January 27: Jesus, David’s Refuge

Read Psalm 16:1-11Acts 2:14-26

This psalm begins with expressions of devotion, which may be applied to Christ; but ends with such confidence of a resurrection, as must be applied to Christ, and to him only. Matthew Henry

When the Holy Spirit filled Peter and the other disciples that day in Jerusalem while Jews from all over the known world celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, He shined a whole new light on this Messianic Psalm, the glimpse of Jesus that God gave us through David in Psalm 16.

When Scripture interprets Scripture, we can be certain the interpretation is true. God gave David the foresight to write about the true path of life and to know that apart from Almighty God there is no good thing. He was the only portion David needed.

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life . . . (Ps. 16:8-11)

By the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter was able to explain the prophecy David delivered some 1000 years earlier.

Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. (Acts 2:29)

You see, through the Spirit of God, David had written about Jesus way back then, the only One who would conquer the grave.

But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised on oath he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. (Acts 2:29-31)

David’s passionate pursuit, his complete devotion was to Almighty God. Even then, as he ran from crazy King Saul, David knew that everything he needed for real life could only be found in God Himself. He knew God’s way was the only path of life.

That path of life is Jesus Christ the Messiah who would come to earth 1000 years later to go through hell and conquer death so you and I could know the path of life, too.

Jesus was David’s only refuge, and He is our only true refuge.

brw

Posted in Jesus in the OT, Psalms | Tagged

January 26: “The Lord said to my Lord”?

Read Psalm 110:1-7Mark 12:35-37Acts 2:32-37

As the second member of the Trinity, Jesus is God.  Being God, Jesus enjoys all of the amazing fullness of the Father and is one with the Father, and yet mysteriously is somehow separate from the Father in nature.  The oneness and separateness of the Godhead is on display in Psalm 110 as it begins in a somewhat confusing way. “The Lord says to my Lord”.  This is David, the king, writing, and who could be David’s Lord apart from God.  So when David writes “the Lord says to my Lord”, one is tempted to think there are two lords.  The mystery is solved when read in its original Hebrew.  The phrase reads “Jehovah says to my Adonai sit at my feet until I make your enemies a footstool.” Jehovah of course is God the Father, the great I Am.  Adonai translates as lord, master, sovereign, controller.  In essence, David is saying “Jehovah says to my master”.  But David had no earthly master, as king of Israel, he answered to no one but God.  David’s master could only be the Messiah.

We have established that the one David referred to as his Adonai is the Messiah, yet how do we know David is referring specifically to Jesus?  He didn’t use the name of Jesus, and of course he had never met Jesus.  We could claim divine inspiration because, in fact, David would have to be divinely inspired to discern the two members of the Trinity spoken of in the psalm.  Luckily this isn’t necessary as Jesus has answered the question for us.  In Mark 12:35-37 Jesus said that David was indeed inspired when he spoke the words in Psalm 110.  The scribes and Pharisees commonly taught that the Messiah would be the earthly son of David.  But Jesus asks them all, if the Messiah is David’s son, then why does he call him Lord?  Jesus’ question refers to the fact that, while He was a descendant of David through Mary, He was not David’s earthly son.  He was the son of God and as such David’s Lord!

Later, in one of the first sermons ever taught, Peter quotes Psalm 1 and reminds the people that even though David never ascended to heaven he saw that Jesus was at the right hand of God and that He was indeed Messiah.

ejt (Written by Ed Tirakis

Posted in Jesus in the OT, Psalms

January 25: Jesus in Psalm 22

Read Psalm 22

Did you notice the superscript of the Psalm you just read?  These words were designed to be sung to the tune of an existing tune of the day…“The Doe of the Morning.”  After reading the Psalm, you might conclude that the “doe” was none other than Bambi’s mother!

OK, I’ll admit that was a poor joke.  Nevertheless, there is no avoiding the fact that David as the author was experiencing life-threatening opposition and sensed anything but the presence of the Lord.  But these words also comprise a “Messianic Psalm” that points to parallels in the life of Jesus.

Join me as we worshipfully approach the sacred ground of the cross at Golgotha by appreciating words that David wrote even hundreds of years prior to Christ.

They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”  (v. 18)  Our Savior was stripped and humiliated while others sought personal gain!

