HOW CHRIST REIGNS AND RECOVERS THE TITLE
After the first group of the first three Psalms of Book IV, we have the second group of the next nine Psalms. These nine Psalms are grouped together in a marvelous way. All of them speak about the reigning of Christ and the recovery of the earth’s title for God.
Let us look into the titles of all these Psalms; they are quite interesting. Psalms 93 through 97 have no titles; Psalm 98, just “Psalm”; Psalm 99, no title; Psalm 100, just “A Psalm of praise”; Psalm 101, “A Psalm of David.” It is so clear that these nine Psalms are one group. This group is the central part of Book IV. Books II and III each have just one Psalm which speaks of Christ’s reign over the whole earth. That is good, but it is not adequate; hence we need all these nine Psalms grouped together as a section to show how God comes to reign over all the earth, over all peoples, to recover His legal rights over the earth.
We have seen that with all the Psalms there are five key words, the first on the negative side and the next four on the positive side: the law, Christ, the house, the city, and the earth. In Book I, Christ is revealed adequately. In Book I we also have the house to some extent, with but one verse concerning the city. Book II, however, reveals the house and the city in fullness, and at the end of this book, at its climax, we have the earth. In Book III there is a recovery, a restoration, of the house and the city which had been desolated. Consequently, in Book III we have again Christ, the house, the city, and the earth. However, in all these first three books the earth has not been covered adequately; so we need Book IV. The main part of Book IV is just for the earth. Book IV is the one book of the Psalms which concentrates on the earth. In this book, not much is said concerning Christ, not much regarding the house, very little concerning the city, but very much about the earth, about the reigning of Christ over all the earth to recover its title for God. It is tremendously meaningful. These Psalms of Book IV do mention something concerning Christ, the house, and the city, but here these are not the central point, the main subject. The main point is the recovery of the earth through the reign of Christ. So we see the good sequence of all these books.
Psalm 93 tells of Christ’s reign in majesty and strength: “The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved” (v. 1). In Psalm 94 He turns judgment to righteousness: “But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it” (v. 15). In the entire earth there is no judgment according to righteousness, but when Christ comes to reign, He will judge the earth in righteousness. He loves justice and establishes equity: “The king’s strength also loveth justice; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob” (Psa. 99:4). There is no country upon this earth in which there is real justice and equity. I have traveled widely throughout the world, and wherever I have gone I have found no justice or equity. I could tell many stories to bear this out. But praise Him, when He returns, He will love justice and establish equity. He is a great King above all, and all the earth and the sea belong to Him: “For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land” (Psa. 95:3-5). He will reign at His second coming to judge the world with righteousness and faithfulness; the world will be established; and all things will be joyful, rejoice, and sing praise to Him—Psalm 96:10-13; 97:1; 98:4-9; 96:1-4. All the ends of the earth have seen His salvation; all the people see His glory; all the angels worship Him (Heb. 1:6); and He is exalted above all—Psalm 98:3; 97:6-7, 9.
CHRIST’S REIGN IS IN AND THROUGH THE HOUSE AND THE CITY
These nine Psalms show that Christ’s reigning is in and through the house and the city of God. This is indicated by a number of verses: (1) Holiness is becoming to the house of God—Psalm 93:5. (2) The strength and beauty of Christ are in the sanctuary, and people must give Him glory and come into the courts of God with an offering to worship Him—Psalm 96:6, 8, 9. (3) Christ reigns and is great in Zion; He is high above all the peoples, and the peoples exalt and worship Him in the holy hill of God—Psalm 99:1-2, 9. So, you see, the holy hill of God is really the beachhead to which Christ will return and from which He will reign over the whole earth. (4) All the earth must enter into the gates of God with thanksgiving and into the courts of God with praise to serve Christ—Psalm 100:1-4. (5) All the wicked will be cut off from the city of God—Psalm 101:8.
If you read all these Psalms and pray-read all these verses, you will recognize the main point. It is that God is coming to reign in Christ to recover His legal right in the whole earth for the fulfillment of His eternal plan. Now we have come to the consummation. We have seen Christ revealed as the King; we have had the house established and the city built up; now we have the entire earth under God’s title, with the reigning of Christ in His house and in His city. It is unspeakably marvelous!
(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)