1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of Yahweh, who spake unto Yahweh the words of this song in the day that Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,)
I will love thee, O Yahweh, my strength.
Whenever we consider David's sin, we must keep the whole picture of his life in true balance and perspective. It is a glorious picture of a
"man after God's Own heart."
Habitual uprightness, service, zeal, faith, occasional failings, intense repentance. His subjection to temptation gives more meaning to his tremendous record of faith, for he was a weak mortal man, just like us.
Patiently he submitted for weary years to Saul's wicked and ungrateful persecution. He never fought back. He always left the issue in God's hands, content to wait God's good time. God had appointed Saul, and he was the "Lord's anointed." Even in the extremity of self-defense against murderous persecution, he would not harm him.
In assessing David's life, let us try to picture and realize the perils and hardships he endured. During his twenties, when he was hardly yet a man, he was hunted and chased like a criminal from place to place for a period of several years, never knowing where to go or whom to trust, with wives and children to care for, and six hundred very difficult and quarrelsome men, with their families, to provide for.
David was a giant, one of the few really great men of all history. He was great in both strength and sweetness. In physical courage, and in spiritual discernment, poetry, music, and psalms.
David is The Psalms, and The Psalms are David. David was privileged to write the songs of praise for the people of God for the whole 3,000-year period from his day to the establishment of the Kingdom, and doubtless for the endless ages beyond. Truly the Psalms are prophetically and inspirationally the mind of the Spirit of Christ, but David's own heart and mind were the Spirit's chosen medium.
Bro Growcott - My sin is ever before me
21 For I have kept the ways of Yahweh, and have not wickedly departed from my Elohim.
22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
"Blessed are they who HUNGER and THIRST after RIGHTEOUSNESS, for they shall be filled" (Matt. 5:6).
If we do not learn to make this yearning for knowledge and wisdom and righteousness our MAIN CONCERN in life, then we can confidently assure ourselves that we, at least, are not
numbered among that very, very few elect-that we are but worldlings, outside the scope of the Spirit's transforming power. Let us be among the wise!
The Lord gives wisdom, we are told, only to those that love Him. Only to those whose love is true and strong enough to control their conduct. If we love Him, He says, we shall do the things that please Him.
That is the test.
And there is no force on earth that can overcome the terrible and relentless power of the flesh-only a fervent love.
Only a burning, personal love for God and His warm, irradiating goodness, engaging the whole heart, mind and strength, is strong enough to prevent us following the selfish,
fatal course that ends in death. Love gives energy and enthusiasm and vitality. It makes the humblest task pleasant.
Nothing is too much trouble for it. No labour too great. No vigil too long. Without it the path of duty is insufferable drudgery. Love gives life a purpose and an incentive, a radiant glow that nothing can dim.
Bro Growcott - Be Ye Full
25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
Will They be Forgiven?
"If a man or woman, having been baptised into Christ, walk unworthy for a time, will they be forgiven if they earnestly repent and pray fervently for forgiveness, and will they be accepted at the coming of the Lord?"-S. E. P.
Answer.-"Whoso confesseth his sins and forsaketh them shall have mercy."-(Prov. 28:13.)
It is not sufficient to repent in the popular sense of being sorry. The original word for repentance carries with it the idea of reformation. There must be an abandonment of our evil courses. Sorrow for past misconduct is more acceptably shewn in a lasting amendment of our ways than in weeping and crying out.
But the question of our correspondent is, how will God receive the petition of an enlightened transgresssor?
Well, the testimony is that God is gracious and long-suffering (Ps. 103:8-9), and He is so to all men up to a certain point. He who forgives sinners when they believe in Jesus, and put on His name in the way of his appointing, is not slow to forgive saints when they make confession and prayer to Him through the Son of His love, whom He hath appointed a mediator and a high priest for this very thing.-(Heb. 2:17-18; 1 Tim. 2:5).
"If any man sin, we have an advoate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.-(1 John 2:1).
He who, by His son, exhorts us to forgive one another, is himself willing to shew the same grace unto "seventy times seven;" (Matt. 18:22); but it depends upon how we act towards others.
"If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.-(Matt. 6:15.)
These are Christ's words, who taught us to pray
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us."
God will be to us what we are to others. Thus David says:
"With the merciful man thou wilt shew Thyself merciful; with an upright man Thou wilt shew Thyself upright."-(Psalm 18:25.)
If we are magnanimous and patient and forgiving with others, we have ground for confidence that God will bear with us and forgive us, even if we have fallen as far as our correspondent's question would suppose; that is, if we return with a true intent to an observance of His commandments.
For the comfort of such as desire to amend, and yet scarcely dare to hope, we point to Christ's exhortation to the seven ecclesias of Asia, to repent, even though so far down as Laodicea and Sardis.-(Rev. 2:5, 16, 21; 3:3, 19); also to the recognition of the possibility of re-instatement implied in 2 Cor. 2:7; 12:21; James 5:15, 19-20.
The case mentioned by Peter (2 Pet. 2:20) of being "again entangled and overcome," supposes a hopeless abandonment of godliness. Heb. 6:6 and 10:20, are still more definitely of this class. At the same time, there is reason for great fear and circumspection. It is a fearful thing to trifle with God.
Those only who overcome and keep the words and works of Christ patiently during their pilgrimage, will be accepted of Christ and receive the crown; but those will, doubtless, include many who at first stumble, and recover themselves, and are forgiven.
The Christadelphian, Feb 1872
35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
Psalm 18 is majestic and warlike throughout. Its theme is vengeance and victory. All the destructive elements of nature are marshalled on the side of omnipotence, but right in the midst of it we read (v. 35), "Thy gentleness hath made me great."
