Wednesday: Psalms 131-134 & Acts 20.26-35

From Mark Booker

Psalm 131: The expression of the heart being "lifted up" (v1) is found in Deuteronomy 8.14 and 17.20. It's about thinking too highly of ourselves and, as a result, forgetting God (and beginning to play God in our lives). The psalmist has resisted that temptation. Instead, like a "weaned child with its mother" (v2), he rests content with the goodness and provision of YHWH. We need this psalm in our fast-paced, frantic lives where we make too much of ourselves and too little of God. 

Psalm 132: The psalm celebrates the choice of Zion as YHWH's resting place and the choice of David (2 Samuel 7) and his descendants. Jesus fulfills both, as the one in whom God dwells and the true king, a descendant of David, who reigns forever.  

Psalm 133: Unity is a "good and pleasant" thing (v1). God desires for us to live in peace with one another, in relationships of love. Unity is broken by sin but restored by the power of God in the Spirit. We're now told to "make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4.1). Do we ever think about how we can tangibly express unity with our Christian neighbors and co-workers who are part of different traditions/churches? 

Psalm 134: The songs of ascent (Ps 120-134) end with a call to bless the Lord in the Temple in Jerusalem. The pilgrims have arrived at God's dwelling place (132.7) and they bless YHWH their maker and redeemer. Everything in the Christian life rightly ends in praise and blessing God.

Acts 20.26-35: Why is Paul innocent of the blood of the Ephesians? Like a true prophet, he has declared to them the whole counsel of God (vv26-27), and he's done this not coldly but with affection and warmth through tears (v31). God's words of grace have the power to save, heal, rescue, build up (v32), and renew. That why the church's life is built around the Scriptures (the apostles' teaching, Acts 2.42) - not just bits and pieces but the whole of it. But false teachers will come, fierce wolves (v29). And they won't be outsiders but those "from among your own selves" (v30) who will speak "twisted things." They will claim Christ and they'll distort the plain and clear word of God and lead the disciples away. In light of this, Paul urges the Ephesian elders to "be alert" (v31). We too must be alert and practice discernment together. To lose the word is to lose the very life and power of God.