We now come in our study to what is probably the most well-known and readily-quoted verse in Romans chapter 8: “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (28). This is near the top of the list, if not at the top, of passages to reach for in times of suffering and trials. But for the deepest comfort it must not sit in isolation from the following verses, because together they give us not only the purpose toward which “all things” are working, but an ironclad assurance of salvation for all who are “called according to his purpose.” Continue reading “Romans, Week 6”
Book three is sharply different from the 2 books that precede it. It is much shorter with only 17 psalms as compared to 41 in Book One and 31 in Book 2. Only one psalm is attributed to David. The dominant theme is “a crisis of faith for the people of God. That struggle is characteristic of fourteen of the seventeen psalms. Sometimes it is personal, but primarily related to the whole nation of Israel. The faith of Israel as individual believers and as a nation is represented by the monarchy. The crisis is centers on the apparent failure of God’s promise that David’s son would forever sit on his throne. There is also a sub them of the importance of the temple as the meeting place of God and his temple, and the tragedy of its destruction.
Asaph was a Levite who led one of the temple choirs (1 Chron. 15:19; 25:1-2). His name is identified (with Psalms 73-83; also Psalm 50). He either wrote these psalms, or his choir sang them, or later choirs in the tradition of Asaph sang them.
The psalmist became depressed when he contrasted the seeming prosperity of the wicked with the difficulties of living a righteous life. (Beginning in verse 15), however, his attitude changes completely. He looks at life from the perspective of being under the control of a sovereign, holy God, and concludes that it is the wicked, not the righteous, who have blundered. VV 1—15 show that the psalmist confusion and envy were leading him to bitterness.
Since David was a type or pattern of his greater descendant, Jesus, one can see all of the psalms as messianic. Paul taught “2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” This would mean that all the prayers and praises offered in the book of Psalms are consummated in God’s Son. Psalm 69 is easily seen as messianic as seven of its verses are quoted n the N T, making it the next most quoted psalm after 22 and 110. It relates to Christ in general and specifically in reference to his atoning death for sinners.
A word on Book Two
Recall that Book Two focuses on the king, his city, and his temple as doing His salvation work for the world to see. The blessing given to Israel is extended to the whole world. This could only be fulfilled in Christ.
This psalm presents elements of lament and praise. It is very pointed and vivid, as it shows suffering, praise, severe imprecations and anticipates Christ.
This psalm is a prayer of desperation. David realizes that because he is hated by others, he may shortly be killed. Though he begs for rescue, and calls down curses on his enemies, he concludes the psalm with a high note of praise, with inferences concerning the coming messianic kingdom when all enemies of God’s people are dealt with swiftly and severely (compare Rev. 2:27). Much of this psalm was applied to Christ by the New Testament writers.
Jesus quotes 69:4 and applies it to himself. Joh 15:25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
Verse 69:9 is directly applied to Jesus by the apostles. It was when he had thrown the shopkeepers out of the temple. This zeal spoken of here, is the keeping of the letter of the law. These people in authority in the temple, had been taught by Gamaliel. They knew the letter of the law; they did not know the lawgiver.
Joh 2:16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” Joh 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
David indicates 10-11that it was not the temple that annoyed the detractors but the religion practiced there. Salvation involves self-humiliation before God’s holiness along with the sacrificial blood of Christ. Joh 3:19
Ps 69:13-18 is a series of repeated cries for rescue.
- As the psalm develops he seems to be growing in confidence that the Lord will hear him and answer his prayers.
- We see how to respond when rejected by the world
→Imprecatory Prayers (IM’PRECATORY, a. Containing a prayer for evil to befall a person.)
Someone may suggest that whatever the use of the rest of the psalm may be to the Christian, the imprecations are foreign to us. Acts 1:20 quotes and applies Ps 69:25 to explain the loss of Judas.
Paul in Romans 11:9-10 quotes Psalm 69:22-23 to explain the loss of the non elect in Israel.
- We need to remember that imprecations apply to those who unrepentantly persevere in evil against God. They apply especially to those who have known the covenant of God and have knowingly rejected it.
God has promised judgement for those who are confirmed in sin: Heb 6:4 , 1 John 5:16 ,1 Co 16:22. If we diminish the necessity and righteousness of judgement, we will diminish the work of Christ on the Cross.
Having found salvation in God, David desires to please the Lord by offering him true and sincere worship: Psa 69:30-31.
The passage we studied last week, Romans 8:18-27, opens with a verse that always tugs at my heart, and often brings me to tears. Building on his previous thought, that we suffer with Christ in order to be glorified with him, Paul declares “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18). When Paul wrote this, he wasn’t making light of our present suffering. Paul knew what it was to suffer. When he wrote this, he was making much of the glory that is to come for all who are in Christ. This is even more evident in the parallel passage he wrote in 2 Corinthians:
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:17-18, emphasis mine.) Continue reading “Romans, Week 5”