingdom. Let the streams rejoice in the fountain, let the walls of the temple be joyful in the foundation.

3. It is He who has saved us and given us peace.

4. Is there anything that is needful which He has not given? Is there anything that is good that He has withheld? Have we any virtue? have we any praise? Then not unto us, not unto us, but unto His name be the glory. Nor is it alone in the past and in the present that we are debtors; we look forward to a future of obligations.

IV. LET US BE JOYFUL IN THE CONTINUANCE OF THE REDEEMER'S REIGN.

1. The ages past have not taken away from the length of His reign.

2. The age of our King has not enfeebled Him.

3. As to His Kingdom, there is no fear of its failing.

V. LET US OBEY HIM WITH DELIGHT. Let us take into our hands a duty and a thanksgiving, a precept and a praise. Let us make up our whole life of the intertwisting of duty and delight. Let us be holy and happy. Let us turn obedience into gladness. That which else were drudgery we will exalt to a priestly sacrificing as we serve the Lord with gladness and rejoice before Him.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The Book of Psalms ends in a sacred tumult of joyous praise. He who ends this life with praising God will in like manner begin the next. Let us begin below the music which shall be prolonged through eternity. Like the birds let us welcome the break of day, which, when life is closing, faith discerns to be near. Concerning this joy, note —

I. IT IS PECULIAR TO A CERTAIN PEOPLE. "Let the children of Zion be joyful," etc. No others can be. But ye children of Zion, be thus joyful —

1. Because of your loyalty. Ye delight to think that "the Lord reigneth." But we are also —

2. Attached to His Person. It is not merely His throne, but Himself, that is dear to us. When any thus rejoice they sink themselves in Him, and this heightens our joy. And so does the admiration we feel for Him.

II. THIS JOY HAS A MOST PROPER OBJECT. For we should rejoice to be ruled by Him, and that He is Lord of all, and that His power is so great, and His glory likewise. The old poem of one of our writers sings of the "Man of Ross," and declares that every good thing in the town is owing to him and his benevolence. So that if you asked, "Who built this fountain?" or, "Who founded yonder school?" the one answer was, "The Man of Ross." So surely if you ask us concerning our privileges, our hopes, yea, the vast all that we possess, our answer is, "We owe them all to our King." Therefore let us be joyful in Him.

III. THIS JOY IS PERMANENT IN ITS SOURCE. Everything here below is uncertain. Many are the reasons for our disquietude. Nevertheless let us be joyful in our King. Yes, though ministers and Church members fall off from true doctrine; though there be many backsliding Christians, and so few zealous and really Christlike; though our own hearts be so cold, our prayers so unworthy, our work so scanty and our fruit so rare. Your bottle, like Hagar's, may be dry, but yonder is the well of water which never can fail you. And when you come to die, then will he the time to be more than ever joyful in your King.

IV. THIS JOY HAS CERTAIN OCCASIONS FOR ITS MORE ESPECIAL DISPLAY. When does a nation rejoice in its king? At his coronation. So, when Christ was crowned in our souls. At the royal marriage. So, when Christ united us to Himself. When peace is proclaimed after war. So, when peace was made in and for our souls. At victories. When He keeps His jubilee. On his levee days, when He receives His friends.

V. AND THIS JOY IS SURE TO HAVE PRACTICAL RESULTS. An Eastern merchant of great wealth had in his employ a workman of great skill and genius in all works of art. But by some means this workman had fallen deeply into debt, and was sinking deeper day by day. He grew more and more depressed, and as he sank in spirit his old skill and power declined with it. Each product of his hand revealed less power. Meanwhile his creditor became more and more exacting, and at last threatened to sell the poor man's children as slaves, according to the law of the land, unless he was paid his debt. This weighed yet more heavily upon the poor man's soul, and his work was worse and worse. At length the merchant inquired of his steward how it was that this workman, once so renowned, was now producing nothing worthy of his former fame. "No masterpieces come from him now, and our name suffers in the market and in the esteem of the merchants. How is all this?" "My lord," said the steward, "he is daily of a sorrowful countenance and forgets to eat bread. He keeps a long and cruel fast, for he is drowned in debt and that to a cruel creditor, and his soul pines like the heath of the desert, and therefore his hand is slow as that of an herdsman, and his eye dull as that of the owl in sunlight. And this is why his hand hath forgot all its wonted cunning." "Send for him, bring him hither," said his lord. He came. His lord told him that his debt should be all paid, and he and his set free. How that man worked afterwards!

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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