The Step of Eternal Delight
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to Psalm 133:

Psalms 133

1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
2It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
3As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Now let us notice Psalm 134:

Psalms 134

1Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
2Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
3The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

You will recognize these two psalms as the last of fifteen psalms which we have grouped together for a special devotional study which we have referred to as the “Pilgrim's Staircase.”

The Top of the Staircase

With these two psalms, we reach the top of the staircase. You and I are not there yet. Maybe it will be just a step from here to there; it may be several steps yet. I don't know how long it will be until we stand at the top of the stairs, which I have been pleased to call the Landing of Eternal Delight.

Maybe the Lord will call some of us home by way of death. If that is true, those of us who have been so called will be able to stand on the Landing of Eternal Delight. It may be that our Lord will come before our next meeting. If that is true, everyone who has received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior will be able to stand together upon this Landing of Eternal Delight at the top of the staircase.

Temporal Delight

This word “delight” may sound a bit familiar to you. You may ask, “Didn't we stand on the Step of Delight somewhere along the staircase?” We did. We stood upon the Step of Delight on the third step of the staircase. Because of our distress we cried unto the Lord and He delivered us. We found ourselves with a new outlook. We found ourselves delighting to be with the people of God, and we foundd a delight in the person of God Himself.

Beloved, that was only a temporal thing. Even our delight in the person of God was a temporal thing. When we were first saved, we found we had a deep desire in our heart to read the Bible and to have a time of prayer and to think about the things of the Lord. That desire passed. Thank God that, just as the desire passed, the desire can be renewed. I'm so glad that we don't stay in that backslidden state. I'm glad that the Lord renews us.

The delight that we enjoyed on that particular step was only a temporal thing. The delight we are going to enjoy at the top of the staircase is an eternal thing. It is so lovingly expressed in the two psalms that we have just read, Psalm 133 and Psalm 134. I would like for us to examine these two psalms and see exactly what we are going to find at the top of the staircase when, in God's grace, we arrive.

Eternal Fellowship

The first thing that I would like to suggest is that we are going to find there an eternal fellowship. It is brought to our mind by what we read in verse 1 of Psalm 133:

Psalms 133

1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Notice the phrase “dwell together in unity.” Beloved, that is fellowship. I suggest to you its eternal character comes to my mind from the word “dwell” because the word “dwell” is a translation of the Hebrew word yashab , which means “to sit down,” “to continue,” “to remain,” or “to endure.”

Yes, when we get to the top of the staircase we are going to be able to sit down. There will be rest for the weary ones. We will be able to enjoy an everlasting and an enduring fellowship.

Seeing Things Alike

I use the word “fellowship” because of the word “unity” that we find in verse 1. This word “unity” is a translation of the Hebrew word yachad . The phrase “together in unity” is the translation of that one word. Also the English word “together” is a translation of this same Hebrew word, yachad . Someday we are all going to be together. We will all think alike then. We will all see things alike then. Won't it be wonderful?

We don't all see things alike now, and we never will while we are in this body. One of the glorious things that we know about this eternal fellowship is that we are going to be together eternally, and we are going to see things alike.

Good Fellowship

David, in contemplation of this everlasting fellowship, said two things about it. He said it would be good, and he said it would be pleasant. Notice again, please, verse 1:

Psalms 133

1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is good right here on this earth. It is pleasant for the brethren that dwell together in unity. That is why the Apostle Paul suggests to us in the Ephesian letter that we should endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace (Ephesians 4:3)

I don't suppose that we have ever noticed anything to equal the goodness and the pleasantness of this eternal fellowship of which I speak. This word “good” is a translation of the Hebrew word towb and one of the ways that it is translated in the Bible is by the English word “beautiful.” The story in which wed find the word used is not so good because it is related to lust and immorality. We find it in II Samuel, chapter 11, verse 1.

David went out on his rooftop and looked down toward the house of Uriah, and he saw the wife of Uriah bathing. The Scriptures say that David saw that she was beautiful to look upon, and that word “beautiful” is the translation of our same Hebrew word towb . God created beauty, even beautiful women, and there is no reason why we can't enjoy the beauty of them.

When David was thinking of a word that would describe adequately how good it would be when we all get to Heaven and see things alike, he said, “It's beautiful! It is the most beautiful thing that can meet your eye.”

Pleasant Fellowship

Did you notice he said it is not only good, but it is pleasant. The word “pleasant” is a translation of a Hebrew word which is translated a number of places in the Scriptures by the word “sweet” –sweet as opposed to bitter. Sweetness of honey, that's how pleasant it will be when the brethren dwell together in unity.

I discovered another meaning of this word also. It is used to describe the most harmonious note in all the musical scale. When you have reached the peak and you sit back thrilled at what is being accomplished, you have an illustration of what this eternal fellowship will be.

To Include Every Member

Every member of the body of Christ will be included in this eternal fellowship. That is brought to our mind by the illustration found in verse 2:

Psalms 133

2It is like the precious ointment this fellowship upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

This illustration may not mean very much to you; but if you are familiar with the ritual of the anointing of the high priest in the Old Testament, you have a perfect picture before you. The lesser priest, the Levites, were just sprinkled with the oil. When Aaron went in to minister in the Most Holy Place, the oil was poured upon his head. It ran down over his cheeks, down over his beard and down to his garment. It indicated that the priest of God was holy, set aside by the Holy Spirit of God.

