Sermon 3465. The Suffering Christ Satisfied
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JULY 1, 1915.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, MARCH 29, 1888.
"He stall see ofthe travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many."Isaiah 53:11.
IN these words we have God the Father speaking concerning His Son and declaring that since He had endured a soul travail,He would guarantee to Him a satisfactory reward. How delightful it is to observe the co-working of the various Persons ofthe sacred Trinity in the matter of salvation! It was so in the Creation. It was the Father who said, "Let there be light,"and there was light. But we read concerning the Eternal Son that, "without Him was not anything made which was made," andwe find express mention of the Spirit of God, who moved upon the face of the waters and created order out of chaos. Father,Son and Spirit worked together to make the world and, in the making of man, we all remember that gracious word, "Let Us makeman in Our own image with Our own likeness." Even so is it in our salvation. The Father has chosen a people unto Himself.These people He has given unto the Son. To these people He has also given the Only-Begotten to be their salvation. It is throughthe abounding Grace of the Father that salvation comes to the chosen, but only through Jesus Christ, for everywhere He isthe Savior. We are redeemed by His precious blood. He it is that will bring the many sons unto glory and is the Author andthe Finisher of their faith. Yet not without the Holy Spirit, for the blessed Spirit graciously condescends to take of thethings of Christ and show them unto us. What God ordains, the Spirit executes. What the Son purchases, the Holy Spirit bestows.'Tis He who makes us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light-and when we are so meet-we are introducedto the inheritance by the hand of the glorious Son, and are led up to the Throne of the Eternal Father. Christians, live muchin contemplation upon the God of your salvation! Magnify Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Shun that ministry which dishonors eitherof these blessed Persons and seek to be fully built up and instructed in the Gospel teaching which glorifies Father, Son andSpirit in Divine equality, and leads your own hearts into "the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father,and the communion of the Holy Spirit."
With that by way of preface, we shall now come to the text at once, taking the words as well as the sense of them.
The Father says of the Son that, "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied." The first point of consideration,very briefly, is-
I. OUR LORD'S PAINS AND SUFFERINGS, BY WHICH HE MADE AN ATONEMENT FOR OUR SINS.
These are described in the text as "the travail of His soul." You know the meaning of the word, "travail." I will not explainit-I will the rather do with it as the painter who drew the picture of Agamemnon and the sacrifice of his daughter, Iphigenia.He painted Agamemnon, but he threw a veil over his face, for he felt he could not express the grief that was in the father'sface and, therefore, the face was delicately concealed. Let us do the same. It may suffice for us to say that whenever inHoly Scripture a forcible word is needed to express fear, overwhelming pain, distraction and confusion, the word, "travail,"is used. For instance, when the kings looked upon Mount Zion and saw how safe it was from their attacks, "fear took hold uponthem, there, and pain as of a woman in travail." And in the description which is given by the Prophet of the men of Babylonwhen their city was overthrown-he represents them as being "full of pain as if they were in travail." It is an unutterableamount of inward grief and trouble and a swelling of the inner man until it seems as if the whole fabric of nature, beingdelicately convulsed, would be utterly broken up to its ruin.
Observe the text says, "The travail of His soul." We are not to depreciate the bodily sufferings of Christ, but still it hasbeen well said that "the soul-sufferings of Christ were the soul of His sufferings." Brothers and Sisters, there was so muchin the outward agony of Christ, that my ears have tingled and my heart burned with wrath when I have heard certain theologiansspeak lightly of it! Speak lightly of the sweat of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane? Speak lightly of the flagellations byHerod and Pilate when the bloody scourges made the sacred drops to roll? Think lightly of the
shame, spitting and the crown of thorns? Oh, Sirs, dare you think and speak lightly of the piercing of His hands and of Hisfeet, and of the fever which those wounds engendered, and that thirst which the fever and the broiling sun together broughton, and the rending of those hands when the feet could no longer support the body and the iron tore through the nerves? Isnothing or little to be said of all this? God forbid, Brothers and Sisters! We believe that the body of Christ took its fullshare of the chastisement. By His stripes we are healed! By His scourging and bodily chastisements we get at least a portionof the healing balm which cures the disease of sin! Our sin was with the body and Christ's Atonement was with the body. Ourflesh was sinful and, therefore, His flesh must suffer. Had we been simply spirits and as spirits, alone, had sinned, a spiritmight have made atonement for us-and a soul bereft of a body might have been a perfect substitute-but we are Sons of Adamand still wear this red earth about us! And as we sin in the body, so must the Savior, with hands, feet, brow and every memberof His blessed frame, be made to suffer to make atonement for our guilt! Still, still, the travail of His soul was the chiefmatter and it is that the text speaks about! Where shall I find a golden reed with which to measure this city, or where shallI find a plumb line with which to fathom the depths of agony which I now see before me? Jesus Christ suffered so that I despairof conceiving His sufferings, or of conveying them to you by any form of words.
