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This Psalm has primary reference to Solomon, and is called a Psalm or Song for Solomon. But it is greater than even Solomon in all his glory, and reaches its true fulfillment in the "King of kings and Prince of Peace," of whom Solomon was but a type. David was the type of Christ our King, with special reference to His conflicts and conquests. Solomon typifies His peaceful throne and His millennial kingdom.
This is the picture of Christ's millennial throne.
I. THE KING
1. We behold here the picture of a wise king. "Give the king Your judgments, O God." This word means the power to rule and judge with wisdom, such as God gave to Solomon in so preeminent a measure. This was his special request of God, and it was marvelously given.
We all remember the wonderful wisdom with which he detected the true mother of the child that was brought to him for judgment, and how his wisdom brought from the uttermost parts of the earth the wondering pilgrims, who came to sit at his feet and propound their hard questions until nothing was left unsolved of all their hearts' desire. But a greater than Solomon is here, the "Wonderful Counselor," the Man of whom it was said by His enemies, "Never a man spoke like this man"; the One who answered the craft and subtlety of His foes until they were glad to escape from His presence in silence and confusion -- Christ, the Wisdom of God.
Earth owes much to wise sovereigns, but her true King has yet to come. What a glorious day that will be when upon the throne of earth shall sit that Mighty One, whose infinite wisdom shall govern the happy nations and bring to earth its highest possibilities of blessing!
2. He is a righteous King. "He shall judge Your people with righteousness, and Your poor with judgment." How much the world has suffered from injustice, oppression, and wrong! All the sorrows of men spring from their sins. But the King that is coming shall be not only the Righteous One, but His people shall be all righteous. "In his days shall the righteous flourish," and sin and wrong shall disappear from the earth. This is the secret of failure in all our social and political attempts at reform. The material itself is wrong, and until that is rectified, all the best of human plans must end in failure.
A building lay in ruins, and many were discussing the cause of the wreck. The architect said that the plans were perfect; the contractors declared that the specifications had been all complied with: every brick was in its place, and every arch was rightly set. Why had it tumbled in ruins? A plain workman took up a brick and crushed it beneath his fingers. "There," he said, "is the cause; the brick is rotten, and one is not able to support the weight of another. The material is worthless, and all your best designs are useless with a lot of rotten brick."' Alas! Republicanism, social reform, philanthropy, humanitarianism, legislation, example, philosophy, poetry, patriotism can do nothing to elevate and save humanity so long as the human heart is corrupt and the materials are worthless.
But the day is coming when sin shall disappear, when righteousness shall prevail, and when it shall be said of earth, in the language of the ancient prophet: "The Lord bless you, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness." What a glorious day it will be when truth and virtue, honesty and uprightness, unselfishness and love shall bind man to man in a chain of holy benignity, and the prayer of ages shall be fulfilled: "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
3. It is a kingdom of peace. "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. . . . In his days shall the righteous flourish; and the abundance of peace so long as the moon endures." Other kings have ruled by the sword. But He shall be called the Prince of Peace. Oh, the unspeakable horrors of war! Who can measure its frightful expense in treasure and blood, in tears and agony? Oh, the horrors of bloody strife and the mutilated forms of dying men! Oh, the wild and devilish strife of the sanguinary battlefield! Oh, the myriads of graves that have marked the track of earthly conquerors! In the last few decades there is not an important nation under the sun that has not been deluged in blood. But all this is coming to an end.
"Through the dim future, through long generations,
The echoing sounds grow fainter and then cease;
And, like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations,
I hear the voice of Christ again say 'Peace.'
"Peace, and no longer from its brazen portals
The voice of war's loud thunder shakes the skies,
But beautiful as songs of the immortals
The holy melodies of love arise."
But that is only one side of peace. There are a thousand strifes that never end in blood. There are a thousand swords that only shed the richer blood of the spirit. Oh, the sorrows and sins that come from lack of harmony, from the discords of human hearts, from the ill adjustments of human lives, from the clash and friction of human spirits! Men are at war with themselves, at war with each other, at war with God. Oh, for the coming of the Prince of Peace! That will bring rest to every restless heart, harmony to every divided home, unity and love to all human lives, and peace with God, so perfect, that like the planets around their sun, all earth's inhabitants shall move in harmony with the will of God, and earth once more become the counterpart of heaven, and its troubled sea of unrest like the sea of glass before the throne.
4. It will be a kingdom of grace and love. "He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. . . . He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. . . . He shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him that has no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight."
He will be the King of grace, of gentleness, of meekness. He will be the Protector of the poor, the Comforter of the sorrowing, the Friend of the friendless. Earth has had its Prince Arthurs and its Peters the Great, whose glory it was to live among their peasantry and to befriend the lowly and the poor. But the coming King is the ideal of gentleness and grace.
