The Blameless One of chapter 15 is the One in whom I take refuge. Jesus – You are my LORD, I have no good apart from you (c.f. John 15:5)!
As Paul Blackham states in his Book by Book study on the Psalms:
In Acts 2:25-31 Peter quotes from Psalm 16 while talking about the Resurrection of Jesus. According to the apostle Peter, David wrote these great prophecies about the Messiah and when we read these psalms we must read them in that way. He introduces his quotation by saying, “David said about Him…” He concludes his explanation of the psalm by saying, “David was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that He would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, (David) spoke of the Resurrection of the Christ, that He was not abandoned to the grave, nor did His body see decay.”
And again, these are the words of the Christ speaking to the Father as we participate in the Divine dialogue between the two Persons. Christ delight in the saints (Psalm 122:1) and those who said to Him, let us go to the House of the LORD! His joy is in us, in His Bride, in His Church!
Let Christ’s joys multiply as the sorrows of those who worship another god multiply; let Christ not bend His knee to the enemy for the Father is all sufficient. The Father holds Christ’s inheritance, just as we share in His inheritance, as Christ’s co-heirs. We have no inheritance outside of the Redeemer. The Father is Christ’s strength; He who is firm will cause Christ to stand firm; in the Father shall Christ remain unshaken, his whole being rejoicing for His heart is glad and His flesh dwells securely in the Father’s love! Do we hear this sweet song sung to us directly by our Bridegroom? Can we remain strong in Him, He who remained strong in His Unshaken Father? For the Father will not abandon Jesus to the pit, Sheol, hell – or let Jesus see corruption. Instead, the Father will raise up Christ, and make known to him the path of life which is filled with the fullness of joy in the Father’s presence. Let us too find joy in the Christ who tasted the surpassing intimacy of the Father!
Only Jesus shall sojourn in the Father’s tabernacle, in His tent. Only He shall dwell on His holy hill – Christ, the blameless and righteous One who speaks truth in His heart, who does not slander with His tongue, who does no evil to his neighbour, who does not take up reproach against His friend, who despises a vile person and honours those who fear the LORD. This is our Mediator, and in Him we find refuge and His righteous works are imputed to us. He swears to his own hurt and does not change as He is the lamb led to the slaughter – He is firm, and He is the vine; we are the branches.
Let our confidence therefore be rooted in this Vine; let our love flow from the One who is holy and blameless, and filled with divine triune love. So also we will never be moved in the One who remains firm. So also we bear fruit in the One who dwells on the Father’s holy mountain, the temple and garden of new creation.
So the fool continues to speak and speak and speak; whereas the LORD seems to have remained silent in the previous chapters, but the words spoken by Him are like pure honey and nectar. “There is no God” – there is no other word which could be more corrupt and more abominable. Can the Spirit-less man understand? Can the corrupt men, who have joined together, do good? Can they have knowledge which comes from above (c.f. James 3) so that they can call upon the LORD? Can those who shame the plans of the poor thrive? Perhaps, in the meantime, that is the illusion – but this is their reward. Their temporary plunder, their mutual affirmation, their self-congratulation. But salvation will come out of Zion, He will restore our fortunes, and we shall rejoice truly as we inherit the earth (c.f. Matthew 5) and embrace the Living One who has given us the eyes, ears and heart to understand Him.
Just as the Old Testament saints looked forward to the Son’s coming, to the Father’s Word of words breaking into the darkness of the age, so also we often ask of Christ’s second return:
- How long O LORD?
- How long will you hide your face from me?
- How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
- How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Yet, these are but caused by the lies of the enemy who thinks he has prevailed over us. Instead, we trust His steadfast love – let us rejoice in His victory achieved on the cross. I will sing to the LORD – just as Christ sang to the Father on the cross. Are these not the words of Jesus when he hung on the tree? How long, Father, will you hide your face from me? How long until I am risen again on the third day? If Christ too suffered at the hands of the enemy but was exalted as promised, so we too, as sufferers, take refuge in the One who suffered and rose again. Let us sing as the victory is ours now, that we do not sleep the sleep of death but we proclaim the song of life!
Genesis 1, Psalm 12 and John 1 have in common the Word, His Light, shining into the darkest of times. The godly one is gone; the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. The word of men, their lies, their flattering lips, their double heart taking precedence over the poor and the needy. Yet, from the LORD’s seeming silence in the previous chapters, He arises and places the meek in the safety for which he longs.
How is this victory achieved? By His words conquering the words of this generation. Such are His words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. He is the Word who breaks into the darkness of the vile lies and boastful words of men. Do we claim His Word as ours? Do we speak His words? Do we trust that His words have the power and authority to completely wipe out the darkness of our age?
Who is the LORD? He is the One in whom I can take refuge. We cannot heed what the enemy states, as continued from Psalm 10 – “Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.” What can the righteous do? Take refuge in the LORD, and not to rely on one’s own strength. For He is the LORD who is in His holy temple, whose throne is in heaven – he sees all, and he hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. He is the judge; not us. He is the righteous; not us. Let Him rain coals on the wicked – fire and sulfur and a scorching wind the portion of the enemy’s cup.
Let us walk with Christ, hide in Him, and walk in His righteousness as our faith in Him overflows with righteous deeds so that we may behold his face, whereas the enemy beholds His righteous judgment.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
Psalm 10 describes the man who does not remain in Christ. It is not that the LORD stands afar off, or hides Himself in times of trouble – the judgment day will come, the time when the Son breaks the counsel of the wicked (Psalm 2). Here is the exact opposite of the Blessed Man in Psalm 1, a man apart from Christ who:
- in arrogance, hotly pursue the poor;
- boasts of the desires of his soul;
- is greedy for gain
- curses and renounces the LORD
- is proud with thoughts that “There is no God”
- has high judgments
- puffs at his foes, as if he shall not be moved and that throughout all generations he shall not meet adversity
- has a mouth filled with cursing and deceit and oppression
- has a tongue of mischief and iniquity
- ambushes and murders the innocent
- watch for the helpless
- lurks to seize the poor
- crushes and sinks down the helpless
- says that God has forgotten the poor, the helpless, the meek
- says in his heart God will not call to account
Yet – recall that apart from Christ, man can do nothing. O Lord – you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that the anti-Christ may strike terror no more. All the words which such man tells himself (in bold and italics above) are but lies he persuades himself with; the LORD’s judgment is coming and all men’s deeds will indeed be accounted for.