Monday, January 02, 2006

Entering the New Year with Psalm 84 (part three)

Today we end our look at this psalm of pilgimage and blessing.

Verses 8 and 9 are a prayer, probably for Israel's king (and in post-exilic times for the high priest). "The prayer...is for Yahweh to look with favor on the king/priest so that his reign can be established and prosper." "There is little tension between the king as 'our shield' in v [9] and Yahweh as 'shield' in v 11, because the king embodied and exercised the divine protective power...The king was considered to be an 'extended' arm of Yahweh, who intervenes and establishes justice." (Tate) We know today that Jesus as Messiah fulfills this king/priest role for his people and ultimately for the whole world.

Verses 10 and 11 is a "meditation on the goodness of festival times with Yahweh." (Tate) Verse 10 speaks of the blessedness of the most humble servant in the house of the LORD. This is contrasted to living with the wicked in their way of life. Even one day in God's courts is better than one thousand days anywhere else. As the community of Jesus we are the temple of the living God in Jesus (John 2:19,21; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22). By Jesus' sacrifice of himself and continued ministry as our high priest we can confidently come into God's very presence. (Hebrews) And as Jesus' priests we are scattered throughout the world in mission to bring those on the outside into God's presence so that they too may come to share in this fellowship and community. (1 Peter; Acts; Romans)

YHWH as "sun" in verse 11 is the only place in the OT in which he is so described (note Malachi 4:2). The sun brings the light that gives life. (see The NIV Study Bible: notes on Psalm 84:11 and 27:1). "The LORD (YHWH) bestows favor and honor." "Favor" and "honor" here is like "one has arrived" in the sense of being mercifully received by YHWH into his blessing. YHWH witholds nothing good to those who "walk" blamelessly ("with obedience and faith in the way of Yahweh"- Tate).

Verse 12 gives us the conclusion of this psalm/song. (The NIV Study Bible) This closing beatitude seems to tie together the other beatitudes in this psalm (vv 4-5). All are blessed, and richly so, as we have seen, who trust in the LORD ("LORD" translation of YHWH, his personal name) Almighty. God delights to bless in terms of a faith relationship with him.

As we enter this new year, may God help us as the community of Jesus to live together as those in exuberant pilgrimage. May our lives be filled with more of knowing God and his blessing so as to be a blessing.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

4 comments:

John Frye said...

Ted,
Thanks for your series on Psalm 84. They are very encouraging.
Happy New year to you.
Peace.

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks much John.
Happy New Year to you as well.
Blessings.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for posting this!

Ted Gossard said...

Martin, Thanks for your encouragement.

Ted