All of today’s passages are so full and rich with God’s truths. Today is a day that I wish I had more time to explore these beautiful texts – but our goal is to read through the bible in a year – so we must soar through them. But as we soar, we can gain a bird’s-eye view – and amazingly, the entire scope of God’s redemptive history is revealed…
Psalms 20-21 are a pair of Psalms that celebrate the kingdom of Israel. The people offer prayers and praise in Psalm 20 for their king. And in Psalm 21, king David responds with thanksgiving to God for answering the prayers of the people.
Israel…she was the initial fulfillment of God’s Covenant promises to Abraham – that he would establish a nation through which all the nations of the earth would be blessed. David was God’s chosen king, a man after His own heart – that pointed forward to the Forever King, the promised descendent of David – who would usher in God’s eternal Kingdom on earth.
The lives of David and Jesus overlap in a most poignant way in Psalm 22. David’s Psalm describes an “innocent sufferer” and somehow, Jesus fulfills every detail of this Psalm in His crucifixion. Matthew’s crucifixion account, especially, makes special reference to this Psalm…
For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots (Psalm 22:16-18).
Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, our salvation has been secured. Jesus is the promised seed of Abraham through which all the nations will be blessed. And Jesus is the prophesied “Branch of Jesse” that will restore God’s Kingdom on the earth.
Which leads us to 2 Timothy. The setting for 2 Timothy is a prison where Paul is awaiting execution. Commentators believe that Paul was imprisoned in Rome after a 4th missionary journey not recorded in Acts. 2 Timothy is Paul’s last known letter before he was martyred.
The tone of 2 Timothy is warm and fatherly as he gives Timothy final instructions and encouragement before he dies. What a treasure! Paul writes…
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:8-9).
This is our calling as well. As we wait for the return of our Lord to usher in the final fulfillment of all God’s Covenant promises, we are to share in the suffering of Christ for the gospel! Our lives are part of God’s redemptive history. We are living in the final chapters before the return of Christ!
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:6-7).