“Who is this King of Glory?
Yahweh, strong and heroic,
Yahweh, heroic in war!”
And we have finally arrived at the point of the psalm that we have been waiting for with anticipation. Who is this King of Glory? Indeed, it is Yahweh, God Almighty himself, it is God who will go up on our behalf—it is God who will enter into and stand triumphant over his enemies in the Holy Place—the temple of the Lord. How is this to be? Is not God not already in his holy place, for is it not his presence that makes it holy? Indeed, this psalm is looking forward to the time when Christ, God himself, the second member of the Holy Trinity, would take flesh to himself, identifying with us even on the deepest levels of our humanity, and ascend on our behalf, so that all those who are in him—who are his elect—might enter into God’s presence with him! Good news indeed! This is the best news! God has sent his Son, his Son has fulfilled the law for those who will put their faith in him, his Son has made satisfaction for our sins on the cross, his Son has risen from the grave and now has ascended to the throne of God, sitting down at the right hand of glory and having all things placed at his feet, and we know who this Son is—his name is Jesus! Oh, beloved, what a wonderful thing this is to know, that Jesus did for you what you could never hope to do for yourself, and he offers you a share in glory if you are resting your trust in Him as your Lord and Savior. Blessings, all blessings, pour down from God’s throne; yet all blessings shall count for naught, apart from the blessing of Christ alone.
The language of this passage is strongly militaristic, and we should not shy away from the imagery that is used. Yahweh is described as strong and heroic—the term rABGI (gibor) is used, which refers to one who is mighty and heroic in battle (see Nahum 2:3, 1 Samuel 17:51). Do not God’s enemies war against God’s people? Are these battles then not the Lord’s? And does God not bring the victory in battle for his glory and not for our own? Can we not say with King David that on this day, the battle belongs to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:46-47)? Beloved, it is not with spear or sword, armies or navies, or even through human ingenuity or intelligence that the battle is fought. Battles are not won by force of will, but they are won or lost by the hand of God! And our God is strong and mighty—heroic in facing his foes and conquering them. Our Lord, Jesus, did just this, conquering his foes upon the cross of Calvary—utterly crushing the power of sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). And it is this almighty, conquering King that has shown us his mercy by going up on our behalf and bringing forth the blessings of God to be poured out upon his people (John 7:37-39). Blessings, great blessings, found solely in Christ; God of all glory and power and wisdom and might!
There shall be showers of blessing,
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.