Psalm 110:7


This psalm tells of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, but all that it tells of has not yet been fulfilled. But the Church is still confidently assisting the glory of the Lord. Our text is difficult of completely satisfactory explanation. Three chief interpretations have been given.

I. THAT IT TELLS OF OUR LORD'S BEING MADE A CURSE FOR US. The wrath of God running in the channel of the curse of the Law was "the brook by the way" of which our Savior drank, and concerning which he said, "The cup which my Father hath given me shall I not drink it?" Calvin, Hengstenberg, and Matthew Henry thus explain this verse. And then the glorious triumphs of the cross of Christ, past, present, and yet to come, are the lifting up of the head which is said to result.

II. THAT IT DENOTES HIS INTENTNESS AND EAGERNESS IN THE PURSUIT OF HIS GREAT END, which was the destruction of the works of the devil. He would not turn aside for refreshment or rest, but like Gideon (Judges 7.), though faint, he kept pursuing. Like as the chosen soldiers of Gideon were known by their eager lapping of the water as distinguished from the mere leisurely lying down to drink of the rest, so our Lord was intent on his work, and nothing could stay his pursuit (cf. Luke 12:50). He would drink of the brook by the way, and then on again.

III. THAT IT SETS FORTH THE HUMILIATION OF CHRIST, ill that he placed himself on a level with us by stooping to need and to partake of those spiritual refreshments which in this life God provides for us. He humbled himself to need and share these with men. This is the interpretation which we prefer. What, then, for our Lord, were these brooks? They were such as these - prayer; fellowship with kindred minds; affection and sympathy from those who loved him; the "joy set before him;" the Holy Scriptures.

IV. THUS UNDERSTOOD, THE TEXT APPLIES TO CHRISTIANS NOW. For brooks by the way are provided for us by means of which we shall be, as was our Lord, strengthened and refreshed. And ours are as his, even as his were as ours. - S.C.









He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
The words place before us two pictures. The one is that of want, and the other is that of its supply. He that drinks of the brook is he who needs its refreshment. He lifts up his head, when he has drunk of the running stream: it was drooping before; he had been faintly pursuing his object, but now he goes on his way with head erect, and with elastic tread.

I. THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE FEATURES OF NATURE AND OF GRACE.

II. THE MEANING OF THE TEXT AS SPOKEN BY DAVID. In some of his sharp encounters with Saul, in some of those hot persecutions which he suffered in such number, there might have been some occasion in which the taste of water was the renovation of his strength; or perhaps he had special reference to the river Jordan, or the brook of Siloa, and coupled them with the holy city, and thought of them as typical streams, and looked at their waters, when tasted, as declaring that the city was nigh at hand, and that he that should drink it would be approaching its shining gates.

III. THE APPLICATION OF THE WORDS TO CHRIST. When we first read them, we deem them to speak of the refreshment of exhausted nature; and perhaps, in their primary application they do so. But surely the life of the Son of Man was not one of refreshment or relaxation, at least to Himself. We must remember, then, that water has another meaning, and it is that of distress and the overwhelming of the soul. And was this His refreshment? How could it be so?

1. Because it was the greatest of actions, the crucifixion of self in man.

2. Because it was the performance of the Father's will, and, through this, the way of the redemption of the world. To these waters Jesus stooped down; of these He drank, and after drinking them, He lifted up His head, where now He sits above the clouds in the exaltation of the highest heaven.

IV. THE APPLICATION OF THE WORDS TO OURSELVES.

1. We must be partners in the fortune of our Head: what He endured, that, — it is a law of our union with Him — we must look to endure also; if His bark went through stormy seas, so surely must ours.

2. We are suffering now, and our reign is not until hereafter. But while we suffer we recruit; we derive immortal vigour from mortal woe; we live through our very death.

(C. E. Kennaway, M.A.)

We march with a Captain who makes common cause with the humblest. The contrast in this verse between a splendid destiny and the simplest life was never so true of any as of Him (Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 4:15).

1. See how true this is of the lowest part of human life, the life of the body. For thirty years Jesus lived the frugal and simple life of a carpenter's son in a quiet village among the hills of Galilee. His first recorded temptation was to break His fellowship with us by claiming miraculous supplies, at least of bread; but this help, which He gave to others, He would not Himself employ.

2. Observe, however, that He does drink. You will not find one innocent pleasure, which came "in the way" to Jesus, and which He sourly or wilfully refused. He would leave a feast at once, if called by Jairus to a sick-bed; but He would not refuse the feast of His friends in Bethany, though He knew that He was reproached for eating and drinking. How does His example affect us? We may have to refuse pleasures because we are weak, because temptations must be avoided. Or, like St. Paul, we may deny ourselves for our weak brother's sake, which is an honour, and a Christ-like thing; but the rule, apart from special cases, is that the best and truest life is such as welcomes and is refreshed by all simple pleasures.