I think that the reason David used this illustration was to remind us of the completeness of this fellowship. Just as certainly as this oil began at the head, which is representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, and enveloped the body, which is representative of the Church, so this fellowship will be a traditional thing.

We would remind you that the reason this eternal fellowship is possible is because of the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has made our peace with God and we don't need to make it.

Refreshing Fellowship

Now, let us look at verse 3 for another illustration as I tell you that David looked upon this eternal fellowship not only as being complete, but refreshing. He says in verse 3:

Psalms 133

3As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

You have to know a little bit about the area before you can appreciate this illustration. There was great Mount Hermon, greater than all the rest, snow-capped, with the lesser mountains down beneath. At certain seasons of the year the moisture that arose from Mount Hermon would descend upon the other mountains. It was their only Source of refreshment and strength. It was the only way they could be renewed day by day.

Eternal Life

I would remind you that at the top of the staircase we find the eternal fellowship which I have described for you. I would like for you to glance at the last part of verse 3 where we read:

Psalms 133

3…..for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

I want to remind you that at the top of the steps we will find not only eternal fellowship, but we will find eternal life. Oh yes, we have eternal life right now. We had it the very momment we received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are enjoying eternal life right now in a sense, but we are not enjoying it in any way in which we will enjoy it in the future.

As the Apostle Paul says in II Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 7, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels,” and sometimes the earthen vessels can keep us from enjoying the eternal life to its fullest. When we reach the top of the steps we are going to enjoy eternal life to its fullest. When we reach the top of the steps we are going to enjoy eternal life to its fullest degree.

Did you know that this is the first place in the Old Testament that eternal life is mentioned? There is only one other place it is mentioned in the Old Testament, and that is in the book of Daniel, chapter 12, verse 2.

I would remind you that this eternal life rests upon the Word of God. It doesn't have to be mentioned more than once. Notice that David said that the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. I'm so glad to know as I meditate upon this great truth that my hope of eternal life does not depend upon the way I climb the steps. It doesn't depend upon how well I do. It depends upon the Word of God, for God commanded eternal life. Nothing can break the command of God.

I also recognize something else about this eternal life. It is the greatest blessing we find at the top of the steps. Oh, it will be wonderful to see the Lord Jesus when we get to the top of the steps, won't it? It will be wonderful to see our loved ones. The greatest blessing, however, will be that we are even there.

Eternal Praise

Passing on to Psalm 134, I would like to look with you at the third thing that is found at the top of the staircase. For want of a better phrase I am calling it “eternal praise.” There is eternal fellowship, there is eternal life, and there is eternal praise. Notice the words of Psalm 134, verse 1:

Psalms 134

1Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
2Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
3The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

We will find eternal praise at the top of the staircase. As I read of it in Psalm 134, I am reminded that it is the supreme occupation of the redeemed. We have another illustration from the tabernacle which verifies it. Look at verse 1 again:

Psalms 134

1Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.

The various services were conducted in the tabernacle all during the day, but there were some of the family of the Levites who served at night. It was their business to see that the fire on the Altar of Burnt Offering never went out. It was their business to see that the fire on the Altar of Incense never burned low. That is a good illustration of nighttime praying. The Altar of Incense was a symbol of prayer. It was their job to see that the light of the candlestick never grew dim.

Our efforts at praising the Lord may be a bit inadequate on this sphere, but the inadequacies will be removed when we stand in the presence of the Lord. Throughout all eternity we will be able to perpetually praise the Lord.

The Lord Responds

Notice verse 3 of Psalm 134 again:

Psalms 134

3The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

Actually, what occurred here is that when the pilgrims approached the temple and stood upon the last fifteen steps, they cried out the first two verses of this psalm and the priest responded with the words of the last verse.

I would like to suggest to you that, in regard to this eternal praise, it is not only occupation on the part of the saints that is suggested, but its reciprocation on the part of God is concluded as well. The Lord responds to our blessing.

Turn, please, to Revelation, chapter 21, to notice an illustration of how the Lord will respond to our blessing. The Lord, in response to the last verse of Psalm 134, will bless you out of Zion. Notice, please, Revelation, chapter 21, verse 1:

Revelation 21

1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Notice the reciprocation now in verse 4:

Revelation 21

4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes…….

Let that thought sink in and realize what it will mean. That won't mean very much to you if you have never seen many tears. But if you have shed very many tears, it will mean a lot. The last tears that will be wiped away will be wiped away by God Himself. We continue reading now in verse 4:

Revelation 21

4……and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Do you know someone you love better than you love your own life and you have had to see them suffer, ache, and hurt? This is God's reciprocation. He will remove all pain.

Did you notice the phrase “for the former things are passed away?” There is something worse than physical pain, or at least as bad, and that is mental anguish. I believe that God had in mind mental anguish in this verse because He added “the former things are passed away.” We are not going to remember any of them. He will wipe them from our mind as He wipes the tears from our eyes.

Beloved, that is what we find at the top of the Pilgrim's Staircase: eternal fellowship, eternal life, and eternal praise. Personally, I can't get to the top too soon.


Home Contact Us Bible Studies Books King James
Abilene Bible Church Living Bible Studies
Dr. Daiqing Yuan Tim Temple Dr. Joe Temple
Some icons on this site used courtesy FatCow Web Hosting

www.livingbiblestudies.org