Your Anointed One

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Reading: Psalm 89:46-52
How long, LORD? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire?
 Remember how fleeting is my life.
For what futility you have created all humanity!
Who can live and not see death,
or who can escape the power of the grave?
Lord, where is your former great love,
which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked,
how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
the taunts with which your enemies, L
ORD, have mocked,
with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the LORD forever!
Amen and Amen
(NIV).*

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Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Many people believe that Christ is Jesus’ last name. That is not true. The Bible does not tell us Jesus’ family name. Often, he is identified by the town that he is from—Jesus of Nazareth. So, what then is the significance of the word Christ or Khristos in the Greek? Christ is a title. One might even call it a job description. It means the anointed one, the one designated by God to rule and reign over his people. The Greek word Khristos or Christ corresponds to the Hebrew word Mashiach or Messiah. The anointed one or Christ was and is the son of David, who rules over the house of Jacob and the Israel of God. Just as David was anointed to be king of Israel, Jesus is anointed to be our king for this life and eternity.

When we read Psalm 89 with the understanding that the anointed one is also the Christ, the psalm takes on a whole new layer of meaning. Yes, during the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, the anointed one was mocked. But this is also true of Jesus, the anointed Son of David, who was led off to be crucified outside the city gate. These words were fulfilled in Christ: Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations, the taunts with which your enemies, LORD, have mocked, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.

But there is a significant difference between the Old Testament, anointed one, and our New Testament Christ. The psalmist asks this question: Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave?

The implicit answer is that no one can escape death and the grave. But… but there is One—One, who tasted death on our behalf—One, who escaped the power of the grave. His name is Jesus. He is the Christ, the anointed One, and our Messiah. He is the One who by virtue of the resurrection is King now and forevermore.

Response: LORD God, I thank you for Jesus, the Christ, the anointed One. Thank you for your death, burial and resurrection. I join with the psalmist in saying, Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.

Your Turn: In what way is Christ a job description? What job has he done and is he doing for you?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Strongholds in Ruins

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Reading: Psalm 89:38-45
But you have rejected, you have spurned,
you have been very angry with your anointed one.
You have renounced the covenant with your servant
and have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have broken through all his walls
and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
All who pass by have plundered him;
he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
 Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword
and have not supported him in battle.
You have put an end to his splendor
and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth;
you have covered him with a mantle of shame
(NIV).*

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Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Though we cannot be absolutely certain, it seems likely that Psalm 89 was written during the time of the Babylonian invasion of Judea. These were days of disaster brought on by idolatry as the people turned away from God. The rebellious King of Judah suffered a catastrophic defeat as the words of this psalm state: You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground. You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame.

In the last few decades, the church in North America has also experienced a number of defeats or setbacks. Enemies of the Christian faith have risen up and become bold in their attacks. Just as ancient Jerusalem was attacked and laid low, so too Christian belief systems have been under constant assault. The walls and strongholds of our faith have been undermined.

Two unshakeable biblical truths have come under relentless attack. The first is the truth of creation. Our God is the Creator of the universe—the source point of all matter and life. Since the days of Darwin, who incidentally believed in God, atheists have mounted a ferocious attack on this foundational truth. The Christian response has often been jingoistic or at best disjointed. A more coherent and scientifically sound defense is needed.

The second truth that has been under continual attack is the veracity of the Bible. God’s holy word is mocked and routinely discredited especially at our universities. The word of God is our stronghold. Repeatedly it has been proven to be accurate, reliable and true. Archeologists and scholars have marvelled at the veracity and authenticity of God’s word. But the real proof of the inerrancy of God’s word does not come from scholarly research. It comes from the transformed lives of believers.

Response: LORD God, my trust is in you and your word. Creator God, I want my faith to be as secure for me as the earth beneath my feet and the air in my lungs. You are all around me. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Your Turn: Have attacks on your faith caused doubt? How did you overcome?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

His Throne Endures Forever

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Reading: Psalm 89:30-37
 “If his sons forsake my law
and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees
and fail to keep my commands,
 I will punish their sin with the rod,
their iniquity with flogging;
but I will not take my love from him,
nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
 I will not violate my covenant
or alter what my lips have uttered.
 Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—
and I will not lie to David—
that his line will continue forever
and his throne endure before me like the sun;
 it will be established forever like the moon,
the faithful witness in the sky”
(NIV).*

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Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Today’s reading from Psalm 89 continues the theme of King David’s endless rule through his offspring. Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.”

