I trust you are having a good week and that you are walking in the sweet freedom of Jesus Christ.
This morning, we are studying Psalm 149. John Gill considers this psalm as looking forward to the millennial reign of Christ (Jesus's 1000 year reign upon the earth following the Great Tribulation) which indeed it seems to hint at. The psalm is in two parts, verses 1-5, the people of God are directed to praise God, and in verses 6-9 praise is further directed because of God’s judgment against their enemies.
Throughout the week our focus has been on praising God. Based on the Word of God, it is apparent this subject is very important. If there are two things you want to do to sense the presence of God in your life, I would say to praise Him and pray to Him. These are two very practical aspects of the Christian life.
149:1, "Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints."The psalm begins once again with a hallelujah—“Praise ye the LORD.” The latter is the English translation of the former Hebrew word. The charge to sing a new song, if taken in the context of the Millennium (which the psalm seems to suggest), may well pertain to Israel in that day now singing their praise to Jesus Christ. For gentiles today, when we get saved, God puts a new song and a new kind of music in our hearts. We are directed to sing His praise in the congregation of God’s people. In the Old Testament times that clearly was the assembly of Israel at the Temple. In New Testament times, that clearly is in the assembly of the church.
149:2-3, "Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp." The people of God (Israel and the church) are called upon to rejoice in their Creator and King. He is none other than Jesus Christ. The Jews don’t understand that now (or don’t want to understand that). But the day is coming when they will. The mention of praise in dance has nothing to do with modern dance (even in a religious context). Jewish men to this day still observe their ‘circle dance’ wherein they gather in a circle at the western wall of the old Temple. They intertwine their arms and then step sideways in unison in a circle while they sing Hebrew songs of joy. That likely is what is in view here. The thought is distinct of Jewish folklore. In any event, the people of God are called upon to sing praises to God. That mandate remains to this day.
149:4, "For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation." The word translated as taketh pleasure (hur raw-tsaw’) literally means ‘to be pleased with.’ The thought probably is prophetic more than historic.
There have been few times in the history of Israel when God could announce such. However, on the Day of the Lord, after Christ returns, the people of God will no longer be infected with sin. In that day, God will altogether be pleased with His people. In a lesser sense, that undoubtedly is true to this day. God has always been pleased with His people (whether Israel of old or the New Testament church of the present) when they live uprightly and obediently before Him. The mention of Him beautifying the meek with salvation likely refers to God’s temporal deliverance rather eternal salvation. The thought is how that God will intervene to help and deliver those who are humble in spirit.
149:5, "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds." When God exalts His people with glory, they are called upon to be joyful. Even when resting at night, we are called upon to have a song in our heart. Though not common today, evidently in the Millennium, the people of God will sing aloud at night on their beds.
The thought dramatically shifts in Psalm 149:6-9. The people of God are called upon to sing praises to God in joining the battle against their enemies. The fulfilment likely will be on the Day of the Lord at the beginning of the Millennium.
In that day, the people of God will overthrow the rule of the wicked as Jesus Christ establishes His kingdom upon this earth. The ungodly of the earth who survive the Tribulation will face direct judgment. See Matthew 25:31-46.
This Psalm concludes with these words, "This honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD." The only time in human history when all of God’s people will be so involved can only be during the Day of the Lord. In that day, we will assist our Lord in establishing His righteous reign over the earth. As a result, the people of God are once again called upon to PRAISE THE LORD.
May your heart be blessed as you meditate upon God's future rule upon the earth, and the privilege you have in praising and serving Him.
Your Friend and His,