Jul 27, 2013

Psalm 69 twice over


-first through the eyes of Jesus, 
At the end of Jesus’ life, he was weary and his throat was parched on the cross. Verse 3 expresses this: “I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched.” He did have many enemies (verse 4a); verse 21 is also prophetic in a similar way: “They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.” An incredible line here is verse 4b,What I did not steal must I now restore?” Jesus paid for our sins even though he did not commit them and gave us blessings we did not deserve! Verses 7 and 8 also stand out because it was for the Father’s plan and glory that Jesus was treated this way: “For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons.” It caused him to have to experience the very human tragedy of alienation from friends and family. The prayer in 13-17 is amazing in that it was answered in the Resurrection - but not right away! Even the imprecatory part of this Psalm – which is quite substantial (verses 22-28) - will be answered in the final judgment when unrepentant sinners face God’s wrath. This psalm ends with a beautiful sacrifice of praise designed to please Yahweh no matter what. Read verses 30-31: “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.” Of course, the ultimate pleasing sacrifice to Yahweh was Jesus, the Holy One of Israel manifested in the flesh.

Then as one who is united to Christ. 

When I read verse 1-2 I can see my own life at times:Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.” I know Jesus experienced this kind of pain but in a grander way and it was not his doing. I can say, in the words of verse 5, O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.” And I wonder if, even though I am called in some way to emulate this, I wonder if I can honestly recite these lines (verses 9-11) in any meaningful way as if they are mine: “For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them.” However, I have said something like verse 13: “But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.” I will need to say it again, too. If I am a Christian and want to be like him, then I must live the closing words of verses 30-36. If I am in him then my life must be a praise song, my heart one of worship to him at all times. O, that I would please Him like his own Son! I know Jesus has done it on my behalf for my salvation … but I want to express my gratitude!

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