Monday, November 1, 2021

Psalms To See Me Through Psalm 30: Rescue Me

Thanksgiving for Rescue from Death. A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House. A Psalm of David.

Well, it is that time of year in which we begin to anticipate Thanksgiving; it is just around the corner. Though this is just the first day of November, the holiday season will soon be upon us. I have written before, and many others have as well, how vital thanksgiving to God is in our life. We should be thankful for all the Lord has done for us through all of our days, not just at Thanksgiving time. Though this prayer also, is a song for the dedication of the House of the Lord, we don’t have to wait until church on Sunday to give Him thanks. We can start now in our home cultivating a theology of thanksgiving throughout the year.

This Psalm is yet another in the category of thanksgiving Psalms in which the one praying is saved from distress. This song is a beautiful illustration of what our thankfulness to God should resemble. In this particular Psalm, David is thanking the Lord for saving him from death’s grip. In these times, saving from death’s grip does not seem distant from us. Disease, sickness, and the like are in our world and touch us all. David here rejoices once again that the Lord has snatched him from the clutch of his enemies.

I will exalt You, Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me {v.1}.

The Lord has lifted him up. The Hebrew verb used here is daloh. This word is used for drawing water from a well.[1] The Lord saved him from the deep pit of despair, and we know that we can have the same confidence when we cry out to God, He hears us and will draw us up from despair. The language here may indicate that his enemies may not have caused his despair, but rather that they gloat that death or despair has him in its clutches. Either way, the Lord has lifted him out and he seeks to thank the Lord for His goodness and mercy; David exalts the Lord and praises Him. I will extol your virtues with the highest of praise.[2] How can you praise the Lord today? This week? This month? Let’s become grateful today and cultivate a heart that is thankful and worshipful. The Lord is pleased when we fully depend on Him and He not only hears our cries, but He welcomes them. This confidence, this belief that God answers when called upon is essential to the prayer Psalms and this Psalm celebrates its vindication.[3] David did not want to give the enemy the last laugh.

Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit {vv. 2-3}.

David’s despair was so deep that he believed he was literally in hell. The word used here in Hebrew is miyordey but means the speaker felt he had gone down to death.[4] Have you felt this way? That your despair has been your hell and there is no way out? I have experienced that level of despair in sickness and hardships—in myself and loved ones—but there is a way out; call on the Lord our God, who like David, rescues us from the pit of whatever trial we are in. He gives us the strength to endure whatever trial we are facing. We may not always get the outcome we desire, but He will rescue us and lift us up. David praises the Lord because though he was in the grave, he was raised up.

 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And praise the mention of His holiness {v.4}.

God is so good. How can we utter anything worthy of Him? He is holy, mighty, good, love. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” {Is. 6:3}. How can we mortals ever thank Him for all He has done for us? We must, by recognizing His glory, His attributes. No name truly describes God, for His essence is beyond our comprehension.[5] As I said above, we must cultivate a thankful heart and worship the Lord for His goodness in our lives, and that is necessary for our personal devotional life. It is also important to worship Him before all believers in the house of the Lord. The psalmist is calling us to praise as a lesson for the congregation that in our sufferings, there is God’s deliverance.[6]

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. {v. 5}.

Ellicot’s commentary speaks so beautifully of this:

“Sorrow is the wayfarer who comes to the tent for a night’s lodging, but the metaphor of his taking his leave in the morning is not carried on, and we have instead the sudden waking with a cry of joy, sudden as the Eastern dawn, without twilight or preparation. Never was faith in the Divine love more beautifully expressed.”[7]

 The apostle James encourages us,

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing {Jas. 1: 2-4 NASB}

God’s anger lasts only for a short time. But when we cry out in prayer, repent, and pray for mercy, we can expect joy once again. We can have joy now even when it is dark. Though it is dark this side of the trial on the other side is exceeding joy! 

