March 4, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 24-26.
Background: Psalm 21-23.
Concepts and Connections.
The King of Glory: The 24th psalm has mainly one subject: the King of Glory. This phrase is repeated five times in the final stanza, as repetition is a common technique in Hebrew poetry, must like rhyme is a common technique used in English poetry. This psalm is a beautiful praise of the Almighty God, who is the supreme power. The earth and everything that is therein belongs to Him, for He created it. Who can stand before Him? Even in describing the holy and righteous man who could walk with the Lord, the description indicates the righteousness of the Lord Himself. The gates and the ancient doors are called upon to open as the King of Glory comes in, depicting the glorious return of a victorious King. The Lord of hosts, strong and mighty, is His name. Paul quotes the opening verse of this Psalm in I Corinthians 10:26, where he is instructing the Corinthian church to do all things for the glory of God, not allowing matters of what foods you can eat to become a point of contention, because the fullness of the earth belonged to God.
Looking to the Lord for instruction: What is lost in the english translation of this psalm is the type of poetry that is used within it. This psalm is an acrostic poem, meaning that each verse beings with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The psalmist here puts his full trust and guidance in the hands of the Lord, looking to Him to instruct his paths. In the first verse he lifts his soul to the Lord, and from that point on he trust in Him to instruct him. There is a prominent motif of a plea by the psalmist that the Lord forgive him of his sins, sometimes specifically the sins of his youth, for he recognizes that they are great in number. When you humble yourself before the holy and righteous Lord, you quickly realize where you stand in comparison, and this compels pleas of forgiveness. Fortunately, the Lord leads the humble into what is right, and He is just to pardon the sins of the repentant heart. Notice that the psalmist ask the Lord for guidance as opposed to seeking the wisdom of man. He says that the Lord is He who teaches the sinners His way. Though wise counsel is good and should be taken into consideration, we much remember who our ultimate authority and teaching must come from, and that is the Lord of hosts. If human counsel is in opposition to the word of God, then it is the word of God that should guide our steps, not human counsel. It is God who pardons iniquity and teaches the humble His way. Let us remember to whom we submit.
Vindication: In this psalm, the psalmist calls for vindication, or an acquittal from the Lord, from the very first verse. He goes cites why he believes he should be vindicated, claiming to have followed in the steps of the Lord and rejecting falsehood. He calls on the Lord to test his heart, to prove him, to try his heart and his mind, for he has walked in the way of the Lord without wavering. Do we have this confidence today? Would we ask God to test our hearts and our minds? The psalmist goes on to talk about how he has not continued in the counsel of falsehood, nor has he associated with hypocrites. He loves the house of the Lord, and proclaims His glory and thanksgiving aloud. The psalmist seems to live a life that is focused on God, not one where God is just mentioned here or there. The psalmist claims to walk the walk. He asks for redemption and says that he will praise the name of the Lord in the great assembly. Let us take the example of the psalmist and begin to live our lives for the glory of God, walking the Christian walk and not being Christians in word only. Then we can call for vindication; we can ask the Lord to test our hearts. We will stand before the Lord, washed clean in the blood of Christ (see Acts 22:16 and I John 1:5-10).
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 18-19.
Praise the King of Glory.