Tuesday, December 13, 2016
I will let you read this Psalm on your own...
"Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men..." (verse 1)
It was written by David describing the pursuit against his life by Saul, the evil man,
"who was full of envy, jealousy, and cruelty, against David, endeavoured by every means to destroy him. He and his courtiers form plots and cabals against (him). They employ their time in forging lies and calumnies against (him)...They hunted David as they would a dangerous wild beast: one while striving to pierce him with the spear, another to entangle him to their snares, so as to take and sacrifice him before the people, on pretence of his being an enemy of the state. (Adam Clarke)
"I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted
And justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name;
Since this is Advent, I'd like to hold this entire Psalm
up to Zacharias' Prophecy of Christ's coming...
"As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from old--
Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us..."
and Mary's Magnificat,
"He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
He has brought down ruler from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent away the rich empty-handed..."
So there you have it, a prophecy from an important priest and a teenage pregnant virgin,
echoing the words of David. Hmm.
Psalm 140:12 & 13
1. The cause of the afflicted
Then back to Zacharias' words in verses 74-75,
"To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
You see, there is a purpose for God coming to our rescue.
It is that we might serve Him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness.
This is the Westminster confession,
"The purpose of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."
This is thrilling good news that should send chills!
1. Serve without fear
2. In holiness and righteousness
After He rescues us from our enemies, God wants to grant us holiness and righteousness. There is no other way to enter into His presence without fear, to wear the wedding clothes necessary to accept the invitation to the banquet. This is how "The upright will dwell in Your presence." (Psalm 140:13)
The baby's mother's song was sung before He was born, full of prophecy. The evil Herod would lose his throne, the baby-killer himself, the one she and Joseph would flee from to Egypt. She and Joseph were poor and afflicted, hungry and humble. Her hope was for the Messiah to arrive and take over the government and come to the rescue as every Jew's dreamed.
Zacharias' prophecy was a little closer, that his child...
"will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
to give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace."
He was a little closer to the purpose of the Messiah:
"the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins,
So let that Sunrise from on high visit you and shine,
this little baby lying in the hay.
Did the glory of God still shine on his little face
As He entered into this world of woe?
One Christmas driving to Colorado in the snow, while going over a mountain pass in the early morning, I saw the Northern Lights with snow all around. We pulled over to take it all in. It wasn't a gaudy display, but a hint of the glory from above. To me it was an unforgettable sight not usually seen at such a lower latitude. It was like a gift of beauty. Perhaps it was a reminder, that such glory from above is not as far away as thought, that the glory came clear down to a manger in Bethlehem that day, the Sunrise from on high to visit and shine.
at 8:17 AM