Tuesday, April 30, 2024

2024.04.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 118:19–29

Read Psalm 118:19–29

Questions from the from the Scripture text: What does the psalmist now command/request (Psalm 118:19a)? What will he do with these gates (verse 19b)? And what will he do once on the inside (verse 19c)? What does he call the gate in Psalm 118:20a? Who will enter it (verse 20b)? To Whom does he repeat the intention from Psalm 118:19c (Psalm 118:21a)? For doing what will he praise Him (verse 21b, cf. Psalm 118:5b)? For being what will he praise Him (Psalm 118:21c, cf. Psalm 118:14b)? What has become what in Psalm 118:22? Who has done this (Psalm 118:23a)? Causing what response (verse 23b)? What does Psalm 118:24a say about this day of victory? What do the saved do in this day (verse 24b)? What else do they do in it (Psalm 118:25)? For what do they pray? What do they say/do to the King (Psalm 118:26)? What do they say about YHWH in Psalm 118:27a? What has He done (verse 27b)? With what worship do they respond (verse 27c)? How does each one, individually, respond (Psalm 118:28a)? How does verse 28b emphasize this? 

How should our praise reflect that which is heard in heaven? Psalm 118:19–29 prepares us for the opening portion of public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these eleven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that our praise should be filled with God’s glory and love in Christ’s victory through sacrifice.

Singular victory, shared reward. We have seen in Psalm 118:10-14 a singular victory, with a shared/plural rejoicing in Psalm 118:15-18. Now, each individual who has a share in the King’s victory is pictured as also having a share in the King’s righteousness, as he enters through the gates that only the righteous may enter (Psalm 118:19-20). Indeed, the Lord Jesus had brought many sons to glory in His ascension (cf. Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 2:6), which we experience by faith each week as He leads our worship from there (cf. Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 9:24).

Thy worship be done, in earth as it is in heaven. So, whenever He gathers us to glory in the assembly (cf. Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 12:22–24), we do from earth what they do beyond the gates, where He is: praise (Psalm 118:19c, Psalm 118:22-24; cf. Hebrews 2:12; Revelation 4:8–11, Revelation 5:8–14) and pray (Psalm 118:25, cf. Hebrews 2:13, Hebrews 4:14–16; Revelation 5:8, Revelation 6:9–11, Revelation 8:3–4). The answered prayer in Psalm 118:21b harkens back to Psalm 118:5b, and the Lord being his salvation in Psalm 118:21c harkens back to Psalm 118:14b. What the Lord has done for His people before, and what the Lord has done for us before, and especially what the Lord has done for Christ—all of these drive us both to praise Him and to call upon Him again in prayer.

Praising what God has done for Christ. It is this ultimate cause—what the Lord has done for Christ—that comes into sharp focus in Psalm 118:22-24. Shockingly, the builders (the men who seem to be something) in Israel reject the Stone, Who is Christ (Psalm 118:22, cf. Matthew 21:42, 1 Peter 2:4–7). As the victorious Champion enters the gates of glory (cf. Psalm 24:7–10), all of heaven rejoices over the reward He has earned through His humiliation (cf. Philippians 2:5–11). So, also, ought we to do on earth. I wonder, dear reader, whether your heart is often taken up with both praise for Christ in His victory, and praise for God in exalting the King Whom Israel had rejected.

The crowd, just days before Christ’s crucifixion, recognized that He is the King from Psalm 118. “Save now” in Psalm 118:25a is “Hosanna” (cf. Matthew 21:9). Little did they know that as they were blessing Jesus (Psalm 118:26), they were indeed preparing Him to be sacrificed in order to give life and light to His people (Psalm 118:27). The glorifying of Christ by the sacrifice of Christ is the greatest display of God’s glory (Psalm 118:28) and love (Psalm 118:29). And for this we ought to praise Him forever. Let the victory of Christ, through the sacrifice of Christ, ever whelm His people’s hearts with God’s love and fill His people’s mouths with God’s praise!

How often are you mindful of Christ’s having been rejected by His people? How often are you mindful of His sacrifice for your sin? How often are you mindful of His great victory and ascension? What does your union with Him mean has happened to you in His ascension? What time, and way, each week, do you participate in the corporate praise of heaven already? 

Sample prayer:  Lord, open wide unto us the gates of righteousness, for we come in the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteous One. Grant that we would have entrance through our union with Him, and grant that we would make our entrance by faith in Him. We will praise You, for You have answered us, and You have become our salvation. We come, as living stones, whom You have built up to be a spiritual house, a holy priesthood. Grant, now, that upon Him, the Chief Cornerstone, we would believe—and that we would offer up spiritual sacrifices, that are acceptable to God, through Him! Save and prosper us, and make us to give thanks to You, for You are good, and Your covenant love endures forever! We ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP118D “Now Open Wide the Gates” or TPH118A “O Thank the LORD for All His Goodness”

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