Chapter 6 Worthy To Be Praised

I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies (Psalm 18:1-3).

This is a fervid exclamation of a soul fully acquainted with God. The tongue would praise Him, but human language seems wholly inadequate. The struggling efforts to worthily praise the most High God do but confess there is none like Him. Yet, though it be difficult to express worthy praise, all other human exercises seem mean and empty compared with this. All the discoveries of art and science are low as dust when contrasted with the pearl of praise. Other exercises of the heart and mind vanish with time—and time is but a tiny speck. The praise of God is an endless and eternal exercise. It has an endless life. Love to God and praise of Him from the heart removes all fear, spreads a holy fear over the soul, and fills the heart with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

A Song of Praise

This is a Messianic Psalm and therefore these are the words of the Lord Jesus, the eternal Son of God who entered our humanity as the divine Servant of Jehovah in order to accomplish the great work of human redemption. Let there be no doubt as to who He is. As the promised Messiah He is spoken of in the Old Testament as “the mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6)—“Jehovah our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6)—“Immanual” (God with us) (Isaiah 7:14); and in the New Testament as “God” (John 1:1)—“The great God” (Titus 2:13). “Who is over all, God blessed for ever” (Romans 9:5). He was sent of the Father, voluntarily taking up the office of the divine Servant that He might accomplish all the Father’s will. Thus He took upon Him “the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). In this Psalm it is as the Son of man that the Father becomes the object of His adoration and praise. In His praise there is a wonderful variety of expression of all that God the Father is to Him as the Servant.

“My strength”—that is, He found in the Father all the strength He needed for doing His will and promoting His glory.

“My rock”—that is, God the Father was His safe refuge from enemy assault. It is a metaphor which speaks of God’s protecting care through all circumstances in His life on earth.

“My fortress”—that is, God was as a walled city to afford absolute security so that there would not be the slightest possibility of defeat.

“My deliverer”—that is, He was assured of perfect safety when He must move out among His enemies. There would be deliverance from all temptations.

“My God”—that is God was the sole object of His praise and adoration. The Father was God to Him in His offices as the divine Servant and Son of man, and the Lord Jesus gave to Him an unreserved submission and obedience.

“My strength”—that is, in a different sense to the first expression, God would exercise His omnipotent power on His behalf in all the distressing circumstances He would encounter here on earth.

“My buckler”—that is, God the Father was His shield against all the fiery darts of the enemy. He was the screen and the shelter of Him and would keep Him in every trial.

“The horn of my salvation”—that is, God would punish and destroy all those who would rise against Him.

“My high tower”—that is, a sure defence from all the perils of the way.

What a confidence the Lord had in the Father as He moved on earth as the Son of man and the divine Servant!

A Song of Love

“I will love Thee, O Lord” (v. 1). Spiritual affections are the chief thing sought by God from the children of men. The first commandment is thus summed up: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30). The Lord Jesus gave that kind of love to the Father and never failed to continue in it. The words express the deepest warmth. It is a door opened into the heart of the Son of God. It is the sweetest and dearest appellation given to the Father by the Son. All that He has described the Father to be heats the fervency of His love. God is His strength, His rock, His fortress, His deliverer, His God, His strength, His buckler, His horn of salvation, His high tower, and, being all this to Him, the Son pours forth His love and devotion to the Father.

It is also so with the Lord’s people. When we realize what the Lord is to us—what He has done for us through His beloved Son—when we see God giving up His Son to the shame and death of the cross—when we see how rich God is in mercy and His desire to relieve us of all wretchedness and unhappiness and to introduce light and peace to our hearts—when we see the majesty of God’s unsullied justice in that every debt be fully paid and that He Himself would pay all—when we see God’s holiness as the pillar of His government, and that He so abhors evil that only the blood of His Son could cleanse it thoroughly away and change our filth to holiness, our deformity to beauty, our impurity to snow-white lustre—then what can we say but, “I will love Thee, O Lord”—and determine that we shall continue in that love forever.

A Song of Deliverance

“I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies” (v. 3). God alone is worthy to be praised. There is no more appropriate exercise than that we praise Him who is possessed of all divine attributes—all transcendent excellencies—all perfections of virtue—all possible love to the children of men. In this exercise of praise, our Lord Himself, as the Son of man, was continuously saved from His enemies. In the days of His flesh, the Lord Jesus had many enemies—both wicked men and demons of hell. It was their assaults which brought forth His calls to God in prayer—and prayers with “strong crying and tears.” It was His prayers which rendered the enemy force impotent against Him. Thus His victory was assured in Psalm 2:8-12: “Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.”

Holy Father, we address Thee,
Loved in Thy beloved Son:
Holy Son of God, we bless Thee—
Boundless grace hath made us one;
May the Spirit aid our songs—
This glad work to Him belongs.

Wondrous was Thy love, our Father!
Wondrous Thine, O Son of God!
Vast Thy love that bruised and wounded!
Vast the love that bore the rod!
May the Spirit still reveal
How those stripes alone could heal.

Gracious Father, Thy good pleasure
Is to love us as Thy Son,
Meting out the self-same measure,
Since Thou seest us as one:
By Thee, Saviour, loved are we,
As the Father loveth Thee.

Hallelujah! we are hasting
To our Father’s house above;
By the way our souls are tasting
Rich and everlasting love:
In Jehovah is our boast—
Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

—Mrs. Peters