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The Servant of Justice - Isaiah 42:1, 5-9

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.

Thus says God, the Lord,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
    I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
    a light for the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
    I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 42:1, 5-9

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 02:32 -- john_hendryx

Reason to Rejoice - Psalm 118

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Without notice of the context, this quote from Psalm 118 has come to mean something like, “God is our Creator. God is good. Life is good. Enjoy it.” All of this is true, in a sense. But in its context it really means so much more.

Psalm 118 is another Messianic psalm, which means it refers to the life and ministry of Christ. Verse 22 is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 21 in reference to the Pharisees’ rejection of Him as the Christ. They rejected Him, but He is the foundation, the standard of all that is straight and true for His people. Jesus continues, “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits (Matthew 21:43).” So rejecting Him forfeits our place in His kingdom, and we must bear fruit to confirm we are His.

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:42 -- john_hendryx

A Priest Forever - Psalm 119:4-7

4 The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

The Lord is at your right hand;
    he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
He will execute judgment among the nations,
    filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
    over the wide earth.
He will drink from the brook by the way;
    therefore he will lift up his head.

The biggest question for readers of this second half of Psalm 110 today may well be, “Who is Melchizedek?” As we saw in the earlier verses, this is a Messianic psalm, teaching us something about the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. It is the Messiah to come that the Lord appears to be addressing when He compares Him to Melchizedek, so the more we know about Melchizedek, the more we know about Jesus Christ.

Melchizedek first appears in Genesis. After a great battle with five kings, Abraham rescued his nephew, Lot, and many others who had been taken captive. Melchizedek, king of Salem (later, Jerusalem), and priest of God Most High, brought Abraham bread and wine and blessed him:

All we know about Melchizedek at this point is that his name means, “King of Righteousness,” and he is king of the city called, “Peace” (Hebrews 7). But how can he be the priest of God Most High centuries before God instructed Moses on Mt. Sinai about proper worship for God’s people? The writer to the book of Hebrews list additional mysteries about Melchizedek: “He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life (Hebrews 7:3).”

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:44 -- john_hendryx

David’s Lord - Psalm 110

1 The Lord says to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

The Lord sends forth from Zion
    your mighty scepter.
    Rule in the midst of your enemies!
Your people will offer themselves freely
    on the day of your power,
    in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
    the dew of your youth will be yours.

Psalm 110 is another messianic psalm, a psalm that teaches us about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus used this psalm Himself to teach about the identity of the Christ. The Pharisees knew that the coming Christ would be the son or descendant of David. And they were content with a human monarch, one who would be as great and victorious as David. But Jesus opened their eyes to something more.

What do you think about the Christ?” He asked. “Whose son is he?”
They said to him, “The son of David.”
He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?
45 If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:25 -- john_hendryx

The Response of the Redeemed - Psalm 22:22-31

22 I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
    and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred
    the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
    but has heard, when he cried to him.

25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
    May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
28 For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:55 -- john_hendryx

Deliver My Soul - Psalm 22:16-21

For dogs encompass me;16 a company of evildoers encircles me;they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—17 they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, 18 and for my clothing they cast lots.9 But you, O LORD, do not be far off O you my help, come quickly to my aid! 20Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

These verses from Psalm 22 clearly identify it as Messianic. The details given correspond directly to events of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which took place a thousand years after David wrote the psalm.Verse 16 says, “they have pierced my hands and fee,” which is consistent with Roman crucifixion,” and “I can count all of my bones,” may refer to the posture of the victim, with arms spread wide above the height of the shoulders, exposing the ribs. That the soldiers attending the execution would “divide [his] garments among them,” would in itself be a particular detail unique to Christ’s crucifixion, but verse 18 also says, “for my clothing they cast lots.” John 19:23-24 indicates that Jesus’s tunic was woven of one piece of fabric, so rather than tearing it, they cast lots. That both of these details correspond to the crucifixion of Jesus is remarkable. Fulfillment of prophecies like these confirm our belief and trust in both the Old Testament Scriptures and the gospels, and with the gospels their testimony to the person and work of Jesus.

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 13:12 -- john_hendryx

Rejected by Men, Remembered by God - Psalm 22:6-11

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
    let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
10 On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
11 Be not far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is none to help.

Psalm 22:6-11

Psalm 22 is not a cheerful, happy psalm. But ours is not always a cheerful, happy life, and it is encouraging to know that the Old Testament saints, and even Jesus Himself experienced the same rejection and alienation we sometimes suffer. Their words and their example teach us how to handle such circumstances, and give us hope when they happen to us, too.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:49 -- john_hendryx

Sensual vs. Scriptural - Psalm 22:1-5

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.  Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.  To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. Psalm 22:1-5

We live in a sensual generation in a sensual society. This is true not just for the hedonistic, “If it feels good, do it,” crowd. It is a logical result of a materialistic world and life view. If there is no God, no truth, only the material world we live in, we will certainly tend to be more strongly influenced our five senses and the tangible, material things that they can see, feel, hear, smell and taste. And following on this, we will be more strongly influenced by feelings and emotions than by abstract philosophical concepts like truth or justice or love or beauty. Feelings and emotions are not concrete, either , but they just happen to us without our conscious effort, and so in that sense they seem more real to the contemporary mind.

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 14:23 -- john_hendryx

Messianic Psalms - Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
    and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
    the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
    and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
    on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you.

Psalm 2:1-7

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:12 -- john_hendryx

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