Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
From the perspective of this psalm we see that God, for some reason has poured out his wrath upon the psalmist. The sufferings culminate with the accusation to God in v10. Where is God in the midst of the frustration of our daily labors and how “under the sun” we find no hope because our bones are, “scorched like the hearth”(v3). God has held back his redemption and allowed the enemies to overrun his people.
The psalmist here, as we are to, calls out to the Lord in his time of suffering for the Lord to remove his wrath both inwardly, and outwardly. However in a more negative example blames God for his suffering, and is possibly complaining about the curse that is upon this world. But this is not the end for the psalmist praises the Lord for his work.
Looking forward the psalmist in v.12 shifts his gaze to the everlasting nature of God. He see’s an appointed time where God will redeem a people for himself from every tribe and nation that a “people yet created may praise the Lord”(v18) so that, “The nations will fear the name of the Lord”(v15). And that when Paul spoke of the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:6) so does the psalmist here in v.13 speak of a appointed time when God will endure forever. The horizon of this psalm and our life collide in the person and work of Christ.
Let us focus upon the last three verses(26-28), but turn If you turn to Hebrews chapter 1, in verse 3 we see that Christ has made “purification for sins” and is the final way that God has spoken to his people. And when he speaks of the superiority of the son in v.8 he then goes on to quote Ps 102:26-28 in Heb 1:10-12. Christ is the salvation that will not wear out. Everything will change but the salvation that remains secure in Christ will never fade away.
For us we can take comfort that no matter how beaten down we get at work or because of our families because life is hard. We have a salvation that is established, firm, and as heaven and earth pass away so the word of the Lord, Christ our King will never pass away.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
What grips the hearts of wounded soldiers in this psalm is the tension of personal battles and corporate battles. This is the tension that we all feel. The failures that gut us and the hopes that galvanize our souls for service. The personal battles and the communal battles split this psalm in half at v. 5 showing the dual nature of Christian responsibility. The unpredictable nature of battles are shot through with failure. Failures that we as individuals and a community must lament.
This psalm laments the delay of Gods judgment upon the wicked. Both, the temple of our bodies, and the temple of the church built with living stones lament. However; pilgrims, with lamentation comes joy in their journey they near the end. And with joy so the song. The psalm starts in lament, yet also in joy because of the loving-kindness of our God. Because of the faithfulness of Christ, we are now able to depart from sin.
The faithfulness of Christ is found in two areas as the kingship of David is shown in two areas in this psalm. It is both personal and communal. These two sections split the psalm in half at v.5. We know this because he moves from the first person to the third and begins to invoke his rule. The personal aspect first we see in verse one as a lamenting song of joy. Joy in what you ask? The loving-kindness of our God. Songs to who? Songs to our transcendent God who comes near in the immanent humanity of Christ. Keep in mind that this very verbal act of singing separates Gods people from the pagan hordes because we have a basis and a object to sing to out of a pure motive. The basis is the love of God. He calls, he gives, we receive, and thus we sing. The object of our song is not a separated mystical reality, or a narcissistic ‘Song of Myself’ by Mr. Whitman. But our song is to a God who acts in history, who moves the mountains, calms the sea, and radically divorces his people by the power of his voice from their sin through the pilgrimage of the exodus into the promised land. This is the object in this psalm and despite the overflow of wickedness in our world; it is cause for us to rejoice. Sing oh people of God, and sing with joy as the son of righteousness rises on the breath of your prayers and the preaching of his word.
But where then does the church sing? Two places, here and there. Here in the church, and there in heaven. We come and partake of heaven as we invoke the name of the Lord together with the psalmist, “O LORD”! Who has this privilege? None but the saints here and the saints there. The saints in this room and the saints in heaven who are our kin.
But now, back to our psalm, notice here another fact built upon the loving-kindness of our God. The psalmist walks in the integrity of his heart(v2). How? Is this not David the murderer? The adulterer? Yes it is but, because of the grace of God David sought the future grace in Christ and was given what he did not receive, a pardon. A pardon of a new heart. The old was ripped out and the new soldered in by the Holy Spirit.
The final section, 5-8, the king wields his zeal upon those who do not keep Gods law. The language is very brash for our modern tolerant age. But do not be afraid of these harsh ethical encounters such as: “I hate”, “I will destroy”, “to cut off”. We are not to fear these because they show us the ethics of the final judgment of God when Christ comes for war, for restitution, for final peace. It looks forward to this erasure of the curse. In a future hope he will violently remove the curse from this world. This was inaugurated in the coming of Christ.
What part do we play in this grand drama of redemption that is laid out before us? Let us grab and take hold of a threefold cord of application because it is not easily broken. First, we as Gods people have comfort now in the indicative of the Lords loving-kindness (v.1) bestowed upon us in Christ, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). While David was yet a sinner, Christ died for him, and so for us. We also can walk in “integrity of heart” in a world that is eroding away from the inside because Christ has made us alive through the resurrection power at work within us.
Second, our example here is to despise sin and love God and our neighbors. We can now, “set no worthless thing before our eyes”(v.3) but to “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Our example here is to buy for ourselves treasures that cannot rust by despising the glories of this world. By losing this world we gain the other.
Third, the hope for tomorrow is that this cursed world is being, “cut off from the city of the Lord” (v.8). Hope is heavenly Zion come upon us with the return of our Lord. Our weakness’s, failures, pains, hardships, and mishaps will all be gone and our faith will become sight.
So, beloved, pilgrims of the Lord, be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ today in the future hope of forest fire purity that comes with our lord as he rides upon the clouds.