Today’s readings are really great psalms: passages that are quoted to powerful effect by our Lord and the Hebrew writer and passages heavy with wisdom for the man or woman of God. So let’s dive right in.
The LORD says to my Lord (Psalm 110:1) — Jesus encountered a number of skeptics, mostly of the Pharisaic persuasion, about not only Jesus identity, but even as to exactly WHO the Messiah was supposed to be. The Pharisees had a hard enough time believing that Jesus was the Messiah, they probably had an even more difficult time believing that the Messiah was to be the Son of God. So, Jesus tries to help them understand through this psalm, written by David. The LORD here is clearly God Himself, the capitalized LORD, you’ll hopefully remember, is a deliberately indirect reference to the personal name of God Himself (Yahweh). And God is speaking to David’s Lord. Jesus’ point in Matt. 22:14 is that David would never normally call Solomon or any of his grandchildren “Lord”; so David must be talking about someone else who is his superior — someone greater than him. This superiority becomes even more apparent later in verse 4, where the LORD swears that He will make this superior a priest according the order of Melchizedek — not just a king but a priest, unheard of among the Jewish kings (though it was common for pagan royalty to perform both functions). This “son” was different, special, greater than king David himself. This psalm was no mere praise for the king and the LORD who would bless him, this psalm is a prophecy that the Pharisees and we should pay attention to — because there are still skeptics out there.
Wonders studied by all who delight in them (Psalm 111) — The wonders found in the Bible are not mere stories to take in like they’re entertainment or something — something to make us feel reverent and move on. They are stories to be studied like any other part of Scripture. As we do we come to understand a little more about God: His nature, the reason for His wonders, His power, and what He is capable of today. We also learn other things, like the security of relying on Him. New Testament writers have, for example, taken the stories of Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea and made an important point about escaping the world’s dominion at the point of baptism. There are important points that can be made with and learned from the falling of Jericho’s wall, the story of David and Goliath, and Elijah’s sacrifice at Mt. Carmel. Study them, think on them; let them teach, and uplift, and build up faith in you. There’s more to those wonders than just a “wow factor”.
He will not fear evil tidings (Psalm 112:7,8) — Wouldn’t you love to one of those guys? One who may hear evil tidings, bad news, whatever you want to call it, but doesn’t worry about it, whose “heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” That’s what real faith in the Lord always brings. Sometimes we let our love for things and our fear of losing those things wither our faith in God. “What if God would allow ‘X’ to be taken away from me? How would I survive; would I survive? How can I protect it? What if things get hard?” And off we spiral into worry and faithlessness. You can be that guy who doesn’t fear evil tidings: lay-offs are coming, the medical tests didn’t come back as good as you had hoped, and more. “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Luke 12:27, NAS95.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.