Daily Thought for: 13th February

SALVATION OF ISRAEL

Psalm 14. 1-7

In Psalm 8 David looks up at the heavens and is filled with wonder at the greatness and majesty of God. The climax of that psalm is, ‘how excellent is thy name in all the earth!’ When we look up to God it changes how we see things around us. Psalm 14 tells us the result if people refuse to see God above or around. Their lives become distorted, repulsive to God and hostile to other people. This is the progression recorded in Romans chapter 1, the deterioration of people who do not like to retain God in their knowledge.

But if these godless people refuse to look up and see God, they need to be warned that God looks down and sees them. His verdict on them is that they ‘have no knowledge’. They thought they had declared their independence and wisdom. Instead, they declare their moral and spiritual darkness as they reject God’s people along with God Himself.

And their end? Great fear will be their lot, for God has undertaken the cause of the righteous, particularly the righteous poor. Those whom they have presumed to put to shame know God as their refuge. Out of Zion He will come who is the Salvation of Israel, a title by which He is known in a number of psalms. There is a striking expansion of the title in Isaiah 12. 2: ‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation’.

The ultimate fulfilment of the wish in verse 7, ‘Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!’, will be the millennium. In many translations, the latter part of the verse reads: ‘When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!’, NIV. This prospect is calculated to move a pious Israelite to a firmer faith in God the Salvation of Israel. Wrongs will be righted; the cause of the righteous poor will be vindicated; Israel will be head of the nations and not the tail. Saints today can also look forward to ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ’, 1 Pet. 1. 7, Newberry margin. Instead of their present experience of reproach and shame, they will have ‘praise, honour and glory’ then.

 

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