Sermon 3427. The Blessed Christ
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1914.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, JULY 21, 1870.
"Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord." Matthew 21:9.
ONE feels very thankful that we have a few Hebrew words in common use in our Christian assemblies-a kind of link between Israelafter the flesh and Israel after the spirit. "Hallelujah," they sang of old, and we sing, "Hallelujah," too. "Abba Father,"they said. We also say, "Abba Father." And this word, "Hosanna," is another of the few that remain to us of which we understandthe meaning, though we use them still in a translated form-Hosanna-"save Lord," "bless Lord." "Blessed is He that comes inthe name of the Lord." I did not mention in the reading of the Psalm-(the 118th Psalm)-that both the 25th and 26th versesof that Psalm begin with the word, Hosanna. One is translated, "Save Lord," and the other is, "Blessed is He that comes inthe name of the Lord." I shall take this common exclamation, then, constantly used among the Jews, and we shall see as toits use among ourselves. And our first point will be to-
I. CONSIDER OCCASIONS WHEN THIS EXCLAMATION, "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord," HAS BEEN, OR WILL BE, SUITABLE.
And, first, in the olden times, the Israelites were accustomed to use this cry, "Blessed is he that comes in the name of theLord," when their heroes returned victorious from the battlefield. When they went up to the Temple to give thanks publiclyto God for victories over their enemies, they were met by the people, with this exclamation ofjoy, "Blessed is he that comesin Jehovah's name." Very unlike the cries of other nations! Some nations only extolled the heroes, but the people of God seethe hand of God, and they mark that the hero only comes in the name of the Lord. And while they give him blessings and wishhim every good thing for what he has done, yet the praise is ascribed to the Master in whose name he comes-even Jehovah. Whilethe Philistines would be extolling their god and Moab and Ammon would be lifting up the song to the idols they worshipped,Israel took care, in the song of triumph with which they saluted the returning victors, to extol and magnify the glory ofthe Lord-the Lord God of Israel-"Blessed is he that comes in the name of Jehovah." So, my dear Friends, whenever we thankmen for kindnesses which they render to us-(and it is our duty to be grateful to them)-yet let us thank yet more the Lordour God! Thank God and thank the secondary means, but do not ascribe the honor to the instrument, alone, lest you set up anidol in the Presence of God! Always take care to see that God, whom you worship, makes all things work through your friendsfor your help and your deliverance. So to each one who shall bring you good-whether spiritual or temporal good-"Blessed ishe that comes to me with this mercy. I recognize him as coming in Jehovah's name."
This exclamation might again have been most commonly used of the coming of our Lord. The Word became Incarnate and stoopedfrom the Throne of Heaven to the manger of Bethlehem's stable. I know not that these words precisely were used, but surelyin this spirit the angels sang their midnight carol when the Savior descended-"Glory to God in the highest. On earth peace,goodwill towards men." What is the spirit of all that song but this word, "Hosanna"? What is the essence of it all, but thissentence, "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord"? The shepherds could not have used a more significant and suitableexpression-and the Easterners, as they gathered round that little cradle and offered their gold, their myrrh, and their incense,together with their grateful homage might have looked at Mary and Joseph, and the Child, and said of Him, "Blessed is He thatcomes in the name of the Lord." And had but the nations known it, had but Israel known it, had but the kings of the earthrecognized it, one universal shout might have gone up to Heaven-"At last the promised One is come! The Seed of the woman isborn! The Messiah has appeared! The Prince of
Peace has come with innumerable blessings! Blessed is He that comes in Jehovah's name!" And I think the very sea and land,even the heavens and the Heaven of heavens, might have caught up the spirit of that hour, and the sea, with its waves, mighthave roared out, "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord." And you forests-every tree within you-might have burstforth in the same note till all the nations would have become one mouth for song, "Blessed is He that comes in the name ofthe Lord."