And yet there are two lines of thought which might help us. And the first is this-the perfection of our Lord's Nature. Justthink of this for a minute. Our Lord was utterly and altogether free from sin or any tendencies to sin-and yet He came intothis world and He lived in the midst of sinners-and He must, in consequence of this, have suffered a torture to which youand I are utter strangers, except in some small measure! Now think for a while-inasmuch as Christ was perfect, He was capableof an amount of sympathy at which you and I have only made a guess. What a dreadful thing it is for us, sometimes, to haveto go and walk through a hospital. I know I would feel it to be one of the most painful days in my life if I had to spenda day in the operating room of a hospital. I think I would have to be taken out within the first five minutes! But to be obligedto stay on and see my fellow creatures suffer beneath the knife, even when used most carefully, and tenderly, and wisely,would, I think, be too much! Some of you who have never seen the depths of poverty, if you were obliged to go to those partsand places where men are dying of starvation-if you were taken away just now to Orissa, or made to stop in the famine-strickendistricts of Algeria, or even compelled to live for a while in some of the very poorest districts of this great, but justnow, poverty-beaten city, you would feel it to be a great pain. I tell you, when sometimes there are half a dozen poor casesbefore us and we have to help them, and then there come half a dozen more, and we cannothelp them, it is one of the painsof life! It is one of the worst ills a man can have to bear, to be so public as to have all this evil gathered round his feet,and yet be unable to relieve it! Now we will not say that our Savior was unable to relieve it, but some sufferings which menhad brought upon themselves by their sin came before Him perpetually, and they must have pierced and penetrated His tenderand sympathetic heart, riddling it, as it were, with the barbed arrows of grief. Still, He took upon Himself our infirmitiesand carried our sorrows all His lifetime.
But there was worse than this. Our Lord, being perfect, must have shuddered as He came into daily contact with sinners. Shuta good man up in a den with drunks, unchaste person, and swearers-and what worse Hell could you devise for him? Might notone prefer to be enclosed in a den of tigers or vipers sooner than with some classes of society? Now that kind of shudderingwhich comes over a chaste man when he is obliged to listen to the lascivious song, or the holy heart when it is compelledto hear blasphemy and horrid libels against the Most High-that existed to a pre-eminent degree in the pure and sensitive heartof Christ! Wherever He went, He either saw the profligacy of the publican, or the hypocrisy of the Pharisee, or the infidelityof the Sadducee, or the formalism of the Scribe. There was not a step that He took but there was something to grieve Him!Even His own disciples-not merely by ignorance, but by worse than that-pierced Him to the very quick, so that He endured asoul travail in some respects during the whole of His life!
But the point I want to bring you to is this. He was such a perfect Being and yet sin was actually laid upon Him, and whatmust this have been! I would like to express myself cautiously and carefully. Jesus Christ never was a sinner, never couldhave been one, never was guilty of sin. In Him was no sin. Yet the sin of His people was imputed to Him, for so I understandthe words, "The Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." What a word! "And He bore the sin of many." This Chapter hasthe expression, I think, three or four times over that God actually laid upon Christ, human sin! Now what a load for Him tocarry! What a pain for sin thus to come into contact with the perfectly holy soul of the blessed Jesus! You do not know whata very Hell is included in the thought that sin came to be laid upon Christ. Think of it yourselves. You are perfectly innocent,tonight, of anything like murder. Suppose yourselves arraigned tomorrow morning at the police court and accused of it? Howwould you feel? You may tell me that your innocence might and would, sustain you. I have no doubt it would, but still, whata shame it would be to stand before the vulgar crowd and to
be pointed at as having been guilty of an infamous deed! And suppose that, although you had not committed the deed, you were,nevertheless, unable to plead guiltless, for, for certain reasons, it was necessary that the guilt of the action should lieupon you? Can you now conceive what strength you would need to keep your tongue from speaking so as to deny it-and to standthere like the sheep before the shearers-dumb to your own confusion?
