Monday, August 08, 2011

Psalm 50

1 The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.
18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.
19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Key Verse:

5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

Key Observation:
We are to walk carefully, heeding our paths, for God knows our hearts.

Memory Verse:
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Matthew Henry has an interesting comment on this psalm. He says that one of the purposes of this psalm was: “As a prediction of the abolishing of the ceremonial law, and of the introducing of a spiritual way of worship in and by the kingdom of the Messiah, John 4:23, 24.” Now John 4:23, 24 says
:(NIV) Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.”
Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law, but rather to fulfill it. Matthew presents Jesus as the King of Israel, and particularly the early chapters of Matthew need to be examined through the lens of the audience. Who was the audience? Jesus was offering himself to the Jews as their king; it was a bonafide offer and it is plain according to these verses quoted by Henry that Jesus was preaching the good news of the kingdom. The kingdom was never offered to the gentiles, but it had great anticipation on the part of the Jews.

Interestingly when Jesus quotes from Isaiah 61 “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” he does not cite the second part of the verse—the most important part to many of the Jews during Biblical times. They expected a king and so they were looking for a king. It was a time like unto today—where there is considerable unrest, and tumultuous times—where people are fastened on signs and looking for a change—where people are begging for a leader to bring peace and prosperity. Many leaders had already simmered to the top of history, and Jews were anxiously examining each to see if they could possibly be the promised Messiah. Actually some of the leaders had examined the background of Jesus, and knowing their scriptures well, knew that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem. They, however did not do their background check of Jesus deeply enough, thinking that Jesus had come from Nazareth. Thus they said, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”

The next part of Isaiah 61, the part the Jews were anxious for, says: “and the day of vengeance of our God.” The Israelites, seeing the verse as one unit, figured that they were events that happened closely together, or almost simultaneously. They were not prepared for the “mystery kingdom” that has now endured for 2,000 years. I am surely glad that the Israelites turned away their king; for He went into the highways and biways, into the crooks and crags of all peoples everywhere, and invited all to partake of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. He found even me! “When nothing else could help, Love lifted me!”

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