And this expression was used, according to my text, further on in our Savior's life. When He rode in triumph upon a colt,the foal of an ass, up to the Temple, when He went to take possession of His Father's House, and drive out the buyers andsellers, who had made it into a den of thieves-then in that day, when He was proclaimed King of the Jews, and the crowd ofmen mounted the trees and broke down the palm branches, juvenile voices all along the road shouted, "Hosanna." This was thehour of our Savior's gladness, and Jerusalem for once seemed as if she would shake off her solid coolness and would acknowledgeHim whom God had sent! It were well for her if it had been so, but the Truth of God was hidden from her eyes and she becamedesolate, because more heartily and truthfully she had not said, "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord."
And shall I be thought to be fanciful if I suppose that this exclamation would have been most appropriate among the bandsof angels and choirs of the blood-washed, when our Savior, having finished His lifework, ascended to His Throne? When theybrought His chariot from on high to bear Him to His last place of rest, when He ascended on high, leading captivity captive,and the pearly gates were set open that He might enter, did not all those bright celestial spirits throng the streets of goldand cry "Hosanna: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord"? I can scarcely think they could refrain from the expressionsof their delight when they saw Him come with His garments dyed red, fresh from the slaughter of all His foes, triumphant overall that came against Him, the great Conqueror, the Hero who had routed, once and for all, all Israel's enemies and put themall beneath His feet! Surely they must have said, "Hosanna," yet again and again, "Blessed is He that comes in the name ofthe Lord"!
And surely, to close the list of occasions, I may mention when He who went up from Olivet shall come a second time, in likemanner as He went up into Heaven, that is to say, in very Person as He mounted to the skies, He will be saluted, will He not-byall His waiting people, with this grand exclamation, "Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the nameof the Lord"? The coming of the Son of God is no joy to the ungodly world-the day of the Lord to them will be darkness, andnot light-the earth will burn as an oven! "The day comes that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, and yes, and all thatdo wickedly, shall be stubble." To the righteous the coming of Christ is their grandest expectation-it is the day of the manifestationof the sons of God, the day for which the whole creation groans and travails, for it will be the day of our resurrection,when our souls that may have been a long while divorced from our bodies shall be re-married, and the body shall be raisedagain like unto His glorious body! "For we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like He, for we shall see Him as Heis." The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come," and that same Spirit and Bride shall say, "Welcome, welcome, King of Kings!" whenHe shall come. Those who have watched most, and longed most, and hungered and thirsted most after that glorious Advent shallbe they who most joyfully shall go forth to meet King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day ofhis espousal, and this shall be the note of their triumphant greeting, "Hosanna: Blessed is He that comes in Jehovah's name."Thus I have very briefly run through the occasions when this exclamation would seem to be exceedingly suitable. Now let usfor a while consider-
II. THE SUITABILITY OF THIS CRY FOR CONSTANT USE-not now and then, but always! And it may be viewed in two lights. First,as an exultation. "Blessed is He that comes." He is blessed. It is a blessed thing that He has come. It may be viewed, inthe next place, as a prayer, let Him be blessed, let Him prosper and so on. First, then, as an exultation, a note of triumph,He is blessed that He has come in the name of the Lord, and ought we not to be always saying this, "Blessed is He that Heshould condescend to tabernacle among men! Blessed is He that it should be true that the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongus, that we might behold His Glory, the Glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth"? He is blessed,for He came to earth fully qualified for all His work, endowed with all the wisdom, the knowledge, the unction, the anointingfrom on high that He could wish. He was blessed in His coming, blessed while He carried on the work. Though His the pain andsorrow, yet it was all blessing to us, from the first act He did as a Man until He said, "It is finished." When I think ofHim coming down as a Man, coming down as a Servant, coming to take upon Himself to die for our sins, I can indeed say, "Blessedis He that comes to all this in the name of the
Lord"-comes as our Brother, comes as our Priest, comes as our Substitute, comes as our Scapegoat, comes as our great Delivererand propitiatory Sacrifice that we might be cleansed from sin! He is blessed-all blessings are in Him, all blessings comethrough Him, all blessings belong to Him! God has given all blessings to Him because of this. He is blessed. And, Brothersand Sisters, if He is blessed in the work and the carrying of it on, is He not, and shall He not be blessed in our esteem,now that He has mounted to the skies and taken the precious blood within the veil and sprinkled it there- and stands therenow pleading as a prevalent High Priest for us? Blessed is He that came in Jehovah's name-the great Ambassador of Peace betweenoffended Deity and revolted man. He is our Peace and let His name forever be blessed! He is our Prince-let us adore Him! Heis all our salvation, all our desire! We ask nothing more than to be like He and be with Him. Blessings in Him! He is blessed!God has blessed Him! Forever and forever shall all generations call Him blessed! It is an exultation, then. We shout to Histriumph, "Blessed is He that comes!"