Can you imagine yourselves being condemned to die, though the sin was not yours, yet out of some great love which you boreto another, you are condemned? And you can add another supposition-condemned to die justly, too, although you, yourselves,had not personally been guilty. Can you picture yourselves coming shuddering up the gallows stairs to face that dreadful throngassembled around the gallows, with no eye to pity you among them all, but the whole assembled multitude thrusting out thetongue, pointing, mocking, jeering and saying, "He trusted in God that He would deliver him. Let Him deliver him, seeing hedelights in Him." Now the mere dying you could bear, as martyrs have done, but not the dying with all that weight of sin legallyplaced upon you! Oh, who can tell what must have been the horror which took hold upon the Savior, and how true must have beenHis expression when He said, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death"? The Holy One in the sinner's place! An angelin a dungeon! The God of Heaven veiled in human flesh to be hung upon the gallows as a malefactor-start as you think of itand then try to conceive, if you can, what must have been the horror of His soul!
But I have got another plumb line with which, perhaps, if the Holy Spirit helps us, we shall be able to fathom the depth better.Think, Beloved, of what our sins deserved. It is undoubtedly the teaching of Scripture that a single sin deserves death fromGod's hand. The very sparks of sin set Hell on a blaze but what do you deserve who have transgressed ten thousand times tenthousand times told? And Christ did not die for you, alone-He died for a multitude that no man can number! Will you multiply,then, the desert of the sin of one human being by that of all the countless myriads who are now before the Throne of God andthe yet greater numbers that shall yet be brought there? Now I will not say that Christ suffered precisely and exactly whatall these ought to have suffered as the result of their sin, but I will say that what He offered to God was certainly nota less vindication of His justice, but a greater one than all that would have been, for if all the myriads of the elect hadlaid in Hell forever and ever, their debt would have been no nearer payment after ten thousand times ten thousand years thanat the first! And yet this Man, by His one offering of Himself, has put away all the sin and all the punishment to all themultitudes for whom He shed His blood! Transcendent mystery! Angelic minds shall fail to explore the heights, and depths,and lengths, and breadth of this atoning Sacrifice! Can you now guess at it? You can, yet you cannot tell it, for it surpasseslanguage-the travail of the Redeemer's soul!
I ask you now to think of your Lord in His bitter pangs and tormenting griefs. View Him prostrate in the Garden. See Him sweatinggreat drops of blood for you. Behold Him tortured by Pilate and Herod, and then see Him, with broken heart, going up to theaccursed tree and there being made a curse for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him! We must now passon to observe that there are-
II. CERTAIN RESULTS GUARANTEED FROM THE SUFFERING OF THE LORD.
The Eternal Father says, "He shall see the fruit of the travail of His soul." That is, He shall see the fruit of it. Jesusis not dead! The travail was enough to kill Him, but He remembers no more His travail for the joy of the blessed fruit whichis brought into the world thereby. He looks down from Heaven, tonight, as He has been looking down ever since He ascendedthere and He beholds the sweet results of all His pains and griefs. Now attentively observe one thing. It has always seemedto us, and I think it will seem reasonable to you, that if Jesus Christ is to see of the travail of His soul, and to be satisfied,then whatever was His intention when He laid down His life will be given Him. This is not far-fetched because if it is written,"He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied," how is a man satisfied if he does not have the result, thefull result of his labor, above all such labor-labor even unto death? If a man does not achieve by his dying all that he diedfor, then he cannot be satisfied-unless his first intention is amended, which would imply that he had been in error. Do yousee the drift of this observation? Jesus Christ did not, then, on the Cross, intend to save every man! It is not true thatJesus Christ died with the intention of saving every man of the human race. But this is true-Christ died that every man mightbe spared-and they are spared. You are here tonight as the result of His death. And in that sense He "tasted death for everyman." He died that every man might have the Gospel preached to Him, that there should be an honest declaration that whoeverbelieves in Jesus Christ shall be saved. I this night, for the ten thousandth time, announce to you that Gospel-that if youbelieve in Jesus Christ, you shall be saved! And this Gospel is to be preached not to some, but to every creature under Heaven!And the proclamation of this Gospel comes universally to all mankind as the result of Christ's death-and in that sense Hetasted death for every man.
