Morning Light – September 23rd. 2016

ml_2016Today: [Psalm 145] Extolling the Virtue and Nature of God. Psalm 145 is unique in that it does not contain one request. It only praises God verse by verse – extolling Him as Lord and king come to earth. The teaching of Messiah is found throughout the Old Testament yet in Jesus’ time Moses was venerated more highly than the ephemeral expectation of a deliverer who was to come. This is why the Jews sought to crucify Jesus. Likewise today the personhood of Christ and the veracity of the word of God is held suspect every day in popular culture by many of the most conservative voices among us.
[Psa 145:1-21 KJV] 1 [[David’s [Psalm] of praise.]] I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. 2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. 3 Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness [is] unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. 5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. 6 And [men] shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. 7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. 8 The LORD [is] gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. 9 The LORD [is] good to all: and his tender mercies [are] over all his works.
This psalm is unique in that it does not make one request in prayer or petition to God. It is entirely praise and exultation of the faithfulness of the Father to move in David’s life. It is alphabetical in its arrangement letter by letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Jewish devotional sources encourage reading this psalm and reciting it aloud three times a day to assure one’s entrance into the world to come.
The first verse speaks of God as king. This is a reference to the Messiah and gives us the entire focus of the psalm. David is not extolling Moses or the prophets as the Jews in Jesus’ day might have done. Jewish leaders in the days of Jesus exalted Moses beyond any other figure in Jewish belief and because of that rejected Jesus as their God and their king. David is making the point that the king – the Messiah is not a creation of God but is in fact God Himself come in the flesh, born of Mary, crucified and rose again the third day.
David blesses the name of the king – the Messiah forever although His name, the name of the Messiah is hidden from him. The prophet Isaiah also sought after the name of the Messiah which was no doubt the speculation and desire of every Old Testament saint who longed for His appearing:
[Isa 9:6-7 KJV] 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
This is clearly the picture of God in the flesh born as a man, walking in power and authority of God in the earth. When invoke the name of Jesus we are not using it as an incantation or out of religious superstition. We use the name of Jesus as the gift of heaven to us. When we pray “in Jesus’ name…” at the end of our prayers we are in fact saying “in the name and authority of the name of Jesus I call it done…” We are holding God’s promise up to Him in a mirror. We are asking Him to move in our life not because of who we are or what we have done but because of who Jesus is and what He did on our behalf 2000 years ago. When we invoke the name of Jesus we are coming into agreement with the intercession that Hebrews tells us is ongoing by Jesus as the right hand of the Father.
10 All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. 11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; 12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. 13 Thy kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion [endureth] throughout all generations. 14 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all [those that be] bowed down. 15 The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. 16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD [is] righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. 18 The LORD [is] nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. 20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. 21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
Verse 10 says that all his works shall praise Him. We are one of those works. Paul stated the following in Ephesians:
[Eph 2:10 KJV] 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Every one of us has a certain character to our conversation and the things coming out of our mouth. The nature of our words going out is largely influenced by the meditations of our heart and the narrative going in, either the narrative of the world and what the world thinks or what God says in His word. In times when the world is pressing in upon the church not only to have its way but to demand that we abandon what it sees as our antiquated beliefs – that contrast between the narrative of the world and the narrative of faith begins to be even more stark.
Verse 11 says that the saints of the most high will speak of the kingdom of God and the power of God. We have to choose where we are going to put our attention. If we put our attention on the things of God and this book that was written millennia ago many even in our own faith will call us naïve and not in step with the times. Others will look at us and call us obscurantists and backward socially – a danger and threat to good societal order. This is where our commitment to Christ is tried and found out according to its quality. Will we give in to the world and think its thoughts and espouse its narratives or will we hold fast to the world of God as witnesses to God’s power and God’s goodness in the earth?
Verse 13 says that the kingdom of God is an everlasting kingdom that transcends generation to generation. That means that the truth of God is relevant even when others see it as outmoded and no longer applicable. Even the most conservative voices of our time when pressed hard enough will vacillate and cave in to the pressure of popular opinion to deny the unambiguous claims of Christ. Men like Billy Graham and Joel Osteen are reticent when pressed by the media to give unqualified responses to the skepticism of the world regarding the mandate of our faith that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no man comes to the Father but by Him.
We have to make up our mind where we stand. There is no other path to God other than through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus states in undeniably clear language:
[Jhn 14:6 KJV] 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Now we have to believe that which is said or come up with some convoluted view of this verse that perhaps it is a mistranslation or that Jesus’ statement is being taken out of context. Either Jesus is who He says He is or He was a mentally imbalanced, charismatic megalomaniac who had the audacity to believe He was who He claimed himself without ambiguity to be. This is the challenge of our faith – and if we believe He is who He claims to be then we must accept immediately and without qualification the witness of the scripture as the infallible word of God.
If Jesus is who He says He is then we also must accept His word as infallible. This as well is a truth under assault today. Many, many pastors – perhaps a majority if pressed closely enough too often vacillate on this point. The myriad of translations and versions and treatments of the scripture attempting to render it as fat in the pot of boiling popular culture has weakened our perception of the scriptures as the unchallenged, inerrant word of God. In writing a chapter by chapter treatment of the bible there is not a day that I personally do not confront this one great truth, lauded by David in this quintessential psalm.

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