But it is a prayer. My dear Friends, we desire to do all we can for the Lord Jesus Christ, but how very limited are our capacities!If we were to give Him all we have, and give our bodies to be burned, it would be very little for us to give to such a Savior.But what a mercy it is that there is no limit to what we may wish. We can bless Him with our wishes, if we cannot with ouracts. I was about to say we may bless Him infinitely with our desires. At any rate, there is no limit to our capacity to desire.And those desires may take the very acceptable and prevalent form of prayer. What I cannot do for Christ, I can pray God tobe done. What if I cannot preach His Gospel in every land, yet where I can, I will preach it and pray God to raise up manyto proclaim it. And if I cannot crown His head with many crowns, yet would I lay at His feet such as I have, and then my desireswouldcrown Him over, and over, and over again, and my prayers would clamber up to His lofty Throne and put fresh coronets uponHis dear head, blessing Him that He does not deny me a share of wishing what I cannot do, and of praying for what I cannotgive! In this sense, Brothers and Sisters, we can, to a very great extent, bless Him who comes in the name of the Lord-blessHim with our wishes, our desires, our earnestness and especially with our prayers.
Now, what is the blessing, then, which we would seek for our Lord, Jesus Christ? What are the prayers that we would offerfor Him? It is written, "Prayer also shall be made for Him continually." What shall we ask for Him?
We will ask, first, that He that comes in the name of the Lord may be blessed in His Church. Oh, that He would bless the Churchjust now. I am afraid we have fallen upon lean times just now. It may be that God is about to chastise His Church, becausewhen we had a revival we had not Grace enough to keep it. Almost universally there is a cloud hanging over Israel-lethargycoming in place of earnestness. God knows we were never very earnest-I mean the Church of God at large was not very earnest-butyet that earnestness which did arise seems now to be vanishing. I pray God it may not vanish, but, on the contrary, may allthe zeal which has been in our days be far exceeded-all the agony for souls, all the labor to proclaim the Grace of God tothem, all the earnest desires and prayers of God's people-may all these be renewed with tenfold vigor, and in this way maywe have to cry, "The Lord has visited His Church, and let His name be blessed." We do tonight, I trust, put up the prayer,each one of us who belongs to this Church and people, "Lord prosper Your Word, be pleased to give power to your minister andincreased Grace to your servants, holiness of life, separation from the world, power in prayer-give them communion with Yourself!Grant that there may be peace within the borders of your Church, and that the citizens of Zion may be filled with the finestof the wheat." In this respect we will bless Christ by desiring a blessing on His Church and seeking to promote its prosperity.
