February 25, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 21-23.
Background: Psalm 18-20.
Concepts and Connections.
1. Rejoicing in the Lord: King David often writes psalms of praise when the Lord has delivered him from his enemies or out of a bad situation and he is apt to give all the gory to God. We know that David was a man after God’s own heart (see I Samuel 13:13-14 and Acts 13:22) and we can easily see in scripture that David seemed to have a spiritual connection to God that many of us would desire to have. This psalm of praise and rejoicing, however, is a bit different from the ones where David is praising God for delivering him from his enemies. In this psalm, David is praising God for all that He has given him, for blessing him and answering his prayers. Jesus makes similar statements to David’s here in that God will give to His people what they ask of Him (see Mark 11:24, John 11:22, 14:13, 15:7, 15:16 and 16:23). It is important to remember to praise God not only when He delivers you from trouble, but at all times. We have seen psalms of praise during times of deleverince, praise in the good times, and even praise in the bad times as Job demonstrates in Job 1:20-21. We should praise God at all times, for He is worthy to be praised.
2. Your sin will find you out: The second half of the psalm switches to the Lord’s action on His enemies. There is more praise to be said of the omniscience of God, and there is no hiding from His hand. The enemies of the Lord would be found out and they would not escape His wrath, try as they might. The Lord know’s all and no man can escape Him. Adam and Eve thought they could hide from God when they sinned (see Genesis 3:8-13), but they could not. We too can do no better at hiding. We need to realize that our sin, no matter how private it is, is not private from God, and it will find us out. Thank the Lord for His blessed gift of His son who’s blood has the power to cleanse us from these sins.
The psalm of the Messiah: This is perhaps the second best known Messianic prophecy found in the Old Testament, following Isaiah 53. The opening line of this Psalm, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?,” are the words on Jesus’ lips as He is crucified on the cruel tree (see Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34). These words would have immediately evoked the minds of many of the Jews to this psalm, as it was a well known psalm as well as a well known prophecy of the coming Christ. They likely were to have sung these very words in the temple. Jesus made it clear that He was the one that this psalm was referring to; He was the Christ. The imagery of this psalm is so vivid that it almost gives us more information about the crucifixion than the gospels do (though if we compare the history we know about crucifixion in the time of Jesus, it lines up very well with this psalm). We see here the same “suffering servant” that Isaiah talks about in the aforementioned passage. We see Him suffering cruel agony, being mocked and scorned, His dry thirst, out of joint bones, the accompaniment of evildoers and even the division and casting of lots for His clothing. It is fitting to read this psalm and then read the passages in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 and John 19. The fulfillment of the prophecy is quite stunning in detail. It should be noted that this psalm was around, verifiably so though archeology and secular history, long before the birth of Christ. Fulfilled Messianic prophecy is one of the best evidences to show that the bible is the word of God. But for the Jews, this psalm should have been on of the biggest indicators that Jesus was the Christ, especially after He said those shivering words. This psalm is truly a remarkable study, one that we might want to read on a regular basis.
Guided by the Lord: The 23rd Psalm is one of the most well known psalms, being on the lips and minds of so many people throughout the ages for various reasons. There have been many different musical renditions of these precious words and undoubtedly more to come as time rolls on. The psalm describes a total trust and dependance of the Lord, being lead fully by His guidance. The audience is the sheep that follows his Shepard, for the Shepard knows what is best for the sheep. The Shepard provides for the sheep with rest and nutrition, and protects the sheep wherever they go. There is nothing to fear, for the Lord is near; even in the very presence of enemies, the Lord is there to protect and deliver. Blessings, goodness and mercy follow the Shepard’s flock, for they follow the Almighty. Jesus seems to allude to this psalm in John 10:7-18 as He tells His disciples that He is the good Shepard. He fulfills the roles of the Shepard that are found in this psalm, and His sheep listen to His voice. He knows them all by name and He lays down His life for the sheep. The Lord is our Shepard indeed; Christ, the good Shepard. He will guide and protect us, for He has already given His life for us so that we might be made whole, sins removed to stand blameless on that great and fearful day before our God. Bless His name.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 15-17.
Glory to the King.