“The Return Of The King” – One Year Bible Reading (Psalms/Proverbs) – January 29

Psalm 24:1-10     A Worship Psalm Of  Yahweh by David

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Psalm 24:1-10   The Return Of The King

This psalm can be viewed as the third of a Shepherd trilogy.  It may well have been used as a liturgy as the ark was brought into the new capital of Israel, Jerusalem, by David.

It appears to have been used as a liturgy, that is, a rote reading used in worship.  The ancient Jewish historian, Josephus, says that Josephus, the Jewish historian, says that seven choirs of singers and musicians marched before the ark as it was brought to the tabernacle.

It may have been sung in Herod’s temple and has also been associated with Palm Sunday celebrations, commemorating the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem just before the Passion week.  It was also used for worship on Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter.

When we worry about our provision, do we stop to think that Yahweh owns the earth and everything in it (v. 1)?  God created everything and He owns it all, including all the people (v. 2, 1b).

A choir sang the opening statement of praise in vv. 1-2, then a leader would have asked the questions in vv. 3, 8a, and 10a.  “Who may ascend into the fill of the Lord and who may stand in His holy place?”  The answer is “he who has clean hands and a pure heart” (v. 4a).  It must be a person of integrity (v. 4b, c).  When we sin, we break fellowship with the Lord (cf. Isa. 59:2).  God will not hear our prayer in that state (cf. Ps. 66:18-19).  The way to repair the breach is to confess our sins to God (cf. 1 John 1:9).  Then He will forgive us and also forgive all of the rest of our sins as well (“and cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9b).

Is it possible to minister while maintaining our sin?  The answer is in vv. 4-6.  The worst preachers I have ever heard were the ones I knew were committing blatant sins.  The best were the ones that had confessed all their sins and were trying to live a righteous life.  One of my mentors, a seminary professor, told our class one time that he had gotten into a fight with wife then had to fly off to preach.  He said God blessed the occasion in a wonderful way.  His point is that God acts in grace.  More than that, I knew that seminary professor.  I knew he was going to clear things up with his wife.  God knew that, too.  He was growing and wrestling with his sin.  God can bless that.  I doubt he blesses those who are persistent in their sin.

The one who keeps “short accounts” with God is the one whom God blesses (v. 5).  Jeremiah 29:13 promises that we shall find God when we seek Him with all our heart.  Those are the ones God blesses.  Are your prayers being answered?  If not, it could be that the timing is not God’s timing but it could also be because there is unconfessed sin.  Or the answer may be on its way (cf. 1 John 5:14-15).

I love Handel’s Messiah.  I think of it as “Jesus’ Song.”  Every chorus is magnificent.  Handel chose the last four verses of this psalm to be included in his work.  OK, the guy responsible for the words, Charles Jennens, chose them to represent Christ’s ascension into Heaven.

Verse 7 is a command to open the doors for Christ’s entrance to Heaven in relation to the Ascension or Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem.  In David’s day, it would be a reference to the presence of God in the ark coming to town.

Verses 8a and 10a ask, Who is the King of glory.  The answer is in 8b, the almighty Lord.  The Lord of the host of Heaven is all glorious is the answer in 10b.

To “lift up [one’s] head” is to be alert.  Here comes the King!  Also, it would be a call to worship Him and welcome Him.

Check out the Messiah yourself and listen to the portion, “Lift Up Your Heads.”  It will give you a sense of the call and response nature of the psalm.

Are you looking every day for the Return of the King?  Someone said that we should live every day as if Christ died yesterday, was risen today, and coming back tomorrow.  Are you?

Proverbs 6:1-5  Signing and Co-Signing

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When I was working at the Atlanta Hilton parking cars, trying to get to Dallas to seminary, one of my co-workers approached me to co-sign a loan.  He said he knew that Scripture prohibited co-signing but wondered if I could secure his loan anyway.  I asked him where the Bible said that loans shouldn’t be co-signed.  He showed me.  I told him no.

I hardly knew him and, OK, I didn’t have any money to loan him anyway or I wouldn’t have been working at the Atlanta Hilton parking cars.  A true “neighbor” (v. 1) probably wouldn’t ask you to c0-sign.  McGee points out that it is usually someone who wants to act like a “big shot” that would consider co-signing.  I felt like my “friend” was trying to trap me anyway.  That’s exactly how the Bible portrays that kind of transaction.  You are getting trapped.

Actually, the Bible does allow us to give loans.  We just shouldn’t expect to get the money back.  Luke 6:35 says, “ . . . lend, expecting nothing in return.”  I have to remember that when I loan out my books.  I kiss them goodbye, usually.

And it is certainly OK to co-sign a loan for one of your children, especially, if you don’t mind paying back the loan if they default.  Proverbs is wisdom which means it is generally true.  Generally, you shouldn’t co-sign a loan because there will be a good chance you’ll get stuck with it!  So if you don’t have to money to pay, don’t do it!  Find the guy you co-signed for and beg him to let you out of the deal.  “Importune” him like the plague (v. 3c).  Otherwise, you’ll probably be like a gazelle that has just been caught by a hunter.  You don’t want to be like a gazelle, do you (v. 5a)?  By the way, a fowler is a bird-killer.  You don’t want to be like a bird in the hands of a bird-killer, do you (v. 5b)?

Don’t co-sign on loans!  That was Solomon’s financial advice to youngsters.

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