“FOR the kingdom is the Lord’s; he is the governor among the nations.”
This twenty-second Psalm presents our Savior, by the inspiration of God, in the heart of David. When suspended between the heaven and the earth he was forsaken of God, for he had given him into the hands of the last enemy that should be destroyed, which is death. He was also forsaken of all the people upon the earth, even his disciples and the women who had followed him during his incarnation; he was alone, and no mortal can tell or even speculate what was that entire loneliness, and the agony of it. His cry in that dreadful hour was, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? Could the clearest mind conceive of the awful suffering through which our gracious Redeemer was called to pass? As recorded in this Psalm, he says, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. * * * I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and east lots upon my vesture.” And this was the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Judge of all the earth, into whose possession were given all power and majesty and glory, “the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Yet there was no place in all the world for him; “he had not where to lay his head.” His prayers to the Father were delivered in the fullness of faith and grace and were without measure in the Holy Ghost. When he said, in the twentieth verse, “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog,” he knew the Father did hear him and would deliver. Then how beautifully and sweetly his promise goes to the Father and reaches down to us when he said, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” Then he calls upon all who fear the Lord to praise him, all the seed of Jacob to glorify him and all the seed of Israel to fear him. How wonderfully sweet and precious are the words of promise which fell from the lips of Jesus. Again, he said, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the Lord.” “For the kingdom is the Lord’s.” He declared, “My kingdom is not of this world.” The King and his kingdom were in the world, but not of the world. The inhabitants of the kingdom were all subjects of his grace; they were taken out of the world, redeemed from death in sin and in transgression, and gladly and willingly do they follow him and obey him and take heed to his precepts and watch for the morning. In anthems of praise and thanksgiving the inhabitants sing with one of old, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever.” How different is the kingdom which is the Lord’s from the kingdoms of this world. Their power or dominion is an earthly power or dominion, their inhabitants depart from within their boundaries and live under other flags; a king sits upon his throne for a little season, then he dies and another takes his place; but the kingdom of our Lord is an everlasting kingdom, and to the reign of our glorious King there is no end. His glory and power come not from the earth, but from the power and glory of God our Father. The King’s table is spread not with earthly provision, but with the variety of choicest heavenly food. The children hunger and thirst not for the fruit of the ground, but “after righteousness,” and the promise is, “They shall be filled.” The King loveth each one of his subjects alike, and they with one heart and one mind love him, and one another with pure hearts fervently. It is the kingdom of love, because it is the Lord’s, for “God is love.” The Lord himself is our dwelling-place, and has been in all generations; to dwell in him is the joy and happiness of the saints, So long as we remain in our earthly house of this tabernacle we are beset upon every side by the enemies in our own household. Temptations are presented to us by the enemy of our souls, and when in our weakness we are overcome by the desires of the flesh grace is given in measure according to the gift of Christ The apostle warns us, saying, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot he tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Our sufficiency however is not in ourselves, but in Christ, who died for us and paid the full penalty of the law. Therefore the kingdom being the Lord’s, and we being the inhabitants thereof (his precious bride), he hath done all things for us. He is the King of glory, “the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” The kingdom is the Lord’s in every sense of the word. We are willingly, gladly and completely passive in his hands. He watcheth over us, careth for us and doeth with us as it pleaseth him; we glorify him. In walking in obedience to his precepts and commandments. We walk before him in love because his kingdom is ruled by that love which passeth our finite understanding.
“He is the governor among the nations.” He is the motive power in the heaven and the earth, his power and wisdom know no limit, and as the governor over all events, times and seasons all things work together in perfect harmony to accomplish the end designed and decreed by the Father. “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Thus are we under his governing power and control. The rider controls the actions of the horse by placing the bit in his mouth and the bridle about his head. The Lord declared to Moses that his chosen people (Israel) were a stiff-necked people, therefore their pride, vanity and self-conceit must be curbed and bridled, that they may become subservient to the superabounding of grace. We need the directing and restraining hand of our gracious and wise Governor in every step that we take, for we not only do not know how to walk, but we know not how to pray, or for what to pray, except he indite our prayers and giveth us the spirit of prayer. How rich and full is his grace and truth because of his wondrous love. May our minds be stayed upon him all the days and nights of our appointed time here below, and all praise and glory be ascribed unto him with whom we have to do.
B. F. COULTER.
Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 11
June 1, 1914