Bible reading for September 20 -- 21
Sep 20 -- Ezekiel 23 and Psalms 70-71
Sep 21 -- Ezekiel 24 and Psalm 72
"I am the LORD. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 24:14)
This week, due to time constraints, I am referring you to the NET Bible notes on Ezekiel by Tom Constable, one of my former professors. My posts on the Psalms readings will be taken from last year's posts.
"So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come." (Psalm 71:18)
AGES AND STAGES (Ps 70-71). Many of the psalms in books I and II are tied to stages and events in David's life, as noted often in the superscription. Psalm 70 is a short lament, and Psalm 71 recognizes God's work in David's life from youth to old age. Here David praises God for his lifelong faithfulness to him. He is still surrounded by those who oppose his reign, and he still needs God's continued help and deliverance to the end. He wants to finish well (cf Paul, 2 Tim 4:6-7). What David wants to leave behind is not monuments to his own power, or great buildings, or public spectacles of grandeur. Here's what he wants to pass on to the next generation: "My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge" (v 15; cf John 21:25). He wants to leave behind the knowledge of the mighty deeds of the Lord, his righteousness, his salvation, and his power (vv 15-19). Instead of buildings and monuments and armies and wealth, David leaves behind for us his songs of praise to our God (vv 22-24).
LEAVING A LEGACY. I'm thankful for children, and grandchildren, and the privilege to speak to them from God's word and to pray over them. I'm thankful, too, that the Lord placed me in a university community where I have met with many young people over the past two decades, studying together, and speaking of the righteous deeds of our Lord. (I think I've learned more from them than they did from me!) If you are growing older (aren't we all) please know that you are to leave behind you a legacy of knowing and worshiping the Lord, for the blessing of future generations.
THY KINGDOM COME (Ps 72). We may not always know what good leadership looks like, but we usually recognize bad leadership when we see it. From the despotic kings of the ancient near east, to all the dictators down through history, and even to the elected officials of the western world today, nations suffer when there is not integrity, consistency, justice, and compassion in their rulers. It has been the story of humanity that so many peoples have labored under rulers who are corrupt, self-serving, and capricious, or who are indecisive, passive, and uncaring. Rulers often neglect to uphold law and order, provide for public safety, exercise impartiality, and care for their most poor and vulnerable citizens. In the previous psalm we read of David's heart for the next generation and of the legacy he wanted to leave behind. This psalm -- concluding the second collection of psalms -- is his prayer for his son Solomon, who will accede to the throne after David. On one level this is a father's prayer for the success of his son in the next reign over Israel -- that there would be justice, prosperity, and peace in the land. But on a deeper level it reflects a yearning for the Promised One to come and reign over us (See Ps 2 and Ps 110). Whenever we pray, "Your Kingdom come..." in the Lord's prayer we are echoing the same petition. Our Lord Jesus is the one who will finally usher in a glorious, eternal kingdom of righteousness. Read Psalm 72 again and ask: what are David's main concerns for his son Solomon's reign? In what ways will these be fulfilled only (and ultimately) when our Lord Jesus returns?
"Come, Thou Almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing, Help us to praise.
Father, all glorious, O’er all victorious,
Come, and reign over us, Ancient of Days."
(Charles Wesley, 1757)
Image credit: photo by Raul Petri on Unsplash. About this newsletter: I'm Sandy Young, and I post three times a week on my Bible reading, following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Subscribe for email at Buttondown.email/Sandy. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. A very helpful resource is the NET Bible with its excellent notes at netbible.org.