"Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces."—Psa_122:7.
The royal psalmist's devout attachment to God's house and ordinances—the interest he displayed—the influence he exerted—the prayers he presented—how worthy of our imitation! Notice,
I. The Blessings desired—
"Peace and prosperity."
The object of this prayer was Jerusalem, or rather God's holy Zion, the mount to which the tribes repaired, where God was feared, and loved, and praised. It was a striking type of the gospel church; its elevation, its royalty, its walls, its privileges, and its services, all pointed to the true Jerusalem, the New Testament Zion, and spiritual house of the Lord. The blessings so devoutly desired on her behalf are two:
"Peace be within thy walls." Peace is the opposite of confusion, hostility, and strife; it signifies quietness, tranquillity, harmony. See Psalms 133. Highly important in a national, domestic, or personal sense; equally so spiritually. Church has often been the seat of discord and contention. See this, at Rome—Rom_16:17; at Corinth—1Co_3:3.
"Prosperity within thy palaces." Prosperity is the church growing, advancing, increasing her friends, conquering her foes, progressing in light, and life, and glory; when the whole spiritual fraternity "are continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship," &c. Act_2:42-47. And when the Lord is adding to it such as shall be saved. Act_2:47.
Let us notice,
II. The evidence of their Possession.
When may the church be said to enjoy peace and prosperity?
1. When unity and love prevail within.
When they act and feel as members of one holy family—one soul, one spirit, one happy atmosphere which all breathe—one end pursued by the whole. Php_3:15-17.
2. When the ordinances are cheerfully and regularly attended.
When the holy tribes go up with joy to the house of the Lord—when God's courts are crowded with spiritual worshippers all engaged in the public services of the Most High—when all feel that it is God's banqueting house and the gate of heaven to the soul.
3. When the members of Zion are grow ing in knowledge and holiness.
Mind more luminous—heart softer and warmer—life consecrated—whole soul sings into more and more of the life and spirit of God.
4. When many are asking their way to Zion, with their faces thitherward.
When this man and that man are born there—stones dug out of nature's quarry, squared, polished, and made living stones in God's holy house—wanderers reclaimed—dying sinners snatched as brands from the burning—the Lord's arm made bare in the gracious subjugation of his enemies—multitudes flocking to her, as "clouds, or doves to their windows." Notice,
III. The means of their Promotion.
How is this peace and prosperity to be secured? The text furnishes an example: lot her friends say, "Peace be within thy walls," &c. Let them say it,
Let their words be words of peace and good-will; let the lip ever express a de sire for her true welfare.
2. Let it be the language of the heart Every power, and faculty, and feeling be identified with it, and consecrated to it Let the eye see for it, the ear hear for it, the heart beat for it, and the memory re member for it. Psa_137:5, Psa_137:6.
3. Let it be the language of the life.
We must embody our wishes in practice, in fervent prayer to God, in assiduous attention to our duties, in zealous efforts to extend her cords, and to bring strangers to dwell within her happy gates.
4. We must express the language of the text in the order it is placed before us.
First we must say, "Peace be within thy walls," and then, "Prosperity within thy palaces." The latter can only proceed from the former; no prosperity to God a vineyard unless the atmosphere be tranquil and serene. Storms of contention destroy the tender plants, and lay waste the garden of the Lord. Let peace be secured, and prosperity is certain.
How important that we possess the spirit of the text! How desirable, 1. On God's account; that his name may be magnified. 2. On the church's account; that her holy walls may be reared up. 3. On the sinner's account; that he may be attracted, and desire a name and place among the Lord's people. 4. On our own account; that we may enjoy the blessing of the Lord, "for they that love her shall prosper."