Monday, December 10, 2007

Raised Up With Princes

I am posting several devotionals as a prelude to a sermon I preached at the Gospel Mission on October 26th/06 - though I did not read these other devotionals until after I had put together my own study on 2 Samuel 9 (the story of David And Mephibosheth):

Psalms 113:7-8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.

Ver. 7. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust. This is an instance of his gracious stoop of love: he frequently lifts the lowest of mankind out of their poverty and degradation and places them in positions of power and honour. His good Spirit is continually visiting the down trodden, giving beauty for ashes to those who are cast down, and elevating the hearts of his mourners till they shout for joy. These up liftings of grace are here ascribed directly to the divine hand, and truly those who have experienced them will not doubt the fact that it is the Lord alone who brings his people up from the dust of sorrow and death. When no hand but his can help he interposes, and the work is done. It is worth while to be cast down to be so divinely raised from the dust.

And lifteth the needy out of the dunghill, whereon they lay like worthless refuse, cast off and cast out, left as they thought to rot into destruction, and to be everlastingly forgotten. How great a stoop from the height of his throne to a dunghill! How wonderful that power which occupies itself in lifting up beggars, all befouled with the filthiness in which they lay! For he lifts them out of the dunghill, not disdaining to search them out from amidst the base things of the earth that he may by their means bring to nought the great ones, and pour contempt upon all human glorying. What a dunghill was that upon which we lay by nature! What a mass of corruption is our original estate! What a heap of loathsomeness we have accumulated by our sinful lives! What reeking abominations surround us in the society of our fellow men! We could never have risen out of all this by our own efforts, it was a sepulchre in which we saw corruption, and were as dead men. Almighty were the arms which lifted us, which are still lifting us, and will lift us into the perfection of heaven itself. Praise ye the Lord.

Ver. 8. That he may set him with princes. The Lord does nothing by halves: when he raises men from the dust he is not content till he places them among the peers of his kingdom. We are made kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever. Instead of poverty, he gives us the wealth of princes; and instead of dishonour, he gives us a more exalted rank than that of the great ones of the earth.

Even with the princes of his people. All his people are princes, and so the text teaches us that God places needy souls whom he favours among the princes of princes. He often enables those who have been most despairing to rise to the greatest heights of spirituality and gracious attainment, for those who once were last shall be first. Paul, though less than the least of all saints was, nevertheless, made to be not a whit behind the very chief of the apostles; and in our own times, Bunyan, the blaspheming tinker, was raised into another John, whose dream almost rivals the visions of the Apocalypse.

"Wonders of grace to God belong, Repeat his mercies in your song."

Such verses as these should give great encouragement to those who are lowest in their own esteem. The Lord poureth contempt upon princes; but as for those who are in the dust and on the dunghill, he looks upon them with compassion, acts towards them in grace, and in their case displays the riches of his glory by Christ Jesus. Those who have experienced such amazing favour should sing continual hallelujahs to the God of their salvation.

(Taken from The Treasury Of David by Spurgeon)

"That He may set him with princes." --Psalm 113:8

Our spiritual privileges are of the highest order. "Among princes" is the place of select society. (See 2 Samuel 2:8) "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." Speak of select society, there is none like this! "[We] are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood... a peculiar people." "[We] are come unto... the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven." The saints have courtly audience: princes have admittance to royalty when common people must stand afar off. The child of God has free access to the inner courts of heaven. "For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father." "Let us therefore come boldly," says the apostle, "to the throne of grace." Among princes there is abundant wealth, but what is the abundance of princes compared with the riches of believers? for "all things are yours... and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Princes have peculiar power. A prince of heaven's empire has great influence: he wields a sceptre in his own domain; he sits upon Jesus' throne, for "[He] hath made us kings and priests unto God," and we shall reign for ever and ever. We reign over the united kingdom of time and eternity. Princes, again, have special honour. We may look down upon all earth-born dignity from the eminence upon which grace has placed us. For what is human grandeur to this, "[He] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus"? We share the honour of Christ, and compared with this, earthly splendours are not worth a thought. Communion with Jesus is a richer gem than ever glittered in imperial diadem. Union with the Lord is a coronet of beauty outshining all the blaze of imperial pomp.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

Please also read this study on 2 Samuel 9:

David And Mephibosheth - A Picture Of The Kindness Of God Unto Fallen Man by Jerry Bouey

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