Friday, April 17, 2015

Seeing Jesus Christ in the Psalms: Psalm 113

Psalm 113 English Standard Version (ESV)

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
    praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised!
The Lord is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the Lord our God,
    who is seated on high,
who looks far down
    on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!


We praise Jesus Christ, the LORD incarnate "from this time forth and forevermore."  At all times (v. 2) and in all places (v. 3), Jesus' name is to be praised.  For the Father has raised his body from the grave, to rule over all, at his right hand (v. 7-8).  And just as the Son emptied himself in his incarnation, his poverty culminating at the cross, so now he lifts poor sinners who humble themselves by acknowledging their sin and turning to him for salvation.  He makes sinners like us, who have lived in the shame of sin and death, to sit with him in the heavenly realms (v. 7-8).

His people, his church, have no fertility, fruitfulness or life in themselves.  The church is the barren woman of verse 9.  But joined to Christ, he gives the Spirit to his people.  The Spirit lifts us to Christ, who is our true home. Like our Lord, and like the barren women of Scripture, the church on earth suffers in a hostile world.  But joined to our Husband, we bear children, borne not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.

The Lord Jesus has been lifted to the invisible, heavenly realm, the glory of which is reflected by the visible heavens (v. 4-6).  How wonderful it is to look at the skies and see the glory and beauty of Christ.  But sin and death has entered the world, therefore verse 7 speaks of the "dust" with its connotations of death and "ashes" with its connotations of sin.  What a God and Savior, who not only looked down (v. 6), but came down to raise us from such a depth to such a height!

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