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THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID
“And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”—Isa. 55:3
IF THE faith of any of God’s children needs reinforcement from the Word of God, let him turn to the Lord’s gracious invitation through the Prophet Isaiah to partake of the bounties therein offered. The call is not to every man, but to a certain class—”Ho every one that thirsteth!” (Vs. 1.) There is a blessing for the thirsty soul. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness [Observe, not only after truth with a curiosity interest, but after that righteousness which comes through a knowledge of the truth]; for they shall be filled.” The invitation is not to those who are satisfied with sin, but to those who have learned the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and
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whose aspirations are toward God; who thirst after God and his truth and his righteousness. It is to the class which the Psalmist describes as saying, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”—Psa. 42:1,2.
Are you of this class? then hearken to the gracious invitation—”Ho, every one that thirsteth [The call is to you], come ye to the waters [the refreshing waters of divine truth]; and he that hath no money [None of us have aught to offer as an equivalent for this priceless treasure: it is God’s free gift to all the thirsty]; come ye, buy and eat; yea come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
And not only is the invitation thus liberal, but the Lord also condescends to reason with those of this class who still have some hope of finding the satisfying bread and water of life where already they have long looked for them in vain. He graciously inquires, “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good [the “meat in due season” provided by the Lord for the household of faith], and let your soul delight itself in fatness. [The portion which the Lord supplies is a satisfying portion; and the soul that is fed at his table is not lean.] Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
Turning to Psalm 89:19-37 we find the sure mercies of David enumerated. David is introduced here as a typical character representing Christ—primarily our Lord Jesus, but subsequently the Christ complete—Head and body. In the meekness of his youth, his loyalty to God, his faithfulness, zeal, courage and wise discretion, David’s character was a very beautiful type of the beloved One, to whom God referred when he said, “I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.”
Our Lord Jesus is the mighty One upon whom the help of the world is laid. He is the great deliverer, but it has pleased God also to associate with him in this great work the Church of the Gospel age, the elect “little flock,” whose names are written in heaven. These, all chosen out of the people, constitute that one body, which, with Christ Jesus their Head, shall bless all the families of the earth. These all possess the characteristics enumerated above, which are preeminently the characteristics of their Head. All, therefore, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, whose souls thirst after God as the hart for the water-brook, and who, having found him, have consecrated themselves to him and received the anointing of the holy spirit, witnessing with their spirits that they are the sons of God, and who as anointed sons can discover in themselves the worthy traits of true sons, enumerated above,—loyalty, faithfulness, zeal, energy, courage, discretion, etc.,—these constitute the class with whom the Lord has made an everlasting covenant and to whom belong “the sure mercies of David.”
Hear them—”With whom my hand [my power, dominion, kingdom] shall be established: mine arm [of support and strength] also shall strengthen him [to perform the great preparatory work of sacrifice]. The enemy shall have no advantage over him, nor the son of iniquity have power to hurt him. [All things, even the deep and wicked designs of the adversary, shall be so overruled by God as to work together for good to this David class].
“And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him; and in my name shall his horn [his authority and power] be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. [His power will in due time control all the restless, ungovernable masses of the world, which like the raging sea will make great commotion in the time of trouble with which this age closes.]
“He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. [Even in the midst of their earthly course of trial and sacrifice they shall have communion and fellowship with God: they shall realize his fatherly love and care and rejoice in his salvation.]
“Also I will make him, my firstborn [“the Church of the firstborn”], higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also [redeemed and restored mankind to whom Christ will be “the everlasting father”—Isa. 9:6; Psa. 45:16] will I make to endure forever [they shall have everlasting life], and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. [This has reference principally to the fleshly people of God, and partially to the world during the Millennium.]
“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David [Christ]. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.”
Such are the “sure mercies of David” thus divinely assured to the Gospel Church, Head and body.
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“When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see thee as thou art,
Love thee with unsinning heart,
Then, Lord, I shall fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.
“When the praise of heaven I hear,
Grand as anthems on the ear,
Loud as many waters’ noise,
Sweet as harps’ melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.”
— February 15, 1896 —