At Christmas time, it is fitting to turn our minds to prophetic truths concerning Jesus the Messiah. The books of the prophets are usually the first to come to mind, and the literal fulfillment of the circumstantial facts they predicted hundreds of years prior to Jesus’ coming is nothing short of miraculous. Another prophetic witness is found in the Messianic Psalms. In total, twenty-five different psalms (one out of six) include at least one Messianic prophecy. Messianic psalms are quoted in eleven New Testament books.
These psalms are prophetic in a special way: in the words and feelings of the Psalmist were found the very words and feelings of the Messiah. (See Hebrews 2:12.) The Psalmist knew that the coming Messiah would “fill out” the emotional and physical suffering he was experiencing by experiencing them in a way he never could. The pain he spoke of figuratively, the Messiah would know literally.
It is often observed that rulers' degree of success depends on who they listen to. The people behind the man in an elevated position often matter just as much.
It's easy to feel defeated when we see wickedness in the world. How can a loving God allow such evil to prevail? What must the righteous keep in mind to combat the anger and rage at wickedness?
Have you been a victim of evildoers? We all have been touched by the presence of evil as the cumulative effect of sin in our culture. The Psalms have much to teach us about how God's people are to respond when they are touched by evil. Our time and culture is not uniquely distressing: God's people in every age have lived with the impact of evil on their lives. Psalm 37 shows David's personal response to encountering evil in his life.
On Palm Sunday, the crowd shouted "Hosanna" as Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. The word means "Save now!" They certainly wanted a conquering king to overpower Rome at that time. But this was not God's plan. His plan of salvation went beyond human wisdom.
The issue of salvation really comes down to a question of authority. Who will I believe? By what wisdom will I live my life? King David gives his recommendation in Psalm 36. This wisdom psalm reveals secrets of life to help us navigate life as God intended. David was the king over the nation of Israel, with a powerful army at his command and many wise advisors. Furthermore, he had a privileged place in salvation history – the promised Messiah would come through his line. Yet he directs the people of Israel to look to the Lord for wisdom.
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