Missing Link Monday - 01.10.2011

Missing Link Monday” is devoted to viewing the OT and Psalm reading from the Revised Common Lectionary with the focus on the Christ.  Recall again that Christ himself has proclaimed that the OT finds its fulfillment in him, and that the scriptures all point to him.  It is incumbent upon us to approach all OT scripture with the presupposition that it indeed points to Christ.

Reading 1: Isaiah 42:1-9
Reading 2: Psalm 29

Reading 1: Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: "I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them." 
(Isaiah 42:1-9 ESV)

The beginning of this text is loosely quoted at the Baptism of the Lord.  (Note that this week is 'Baptism of the Lord Sunday' in the lectionary.)  Later in the text we read "I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness." We are reminded of this text in Luke 4:18, yet in Luke we read Jesus applying this text to himself, effectively announcing that he is the fulfillment of this text.  The link in this text is clear, and it is made explicitly by Christ.  Now, as it is clear that this text is about Christ, and the 'servant' referenced in this text is him, what does that tell us of the meaning of this text?  It tells us of his faithfulness to burning wicks (a horrid smelling thing) and bruised reeds (useful for nothing), in other words his faithfulness to people like us who have done nothing to deserve it.  He brings forth justice, He is given as a covenant for the people, light for the nations... and so on.  Now, the danger of preaching a text like this is not making the link to Christ primary, but instead taking the 'servant' to be you.  Of course Christ is exemplary and we should be about the same things he is, but the 'Servant' in this text is Him, not you.


Reading 2: A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, "Glory!" The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace! 
(Psalms 29:1-11 ESV)

This text at the outset seems a little tougher to show it's relation to Christ, or how it traces back to Him, but it certainly does.  Take a quick look at Psalm 29:1 and then look at Revelation 5:11-14.

Psalm 29:1 - A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength
Revelation 5:11-14 - Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

The very first verse of the Psalm is crying out to heavenly beings to worship the Lord, to ascribe to Him glory and strength.  In the Revelation we see with greater clarity what the Psalmist writes of.  The living creatures in heaven are doing exactly what the Psalmist commands saying, "Worthy is the Lamb.. to receive, power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing."  Of course "The Lamb" references the Christ.  In revelation we see the picture of the Psalm reading, and we see that it is Christ that this Psalm refers to.  Moreover we see countless references to the "voice of the Lord", knowing that Christ is the eternal word of God, and is the very 'voice' of the Godhead.  This 29th Psalm, like all other Psalms has its real understanding when viewed in light of the new testament revelation of the Christ.

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