"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—

"Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the great deep. How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wings. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light." Psalm 36:5, 6, 7, 9)

These verses sound like the rustling of many palm-leaves around the wells of the desert.

The King of Israel, himself a prince among pilgrims, when he wrote this psalm, was probably in the wilderness, not of Sinai, but of Judah—near the Dead Sea, from the margin of whose waters wild cliffs rose to the height of 1500 feet. As he gazes up to the heavens, he sees written on their blue vault, "God is mercy," "God is love." He looks to the clouds as they gather, gradually dimming and darkening the azure; but he sees them spanned with the rainbow of "faithfulness." He looks to the mountains, their tops resting amid these clouds and rainbow-tints; and beholds them radiant with "justice"—stable, immutable uprightness. He gazes down into the depths of the lake, sleeping at their base, and reflecting their forms in its calm mirror. He sinks his plummet-line, but in vain! It is too deep to be measured. "Your judgments (Your providential dealings) are "a great mystery." Jehovah's righteousness, like the great mountains, is visible; plain to see. But His judgments are often like the lake beneath. Their unsounded mysteries lie beyond mortal understanding, far down below!

Next (ver. 7), as a saint of God, he flees for refuge "under the shadow of the Almighty's wings"—a beautiful emblem of security; one used by the Savior Himself, many centuries later, on the occasion of His weeping over Jerusalem—"How excellent is Your loving-kindness, O God, therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings."

Then, he adds, "You shall make them drink of the river of Your pleasures; For with You is the fountain of life." Another figure still, perhaps, also suggested by a well-known spring which survives to this day in that desolate waste, amid the rocks of the wild goats, bursting from a shelf or cleft in the mountain—"For with You," as it has been rendered, is the "spring of immortality"—"in Your light we shall see light." He here speaks not of his present blessings, but of his future prospects. He looks forward, anticipating the time when all the past irregularities in God's moral government shall be explained. "We shall see light!" we shall behold Him, not in a glass, darkly; not as now, "through the lattice;" but "face to face"—knowing experimentally the reality of His own divine beatitude, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

The psalm begins with a minor note—"The sinfulness of the wicked" (ver. 1). It describes the pang with which the upright believer witnesses the unblushing sin and godlessness around him—speculative infidelity, practical atheism—the iniquity, the deceit, the "devising of evil"—hatching schemes of ambition and sin in their very beds—the world's crooked policy, tortuous ways, and unprincipled ends. All this may well fill the righteous with painful care and sadness. But he looks from man, to God. He looks from this surging sea, troubled and restless by waves of human passion and discord, to the giant mountains of the Divine faithfulness towering grandly overhead. Dominating all, he sees the Divine mercy "in the heavens." Jehovah's mercy in Christ, as a Covenant God, is high above the great flood, and the great mountains and the great clouds.

In this sublime contemplation he rests. He knows—though at times "deep may call to deep;" though these hilltops be muffled in angry tempests, those heavens darkened with murky vapors—yet the day is coming—"the morning without clouds," when all shall be made bright like "the clear shining after the rain." "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne."

The impersonation of justice, in the Greek and Roman mythology, with bandaged eyes and equally-balanced scales, was the faint image of a grander truth. "He judges righteous judgment." "Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun!" "By faith," says one who is now experiencing the sublime reality, "you are enabled to say 'All is well!' and if a voice could reach you from the Everlasting, would it not re-echo back, 'All is well'?"

May this lofty psalm, of which these are the keynotes, be sung by us, not in the Church of earth alone, but in the Church of the firstborn: when its beautiful and magnificent imagery will come to be truly fulfilled—resting under the shadow of the Heavenly Palm, the shelter and sanctuary of Jehovah's wings; 'feasting on the abundance of His house,' and 'drinking of the river of His pleasures;' taking up, through all eternity, the joyous strain these opening words suggest—"O give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His Mercy endures forever!"

"Blessed day, which hastens fast,
End of conflict and of sin;
Death itself shall die at last,
Heaven's eternal joys begin.
Then eternity shall prove,
God is Light, and God is Love!"

"Continue Your love to those who know You, Your righteousness to the upright in heart."

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