Tuesday: Psalms 33-34 & Exodus 19.1-9

From Mark Booker

Psalm 33: Psalm 33 issues a call to joyful celebration because God reigns over the world - over creation (vv.6-9), over nations/history (vv.10-12), and over individuals (vv.13-19).  He is sovereign over everything, and only he can bring salvation: not a great army (v16), great strength (v16), or a war horse (v17). Not our bank account, the next president, or the success of our career. Only Yahweh, the sovereign one who is also the faithful one. The earth is full of his steadfast love (v5). So "our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name" (v21). Are you glad in him today?

Psalm 34: David praises Yahweh for his deliverance from Achish (or Abimelech), King of Gath (see 1 Samuel 21.10-15). What's interesting is that David got out of the situation by feigning madness. Instead of boasting in his own ingenuity, however, he acknowledges and praises Yahweh for rescuing him. When things go well from our own ideas or effort, are we as quick as David to magnify Yahweh (v3) or do we take credit for our successes?

This psalm also invites us to "taste and see that Yahweh is good!" and we're reminded the the blessed are those "who take refuge in him!" (v8 - just like Psalm 2). Yahweh's goodness is seen in the fact that he is "near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit" (v16). We think of Jesus spending time with the sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes, and of his comment about true blessedness: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5.3). The poor in spirit praise God for their deliverance and take refuge in him - like David did. 

Exodus 19.1-9. Having been rescued from Pharaoh and Egypt, the people arrive at Mount Sinai. There they are reminded by Yahweh of their identity as his redeemed people, that they shall be to Yahweh, "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Their mediatorial function, as a kingdom of priests, is to be a conduit of blessing to all nations (Genesis 12.1-3). That would only happen as they were also a holy nation, a people who walk in accordance with God's word. We see this reaffirmed in Deuteronomy 4.6-8. 

The call on our lives as God's people hasn't changed. We have been rescued. God has spoken to us through his Son. And we are to reveal Jesus to the world around us through proclamation of the Gospel and through living holy lives, through loving one another as Christ has loved us (John 13.34-35). Are we doing that through the way that we live? It would be good to talk about this with a friend, your Neighborhood Group, your triad, your spouse, etc.