Everything David has he recognizes as God’s favor on his life. He knows that without the Lord he would have nothing. The Lord anointed him king and gave him riches and honor; this was not David’s doing but the Lord’s. Our hearts should resemble the psalmist’s in that we acknowledge before the Lord that all we have, the roof over our head, the clothes on our backs, the breath in our lungs…is from the Lord and He deserves our thankfulness and praise. We must constantly be aware that no matter how hard some of our trials are, that life is a gift from God, and what better way to acknowledge this than through our worship.

Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.” Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed {vv. 6-7}.

David is explaining here that while everything seemed to be going his way, that nothing could shake him. But then he was shaken. This happened to me and can happen to all of us. Just when things seem to be fine, they can change in a moment. The Lord sometimes uses the trials and hard times that we experience to shake us out of reliance on the things of this world and to shift our focus back to Him—the only place our security is found. But it was during this trial in the deep pit of despair that caused David to feel as though God had turned His face from him and as we see in verse 8, David sought Him in prayer.

 To You, Lord, I called, And to the Lord I pleaded for compassion: “What gain is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? “Hear, Lord, and be gracious to me; Lord, be my helper.” You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have untied my sackcloth and encircled me with joy, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. {vv. 8-12}.

We will all be faced with hard times and trials. It is in these hard times that we need to seek the Lord. When hard things hit our lives we have two choices; either turn away from God or turn to God. When we trust in Him there is deliverance; not always from the trial itself (though that may happen) but from the power that it has over us. We can say like David that “I will not be shaken.” In agony, David cried out to God and bared his soul. We read that he had indeed secret wrestlings with God; he had his complaints and objections, cries, and pleadings. His rhetorical questions are a part of those wrestlings. Yet, God still heard Him and rescued Him from the pit. He prayed in the dark. We must pray while it is dark. Prayer is a constant source for us. When we are at the end of our rope and the end of ourselves the mercy seat awaits us. For we have this confidence that we can approach the throne of grace to obtain all that we need {Heb. 4:16}. Though an earthquake erupts and shakes our mountain, God’s throne of grace remains sure and will always welcome us to seek refuge in His presence. Always turn to prayer and have faith that He hears and answers. When He rescues do not forget to praise Him. He deserves our worship. He is worthy of all glory, honor, and praise {Rev. 4:11}.

David reminds the Lord that he cannot praise him or tell others of His marvelous works if he does not rescue him. The Lord heard him and rescued David from the pit. David asked that he could live to sing His praises.

I love Matthew Henry’s words on praise and worship to the Lord:

“We ask aright for life, when we do so that we may live to praise him. In due time God delivered the psalmist out of his troubles. Our tongue is our glory, and never more so than when employed in praising God.”[8] 



To read all the Psalms in this series click here: Psalms To See Me Through

[1] Robert Alter, The Book Of Psalms (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007), 102.

[2] Avrohom Chaim Feuer, trans., Nosson Scherman, and Meir Zlotowitz eds, Tehillim Vol.1 (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1995), 360.

[3] Craig C. Broyles, Understanding The Bible Commentary Series: Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 155.

[4] Alter, 102.

[5] Tehillim, 362.

[6] Broyles, 154.

[7] Charles John Ellicott, An Old Testament Commentary For English Readers, Vol. 4 (London: Cassell and Company, 1897),129.

[8] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary On The Whole Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 479. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Sabbath Sanctuary: The Sabbath Year

I have been contemplating sabbath rest. Resting has been something of which I write often and it has been at the forefront of my existence for the last couple of years.

Though we all are aware of the sabbath commandment to rest on the seventh day, my contemplation has been focused on the year of rest that the Lord commanded the Israelites:

The Lord then spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I am going to give you, then the land shall have a Sabbath to the Lord. For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its produce, but during the seventh year the land shall have a Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. You shall not reap your harvest’s aftergrowth, and you shall not gather your grapes of untrimmed vines; the land shall have a sabbatical year {Lev. 25:1-5 NASB}.

