Theme: Praising God for His Deliverance
In this week’s lessons we are reminded that God will act justly and punish evildoers for their wrongs against the Lord and his people.
Scripture: Psalm 109:1-31
The last two verses (vv. 30, 31) are a powerful and effective ending to this admittedly difficult psalm. They anticipate the deliverance David has been asking for and promise that David will use his mouth to praise God for his deliverance. His accusers use their mouths to accuse and curse him. He will use his to extol and bless God.
Notice the deliberate contrast between this last sentence and the words that introduced the imprecatory section in verse 6. Verse 6 asked that an accuser might stand at the right hand of the one who is doing evil to accuse him and secure his condemnation. Here, in the case of the righteous, the accuser is replaced by God, who stands at the right hand of his own beloved people to defend and save them.
In the third chapter of Zechariah there is a vision that illustrates this reality perfectly. In his vision the prophet saw Joshua, Israel’s high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, presumably in his role of representing the people before God in the temple. Satan was there to accuse him. Since we are told later that Joshua was clothed in filthy clothes, representing his and the people’s sin, Satan must have been pointing to these and declaring forcefully that Joshua was unfit to stand before God in this service. Joshua said nothing, presumably because he had nothing to say. He was sinful. He was unworthy.
But God spoke up though his angel, and his words were a sharp rebuke to Satan: “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire” (Zech. 3:2)? Then Joshua’s filthy clothes were taken from him and rich garments and a clean turban were put on him, while the angel of the Lord stood nearby.
This brings us to our proper place in this picture. For if you recall David’s psalm and see it in line with Zechariah’s vision, you understand that in the divine scheme of things you and I are not the righteous psalmist who is being unjustly accused by the wicked, but rather the wicked who are being accused rightly for our sins and who need to be saved by God. That is exactly what has been done for us by Jesus Christ, for by his death Jesus has become “our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).
How do verses 30 and 31 invert the scene in verse 6?
What is the vision in Zechariah 3? What is our proper place in this picture?
Application: Do you use your tongue to bless God and encourage others? Or do you use your tongue to tear other people down?
Observation: Deliberate contrast in Scripture helps us see a point more clearly.
Prayer: Praise God for our salvation through Jesus Christ, and for all the other spiritual blessings that come from it.
For Further Study: Sometimes things come into our lives that cause us great pain and confusion. Studying the psalms can help us as we cry out to the Lord for healing and deliverance. The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is offering James Boice’s three-volume set of his sermons on all 150 psalms for 25% off the regular price.