Thursday: Psalms 9-10 & 1 Corinthians 15.1-11

From Ryan Ruffing

Psalms 9 and 10: Psalms 9 and 10 should likely be read as a single poem, unified by an acrostic form with every other line beginning in the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The psalms speak of a day-to-day reality in which it can appear that God is unconcerned for the plight of his people at the hands of the wicked.  The wicked and the righteous both experience this apparent silence of God, but respond in drastically different ways.  The wicked say “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it,” (10:11) and go on to oppress and strike further terror.  But the faithful cry out to God – "Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?" (10:1) – and wait expectantly for his deliverance.  In the midst of this, the psalm is abundantly clear about the overarching reality of God’s sovereignty.  Though circumstances can temporarily cloud our vision, nonetheless, “the Lord sits enthroned forever.” (9:7)  This is not always an obscured reality, but one manifest in God’s wonderful deeds in history (9:1) and in the psalmist’s own experience (9:3-4).   This lived experience of God’s sovereignty is what allows the beautiful and intimate proclamation of faith – “but you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands.” (10:14)

1 Corinthians 15:1-11: Paul is coming to the end of his letter to the Corinthians, and he now moves to what is absolutely central – the resurrection of Christ.  Using what many think is one of the earliest creedal formulations of the faith, he summarizes the thrust of the Gospel – “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (15:3-4)  It is interesting that within this short statement of faith the phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures” appears twice.  It is clear that for the early church the message of the Gospel was not seen in contradiction to the Old Testament scriptures, but in continuity with them.  In Isaiah 53 we see one such prophetic point of continuity – the suffering servant depicted in the passage bears the transgressions of the people (53:4-5), goes to his grave (53:9), and yet his life will be prolonged and “the  will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (53:10)