October 28, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 116-118.
Background: Psalm 114-115.
Concepts and Connections.
The Lord delivers: This is a psalm of thanks to the Lord, acknowledging the Lord’s hearing and answering the prayers of the psalmist, delivering him from the snares of death and Sheol. The psalmist proclaims his love for the Lord from the beginning as the Lord has inclined His ear to him. Therefor he will continue to call on the Lord for mercy and perseverance. The psalmist puts forth the steadfast attributes of the Lord, His graciousness, righteousness and mercy, and implores his soul to return to the Lord. Paul cites verse 10 in II Corinthians 4:13 to teach that we should spread the gospel since we believe the gospel (“I believed, and so I spoke”). The psalmist goes on to worship the Lord for His deeds, noting that he will pay the vows made to Him. Then he says something that is very interesting, especially to see in the Old Testament where the concept of heaven is not well referenced- “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” This would imply that the psalmist knew there was something better waiting for the saints of God that is beyond this life. Thus, he gives himself to the Lord, offing a sacrifice of thanksgiving and calling on His name. Praise the Lord, and let us ever look to Him for our satisfaction and strength.
Praise the Lord, all nations: This is the shortest chapter in Scripture, but its meaning is vast. In itself, it is a psalm of praise to the Lord, calling all nations and peoples to praise Him for His steadfast love and faithfulness that endures forever. Note here, however, that it calls all nations and peoples to praise the Lord. Paul uses this psalm, in conjunction with others, to show that it was always the plan of God to bring the Gentiles into His kingdom, as they are called to praise Him here (see Romans 15:8-13). God’s plan of salvation through Christ was for all, just as the prophecies stated.
The steadfast love of the Lord: This is a psalm of thanksgiving to the Lord, shouting that His steadfast love endures forever. The psalmist calls Israel, the priests, and all who fear the Lord to repeat this openly. He puts his full trust in the Lord, taking refuge in Him, rather than in fallible men. When his enemies surrounded him, he cut them off in the name of the Lord, for the Lord was his help. Glad songs of salvation are sung of the Lord, for He is the psalmist’s strength. Though the Lord discipline him, he was not given to death, and the psalmist continues to tell of the deeds of the Lord. Then the psalmist beings a discussion of the righteousness of the Lord, noting that the righteous will enter through the gate of the Lord. Perhaps one of the most cited messianic prophecies is found in verse 22, speaking of the rejection of Christ amongst His own people, yet becoming the cornerstone of salvation, the head of the Kingdom (see Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:7, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, I Peter 2:4-7). Just a few verses later, another well known passage is found, calling us to rejoice in the day that the Lord has made. The psalmist ends with blessings, noting that it is blessed to come in the name of the Lord and that the Lord is God. He gives thanks to the Lord and extols Him, once again noting that the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-2.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.