As I read this passage, I thought about how hard this must have been for them. It is important to remember that this community was an agricultural one, their livelihood was tied to the land. If they could not grow their crops, they had nothing. But the Lord is always merciful, and He foresees their trouble and before they can even raise their lips to complain He answers them:

You shall therefore follow My statutes and keep My judgments so as to carry them out, so that you may live securely on the land. Then the land will yield its produce, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. But if you say, ‘What are we going to eat in the seventh year if we do not sow nor gather in our produce?’ then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the produce for three years. When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the produce, eating the old until the ninth year when its produce comes in {Lev. 25:18-22 NASB}.

The Lord is always faithful. If they will only but trust in Him, even during the sabbath, He will not leave them or forsake them.

I have been meditating on this for some time now because I seem to be in a sabbath of my own. Those of you who know me know that I garden every year as I am working toward being able to grow as much of my own food as possible. I also love flowers and grow them as well. I am one of those who sow her seeds early so that as soon as winter has made its last stand (and a very cold spring where I am) and the threat of frost has vanished, I plant them in the garden as soon as possible (also we have a short growing season).

Well, this year was the first year that I can remember that I have not planted any seeds and did not have a garden. While this may seem irrelevant to some it is a huge disappointment for me. Though I don’t rely on my little farm for my livelihood, Piper’s Farm brings me much joy. I love planting seeds and watching the miracle that it produces in the fruit for it is part of the creation that I love. It was not to be this year. In April, I had major foot surgery so I knew I would not be able to attend to the seeds or get them planted, and I did not want to burden the husband as he already had to pick up the slack for me in so many other areas, so I didn’t plant any. While it was something I needed to lay down, it was still very hard for me. I walk the yard often looking at the place where my garden is usually growing to see only weeds {which are screaming at me as well}.

This is where my sabbath has occupied my mind because it has spiritual implications as well. We are not the ancient Israelites, but there are some spiritual implications concerning the sabbath and the waiting periods that we often find ourselves in. This has certainly been a year of sabbath for me. In April, I found myself in the recovery room after foot surgery with very low oxygen levels. So, long story made a tad shorter, they found a nodule in my lung. The location of the nodule was very problematic and could not easily be reached. I endured two bronchoscopies in two weeks, and they were not able to retrieve a sample size of the tissue large enough to determine a diagnosis. Then a PET scan, then a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma. Then, three weeks ago, they removed the nodule by removing half of my right lung, and thankfully, it is not cancer—the goodness of God displayed. I am recovering, and will be fine, but I feel as though I have lived in a state of recovery for most of this year {also part of why I have been absent from this space}. Though I was still in school working on my Ph.D. in the spring, I have had to postpone school until later in October. This was very hard for me to do; I wrestled with the decision for weeks. I also had to step down from my editing work at my church where I was employed. It feels like everything I am and everything I do is gone. A sabbath rest, though mine is not in obedience, mine seems like I had no choice.

There are seasons where we will feel as though we have been emptied of everything and we have no choice but to trust the Lord in the season of sabbath. I cannot fully convey the frustration in my life right now as I struggle with everything being stripped away. I have to rest in order to recover, I have no choice. I don’t have the strength to do much.

I imagine this is how the Israelites may have felt in that sabbath year. But God is so faithful to us. Just as He was with them and blessed them in the sixth year so that the sabbath year would not be a strain for them, He is with us. He is with me. When we are faithful to be in His Word and walk with Him daily, we are strengthened to walk through these times. The Lord promised us that we will not be alone, He has sent the Comforter to keep us:

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you {Jn. 14: 16-17 NASB}.

He will not leave us, and He is faithful to walk through them with us. The Apostle Paul was told that God’s grace was sufficient for him when he cried out to God during one of his struggles {2 Cor. 12:9}, His grace is sufficient to help us do what we cannot do for ourselves.

During this time, I have had to completely deconstruct who I am and what I am doing or should be doing for Him on this earth and have had to rebuild from the foundation up. Though this is a hard thing to walk through, He is faithful in the waiting—in this sabbath. He is working towards my good when I rest in Him. I have no choice but to wait on Him and then He works in me to form me into His image; to make me more Christlike, which is always for my good:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified” {Rom. 8: 28-30 NASB}.

