The Psalms: The Condition of the Remnant

Psalm  •  57 min. read  •  grade level: 10
I have no doubt that in the Psalms we find a full setting forth of the condition of the Remnant in the last day, and so in principle in all times, and then Christ taking part in this position (for in all their affliction He was afflicted) but without therefore excluding them or their part in it. It is His entering into theirs, sometimes rising up to historical facts, sometimes entering merely in Spirit into their sorrows, but when even it rises up into historical facts, not therefore proving that all the Psalm is historically or personally referable to Him. It still is His place with the Remnant of Israel who are the direct proper object, though He may enter into their circumstances, and even the details, in which He did that, be brought out. It is always directly, and per se the Remnant. The Remnant had to come and be baptized by John the Baptist—Christ came too where they had all thus come, takes His part and place, with them, but it was with them, not His place. Then we have the fact as to Himself, and many important historical circumstances—the heavens opened—the descent of the Holy Ghost etc.—but we have the divine comment, in this case, that it was in no way His place, but He fully entered into it with them in grace. It was, in Him, fulfilling all righteousness, perfect obedience and perfect grace. Of course He took on His heart and spirit all that they were under, feeling it as He alone could—but He took it. Now, as regards the Psalms, this comes out with clearer light, and interesting details thus.
The two first Psalms we have long seen to be a kind of preface, but this bearing, I think, is yet to be more clearly brought out. We have, I think, the two parts of the subject of the whole Book of Psalms—a righteous Remnant in the midst of sinners, and the counsels of Jehovah as regards His King in Zion, the Son, on the earth. In general this I have noticed, but I mark here that they are given as two distinct subjects; “the righteous” (Psa. 1:66For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalm 1:6)) is plural—there is a way that belongs to them in contrast with “the ungodly." Psa. 2 brings out Messiah in the proper dignity of His earthly Person without any other connection with men, only that He is born of Jehovah on the earth—He is Adonai—the Son—the Anointed of Jehovah—King in Zion (the heathen, His inheritance, to be broken in pieces as a potter's vessel)—to be trusted in (which is due only to Jehovah)—associated with Jehovah when He is raged against. No doubt men will rage against Him, but so they will against Jehovah, and that in the same time and spirit, and He as sitting in heaven laughs at them.
Then we have the righteous in the midst of sinners in Israel, but these last will not stand in the judgment, nor in the congregation of the righteous when gathered, i.e., the character and position of the righteous, and, in Psa. 2, Adonai Messiah.
But in fact He, who should be King in Zion, was to suffer, because the righteous were suffering, and He entered into their sorrows, but as the righteous One, for it is into the sorrows of the righteous He entered. The baptism of John is important as characterizing this as His position at Psalm to. Psalm shows His own proper position from the beginning. What we have to seek in the Psalms, and find is the position of the righteous, because it is into that Christ entered. This is the whole that is presented at the beginning, but another question does arise when the Remnant comes before God—the sins of the people were there, not sin in purpose, or will, but in guilt, and that arising from an evil nature. This sorrow and guilt Christ had to take—but to take. This is not brought out in the commencement, we will notice it in its place.
The great basis is laid in the outset—the righteous in heart and Messiah—and then Messiah's entrance in fact into the sorrows of the righteous, and righteous sorrow. David naturally furnished the evident occasion for this in his history, though not alone. Psa. 3-7 present this position of the righteous man into which Christ is entered, i.e., its trials. In Psa. 3, He looks to God in Zion, the hill of His holiness—to Jehovah in the midst of the many that rise up against Him; Jehovah is His help, and He will bless His people. In Psa. 4 the God of His righteousness, Jehovah, has chosen the godly man—the light of His countenance suffices; Psa. 3 is trust, Psa. 4 is righteousness. In Psa. 5 in this spirit He views His enemies, but God, such as He is, will bless the righteous, and faith looks that those that trust in Him shall rejoice. God's character is distinctively applied to the ungodly on the ground of the two last.
In Psa. 6, the Remnant, the godly man, pressed by the wicked, pleads with God that His anger, due to the people, should not rest on him; in the midst of enemies he has the consciousness of what is due to the people, and looks at God's anger as bringing down to death—then the wicked would triumph, but the Lord hears him and he is delivered from his enemies. Into this sorrow too of the righteous man in Israel, pressed by the power of enemies, Christ fully entered. He was minded and obedient to be born into the midst of it, but not in the midst of it. This Psalm is still the condition of the godly man—the Remnant—into which Christ enters with perfect sympathy. He who sympathizes with sorrow has not the sorrow, but has—a nature and a place in which He is capable of entering into it.
In Psa. 7 the righteous man on the ground of his righteousness, i.e., as integrity and grace, not self-righteousness, but in respect of God's government, and such there is, calls for judgment. Psa. 6 was the governmental judgment of Jehovah, thus bringing death—Psa. 7 is its application, after chastening, to the setting aside the wicked. Thus the assembly of peoples would surround Him. He calls on God therefore to take His just exaltation to Himself. It is here Christ is properly seen, i.e., as Jehovah. In Psa. 6, the people put themselves, intercessionally, under the judgment of Jehovah in presence of enemies—in Psa. 7, they claim it against their enemies, see verses 8, 9. The last days are in view here, but it is rather the great principle than the circumstances. The righteous, in general, will be delivered from death in that day. Death has no way the character of atonement here, but the result of divine government, as to which God's intervention, in favor of the righteous, but on the ground of mercy (chesed) is claimed. Further on we shall see that Christ had to go through death as the real Sin-bearer. But here death is pleaded against in connection with the government of God.
It may be remarked that it is not a personal confession of sin here, but the soul, oppressed by enemies, and looking at Jehovah's anger and displeasure, cries to Him for deliverance, that the oppression of the wicked may not take this character. The righteous man is suffering from man, and he pleads against death from the hand of Jehovah. He looks to God to be for him, and not against him in his trouble. It is the cry of distress, not of confession, though where one was liable to meet with anger and displeasure. In result Psa. 6 is the righteous man, or one of the Remnant in the height of his distress before God.