Next to this, I say, "Lord save"-"Lord bless"-Him that comes, (putting it as a prayer for the scattering of the Church's enemiesand His own enemies. Christ still has many enemies in the world. The Pope, the Antichrist of Rome, with all his doctors andcounselors, assemble at this very hour-the incarnate Antichrist-at this present moment! And here, in this England of ours,there are priests busy up and down, in every court and lane, in every corner of the land, and our clergy of the EstablishedChurch, many of them double-dyed Papists, doing the work of Rome and eating the bread of a Protestant Church at the same time!And then there is infidelity, seeking all it can to make its converts, with a zeal which were commendable if it were usedfor a right purpose. They compass sea and land to make proselytes, and shame the coldness of many professed followers of Christ.The enemies of Christ are very many. The Church is very feeble, yes, she is like a reed shaken by the wind. Without her Lord,she is less than nothing-like chaff in the whirlwind! But, oh, let us pray that He may be blessed who comes in the name ofthe Lord by the scattering of all His enemies, by the putting down of spiritual wickedness in high places, and giving thevictory to the Truth and to the Gospel-that which saves - putting to flight that which destroys before that which purifies-scatteringthat which defiles before that which glorifies God, annihilating that which blasphemes His holy name! May Christ be blessedas a Conqueror over His foes!
We may, further, very earnestly pray that the Lord may be blessed in the conversion of souls. Oh, would to God He were blessedin that respect in this congregation more and more! Preaching becomes very dead work when there are no converts. Sowing isvery well and one likes it at the sowing season, but if a man had to sow all the year round and never saw the golden sheaves,he might well grow weary. Though, indeed, in sowing for God we ought not to be weary, yet the tendency is to be so. How fewconversions there are anywhere just now! The Church does not increase at all in the same rate as the population does. Everyyear I believe that the sin of London is gaining upon the Gospel, and all the efforts that are made do not tell upon the masses.We scarcely hold our ground! Certainly we make very little if any, advance. Of course, we congratulate ourselves that thereare so many churches built. Does anybody go to them? We sometimes think there are so many Chapels. Yes, but how many are therethat are half empty, or even less occupied than that? And what if they are full, yet in how many places is the Gospel preachedvery uncertainly and no certain sound is given from the trumpet? It is Christ that is preached in a measure, but preachedin a fog-certainly not in the way that is so plain that wayfaring men need not err therein, but in a way that is so perplexingand involved in hard words and gaudy obscurities of rhetoric, that oftentimes many know not their right hand from their left,and look on, marveling at the orator who speaks so grandly, but what he says, or whereof he affirmed, they utterly know not!How many there are that have the key of knowledge, but open not the door! They seem rather to show how delightfully they canlock it and how skillfully they can shut out the multitude! We need to see conversions! May God send them everywhere throughoutthis land by the tens of thousands! And in other lands, would God there were conversions by the millions! The world teemswith population, but Jesus Christ has as yet few who find Him. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there arethat go in at the gate or tread that road. O Lord, how long, how long, how long? Arise and convert sinners to Yourself!
The same thought comes to us only a little enlarged. Our desire in prayer for Christ is that He may the blessed in the senseof being glorious to the ends of the earth. We have no doubts about the issue of the struggle in which we are engaged-againstthe powers of darkness. It may be a thousand years before Christianity is prevalent. It may be ten thousand years! It maybe fifty thousand years, it may be a hundred thousand years! We, none of us, know. To God it will be quick, very quickly-andin but a short time-behold Christ comes quickly! But that, "quickly," may not mean what we think it does, and they who sitdown and say it will be the next twenty, or fifty, or 100 years know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm! We who areworking now are very like, as I believe, those coral insects that are about to build a reef. They begin at the bottom of thesea. They lay, first of all, the foundations, broad and strong. It will be a long, long, long, long while before that reefwill come to the top of the sea, before it will be seen, before earth and weeds will be attracted to it. It will be stilllonger before there begins to grow upon it certain tiny plants and mosses-still longer before the cocoanut begins to spring,and before men and animals shall be found there. Now, those first insects that lay the foundation die. They have gone, andthe next, and the next, and the next and the reef is still unseen. That is very