So, I will wait. I will take this sabbath rest and trust and wait on Him to bring forth His purpose in my life, because He has given me enough spiritual riches in abundance to endure this sabbath, as frustrating as it can be at times, and to live under His sovereign hand.


If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my relief comes” {Job. 14:14 NASB}.

Rest in God this beautiful Sabbath weekend.....

Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Prayer For Pentecost

“Father of light, from whom every good gift comes, send your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds.

Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words beyond the power of speech, for without your Spirit we could never raise our voice in words of peace or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord.”

Author Unknown

God’s Appointed Times: Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks

Today is Pentecost Sunday the day we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church. Pentecost is also referred to in the Bible as the Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest, and the Day of Firstfruits {Ex. 23:16Num. 28}. Pentecost falls on the fiftieth day from Passover. It was a one-day feast and celebration {Ex. 23:1634:22Lev. 23:15,22Num. 28}. 

The liturgy for the feast is found in Deuteronomy,

“You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread as a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord. Along with the bread you shall present seven one-year-old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord. You shall also offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs one year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits as a wave offering with two lambs before the Lord; they are to be holy to the Lord for the priest. On this very day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a permanent statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations” {Lev. 23:15-21}.

The Feast of Passover was the beginning of the barley harvest and Pentecost was celebrated during the wheat harvest. The feast was a wave offering to the Lord. It consisted of two loaves baked with leaven. It was made with fine flour that was sifted in order to separate the chaff from the wheat. The wave offering was a way for the Hebrews to exhibit their dependence on God, not only for the harvest but also for their daily bread, an offering of thanksgiving.

This is of course the first Pentecost, a foreshadow of the Pentecost in the New Testament. God gave Moses the law on Mt. Sinai written on tablets of stone. Yet there was a promise from the Lord of a future time when the law would be written on the tablets of the heart {Jer. 31:31–34}. For thousands of years, people journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost awaiting the promise of God. 

The Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled in Jesus when He was glorified in the resurrection and seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father. He sent the promised Helper, the Holy Spirit in the upper room to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost which was the fulfillment of God’s promise. Through the Holy Spirit, the Father wrote His precepts on the hearts of all who placed their faith in Christ. He does this still today for all who come to faith in Christ.


In John’s gospel account Jesus speaks and reveals how He fulfills this feast: “But Jesus answered them by saying, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’” {Jn. 12:23–24}. Jesus is the seed of grain that died for our sin. He is the Bread from Heaven made with fine flour; perfect righteousness. 

The feast of Pentecost marked the fifty days between Passover  and Pentecost, the New Testament Pentecost was fifty days from Jesus’ resurrection to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the one hundred and twenty in the upper room. 

There is so much more to say concerning the symbolism, types, and fulfillment in Christ concerning the Feast of Pentecost, but this is sufficient for now. I will write more in the future concerning God’s Appointed Times because they so beautifully speak to the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus our precious Savior.  

Graciously consider subscribing to the blog and follow me on social media! 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sabbath Sanctuary: The Doxology Giving Praise To God

 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” {Col. 3:16-17 NASB}. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

He Is Not Here, He Is Risen!

 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why are you seeking the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise from the dead’” (Lk. 24:5-7 NASB).

Happy Resurrection Sunday! He is risen!

Friday, April 2, 2021

His Passion

I stand here and look up to a cross on a hill
All of creation was in chaos but yet I was still
Amazed at the way you were beaten and torn
How could they hate you and show you only scorn?

Do they know that you did this out of such love?
Do they know you were sent here from above?
Yet it must be done so that all is as you have said
Oh Lord your torn body and the thorns in your head!

