The last few days I have been making melody in my heart to the Lord with the words of an old song that I first heard many years ago at Brother Graham’s little Faith Tabernacle in Calgary.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound.
They shall walk, walk O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound!
The words are from Psalm 89:15.
Now, what is the joyful sound? The Hebrew word is teruwah, which means shout of joy or triumph, or the sound of a trumpet blast, whether of jubilee or alarm of war. In this song it is obviously the shout of joy and triumph, for Psalm 89 is about the eternal Throne of David, and is prophetic of Christ the Son of David ascending to the throne of Heaven. (What a triumph that is!) We find the same word in Psalm 47.5: “God is gone up (has ascended) with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.” It is also used of the great shout the people made when the ark came into the camp (1 Sam. 4.5) and later when David and all Israel brought the ark home to Zion (2 Sam. 6.15).
All this, of course, is prophetic. For you and I in new-covenant days, the joyful sound can only be the shout of triumph that accompanies the Glad Tidings of great joy—that the Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ, has triumphed over all His enemies and ours, and is seated on the highest throne in the universe with all power in heaven and earth. There’s a lot of bad news out there these days, but beloved, have we heard these tidings—this Good News? Do we know that Salvation has come—the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who has triumphed over the reign of sin and death in the family of man?
Wonderful—astounding—news! Oh, the Gospel that we have! It truly is the joyful sound! It is truly cause to shout and leap for joy! For, on the Cross of Calvary our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ stopped—yes, stopped—the invasion of sin and death into the family of man.
You say it doesn’t appear to be true? And that sin and death are on the rampage like never before? Then family of God (we who know the joyful sound) let us walk in the light of His shining countenance so that from our own faces there may be a shining forth of the truth of the Gospel in this dark world of ours!
For, that Jesus saved us from our sins, and from death the wages of sin, is only the beginning of the Glad Tidings. Our Salvation is not only salvation from something. He is salvation to something as well. Yes of course, you say, now we’ll go to Heaven when we die. True, but don’t sell yourself short. It is much more than that!
Saved by His Life?
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Rom. 5.10).
What is this—saved by His life? Yes, it is wonderful that our Saviour’s death justifies us and reconciles us to God. But His resurrection and ascension and the gift of His Spirit makes us a new creation now. Jesus told the disciples He would send them the Spirit when He went away, enjoining them to His own eternal life. “Because I live,” He promised, “ye shall live also,” (Jn. 14.19). Do we grasp this? He is alive with eternal life! “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him” (Rom. 6.9). Wonderful for Him, right? Yes, and wonderful for you and me also! For He says, “Because I live ye shall live also.” This is the power of His ascension life! And He is not talking about mere unending existence; He is talking about the Life over which sin and death have no dominion. Meaning that there is provision for us right here on earth to walk step by step in the Pathway of Life Himself… right through the valley of the shadow of death. It is a walk in the Spirit that is an outshining of the truth that, right here in this present evil world, sin and death no longer reign in those who are saved. The sorry picture is that all too often there is no apparent difference between those who are saved and those who are still captives to the law of sin and death. Why are we not more jealous for what is our own?
Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Rom. 6.4).
Newness of life! It is a walk in the light of His countenance—His face! It is new-covenant light; we are not governed by rule and regulation, statute and precept and ordinance, but by a Law of life. Meaning (let us understand this) those who walk in this light are no longer subject to the law of sin and death. They walk in the light of life. They are rebels, you might say: they refuse to obey the law of sin and death any more. They have heard and know the joyful sound; they have a different ruler now, and they walk in the light of His countenance…
…And therefore in their own faces they manifest His own Shining Face of victory, shining in the darkness of this world the light of life and love and joy and peace and hope and righteousness.
More next time.