Theme: A Great Victory!
In this week’s lessons, we see that all creation is called upon to praise the Lord.
Scripture: Psalm 98:1-9
As we read yesterday, the New Testament reveals three kinds of deliverance. We have already looked at the first kind, deliverance from sin.
2. Deliverance from death. Glorification embraces the second kind of deliverance emphasized in the New Testament, and that is deliverance from death. Death is an enemy, a very great enemy. But though we are appointed to die once, we look forward to our resurrection from the dead because of the victory over death by our great Savior Jesus Christ. Paul wrote about Christ’s resurrection and ours extensively in 1 Corinthians 15, concluding, “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (v. 54; Isa. 25:8), and, “He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 57). Because of Christ’s victory, we no longer fear death but live our lives obediently and to the full, knowing that when we die we will be with Jesus. “To be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).
3. Deliverance from Satan. The third deliverance emphasized in the New Testament is deliverance from Satan and his power. In Genesis 3:15, in the first of all the many announcements of the gospel, it is said that the coming of Christ will accomplish the defeat of Satan: “He [that is, Jesus] will crush your head, and you [Satan] will strike his heel.” Jesus did that at the cross. He defeated Satan, though Satan wounded him (temporarily) in the process. The atonement broke Satan’s power, which was the power of sin and death. Jesus’ victory over Satan enables us to be victors, too. In the power of Christ we need not fear him. James says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Likewise, we read in Revelation, “I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image” (Rev. 15:2).
There are striking parallels between the first part of Psalm 98 and Mary’s Magnificat, which may mean that the mother of Jesus had the psalm in mind as she composed her hymn and that she rightly saw that the promises of the psalm were to be fulfilled in the spiritual victories to be achieved by Jesus Christ.”1
Psalm 98 The Magnificat
“Sing unto the LORD a new song.” “My soul praises the Lord.”
“For he has done marvelous things.” “The Mighty One has done great
things for me.”
“His right hand and holy arm have “He has performed mighty deeds with
worked salvation for him.” his arm.”
“The LORD has made known his “His mercy extends to those who fear
salvation and revealed his righteousness him, from generation to generation.”
to the nations.”
“He has remembered his love and his “He has helped his servant Israel,
faithfulness to the house of Israel.” remembering to be merciful.”
In The Treasury of David, Charles Spurgeon tells of a little church in the county of Tyrone where a small ragged boy came every Sunday, placing himself in the very center of the pews opposite the pulpit. The minister frequently tried to speak to him after the service because he seemed so attentive, but the boy always slipped away quietly and the minister was never able to find out who he was. The lad was missing for some weeks, and one day a man came to the church to see the minister. He wanted him to visit his son who was dying. “I am really ashamed to ask you to go so far,” he said, indicating that his home was about six miles distant. “But he is an extraordinary boy, and he is refusing to see anyone but you. He talks about things I do not understand.”
The minister started out, trudging along the rural road in drenching rain, and at last came to the home, a poor hovel tucked into a desolate mountain valley. The man who had come for him was waiting at the door, and when the minister went in he found the boy lying in the corner on a straw mat. When he saw the minister he raised himself up, stretched out his frail little arms and said, “His own right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory” (from verse 1 of our psalm). Shortly afterward he died.
How great a victory has been achieved for us by Jesus! How great that it produces conquering faith even in a child.
1Spurgeon provides a suggestive list of these from the writing of Adam Clarke, but Clarke’s list is based on the King James translation and I have used the New International Version. Clarke describes this as correspondence between “the voice” (David) and “the echo” (Mary). Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 2b, Psalms 88-110 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966), pp. 214, 215.
What is the Christian view toward death?
How are the victories of this psalm fulfilled?
How was Mary influenced by this psalm?
Reflection: If Satan was defeated, why do you continue to see evidence of his work? How do you counter Satan’s power?
Prayer: Thank God for the victory Christ has achieved for us. Ask the Lord to enable you to withstand Satan’s attacks.