Sometimes we just need a change in perspective. Our world has convinced us that everything is urgent, which often pushes out what’s important. In today’s psalm, the psalmist begins it by stating how magnificent it is to be in God’s presence. The psalmist even states how he longs to spend time with the Lord. If we could shift our perspective from the urgent to something more like the psalmist, we’d be a lot better off.
- 15 – There are a number of times where Scripture describes someone doing everything exactly as they were instructed, or in this case, leaving nothing undone. One hundred percent compliance is what God wants from us.
- 17-19 – All 10 were healed, but only one praised God for it. Each of us receives blessings, but few of us remember to give God thanks for the blessings he’s given.
- 20-21 – Living on earth, we are caught in what is often called the “already but not yet”. This means we can experience some of God’s Kingdom here on earth: grace, joy, selfless love. But we are also still waiting for the fullness of God’s kingdom because we still experience pain, suffering, and injustices here on earth.
- 31-37 – These verses are where the idea of the rapture derives. Many believe that when Jesus comes again, believers will be taken up with him instantaneously and non-believers will be left behind.
- 1-2 – So often we feel as if we have to make time for God or that time with him is simply an item on a checklist. The Psalmist here has a very different view of God and what a gift it is to be in his presence. He says that his soul longs and faints to be in the presence of God.
- 10-12 – Beautiful imagery of the blessing it is to be in God’s presence, the way he cares for and protects us, and how he gives us good gifts.
- We view most sins as harmless, but this verse explains that sin can overthrow us and lead to our ultimate demise.
This obviously isn’t Jesus. I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t wear sweaters and sit on folding chairs, but Jesus was a little Jewish boy who learned the same Scriptures of the Old Testament we learn today. He even memorized the Torah as all Jewish children are required to do. Often it’s hard to view Jesus as a human, but when he quotes Psalm 22 while on the cross in today’s reading from Mark, it reminds us that he learned Scripture and turned to it when in agony.
- 22-26 – It might be weird for us to think about unintentionally sinning because we normally know when we’re making choices that probably aren’t pleasing to God. They truly might have worn something with mixed fabrics unintentionally or broken some other law that they made a mistake on. God made atonement for these sins fairly easy and universal.
- 15 – Normally Moses is defending the Israelites to God and asking for mercy. This time, Moses seems to have had enough of their complaining and asks God not to respect their offerings.
- 23-32 – Korah, Dathan, and Abiram got swallowed up by the earth as a sign that they truly didn’t follow the Lord.
- 15 – Key phrase – “wishing to satisfy the crowd.” We often do things to satisfy a crowd that hurts our relationship with Christ.
- 19 – Striking his head with the reed was intended to force the thorns deeper into Jesus’ head.
- 23 – At the last supper Jesus explained that he wouldn’t drink wine again until he drinks it with his disciples in his father’s kingdom.
- 35 – Jesus quotes Psalm 22 here.
- 38 – The temple curtain separated the holy of holies, where one could encounter God, from the areas where sinful people could be. Jesus’ death literally broke down that barrier.
- 39 – Not insignificant that it is a gentile who recognizes Jesus’ identity.
- David was in actual physical danger when he cried out to God with this Psalm.
There are a lot of times when closing your mouth is beneficial…particularly while sleeping on a plane. Proverbs makes it clear over and over again that we are supposed to limit our words, think before we speak, and listen without trying to insert our opinions as quickly as possible. Who knew this was more than just a life skill? It’s an act of wisdom.
- 19-25 – If people offered animals with blemishes it was to keep the best ones in their herds and flocks. This meant they were not offering their best to God.
- 32 – “Afflict yourselves,” means for them to fast.
- Many of the offerings happened at the appointed times of the festivals.
- 38-41 – Jesus makes similar comments multiple times regarding people who didn’t officially follow him. As long as they were serving others and not preaching a false message, Jesus felt like they were on the same team.
- 42-48 – Whatever it is that causes us to stumble, we should remove.
- 6-8 – We tend to try to trust in our own abilities and accomplishments, but it is God who should receive the glory for saving and empowering us.
- We should all seek to be listeners first.