Psa. 8 closes this series, as the two first had laid the foundation of it in principle—closes it by the result in divine counsel; but here also it is the godly Remnant who celebrate deliverance on the earth, in which the name of Jehovah is displayed. He is their Lord, His name excellent in all the earth, and He has set His glory above the heavens. This is surely Christ; compare 1 Tim. 3:1616And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16). He had shown His divine, though hidden, power in using the mouth of babes to proclaim it in presence of all the power of the enemy. This, as He was Man, brings on the question, What is this provocation?—that you pay attention to Him; hence we have the way of the exaltation of Christ, as Son of Man, answering to Psa. 7:77So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high. (Psalm 7:7), and 8:1. The Creation is subject to Him—all things. The blessed Remnant who have trusted Him, see Psa. 2:1212Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:12), which none should do in any but Jehovah.
Now turn to His actual present earthly glory, fruit of but bearing out the heavenly, which had been already unfolded just before. It is remarkably full, as regards the Person of Christ, in Jewish connection. Thus the whole scene of the groundwork of relationships, as to the government of God, is brought out in these Psalms. The need, and the redemption that met it, is not touched on. It is, so to speak, the historical and personal condition in its great elements. Mercy is looked for in God—righteousness is laid, as ground in man, as against enemies—the righteousness of God is looked to—the upright in heart He saves—He judges the righteous. The wicked are objects simply of judgment, to faith—they are workers of iniquity. In the close, the Jehovah—Christ, Son of Man, is the sole object of thought.
In Psa. 9 and 10, the details of the latter day are entered into, and the judgment of the wicked, and the heathen who perish out of Jehovah's land. It is the positive, historical bringing out of detail. These form, like Psa. 1 and 2, an anticipative preface for the Psalms on to the end of Psa. 18. In Psa. 11, 12 and 13, we have the expressions of the faith, and feelings of the godly in these circumstances. Psa. 14 and 15 are rather the expression of a spiritual judgment on the wicked, and the character suited to those who, in the end, will abide in God's tabernacle.
Note here in passing, that Elihu does not speak of Satan, nor of anything he has to say, to Job, but of God's ways in the suffering of His saints. So it is indeed God who begins the matter as to Job. So Christ goes through the whole power of Satan, of which He had to be sensible, for our sakes, right up to God, instead of complaining and speaking against God, like Job, and takes the cup only at God's hand; but thus it became properly judgment from Him. Job goes through the process as it meets him, i.e., as he is when he meets it; and this is always our case, therefore indeed it is God sends it. So indeed did Christ, but then He was perfect.
Psa. 16 is the first in which Christ takes directly and personally a place amongst men—I need not say Psa. 2 and 8 both refer to Him, but here He takes the place. Psa. 2 and 8 have presented Christ—the others the circumstances and sorrows of the Remnant, entered into by the Spirit of Christ, and the general principles on which their relationship with God is founded, and the feelings connected with it in those wrought in by the Spirit of God—the position as such, and the feelings connected with it. But in Psa. 16 the Lord personally puts Himself in this place; so the Apostle indeed quotes it in Heb. 2:1414Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (Hebrews 2:14). The children partook of flesh and blood, so likewise He.
Hence the Psalm gives formally, and definitely, the true character of the Lord's association with men in the flesh. He takes the place of, and expresses human dependence—He is a man trusting in God. In this position what place does He take? He looks to the God of Jacob, to Jehovah, and owns Him as His Adon or Lord. His goodness does not reach up to Jehovah, as He said to the young man, "Why callest thou me good? None is good but One, that is God." He takes this place—He has, “being in the form of God, emptied himself"—who could indeed have reason to say it, but one who might have claimed it in Himself, for it is goodness? He says to the saints on the earth, “the excellent, in them is all my delight." This place He takes too—He takes one, that is, with the saints on the earth, the godly in Israel. This, as we have seen, was publicly shown in His baptism by John. The poor of the flock going there, was the first movement of so acting on God's appeal, and then He associates Himself with them, but then He shows Himself wholly dependent on Jehovah. He will not hear of any other than Jehovah, nor name their names. He is a Man dependent on God—a godly, faithful Jew, associated with the godly—the lines are fallen unto Him in pleasant places, He has a goodly heritage. He has set Jehovah always before Him—He is at His right hand, He will not be moved—even His flesh would rest in hope, for He trusted to Jehovah for His resurrection—He is His chesed, His pious, godly One, and as Man He could go up to His presence where is fullness of joy.
I have entered on this Psalm because it is that in which Christ takes, and unfolds His place amongst the Jews.
In Psa. 17, I have no doubt we find the Lord again, but here He is in presence of enemies, and we find (v. 2, “us ") that it is more His position in connection with the saints, and as it will be in the last day. He pleads for a sentence from God's presence, as hearing righteousness. There is dependence—God's word also is His guide—but it is more one who finds Himself in the midst of circumstances by reason of what He is, than one taking a definite place. The enemies are fully in view, and He pleads His practical righteousness. Hence the result is seeing God's face in righteousness. Christ is surely found here, but it is not so much Christ taking His place definitely in the midst of the people.
Psa. 9 and to having given us the latter day state of things, and Psalms the thoughts and feelings of the godly Remnant in respect of that state of things; the fact that Christ had taken this place among the godly, and thus identified Himself, the perfect One, with their interests in the difficulties and trials they had to go through with their enemies, is evidently of the last importance. This introduces Psa. 18—a most remarkable Psalm, in which the subjection of Christ to the full sorrow of death, while trusting in Jehovah the God of Israel, is the ground of the deliverance of the people from Egypt, till Messiah's final victories and dominion over the heathen. The Psalm is directly David's, and professedly so, but takes in the history of the people, and with, and as center of it, a Messiah suffering to death, and finally triumphant over all.
This closes this second division, commencing with Psa. 9 In what follows, we have an enlarged view of God's ways and testimonies—Christ's sufferings—His condition of dependence and glory, in which He is owned as Jehovah of hosts. After the complete series of testimonies, and their effects and results, in Psa. 19-22, we have the full character of dependence in going through all on earth, when the earth, as to present power, is not the Lord's; and, when the earth is the Lord's, what the glory is of Him who was thus dependent. Then again come the various sentiments, founded on these two great principles, as to Christ, Psa. 22; 23.
