by F.B. Meyer
LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? - Psalm 15:1
This holy soul was not content to stand in the outer court without the sacred tent; he coveted to enter where the High Priest entered, and to live there. It was impossible then; the way into the Holiest was not made manifest. No ordinary worshipper might pass the Veil, and the high priest who passed it once a year remained but a few moments.
How marvellously different our experience may be! We have boldness to enter into the holy place, and remain there, by the blood of Jesus; and, by the enablings of his Priesthood, we may spend our entire lives under the consciousness of the presence and favour of God. It is much like the servants of Solomon, to stand before our King, and to hear Him speaking, bidding us either to perform his errands, or fold the wings of activity in wrapt communion.
This is not your experience? Then look carefully through the conditions which this Psalm enumerates. Perhaps you are not transparently truthful; or your tongue is not carefully controlled; or you are not perfectly honourable in your business dealings; or you do not know the power of the blood of Christ, as it cleanses from dead works to serve the living God.
It is worth any sacrifice to maintain this habit of indwelling the Most Holy Place. Ask that it may become your second nature. The Lord Jesus will secure this, since He was appointed for us in things that pertain to God. Whenever anything in the inner life seems faulty and deficient, we may turn with unabated confidence to our High Priest, asking Him to adjust it, to bring us into the presence of God, and to keep us there.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell - Psalm 16:10
This hymn is for ever sacred because of its application by the Holy Ghost to our Saviour's resurrection (Acts 2.). It was as though our Lord had stayed his soul upon these words as He left this world and entered the unseen. The last words He uttered were of committal to his Father, and then He commenced to traverse the land of shadow, "He that ascended is He that first descended into the lower parts of the earth." The Apostle Peter says that He went to visit the spirits in prison. Whither He went is not material - it is enough for our purpose that He sang, as He went, this hymn of immortal hope. Sure that He was the Father's beloved, He knew that He would not be left in Hades, nor suffered to see corruption. He knew that there was a path of life somewhere, which God would show.
Whenever you are stepping down into the dark, unable to see a hand's breadth before you, and just letting the foot fall from step to step - it may be because of some act of obedience to conscience, or because you are called to enter the unknown and untried, or even death itself - cheer your heart with this holy Psalm. God will never desert the soul that absolutely honours and obeys Him. His way leads to the light through the dark, to the deathless through death, to the abounding fruit-bearing through desertion and loneliness. How lonely the vine-stock is through the winter! Follow Him, He will show.
"She is sinking very fast," whispered an attendant in the dying chamber of a godly woman. "No, no," was the quick response of the departing saint, who had overheard the words; "no; I am not sinking; I am in the arms of my Saviour."
I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake - Psalm 17:15
To a good man, then, this is the world of dream and shadow, and death is the awakening. We are like men asleep in some chamber that looks towards the eastern sky. Outside is the day with its revealing beams, but our heavy eyes are closed to it all. "Here and there, some lighter sleeper with thinner eyelids or face turned to the sun is half conscious of a vague brightness and feels the light, though he sees not the wealth of colour it reveals. Such souls are our saints and prophets; but most of us sleep on unconscious." But the moment is at hand when we shall awake and start up and declare ourselves fools for having counted dreams as realities, whilst we were oblivious to the eternal realities.
When we awake we shall behold the face of God. Likeness is properly "form," and is the same word employed in reference to Moses, who saw the similitude of the Lord. We shall see Him as He is. There will be an outward revelation and manifestation of his lovely and holy character, and it will satisfy us completely. "The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." And we shall be satisfied. The mind will be satisfied with his truth, the heart with his love, the will with his authority. We shall need nothing else. Heaven itself, with its outspread mystery of beauty, will not divert our gaze from God, nor contribute to our satisfaction. To know God, to stand before Him, to realize that we are accepted in the righteousness of the Well-beloved - this will be enough for evermore.
"This life's dream, an empty show;
But the bright world to which I go
Hath joys substantial and sincere;
When shall I wake, and find me there?"