Saturday, September 5, 2015

Friday, 4 September 2015 Psalms 143-145; 2 Corinthians 13 ~ Elizabeth

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Psalms 143-145; 2 Corinthians 13

The original context of Psalm 143 is thought to be David’s desolation after being driven from his throne by his son Absalom. The last of the seven penitential psalms, it has historically been used in the Church during Lent. As Luther said, “Every psalm, all Scripture, calls to grace, extols grace, searches for Christ, and praises only God’s work, while rejecting all the works of man….The life of a saint is more a taking from God than a giving; more a desiring than a having; more a becoming pious than a being pious….Not on account of the work I do, but on account of the faith Thou givest me.” (AE 14:198) The psalmist pleas for God’s mercy, admitting that neither he nor anyone else can stand before God’s judgment. He trusts in God’s righteousness and in His name, not his own. This penitential psalm is a profound description of a repentant heart, which receives God’s grace. The psalmist, giving up on himself, trusts in God’s “steadfast love” (v. 8).

We are indeed like a breath, a shadow, before God. In our sins-such as our propensity for lying and swearing falsely, as mentioned in Psalm 144-we are God’s enemies. And yet, God shows us His favor, despite our insignificance, particularly through the Son of Man, the Son of David, Christ, our true King. In Psalm 145 we’re reminded that God is our King, and all generations and all the earth must hear about Him. He abounds in mercy, which extends to all His works. The Lord will draw near to those who fear Him (who have been broken by the Law). He drew near to us in Christ, our King. His Word resounds from generation to generation, bringing the kingdom of God to all the world and to us.

In our reading from 2 Corinthians the church in Corinth is reminded that if need be, Paul will bind sins and excommunicate the unrepentant on his next visit. Yet, he hopes examination of consciences will show the Corinthians that they hold the Lord’s doctrine and that they forsake the way of death to cling to the Lord of life. If Christ dwells in them, then Paul will come in gentleness, for the Gospel will hold sway. Confident that God’s Word will do its work, Paul utters no more stern demand or harsh rebuke. He moves through gentle appeal to end on a triumphant note. We should take our bearings from god’s good purpose and the communion of saints. The blessed Trinity is not dry theory but the God of love in whom we have life now and forever.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:Psalms 146-147; John 1:1-28

3 comments:

TammyIsBlessed said...

Psalm 143:6b my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

This one hits me more than the "as the deer pants for the water" verse. I can visual the desperation in this one. Parched land - the cracks of dry earth greedily absorbing the much needed rain. Do our souls thirst for God this way? Are we desperate for Him and the soul quenching living water that only He can provide?

Conrad said...

"On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate." Psalm 145:5

The glory of God is rooted in His very nature - majestic, awesome, holy. His glorious character is displayed in his active presence among His people. God reveals His glory through His works, and it is in those works that we discover and respond in awe to His splendor.

Am I responding in awe of His splendor? Do I spend enough time meditating on His wonderful works?

Pamela said...

This stood out for me too:
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

Sometimes we focus too much on the here and now that we don't realize how insignificant it is in the big picture.

and this:
13 This is the third time I am coming to you.

It made me think of when as a parent or a teacher I have to say "how many times have I told you?!!" and Paul's greeting also made me think of the earnestness of his pleas. Just as I want my students and my children to hear me the first time, Paul also wants his words to be heard too.