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (v. 1a)  Those desperate words from Christ’s lips describe the reality of His separation from the Father as He bore the punishment demanded by your sin.

All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: ‘He trusts the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.  Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.’” (vv. 7, 8)  Those godless words from soldiers, spectators, and a criminal next to Him must have sliced through our Lord the way the sword would later pierce His lifeless body!

My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death…they have pierced my hands and my feet…I can count all my bones.”  (vv. 15, 16, 17)  Experts say that crucifixion is among the most excruciating forms of execution.

These words paint a horrible picture of what our Lord endured.  But don’t lose sight of why He endured all of that.  Don’t lose sight and what His suffering made possible.  It was right-standing with God!  “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  (Rom. 3:23, 24)  Thank you, Jesus!

sbk

Posted in Jesus in the OT | Tagged

January 24: Jesus in Psalm 69

Read Psalm 69:1-36

The 150 psalms comprising the book of Psalms of the Old Testament are often categorized into different types according to the theme and tenor of the writing.  Psalm 69 is somewhat unique in that it incorporates aspects of many of these different types.

  • Lament- David endured human opposition as illustrated by scorn, shame, and disgrace (vv. 7, 19)!  There was no one in his life expressing sympathy and comfort (v. 20).  He felt helpless (v. 20) and worn out in his attempts to call upon God for help (v. 3).
  • Penitential- David is not afraid to admit that there was something in his life the he described as “folly” and that he was “guilty” (v. 5).  As a result, God had apparently “wounded” and “hurt” him through divine discipline (v. 26).
  • Acrostic- Some commentaries describe the Psalm as being comprised of 44 statements arranged in a “double blank alphabet acrostic” form.  Sounds technical, but there are some acrostic parallels in these verses!
  • Imprecatory- His enemies “hated him without reason” and sought “to destroy” him (v. 4).  They “scorned, disgraced, and shamed” him (v. 19).  If you have ever felt intense hatred like that, you can likely understand why David candidly prayed that his opponents might experience God’s wrath and retribution and not His salvation (vv. 22, 23, 27, 28).

But we must keep in mind that the Psalm is not only about David, his experiences and his writing style.  Psalm 69 also contains “Messianic” elements that enable us to see Jesus in the Old Testament.  Here are just a few:

  • The Psalm describes “those who hate me without reason” (v. 4). That is a great description of those who opposed the sinless Son of God.
  • The disciples later connected the line “zeal for your house consumes me” with Christ’s action of cleansing the temple (v. 9; cf. Jn. 2:17).
  • The fact that they gave Jesus vinegar (Jn. 19:29, 30) while on the cross was a fulfillment of verse 21.

Indeed, Jesus came to fulfill all that the Old Testament said about Him.  He will neither default on even one of His promises nor fail to fulfill a single prophecy.

sbk

Posted in Jesus in the OT, Psalms

January 23: Jesus and the Majesty of God

Read Psalm 8:1-9

The opening and closing lines of Psalm 8 draw attention to the majesty of God:  “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”  (vv. 1, 9)  Indeed, His name, indicative of all that He is, depicts majesty and magnificence!  That magnificence is portrayed in some spectacular and unexpected ways in the verses between.

  1. Children and infants are able to recognize and extol God and His greatness, while others choose not to (v. 2)! Isn’t it amazing that Jesus took time for children, that He applauded childlike faith, and that children were among those shouting “Hosanna” as Christ entered Jerusalem?  Even in our own church life, nearly 600 children used amazing excitement to demonstrate his greatness on every day of Vacation Bible School Meanwhile, many who are deemed “wise” or “successful” in this world are enemies of God!
  2. Amidst the vastness of the stellar creation, God has placed His love on tiny and seemingly insignificant humans (vv. 3, 4)! As David looked out over the night sky, he saw distances that science has only recently uncovered.  Light travels at 186,000 miles/hour.  Nevertheless, it takes more than 8 minutes for sunlight to reach the earth.  And it takes more than 4 years for light from the next nearest star to reach your eyes!  In spite of that vastness, God has chosen to place His love on mankind!  He is magnificent.
  3. Man’s position in the world also points to God’s magnificence (vv. 5-8)! Mankind is a bit lower than angels and yet positioned above the rest of creation.  We have been created in His image.  God chose to reflect his own sovereignty in us by giving man dominion over the animal world!

