The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"The LORD said unto my Lord."—Psalm. 110:1.
Some have called this Psalm, David's creed. Certain it is, that there is scarce an article of a true believer's faith, but what is in it. My soul, look through it this morning, if thou hast time, and see whether it is thy creed. If not, look at this precious portion of it, and ask of the Holy Ghost to teach thee the blessed things contained in it. "The LORD said unto my Lord:" that is, Jehovah said unto my Adonai. Observe, my soul, that here, as in many other parts of the bible, one of these words Lord is in capital letters, the other in small characters. This no doubt was done by the translators, by way of telling the English reader that the two words in the original Hebrew are not the same. They had no better method of explaining the difference. But by using different sized letters, they meant to say that there is a difference, and the difference seems to be this: the word LORD, whenever used in the Bible in capital letters, signifies Jehovah; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: not as a name of office in the work of redemption, but as intimating his own glorious incommunicable essence. The word Lord in small letters, Adonai, is very frequently (as in this Psalm) applied to Christ in this his gracious office as the Christ of. God, and of his people. And a most sweet and precious name it is. It signifies, in a double meaning, first his own personal, authority and power; and, secondly, that power as exerted and called forth into action for his redeemed. Look at thy Jesus, my soul, as thy Adonai this day, and every day, and a thousand sweet and precious blessings such a view of him, as a ruler, and a support, and a sustainer, will open to thy meditation. Yes, all-lovely, all-powerful, all-gracious Adonai, thou art my Adonai! In this thy name, which is as ointment poured forth, would I contemplate thee. In this thy name would I rejoice all the day, and in thy righteousness would I be exalted.
"Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power: in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth."—Psalm cx. 3.
There is so much of the Lord Jesus in this sweet Psalm, indeed it is altogether so truly a gospel Psalm, that the morning portion, which was a selection from it, cannot be better followed than by taking another verse of it for the evening portion, that both together may furnish out blessed meditations to my soul, in the contemplation of our precious Jesus. Here are views of Jesus, in all his blessed offices, as the Prophet, Priest, and King of his people; and every verse is more or less descriptive of his glorious person, offices, and character. This precious portion for my evening thoughts, contains the promise of Jehovah the Father, in his covenant engagements, that the Redeemer should see the blessed fruits and effects of his undertaking in the hearts and minds of his elect people. "Thy people (saith the Lord) shall be willing." So then Jesus had a people before his incarnation, and that people Jehovah engaged to make willing; willing to be saved, willing to receive Christ, and own him for their Redeemer? Sweet thought of encouragement to the poor sinner! The Lord undertakes to give the willing mind; so that this is enough to stir the humblest to attend the means of grace, where Jehovah will make Christ's people willing in the day of Christ's power. And while it furnisheth out encouragement to the sinner, it holds forth instruction to the saint; the former can plead no inability, and the latter can make no boasting; the willingness is of the Lord, and it is in the day of Christ's power. My soul! thou canst subscribe to this truth. The first awakenings of grace in thine heart, thou knowest, were not the effect of thy strength, but the willingness there wrought by divine power. But there are in this verse, also, "the beauties of the Lord's holiness" spoken of; "from the womb of the morning." It is indeed to see "the King in his beauty," and to worship in the "beauty of holiness," when the Lord's people are made willing in Christ's power, and worship only in the beauties of Christ's holiness. And such, the promise saith, shall be the fruitfulness of the womb of conversion in Christ's strength, when he seeth the travail of his soul, that, as the dew-drops of the morning are incalculable, so shall be the multitude of redeemed souls that shall "flee as a cloud, and as doves to their windows!" Precious Lord Jesus! rule thou as a King, the rightful Sovereign of Zion; subdue thine enemies to the sceptre of thy grace, and bring every knee of thy people to bend to the rod of thy power. And Oh Almighty Father! ever let my poor soul praise thee, love thee, obey thee, adore thee, that thou hast fulfilled this covenant promise to thy dear Son, in the instance of my soul Thou hast indeed subdued the natural stubbornness of my nature, and made me willing to be saved in the Lord's own way. And now, blessed Lord, I desire to bend the knee of my heart to Jesus, and daily, hourly ascribe the whole of my salvation "to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb that was slain, for ever!"