Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It's an art gallery
Since we ended with the picture of a shepherd and start the next with the same, some think this Psalm is a natural continuation of the previous,
some saying it's one long psalm
with the same lament
over Captivity.
"Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
Thou that leadest Joseph
like a flock."
Then our God of beauty paints another picture...
"Thou that dwellest between the cherubims shine forth."
"It was between the cherubim, over the cover of the ark, called the mercy-seat,
that the glory of the Lord, or symbol of the Divine presence, appeared.  It is on this account that the Lord  is often said to dwell between the cherubim.
(Adam Clarke)
A lovely rendition of longing...
"Shine forth.  Restore Thy worship;
and give us such evidences of Thy presence now, as our fathers had under the first tabernacle,
and afterwards in the temple built by Solomon."
(verse 3)
Then there is the perfect picture of sorrow...
"Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears,
And Thou hast made them to drink tears in large measure."
(verse 5)
If you've ever experienced this in your life, you might park yourself on a bench in front of this image and ponder it awhile.  You're not the first, you won't be the last, we all will have our time coming in this ol'world of sorrows to sit ourselves down right here.
"O God of hosts, restore us,
And cause Thy face to shine upon us,
and we will be saved."
(verse 7)

This next image is exquisitely displayed...
Next is "a most elegant metaphor," a picture of a vine plucked out of Egypt and planted in a "better and more favourable the land of Canaan, where they might grow, and flourish, and worship the true God.  When the husbandman has marked out a proper place for Instead his vineyard, he hews down, and roots up, all other threes; gathers out the stones, brambles, & that might choak the young vines, and prevent them from being fruitful.  So God cast out the Heathen nations from the land of Canaan, that His pure worship might be established, and that there might not remain there any incitements to idolatry...He caused the land to be divided by lot to the different tribes..."And didst cause it to take deep root...He established them in the land; and, by the ministry of the priests and prophets, did every thing necessary to make them morally fruitful...It is said that even ate, drank, and dwelt, under the shelter of their vines." (Adam Clarke)
"The vineyard which Thy right hand hath planted,
and the branch that Thou madest strong for Thyself."
(verse 15)


If you look at a vineyard, the branches stretch out and entwine with each other like a line of solidarity, like soldiers, row after row.  "She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river."  The Israelitish empire extended from the river Euphrates on the East to the Mediterranean Sea on the West, and from the same Euphrates on the North of the Promised Land to its farthest extent on the South...And this was according to the promises which God had made to the fathers." (Adam Clarke)  But then comes a different picture...

"The boar out of the wood doth waste it,
and the wild beast of the field doth devour it."
(verse 13)
"Why hast Thou broken down its hedges,
So that all who pass that way pick its fruit."
(verse 12)

Instead of being fenced properly, they have lost their protection, and Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon came who was "a fierce and cruel sovereign."    

It is time for the Calvary to arrive,

Jesus arrives in the picture...
"O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech Thee;
Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,
Even the shoot which Thy right hand has planted,
And on the Son whom Thou hast strengthened for Thyself...
Let Thy hand be upon the Man of Thy right hand,
Upon the Son of man whom
Thou didst make strong for Thyself."
(verses 14-15)

This is the first time that the name "Son of man" is used.

The last picture is a selfie...

"Then WE shall not turn back from Thee;
Revive US, and WE will call upon Thy name.
O Lord God of hosts, restore US;
Cause Thy face to shine upon US,
and WE will be saved.
(My capitalization)

May the Lord help our nation
from  what we have brought upon ourselves.



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