Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Psalm 149

1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;
7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

Key Verse:
8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

Key Observation:
The Lord will show salvation for some, but judgment for others.

Memory Verse:
4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.


McGee says that the “new song” in verse one is that Jesus is our Redeemer. I wish to look at the psalm particularly after the sixth verse. This psalm I notice includes the saints in the judgment of the world. The cry is to put a two-edged sword in their hands. In verse nine it tells us that the responsibility or the “honour” is given to the saints. Right now, in my present body, I would find it very difficult to judge anyone else, especially with the righteousness of God. But we are told that God will give us new bodies, and I trust we then will be able to look, as it were, through the eyes of Christ at others.

Paul says that we shall share in this judgment in 1 Corinthians: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” Paul goes on in the next verse to say (I Cor. 6:2&3): “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” So Paul teaches that we will not only judge others, but we will also judge angels.
Evidently this is a role of helping Christ to judge for there are many places that make it apparent that Christ will judge the world. Here are a few:

1) Romans 2:16, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
2) 2 Timothy 4:1, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;”
3) 1 Peter 4:5, “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”
Now, this is not the judgment of Christians, which takes place according to my gospel at another time: “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:10). We will all stand before Christ, but the judgments are clearly different. “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” (1 Cor. 4:5) We Christians will be judged on the basis of what we have done with the gospel, how we carried the good news forward to other men, and how we act faithfully before God. As well as I can tell, and God only knows, at that time we will be given the responsibility of carrying judgment to those who followed not Christ.

Some might say this is a very harsh view for God to take towards men. Some even try to deny that there is a judgment and a hell to be sent to, but the Scripture is plain. I view it a bit differently, and my reasoning is as such: God sent his only Son to redeem the world, that whosoever believeth should not perish, and in doing that God did everything He possibly could to redeem the world. He has sent His Spirit to convict us of the righteousness of Christ and our own unrighteousness. His provision and mercy are fully adequate in every way; there remains not one thing which He could do for our redemption. How then shall He act to those who refuse His merciful hand? Psalm 98 makes it very plain: “Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.”

In my view, then, God is totally righteous in judging the men who have refused His Son, and He is totally merciful in that His provision of sacrifice was made available to all. What then shall be said for those who hear not the gospel? Romans tells us that all are without excuse, because nature itself clearly presents the invisible qualities of God (Romans 1:19f). It remains true that some of us, me included, had many more opportunities to receive Christ, and were more obviously convicted by the Spirit. Romans 9 tells us that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will harden those whom He will harden. This is where election becomes more unclear and makes me want to throw up my hands in despair of ever understanding it.

I will observe though, that God’s provision of spreading the gospel is through us. How shall they hear without a preacher? George Mueller used to confess before God in shame for each time he passed the opportunity to confess his Savior before men. He was ashamed that God had given him opportunity to bear witness, and he was not faithful to that witness. I cannot help but wonder about myself. How many times I have been too weak to speak when I ought! There is a lost world beginning right at your next door neighbor’s house. Have you bothered to even tell them of God’s plan for redemption? How shall they hear without a preacher?

Bringing in the Sheaves

1. Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

2. Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter's chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

3. Go then, ever weeping, sowing for the Master,
Tho' the loss sustained our spirit often grieves.
When our weeping's over, He will bid us welcome;
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Lyrics: Knowles Shaw

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