80 TO THE CHOIRMASTER: ACCORDING TO LILIES. A TESTIMONY. OF ASAPH, A PSALM.
David made him leader of the choral worship (16:4–5). The ‘sons of Asaph’ remained the senior family of musicians until the Restoration (1 Ch. 25; 2 Ch. 20:14; 35:15; Ezr. 3:10; Ne. 11:17, 22; 12:35), primarily as singers and cymbalists.
3. Hope - 16-19
After all, the prophecy was for the Davidic king to sit at the LORD’s right hand (Ps. 110:1). Parallel to “man of your right hand” is “the Son of Man.” This is the one whom God has strengthened for this great time of distress. In view of the present devastation, there may be a hint of messianic expectations here.
The third view is that “the son of man” is the Messiah. This was the interpretation given to the text by the later rabbis. It is also the interpretation adopted by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who wrote, “There is no doubt here an outlook to the Messiah, for whom believing Jews had learned to look as the Savior in time of trouble.” And later, quoting other commentators in the section on “Quaint Sayings,” Spurgeon says, “To whom can the title apply but to him? For ‘to which of the angels said God at any time, Sit on my right hand?’ (Heb. 1:5); and much less has he said this of any Jewish king. … Though the phrase, ‘man of thy right hand,’ may have an immediate reference to the King who ruled in Judah when this psalm was penned, it must ultimately and most properly intend Jesus Christ, the great antitype of all the kings of David’s line.”
1. Our God knows how to SHEPHERD and PRUNE us
Know this … Circumstances dont alter truth
2. Our God is OK with our PERPLEXITY
COME TO Him
Lord, I’m drowning
In a sea of perplexity.
Waves of confusion
Crash over me.
I’m too weak
To shout for help.
Either quiet the waves
Or lift me above them—
It’s too late
To learn to swim.
—Ruth Harms Calkin, Tell Me Again Lord, I Forget
3. Our God offers HOPE
TURN TO Him
A little boy heard the noted American preacher, Howard Thurman, preach in India. One night after he and Mrs. Thurman had gone to bed, there was a knock at the door. Opening it, there stood a lad whose clothing marked him as an untouchable. In broken, but polite, English he said: “I stood outside the building and listened to your lecture, Sahib Doctor. Tell me, please, can you give some hope to a nobody?” Whereupon the Indian boy dropped to his knees in admiration and reverence as the compassionate black Christian attempted to communicate the meaning of Christ’s invitation: “Please come, everything is now ready” (Luke 14:17, NEB).
SEEING JESUS IN THE DARK
Topics: Challenges; Circumstances and Faith; Doubt; Experiencing God; Faith; Fear; Hope; Jesus Christ; Light; Lostness; Mysteries; Overcoming; Presence of God; Promises; Reality; Security in God; Seen and Unseen; Suffering; Trust
References: Job 23:10; Psalm 23:4; 27:1; John 16:33; Romans 5:1–5; 8:28; James 1:2–4; 1 Peter 5:10
When I was a student at Harvard Divinity School, I learned preaching from Dr. Gardner Taylor, a pastor in New York City. I’ll never forget those lectures. I remember him telling a story from when he was preaching in Louisiana during the Depression. Electricity was just coming into that part of the country, and he was out in a rural, black church that had just one little lightbulb hanging down from the ceiling to light up the whole sanctuary. He was preaching away, and in the middle of his sermon, the electricity went out. The building went pitch-black, and Dr. Taylor didn’t know what to say, being a young preacher. He stumbled around until one of the elderly deacons sitting in the back of the church cried out, “Preach on, preacher! We can still see Jesus in the dark.”
Sometimes that’s the only time we can see him—in the dark. And the good news of the gospel is that whether or not we can see him in the dark, he can see us in the dark.
—Timothy George, “Unseen Footprints,”
GOD’S WAY IN TRAGEDY
Topics: Comfort; Death; Dependence on God; Faith; Guidance; Helplessness; Hope; Loss; Overcoming; Presence of God; Tragedy; Trust
References: Psalm 23:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Don Moen’s praise song “God Will Make a Way” affirms God’s sovereign involvement in our lives. Here’s how that song was written: Several years ago, Moen was awakened in the middle of the night. His mother-in-law called to tell him of a car accident involving his wife’s sister, Susan. Susan and her husband, Craig, and their four little boys were on a trip when the accident happened. Jeremy, age eight and the oldest of the four boys, was killed instantly. The others were seriously injured.
As Don and his wife grieved and poured out their hearts to the Lord, they felt helpless at communicating hope and grace to Susan and Craig. Don says God helped him through the tragedy by giving him these words:
God will make a way when there seems to be no way.
He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide; hold me closely to his side.
With love and strength for each new day, he will make a way.
—Don Moen, “God Will Make a Way,” © 1990 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/ASCAP
SAYING YES ON CHRISTMAS
Topics: Christmas; God’s Sovereignty; Hope; Incarnation; Providence; Salvation
Reference: 2 Corinthians 1:18–20
Songs, good feelings, beautiful liturgies, nice presents, big dinners, and sweet words do not make Christmas. Christmas is saying yes to something beyond all emotions and feelings. Christmas is saying yes to a hope based on God’s initiative, which has nothing to do with what I think or feel. Christmas is believing that the salvation of the world is God’s work and not mine.
—Henri Nouwen, New Oxford Review (November 1986)