Psalm 72:5
It is written that Satan took our Lord "up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them" (Matthew 4:8); but they had no charm, for him. In this psalm we are, so to speak, taken up by the Spirit, and shown the kingdom of Messiah; and as its glory opens to our sight our hearts are thrilled with admiration and delight. With renewed ardour we cry, "Thy kingdom come." Consider some things testified here as to the glory of Christ's kingdom.

I. THE GREATNESS OF THE SOVEREIGN. David and Solomon were in some respects great kings; and their greatness, so far as it was real, arose from their feeling their dependence upon God, and that it was their first duty to rule themselves and their people according to God's Law. We know how in many things they offended. But here is a King spoken of whose greatness is of a nobler kind, and who comes short in nothing of God's glory. As respects his nature, his character, his relationships, he is supremely fitted to rule. In him "righteousness" and "judgment" are found as in God. The will of God, on the one hand, and the welfare of his people are his highest ends. "God is light;" and this King saith, "I am the Light of the world." "God is love;" and this King's advent was proclaimed by angels as the Saviour who should bring down love to men: "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will to the children of men."

II. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE ADMINISTRATION. (Vers. 2-4.) David, in his last words, describes Messiah's manner of government (2 Samuel 23:1-4). It is characterized by justice; there is no respect of persons; friends are not unduly favored, nor enemies unfairly punished (Isaiah 11:4, 5); the condition and interests of all are considered, and the poor are specially regarded; but justice is blended with mercy. It is the glory of Christ's government that it provides for the return of the rebellious, and for the restoration of the fallen.

III. THE HAPPINESS OF THE PEOPLE. (Vers. 6, 7.) The laws of the kingdom are not only adapted to the nature and necessities of man, but designed for the welfare of those who obey them (Deuteronomy 32:47; Isaiah 48:18); they are not arbitrary, but. founded in truth; they are not alterable, but eternally fixed. Earthly governments so far regulate their laws according to circumstances, and there may be improvements made and reforms carried out from time to time for the greater advantage of the people; but the laws of this kingdom do not need improvement - they are perfect as God is perfect. We see the result in the character and privileges of the people (Isaiah 43:21; Matthew 5:1-10). They are enlightened, contented, law-abiding; they strive to mould their lives according to the will of their King, and in loyalty and devotion to him they find their highest honour and their highest happiness. In this kingdom alone can liberty, equality, and fraternity, in the truest sense, be enjoyed.

IV. THE FUTURE TRIUMPHS THAT MAY BE CONFIDENTLY EXPECTED. This kingdom is destined to grow from more to more; it has an unlimited power of expansiveness (vers. 8, 13); it is also marked by stability. Earthly kingdoms have their rise and fall; but this kingdom is unshakable and eternal. It begins on earth, but is carried up to heaven. Other kings may have successors, though often the direct succession fails; but this King has no successor, but will reign forever and ever. - W.F.







They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
The grand doctrine brought before us in these words is the perpetuity of the Church of Christ upon the earth; or the imperishable and indestructible character of His religion. We conceive that the same doctrine that is taught in this text is taught in such passages of Scripture as the following: "The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church — one generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts — of the increase of the government of the Messiah there shall be no end; my salvation shall be from generation to generation." And notwithstanding all the vicissitudes of the Church of Christ, that Church has been preserved through them all. In the reign of Solomon the Church in Israel seemed likely that men would always fear the Lord. But we know what apostasy began in his reign, and went on with scarcely an interruption till the days of the captivity. And then from the time of our Lord there have been seasons of decay, but revival has ever followed. All attempts to efface Christianity have failed, numerous, varied, and severe though they have been. We conclude, therefore, that the Church can never perish so long as time shall endure.

(James Smith, M. A.)

Like the treacherous signal-boats that are sometimes stationed by the wreckers off an iron-bound coast, the shifting systems of false religion are continually changing their places. Like them, they attract only to bewilder, and allure only to destroy. The unwary mariner follows them with a trembling uncertainty, and only finds out where he is when he feels his ill-fated vessel crashing into a thousand fragments on the beach. But how different to these floating and delusive systems is that unchanging Gospel of Christ, which stands forth like the towering lighthouse of Eddystone, with its beacon blaze streaming far out over the midnight sea. It moves not, it trembles not, for it is founded upon a rock. Year by year the storm-stricken mariner looks out for its star-like light as he sweeps in through the British Channel. It is the first object that meets his eye as he returns on his homeward voyage; it is the last he beholds long after his native land has sunk beneath the evening wave. So is it with the unchanging Gospel of Christ. While other systems rise and fall, and pass into nothingness, this Gospel, like its immutable Author, is the same "yesterday, to-day, and for ever." While other false and flashing lights are extinguished, this, the true light, ever shineth.

(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)

Leslie Stephen says, "It takes a very powerful voice and a very clear utterance to make a man audible to the fourth generation." That is very true, yet there is quite a galaxy of men who have spoken the clear utterance with a powerful voice, and have been heard through many centuries; but there is but one man, the man Christ Jesus, concerning whom it could be said, "They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations."

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