But through Psalm 8, we also see Jesus once again in the Old Testament.  You see, the author of Hebrews also cites verse 4-6 and applies them, in part, to the Son of God (Hebrews 2:5-9).  The humility of Christ in becoming man is unimaginable.  But that humility gave way to glory.  One day, He will reign visibly and perfectly over everyone and everything!

God is majestic!  Pause for a few moments and consider those great realities as you read Psalm 8 again!

sbk

Posted in Jesus in the OT, Psalms

January 22: Jesus and the Promise to David

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-29

David purposed to build a temple.  He recognized the wonderful blessings he had received from his Heavenly Father.  This temple would serve as an ornate and permanent “dwelling place” for God.  For centuries, “God’s house” had been a portable, makeshift pavilion made of sticks and canvas.  In David’s mind, it was somehow inequitable and unthinkable that he, as the king, should enjoy a beautiful palace while the King of the Universe should “inhabit” an “easy-up tent.”

But God had other plans.  David would not build a house for Him.  No, his son, Solomon, would construct it.

But this chapter also points to the house that God would build for David (vv. 11b-13).  This house was much more than a physical dwelling place or shelter.  This “house” would neither be built by nor even fulfilled in Solomon.  It was a permanent reign and rule that was to be established by one of David’s future descendants.

Of course, Jesus was the fulfillment of this promise.  He was the house and the ruler of the kingdom mentioned here.  If you look carefully at David’s offspring, you discover that Jesus was the person spoken of by God in this Old Testament passage (Lk. 1:30-33).  Centuries later, He came as a descendant of David in both the lineage through His mother, Mary (Lk. 3:31), and His “earthly father,” Joseph (Matt. 1:6).

From eternity past, you see, God the Father has been leaving a trail pointing us to our need for and His provision of His Son.  Today, we are blessed to live at a time on the other side of the Savior’s first coming.  You are likely fully aware, that His current kingdom is one reflected in the surrender of the hearts of His followers.   But at His second coming the full gamut of the eternal kingdom mentioned in 2 Samuel will be experienced.  The day will come when Jesus will return to the earth.  Once here, He will rule forever.

While you and I pray today for our nation and for our world, we must understand that complete and lasting morality and justice will only be realized when Jesus, the King, reigns!

sbk

Posted in 2 Samuel, Jesus in the OT

January 21: Samson Foreshadows Jesus

Read Judges 13; 16:23-31

Almighty God intervened on behalf of His people throughout the book of Judges. He raised up Israelites leaders to rescue them from the bondage of their enemies.

Samson was one of those leaders.

Announced by the angel of the Lord, Samson’s birth was a miracle of great proportions. His mother was barren. Jesus’ birth was pre-announced too, by God’s angel Gabriel. And, although Mary’s young womb was virgin for a much different reason, neither Mrs. Manoah nor Mary conceived without the personal work of God’s intervening hand.

But the foreshadowing of things to come, the glimpses of Jesus the Messiah Who would eventually come to earth on the biggest rescue mission ever, didn’t stop with the prophecy of Samson’s birth.

Samson’s had one mission in life. To begin to deliver Israel from oppression. (See verse Judges 13:5.) Jesus’ mission was to finish that deliverance.

If you know anything at all about Samson’s life, you know him as a prideful, selfish man who did not follow God’s ways. It seems difficult to see the Jesus-glimpse that God wanted to give us through him. Still, even as messed up as Samson was, God fulfilled His plan to rescue His children from their enemy.

Yours and my enemy is sin. Death. We are slaves to them without God’s intervening. But Jesus Christ conquered that enemy when He came to earth and gave His life on our behalf so we could live.

It’s a crazy foreshadowing that God would use Samson the messed-up man in much the same way.

You see, when all was said and done, God used Samson’s death to rescue Israel from the Philistines. Just like God rescued you and me from our enemy, sin and death, through the death of Jesus Christ His Son, Samson gave his life so his nation could go free.

So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. (Judges 15:30)

Samson’s story is hard for me. Because it’s hard to find redemption inside all that he did wrong. But God provided the redemption for Samson’s story when He saw Samson’s humble and repentant heart and used him to rescue His people.

And just like He did with Samson, God can redeem yours and my stories too. If we humbly repent and let Him be the Lord of our lives.

brw

 

 

Posted in Jesus in the OT | Tagged