Oh Lord I helped drive that nail through your hand
Because we all turned away and sinned every man
You were led away as a lamb to the slaughter
Yet you did it to redeem every son and daughter

Oh Lord I pray let not your death be in vain
Or that I take for granted your suffering and pain
May I be faithful to you up until death
May I never deny you till I take my last breath

This was my passion I knew I must die
But not for long would I in a grave lie
For every person of creation was before my face
As I gladly died to pour out God’s grace

I was crucified so that all people will be
Chosen, cleansed and set apart for me
I long to know you and to call you my friend
So that we will be together always to the end

I gave you my body I Am the Bread of Life
You are my spotless bride my beloved wife
I gave my blood poured out just for you
When you drink you are free, cleansed and anew

Take my body and blood in remembrance of me
Remember that I died to set every person free
I long to commune with you and call you by name
I paid the price so that you will never be the same

Piper Green

Saturday, March 20, 2021

God Was In Christ: The Doctrine of the Incarnation Part VII

I want to continue with the next part of God was in Christ. We have walked through the Old Testament and where Christ, the preexistent Second Person of the Godhead, made many appearances. We also saw the Old Testament prophets their prophecies concerning the Incarnation of Christ. Let us look now to the New Testament to see what Jesus Himself and that He claimed to be God.  

Jesus presents Himself through the Gospels not only as a prophet but as the object of prophecy. Jesus acknowledged that He was the Messiah on oath at His trial.[1] His ministry, however, is meaningless unless He firmly believed that He was God’s chosen One to redeem His people. In fact, no sense can be made of Jesus Himself “unless we are prepared to acknowledge that Jesus saw in Himself the culmination of Israel’s law and for salvation and God.”[2]

Jesus claimed His divinity and looked to the Old Testament to substantiate this truth, “It was the Old Testament…the Hebrew Scriptures in which he found a rich tapestry of figures, historical persons, prophetic pictures and symbols of worship. And in this tapestry, where others saw only a fragmented collection of various figures and hopes, Jesus saw His own face.”[3] Christ repeatedly stated to the disciples, Pharisees, and others that He existed with and came from the Father.

The Word God (Theos)

The word Theos (God) refers to God the Father in the New Testament, “Nonetheless, there are several passages where it is also used to refer to Jesus Christ.”[4] One of the most well-known is, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn. 1:1). Another is John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” This is a direct reference to God and His essence as Spirit, “This first statement is to be connected with verse one, which also speaks of Jesus Christ in His self-existence is an eternal and infinite Spirit. Then, to show the very special relationship of the Son to the Father.”

The Word Lord (Kyrios)

Grudem defines Kyrios in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) as the Hebrew word, Yahweh. Yahweh is translated “LORD,” or “Jehovah.” It is used to translate the name of the Lord 6, 814 times in the Greek Old Testament, “Therefore, any Greek-speaking reader at the time of the New Testament who had any knowledge at all of the Septuagint would have recognized that, in contexts where it was appropriate, the word “Lord” was the name of the one who was the Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth, the omnipotent God.”[6]

In the New Testament, there are many instances where ‘Lord’ is used of Christ, “In what can only be understood as…Yahweh or God himself.”[7] These names of God refer not only to the Father but also Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, attributing to Christ the nature and attributes of God.

The Son of Man

The Son of Man was one of the most prominent names that Jesus’ used in referring to Himself. The Gospels record seventy-eight times that Jesus used this title. The Son of Man is the name associated with the eschatological prophecy in Daniel 7:13. The title is connected to the earthly life of Jesus. He refers to Himself as the Son of Man in the healing of the paralytic, which we see in Mark 9:6. He also referred to Himself as the Son of Man as the Lord of the Sabbath (Mk. 2:28); with His suffering (Mk. 8:31); and concerning His future death and resurrection: “And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (KJV). The Son of Man is a title that was used exclusively by Jesus—His disciples did not address Him as such. Jesus uses this title when referring to His humanity, but also as a designation of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God.

