[Small Group] Psalm 65 – WHY?
This morning, we continue our study on Psalm 65. We have already laid out the WHO? (the people/groups/types) in this Psalm which will serve as the actors/cast in our minds as we practice bringing this passage to life. We have also already examined the WHEN/WHERE? (Environment/background/setting) which will serve as the stage and props. And we have even diverted the HOW/WHAT? (steps/storyline/order of events) that will serve as our script.
As we look at the WHY? today, there are three different perspectives that will all come into play. The first is about the WHY? within its original context — what the original participants would have been learning, sharing, etc.
WHY? ORIGINAL CONTEXT
In Psalm 65, we see David Praising God and acknowledging his own sin. And we have to realize that this was not some personal journal note written and tucked away while he pretended to be perfect. No, he wrote this Psalm to be shared publicly, with the purpose of sending it to be sung publicly. And when he talked about forgiveness of sins, David was talking about the method that God had given them for a very public and visible day of atonement and process of each family bringing a physical sacrifice to the altar.
for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord . It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.
Leviticus 17:11 NLT
This would have been David’s original meaning for this Psalm, to celebrate the Day of Atonement that was given to Israel as part of their ceremonies and traditions. You can read about the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 and here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gotquestions.org/amp/Day-Atonement-Yom-Kippur.html
WHY? IN LIGHT OF CHRIST
Being on this side of the cross, we are privy to the gospel and the epistles to help us understand how this applies to or points to Christ.
Paul discusses atonement in the book of Hebrews:
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
Hebrews 9:22 NLT
Peter in his first epistle:
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
1 Peter 2:24 NLT
And John, in the book of Revelation:
And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9 NLT
And it is pretty important that we sing miss this point of identifying how these scriptures point to Christ, if we indeed believe His warning to the pharisees:
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!
John 5:39 NLT
Paul echoes the importance of a Chrisst centered understanding and application of scripture in His epistle as well:
I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
Romans 10:2-4 NLT
The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Romans 8:3-4 NLT
WHY? APPLICABLE TO US
When I think of David writing and sharing publicly his awe in Almighty God’s willingness to forgive us it reminds me of one of my verses for today:
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 NLT
And another that makes it clear how we best do this:
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16 NLT
So my application for today is to:
1) recognize the sin — how I have fallen short
2) confess my sin to my brothers in Christ — who will encourage me and hold me accountable and pray for me
3) remember the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross — let hope spring up
4) remember the promises of God — grow in faith
5) pray for, encourage, and serve my brothers — grow in love
6) in all things, glorify God
This isn’t a checklist that I’m going to accomplish under my own power — No! This is what I’m going to witness Christ doing in me, and through me — by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the name of Jesus Christ, and by the promises of His Word — I know this is true. May it be true for you as well. Because He is the one that has laid the foundations and established our footsteps. Amen.