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"Happy the people that fare thus!
people whose God is Jehovah."—Psalm 144:15 .
AT the time God accepted Israel to be his people he entered into a Covenant or agreement with them. He gave them the Law, represented in the Ten Commandments, as the basis of the Covenant which Moses mediated. Israel agreed to be faithful to God, and to keep those commandments perfectly. And God agreed that in that event he would bless them. They should be his people and by doing the things contained in the Law should live everlastingly—not die. Not only so, but he promised to bless them in all the temporal affairs [R4768 : page 59] of life; in their homes, in their families, in their flocks and herds and fields they should be prospered.
Israel failed to get these blessings, for the same reason that any other people would have failed; namely, because God's Law is perfect, the measure of a perfect man's ability: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, being and strength; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Hence, the Israelites continued to die, as their fathers had done, and as all mankind die—not being able to keep the Divine Law perfectly. For the same reason Israel experienced wars, famines, pestilences and drouths, in proportion as they were negligent of the terms of their Covenant.—Lev. 26:14-33.
In our lesson the Prophet David pictures the holy, happy, blessed nation of the Lord. It is a picture of the future and not of the past. It is an ideal picture. It will be realized when Messiah's Kingdom shall have been established amongst men—when Satan's power shall be restrained, when he shall be bound, when the blessings of Restitution shall have uplifted mankind from sin and degradation and shall have brought them back to the image and likeness of God lost in Eden, but re-acquired for our race through the sacrifice of our Lord on Calvary.
But that happy nation will acquire, additionally, a happy home and world-wide Paradise. Even human perfection would not bring happiness if cyclones, tornadoes, blizzards, tidal waves, earthquakes, famines and pestilences continued. Thank God, the Bible's assurances are that the blessing of the Lord shall be, not only upon mankind, but upon all their earthly home. The earth shall yield her increase. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad and blossom as the rose. The Lord will make his footstool glorious.—Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 11:9; 65:25; Ezek. 37; Isa. 35:1; 60:13.
Incidental to the blessed condition of the holy nation of the future, the Prophet mentions a deliverance from strange children: "Rid me and deliver me from the hands of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and whose right hand is the right hand of falsehood."—Psa. 144:11.
In the Church of the present Age there are some whom the Apostle styles "bastards," or strange children. All may make the same profession and confession, but "the Lord knoweth them that are his," and in his due time shall separate the false or strange children from the true and will glorify the saintly ones as members of the great Messiah, the Christ. Then will come the time for dealing with humanity in general—the time described in our text, when humanity in general, under the Messianic Kingdom, will be privileged to become the holy and happy people of God—when Satan and sin will be banished and righteousness and Truth will flourish and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the whole earth.
The great Messiah undertakes to be the world's Life-Giver, Father, Regenerator. All mankind will be awakened from the tomb and have the opportunity for regeneration and full attainment of human perfection and God-likeness. However, for quite a time there will be strange children amongst men—those who will experience the blessings of that glorious time without giving proper heart responses. Not until the world shall have been rid of these, by their dying the Second Death, will the fullness of happiness prevail amongst the children of men. With the wrong spirit they utter vanity, foolishness, and their right hand, their best powers, prove disloyal to the King of kings, of whom King David was merely a type.
"Then your sons will be like plants, grown up in their youth; your daughters like corner-pillars sculptured in the model of a palace." The grace and beauty of the children of Messiah, partakers of human Restitution blessings (Acts 3:19-21), will be marvelous. They will attain to more than Adamic perfection, for they will have an increase of knowledge.
Then the garners will be full, furnishing all manner of provisions. Then your sheep will bring forth thousands and tens of thousands in your open pastures. The earth shall yield her increase under the blessings of Messiah's Kingdom.
Then there will be no migration—no further seeking for better or more happifying conditions. Then there will be no complaining in our streets. Discontent is now rapidly increasing with every added blessing of our wonderful day. The difficulty lies in the fact that sin and selfishness are reigning in the hearts and minds of men. Under the wonderfully changed conditions of Messiah's Kingdom, peace, happiness, contentment will take the place of selfishness and discontent.
No wonder the Prophet declares that happy will be the people who fare thus—happy are the people whose God is Jehovah. We need to correct our ideas, our theologies. God does not acknowledge himself the God of the wicked and he declines to treat evil-doers except as rebels, aliens, foreigners, strangers, as respects his promises and favors. Our entire race was originally thus estranged. But Divine grace provided a "Savior and a great One." This Savior is already reconciling a saintly, [R4768 : page 60] faithful Church, who will be his associates in the Heavenly Kingdom. Shortly he will apply of the merit of his sacrifice on behalf of all mankind.
The Scriptures assure us that this will be fully acceptable to the Heavenly Father, who will enter into a New Covenant with Israel, of which Messiah will be the great Mediator, the antitype of Moses. (Jer. 31:31.) Under that New Covenant all mankind will be privileged and assisted to come back to Divine favor under the processes of Restitution, in connection with the judgments and disciplines of that Messianic Kingdom. The result of the thousand years of that reign of righteousness will be the development of mankind as one holy nation or people, whose happiness will be complete and everlasting. There shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying; for all the former things shall have passed away, and he upon the Throne shall have made all things new.—Rev. 21:1-5.