The destructive power is the outer shell. The Lord is not in the whirlwind, the earthquake, or the fire. These are but the passing manifestations of His fury, which endures but for a moment; but the still small voice of gentleness remains. Whirlwind and earthquake and fire -- those mighty evidences of power -- can pull down, and purify, and destroy, but gentleness alone can build and make great.
36 Thou <wilt cause my going to extend> my steps under me, <and my ankle joints have not wavered.>.
37 I <will pursue my> enemies, and <shall overtake> them: <and I will not return till they be destroyed;>
38 I <will wound > them <so that they shall> not able to rise: they <shall fall> under my feet.
39 Thou <wilt gird> me with <might for the war. Thou wilt subdue> under me those <who rise up> against me.
40 <And> thou hast given <to> me the neck of <my> enemies; <and those who hate me, I will cut them off.>
Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the warriors who went with him:
"Come near; put your feet upon the necks of these kings."
And they did so. Then Joshua said to them.
"Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage; for thus shall Yahweh do to all your enemies against whom you fight."
He then slew them, and hanged the five kings on as many trees, until evening (Josh. 10:25-26).
The history of Israel is not only as strictly literal as any other histories, and truer too than those of the nations contemporary with their prophetic times, but is also allegorical, which theirs are not. Joshua and his Captains were like Joshua, the High Priest, and his companions, "men of sign"; and represented Messiah and his Captains in their future wars with "the Kings of the Earth, and of the whole Habitable (Rev. 16) whom they are to
"tread down as ashes under the soles of their feet."
In this passage, the Eternal Spirit through his prophet, speaks of Messiah in the crisis of his controversy for Zion, in which, as the representative and chief of Daniel's "Man of the One Spirit," he puts his feet upon the necks of the kings of the earth, scatters their armies like dust before the wind, and becomes Prince or Head of the nations in their stead.
But this is true also of all the individual members of this NEW MAN (Eph. 2:15; 4:24; 2 Cot. 5:17; Gal. 6:15). If the New Adam himself thus make war upon, and trample in the mire the kings and armies of the Old Adam nature, He has promised that all true believers "in Him" -- all who are Abraham's seed by being Christ's -- that is, all the Saints, shall do the same; and shall share with Him in the fruits of his and their victory.
Phanerosis - And At His Feet As The Aspect Of Glowing Brass
41 They <will cry for help>, but there < is> none to save them: unto Yahweh, but He answered them not.
42 Then <will I grind them fine> as dust before the <Faces of the Spirit as the mire of the streets will I pour them out.>
43 Thou <wilt deliver> me from the <contentions> of the <nations>. Thou hast <appointed> me <Prince of the nations>. A <nation which I know> not shall serve me.
44 <At the hearing of the ear> they shall obey : the <sons of the foreigner> shall submit to me.
45 The <sons of the foreigner> shall fade away, and <fall, and tremble from their strongholds>.
What defence have the governments provided for their armies in the field against the artillery of the clouds? Hail stones and balls of fire? Or what can fleets do against a people whose commander, in the days of his flesh, even, could walk upon the water, and command the winds and the waves to be at peace, and they obeyed him?
It is manifest, then, from the Scriptures, that the occupation of all Navy Yards and Arsenals will be gone when the time comes for
"the Saints to take the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom, under the whole heaven." (Dan. 7:27, )
against "a burning tempest" from above, they are no defence, but utterly untenable. Hence,
"they shall fade away and be afraid out of their close (or fortified) places."-Ps. 18:44.
Unable to keep the field or weather the stormy sea, and their fortifications useless, what becomes of the dominions of the old and new worlds? They become the kingdoms of Yahweh and of his Christ.-Rev. 11:15; and the sovereignty of the people, and all other sovereignties but His, fall to rise no more.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, May 1856
46 Yahweh liveth; and blessed be my rock; and <He shall raise the Elohim> of my salvation
47 <The AIL that giveth avengements to me, even He will subdue the nations> under me.
48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou <wilt exalt me: from the Man of Violence (Paul's 'Man of Sin', the Lawless One) thou wilt deliver me. >
49 <Thou Therefore, O Yahweh, I will give Thee thanks among the Gentiles and sing psalms>, unto thy name.
All flesh before Him is as nothing. He will not allow the flesh to glory in His sight. Adam was banished from Eden for casting dishonour on Him by disobedience. Moses was punished for taking to himself the credit of the miracle at the rock of Meribah. David fell into the hands of God, in three days' plague, for exulting in the numbers of his army.
The Assyrian was brought down for taking to himself the credit of what God did by him in the punishment of Israel. Mighty and arrogant Nebuchadnezzar was sent to herd among the beasts till he learnt that "the heavens do rule." Herod was eaten up of worms, because he gave not God the glory; and salvation is by God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself -- not of works, lest any man should boast.
It is all very reasonable. The Eternal should be first; the first should be highest; the Omnipotent should be feared; the Most Excellent should be worshipped.
The Creator of all things, the source of all life, the upholder of the universe, the giver of all good, the fountain of life eternal -- should be extolled, and had in supremest reverence.
"Holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty: heaven and earth are full of His glory."
What abortions and bastards of saints must we be, if we are backward to join our mortal praise with the ascriptions of the angelic host! We must or perish. The education of the truth is to prepare us to take part in that mighty anthem which will peal forth like the noise of many waters to the honour of the Eternal Father:
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour, and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created."
Bro Roberts - Strangers and Sojourners
50 < magnifying the deliverances of> HIS KING; and <performing the promise to HIS MESSIAH>, to David, and to his seed for <the Olahm>.