Monday, February 1, 2016


A Glad King

Oh my.  I have left Adam Clarke and have turned to others like I said I would not do.  Sorry for my unfaithfulness, Adam.  He is my steady, go-to friend, but Psalm 21 needed a little more input for my strained brain from other commentators.  I like their eloquence.

"O Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad,
And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice."
(Psalm 21:1)
 Adam Clarke translated this,
"The king shall joy.  Melech Meshicha, 'the King Messiah.'"
The question resounding in the Psalms of David is, are they talking about David or the Messiah or both.  Usually both.  Oh, David, you never imagined how we would lean on the staff of your songs and look up to Christ, our Savior.  The kind of double-speak we hear from you is divine speech, prophetic, even when you didn't realize what you were saying.  Did it tickle your brain that you were the pattern for the coming Messiah, you whose birthplace Bethlehem meant the House of Bread, which was also prophetic "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world."(John 6:33)?  You who were the shepherd king?  You, David are the king, but the Messiah is the King!
In Matthew Henry's Commentary, he says about this gladness and rejoicing, that "Happy are the people whose king makes God's strength his confidence, and God's salvation his joy...All our blessings are blessings of goodness, and are owning not to any merit of ours, but only to God's goodness.  But when God's blessings come sooner, and prove richer than we imagine; when they are given before we pray for them, before we were ready for them, nay when we feared the contrary; then it may be truly said that he prevented, or went before us with them."

Benson says in his commentary that it may be understood of King David, who composed the Psalm,
"Yet it may be much better explained of the King Messiah; understood of whom the words 'Thy strength' meant 'the divine power,' which was manifested in the resurrection of Christ and in the establishment of His gospel."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary refers us back to where my preacher has been taking us in John 18.  When they apprehended Him in the garden and He asked, "Whom do you seek?"  They said, "Jesus of Nazareth."   "Then He said to them, 'I am He,' they drew back and fell to the ground.
(So as we question who is meant by the king in this passage, we may be knocked back on our behinds as well.)  After they arrested Him he was brought into an unclean Roman place that the Jewish leaders would not go because it would make them unclean for the Passover.  Yet, the very Passover Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world went into that unclean place to face Pilot.  The ruler asked, "Are you the King of the Jews?"  Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world."  Next, Pilate said, "So You are a king?"  Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king.  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."  Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?"  So this is the divine confrontation every man must face, to accept Jesus as King, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, or to shrug and say as the world says, as Pilate said, "What is truth?"

When I was writing this a young man came into our home sobbing.  His older sibling was rejecting God, saying they didn't believe in Him.  The circle in their home was broken. It was the rejection of their love due to rebellion.  So he came heartbroken.  We prayed and offered Scriptures to hold onto, like James 1:21 about the word planted which is able to save your soul.  The ultimate question is always, "Who is King?"  To be glad or be sad, that is the question, Shakespeare. 

The above mentioned commentary goes on to say, "He was proclaimed King even on the cross, for there, indeed, to the eye of faith, He reigned as on a Throne, blessing with more than imperial munificence the needy sons of earth." 

Munificence.  Now there's a word. I had to dig my dictionary out of the couch cushion, wait, no it fell on the floor.  Anyway, it means liberal in giving, generous.  I'll say! He gave His life blood to purchase our ticket to go to His kingdom where He is now reigning.  "The man of sorrows is now anointed with the oil of gladness." 

"Jesus not only has thus rejoiced, but He shall do so as He sees the power of divine grace bringing out from their sinful hiding places the purchase of His soul's travail; ... our weakness unstrings our harps, but His strength tunes them anew.  The rejoicing of our risen Lord must, like his agony, be unutterable.  If the mountains of His joy rises in proportion to the depth of the valley of His grief, then his sacred bliss is high as the seventh heaven.  'For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross,
despising the shame, and now that joy daily grows." This makes me think of a friend who was thrust into a deep, dark grief, but she has chosen to go on a journey to joy.  The joy is set before us.

Oh, for goodness sakes, I've only covered the first verse. 
 "Get your harps restrung, you needy sons of earth!  Be glad!  Rejoice!

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