Psa. 16 is then Christ personally, perhaps beyond all others unless Psa. 2, and alone so, as regards His taking His own place among the Remnant on the earth. Psa. 22 gives us Christ I need not say, but here His place is already taken, and He is bearing the consequences of it for others. But in Psa. 16 He has His own place with God, not that of others in grace. In Psa. 17 we have the consequent association with others in the path of righteousness, in which He has entered, in the midst of the power of evil. Psa. 16 is what He is with God—Psa. 17 is His place consequent on His taking that amongst men. He would not have the world, but would be satisfied with God's likeness—but this is equally true of us as awaking in His. Psa. 16 can apply to none else but Himself—it is, as I said, His own place; being in that, He can enter into every sorrow.
The order I apprehend of these Psalms is thus: the two first form an introductory theme. Then to the end of Psa. 7, the thoughts and feelings of one of the righteous Remnant, the effect of the position into which Christ entered—the result is Psa. 8, where He shines as the heavenly Center. Then the details of the latter-day circumstances are given as a preface; Psa. 9; 10. Then we have the expression of the faithful Remnant's thoughts, and this closes with the distinct revelation of the way in which Christ took His place amongst them—His own personal place.
In Psa. 17 it is His pleading, in righteousness, Psalm connected with them in His life. It is Israel—the Remnant in sorrow—but Christ having taken His place with them. This is sympathy. But in Psa. 18 the Lord takes the place of the Remnant, upright as an Israelite, and goes down into the sorrows of death, not as expressing the expiatory pain, i.e., as under divine wrath, but as crying to Jehovah under its power on His soul" the sorrows of death," "the sorrows of hell." His place is amongst the Jews. He is heard out of the temple. In truth, actual death is not spoken of, but its sorrows—Christ having come in when all the power of evil unto death could wage its war against Him, as the Remnant will be in the last day. Gethsemane represents it in time, more than the Cross. It is consequently applicable in its effect to the deliverance of the Remnant from going down to the grave. Indeed this deliverance by Jehovah is looked at all through—He walks in integrity—wrath for forgiveness we shall find further on.
Faith and uprightness for deliverance in the full power of evil in man, and from Satan who has the power of death, we find here. Christ is recompensed according to His righteousness, not according to His death here—He is not heard from the horns of the unicorns here, but He enters into the full power of death—not wrath for the deliverance of others from that which He went through—the power of Satan, and man under his power.
The only expression difficult in the Psalm is “mine iniquity," v. 23. Clearly Christ had none, so that the force of it is what we have to seek. His position still applies here—all that others had failed in, He keeps Himself from, calling it His as that about which He was come, by which He was tried, thoroughly tried—the iniquity of the nature and position, i.e., of man and Jew, but without having the least taint of it in Him, but tempted in all points He never let in, He was pure where all else failed. His calling it His is not, I think, vicariously here, as it most certainly is not personally, but His keeping from, as not letting in, anything through which He passed, and which belonged to the position He had taken. Hence, when He took it, the sorrows of death compassed Him. The prince of this world, having nothing in Him, only showed, as an instrument, His love to His Father and His obedience, and was the unwitting instrument of Christ's passing through what, by its excellency, and His own spotless title to liberty from it, made available to others; and this was in the purpose of God. And the whole of the blessings in the history of Israel, from the deliverance out of Egypt to the final victories of Messiah, rest on this as its title, and this is what this Psalm shows. It is just what Psa. 9 and to made necessary.
Note, this connects itself with the government of God, in and through Israel, not on redemption, properly so called, which goes much deeper, though this comes in many principles to the border of it. It will be found consequently that judgments and power are the consequence of this, not blessings and fruits of grace—in Psa. 22 there is, on the other hand, nothing else than these last. David's history, and deep sorrows, and triumph gave the admirably adapted occasion to the prophetic entering into this, not only as history, but as in spirit entering into it Himself, and in sympathy with the people. The connection of this with the government of God, and the power of the prince of this world is of the last importance in itself, and to understand the Psalm. This completes, I apprehend, this chapter, so to speak, of the Psalms.
There are many expressions in the Psalms which are true of the writer, or of anyone in like sorrow, but which yet have their accomplishment in the highest degree in the case of Christ—these Christ has applied without making the Psalm a prophecy of Himself.
Psa. 19; 20, 21 and 22, as we have often remarked, is a complete subject in itself—the testimonies of God; the first—Creation and the Law; the two next—Messiah seen by the Remnant in His human sufferings, and then, seen glorified, He is great in the deliverance of Jacob's God, Jehovah. He has “length of days forever and ever," in reply to the life He asked, and He is made most blessed forever, exceeding glad with Jehovah's countenance.
This is very much Peter's preaching. Note, not only in Peter's preaching does he not preach Christ as the Son of God, but the exalted, rejected One, but in the first Epistle he never calls Him Son of God, indeed in the second only in recalling the transfiguration, and hence Christ viewed as on earth, as James also does not, nor the Sacrifice either. The suffering Messiah as Man could be, and, in the suffering, is exalted. Now Psa. 22 gives not Christ suffering from man, though that is there in full, but from God-forsaken when in His sufferings, and His heart melted like wax in the midst of His bowels—forsaken of God. Hence, as Psa. 21 was judgment on His enemies, this is grace for all—it speaks of the Remnant, all Israel, the ends of the earth. Here we get the immense and infinite moral truth of suffering from God. He, who knew no sin, is made sin, and drinks the cup of God's wrath—makes His soul an offering for sin. There is a complete glorifying of God in respect of the question of good and evil, in the whole universe, in respect of the nature of God Himself. The enemy does his worst, and man (in Christ) suffers his worst—in grace—and God's wrath against sin is poured out Hence love unhindered can flow out—God's being what He is, have its full sway and blessing.
It is not righteous judgment, against unrighteous man, executed against human despisers in governmental power. It is the question of good and evil settled in man, and God glorified. But it is not here bearing iniquities, nor substitution in the sense of its application to individuals—that also was accomplished here—but it is another aspect of this one great act, on which all hangs and in which God is glorified. It is Christ solving the whole question of sin between Himself and God. It is not the mere sorrows of death, as in Gethsemane, but the wrath of God. But it was Christ Himself dealt with as to sin, or the question of sin dealt with in Him—I mean as contrasted with bearing individual's sins.
