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 are ready to praise. Now it is our turn. We enjoy all that God is, all that God does and all that He can do; so we just praise Him. We have nothing to do today but praise Him: “Hallelujah for the enjoyment! Hallelujah for God loading us with good, for the victory, and for the application of the victory.” We have brought all the problems to the meetings, and they have disappeared; so we just praise. “They have seen Your goings, O God, / The goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary” (v. 24). Who has seen His goings? They, the enemies, the problems. They have seen His goings in the sanctuary. This is real praise. Sometimes I have actually praised the Lord in this way: “Lord, all my enemies have followed me to the entrance of the meeting hall, and when I came in, they all ran away. They have seen Your goings in the local church.”
Verse 25 says, “Singers go before; players after; / In the midst of virgins sounding the tambourines.” This is poetry, and it tells us that all the singers and players are women. The women bear the glad tidings of victory, the women abide at home and divide the spoil, and now the women praise. Unless you are a woman, you cannot praise. But, spiritually speaking, we are all women. There is no need for us to fight. The fighting is not ours but His. We are the enjoying and praising women. In the entire universe there is just one man—that is Christ. He is the One who works; He is the One who fights and who has already won the battle; He is the One who does everything. We are simply those who enjoy His victory, those who praise. Fighting is not our business; praising is our business. We are the singers; we are the players; we are the praisers. Have you seen this? To understand these verses we must take them in a poetic way.
Now we come to the main part of the praise in this psalm: “Bless God in the congregations, / Even Jehovah, O you who are of [Jacob] the fountain of Israel. / There are little Benjamin, who rules them, / And the princes of Judah in their company, / The princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali” (vv. 26-27). It is indeed interesting. There are twelve tribes altogether among the children of Israel, but only four are mentioned here. Why these four? In the Bible Benjamin and Judah always go together; likewise, Zebulun and Naphtali are put together, especially in Matthew 4. The choice of these four tribes in this verse is full of significance.
Benjamin signifies Christ as the man of sorrows, who has become the man at the right hand. His name Ben-oni, which means “son of my affliction,” speaks of His incarnation and His human life on this earth, and His name Benjamin, which means “son of the right hand” (Gen. 35:18), refers to His resurrection, His victory, and His ascension. Christ was the little Benjamin. Benjamin was the youngest and smallest of the twelve tribes, but the tribe of Benjamin was exceedingly strong and bold in fighting (49:27). Benjamin is a warrior tribe, and this tribe always goes together with the kingly tribe, Judah. Judah signifies Christ as the Victor, the lion, with the power and the scepter; and the One who will return as the King of peace, that is, as Shiloh (vv. 8-10). Both Benjamin and Judah represent Christ: from His incarnation to His ascension, He is Benjamin; from His reigning with divine authority to His return as the King of peace, He is Judah. By incarnation Christ became the Son of sorrow; He fought the battle, devoured the foes, divided the spoils, and gained the victory (v. 27). Then He ascended to the heavens and became the Son of the right hand of God. He has the scepter, the authority, and now all His brothers praise Him. He is worthy! From Genesis 49 we must go to Revelation 5, where we see the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the One who is worthy of our worship, our praises. He is the Victor, He has the power and the authority, He will come back as the peaceful One, and we, His brothers, will worship and praise Him. This is our Christ, represented by Benjamin and Judah.
This Christ is also Zebulun and Naphtali. These two tribes signify a shore for ships and a hind let loose. They speak of beautiful words being given and preached and of the men of Galilee (Gen. 49:13, 21; Matt. 4:12-17; Acts 1:11). The shore for ships is for transportation, and it signifies the Christ who is being spread throughout the entire earth. The hind let loose is one who is released, one who runs with speed. Beautiful words are the praises, the preaching, and the propagation of Christ. This is what occupied the men of Galilee. Christ is the real Zebulun and the real Naphtali. He is being spread, praised, and preached all over the earth today. He is a hind let loose.
The first two names, Benjamin and Judah, signify what Christ is: He was the Son of sorrow, who died on the cross, won the victory, ascended, devoured the prey, divided the spoil, and is now the Son of the right hand of God; He is also the Lion, the Victor, the One who has authority over all things, and who will come back as the peaceful One. The last two names, Zebulun and Naphtali, signify the Christ who is being spread and propagated all over the earth. When we praise the Lord, we must praise Him for all that He is, and we must also praise Him for His spreading throughout the earth. He is little Benjamin with Judah, and He is Zebulun with Naphtali. We have to praise Him in this way.
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