v1-4. God’s mercy is limitless towards Israel, their Levitical Priesthood and anyone who fears Him. The apostle Paul knew the kindness of God, and taught the Church to be kind & forgiving towards others, as God was kind to them, Ephesians 4:32. Pain & suffering in a real Christians daily life may indeed be discipline in training our conscience & faith, but if it is punishment from God, then God has his purpose in producing holiness, Heb. 12:10-11. There are many different reasons for pain & suffering in our life but purposeless punishment from God is not one of them, because His loving-kindness is now and forever more for Spiritual Israel, Php. 3:2-3 & Gal. 6:16. Many people confuse the Babylonian captivity God directed upon Judah as senseless punishment for their idolatry, but they fail to recognize that God gave Judah more than a generation of warnings, and yet they rebelled spiritually, bringing into question their faith and utter failure to keep God’s covenants. But because of God’s covenant with Abraham, his mercy maintained a remnant of Jews to keep Israel alive until Jesus came as the Christ. And above all, remember, Israel never again after their Babylonian captivity, never did they meddle with idolatry. They even fought physically to avoid idols from being established in the new Temple in Jerusalem, until in 167BC, when it was forced upon them by Antiochus Epiphanes IV, they revolted and the Jewish Maccabeans were successful in ousting the foreigners out of Jerusalem. Against the desecration of idolatry by Antiochus, the Jewish leader Judas Maccabeus rose up against him and led the Jews in a war, defeating the generals Antiochus had commissioned to deal with the uprising. Judas refused a partial amnesty, conquered Judaea with the exception of the Acra in Jerusalem, and in December 164BC was able to tear down the altar of Zeus and reconsecrate the Temple. Antiochus apparently had underestimated the strength of the Jewish armies, which showed their success in maintaining an independent Judaean state for about a century. The fighting spirit of the Jews was all the more impressive because at the beginning of their rebellion in 166BC Antiochus had just demonstrated his might to the world at Daphne, near Antioch. Here we have evidence of God’s purpose in disciplining the Jews, giving them powerful purity and strength for the successful defense of God’s Temple.
v5-9, “distress” is a strong word, and no one should think God doesn’t understand the pain of distress. Christ prayed in great distress facing the trial of his life. Mark 14:31-36. He is now our High Priest that can truly empathize with our cry for help in a crisis. He took our punishment, and still to this day, before his return, he can indeed still suffer with us, Colossians 1:24. The best comfort anyone can feel relief from, is indeed FREEDOM. This freedom is found in Christ, John 8:34-36. The worst case scenario a Christian can face from any enemy is a change of address. We should never fear people able to kill us, rather, fear Him who can destroy both soul & body in hell, Matthew 10:28.
v10-13, “Nations”, it is thought by rabbis that David is writing this Psalm in memory of his victory over the Jebusites to attain Jerusalem, and the surrounding countries honored his victory, 2nd Sam. 5:5-12. When he cites being aggressively pushed, it is noteworthy to see David’s experience in being helped by the LORD (Jehovah) The name most sacred to Israelites today. Make note that this Psalm has many more references to this name than most Psalms, so it makes us wonder if the piety Jews show today, by refusing to pronounce it, is actually a level of piety Jews practiced in David’s day.
v14-18. The Lord’s punishment was restrained from killing the Psalmist in battle, it could have happened, but God’s mercy preserved his life through war. Remember that the death sentence was acceptable punishment for children in the law of God through Moses, Deut. 21:20-21.
v19-24, The “stone”, Christ applied it to Himself (Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17). Peter and Paul also applied it to Jesus (Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6-8). God’s amazing resurrection of His rejected Son to the place of supreme authority is marvelous to say the least. The day of His resurrection is the greatest day the Lord ever made. It is indeed the basis for the Christian’s joy and rejoicing every first day of the week till time as we know it is escorted into eternity!
v25-29, Faithful Israelites welcomed Jesus at His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem during Passover season using verses 25 and 26 (see Jon. 12:13) They regarded this psalm as predicting the Messiah, we too should praise God with all the gratitude we can offer, whenever we see His deliverance in any way, especially our spiritual deliverance!
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