Before the consequences, in the experience of the Remnant, and their relationship to God are entered on, another doubly-connected character of Christ is brought out. But this such that the spared Remnant are concerned in it. Still it is Christ, and has its accomplishment only fully in Him, and it is a passage which shows that though earthly glory and blessing are looked to, still resurrection must come in, so that to the dying believer it has a higher signification, but it takes the great principle viz: neither death nor sparing, but the security of faith through all. Jehovah is the Shepherd of faith. Hence, come what will, there is confidence. The only effect of passing through everything is to know it better. It is not what the sorrows are, but what God is for faith in them, which is presented; restoring the soul does not hinder its application to Christ, because it was from sorrow and trouble not necessarily from sin, as John 12.
Dwelling “in the house of the Lord forever" is, though true for us in heaven, His title on earth in Psa. 23—Jehovah is Shepherd when evil is there. In Psa. 24 the earth itself is His, and then He, who was in faithful dependence and obedience, enters into the house of the Lord as King of glory, Jehovah of hosts, i.e., that the lowly, dependent, obedient but perfect Christ of Psa. 23 is the Jehovah of glory entering into the house in Psa. 24.
Then the Remnant is brought in in this double character—integrity in the midst of evil, and guilt before God. Here we find what a ground the offering of Christ lays for their return to God. Here first, remark, the important fact after Psa. 22, we get the confession of sins, and that in the first Psalm of those which again enter on experience; Psa. 25 A soul waiting on God in the presence of His enemies who have a right, so to speak, to bring shame on him because of his sins, but would do it in malice oppressing God's people, but a soul trusting in what the Lord is as good, ready to teach sinners in the way, and a Friend to the meek, helping them into His way—these paths which are mercy and truth to them that keep His covenants and testimonies. A soul who as to its present purpose, could plead its integrity—a soul who was bound up with Israel's blessing, and looked for Jehovah's redemption of them from all his troubles. I do not think mercy and truth are thus brought together previously either—we have mercy in Psa. 6, otherwise it is pleas of righteousness. This Psalm states the whole ground, experimental ground, on which the faithful Israelite is in the latter day. It is, in this respect, a very important Psalm.
As Psa. 25 acknowledges the sin, so Psa. 26 pleads the unfeigned integrity, and seeks not to be shut up with the ungodly of that day. This Psalm is important as forming the other part of the ground on which the residue rest, alluded to, in the preceding, to complete the picture of the sentiment there developed, but not its subject. Here thorough integrity, appealing to Him who searches the reins, is the subject of the Psalm. Hence counting, according to Psa. 1, to stand in the congregation—"I will walk in mine integrity," he says, but it is in the time of trial and trouble, for he adds, “redeem me and be merciful unto me." These two Psalms form a preface as to the state of the residue—confession of sins, and the plea of integrity—in the presence of enemies. We have got now, historically, into the condition of the Remnant—their position we had already—the principles and groundwork of their experience are here laid.
Now, having confessed his sin, and placed himself on the ground of integrity before the Lord (and the confession of his sin comes first) he can look the enemies in the face. Jehovah is his light and salvation. A camp of enemies would not make his heart afraid—it will just be the means of lifting up his head above them—in the hour of trouble, Jehovah would hide him in. His pavilion. The secret of this was, looking to Jehovah, and the earnest desire to dwell in His house—see His beauty, and inquire there. This he could do—it was founded on the invitation from the Lord to seek His face—surely then that face would not be turned away—on Him he waited. This is a supplementary, introductory Psalm to the other two.
In Psa. 28 he cries in distress—if Jehovah does not interfere he will be like one going down to the pit. He prays not to be drawn away with the wicked—his heart rejoices in the Lord's hearing. Here we find the Spirit of Christ entirely, leading the cry of the Remnant. “The Lord is my strength," "The Lord is their strength"—"The saving strength of his Christ"—"Save thy people," it closes. It is not that Christ is personally with them, but He was, and has fully, identified Himself with the sorrow and position of the Remnant, and they are to count for deliverance on Jehovah's interest in Him, just as Martha did at the tomb of Lazarus. Then He showed a further present thing, but in a way that went on to the time we are here speaking of. I apprehend that this connection is taught in Psa. 27:88When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. (Psalm 27:8), "My heart" (Jehovah's) "said unto thee: Seek ye my face—thy face, Jehovah, will I seek."
Psa. 29 summons the mighty, in the confidence of faith, to acknowledge Jehovah, and to own Him in His temple—Him who, supreme over all, gives strength to His people.
Psalm 30 celebrates the deliverance, and entire dependence on Jehovah; life here is preserved to the Remnant.
Psa. 31 turns back into the depths of trouble, when, but for Jehovah, life is despaired of (v. 22) but Jehovah is trusted in. Integrity is pleaded, but the depth of sorrow is entered into, so that in articulo mortis Christ could use the words of faith of this Psalm, only saying “Father." The Spirit of God gives the experience of the faithful as the ground of encouragement. Yet compare here the difference of Paul in 2 Corinthians 1—he, coming after Christ's death, and knowing the power of resurrection, says, " I had the sentence of death in myself; that I should not trust in myself but in God who raises the dead: who delivered us," etc. Thus, when despairing of life, it was not counting on Jehovah to spare it in crying to Him, but counting himself already dead, and reckoning on resurrection. We see the difference of the Christian place, but Christ had to go through this first, and hence He could enter into the position itself; and did, which was yet on the other side of the Cross, i.e., before passing through it, when man looked at it as coming up to it. Alas! how many souls rest there! Indeed He alone, of course, fully went through it, though others may pass through the shadow of it.
We now come to another, and all important, turning point of the condition of the living man looking for deliverance—Psa. 32—the blessing of the forgiven man, of the one who has opened his heart fully before Jehovah—made his full confession—no self-justifying—no silence which made his bones was old. All was brought out—Jehovah's only object was to bring to integrity of heart, and truth; when this is wrought in confession, all is forgiven. The ground has been fully laid in Christ; Psa. 22. Then God guides in the way. Hence, because of this mercy and forgiveness, the godly come in an acceptable time—they are preserved in the great water-floods—only they should not be like horse and mule, to be forced and held from falling. In fine, mercy shall compass the righteous. This Psalm is a turning point of the state of the Remnant. It is furnished here to them, not that they may have all reached it, but to show them the path, and produce the confession. It forms the very ground on which they can go on in integrity—where sin is, confession must be, to have integrity; but where no forgiveness is, confession cannot be but for judgment. Hence all hangs here on this, as to the state of the soul.
Psa. 33 takes it up in joy, and celebrates Jehovah, and unfolds His character in favor of the righteous Remnant.
