Sunday, June 15, 2008

Selected Psalms: 71 and 34

Psalm 71 may go with 70 and, if so, would be written by David; definitely written in later life.
  • Fortress imagery - common - we need God to be our refuge/deliverer. Hard in the U.S. to imagine the concept of invasion. Yet we don't know what will happen tomorrow. Take refuge therefore in the true God.
  • v. 2 - "In Your righteousness" - not only what He expects me to do (law), but also His grace to deliver me (gospel).
  • v. 3 - remind God about the promises He makes in His Word.
  • v. 9 - theme. Never desire to be without Christ.
  • v. 12 relates to 70:1. See Matins/Vespers liturgy.
  • v. 18 - our life's purpose is to proclaim God. The young should heed the old.
  • v. 20 points to the hope of resurrection. Religion ain't evolved! (Some liberal scholars claim that resurrection is a newfangled concept.)
Psalm 34 was written early in life. See 1 Samuel 21:10-15. Achish = Abimelech (one person can be referred to by several names. This is not a intra-Biblical contradiction.)
  • One of several acrostic poems (e.g. 119); this is much easier in Hebrew!
  • v. 1 - bless the LORD at all times. Prayer acronym: ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). See Philippians 4:6. Why? God's goodness to us and our ancestors began with Jesus Christ.
  • vv. 4-6 - He saves us from all our fears! Cry to Him and be heard.
  • v. 7 - "the Angel of the LORD" usually refers to Christ Himself.
  • vv. 8-14 - liturgically heavy. v. 8 - cf. Hebrews 6:5. vv. 9-10 - cf. Psalm 23. vv. 13-14 are practical and grounded thoroughly in the Word.
  • vv. 15-18 - the whole of God participates in our deliverance.
  • v. 19 - see Matthew 10:16-22. Christians will be afflicted.
  • v. 20 - prophecy about Christ.

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