A Cord of three strands – April 17th
The priests were called to a higher level of ritualistic purity – avoiding dead bodies, because death is ultimately the result of sin in the world.
They were forbidden from pagan mourning practices like special shaving and cutting oneself.
They were to be pure in their expression of sexuality – marrying only a virgin.
The priest were forbidden to tear their clothes – ironically the high priest at Jesus’ trial did just that (Matthew 26:65) in his horror of Jesus’ claim to be God.
The freedom from physical defect was to point to the more obvious freedom from Spiritual defect.
This is another of David’s Psalms written in the midst of trial.
He asks for God’s vindication and ponders God’s nature – “For your steadfast love is before my eyes” – “Brethren, depend upon it that you shall find, each of you when you get dull and flagging in the practical part of your religion, that the proper way to revive it is to think more than you have done upon the lovingkindness of God.” (Spurgeon)
Give thanks v7 tell of what God has done v7
The Lord is our light and salvation, so we don’t need to fear. Fear holds us back too much.
So often FEAR is really spelt “False Expectations Appearing Real” – We are too often glass half empty, expecting the worst.
David desire’s God’s presence above all
“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That I will seek after:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to enquire in His temple.” v4
God hides us in His shelter when there is trouble – spend time in his presence daily!
v10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
The love and care of God are amazing, far more than human hands can provide. David had sent his parents away (1 Samuel 21:3-4) for protection, but yet feels forsaken by them.
Boice points out that from a parent, we want acceptance, to be heard, guidance, and protection. God can fulfill each of these for all, including the life that never received them from a parent. The fatherhood of God is an amazing thing – if you have never experience God as a loving Father, then pursue him in it – I found Floyd McClung’s Father Heart of God
so helpful in my formative years.
Compassion for the oppressed is common in the Old Testament
Of people by a king (Proverbs 28:16)
Of a servant by his master (Deuteronomy 24:14)
Of the poor by the affluent (Proverbs 22:16)
Of the poor by the bureaucratic (Ecclesiastes 5:8)
Of the poor by other poor people (Proverbs 28:3)
Of the alien, the fatherless, and the widow (Jeremiah 7:6; Ezekiel 22:7; Zechariah 7:10)
By charging high interest (Ezekiel 22:12, 29)
By using false weights and measures (Hosea 12:7)
All of these are still prevalent today.
v4 Keeping up with the Jones was as much an issue in Solomon’s day as ours
v7-8 are the futility of loneliness
v9-12 talk of being partnership and are much used in marriage services (including mine!)
The paragraph ends with a strand of 3 cords is not quickly broken – we must keep the 3rd strand central to marriages – Jesus! We do that with praying together and reading the Bible together – hard to do, but well worth it.
1 Timothy 6
The first paragraph is about slaves should respond to their masters. Paul wants slaves to work well, not because he supports slavery but because he wants God to be glorified. Thus it works as a principle for workers to work well and bosses to be good bosses for the sake of the glory of God.
I hate the attitude of “Doing it for the Lord” badly – too many Christian business are pretty poor because they are done poorly for the Lord.
Verses 2b-10 Watch out for false teachers who deny God’s word or ignore it or twist it. They often do so for money. So Paul moves into contentment is the way to live. The love of money is a real snare for people. The more you have the more you want. That can cause people to wander from the faith and “pierce themselves with many pangs”