Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Day that the Lord has Made. Psalm 118.

A major question in this Psalm is this: Who do you place your trust in? Is it the true God? Is it man? Or is it some abstraction of your mind? Let us explore Psalm 118 and see what it has to say.

Verses 1-7
The writer urges his audience to give thanks to the Lord. Why? because his lovingkindness endures forever. I have heard it said that his love is so great that simply love could not describe it; love had to be merged with kindness. Love has the ultimate best interest in mind, kindness looks more to the present state of things. But God love also considers the present state of affairs and affords some comfort to where one is right now. I love the progression of this passage. The writer targets Israel as the people of the promise. God's goodness to the nation as a whole is evident in the covenant made between Himself and the people. Then the writer targets the house of Aaron, the high priestly line. The family within the tribe, within the nation, within the World that God chose to be direct intercessors between the people and Himself. He urges them to give thanks for His goodness. They, of all people, should give most thanks for they have seen more of God's goodness. Finally, God targets those who fear Him. These are the culmination because not only have these people been shown great favor, but they understand the significance of this favor. There are those of the House of Israel who did not realize the favor God has shown them, so they do not fear the Lord. There are those of the House of Aaron who did not realize the favor God has shown to them, so they did not fear the Lord. But to those who realize God's favor--to whatever extent it has been revealed--those will recognize and give thanks. May we give thanks for the favor God has shown to us.

Verses 8-13
Here the writer turns his attention to mortals and declared how much greater it is to trust God than them. Again, he describes 3 forms of man. The first is simply the common man. This is any ordinary person, perhaps an equal. Perhaps one who is stronger or more noble. But to trust in a mere mortal is not as desirable as trusting in the Lord, for He is above man. The next form is of  prince. A nobleman. One who has authority over other men. One who can turn men towards or against another. This man is more to fear earthly-wise than the common man. But God still trumps the prince. In His eyes, the prince is still merely mortal, and the mere mortal is always below Him. The final form is of the mob. Scripture uses the term: Nations. While a prince may be feared, an angry mob the size of many nations is most frightfull. But God still reigns over them, and they are subject to His will. God's will is steady and sure. He will always cause things to turn out just right. So long as you are in His will, He will help you.

Verses 14-21
How do I know the writer is in God's will? Because of the next passage. Not only does the writer make it clear that he relies on the Lord, but he uses one specific word repeatedly: salvation. There are two things that occur when someone is saved. 1) The person realizes that they are in trouble. One must acknowledge the need for a savior before they can be saved. Even those who were unconscious when they were saved, by identifying themselves as saved from something they admit that they were helpless and 2) completely subject to the will and mercy of someone else. Not only subject to the will and mercy of another, but one who is in a much better situation than they are. One who is greater. The writer has just established the fact that his God is in a different league than all of mankind. He is the author's salvation. The author has submitted himself to his God's will. And that's a good place to be--though he had to endure discipline in the process.

Verses 22 & 23
These are the famous Messianic verses embedded in this passage. And, being a Christian, I cannot help but interpret the cornerstone as the only begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. And look at this situation as yet another example of misplaced trust. The Pharisees of the New Testament placed their hope in God. The God of wrath. The God of judgement. The God of the Law. Their view of God was one-dimensional. Their God was influenced by their theology. This is a very dangerous predicament to be found in becuase while they claimed to trust God, they trusted a false god and bypassed Christ, who is the true Messiah. They followed after their imagination of what God would be like and in the process they took God's true form and nailed it to a cross. But, in doing so Christ was exalted and now draws all men to Him. He came to the Jews, and as a result of His interaction with the Jews He was introduced to the entire world. It is a marvelous thing. His will truly is greater than our imagination. Let us always be mindful of that.

Verse 24
And now the text and title of this post. Now that we know the context, we can rejoice in the day the Lord has made. He made the literal day. We rejoice in His power over the entire natural realm because He is creator of all He made you alive in this day, because of His lovingkindness you are conscious to smell, see, taste, hear and feel. Because of His sacrifice this day can be truly enjoyed without fear of future judgement, because of our great salvation. We trust in the True God, the God of every day.

Verses 25-29
Notice the change in person that occurs in this last section. The author begins with the third person 'we' and ends with the first person 'I.' Here is the last person who has tasted and seen the Lord's goodness and feared Him. The writer personally owns God's salvation and praises Him with his lips. May we always do the same.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

Mailing List