Sunday, November 19, 2017
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
These first verses of Psalm 102 show how bad things have gotten for the psalmist and his people. This scene is set most likely after Israel was in exile, after being defeated by her enemies. We would say the people have hit bottom and the only way to look is up.
Then we see a huge transition in the verses below that give him hope.
The psalmist says this about His God:
1. God is infinite and unchanging. Though circumstances change, God never does. Though the psalmist will wither like grass and fade like the shadow into the night, God can is unshakeable and he can hold on to and rely on Him.
2. God will show compassion and bring back favor to His people. There is time for discipline and a time for grace and restoration. Though sorrow may last for the night, God's joy comes in the morning.
3. God will rebuild Zion (Jerusalem) and appear in His glory. Ultimately the psalmist had faith that God would re-build the walls of Jerusalem. Why? Because God had promised this in the covenant he made with Abraham, and the promise he made with King David to have a king forever on the throne of Israel. Ultimately this was a prophecy about Jesus, the King of kings, who would re-build a New Jerusalem.
The psalmist gives us a good model for when we go through hard times. When our trials bring us to our knees, we can look up to our infinite God. Most of the things we go through are only for a season, and knowing that a time of favor is around the corner can give us hope! Finally, the greatest promise is that no matter what happens to us, God can use it to restore us and make us even stronger than before.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
As you might know, Martin Luther spent 1,000's of hours in the psalms, translating them into German. He also applied them as a model and prophesy for the future King, Jesus Christ. He says this about this psalm,
"I was startled to find that Martin Luther had done an exposition of the psalm that ran to eighty pages. The reason, I discovered, is that he was deeply concerned about civil government and wanted to expound the psalm as a listing of qualities toward which every Christian prince or magistrate should strive.” (James Montgomery Boice)
Fundamentally this is a psalm of living out the Christian life. We are saved by grace and God's mercy, which propels us to live a life set apart for God. Right and wrong is pretty clear, and leaders need to emulate it, and stay away from others who live contrary to God's plan of righteousness.
Pray that you might lead by example, starting in your home. Your influence will be in direct proportion to the type of life you lead. Pray for your leaders, that they might lead by example and not in name only.