Friday, 24 December 2010

Judges through Poets 14b- Psalm 110 contd and Psalm 137

Psalm 110

1(A) The LORD says to my Lord:

(B) "Sit at my right hand,
(C) until I make your enemies your(D) footstool."

2The LORD sends forth(E) from Zion
(F) your mighty scepter.
(G) Rule in the midst of your enemies!
3(H) Your people will(I) offer themselves freely
on the day of your
(J) power,[a]
in
(K) holy garments;[b]
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.
[c]
4(L) The LORD has(M) sworn
and will
(N) not change his mind,
(O) "You are(P) a priest(Q) forever
after the order of
(R) Melchizedek."

5The Lord is at your(S) right hand;
he will
(T) shatter kings on(U) the day of his wrath.
6He will(V) execute judgment among the nations,
(W) filling them with corpses;
he will
(X) shatter chiefs[d]
over the wide earth.
7He will(Y) drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

The NT presents Jesus as one who fulfils the office of Priest and King. He is the ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’. He is also called ‘the Son of David’.

Jesus earthly ministry is referred to in V5-6. V5 says he will execute Kings in the day of His wrath. The victory of Jesus happened at the cross. See Hebrews 2:14 ‘Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil’

V7 The messiah expresses the satisfaction of his conquest through lifting His head high.

Imprecatory Psalms

Imprecatory Psalms are Psalms where people seek God for the evil and misfortunate of others. Psalms 35, 59, 69, 70, 109, 137, 140 are all imprecatory psalms. Sections of other psalms are also imprecatory.

Jeremiah in 18:29-21 prays a imprecatory prayer for his adversary.

[19] Hear me, O LORD, and listen to the voice of my adversaries. [20] Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them. [21] Therefore deliver up their children to famine; give them over to the power of the sword; let their wives become childless and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.

Psalm 137

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. [2] On the willows there we hung up our lyres. [3] For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” [4] How shall we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land? [5] If I forget you, O Jerusalem,let my right hand forget its skill! [6] Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! [7] Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!” [8] O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us! [9] Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!

V1-6 are a lament of the Jerusalem captivity

V7-9 contains a plea for vengeance.

The Psalm was written after the destruction of Jerusalem of the Babylonians (587BC). In 539 Cyrus destroyed Babylon. V8-9 tell us the Babylon has not yet been conquered. This means the Psalm is dated between 587 and 539 BC.

Structure

Stanza 1 V1-4- address of the exiles

Stanza 2 V5-6- address of Jerusalem

Stanza 3 V7-9- address of Babylon

V1 the Jews are mourning while thinking about Zion. They are mourning fellowship with God in temple.

V4 the people ask how they can sing God’s song in a strange land. The people can’t praise God outside of their house of worship.

V5-6 The psalmist prays that he would not forget Jerusalem. The writer is so passionate about worshipping God that he is willing to call down curses on himself if he were to forget Zion.

V7 The Psalmist is saying to God ‘remember the Edomites who encouraged the Babylonians’.

V8-9 Babylon is worthy of the name devastated one because of the doom that is to come. The vengeance toward the Babylonians will occur in terms of ironic justice ‘happy the one who repays you as you have served us’ (v8b).

Revelation 18:4-6 links to Psalm 137v8. The Babylonians of the OT and NT will both receive what they have given.

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