3. It is still more wonderful to think of the spiritual life of Jesus nourished by the same means of grace which are available for us all. As if we saw Him rise from the throne of heaven to stoop by our waysides and drink from the rills of earth, so should our heart burn within us, when we observe our Master's constant use of the very means of grace which men neglect. Our prayers are formal, and easily interrupted; but He once rose up a long while before day, and again continued all night in prayer. We easily absolve ourselves from public worship; but He was careful to frequent the synagogues, and attended the festivals in Jerusalem. We neglect the Supper of our Lord, concerning which He said, "Do this in remembrance of Me"; but with desire He desired to eat the Passover with His disciples. We rely on our own judgment and conscience, and but few of us feel it a duty to instruct our conscience and keep it sensitive by a constant study of God's Word, which is as a lamp to the feet. But He was never at a loss for spiritual guidance from the Old Testament, saying, in every emergency, "It is written." It is surely a bitter reproach to us every one, that a stranger who watched our Master and His followers might easily suppose that He it was who needed help most, that we could better afford to dispense with it. The brooks which refreshed Him on His march are not dried up; neither are they, like Solomon's fountain, sealed.

(C. A. Chadwick, D.D.)

I. Christ in the prosecution of His redemptive work is refreshed and invigorated because HE DRINKS FROM THE INEXHAUSTIBLE FOUNTAIN OF HIS OWN LOVE. He still prosecutes His work of mercy, because "He drinks of the brook in the way — the brook of His eternal inexhaustible love!"

II. Christ may he said to drink of the brook in the way, because OF THE PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS WORK IN WHICH HE IS ENGAGED. "All His victories are righteous in their end, and in their means." The consciousness of the rectitude of His entire work is a "brook from which He drinks in the way."

III. THE JOY IN PROSPECT OF THE FINAL SALVATION OF ALL THE SUBJECTS OF HIS KINGDOM is another "brook from which He drinks in the way."

IV. Christ may be said to "drink of the brook in the way," from THE CERTAINTY HE HAS OF A FINAL VICTORY OVER ALL HIS FOES. "He must reign." All enemies shall be vanquished. Christ is "expecting" this.

(John Lewis, B.A.)

The promises are fruits laid up to ripen in time to come, and as most fruits become ripest and sweetest in the winter, so have we found that God's promises have a peculiar mellowness in our times of distress and affliction, such a sweetness as we did not perceive in the summer days of our prosperity. The train which starts from London to go to the North continues to traverse the distance day by day — how is it supplied with water? Why, there are trenches between the rails in several different places, and from these the engine drinks as it rushes along its iron pathway; it is supplied as it runs. That is just what our Heavenly Father has done for you. You are just like an engine on the road to heaven, and between here and heaven there are many stores of grace awaiting you; you will take up fresh water without slacking your speed, and so will be able to keep on to your journey's end. To use another illustration, when the Eastern nations used to trade across the desert in the olden times, in Solomon's days for instance, there were stations built, wells sunk, and provisions stored at convenient halting-places, so that the caravans might pause and take in fresh provisions. The caravans reached their journey's end because the long way was broken up by a series of resting-places. Now, the promises are resting-places for us between here and heaven. There is a long line of them at well-ordered intervals, and as we journey through this desert world we shall be constantly coming, first to one, and then another, and then another, and another, and so we shall find fresh provision stored up, that we may not fail. The manna will fall daily till we come to Canaan.

( C. H. Spurgeon.).

Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart.
Homilist.
I. A NOBLE RESOLUTION FOR THIS HIGHEST WORK.

1. Thoroughness. "With my whole heart."(1) Without this thoroughness it would be unacceptable to God. "He abhors the sacrifice where not the heart is found."(2) Without this thoroughness it will yield no happiness to ourselves.(3) Without this thoroughness it will not be continuous, but broken, desultory, and worthless.

2. Publicity. Man has to do with society, he lives in society, and by it; and if he is thorough, worship will come out in every conversation, in every act, in the sublimity of the look, in the dignity of gait.

