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Lord’s Day 39, 2005

I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. Psalms 122:1, (Geneva Bible)

HYMN 2, L.M.
The deity and humanity of Christ.
John i.1,3,14; Colossians i. 16.
by Isaac Watts

Ere the blue heav’ns were stretched abroad,
From everlasting was the Word:
With God he was; the Word was God,
And must divinely be adored.

By his own power were all things made;
By him supported all things stand;
He is the whole creation’s head,
And angels fly at his command.

Ere sin was born, or Satan fell,
He led the host of morning stars:
Thy generation who can tell,
Or count the numbers of thy years?

But lo! he leaves those heav’nly forms,
The Word descends and dwells in clay,
That he may hold converse with worms,
Dressed in such feeble flesh as they.

Mortals with joy beheld his face,
Th' eternal Father's only Son;
How full of truth! how full of grace!
When through his eyes the Godhead shone.

Archangels leave their high abode
To learn new mysteries here, and tell
The loves of our descending God,
The glories of Immanuel.

From The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I. Collected from the Scriptures.

Psalme 118 (Geneva Bible)

1 Praise yee the Lorde, because he is good: for his mercie endureth for euer.
2 Let Israel now say, That his mercy endureth for euer.
3 Let the house of Aaron nowe say, That his mercy endureth for euer.
4 Let them, that feare the Lorde, nowe say, That his mercie endureth for euer.
5 I called vpon the Lord in trouble, & the Lord heard me, and set me at large.
6 The Lorde is with mee: therefore I will not feare what man can doe vnto me.
7 The Lorde is with mee among them that helpe me: therefore shall I see my desire vpon mine enemies.
8 It is better to trust in the Lorde, then to haue confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the Lorde, then to haue confidence in princes.
10 All nations haue compassed me: but in the Name of the Lord shall I destroy them.
11 They haue compassed mee, yea, they haue compassed mee: but in the Name of the Lorde I shall destroy them.
12 They came about mee like bees, but they were quenched as a fire of thornes: for in the Name of the Lord I shall destroy them.
13 Thou hast thrust sore at me, that I might fall: but the Lord hath holpen me.
14 The Lord is my streength and song: for he hath beene my deliuerance.
15 The voice of ioy and deliuerance shall be in the tabernacles of the righteous, saying, The right hand of the Lord hath done valiantly.
16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord hath done valiantly.
17 I shall not die, but liue, and declare the woorkes of the Lord.
18 The Lorde hath chastened me sore, but he hath not deliuered me to death.
19 Open ye vnto me the gates of righteousnes, that I may goe into them, & praise the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord: the righteous shall enter into it.
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard mee, and hast beene my deliuerance.
22 The stone, which the builders refused, is the head of the corner.
23 This was the Lordes doing, and it is marueilous in our eyes.
24 This is the day, which the Lord hath made: let vs reioyce and be glad in it.
25 O Lord, I praie thee, saue now: O Lorde, I praie thee nowe giue prosperitie.
26 Blessed be he, that commeth in the Name of the Lorde: wee haue blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
27 The Lorde is mightie, and hath giuen vs light: binde the sacrifice with cordes vnto the hornes of the altar.
28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee, euen my God: therefore I will exalt thee.
29 Praise ye the Lord, because he is good: for his mercie endureth for euer.

Today’s Exposition
is brought to us by
Charles Spurgeon

Psalm 118:19-21

Verse 19
Open to me the gates of righteousness.” The grateful champion having reached the entrance of the temple, asks for admission in set form, as if he felt that he could only approach the hallowed shrine by divine permission, and wished only to enter in the appointed manner. The temple of God was meant for the righteous to enter and offer the sacrifices of righteousness, hence the gates are called the gates of righteousness. Righteous deeds were done within its walls, and righteous teachings sounded forth from its courts. The phrase “the gate” is sometimes used to signify power or empire; as, for instance, “the Sublime Porte” signifies the seat of empire of Turkey; the entrance to the temple was the true Sublime Porte, and what is better, it was the porta jutstitiae, the gate of righteousness, the palace of the great King, who is in all things just. “I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord.” Only let the gate be opened, and the willing worshipper will enter; and he will enter in the right spirit, and for the best of purposes, that he may render homage unto the Most High. Alas, there are multitudes who do not care whether the gates of God's house are opened or not; and although they know that they are opened wide they never care to enter, neither does the thought of praising God so much as cross their minds. The time will come for them when they shall find the gates of heaven shut against them, for those gates are peculiarly the gates of righteousness through which there shall by no means enter anything that defileth. Our champion might have praised the Lord in secret, and doubtless he did so; but he was not content without going up to the assembly, there to register his thanksgivings. Those who neglect public worship generally neglect all worship; those who praise God within their own gates are among the readiest to praise him within his temple gates. Our hero had also in all probability been sore sick, and therefore like Hezekiah he says, “The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of my life in the house of the Lord.” Public praise for public mercies is every way most appropriate, most acceptable to God, and most profitable to others.

Verse 20
This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.” The Psalmist loves the house of God so well that he admires the very gate thereof, and pauses beneath its arch to express his affection for it. He loved it because it was the gate of the Lord, he loved it because it was the gate of righteousness, because so many godly people had already entered it, and because in all future ages such persons will continue to pass through its portals. If the gate of the Lord's house on earth is so pleasant to us, how greatly shall we rejoice when we pass that gate of pearl, to which none, but the righteous shall ever approach, but through which all the just shall in due time enter to eternal felicity. The Lord Jesus has passed that way, and not only set the gate wide open, but secured an entrance for all those who are made righteous in his righteousness: all the righteous must and shall enter there, whoever may oppose them. Under another aspect our Lord is himself that gate, and through him, as the new and living Way, all the righteous delight to approach unto the Lord. Whenever we draw near to praise the Lord we must come by this gate; acceptable praise never climbs over the wall, or enters by any other way, but comes to God in Christ Jesus; as it is written, “no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Blessed, for ever blessed, be this wondrous gate of the person of our Lord.

Verse 21
Having entered, the champion exclaims, “I will praise thee,” not “I will praise the Lord,” for now he vividly realizes the divine presence, and addresses himself directly to Jehovah, whom his faith sensibly discerns. How well it is in all our songs of praise to let the heart have direct and distinct communion with God himself I The Psalmist's song was personal praise too: - “I will praise thee”; resolute praise, for he firmly resolved to offer it; spontaneous praise, for he voluntarily and cheerfully rendered it, and continuous praise, for he did not intend soon to have done with it. It was a life-long vow to which there would never come a close, “I will praise thee.” “For thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.” He praises God by mentioning his favours, weaving his song out of the divine goodness which he had experienced. In these words he gives the reason for his praise, - his answered prayer, and the deliverance which he had received in consequence. How fondly he dwells upon the personal interposition of God! “Thou hast heard me.” How heartily he ascribes the whole of his victory over his enemies to God; nay, he sees God himself to be the whole of it: “Thou art become my salvation.” It is well to go directly to God himself, and not to stay even in his mercy, or in the acts of his grace. Answered prayers bring God very near to us; realised salvation enables us to realise the immediate presence of God. Considering the extreme distress through which the worshipper had passed, it is not at all wonderful that he should feel his heart full of gratitude at the great salvation which God had wrought for him, and should at his first entrance into the temple lift up his voice in thankful praise for personal favours so great, so needful, so perfect.

Heidelberg Catechism for Lord’s Day 39 from CoffeeSwirls.

Grace and peace to you this Lord’s Day.

2005-09-25 at 8:00 AM MT | |