Tuesday, July 19, 2022

2022.07.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 60

Read Psalm 60

Questions from the Scripture text: Into whose hands was this Psalm originally placed (superscript)? Who wrote it for what primary use? To what historical event was it attached? Whom does Psalm 60:1 address? What two things does verse 1a–b say God has done? Why (verse 1c)? For what does verse 1d ask? What else do Psalm 60:2a–b say God has acted against? In what ways? For what does verse 2c ask? How does Psalm 60:3 describe Israel? What hope does this already give? But what two things has God done to “His people”? Yet, what great thing had He previously done (Psalm 60:4a)? For whom? For what purpose (verse 4b)? For what other purpose (Psalm 60:5a)? For what two things does verse 5b ask? In what has God spoken (Psalm 60:6a)? What will He do (verse 6b)? What other two things (verse 6d)? What two places/peoples belong to Him (Psalm 60:7a)? And what two for honorable use (verse 7b–c)? And what two for more common use (Psalm 60:8a–b)? Who/where else is His (verse 8c)? What will they do? What does David now ask in Psalm 60:9? What is the answer to his question (Psalm 60:10)? But what is the problem, if he is looking forward to the Lord doing this? Why isn’t he looking for help elsewhere (Psalm 60:11)? Of what outcome is he sure (Psalm 60:12)? Through Whom? How?

When God seems to have turned against us, where can we find hope? Psalm 60 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twelve verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that our hope in troubled times is that God has taken us to be His own, and that He ultimately takes the whole world to be His own.

Divine sovereignty makes our troubles more difficult. The knowledge that God rules and overrules all things means that things don’t just happen to us. God is active and operating in them. This was the great trouble for Job. Even if he had known of Satan’s direct involvement, it would not have resolved the Lord’s sovereign oversight. 

So also for David in this Psalm. It is the God Who has been acting in David’s battle defeats (Psalm 60:1a–c). It is God Who has acted against His promised land (Psalm 60:2a–b). It’s God Who has brought pain and confusion to His own people (Psalm 60:3). The problem has been not that Mesopotamia, Syria, and Edom have been against them but that God has (Psalm 60:10)!

Divine sovereignty gives divine purpose to our troubles. But if this is the case, then we know some of God’s purposes in our pain. He has faithfully acknowledged His people as His own, so we know that is part of what He is doing (Psalm 60:4). If He has brought His people into difficulty, part of the reason is to display His love as He delivers them (Psalm 60:5a). If He has brought His people to the point of crying out to be saved, it is partly so that they can know that He hears them when they cry (verse 5b).  He intends to rejoice over them (Psalm 60:6b). He even brings us into situations that prove that God alone can be our help (Psalm 60:11b).

Showing His commitment. Showing His love. Showing His hearing us. Showing His rejoicing over us. These are all wonderful divine purposes in the sufferings of His people, praise God!

Divine sovereignty brings divine praise through our troubles. He is holy (Psalm 60:6a); He acts for Himself. So, His people need to be apportioned and measured as His own inheritance (Psalm 60:6-7a). He decides what to do with each. That’s the picture presented by His selecting Ephraim as a helmet in verse 7b and Judah as a scepter in verse 7c. This is done not in spite, but in joy! 

Even the enemies are described as those whom God is in the process of appropriating for His own service. God, of course, needs no washpot (Moab, Psalm 60:8a) or footrest (Edom, verse 8b). Neither does He need helmet or scepter. But even for more common service, it is an honor to a nation when the Lord turns them from being an enemy to being a servant.

God’s purpose of His praise must be realized. In the midst of difficulty, Psalm 60:12 is still the believer’s confidence.

How does it help to remember that your troubles are more about God than they are about You? What are some difficulties that You are in? What are some of God’s purposes in those difficulties?

Sample prayer:  O Lord, we bless Your Name for raising Your banner over us, and displaying it in Your faithfulness. How sweet it is to know that we are Your beloved, and that You hear us! And how marvelous that You would rejoice over us and give us a particular part in bringing You glory! Give us help from Yourself, even now for worshiping You, for whatever comes from us is useless. But You have given Yourself to us by Your indwelling Spirit, Who unites us to Christ, in Whose Name we pray, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP60B “God in His Holiness Declared” or TPH60 “You, O God, Reject and Spurn Us”

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