Wednesday, September 28, 2011

110928 - Psalm 117-118 - Gates of Righteousness

S: Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:19-23)

O: This Psalm is Messianic and is what is quoted on Palm Sunday by the crowds recognizing Jesus as fulfilling Zecharaiah 9:9. In each account, Jesus continues into the city, weeping over their unwillingness in Luke 19:41, seeing the fruitless fig tree in Mark 11:13, and purifying the Temple (all 3 synoptics). The cornerstone passage is quoted many times in the New Testament. (Matthew 21:42/Mark12:10-11/Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:7 - also alluded to in Eph. 2:20 and Isa. 8:14,15, which the Peter passage connects to Ps. 118:25) It's interesting to see it this way: the Lord had every right to expect gates of righteousness and bring followers through them with Him. But in this case, He had to cleanse the Temple itself first, because the servants of Mammon were there.

A: It's important to consider the perspective of Christ here as well, but I'm emboldened by the perspective of David. This is the assurance of the New Testament believer. Even after sore chastening (v. 18), the believer confidently expects the gates of righteousness to open before him. Not because of my own doing, but because the LORD has become my salvation when I pleaded, "Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD."

P: Lord Jesus, though you are often grieved at my unwillingness, unfruitfulness and uncleanness, nevertheless your chastening is not for me to be given over to death, but to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Thank you that I can confidently expect the gates to open to me because of the valiant work of the right hand of the LORD.

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