Psa. 34 in a softened and more confiding spirit, seeing that Christ had been heard, will bless at all times, even though in sorrow; verse 20 has had a literal fulfillment in Christ. It must be remembered that all these sentiments are divinely furnished here to the Remnant—the sense in which individuals may use them is another question.
Psa. 35 Here we have full and true sense of the power, and wickedness of evil, and he looks for judgment against the oppressive wicked. Here Christ enters into all, with sympathy with the Remnant—these are looked at, and even tested by their sympathy with Him. Christ pleads in Spirit for judgment, which will be the deliverance of the Remnant; one of these would easily see that Another than himself pleaded, but that it was his own deliverance that was the result of its being heard. This Psalm takes up the ways of the wicked.
Psa. 36 Here we have the extent and character of it, in contrast with the righteous. "No fear of God" was the secret of the wicked's ways—nothing could be hoped for. But this cast on Jehovah Himself—there, there was no end to mercy, no limit to power. Sweet surely it is, to trust in Him!
Psa. 37 takes the character of an exhortation for these times, as indeed for all. It shows the just path of the righteous in the day of trial. What is to stay his heart in passing through it? Nothing can be more distinct than the promises of the land to the faithful Remnant, on the cutting off of the wicked, in this Psalm; it shows, most distinctly, what the proper application of these Psalms is to the Remnant in the latter day.
In Psa. 38, the question of God's anger coming on the Remnant for the sins of the people is brought in, when they are in the depth of their distress. Still the hope of faith is in God—confessing the sin and bowed down with it, but therefore appealing to God as the only resource; on Christ this burden did come for the nation's sins.
In Psa. 39, he is nearer God—quieter—and sees the sorrow, and consuming that is upon him, as God's hand, but in chastening. All man, and the world, is vanity.
Psalm 40. Christ here celebrates His own deliverance—but in connection with Israel and the earth—“Praise be to our God." He had been faithful in testifying what God was in the midst of Israel—He desires their blessing, Himself poor and needy—He has indeed taken the iniquities of all the Remnant on Himself, and calls them His, and appeals, in the trial that then comes on Him, against His bitter enemies. The application of this Psalm to the incarnation is known, but it is in connection with Israel, and He appeals to God's righteousness to show mercy, and deliver on the ground of His faithfulness. It is after this faithfulness that He speaks of the iniquities taking hold on Him. He looks, through it all, to the driving back of the wicked, and blessing of the just Remnant who look to Jehovah.
Psa. 41 I have no doubt that in this Psalm also Christ speaks. He is above all the poor whom one is blessed in considering. He applies it in the Gospels, we know, to the poor of the flock also. Of course He considered them, but He was the poor One above all—the heartlessness of all against Him, even His familiar friend, is brought out. In both He waits for the Lord. These two Psalms, closing the Book, show Christ entering into the Remnant's sorrow, perfect in His ways, and then coming under iniquity, though it is for the people and their blessing on earth here, but He had a body prepared to come and take their sorrows, and in fine their sins. He is in the midst of the wicked in Israel, but righteous there, and the desire of the Remnant is, not to be drawn away with them. This is His whole connection with the people, and in Jerusalem.
The second Book has a different character—Christ is seen—outside the nation, and the Gentiles are there, in evil power, mocking at Jehovah's relationship with the Jews, and their hoped-for protection. I suspect that the occasion was much as Absalom and Adonijah. But then necessarily Christ, risen and ascended, because the deliverance by judgment in power, makes part of the whole scene, not merely an appeal to come in as the only hope. It begins with the outcast Remnant, the evil being in power, but the throne is to be set up by judgment.
The fact of the ungodly Gentile power having cast Him out is brought distinctly out as a basis in Psa. 42.
In Psa. 43 the state of the Jews themselves is declared. This lays the ground of the whole. Remark that there is more confidence, more simple, holy desires here than before. The extreme of evil, in separating the Remnant from itself, has freed it from the distressing effect of the presence of evil, and they can look straight to God in desire, without the intervening cloud of what man is, around. In Christ this evil only proved the more His patience, but the difference of position remains true, and how true it is even for us, though the process may be painful. The sorrow connected with it is expressed by the Remnant in Psa. 44, such was their condition, cast out—as regards this world, it is ours, with Christ as a starting point, see verse 22, and Paul's application of it. Then the result of the intervention of Messiah in judgment is stated in Psa. 45
In Psa. 46, God is then found to be with them—the Remnant are the people.
In Psa. 47, Jehovah takes His place in and over the earth.
In Psa. 48, Glory is established in Zion—what they had heard (Psa. 44), they have now seen. This closes the historical presentation of this period. Psa. 49 is the moral commentary on it all.
In Psalm 50 we have the judgment on Israel for their moral condition.
Psa. 51 is their confession of Christ's death—for return to God, the old sacrifices are useless.
Psa. 52-54 are the spiritual judgment of the situation, when evil is there. In Psa. 52, the strength of man is judged; in Psa. 53, the state of Israel as apostate from God; Psa. 54, the source of the believer's hope.
Having the whole scene before us, in the Psalms which follow, the feelings of the Remnant, and how Christ takes His place in the midst of this scene, are unfolded, resulting, when the old age of Israel (David) seemed to make hope pass away through the last evils, in the setting up the throne of Solomon—of the son of David in peace and in glory.
Remark how, in Psa. 63, God Himself becomes the object of the soul by its being thus cast out.
Psa. 65-67 give the feelings, not as under the evil, as the previous ones, but the hope, anticipation, and celebration of the deliverance. The former will be the comfort—these the encouragement of the Remnant in the latter day.
Psa. 68 and 69 evidently bring out the great foundation, both of the glorious deliverance, and cruel sorrows of Israel, leading, on God's part, to the former in the exaltation and sufferings of Christ.
