Monday, October 12, 2009

10/12- Psalm 132:10-18; Holding onto the Promises

(King David)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

10 For the sake of your servant David, do not reject your anointed one. 11 The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: "One of your own descendants I will place on your throne. 12 If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their sons will sit on your throne for ever and ever." 13 For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying, 14 "This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it. 15 I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food. 16 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. 17 "Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. 18 I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head will be adorned with a resplendent crown." (Psalm 132:10-18)

Calvin abridged: The prayer means that God in remembrance of his promise would show favor to the posterity of David. David was the foundation of this favor. The prayer was made ‘for David’s sake” because the covenant was made in his name. This was a prayer for the Church, and the Church is taught here that Christ (as Mediator) makes intercession for all his people. 11- “The Lord swore to David”- God makes a promise here in truth and does not go back from his word. What was promised was a successor to David from his own seed; This arrangement affected the good of the whole Church, and not David’s good alone. He people were encouraged by this sacred stability of the kingdom. A distinction is drawn between this heavenly ordained kingdom and worldly kingdoms that are obtained in pride and often violence. God promised (vs. 12) that he would have a descendant on the throne not for one age, but forever. The enforcing of this covenant did not depend solely on their good conduct. For the promise was given out of grace, and God sent his Son despite their disobedience. Paul says, “What is some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all!” (Rom. 3:3,4). The covenant itself was not conditional. But an accessory was added to the covenant, that God would bless them if they obeyed his commandments. When the Jews were forced into exile, it appeared the covenant lost effect, but this was an illusion. But the covenant was not fulfilled fully when Zerubbabel came back, or when other kings assumed the throne, but when Christ came. Ezekiel indicates this (21:26): “26 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low.” The people were taken into exile to show that while the covenant was eternal and inviolable, in that it held the promise of the Redeemer, yet the conduct of the Jews excluded them temporarily from the divine favor. The obedience, demanded by God, is part of the covenant, to teach us that we must not serve him by our own human standards and ideas, but we must confine ourselves to the prescription of his word.

Thought: The covenant of David symbolizes the way God works with us. The promise was always true, though at times it seems broken. The covenant and promise of God (for David to always have a king on the throne) was always in effect though many thought it was broken when their kingdom was taken away by the Babylonians (and later by the Romans). Many thought the line was clearly broken. But this promise also interacted with another promise that if the people of God reject God and do evil, God will punish them (or us) (Deuteronomy 28:22,25,26,32, especially 36, 49-57; 2 Chronicles 36:15-19). Teh promises work together not exclusive of each other. It seemed that there was no hope for the promise to be fulfilled, but God also promised to bring them back to the land- and He did. Christ who was of the line of David came and perfected the promise. We are also promised heaven if we believe. But on this earth, there are times it appears that the promise of heaven is too far off and the pains of earth seem to be greater than any future glory we may have. But we should never give up hope in the promises of God. Jesus our Redeemer, and the resurrected One, is a deposit guaranteeing our hope.

Prayer: Your promises, are true, O Lord. Help me to believe in them today even though the way seems bleak at the moment.

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