But, mark you, He stood as a Substitute for none of you unless you believe in Him, or shall believe in Him. He suffered forthose who trust Him, but if you trust Him not, you have no part nor lot in this matter! He had no design to save you. If Hehad, neither you nor the devil in Hell could have frustrated that design. But this is His design, "God so loved the worldthat whoever believes in Him has everlasting life." This is the mark of the people for whom Christ died-that they come andtrust in Jesus! By this "broad arrow" are the blood-bought known, and the blood-redeemed discerned from the unregenerate mass-bytheir trusting in Jesus! He has redeemed us from among men. He loved His Church and gave His Son for it. The Good Shepherdlays down His life for the sheep. All that the Father gives Him shall come to Him, and him that comes unto Him, He will inno wise cast out. We know and feel, then, that what was Christ's intention by His death, He will certainly accomplish! Andoh, what a blessed thought this is for those of us who have to preach the Gospel, that the Gospel will not be preached invain, that we do not preach it at haphazard, or perhaps, or casting dice, as it were, for men's souls! He bought them andHe will have them! They were given Him of old in the decree, and He will have them, snatching them from between the lion'sjaws by the power of His own Irresistible Grace. Christ sees of the travail of His soul whenever a sinner touches the hemof His garment and receives the virtue that comes out of Him. He is satisfied as saints advance in Grace, as they make progressin the Divine Life. He is most of all satisfied as, one by one, they go up the glittering pathway to the gates of pearl andenter into rest. He will be completely satisfied when all the chosen company shall be on the streets of gold like unto transparentglass and shall, without the lack of a single voice in the Divine Choir, sing, "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us fromour sins in His blood, unto Him be glory forever and ever."
Dear Brothers and Sisters, comfort one another with these words, that Christ will have His own! He shall see of the travailof His soul and shall be satisfied. Up with the red flag once again! Sound the trumpet, you heralds of the Cross! Defy thehosts of Hell! You may defy modern rationalism and modern Popery, too. You may despise the sneers of the critics and the banterof the ignorant, and the threats of the persecutors! None of these can trample that flag beneath their feet. The King sitsupon the Throne of God in Zion, working His way and having His will. Has He said and shall He not do it? Shall He purposeand shall it not come to pass? Over your heads there sounds, like the trumpet of doom, the sound of Jehovah's words, "I willhave mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion upon whom I will have compassion." He does as He wills amongthe armies of Heaven and among the inhabitants of this lower world! He shall see His seed! He shall prolong His days and thepleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hands!
But again we must pass on. One of the results of the Savior's passion is now specified in the text, "By His knowledge shallmy righteous Servant justify many."
The former part of my discourse has been addressed to Believers. I should now like to catch the ear of the unbeliever. Doyou know what it means to be justified? It means, very simply, to be made just-to be accepted by God-as if you were alwaysjust. You have not been just, but a very long way from it! You have done the things you ought not to have done. Now if everyou are to be saved, you must be, before God, righteous. How can you be made righteous? The only way is the way mentionedin the text-by the knowledge of Christ shall Christ justify many. "What?" says one, "I thought we were to be made holy throughwhat we do!" No, not by what you do, but through what you know! "But I know a great many things," says one. Do you know JesusChrist? You know about Him, you say. Do you know this about Him-that He came into the world to save sinners? Do you know thatyou are a sinner and do you know that, therefore, if you cast yourself upon Him, He will save you? "Well," you say, "we doknow that." Well, I want to know whether you know it in your heart, not merely as a common piece of news, but whether youknow it by experience in your soul? In other words, do you trust in Him? Do you know Him so as to believe Him? When you knowa man well, if he is a good man, you trust him. You cannot help trusting him when you know him. So do you know Christ so asto trust Him? If you do, you shall be justified-that is, God will treat you as if you were perfectly just and look upon youas if you never did wrong in all your life! And He will bless you and take you to Heaven as if you had been an innocent fromyour mother's breast. "But am I not to do something?" Nothing. "But am I not to felsomething?" Nothing. The doing and thefeeling will come afterwards-the way to be justified is by knowing.