Psa. 66 and 67, having spoken of the restoration of Israel by judgment, and then the outgoing of the blessing to the nations, on the establishment of it in Zion, Psa. 68, in a very remarkable manner, shows how the heavenly exaltation of Christ is the cause and way of it; but it is the blessing, at the same time, of Israel's God of old. The Psalm begins with the words with which the camp of Israel anciently set forward, God going at the head of His people. It was His journey, as with Amalek His war—hence the wicked perish before Him, and the captives are delivered, and the righteous rejoice—He blesses the solitary and multiplies them. This is then directly referred to what God was in the desert. The pride of the Gentiles, “ye high hills," is apostrophized, the angelic glory displayed—Jehovah among them—but, how this? He has gone up on high! Here we find at once Christ exalted as Man, though He be the same Jehovah. But this is not all—He has led captive the power of the enemy who ruined all—conferred blessing, and as Man, and in His human nature, He has received gifts—even for rebellious Israel, that Jehovah Elohim might dwell among them. This restores Jehovah to Israel, i.e., He can bless, and dwell among them, or indeed Israel to Jehovah. This is the result then celebrated, and which the earth is called to own. The Strength of Israel is in the clouds, but it is the Jehovah who rode in the heavens of old.
The whole of Psa. 69 shows the righteous One in presence of human evil and wrong. The position contemplated is, Israel under the rebuke of God. They are driven out, and the enemy triumphs at Jerusalem, yet the righteous had their sorrows, as being Israel at heart. The moral position is the one we have always seen of the Remnant—confession of sin, and assertion of integrity at the same time; into this Christ surely entered as bearing their sorrows, and so far can speak of their sins, but the position is that of the Remnant. On the other hand, the expressions of integrity and sorrow, though general, have found their fullest, and in some parts literal, accomplishment in Christ, for He entered, in the most perfect way, into the sorrows of the Remnant, whether as walking amongst the people as He long did, or cast out as He was at the close; and hence, from His last journey, when He walked no more openly among them, takes up the sorrows of the cast out state. This went on to the close of all, but is not Atonement nor divine wrath, but sorrow in which He takes part—verse 26 is not, I am well assured, atonement but chastisement on Israel, governmental punishment in which Israel will be in the latter day, as we have seen in Psa. 20 and 21 (compared with Psa. 22). It is not grace, but judgment demanded. God had smitten Israel—the wicked triumph over him; Christ in grace enters into this place, and they triumph over him. But it is the people's wrong which is the great subject here, leading to the exaltation of Psa. 68
The atonement on the Cross brings grace—the blood speaks better things than that of Abel, while, in government, it is on the Jews and on their children; we must always make this distinction. Yet Christ's entering into their sorrows (expiation being made) is the cause and way of their deliverance, through His exaltation as the Poor among the people, see here verse 32; so also Psa. 34:66This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6); compare Peter's preaching to Israel, Acts 3—with Christ's intercession, " they know not what they do."
It would be impossible to maintain confidence with the consciousness of sin, if the Lord had not afforded these Psalms. The Remnant, by the same action of the Spirit, enter into the sorrow come on Israel for their sins, and own their desert of God's chastisement—and there is so far the eulabeia (fearing, godly fear), Heb. 5:77Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; (Hebrews 5:7) and 12: 28, and which Christ was heard in—and have the consciousness of their integrity, and the earnest desire to keep God's law, and to glorify Him. The more faithful they are, the more opposition they find from men, the more consequently they feel the awful state of the people, and feel it as theirs for they are of the people. So Christ, perfect in His integrity, takes in grace this place of distress for the people's sin. This Psalm is a striking example. It is the voice of Israel—Christ entering into it—David no doubt as instrument, but attuning the melody for the Remnant, which Christ alone could sing in its perfectness, and which He could, because He atoned for the wickedness for them, and between them and God, and had no association with it in His own Person or individual place. The following Psalms bring out Israel in this condition of sorrow at the close of their history. The glory of Messiah's reign in Psa. 72 is evident.
Psa. 69 however brings out another element—that though there is perfect sympathy and entering into the condition, yet He takes it on His heart alone. He takes the sorrow on Himself—no one enters into His feelings about it, though He for all. This is the true spirit of grace—to bear alone for others what others do not even know we are bearing, for their good—the credit of it all with God alone; see verses 4 and 5.
I think we may easily see when the Lord entered into the present realization of His position as rejected—no doubt He really always was. This, as a great truth morally, John begins with, but we read, “From that time Jesus began to teach his disciples, the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation," etc. He then began to tell them what He surely knew, but He lived, so to speak, at first, in the presentation of Himself to Israel, saying " Blessed are the eyes," etc. (Luke to: 23, 24), at the close in His rejection by Israel He was forced to say " Woe, woe." The transfiguration was a turning point—it was the new glory in answer to the sufferings. And so the return of the twelve from their mission—He then desired the twelve to say no more that He was the Christ.
However note in all this, though no doubt it included all, yet the suffering is looked at as from “this generation." The atonement part, therein accomplished, was between Him and God. It required the Holy Ghost to make that clear to the disciples, though indeed He told them it was so. It is well to note this—that the great mass of Christ's sufferings were human sufferings—the perfection of them, but human which try, form, or prove perfectness, but are not in themselves atonement. This, as we have seen in Psa. 20-22, the Remnant, as such, did not enter into, yet Christ suffered the governmental consequences of sin, and in heart, taking them on His heart for Israel; but here it is suffering with them, i.e., as they will suffer—leading their thoughts in this for them. It is only after, when they see Jesus, that they see the real atoning power of His work. “They look on him whom they pierced "—till then they cried to Jehovah under the pressure of governmental discipline of sin, suffering at the same time because of their integrity. It is this place that the Lord constantly takes in the Psalms—identifying Himself perfectly with Israel, i.e., the godly Remnant. His atonement, as we have said, must be between Him and God alone—hence we have so seen it in Psa. 22, where He speaks Himself, and the result is all grace, not merely governmental. Here the indignation and wrath comes in without an atoning character—“In all their affliction he was afflicted, the Angel of his presence succored them." Atonement comes by, substitution, a different thing from being afflicted in their affliction, and succoring them. So when we read of “rebuking in wrath," "chastening in sore displeasure" we have governmental. The very sense which Christ had of the favor of God, even in connection with His people, made this terrible to Him; hence it runs on even into His death, and the ungodly nation are the instruments of it as well as the heathen—it is in every way His " own familiar friend."
