Friday: Psalms 148-149 & Matthew 4.1-11

From Jason Hood

Psalm 148: This Psalm is a sweeping, exuberant call for all of God’s creation to participate in celebrating the Creator. It’s almost unrestrained in its imaginative reach: after all, the stars and galaxies hardly need the Psalmist to tell them to keep doing their job of glorifying their creator. 

As glorious as creation is, God’s splendor is “above the earth and the heavens,” i.e., above everything that he created (vs 13); and his most glorious work is the creation of a people “close to his heart” (NIV trans of v 14; better sense, those who’ve been brought near to him).

Psalm 149: The Psalms conclude with a handful of praise choruses, a crescendo of praise for the God we’ve learned to love and on whom we’ve learned to lean, the one to whom we cry, and from whom we learn.

vs 1-5We praise God, in the assembly (vs 1; we get NT word for “church” from this word) and on our beds (vs 5), with all manner of instruments and dancing and celebration.

vs 4One of the sources of our praise is that, as Jack Miller said, God doesn’t just love us; he likes us (and unlike us, he’s particularly drawn to humility)

vs 6-9(Did we suddenly start talking about ISIS?) In Christ the declaration of the gospel is an opportunity to bind . We know this Psalm links to the Messiah because it mirrors the language of Psalm 2 (and as the second-to-last Psalm, 149 mirrors the second Psalm) where the Messiah conquers the nations. The NT teaches us that we conquer [“overcome”] by our testimony concerning the Messiah, Rev 12:11, and by his blood). 

Matthew 4.1-11: Jesus’ back-and-forth with Satan is a struggle over how to use God’s word. Do we use the word to manipulate, to excuse us from faith and dependence and obedience? Or do we commit ourselves to follow the pattern God intended for humanity, Israel, and his Son (who embodies them both)? Jesus knows the pattern God wanted for “his son” Israel and puts Deuteronomy to use correctly. He will indeed receive “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory”—but not apart from the way of the Cross. And this is certainly true of all God’s sons (Matt 5:5; Roman 8:15-17).