There is however a sizeable problem with this promise to David for those who know biblical Jewish history. After the death of David’s son, the wise King Solomon, Israel was divided. The rebellious people of the northern Kingdom fell into idolatry and chose a new king, who was not a descendant of David. Despite warning after warning from prophets sent by God, Israel continued in its idolatrous ways until the nation was destroyed and swept away by Assyrian invaders in 720 BC.

On the other hand, for hundreds of years, generation after generation a descendant of David sat on the throne of the southern Kingdom of Judah. For the most part these were kings who followed in the footsteps of their ancestor David. They worshipped the LORD, unlike the idolatrous northern kings of Israel who ruled from their capital Samaria. But eventually pagan practises found their way into Judea as well. In succession, several kings—descendants of David—turned to worship idols. God’s judgment fell on Judah too when the Babylonians invaded and destroyed Jerusalem in 582 BC.

What is the point of this brief history lesson? These words from Psalm 89 are a lie and God is a liar—a sworn liar to David—unless we view Jesus as the royal heir who rules for all eternity. The Jewish kingdom came to an end. No Jewish king has ruled over a Jewish kingdom for more than 2,000 years. But Jesus, the eternal son of David reigns. Is he reigning over your life?

Response: LORD God, I submit to the reign of Jesus. You are my King—my King now and forever. Help me to govern my life according to your will and purpose. I praise you, my Savior and King. Amen.

Your Turn: Is Jesus your King? How can you show your submission to his rule today?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

My Firstborn

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Reading: Psalm 89:19-29
Once you spoke in a vision,
to your faithful people you said:
“I have bestowed strength on a warrior;
I have raised up a young man from among the people.
I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him.
The enemy will not get the better of him;
the wicked will not oppress him.
I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries.
My faithful love will be with him,
and through my name his horn will be exalted.
I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers.
He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, the Rock my Savior.’
And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,
the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
I will maintain my love to him forever,
and my covenant with him will never fail.
I will establish his line forever,
his throne as long as the heavens endure
(NIV).*

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Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Who is the principal figure in the Old Testament canon? Some would argue for Moses, the liberator of a nation of slaves. Others would go farther back yet to Abraham, the ancestral father of the nation of Israel. Here in Psalm 89, Ethan the Ezrahite and author of this psalm casts his vote in favor of David.

David’s name appears more frequently in the Bible than any name including the name of Jesus. Here in Psalm 89, Ethan draws a direct prophetic link to Jesus, the Son of God. He writes this about David: He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’ And I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.

No other man in the Holy Scriptures can claim to be appointed as God’s firstborn. This is an honor that is reserved for David alone. But David prefigures or foreshadows Jesus, the true Son of God. Jesus was not appointed to the role of God’s son. He was conceived and born into this world as the divine Son of the Most High. Through the miracle of incarnation, the son of Mary was also the Son of God and the Savior of the world. And this Mary was of royal lineage. She was a direct descendant of King David.

In Jesus Christ these words find their fulfillment: I will maintain my love to him [David] forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his [David’s] line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.

Response: LORD God, I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful that in the dark long ago you devised a plan to send a Savior to this world. You sent a better son than David. You sent Jesus. Amen.

Your Turn: Are you thankful for God’s Son? Why? How will you express your appreciation today?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

So Great Is His Love

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I will praise the LORD!

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Before the leaves appear — photo by David Kitz

Reading: Psalm 103:6-12

The LORD works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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Pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Crowns with Love and Compassion

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I will praise the LORD!

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At the mouth of the creek — photo by David Kitz

Reading: Psalm 103:1-5

Praise the LORD, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

The Foundation of God’s Throne

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Reading: Psalm 89:14-18
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, L
ORD.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they celebrate your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength,
and by your favor you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the L
ORD,
our king to the Holy One of Israel
(NIV).*

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Sunset on the Bonnechere River — photo by Liz Kranz

Reflection
Yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 my wife and I got a call from my son. He found himself in a difficult spot. He and his wife had just bought two swivel chairs. He had wrongly assumed that both would fit into the trunk of his car. Despite his best efforts the second chair would not fit. Could I come, pick up and deliver the second chair to their home?

My wife had a batch of homemade buns rising in the oven, so she was not available. The delivery task fell to me. So off I drove in a torrential downpour through heavy rush-hour traffic to pick up this chair. Did I resent this interruption in my schedule? Did I get all steamed up about the inconvenience? Was I upset that I was a few minutes late for dinner? No. In all seriousness, none of this bothered me because I love my son and his wife. I was glad to help. I even took a minute or two to sit in that comfy chair and appreciate their new purchase.