Now the circumstances of Christ's life were so ordered, that they were a personal realization of all this, and here the Psalms become, when the Spirit reaches this point, personally prophetic, but do not leave therefore the position of Israel, because it is " in their affliction " He is afflicted. Atonement is quite another work. Wicked men are the instruments of the former sufferings, yet, in the way of government, they are wrath and indignation from God, or may be for me—I may suffer for righteousness. This we find at the beginning of Christ's life, independent of chastening on Israel, but into this Christ entered in Spirit, because He identified Himself with Israel. He came, apart from the sin, as a " Holy thing " born, and as holy was capable, in love and grace, to enter into it in the power of that love and grace, but then He came as a Man so as to feel it Himself, but with the Remnant who felt the sorrow of it, and owned the cause—the sins of Israel; for the confession of sin is the spirit of righteousness. We have already seen this displayed in John's baptism, to which Christ thus came as a witness that it did not concern him, but that He fulfilled righteousness in coming to it. This gives its full character to this position.
Hence there are three characters of suffering—for righteousness, from man—chastening where every human sorrow can find its place as an instrument, and when faithful zeal for God therefore brings the Remnant into the sense of the condition of Israel, makes the sin and sorrow sensible—and thirdly, suffering for sin—atonement—in which the human malice had so far a place that it was complete—having no resource but in God, which brought up the soul to the consciousness that it was forsaken, then the just wrath of God against sin as such having to be borne; but here Christ was alone, and got outwardly into this loneliness, because none could pursue the path of faithfulness, in sorrow, up to the point where this was met. “They all forsook him and fled"—He "looked for some to take pity, but there were none"; it was denial, or betrayal if it went further. Thus these two characters of suffering run into one another, as wrath against sin—governmental, or other, is always against sin—but they are essentially, and completely, and most importantly distinct. Substitution comes in here, not sympathy, and suffering with, in grace, but suffering for. The latter is solely divine work. In the former we can have part, and, on the other hand, suffering under it for our good. This Psalm does not rise up into atonement, but into the circumstances of it.
Indeed this is one of those Psalms which show how impossible it is to separate the Jewish Remnant of the latter day and Christ Himself, and how, besides atonement, He has given a ground for hope to them in their sorrows, by passing through and out of them (though for us, this is more by death in His case) yet out of them, being " heard in that he feared."
First in verse 26 we read, “They persecute him whom thou hast smitten, and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded." Next, “God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah," so that it looks directly to the deliverance of the latter days. Yet it speaks of the death of Christ, as is clear—yet it speaks not of God's judgment against sin, as divine wrath. It looks for deliverance from death as the Remnant will do, see verse 31, verse 32 also. He is coining to the verge of, and into that which was bringing death upon Him—on man's part, the human circumstances of it. When He refers to life, it was zeal for God (v. 9) and suffering the reproaches which fell on God, and sorrow for man's state, which brought mockery. Christ enters into all the governmental chastisement of man for sin, and in which Israel will be, i.e., the Remnant, and while, looking at it as coming from God's hand, He had got into this, His life was suffering for God's name's sake; and He is coming into this dark place as Israel will in the last day; but this is still from man's hand, and God is appealed to to save Him from death. It was not at all His forsaking—He looks to be delivered, and so will praise. His having separated from the wickedness of Israel has brought Him into deep waters, and He does so because He feels that wickedness, and owns it in view of God's government, verse 5.
But His cry was in the “acceptable time”—His adversaries are all before God—He looks to Him not to hide His face. The adding of " Those whom thou hast wounded," makes it evident that it is not divine wrath, as borne vicariously, but the sorrows which Israel will bear, viewed as faithful and yet under the rod. It is chapter 50, not 53, of Isaiah. He interprets what He suffers from man as the rod of God, and so as to Israel it was. So, according to Psa. 94:12, 13, when the hour of Satan's power came, the Lord entered into this. He must take His place here. It was the cup His Father was giving Him to drink—He takes it from none—He takes all this smiting of people, and enemies, as Jehovah's. He was taking this place for the sins of Israel, and they exult over Him. It is not the cup, but He has taken the place of drinking it, and they rejoice to profit by His bowing His head to it (they seeing but the outside—that He was no longer preserved) to heap every injury upon Him. This is what the Lord feels in this Psalm. But this is entirely a different thing from divine wrath against sin—Psa. 94 could not apply to that, and say “Blessed." Hence, as we have seen elsewhere, He looks for judgment as the consequence of it.
It has been remarked to me, and I believe it is true, that there is never in the Psalms any sentiment such as is expressed in the Lord's words, " Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." The first word of the sentence would perhaps explain it. It is not a title of the Psalms, and Christ was there consequently in His own relation of grace. This opens a wide field of instruction.
Note also Psa. 94:12, where we have the view which faith takes of the class of trials through which the residue pass at the close, as suffering from the wicked, yet because of their own wickedness, yet at the same time upright in heart. They are chastened, and instructed out of the law. He is suffering under the triumph of the wicked, but looks through this as God's hand and chastening. Into this Christ fully entered in Gethsemane, and all His last sorrows, though there was much more there. And we learn there what His entering in was. The wicked did outwardly triumph over Him—they said “Aha! Aha! So would we have it." He trusted in God—perfect in integrity to God meanwhile—so that the reproaches of them that reproached Elohim fell upon Him. Yet for that reason, suffering in the midst of the wicked, yet entering into the sorrow of the place in which Israel was, because of their sins. Only Christ entered voluntarily, in love, into this place; and all that the sorrow effected, while yet "He learned obedience by the things which he suffered," was to bring out His perfectness. Yet He did get there "the tongue of the learned," having His "ear wakened morning by morning." Israel must go through this to be purified and taught—Christ glorified God in it. Still He went through the sorrow—His voluntariness, and obedience in it, set Him at the head of the people. Psa. 94 is faith's view of the position, not sorrow, and distress's cry under it.
But I return. The Third Book of the Psalms is the unfolding, for faith, of the whole state of Israel in the latter day. I say “Israel," because here the people, as a whole, are looked at as historically viewed before God, the result in deliverance being brought out. Psa. 73 states, as it were, the whole case—the condition for faith of the people in the latter day. “The sanctuary of God " explains the whole case to the heart. The enemy enters destroyingly into the very sanctuary—terrible thought for those that loved Israel, and trusted Jehovah, yet disowned; Psa. 74 But then, Psa. 75, God is the Judge, and the horns of the wicked will be cut off. And this will take place (Psa. 76) in Judah—Israel—Salem—Zion; there God will make Himself known.
