From Chris Dodds
Psalm 89: This Psalm mixes praise with lament and petition. Verses 1 & 2 begin with praise for YHWH’s faithful love (note the 4x repetition of “faithful” in verse 1 alone), then verses 3 & 4 recount the covenant God made with David – the establishment of an everlasting Kingdom through his offspring. The praise of verses 1 and 2 is repeated in verses 6-19, then the recollection of the Davidic covenant in 20-37. The tone changes to one of lament in verses 38-45 and petition in 46-51 as the psalmist wrestles with the promises of God verses the reality of the situation he finds himself in. The Davidic kingdom is in ruin! What happened to the covenant promises of God from verses 3 & 4? Ultimately it is in and through Jesus that we see God’s covenant faithfulness revealed fully, and an everlasting Kingdom established, but even though the psalmist doesn’t know this, he finishes with an emphatic affirmation of the promises of God and a declaration of praise (v51).
1 Kings 12:25-33: We all worship something - the question is really just one of what. Knowing that true worship will cost him his kingdom and possibly his life (v27), Jeroboam creates a shadow form of worship, a replica, to distract the people and prevent their hearts from returning to the Lord (vv28-33). It’s an egregious breach of the first two commandments, and from our standpoint it seems utterly ridiculous that people would fall for this! Surely they knew the story of the golden calf at Sinai, and surely they’d heard the stories of the Exodus? Surely they didn’t believe it was true so why did they go along with it? Fair questions, but are we really that much different? Have we not also created imitation worship in our culture, false gods that compete for our hearts and make false promises to us? Instead of worshipping a God of true life, true rescue, true redemption, and collectively finding identity and community in Him, do we not also have the counterfeit version set up at our malls and sports stadia on Sundays - alternative Sunday pilgrimages than to our church communities? Instead of singing praises to the true God we sing and chant team songs, and instead of being conformed in Christ’s image, we seek to be conformed into the image of the mannequin that promises us life, acceptance and identity. Our hearts are also easily deceived.