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Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Stewardship of the Mystery # 45

The Heavenly Man As the Source and Sphere of Corporate Unity

Ephesians 4:1-16, 30-32; Psalm 133

Here we have a Psalm which, on the one hand, presents an imperfect or partial entering into the spirit of the blessing of which it speaks, and, on the other hand, a prophecy; a type and prophecy of the full blessing to come, and a present but imperfect enjoyment of the meaning of the blessing. As a type and prophecy of the full blessing to come, it indicates the basis of the blessing, and the wonderful beneficent elements of the blessing. Read the Psalm backward and you will notice at once see what the basis is: "... there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." Where was the blessing given? "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" - "there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." Between the first and the last verses the beneficent influence and effect of the blessing is seen, which blessing is based upon two things. One of these is brought to our notice in the preceding Psalm. You will recognize that these are "Psalms of Ascents." That, again, speaks of the partial enjoyment of the meaning of the blessing. The people are going up to Zion; they are in caravan, in procession, coming up from the distant parts with their eyes and their hearts all toward Zion in expectation, in hope; Zion the city of their solemnities; Zion the joy of all the earth; Zion the unifying center of all their life; Zion in the ways of which they were but which was also in their hearts as a way - " whose heart are the high ways to Zion" (Psalm 84:5).

The Unifying Center

Now you see Zion is there as a great unifying factor. People from all directions are coming in procession. Some have joined the caravan at various places as it has moved on from its most distant point, and they find that although they may never have met before on earth; although they may only just have come into touch with one another for the first time in their lives; although their paths may lie far apart in ordinary life, their sphere of life and service be divided and separate, Zion makes them a unity. Immediately the thoughts of Zion are in their hearts, immediately they think of Zion and move toward Zion, all scatteredness, separateness, divisiveness passes out, and they are as one man. Zion has unified them.

Now let us mark what is brought before us in Psalm one hundred and thirty-two.

"Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids; until I find out a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the Mighty One of Jacob ... Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place; Thou, and the ark of Thy strength ... This is My resting place for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread" (Psalm 132:3-8, 14, 15).

The first factor in the basis of the blessing is God's satisfaction, God finding His satisfaction: "Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place ..." Here we have the Lord coming to rest in His House. This is not to be interpreted mentally in a literal way. It is a case of the Lord having a ground of perfect satisfaction, the Lord having things according to His on mind, His own heart, the Lord just finding what He has been seeking all the time: "This is My resting place for ever ..." The Lord has been provided with that which answers to His own heart's desire, and it is therefore possible to say to Him, "Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place..."

David's concern was that the Lord should be satisfied first of all. You will notice from the passage we have quoted that he sets aside all that is his own. With David, the Lord takes first place!

~ Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 46)

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