"How can I know, then?" asks one. Well, listen. Incline your ears and come unto me. Listen, and your souls shall live, forfaith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Attend much where the Gospel is preached, and when you hear it, donot reject it, but accept it! Oh, my dear Hearer, I wish you would accept the Gospel now-tonight! It all lies in a nutshell.It is just this-Jesus Christ put Himself into the sinner's place and whoever will trust Him, Christ put Himself into thatman's place. And that man's sins are not his sins any more. They were put on Christ and Christ's righteousness belongs tothat man. "What? Even if he has been a drunk?" Yes, if he has been a drunk ever so deep. "What? If
he has been a swearer?" Yes, yes! If he trusts Christ, his blasphemy shall not be imputed to him. It was laid on Christ. Christsuffered on the red Cross where He poured out His life's blood, suffered for that man's blasphemies. "Well, but he has beenin sin all this afternoon." I care not if he has been in sin up till the last tick of the clock-if he comes and casts himselfupon what Christ has done, with a simple, hearty, earnest faith-he may come in, for his sins, which are many, are all forgivenhim. "Will he go and do as he did before?" Not if his sins are forgiven him, for he will love God and he will so love Godthat he will hate the things he once loved. He will turn his cups bottom upwards. And his oaths he will vomit forever. Andhe will begin now, once and for all, to walk in the ways of holiness, serving God whom once he despised. Yes, yes-it is byknowing Christthat men are justified, and only by this!
"Oh," says one, "I wish I were justified so!" Well, look at the text, "By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justifymany." Justify many! Then why not you? "Lord, are there few that shall be saved?" And the answer comes, "He shall justifymany." Oh, that He would justify all in this Tabernacle! And why not? The justifying righteousness of Christ has an unboundedefficacy about it, just as His blood has-and He will justify not only many-but all who know Him and rely upon Him shall befound just in the sight of God!
The last clause of the text explains the reason of it all, "For He shall bear their iniquities."Three or four sentences uponthis will be enough, for the clause is so very plain that it needs no explanation. The reason why Jesus Christ is able toforgive sin and to make unjust men, just, is this-because He bears their iniquities. My dear Brothers and Sisters, you knowthat in these modern times it is thought to be very old-fashioned and very ignorant to teach the literal Substitution of Christin the place of sinners! And to say that Christ actually bore our sin and that we bear Christ's righteousness is thought tobe an absurdity! Well then, absurdity or not, God is responsible for it, for these are His very words, "By His knowledge shallMy righteous Servant justify many, for"-for this very reason-"for He shall bear their iniquities." Then if Christ did notbear their iniquities, there is no justifying sinners! This is the very top, and bottom, and basis of Christ's power to justify-thatHe, Himself, took the iniquity of those whom He justifies! There are gentlemen we sometimes meet with who bring forth newtheories of the Atonement-very pretty and very philosophical ones-and I have sometimes felt inclined to endorse those theories,for there was a great deal of attractiveness and glitter about them. But I now tell you my own experience in the matter. Inever find my conscience made peaceful by any theory of the Atonement, except this, that my sins were actually laid upon Christand that His righteousness is put upon me-and it is only when I firmly believe in that Divine exchange and blessed Substitutionthat I find quiet and rest within! And as long as this is the case, I shall cling to the old anchorage and let who will, trynew-fangled ways! If Christ really did suffer for sinners, then God is just in not punishing sinners. But if He did not actuallysuffer for sinners, then there is no Atonement, the justice of God is not satisfied and there is no basis for a sinner torest upon at all!
