Sunday, March 22, 2015

Psalm 30; Into your Hands.

Psalm 30

1 For the end; a psalm by David; in panic.

2 In you, O Lord, I hoped, may I never be ashamed;
rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness.
3 Incline your ear to me, 
be quick to deliver me;
become to me a Protector-God
and a house of refuge to save me.
4 Because you are my strength and my refuge, 
and for the sake of your name, you will guide me and sustain me;
5 you will bring me out of this snare, which was hidden for me, 
because you are my protector.
6 I will commit my spirit into your hands;
you redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.
7 You hated those who keep futility to no purpose;
but I hoped in the Lord.
8 I will rejoice and be glad in your mercy, 
because you looked upon my humbleness, 
you saved my soul from calamities.
9 And you didn’t imprison me in the hands of the enemy, 
you stood my feet in a spacious place.
10 Have mercy on me, O Lord, because I am afflicted;
my eye was troubled in wrath, 
my soul and my stomach.
11 Because my life failed in pain
and my years in groaning;
my strength became weak in poverty, 
and my bones were troubled.
12 I became the object of reproach along side of all my enemies
and to my neighbors, very much
and a terror to my acquaintances, 
the ones who see me outside, fled from me.
13 I was forgotten from the mind like a dead man, 
I became like a vessel of destruction.
14 Because I heard the reprimand of many who lived all around;
when they gathered together against me
they conspired to take my soul.
15 But I hoped in you, O Lord;
I said, “You are my God”.
16 My durations are in your hands;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies
and from those who hunt for me.
17 Let your face shine on your slave, 
Save me in your mercy.
18 O Lord, may I not be put to shame, because I called upon you;
May the ungodly be ashamed and be brought down to the place of the dead.
19 Let deceitful lips become speechless
which speak lawlessness against the righteous
in arrogance and contempt.
20 How much is the abundance of your kindness, O Lord, 
which you hid for those who fear you, 
you brought it to completion for those who hoped in you
before the sons of men.
21 You will hide them in the hiding place of your presence from the trouble of people,
you will shelter them in a tent from the rebuttal of tongues.
22 Blessed be the Lord, because he magnified his mercy in the fortified city.
23 But I said in my panic, 
“Then I have been driven away from the presence of your eyes.”
Therefore, you listened to the voice of my prayer
when I cried out to you.
24 Love the Lord, all of his devout ones, 
because the Lord seeks out truth
and he repays to those who practice arrogance extremely.
25 Be a man, and let your heart become strong, 
all who hope in the Lord.

We have been exploring the Greek Psalms this year and I would say that it’s been pretty interesting.  Today, we will look into another Psalm with the heading Εἰς τὸ τέλος (For the end) to see if the Psalm is eschatological or could have been seen that way.

We will approach this one is a different way.  We will start with the obvious quote from Luke 23:46 and work backwards to try to discover why Luke used Psalm 30:6 LXX in the place of Mark and Matthew using Psalm 21:2 O God, my God, pay attention to me, why did you abandon me?  

First of all, let’s analyze the quote as it is used in Luke.  Here it is from the LXX.

Psalm 30:6 εἰς χεῖράς σου παραθήσομαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου· 

Psalm 30:6 Into your hands I will commit my spirit;

Luke 23:46 καὶ φωνήσας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· πάτερ, εἰς χεῖράς σου παρατίθεμαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου. τοῦτο δὲ εἰπὼν ἐξέπνευσεν.

Luke 23:46 And after crying out in a loud voice Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  After he spoke this, he breathed his last breath.

As you can see, the only difference in the passage is the main verb.  It is in the future tense in Psalm 30 and in the present tense in Luke.

So, why this Psalm?  To me, it doesn’t feel eschatological except for the one quote in Luke.  But if it is referring to Christ through out, what may that tell us about Jesus?

The Psalm itself is about placing complete trust in God, even when you are in great distress and you panic.  The enemies are all around, but we should trust in the Lord.  They speak about us, but the Lord will hush them.  We’re in a city that is being attached and we panic.  But, the Lord will see us through.

Our life-spans (durations/appointed times) are in the hands of the Lord.  We should trust him.

We may become “a terror” to those who know us, but God will see us through.

We should never be ashamed, but our enemies will be ashamed and be brought down to Hades (the place where the dead go).  We, on the other hand, will not be brought down to Hades as the “ROCK” sits in front of those gates for us.

As you can see, this Psalm of hope is very appropriate for Jesus to quote from.  He’s on the cross.  He’s going to die.  He’s been mocked, lied about, abandoned, laughed at, insulted, beaten, and crucified.  He’s dying, but he puts his trust in God, even though he is the Lord!  Even though he dies, he is resurrected.  And even if we may die, we will also be resurrected on the day he returns.

We may panic when our city is under siege, but we know in whom we have hoped.  He will hear our prayer.  He will answer it!

So, in all our pain, affliction, poverty, and just going through life itself, 

24 Love the Lord, all of his devout ones, 
because the Lord seeks out truth
and he repays to those who practice arrogance extremely.
25 Be a man, and let your heart become strong, 

all who hope in the Lord.