I. BOOK TWO OF THE PSALMS UNVEILING
THE PSALMISTS’ INTENSIFIED ENJOYMENT
OF GOD IN HIS HOUSE, AND EVEN THE MORE
IN HIS CITY, THROUGH THE SUFFERING,
EXALTED, AND REIGNING CHRIST
Book One of the Psalms has turned the psalmists from the law to Christ, and Christ has brought them to the enjoyment of God in His house and in His city. We should come to God through Christ. Christ is the real stairway to God. Christ told us that He is the way. Thomas said, "Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?" (John 14:5). Then Jesus said, "I am the way" (v. 6). He is the real stairway to God.
Thus, Book One of the Psalms turned the psalmists to the right direction, to Christ. Then Christ brought them to the enjoyment of God in His house and in His city. I say this because of the first two verses of Book Two, which say, "As the hart pants/After the streams of water,/So my soul pants /For You, O God./My soul thirsts for God,/For the living God" (42:1-2). This is the enjoyment of God. Book Two begins with the direct enjoyment of God.
Book Two unveils the psalmists’ intensified enjoyment of God in His house, and even the more in His city, through the suffering, exalted, and reigning Christ. Book One does not speak of the enjoyment of God in the house of God and the city of God as strongly as Book Two does. We may say, in a sense, that God was homeless at the beginning of Book One. The law is not God’s home. Who is God’s home? We have seen that God’s home is firstly Christ as the tabernacle and the temple (John 1:14; 2:21). The first part of the New Testament, the Gospels, tells us clearly that God’s home was Christ. He was the tabernacle of God. Actually, this tabernacle was a portable home. Christ was God’s tabernacle, God’s tent, and also God’s temple.
Later, Christ became mingled with His believers, and His believers became His extension, His enlargement. Thus, the church is God’s home in the second step (Eph. 2:22). It is difficult to find a verse in Book One of the Psalms which speaks of the city of God. The city of God signifies God’s kingdom. Christ as the tabernacle of God eventually became a kingdom. Christ cannot be a king without a "dom." When the tabernacle becomes enlarged it becomes the temple, and the temple is the church (1 Cor. 3:16). The church is also the kingdom (Matt. 16:18-19; Rom. 14:17), the King with the "dom." The kingdom is signified in the Psalms by the city.
Zion was a peak of the mountain range on which the city of Jerusalem was built. Jerusalem was built on a mountain range, that mountain range had a high peak, and on top of that high peak was the temple. That high peak was called Zion. On Zion a temple was built, and the temple was God’s house. Around that temple was the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem as the city signifies God’s kingdom. In Book Two the psalmist begins to speak about the city. Thus, we have the enjoyment of God in His house and in His city.
The universal God is located in His house, His dwelling place. God’s house is both Christ as God’s tabernacle and temple and the church as the enlargement of Christ, the enlarged temple. On the one hand, God in Christ is our home, our dwelling place (Psa. 90:1), and on the other hand, we as the church are His home, His dwelling place. All the unbelieving sinners need to realize that because they are homeless, God is also homeless. When we believe in the Lord Jesus, we come back home. When we get into this home, into Christ, God is also home in us. When I was younger, we preached the gospel by telling the unbelievers that they were homeless, not having any rest. Because they are restless, homeless, God is also homeless. But when we believe in the Lord Jesus, we come back home. Then we are home, and God is also home. We are no longer restless and neither is God.
Many believed in the Lord through this kind of preaching. We should not just tell people that they are sinners and that Jesus died for them. Many people have heard this kind of word, and they are not open to receive it. They would be open, however, to realize that as human beings they are homeless apart from God. In Book Two of the Psalms, God is home. We enjoy God in His home. This means that we enjoy God in Christ and in the church. Ephesians 3:21 says that God is glorified in Christ and in the church. God is glorified in His house and in His city, in Christ and in the church.
The psalmists enjoyed God through the suffering, exalted, and reigning Christ. Such a Christ is the way for us sinners to enter into God. Now we enjoy God as our God in Christ as the home and in the church as the city. Our enjoyment of God is through a stairway, and this stairway is Christ—the suffering One, the exalted One, and the reigning One. In Book Two of the Psalms, Christ’s suffering, Christ’s being exalted, and Christ’s reigning are stressed.
(Life-Study of Psalms, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)