Great Company

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Friday, June 26, 2015
(Psalm 68:11) The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Israel's sweet psalmist, David (2SAM 23:1), in this psalm glorifies God for His great doings for His people, with His people and against the enemies of His people while dipping his pen also in the inkwell of Messiah's kingdom which should come: the Spirit-filled N.T. gospel church (Paul cites PSA 68:18 when he writes about the gifts of teaching ministries in the church, EPH 4:8-12). This psalm opens with the battle anthem of the ark of the covenant (PSA 68:1-2 c/w NUM 10:35) in which ark was housed the word of God (HEB 9:4). The ark was a type of Jesus Christ “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (COL 2:3), through Whom believers “...are more than conquerors” (ROM 8:37) and by faith in His word overcome (1JO 5:4). Of those things which God had done for Israel, David here emphasizes the giving of God's word. God's written revelation was for centuries Israel's unique inheritance: “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation...” (PSA 147:19-20). Paul declares that God's revelation was Israel's chief advantage (ROM 3:1-2). That which was once a peculiar treasure of Israel is now God's great gift to men in general, “...made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (ROM 16:25-26). It is more desirable than gold (PSA 19:7-10) and an incomparable possession (PRO 3:13-15). “The Lord gave the word...” We may take comfort in the knowledge that the word was not the product of human philosophy (the snares of which we are warned against, COL 2:8). It was not “...enticing words of man's wisdom...” (1CO 2:4), the collective observations of men of science whose conclusions are often revised and so provide no sure foundation. As Paul said of his gospel, “...I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (GAL 1:12). God gave the word: “...holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2PE 1:21). David elsewhere wrote, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2SAM 23:2) and his tongue was “...the pen of a ready writer” (PSA 45:1). All Scripture is given by inspiration (2TI 3:16), not the inspiration of a songster, poet or playwright whose focused natural talent is just that: natural. The inspiration of Scripture was by the sovereign power of God revealing His mind to and through His chosen vessels: the prophets and prophetesses whose natural abilities could never account for the revelation since “...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God..." (1CO 2:14). “...great was the company of those that published it.” David was definitely not speaking of Zondervan, the publishing company that produced the error-laced, sodomite-friendly New International Version and copyrighted it to guarantee revenue. Rather, company simply means “companionship, fellowship, society” and publish means “to make public or generally known.” God has an “...innumerable company of angels” (HEB 12:22) and the giving of the Law at Sinai was “ the disposition of angels...” (ACT 7:53) thronging around the Lord where Moses received the Law: “even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai...” (PSA 68:17). That Old Testament “...was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator” (GAL 3:19) and “...the word spoken by angels was stedfast...” (HEB 2:2). The host of heaven was integrally used of God to deliver His word to men. “...great was the company of those that published it.” From the first prophet, righteous Abel (LUK 11:50-51) whose prophecy on earth was ended by violence but whose witness continues (he being dead yet speaketh, HEB 11:4), unto John the beloved apostle who closed out the revelation while opening a door to coming glory, God's elect have had great company. There was Enoch, of whose inspired prophecy we know little (JUDE 1:14), yet whose life was so pleasing to God that he was translated that he should not see death (HEB 11:5). There was Moses the man of God, who delivered the Law Covenant to Israel and who penned no less than five books of Scripture. There was Joshua who assumed Moses' station and spirit, whose ministry showed us the great truth that Jesus (Joshua is spelled Jesus in the N.T.) brings God's people into their promised inheritance, not Moses (ACT 7:45 c/w ROM 8:3). There was Samuel who anointed David, David who wrote many psalms, Solomon whose proverbs were by the thousands (1KI 4:32), Isaiah who spoke so much of Christ that his book is virtually a N.T. gospel in the rough (as Paul noted in ROM 10:15-21). And the list goes on, for the company that published God's word ends not with slain Zacharias (LUK 11:51), nor with Malachi but runs through the very King of kings and Lord of lords, even Jesus Christ the incarnate Word of God (REV 19:13) Whose spirit of prophecy (REV 19:10) inspired eight writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, Jude and Paul. Were there not eight souls through whom God established a new world after Noah's flood (1PE 3:20)? So there are eight penmen through whom God by the Spirit established a new order with a New Testament, the publishing abroad of which “...turned the world upside down...” (ACT 17:6). Those who preach that gospel are also part of God's publishing company: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (ISA 52:7 c/w ROM 10:15). Early members of this group were the Levites who taught Israel God's Law, “...the good knowledge of the LORD...” (2CH 30:22; DEU 33:8-11); Paul speaks of the gospel being preached to Israel of old (HEB 4:2). Those who walk in the faith of that gospel have a share in the publishing of God's given word and not only by their oral witness. Their lives are a testimony to the world around them, an evident proof of the reality and power of God's word. As touching the gospel, Paul said to the converted Thessalonians, “ received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1TH 2:13). Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (MAT 5:16). By a godly lifestyle in accord with Scripture, believers publish (make public or generally known) the God-given word; they show their faith by their works (JAM 2:18). Remember, company means, “companionship, fellowship, society.” Involved in the publishing of God's word have been angels, prophets, apostles, preachers and believers. See their society summed up in this dialogue between John (an apostle, prophet and preacher) and a publishing angel: (REV 22:6) And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. (REV 22:7) Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (REV 22:8) And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. (REV 22:9) Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. Obedient believers (those which keep the sayings of this book) are in great company. They are part of that company. John's words (above) seem appropriate: worship God.

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The Cincinnati Church is an historic baptist church located in Cincinnati, OH.