II. A MIGHTY ARGUMENT FOR THIS HIGHEST WORK. Founded upon —

1. The works of God.(1) They are here spoken of generally. His works, whether of creation, government, or redemption, whether in connection with matter or mind, are in every sense great, infinitely great in number, variety, and perfection. It is here implied, however, that their greatness is only seen by those who search for them, "sought out." Their greatness is not in their bulk, their form, their colour, but in their essence, their plan, their uses, their relations, their bearings, etc. That those only search into them who have pleasure in them. A man must be interested in the works of God before he will study them. And to be interested in them he must love their Author. Hence piety is the spring of true philosophy.(2) They are spoken of specifically. His works are grand. Whatever He does in nature is worthy of Himself, who Himself is "clothed with honour and majesty" (Psalm 104:1). Wonderful. Can the greatest created intellect in the universe comprehend all concerning what appears to be the most insignificant work of God? Memorable. Can anything impress the human soul like the worlds of God? Beneficent (ver. 5). Truthful (ver. 7).

2. The character of God.(1) His rectitude (ver. 3).(2) His mercifulness (ver. 4).(3) His faithfulness (vers. 5, 7).

III. AN ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATION FOR THIS HIGHEST WORK (ver. 10).

1. This "fear of the Lord," or piety, is the commencement of wisdom. He who has not a reverential love for God has not learnt the first lessons of true wisdom. True philosophy begins in piety.

2. The "fear of the Lord," or piety, secures a sound understanding.

(Homilist.)

"Praise ye the Lord." Just as though the psalmist would say, "Whether you will or no, I will; I will praise Him, if I am alone in doing so; I will praise Him with my whole heart — with all the fervour, spirituality, and sincerity with which I am endowed; I will praise the Lord with all my heart; and, in order that I may not be alone in praising Him, I will get into 'the assembly of the upright,' and probably some of my rustic notes will induce them to praise Him also; and Jehovah shall have the entire revenue of praise and glory that can be sounded forth from all the ransomed souls on earth, and all the ransomed souls in heaven."

I. AN EXHORTATION. "Praise ye the Lord."

1. This exhortation is addressed to those who possess a capacity to praise God — a heaven-born life — a quickened nature. It must be the praise of the soul, called into exercise under the immediate operation of the graces of the Holy Spirit.

2. Those persons who have a spiritual capacity — who have been born from above — have many reasons for praising God. Has this mighty God, to whom we sound our hosannahs, put forth His operations of grace, touched your proud, rebellious heart, nay, created a spiritual capacity in you, implanted all His own graces, opened your eyes to your own ruin and the law's terrors, and then opened them to see the light of the glorious Gospel? If so, can you cease to praise the Lord?

II. A vow. "I will praise the Lord." I verily believe that we have not paid attention enough to the act of praise, as going forth from the inmost soul. We may have paid more attention to the act of prayer, we may have paid more attention to the act of believing; we may have paid more attention to the act of humiliation before God in deep repentance; all these are very important; but shall we forget to praise Him? shall we forget to acknowledge the infinite debt of gratitude we owe to Him? What should we think of creatures who did this towards each other? How many thousands of providences, of a most momentous description, has He overruled for us, and not received any return of praise? How many thousands of prayers has He answered, and we not given a single tribute of praise?

III. EXPERIMENTAL GODLINESS. "With my whole heart." This includes spirituality, simplicity, and earnestness. There seems something of emulation in this expression — "with my whole heart"; and sure I am, that when the Holy Ghost enables us to move upwards in the spirit of praise, troubles, difficulties, temptations, snares, enemies, afflictions, sorrows, death itself, have no power to harm us; the spirit of praise bears us above all, carries us within celestial regions, where we seem to mingle our praises with the hallelujahs of glorified spirits around the throne. "With my whole heart."

IV. THE RELATIVE POSITION. "In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation." Where am I to find "the assembly of the upright"? The man that is upright before God has owned or confessed the worst he knows of his case before the footstool of Divine mercy, he has thrown open his books, he has declared his insolvency to the law and justice of God, he adopts the very language of the psalmist, "I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid"; and instead of offering any compromise or making any specious promises, he betakes himself to the Divine Surety, of whom he obtains by faith a perfect obedience, a full satisfaction, a perfect righteousness, and presents them before God as His own. Thus he is accepted before the throne as an upright character. His condemnation is removed — his justification proclaimed — his absolution is enjoyed (without the interference of infidel priests) — his sanctification is given to him, and his glorification waits for him.

(J. Irons.)

Homiletic Review.
I. WITHOUT WHOLE-HEARTEDNESS OUR PRAISE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO GOD. He requires us, not ours. "He abhors the sacrifice where not the heart is found."

II. WITHOUT WHOLE-HEARTEDNESS IT WILL YIELD NO HAPPINESS TO OURSELVES. There is no true enjoyment in any service not rendered with the whole soul. No man is ever happy in any enterprise into which he cannot throw his whole being.

III. WITHOUT THIS WHOLE-HEARTEDNESS IT WILL NOT BE CONTINUOUS.

(Homiletic Review.)

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