Now what say you, my Hearers? Can you look to Christ upon the Cross, with a load of sin upon Him, and can you say, "I laymy guilt there"? Can you look to Him in the throes of death, bruised beneath His Father's rod, and can you say, "He was bruisedfor me-my sins I have confessed and laid them upon Him"? Then are you happy! But if there has been none to bear your sins,then remember, I beseech you, that you will have to bear them yourselves! And if they gave Christ a travail, oh, what willthey give you? Oh, impenitent ones, if the imputed sins that were laid on Christ made Him sorrowful, even unto death, whatwill your actual sins do with you when you are made drunk with the wormwood and God makes you to break your teeth with gravel-whenyou are cast out into outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth? If the veil were lifted,we might hear, tonight, the cries of spirits that are banished far from God without a hope. Within an hour that may be yourportion, unconverted Hearer! In a few more years, which will seem as short as an hour when you have looked back upon them,that will be your portion if you die impenitent! And if you do not repent tonight, what cause have you to hope that you willrepent tomorrow? Hearts do not soften by delay! Spirits are not rendered more susceptible of gracious influences by procrastination!Christ's word is, "now." Cast it not off with the devil's word-"tomorrow." You must suffer, or Christ must be your Surety.What shall it be? Shall it be the hands fastened to the wood, yonder, or shall yourhands be tormented in the flame? Shallit be that tongue which said, "I thirst," or shall it be yourtongue which shall long for a drop of water in vain? Shall itbe those feet that were fastened to the tree, or shall it be yourmembers which have been servants to unrighteousness, andwhich shall be partakers in the Divine Wrath? As the Lord lives who once was crucified, I ask you to remember that I badeyou this night in His name, close in with Him and trust Him! There is no door of hope for you but this-believe and live! Sostands the Scripture. But if you laugh at this, if you despise this, if you forget this, if in any shape-
"Your ears refuse
The language of His Grace
And hearts grow hard like stubborn Jews,
That unbelieving race.
The Lord, in vengeance,
Will lift His hand and swear-
'You that despised My promised rest
Shall have no portion there.
If you believe not, it will be because you are not of His sheep, as He said unto you. But think not that you will make voidHis purpose, or disappoint the bleeding Lamb! Ah, no! If you will not come, others will. If you perish outside the ark, othersshall enter and shall be saved. Perhaps your own wife, your own child shall be made willing, while you still reject. Oh, then,I pray you pause awhile this Sabbath evening, when the year is going on apace. When we have not long since passed, as it were,through the gates of the spring, and all the flowers are beginning to bloom, and the buds to burst forth, just ask whetherit is not time for your hearts to open and your souls to bud-and your spirits to bring forth some hope, some love, some obedienceto your Lord! And oh, may you do it! His shall be the praise, but yours shall be the great joy! And He shall have joy, too,as He shall thus see of the travail of His soul!
I could wish, and I do wish, that some of you would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ before you go home tonight. You may nothave many more times to go home. This may be the very last time that you shall ever come here. It will not make you wretchedon earth. It will increase your happiness here. It will help you to live and help you to die. It will make those eyes brighterand put that heart at greater ease. And as for eternity, this is the true Lamp for its darkness, this is the true Light forall its gloom! What will you do without Christ? Oh, get Him and you shall be eternally blest! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM 72:1-16.
"A Psalm for Solomon"-much more for one who is greater than Solomon, the true Prince of Peace!
Verse 1. Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness unto the king's Son. So it is decreed, and so it hasbeen accomplished, that Jesus, who is both a King and a King's Son, should have all judgment delivered into His hands. Andnow, at this time, Christ is the Judge. It is He who discerns between the precious and the vile. He sits as King in the midstof Zion.
2. He shall judge Your people with righteousness, and your poor with judgment The Kingdom of Christ has a special eye to thepoor. They are generally passed by and forgotten in the scope of legislature among men, but Christ makes even His poor people-thepoor in spirit, also-to be the objects of His judgment.