Psa. 77, if the heart of the poor believer thought they were forgotten forever, this was his own infirmity—he should turn to the past days of the Lord. But, Psa. 78, there had indeed been ways, in judgment, to maintain His truth and righteousness amongst the people; they had wholly failed in this, and God had raised up David in sovereign grace. The series of Psalms then returns to the sorrows of the time. Psa. 74 seems more the enemies in the land—Psa. 79 is now the outward open attack of the heathen who have taken Jerusalem, but the deliverance of God would bring praise forth in the people.
Psalm 8o, God, as known in His throne on the ark of the Covenant, behind the cherubim, is entreated to visit the vine He had planted, but which is now torn down, rooted up. In this, the “Son of Man," " the Man of God's right hand" is looked for. This is a very remarkable passage. Thus they look to be turned again, and God's face to shine upon them.
In Psa. 81, the new moon of Israel has appeared, but then God shows He has dealt with them according to His own character. They had only to open their mouth wide and He would have filled it. Had they hearkened, they would have been always blest, but that they had not done. God only mourned over the sorrow they had brought upon themselves.
Now He stands, Psa. 82, among the mighty, and judges among the judges, and faith can say, " Arise, 0 God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations."
Next, in Psa. 83, the final confederacy of external enemies of the neighborhood of the latter day—by their destruction Jehovah is known as “Most High over all the earth "; Asshur is there.
In Psa. 84, they can go up to Jerusalem, and find their joy in the temple of the Lord, as a sparrow to the nest.
In Psa. 85, Israel is brought back, but they have much yet to seek from the Lord. But at least the perfect ground of reconciliation and blessing is laid—"Mercy and truth are met together"—God's grace can fulfill the promises—truth springs out of the earth, for there they are filled, but not in connection with the law or human righteousness. This looks down from heaven—blessing is in Israel, guided in their steps by the Lord.
In Psa. 86 we have the poor in spirit looking to the Lord.
In Psa. 87 Zion, fully owned by the Lord, is distinguished, in presence of the cities of all worldly greatness, by the registry as her born-citizen of the righteous Man there. It is the place of glory and blessing.
In Psa. 88 and 89 we have Israel's governmental state under law, and, as to the promise, in David. Wrath is felt (Psa. 88) according to the position of Israel (God full of mercy, and yet not holding the guilty for innocent) as placed under the mediation of Moses, after the golden calf but under law. In the end mercy and truth will meet, we have seen, and righteousness look down from heaven. Under the effect of wrath, as under God's government (for it is not a question of personal salvation) Israel finds itself, and justly, at the close. This the Remnant feel, and this Christ entered into fully in Spirit. The sentiment of this, His Spirit here expresses for Israel. It is, I repeat, the governmental condition of Israel under the law.
Then Psa. 89 gives us the mercies and faithfulness of Jehovah in connection with the promise made to David, and David's Son, to David's throne, to be chastened if needed and not forsaken. But now it was overthrown and laid waste. Verse 19 points out, in perspective, Christ—read "Of thy Holy One" (chesed) He who resumes in His own Person the mercies (chasdim) of verse 1. Under law there was no hope, but here there was an assured promise, though all was, at the time, laid low, but it was just this, through grace, which drew out the appeal to promise, see verses 49, 50. Hence mercy and faithfulness are sung of. I apprehend verses 50, 51 are just the voice of the Remnant who cling to the hope of the promise to the throne and Son of David, and bore the reproach which was heaped upon it by all the mighty of the earth. It is needless to say that Christ entered into this, for it was because He went so low, that this reproach came upon those who identified themselves with the hope of the house of David.
We see too, in this Psalm, how He entered into the sorrow of the Remnant, and how they have to feel the sorrow He passed through, only that it rises up sometimes to literal accomplishment in Him. I suppose verses 3 and 4 present that to which the Lord was to be faithful; verse 5 brings in the heavens as interested in, and praising Jehovah for His works for Israel down here, and so it will be.
The fourth Book of Psa. 90-106, does not call for very much remark, because the contents have been noticed elsewhere already, and the unity and order result so evidently from the contents, that a more particular examination of them is hardly necessary. I only notice, generally, the order, to complete the survey of the whole.
In Psa. 90, Jehovah has been the refuge of Israel at all times, and Israel now looks, at the close, for His work to appear, and His beauty to be 'upon them, and the works of their hands to be established. Man's days pass away—they look then for the speedy intervention of the Lord. Such is the preface. The whole Book, as heretofore noticed, is the bringing in the First-begotten into the world.
In Psa. 91 Christ takes His place in Israel in this way. The “Most High” and " Almighty " are the two names of God; the first, millennial glory in connection with Melchisedek—the second, of connection with Abraham, and Almighty power to protect, and fulfill, and secure. He who had the secret of the former would enjoy the benefit of the latter, whose was the secret place of that Most High before His manifestation as such, so that all that God was for Abraham should be accomplished. Messiah says: "I will take Jehovah," i.e., Israel's God, "for my refuge and my fortress: my God." This was the secret. In verse 9 the Remnant celebrate this. In verse 14, Jehovah puts His seal to it.
In Psa. 92 the contrast of the apparently triumphant wicked and the righteous, when Jehovah comes in, is declared.
Psa. 93 celebrates the Lord's reign after the raging of the floods, and then, as we have seen, the progress of the Firstbegotten, who is Jehovah, upon the cry of the people to Him to whom " vengeance belongeth " till, judgment accomplished, He sits between the cherubim, and the nations are summoned to come up and adore; Psa. 94-101
In Psa. 101 and 102 we have Christ's place in connection with Israel—Psalm 101 taking the government, and Psa. 102 how it was possible; though once cut off in the midst of His days, He could—He was the Eternal Jehovah. In all this Book this point is signally brought out—the Son of man, but the Ancient of days, comes.
Psa. 103 is the application of divine mercy in Christ to Israel. In Psalm tor, remark, He celebrates not simply needed grace and mercy as in Psa. 89, but mercy and judgment, which are just that on which Israel's blessing is built, though mercy be the source of all.
Psa. 104 and 105 give the blessing of Creation and Israel, through God's ways as good.
Psa. 106 brings out the waywardness of Israel, and the repeated, and even aggravated forgetfulness, and rebellion which had brought all their misery upon them. Yet He remembered them when He heard their cry, remembered His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies, and gave them favor in the sight of those who carried them captive. To this mercy Israel now looks, and blesses Jehovah's name. Thus the whole course of God's ways in connection with Israel, and the bringing in of the Jehovah Messiah into the earth, is remarkably brought out here.