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
Psalms 79 and 80 tell us how the house and the city of God became desolate, but that the hope of recovery is in Christ, the man of God’s right hand (80:17). Verses 1 to 3 of Psalm 79 indicate the desolation of God’s house and city. “O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; / They have defiled Your holy temple; / They have turned Jerusalem into heaps” (v. 1). No doubt this refers to the destruction wrought by the Babylonians. But the hope of recovery is in Christ. “O God of hosts, turn, we beseech You; / Look down from heaven and see, / And visit this vine [the people of Israel], / Even the stock which Your right hand has planted / And the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself” (80:14-15). The psalmist here is crying to God, that God would maintain the stock (vineyard) which His right hand has planted. God had planted the children of Israel as a vine and the nation as a vineyard. The psalmist prayed that God would maintain, protect, and preserve this vineyard. Notice verse 15: “The son whom You have strengthened for Yourself.” Obviously, this must be Christ. We have indicated that many times in the Psalms, in the midst of the saints’ expression, the Spirit of Christ suddenly intervenes and utters something within their utterance. This is just such an occasion. The Spirit of Christ is here uttering something concerning Christ within the utterance of the crying saints. The meaning here is that God will protect His dwelling place for Christ. God will protect, God will preserve, and God will maintain His dwelling place for the sake of Christ. Christ is the Son whom God has strengthened for Himself.
Psalm 80:17-19 says, “Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, / Upon the son of man whom You have strengthened for Yourself; / Then we will not turn back from You. / Revive us, and we will call upon Your name. / O Jehovah God of hosts, restore us; / Cause Your face to shine, and we will be saved.” In this poetic utterance of the seeking saint, the Spirit of Christ is saying something concerning Christ. It is that the restoration of God’s dwelling place depends wholly upon Christ. We must give Christ the proper position; then the desolated house of God will be restored. By the psalmist’s assertion that the restoration of God’s house depends upon the position given to Christ, we learn the reason for the desolation of the house of God. The house is desolate because the position of Christ has been lost among God’s people. If we would recover the house of God, we must afford Christ His proper position. His position is that of the man whom God has strengthened for Himself, the man who is at the right hand of God. This indicates His preeminence, His first place. The right hand of God is the first and highest place in the entire universe, and God has put Christ there. God has given the preeminence of the whole universe to Christ. He must be in that position, but among the people of God He has not been exalted to that position. He has lost His preeminence, so the house of God has become desolate. Where is Christ in all the so-called Christian churches, in all the denominations? Christ has lost His preeminence; Christ is not in the first position; the people have put Christ aside. Hence, desolation has entered.
In these days we are so happy to speak well of the local churches. But remember, Christ must have the first place among us. If Christ does not have the preeminence, there can be no restoration of the house of God. Desolation has resulted from the loss of His proper position, and recovery will result from our rendering to Christ His due place. He is the man who is made strong for God, and He is the man at the right hand of God. We must give Him this position; we must recognize His preeminence in the whole universe. If so, we will see the house of God restored.
Suppose that two brothers of a local church in a certain city talk together in a critical way about the leading brothers of that church. Do you believe that they are giving the preeminence to Christ? Actually, they are putting themselves in the first place. They are exalting themselves, not Christ. In that place two horns will rise up on the head. When those brothers come together to speak about the situation of the church, instead of criticizing, they must say, “Lord, we give You the preeminence; we are under Your headship. We are nobody; You are the only One, Lord.”
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