3, 4. The mountains shall bringpeace to thepeople, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of thepeople, He shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor In the reign of Christ there shallbe no treading down of the little by the great-no pressure put upon the feeble by the strong-but His right hand shall getto the weakest cause, the victory!
5. They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. For the Kingdom of Christ renews itself.It is never broken in pieces by the power of the enemy, but every piece becomes a new root, and it springs up again. Thereare some plants of which they say that the more you tread upon them, the more they will spread, and certainly it is the casewith the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. As long as there is a sun in the heavens, and a moon to gladden the night, so shallthe Kingdom of Christ endure!
6. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth Christ shall not come like fire to burnup and to destroy, for His Kingdom is one of mercy and Divine Grace. When the grass has just been wounded with the scythe,He shall come down to bring it refreshment that it may spring up again. In plenteous showers of Grace shall He visit woundedspirits.
7. In His days shall the righteous flourish: and abundance of peace so long as the moon endures. There have been empires whichhave been propitious to the flourishing of great wrongs. Some of the worst and vilest of men have flourished under certainempires which have but lately passed away. But in the Empire of Christ, the righteous alone shall flourish. Everything aboutHim and about His power shall make it go well for them, and His Empire is the most truly peace -"abundance of peace so longas the moon endures."
8. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends off the earth. Universal monarchy is to bethe Monarchy of Christ! This is the fifth great Monarchy, and there shall never be another! No king or potentate that shallever rise can possibly have universal dominion again. We need not fear that, for the fifth Empire is that of the Christ ofGod, and behold He comes to claim it!
9. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him and His enemies shall lick the dust. The most distant tribes-thosethat wander and have no settled dwelling place-shall, nevertheless, bow before Him. The Arab boasts that he never knew a master-thateven Caesar could not penetrate into his deserts and subdue him! But Christ shall be his Lord, and he will be glad to acknowledgeHim!
10. The kings off Tarshish and off the isles shall bring presents: the kings off Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. We neednot be afraid if this Psalm refers to Christ-and we do not doubt that it does. He must reign. The end of the world is notcoming until there shall be a conquest for Him. He may come before that time, but certainly there shall be no winding up ofhistory until this shall be literally true! "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents."
11. 12. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him. For He shall deliver the needy when he cries;the poor also, and he that has no helper. The Psalmist seems glad to dwell upon that. It seems to be the joy note in his mind-thatthe Great King-the greatest of all kings-will care for the lowly and the humble. Let us rejoice in this, dear Friends. Christis chosen out of the people and exalted by God-and He is the Christ not only ready to save the highest, but to save the lowest!From His Kingdom we may say-
''None are excluded hence but those Who do themselves exclude! Welcome the learned and polite, The ignorant and rude."
13-15. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit andviolence: andprecious shall their blood be in His sight. And He shall live. They say, "O king, live forever." It can neverhappen to their kings, but to our King it will happen! "He shall live."
15. And to Him shall be given off the gold off Sheba-He shall have the best the world can find willingly given to Him. I amsure that we who know His love think that we have nothing good enough for Him. We would render to Him all that we have.
15. Prayer also shall be made for Him continually. With the gold shall come the golden prayer-the prayer for Christ. But howcan we pray for Him? Why, that He may have the reward of His sufferings and see of the travail of His soul-that His Kingdommay come and that His name may be dear in the hearts of men!
15. And daily shall He be praised. He shall have praise as well as prayer and gold.
16. There shall be an handful off corn in the earth upon the top off the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon:and they off the city shall flourish like grass off the earth. It was corn-good seed corn, but there was only a handful ofit. So there were saints in the world, but there were very few of them. And where were they? On the tops of the mountains!A strange place for corn-not a likely place for a harvest. So have God's servants been pushed into the corners of the earth.There they were in the valleys of Piedmont for many a year fighting for dear life. And in all lands, those that have beenfaithful to God have been put away into the corners-driven, as it were, to the mountaintops. But what has come of it, andwhat will come of it? Why, the fruit shall shake like Lebanon. The golden corn, standing upright in its strength, adornedwith its ear, shall wave in the breeze as pleasing a sight even as the cedar of Lebanon!