Prayer for the day
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me and lead me in the way that is everlasting.
Scripture for the day
The scripture authors love metaphors. They love beautiful word pictures. An particularly, they love agricultural metaphors.
In his Psalm, Asaph recognizes that God has enforced discipline on his people, that God has punished them and embarrassed them in front of the nations. They have been humiliated because of their sin, scorned by the world because of the punishment God has levelled against them.
His regular cry, like the cries of other Psalmists, is “how long?” How long will the people suffer? How long will the people reel under the wrath of the God who still loves them but punishes them for their good?
The answer is that God will continue to discipline his people until they turn away from their wickedness, and when they do, there will be a beautiful reunion, unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Asaph cries out for God to restore the fortunes of his people for his glory, letting his face shine on them so that they may in time be saved from the nations and from God’s wrath.
Paul references David in saying similar things. Paul’s discussion with the Romans is about God’s abiding love for the remnant of people who are left after the punishment and discipline. He claims that this remnant has not been abandoned by their God but that they will be saved, that they have been chosen by God to continue his acts of mercy and compassion, and that this chosenness will result in God receiving glory and in the nations, Jew and Gentile, receiving the goodness of God.
The metaphor of vine and branches comes into play, with the vine being God’s chosen people, Israel, and the branches grafted in being the Gentiles. These metaphors are used to explain God’s care for all people, and how we as Gentiles have been grafted into the people of Israel, how we need each other.
Thank God that all of us rely on Him!