Oh, the happiness His reign will bring! "God shall wipe away all tears" and redress all wrongs, destroy all enemies, heal all the wounds of the ages. What a world that will be where there will be no sin, no sickness, no sorrow, no selfishness, no Satan! What a Millennium that will be where we shall have our perfect bodies, our perfect spirits, our parted friends, and our blessed Savior forever!
"O long-expected day, begin,
Dawn on this world of pain and sin."
5. It will be a kingdom of glory, riches, and splendor. "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. To Him shall be given of the gold of Sheba; prayer also shall be made for Him continually; and daily shall He be praised." While all the elements of spiritual blessings will be there, there will not be lacking one thing which can constitute material happiness and glory.
The earth will be transformed. Its physical features will be materially changed, its climate adjusted, its thorns and thistles, rocks and desert waste places exchanged for beauty and fertility, "and the wilderness and the solitary place shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." The very animal creation will be so changed that they will perfectly minister to man as in the first creation, and violence, cruelty, and suffering will pass away from earth. The riches and the glory of earth will be laid at the feet of Jesus and shared with His redeemed. Has He not said: "Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"?
It is then that the reward will come, and they who have followed Him in the sacrifice of all earthly ambitions will sit with Him on thrones and receive with Him a hundredfold of houses and lands and earthly distinctions and glories. This is not to be the chief element of their happiness. These things are nothing without Him. But having taught them to find their portion first in Him, He will give them all besides, and Himself with it and in it, and make real the old testimony of one of His saints: "First, I have everything in God, and then I have God in everything."
6. It will be a universal kingdom. "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Yes, all kings shall fall before him: all nations shall serve him."
There will never be another universal kingdom until Jesus comes. Our boasted democracy is not going to include the world. Its next hope is a king, and earth is waiting for His advent with groans of pain. The Church is not going to become universal, but Christ Himself, by His personal coming, shall gather all nations and tribes and tongues beneath His peaceful scepter.
7. It will be an everlasting kingdom. "They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. His name shall endure forever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun, and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed."
Not only for a thousand years will His kingdom last, but "forever and ever." The Scriptural conception of the future is very glorious. It is not a monotonous forever, but it is a succession of aeons, or ages, of surpassing glory. The Millennium is but one of these ages. The new heavens and the new earth will be the next, and beyond that is age after age forever. Could we be told the glory of some of these distant ages, we could not even comprehend it. But as these mighty aeons roll on, we shall be prepared for yet greater progressions, and this mighty universe will expand until that great promise be fulfilled: "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Such is a feeble outline of this inspired picture of the millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus. The other Scriptures are full of the picture of this golden age of Christian hope and promise. But what can we do to hasten it?
II. HIS SUBJECTS
1. We can long for it. There is a great promise to those who simply and truly love His appearing. If we desire it, it will influence and transform our lives. It is the goal of our highest hopes and affections and the time when our real life shall begin. Is our treasure there? Are our hopes there? Is every fiber of our being crying: "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly"? Is it home forever to our homeless hearts? This is what the Master sees and loves. This is what friendship appreciates in a friend -- the sense of his absence, the longing for his return.
2. We can pray for it. Do you ever pray for the things that are coming to you after Jesus comes? Have you stored up anything on the other side of the resurrection, for which you are waiting and asking? Oh, you little know the power there is in that kind of prayer! It will elevate all your being by cords that are anchored to the very throne, and attractions that will lift you above the skies.
3. We can live for it. We can be ready for His coming every moment. He can keep your garments unspotted. Let Him adorn you with the wedding robe; and when all the members of His Church are thus adorned, and the Bride is ready for her husband, He will not be long in coming.
4. We can labor for His coming. The best way to hasten it is to send the Gospel to all nations and take the invitations to the wedding to all earth's inhabitants. When this shall have been done, we know the end will come. Blessed hope! Lord, hasten it! Oh, let the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come,” and every heart respond, "Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly."
In Scotland's darkest day, the nation at last felt that its only hope lay in the return of John Knox. So he was sent for, and eagerly they awaited the first signal of the great reformer's advent. At length a messenger hastened up from Leith, entered the chamber where the delegates were secretly assembled, and, carefully shutting the door, a whisper was breathed, "John Knox has come." It went from lip to lip, and men stood up with strange excitement, buckled on their armor and helmets, went from village to village, and from home to home, until, before many hours had passed, the tidings had been whispered to every waiting heart, "John Knox has come!" Brave men gathered quickly to the secret meeting place where a mighty host stood around their glorious leader, and the enemies of Scotland trembled on their throne before the power of one mighty man. Scotland was saved, and the religious liberties of the world were settled.
Oh, this is the only hope of the world! Let us send it up to heaven as the cry of prayer, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!" Soon the whisper will sweep down from yonder skies, "The Lord has come!" Around Him will silently gather His faithful waiting ones; scepters will fall and thrones will crumble, and the King of kings will take the kingdom, and the saints of the Most High will reign with Him forever and ever.
O day of days! O hope of hopes! O King of kings and Lord of lords! We wait, we watch, we long, we hope, we pray, we work for You. Amen.