Son Of God

One important aspect of His nature that Scripture claims, and vital to His pre-existence, is that He is the Son of God. The term “Son of God” is used to refer to Israel; a man created by God; or a redeemed man in general. Some even assert that the Sons of God in Genesis chapter 6 and Job 1:6; 2:1 refer to angels. However, “There are nevertheless instances in which the phrase “Son of God” refers to Jesus as the heavenly, eternal Son who is equal to God Himself (see Matt. 11: 25-30; 17:5; 1 Cor. 15:28; Heb. 1:1-3, 5, 8).”[8] Christ is referred to as the “Son of God” in a more unique sense than the created, the redeemed, and the celestial creation.

When an individual comes to faith in Jesus Christ, they become a son of God, “But as many as received him, to them gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (Jn. 1:12 KJV). But only Jesus is the Only-begotten of the Father, “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb. 1:6 KJV). The author of Hebrews is drawing from the only Old Testament reference to the “Only-begotten,” as Psalm 2:7 reads, “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’” This designation is only attributed to Christ by the Father.

In the next post, we will look at more of Jesus’ claims of how He is the Incarnate Christ and other witnesses who verified His claims.

Graciously consider subscribing to the blog and follow me on social media! 

[1] Elwell, Dictionary of Theology, 1019. 

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, ed., The Complete Word Study New Testament (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 1992), 306. 

[3] Grudem, 544. 

[4] Ibid.

[5] Grudem, 546.

[6] George L. Carey, God Incarnate (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press., 1977), 11.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Christopher J.H. Wright, Knowing Jesus Through The Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press., 1992), 108.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sabbath Sanctuary: Crucible Hill; God Was In Christ

Lent is upon us. This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, and though my church does not follow the liturgy of the church, I love it and miss it; especially Ash Wednesday. 

The Lenten season has me reflecting on the death and resurrection and it has urged me to continue with my series on the Incarnation. How appropriate then that we examine the testimony of the prophets in the Old Testament who prophesied about His coming. Isaiah speaks about the coming Messiah more than any of the prophets.  

 Isaiah prophesies Jesus’ birth, but also foretells His Incarnation; “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). Matthew quotes this prophecy in his gospel in 1:23 to recognize Jesus as the One Isaiah spoke of dwelling with His people. Isaiah prophesied Jesus birth and His name, and each name describes His attributes:

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this (Is. 9:6-7).

Again, this is fulfilled in Matthew that Jesus is the long-awaited King, the rightful heir to David’s throne, the Ruler of God’s people.[1] 

Isaiah also prophesied about the suffering and death of Christ, the Man of Sorrows in Isaiah 53:

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth
(Is. 53:1-7 NKJV).

We reflect on Jesus, who walked up Crucible Hill, the Man of Sorrows, the Suffering Servant, who died on our behalf. He carries those things that hurt, the pain we suffer—He bore it all. He took upon Himself our sickness, our stress, our heartbreak—our sin.

The prophet Micah also prophesied the Incarnation. He warns Bethlehem of their coming deliverer and speaks of His pre-incarnational existence, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Mic. 5:2 NASB bold emphasis added). This is the strongest possible language concerning His pre-existence, “The plain antithesis…shows that the eternal generation of the Son is meant. The terms convey the strongest assertion of infinite duration of which the Hebrew language is capable.”[2] The prophets, through God’s Spirit, saw the coming of the Messiah. Matthew calls upon this prophetic verse to proclaim that Jesus is the fulfillment of this Messiah who existed with and came from the Father (Matt. 2:6).

Throughout the history of mankind, God has used numerous methods and mediums to communicate with His creation and to give them His message. The prophets gave us God’s words. But Jesus is the very Word of God. The book of Hebrews tells us that “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Heb. 1: 1-2). This is just one more claim by Scripture to the deity of Jesus Christ.

I pray that you meditate on His Word during this season of Lent. Christ left the glory He shared with the Father, to suffer and die so that you are no longer captive to the power of sin. Meditate on what He sacrificed for and how much He loves you. His love is eternal.

Graciously consider subscribing to the blog and follow me on social media! 

[1] Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles, The Craddle, The Cross, And The Crown (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2009), 220.