EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. In these three verses we see the finders of the ark removing it to its appointed place, using a formula somewhat like to that used by Moses when he said, "Rise up, Lord", and again, "Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel." The ark had been long upon the move, and no fit place had been found for it in Canaan, but now devout men have prepared a temple, and they sing, Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. They hoped that now the covenant symbol had found a permanent abode -- a rest, and they trusted that Jehovah would now abide with it for ever. Vain would it be for the ark to be settled if the Lord did not continue with it, and perpetually shine forth from between the cherubim. Unless the Lord shall rest with us there is no rest for us; unless the ark of his strength abide with us we are ourselves without strength. The ark of the covenant is here mentioned by a name which it well deserved; for in its captivity it smote its captors, and broke their gods, and when it was brought back it guarded its own honour by the death of those who dared to treat it with disrespect. The power of God was thus connected with the sacred chest. Reverently, therefore, did Solomon pray concerning it as he besought the living God to consecrate the temple by his presence. It is the Lord and the covenant, or rather say the covenant Jehovah whose presence we desire in our assemblies, and this presence is the strength of his people. Oh that the Lord would indeed abide in all the churches, and cause his power to be revealed in Zion.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. Whenever the camp was about to move, Moses used the language found in the first part of this verse. "Arise (or rise up), O Jehovah." -- William Swan Plumer.
Verse 8. Thou, and the ark of thy strength. "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one" Hebrews 2:11 . Now Christ, our Great High Priest, is gone up into the holy resting place. Of him it is said, "Arise": for he arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. And to his "ark", the church, it is said, "Arise": because he lives, all in him shall live also. --Edward Simms, in "A Spiritual Commentary on the Book of Psalms", 1882.
Verse 8. The ark of thy strength. The historical records of the ark are numerous, and deeply interesting. Miracles were often wrought at its presence. At the passage of the Jordan, no sooner were the feet of the priests which bare this holy vessel dipped in the brim of the river, than the waters rose up upon an heap, and the people of God passed over on dry ground -- "clean over Jordan": Joshua 3:14-17 . At the siege of Jericho, the ark occupied a most prominent position in the daily procession of the tribes around the doomed city ... It was, however, captured by the Philistines, and Hophni and Phineas, Eli's wicked sons, in whose care it was placed, slain. Thus the Lord "delivered his strength into captivity and his glory into the enemy's hand": Psalms 78:61 . --Frank H. White, in "Christ in the Tabernacle", 1877.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The Presence of God desired --
- That it may be signally manifested: "Arise" and enter.
b) That it may be gracious: "Thou and the ark" -- that he may be present on the mercyseat.
c) That it may be felt: accompanied with power: "The ark of thy strength."
d) That it may be abiding: "Arise into thy rest."
- The reasons for this desire.
- With respect to the priests or ministers: "Let thy priests", etc.: not their own righteousness, but as a clothing: let them speak of "garments of salvation" and "robes of righteousness."
b) With respect to the worshippers: "And let thy saints", etc. Let ministers preach the gift of righteousness; not that which grows out of man's nature, but that which is "unto all and upon all them that believe", and saints will shout for joy. --G. R.