like what we are. All we can do is to keepon working, working with all our might. Our prayer ought not to be that we should see the whole of our success. I like Moses'prayer-"Let Your work appear unto Your servants! And Your Glory unto their children." Hence no matter how things are-it mayhave been that we have hardly stood our ground, and we can hardly say the Lord's cause has prospered-still, we have only seenthe beginning! And we may rest assured that when the latter verses of this grand poem shall come, though the book may haveopened somewhat dolorously and gloomily, the end will be, "Sing unto the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously: the horse andhis rider has He cast into the sea." In any great cause that is undertaken in any country, it is not one generation that succeeds.Many generations have to take part in it. There is a period of contempt for even common political principles-a period of neglect-afterwardsa period of contempt-then, perhaps, a period of absolute persecution, and then, perhaps, when we least expect it, there comesthe moment of victory. And so it will be with the great cause of Christ! Only let this be our prayer, that the Lord wouldcut short His work in righteousness. That He would be pleased to soon come forth with His sword girt upon His thigh and taketo Himself His great power and reign! Before another year comes, if the Lord wills, the nations may all give up their idolsand turn to Christ! God can do as He pleases. Time is nothing to Him. With men, steel and iron must be worked gradually, butin the world of spirits, God has but to strike a spark and the fire will run along the ground and illumine the earth withits sacred conflagration! He can affect all minds at once, and turn the heart of the child to the Father, andthe hearts ofall men to the great Prince of Peace, if so He wills it! And, perhaps, He means to do that-to save the whole battle for onegrand last charge when the King, Himself, shall lead the van, and then the conquering banner shall be seen, and the Lord GodOmnipotent shall reign! Be it as He wills, we will always say under every discouragement, at all times when we see not oursign, "Blessed be You, Jesus! You shall get the crown and be Conqueror yet! May Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done asin Heaven, so on earth!"
Now, lastly, there are times, dear Friends, when this exclamation may be used about ourselves personally. I will only hintat these times. The first is at our conversion. When we had been in sorrow and trouble, under sin-when the Law had made sinrevive and we died, when every hope was hurled in despair-you remember how you and I welcomed Christ. I remember the verySabbath morning and the spot of ground. Some of you may not so distinctly remember-that does not matter-but some of you can.Oh, how blessed was he who came to us in the name of the Lord! Sin was forgiven. Doubts fled, despair vanished, joy and peaceflowed in our souls, leapt within us, and we were so happy-we scarcely knew how to express our joy and our love! Oh, dearSavior, on that first day of our spiritual birth, and afterwards while we were yet in the love of our espousals, we coulddo no other than say, "Blessed is He, the dear precious and exalted Savior, who has come to me in the Lord's name and savedmy soul!" Since that day we have, every now and then, had repetitions of our conversion-renewals of the Presence of God. Youhad got very dull and worldly, and your soul was cleaving to the dust, but, perhaps, it was under a sermon or in private prayer.Or it may have been in the middle of your business the Lord returned to you-He became the health of your countenance and restoredyour soul! Oh, I know how you sang, when your communion with Christ began to be as sweet as it was before, "Blessed is Hethat comes in the name of the Lord!" The Lord send such seasons to any of you who are backsliding! May He come to you, now,and knock at the door of your heart! Oh, open to Him and bid Him come in, for there is no power on earth that can revive adecaying heart like the coming of Christ afresh by renewed communion! So too, dear Friends, you and I have said this whenwe have had some very happy seasons in the house of the Lord. Have you not sometimes, in this very place, when our voice hasgone up in song (the thousands praising God)-when we have been all moved by gracious Words of Scripture, as the trees of theforest are moved with the wind-have you not been inclined to burst out with the note, "Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes inthe name of the Lord"? Why, the very preacher has been beloved to you for his Master's sake! But the preacher's Master-oh,what love you felt in your heart for Him-what joy at the sound of His name! What delight when it has been like ointment pouredforth, and the love of God has been shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit which is given unto you! Do you not rememberwhen you went up with the multitude that kept holy day, when you went up to the altar of God with exceeding joy, with thevoice of thanksgiving? Ah, then it was-
"Blessings forever on the Lamb, Who bore the Cross for wretched men."
