Thursday, September 20, 2018
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 24
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms
I really liked Colin Kaepernick.
Do you remember November 26, 2010?
He led the University of Nevada to a 34-31 W over extremely overrated Boise State – Talk about fake news! – to knock the Broncos out of national championship contention despite coming into the game with a 24 game-winning streak over nobody.
After one really exciting season with the 49ers under the new gridiron guru aka current head coach of Michigan, he hit the pines.
His fifteen minutes of fame as a player ended.
He does not have whatever a quarterback needs to start in the NFL.
He is a back-up.
Nothing against back-ups but everybody knows who starts and nobody in the stands or media seem to care who sits; except, of course, for kin.
Even more spoiled than most Americans, Colin instigated another fifteen minutes of fame by taking a knee during the national anthem of the country that made him into a millionaire for playing a game.
He has bitten the hand that has fed him and wants us to believe Gandhi has been reincarnated as he hawks Nikes.
Parenthetically, this is not a good time to buy Nike stock.
Before dusting off that Nobel Peace Prize for the latest poster boy for people who hate America, a question begs to be asked.
Does anyone really believe Colin and his swoosh buddies really care about socioeconomic justice when that greedy giant of label idolatry exploits women, children, and men in Asia at slave wages to sell sneakers to other spoiled Americans at prices that must make MJ blush?
The hypocrisy may only be rivaled by that hysterical gender politician from Cape Codville who can’t figure out her ethnicity while hallucinating about the 25th for the 45th.
Actually, I like the mantra that Nike’s PR gals/guys wrote for him: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
That sounds like something that Luther or Bonhoeffer or Gandhi or King or, uh, Jesus might say.
Just the wrong messenger.
Sometimes we get confused about who’s really in charge.
That’s what Psalm 24 is all about; heralding God’s categorical sovereignty over everyone and everything in the first verse: “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord.”
While it may come as a shock to Colin, Nike, Amazon, Facebook, and the rest of the greedy corporate globalists, God rules!
Speculation is David wrote this psalm to celebrate establishing a home for the Ark of the Covenant; but nobody really knows and the psalm’s message about God’s sovereign propriety over creation is infinitely more important than particulars fixed in time.
Besides, as one of my seminary professors said, “You can’t build theology on broken pickle jars.”
The message of Psalm 24 is huge.
The Godly esteem Him as Sovereign and Savior!
Again, the psalm begins with the acknowledgment of God’s absolute sovereignty.
The Decalogue begins, “Do not have other gods.”
The first verse of Psalm 24 explains, in effect, there are no other gods but God.
David continued, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false…He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
We live confidently in the assurance of living forever in heaven by grace through faith in Jesus.
Knowing we move from this life to eternal life – called “paradise” by Jesus – we live with the calm anticipation of the heavenly after the earthly.
While this life is “good” if we don’t mess it up by creative design, it ends for everybody as a preface to the “best” to come in heaven that Jesus described while on the cross as “paradise” and as the pure and perfect place of personal peace where there is no pain or suffering or anything negative as risen Lord in Revelation 21.
Just like Psalm 15 as later confirmed by Paul, Luther, Calvin, and all believers who understand saving belief is confirmed by behavior indicating/confirming saving belief, Psalm 24 says people who are going to heaven have “clean hands and a pure heart…[and do not]…set their minds on what is false.”
Simply, remembering no one is pure and perfect in every way which is why God came in Jesus to save us from our impurities and imperfections by grace through faith, David is pointing to a believer’s prayer and passion for outward obedience motivated by inward fidelity - more than less and increasingly “more better” than “more worse.”
Believers want to be pure and perfect in every way while knowing Jesus came to make up the difference between His purity and perfection and our impurities and imperfections by grace through faith.
Practically, as Don Skaar likes to say, it means we are not and can never be sinless pero we can pray and labor to sin less which proves we have been saved from here to eternity.
That’s why the Godly esteem, thank, and praise Him as Sovereign and Savior: “Lift up your heads! Wake up and praise God!”
I’ll never forget Louie Evans telling me how he overcame terrible headaches.
During an especially awful headache, Louie heard the voice of God saying, “Praise Me!”
So Louie started praising the Lord and his headache vanished.
Louie said, “From that day on, I just started praising the Lord whenever I had a headache and it went away; and I realized all of our headaches go away when we’re praising the Lord.”
Did you catch that?
All of our headaches go away when we’re praising the Lord!
That’s why we include this witness at the end of every worship service on the corner of Lincoln and Main: “Remember, the answer to every question is Jesus!”
Focusing on Jesus and filtering every thought and word and action through Jesus is the only way to overcoming the challenges of life and living through it all with strong calm sanity punctuated by peace, joy, and happiness.
Hebrews 12:2 is right: “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith…let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us.”
When our eyes are on Jesus, we stay on the road of righteousness.
When our eyes are on Jesus, we don’t fall into dark ditches.
Psalm 24 highlights the three most undeniable, gracious, glorious, and buoying truths of life and eternity.
The Godly esteem Him as Sovereign and Savior!
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!