Today’s reading from Psalm 89 is all about a chair—a special chair. It’s called the throne of God. Unlike the rollers on the bottom of the chair that my son purchased, this chair has a foundation. It’s immovable. The psalmist makes this statement. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.

The throne of God speaks of His authority. God’s authority rests squarely on His righteousness and justice. This has always been so and will be so forever. Righteousness and justice are foundational to all authority. When authorities in this world go astray and engage in unjust and immoral behavior, we find this abhorrent. We question the legitimacy of such authorities. We say they have lost the moral authority to govern.

But God does more than just sit on His throne and govern. He moves out from that throne. Again the psalmist states, “Love and faithfulness go before you.” God is active in this world. Daily the LORD demonstrates His love and faithfulness to His people and also to those who do not call on His name. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). Furthermore, our heavenly Father is eager to do these things because He loves us.

Response: Heavenly Father, you are good and kind to all. I thank you for your love and faithfulness. Today, I want to walk in the light of your presence, LORD, and rejoice in your name all day long. Amen.

Your Turn: Can you testify that on various occasions God’s love and faithfulness have gone before you? Reflect on those occasions.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Simply Incomparable!

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Reading: Psalm 89:5-13
The heavens praise your wonders, LORD,
your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the L
ORD?
Who is like the L
ORD among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
he is more awesome than all who surround him.
Who is like you, L
ORD God Almighty?
You, L
ORD, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
you founded the world and all that is in it.
You created the north and the south;
Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
Your arm is endowed with power;
your hand is strong, your right hand exalted
(NIV).*

determined professional athletes running on track in stadium

Photo by Merched Lopez on Pexels.com

Reflection
I enjoy the thrill of watching various Olympics events. I can only imagine how it must feel to win Olympic gold. But those golden podium moments don’t last forever. They are highlights in athletic achievement and well worth celebrating. In some events world records have been set, but in due time they will be broken. It seems they always are.

How do we determine gold medal performances? By comparison of course. That’s what Olympic competition is all about. The results of a team or athlete are compared with others in their field. Though many compete on the local, national and world stage, only the very best bring home Olympic gold.

That’s how winners are determined on the human level—the world level. But what about the heavenly level—or spiritual level? How are the best and most powerful determined there? In our reading from Psalm 89, the psalmist attempts to come up with an answer.

For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.
Who is like you, L
ORD God Almighty?

The truth is obvious. There is no point in comparison. The LORD God Almighty is incomparable.  He wins every race since He is enthroned beyond time. As the Creator, He is the source—the starting point—of all power in heaven and on earth. His wisdom is so beyond the best human mind. He is incomparable!

Response: LORD God, I marvel at your wisdom and power. But most of all I marvel at your love—love that encompasses all—even me. Help me to excel at pleasing you. Thank you, LORD! Amen.

Your Turn: How can we excel in our love and service to God? What motivates you to please your heavenly Father?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Through All Generations

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 89_1
Reading: Psalm 89:1-4

LORD God,
I am so glad that I’m your child forever.
You have loved me
and welcomed me into your family.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Love You Forever!

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Reading: Psalm 89:1-4
maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
‘I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations’”
(NIV).*

person holding baby s feet

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Reflection
The opening stanzas of Psalm 89 remind me of a little rhyme found in a children’s book. It goes like this:

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

The lines of that little song were first sung by Robert Munsch as he held his stillborn baby in his arms. Imagine the grief he felt when for a second time his wife gave birth to another stillborn child. Again he took that little baby in his arms and he rocked it back and forth and sang,

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

The bestselling children’s book Love You Forever was birthed from that heart-wrenching experience. If you are a parent or a grandparent, this little picture book should come with a warning label: Impossible to read without tearing up.

There’s an element of forever in the bond between a parent and a child. I am a father forever to my two sons, Timothy and Joshua. My love for those two boys hasn’t diminished as they have grown into young men. Though they have moved out of our home, they will be forever loved and we will be forever linked by love and faithfulness. God’s love for us is that kind of love. It’s a forever love just as the psalmist declares. I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.

Love and faithfulness are what marriage is all about. It’s one of those forever things along with parenthood. When God is at the center, these things last forever because they don’t end at the grave. I’m so glad we have the promise that they will continue on.

Response: LORD God, I am so glad that I’m your child forever. You have loved me and welcomed me into your family. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Amen.

Your Turn: Will you sing of the LORD’s great love forever? Now is a great time to get started.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.