And once again, to conclude, whenever God visits His Church with a revival, then the cry goes up, "Blessed is He that comesin the name of the Lord"-a revival of religion, I mean, of this kind-when a deep religious concern is upon all, when Christiansbecome more earnest and more prayerful, when they become more attentive to the unconverted and more anxious to see them saved.And when the unconverted, themselves, take a deeper interest in the Word-when they begin to feel their sin, when they cryout for mercy, when they ask the way to Zion! We have had the Lord with us now these 17 years with no bursts of excitement,but with one continual stream of blessing-and I am so anxious that we should not lose it. I could wish that we might see sometoken of even a larger measure of His Presence than we have had yet. I would ask some of you that have power in prayer tojoin with me every morning and every night in a prayer that He would come to us afresh. We are not discouraged-very far fromit. We have never been without many enquirers and many being added to the Church, but still, there are unconverted ones inthe congregation. We have found at the Tabernacle what we had at Park Street, that we have many more members than seats. Iremember one man coming one night to have a seat who was very honest and wanted to see me, first, before he took a sitting."Sir," he said, "somebody told me that I should be expected to be converted if I took a seat, and I cannot guarantee that."I said, "My dear Friend, somebody has told you the right thing, but he has not put it exactly right. If you take a seat, weexpect that you will be converted. It is not that you are expected to convert yourself, but we expect that if you hear theWord, God will bless you, because," I said, "I hardly know any who have sat there but have been converted." I was very gladto find there was all current among the seat-holders that God would bless them! I believe He will. But still, I wish we hadmore members. Wehave 4,200, I think, but we can hold more than that. I would like to see six thousand! What a joy it wouldbe! So many that I would be half inclined to say I must go and fish in another pool-they are all caught here! Would not itbe a mercy if there were no more fish in the sea to be caught, but all were converted-everyone that comes into this Tabernacle?His power is infinite! There is no limit to that, except that our unbelief in the economy of Grace is sometimes allowed tolimit it. What is said converted to God! If you could go out and do good to others, and bring others in, and other churchescould be formed, what a blessing might come of it! And why not? "He could not do many mighty works there, because of theirunbelief." Oh, that this might be taken away from us! May we believe, and we shall see! May we trust and pray, and we shalljoyfully behold it! Oh, that some poor sinner would come to Jesus Christ tonight! He would, indeed, have to say, "Blessedis he that comes in the name of the Lord." One prayer will bring you to Him, if it is sincere. Simply to trust Him-that isthe thing! To rely upon Him-that is all! He died for the guilty. His blood was shed for the foul. Come and trust Him and yieldto Him! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM118.
Verse 1. Ogive thanks unto the LORD: for He is good: because His mercy endures forever Here is a standing reason for thanksgiving.Although we may not always be healthy, nor always prosperous, yet God is always good and, therefore, there is always a sufficientargument for giving thanks unto Jehovah, That He is a good God essentially-that He cannot be otherwise than good-should bea fountain out of which the richest praises should perpetually flow.
2, 3. Let Israel now say that His mercy endures forever Let the house of Aaron now say that His mercy endures forever Thesewere especially set apart for God's service and, therefore, where much in given, much is expected. The house of Aaron, therefore,must have a special note of thanksgiving, and though we who preach the Gospel claim no sort of priesthood, yet if any oughtto lead the strain of thankfulness, it should be those who minister continually for God.
4. Let them now that fear the LORD say that His mercy endures forever Let them all say it-let them all say it now-let everyone of us say it for himself, "His mercy endures forever."
5. I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me and set me in a large place. I think many of us could make justsuch a record as that and not once, but many times in our lives we could say, "I called upon the Lord in distress." We havehad many trials, but we have a Mercy Seat always to fly to and a God always ready to hear the cries of His distressed ones.
6. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?The past always gives us assurance for the future, for weare dealing with the same unchangeable God and, therefore, we may expect to have the same dealings from Him.
7. 8. The LORD takes my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon those who hate me. It is betterto trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. There is one text which I have never seen put up anywhere. You have illuminatedtexts in your houses and schoolrooms, and so on, but I think I have never seen this, "Cursed is he that trusts in man, andmakes flesh his arm." Or this other one, "Cease you, from man whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accountedof?" And I am sure there is no teaching of Scripture more necessary than that, whether it refers to great men or to littlemen, whether it refers to men of eminence, or to those of your own family circle. "It is better to trust in the Lord thanto put confidence in man."
9. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. It is nobler, it is more agreeable to sound reason,it will lead to better results. God better deserves our confidence than the princes of the earth do-even the best of them.
10. All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. This may apply to David, but it appliedbetter to Christ, around whom Jews and Gentiles came, but He won the victory over them.
11. 12. They compassedme about: yes, they compassedme about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They compassedme about like bees, they are quenched as fire of thorns; for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. The thorn makesa good blaze and crackles and splutters, but it is soon out. "For in the name of the Lord will I destroy them." In this waywe may meet our spiritual foes, temptations, trials, the world, sin, death, Hell-the name of Jehovahshall be our strength."In hoc signo vincitt" said one of old-"By this sign you conquer," and so by this sign we also overcome through the bloodof the Lamb!
13. You have thrust sore at me that I might fall; but the Lord helped me. This will rebut all the attacks of our fiercestfoes-"But the Lord helped me."
14, 15. The LORD is my strength and song, and has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation in the tabernaclesof the righteous: the right hand of the LORD does valiantly. Where God's people dwell, there is the voice of joy. "Their familyprayer sanctifies the house with its joyous notes." Even then there is trouble and sorrow in the house, yet resignation stillmakes joy and rejoicing there. And if rejoicing for a moment should go, yet salvation never does. "This day is salvation cometo your house. If you are now a converted man, it will never go away. It is an abiding thing-it is in the tabernacles of therighteous.
16, 17. The right hand of the LORD is exalted, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly. I shall not die but live, and declarethe works of the LORD. Some have thought this Psalm was composed by Hezekiah after his sickness, and after the destructionof Senacherib's host. It may be so. It has been used by many besides Hezekiah, who have not forgotten that these are the wordsof Wickliffe, used when monks came round his dying bed with prayers, Paternosters and crucifixes and urged him to repent,and he said, "I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord." And so, indeed, he did!
18. The LORD has chastened me sorely: but He has not given me over unto death. Many of His best children can say this, for,"whom the Lord loves He chastens." "The Lord has chastened me sorely, but He has not given me over unto death." You that haverecovered from sickness, here is a song for you who above all were not given over to your sins and to the just punishmentof them! Here is music for you, "He has not given me over to the second death which He might have done."
19, 20. Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them and I will praise the LORD. This gate of the LORD intowhich the righteous shall enter. I suppose he who uttered these words has passed through the beautiful gates of the Temple.
21. I will praise You: for You have heard me, and have become my salvation. Future, past, present-all full of blessing!
22-24. The stone which the builders refusedis become the headstone ofthe corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelousin our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made: we will rejoice and be glad in it. Though this is applicable to theSabbath, yet it is also applicable to any day and to every day which God especially makes glorious by delivering many.
25-27. Save now, I beseech You, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech You, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name ofthe LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD. God is the LORD, who has showed us light: bind the sacrifice withcords, even unto the horns of the altar.It is the king returning from victory and recovered from sickness. He brings his sacrificewith thanksgiving, as every child of God should, and there it is, ready bound to the altar horns.
28, 29. You are my God, and I will praise You: You are my God, I will exalt You. O give thanks unto the LORD: for He is good;for His mercy endures forever.