Sunday 26 July 2020
Salvation Brings Joy
By Abraham Verghese 亚伯拉罕·韦尔盖塞
Psalm 89 12-17 (Read the whole Psalm for the overall context)
The psalms in Book 3, of which Psalm 89 is the last, represent Israel’s situation when it was in exile. God’s promise that there would always be an offspring to sit on David’s throne was not seeming to be coming true. God’s covenant with David will never be revoked. God will certainly fulfil what he said he would do. From the perspective of the New Testament, we know that Jesus is the fulfilment of this promise. He will reign on David’s throne forever and ever.
Read vv. 12-17. (All verse references are to Psalm 89 unless otherwise stated) These verses describe the victory that is won by our Lord and Saviour Jesus. His mighty arm brings victory. Salvation and justice and righteousness are given to us through our King. He pours his grace or steadfast love, into our lives. Our joy is described in poetic terms in the psalm. He says Tabor and Hermon joyously praise God’s name (v 12). Tabor and Hermon are mountains in Israel. God’s creation, despite all the damage we have done to the environment, is around us for us to enjoy – the beauty and the tranquillity.
God has a mighty arm (v 13), His hand is strong, His power to create and grasp is beyond what our limited mind can conceive. The power of God so impressed the Psalmist that in many ways he repeated the same thought: and indeed the truth of God’s omnipotence is so full of refreshment to gracious hearts.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of His throne (v 14). They are the basis of the divine government, the sphere within which His sovereignty moves. God as a sovereign is never unjust or unwise but is merciful and truthful. Those who repent are forgiven in the person of our Lord Jesus, to be his ambassadors, and so poor, guilty men are enabled to endure the presence of his righteous Lord.
The writer speaks of the festal shout (v 15). As God’s people, we should rejoice over the victory He has won. We should walk with joy in the light of His presence. God’s people know the joyful sound – the gospel is a joyful sound. Here it is supposed that we have intelligence in respect of “the joyful sound.” Christ said, “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me” (John 10: 27) ; “and a stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10: 5).
Everyone in the world is trying to be happy. People are trying to create their own happiness. And how do we become happy? We seek happiness by the things we get for ourselves or by the things we accomplish. We tend to think that if we have this or that we shall be happy. By attaining certain goals, some believe they will attain happiness. But true happiness does not come that way. Even if we get what we want or attain our goal, it will seem hollow with no real satisfaction.
So many people especially so-called celebrities have found that being on the top of the world does not bring true joy and satisfaction. And in His righteousness, we shall be exalted (v 16). The first Adam sinned and what lay before us was eternal separation from our Creator; but in Christ, the second Adam, we are again exalted; for we “sit together with Him in heavenly places” (Eph 2: 6).
For He is the glory of our strength (v 17). In the Lord, we have both righteousness and strength. No man whom the Lord makes strong may dare to glory in himself, we must ascribe all honour to the Lord alone; we have neither strength nor beauty apart from Him. Everyone is seeking for joy. But the gospel gives us a different message. We find joy by receiving the salvation given to us in Jesus Christ. We find joy by saying no to our own selfish dreams and by trusting Jesus Christ to save us. Life comes through death to ourselves. Joy comes when we renounce our own lordship over our lives and give ourselves to Jesus Christ. Joy comes when Jesus Christ forgives us of our sins.
We rejoice not because of what we have done or accomplished but because our sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ and his death on the cross where he took the punishment we deserved. He came so we could be forgiven of our sins. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Father, thank You for the salvation You give to us through Your Son, our Lord. We pray that those who have still yet to accept Your Son as their personal Saviour and Lord of their lives will be convicted to do so. Bring in Your kingdom. Make this world a place where justice and beauty reign. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
请阅读12-17节 （除非另有说明，所有经文均引用诗篇 89篇）。
作者谈到了欢呼（第15节）。身为上帝的子民，我们应当为祂的胜利而感到喜乐。我们应当在祂脸上的光里行走。上帝的子民知道喜乐的声音—福音是喜乐的声音。这里的假设是我们对“喜乐的声音”是有聪慧的。基督说：“我的羊听我的声音，他们也跟着我”（约翰福音10:27）； “羊不跟着陌生人，因为他们不认得他的声音。” （约翰福音10：5）。
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