Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalmsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Now we must go on to Psalm 138. “I will give You thanks with all my heart; / Before the gods I will sing psalms to You. I will bow toward Your holy temple / And give thanks to Your name / For Your lovingkindness and Your truth, / For You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (vv. 1-2). The psalmist says, “I will bow toward Your holy temple.” At this point, all that was in the psalmist was the house and the city. In these last few psalms how many times the psalmist has referred to Zion and Jerusalem! “Blessed be Jehovah from Zion.” “If I forget you, O Jerusalem...” “If I do not prefer Jerusalem / Above my chief joy.” The psalmist was fully and thoroughly occupied by the experience of the house and the city. In the entire universe nothing was so precious. In the recovery of the church life you and I will come to such a stage. Day by day we will say, “Oh, the church! Praise the Lord for the church! Oh, look at the church! How much I prefer the church above my chief joy! I worship God for the church.” May the Lord bring us all to such a stage.
Psalm 138:4 says, “All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Jehovah.” After the house and the city have been established, all the kings of the earth praise the Lord when they hear the words of His mouth. “They will sing of the ways of Jehovah, / For great is the glory of Jehovah” (v. 5). That means that they will praise the Lord’s way, the Lord’s doing. They will say, “Great is the glory of Jehovah.” This is the reigning of Christ; this is the kingdom of Christ, with Christ Himself reigning over the entire earth. In that day, all the kings of the earth will praise Him, they will sing praises regarding the way of the Lord, and they will say, “Great is the glory of Jehovah.”
In the meantime, while the saints were praising concerning the house and city of God, they were still in the enjoyment of God. We have read Psalm 136, verses 1 to 3, concerning giving thanks unto the Lord, the God of gods and the Lord of lords, for His enduring mercy. Undoubtedly that is a kind of enjoyment of God.
Psalm 139:7 says, “Where shall I go, away from Your Spirit, / And where shall I flee from Your presence?” The saints here were enjoying the Lord’s presence. It is clear from this verse that the Lord’s presence is simply the Spirit. I just cannot escape from this presence of His. What enjoyment this is! Hence, verses 17 and 18 say, “How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! / How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more than the sand. / When I awake, I am still with You.” Oh, the thoughts of the Lord are so precious to us! We cannot tell how many thoughts the Lord has toward us, and all of them are so exceedingly great and precious. These verses tell us poetically how the saints, while they were praising the Lord for His move through the city to the earth, were still in the enjoyment of God. “When I awake, I am still with You”—this is the enjoyment of God.
Psalm 140:7 says, “O Jehovah Lord, strength of my salvation, / You have covered my head in the day of battle.” The psalmist spoke of the Lord as his helmet of salvation, his protection in the battle. We are still in the day of battle, but, praise the Lord, we are under His covering. He Himself is the helmet which covers our head in such a day. This is the enjoyment of God.
Psalm 142:5 says, “I cried to You, O Jehovah; / I said, You are my refuge, / My portion in the land of the living.” While they were praising the Lord, they were still enjoying the Lord. Do not wait until you die to praise the Lord. If you praise Him in the land of the dead, I do not think that praise will be so sweet. Praise the Lord, He is our portion today; He is our portion in the land of the living. When I was young, I was taught that today we must suffer a little; we must be patient and wait till we are brought to a wonderful place called heaven. In a sense, that is not wrong, but we must realize that within today’s sufferings there is more enjoyment. In today’s trials the Lord is our sweet portion. O Lord, You are our portion today in the land of the living. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 143:6 says, “I spread out my hands to You; / My soul thirsts for You like a parched land.” The psalmist is saying, “I am dry, but I am not in a dry place. I am parched, but the place where I am is not parched; it is a place full of water.” Then verse 10 says, “Teach me to do Your will, / For You are my God; / Let Your good Spirit lead me / In a plain country.” The plain country here means an even land, a place where nothing is unbalanced. Praise the Lord, if we are under His good Spirit, He will continually lead us to an even land, a plain country. Even though we may be subjected to some form of suffering on one hand, we will be balanced on the other hand by our enjoyment of God. On one hand, we may sense our poverty, but on the other hand, we will realize that we are so rich in Christ. If we had only the riches without the poverty, we could not be so even. Praise the Lord, we are in an even land. The land where we are spiritually, under the leading of God’s Spirit, is really a plain country. “Let Your good Spirit lead me / In a plain country.” This is the saints’ enjoyment of God.
Psalm 145:18 says, “Jehovah is near to all who call upon Him, / To all who call upon Him in truth.” This corresponds exactly with Romans 10: “‘Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?’ that is, to bring Christ down; or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ that is, to bring Christ up from the dead...‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the word of the faith which we proclaim...For ‘whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (vv. 6-8, 13). We need not ascend into heaven to bring Christ down; neither need we descend into the abyss to bring Him up. He is so near to us, even in our mouth and in our heart. All we need to do is call upon Him in truth, in reality. How good!
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