Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Psalm

Friedrich W. Krummacher, Friedrich Wilhelm Krummacher: An Autobiography, pp. 332-333 (from a sermon preached on January 1, 1868, eight days after the death of his wife):

What a lovely harmony of sweet music has echoed forth from the psalm which I have just read! [Ps. 23] It is a genuine New Year's psalm. Let us enter for a little into the region of its divine thoughts! The psalter was the prayer-book of Him who is our only consolation in life and in death, so long as He, the Son of Man, sojourned on this earth. It is David, from whose heart, enlightened and moved by the Spirit of God, this psalm welled forth; not David, the sunburnt shepherd-boy, amind his peaceful flocks of sheep and lambs, but the grey-haired old man amid the sorrows of life. He sang it when billows of affliction were rolling over his head. He realized as true the saying of the apostle, that "no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous." The sun of consolation may not be altogether set, shrouding the heart of the believer in total darkness, but yet it may only shine upon him through a veil of dark clouds. Joyful confidence may not be for the time present with us yet -- Oh, God is faithful!

David sang his song at a time when, after many conflicts and storms and trials, a period of rest, a time of quickening, was again granted to him. Then, he sang it, looking back at what he had experienced, to the praise of Him who in all his misery had not neglected him, and to the comfort of all his fellow-pilgrims on the narrow way. The Lord will not forsake them, as He had not forsaken him. We shall, in the course of our observations on this precious heart-effusion, simply consider the verses in succession. They are to me what the firmly-rooted stem, around which it twines, is to the ivy branch when the tempest blows. May they be helpful to you all in entering on and in passing through this new year in peace!

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