Lenten Daily Devotionals 2022

Rev Dr. Samson Parekh, Senior Pastor


Psalm 110:4

In the last devotion, we saw that David prophetically revealed the words of the LORD to David’s Lord,  in this Psalm. Here, in verse 4, the LORD declared that the Lord has an eternal priesthood in the order of Melchizedek. The LORD declared it on an unalterable oath “because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear “ [Hebrews 6:17].


Melchizedek is mentioned in Genesis 14:18-21. After rescuing Lot from the Canaanite kings, Abraham came to the Valley of Shaveh. There, Melchizedek came to him as the priest of the Most High God. Melchizedek gave Abraham bread and wine, received a tithe from him, and blessed him. This Melchizedek is mentioned in Psalm 110:4 as a priest forever.


The author of Hebrews applies Psalm 110:4 to Jesus in Hebrews Chs. 5-7, to evidence that Jesus is an eternal high priest after the order of Melchizedek and superior to Levi and Aaron [5:10, 6:20]. Since Melchizedek’s genealogical beginning and end are not mentioned, he was a priest forever [Hebrews 7:3]. Since his name means king of righteousness, his was the priesthood of righteousness and royalty. Since he was the king of Salem [peace], his was the priesthood of peace. His was not an inherited priesthood from someone because he had no genealogy [7:2-3]. Therefore, his priesthood was eternal. These are also the marks of Jesus’ royal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.


Moreover, in the Aaronic priesthood, the priest died and another took his place. But since Jesus is a priest forever, he ministers eternally for us before God [1 John 1;1-2]. Also, the Levitical-Aaronic priesthood was set aside because it was based on weak regulation. But Jesus is a “priest forever” and has become a “guarantee of a better covenant,” the eternal covenant [Hebrews 7:17-22].  Thus, Jesus’ priesthood was superior to the Aaronic priesthood which was temporal, inherited, and terminal.


Also, Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek and blessed him. God appointed Levites to receive tithe and bless people [Numbers 18:21, 2 Chronicles 30:27]. But in Abraham, his son Levi and his great-grandson Aaron, the high priest, gave a tithe to Melchizedek and were blessed by him. Since it is “without a doubt that the lesser person is blessed by the greater person” [Hebrews 7:4-10], Melchizedek was greater and superior to Abraham and his descendants. And since Jesus is in the order of Melchizedek, he too is superior to Abraham and his descendants Levi and Aaron.


The author of Hebrews reckons in Hebrews 7:23-24, “Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need.”


Thus, as a prototype of Melchizedek, Jesus Christ is the King-priest forever. He has ushered the eternal rule of peace and righteousness by conquering sin and death through his own sacrifice [Hebrews [7:27]. He is the high priest, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father, making priestly intercession on our behalf. Therefore, to live forever with the everlasting high priest Jesus Christ,  we must accept him as our Lord and Savior, be loyal to him, and love him with our whole heart.  

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to see the eternality of Jesus’ royal priesthood and surrender to him so that I can live forever with my eternal Priest. AMEN.


Psalm 110:1

This is a Psalm of David. It is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament. J. Montgomery Boise counted 27 direct quotations or indirect allusions to Psalm 110 in the New Testament referring to Jesus as the Lord, King, and Priest. Jesus used and interpreted verse 1 to point to himself as the Lord in Matthew 22:43-45 [see also Mark 12:36-37; Luke 20:42-44]. Peter also applied this verse to Christ [Acts 2:34-36]. Thus, it is beyond a doubt that this is a Messianic Psalm.

In verse 1, “the LORD” is YHWH, the covenant God of Israel, and “the Lord” is a person whom David addresses as “my Lord” (ăḏônāy). So, the Lord (ăḏônāy) is greater and higher than David. The LORD will give complete victory to David’s Lord over his enemies.

The NIV note suggests that “David composed the psalm for the coronation of his son Solomon, that he called him ‘my Lord’ in view of his new status, which placed him above the aged David.” However, it seems unlikely in the light of the interpretation of this verse by Jesus in Matthew 22 and by Peter in Acts 2:34-36. Another suggestion seems more plausible in which David, speaking prophetically [see 2 Samuel 23:2], composed a coronation Psalm for his great future Son. This person can only be the divine Messiah, who is Jesus Christ, the Lord [Boice].

And that is how Jesus also interpreted Psalm 110:1 to show that he is David’s Lord. In Matthew 22:41-45, when the Pharisees told Jesus that the Christ is the son of David, Jesus quoted this verse and asked them, “If David calls him [the Christ]  his ‘Lord,’ then how can Christ be David’s son?” David was greatly honored by the Jews as a great King and leader. But Jesus conveys to the Pharisees and the Jews that he, the Christ, is greater than David because David addressed him as “my Lord” in Psalm 118:1. Guzik correctly asserts, “Therefore, here God the Father is speaking to the Messiah, God the Son.”

Similarly, after mentioning the fulfillment of the prediction of Jesus’ resurrection from his death in Acts 2:25-31, Peter uses Psalm 110:1 to convey to his listeners that Jesus Christ was the Lord of David because David called him “my Lord” [Acts 2:34-35]. Therefore, Jesus was greater and higher than David. Peter also conveys that since David died and was buried, he could not have ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. But David’s Lord, Jesus Christ, was raised from the dead and it is he who ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. And the descending of the Holy Spirit is the evidence that Jesus is at the right hand of God [Acts 2:33].

Thus, Psalm 110:1 is used by Jesus and Peter to indicate that Jesus is the Lord. He is higher and greater than David. He is sitting at the right hand of God the Father. So, we have an assurance that he will fulfill all his promises, especially, the promise to return [John 14:3]. Jesus will come again with the shout of acclamation, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet call of God to take his people to the heavenly home [1 Thessalonians 4:13-17]. Therefore, let us encourage each other while we wait for the coming of our Lord.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to see and accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior of my life. AMEN.


Psalm 118:25-26

These verses are used either fully or partially by all the gospel writers about Jesus at the time of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem [Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9-10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13]. Thus, the gospel writers indicate that these verses are fulfilled in Jesus, the Messiah. So, this is a Messianic Psalm.  


The context of these verses in the Psalm is the victory of the Davidic king and his entry through the gates of righteousness. They are called gates of righteousness because they belong to YHWH and only his righteous people by faith in him can enter the city and the temple of Jerusalem. Isaiah 26:2 says, “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.” The picture emerges that as the representative of the nation of Israel, the triumphant Davidic king calls upon the gates to be opened so that he and the congregation of God’s people can enter the temple of the LORD to give thanks for the victory. Because of their faith in the LORD, the king and the people are righteous and have a right to enter God’s presence through the gates.

Now, in verses 25-26, the congregation blesses the king in the house of the Lord because he has obtained the victory over their enemy by complete reliance upon the Lord. Thus, he comes in the name of the Lord. In verse 25, they are beseeching YHWH to continue to save them through the Davidic king and grant them all the success in life.

By applying these verses to Jesus at the time of his entry into Jerusalem, the gospel writers show what the people of Israel believed [Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9-10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13]. Jesus was riding on a donkey. So, they believed that the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 was being fulfilled. It says, “See, your king comes to you … riding on a donkey.” They thought that Jesus was the promised Davidic King who was coming to Jerusalem to establish the promised Davidic kingdom [2 Samuel 7]. He would overthrow their enemy, the Romans, and establish his eternal throne in Jerusalem. He would save the nation of Israel from the slavery of the Romans. Therefore, just as the people of Israel were beseeching the Lord to continue to save them through the Davidic king in Psalm 118:25-25, here, the people of Israel are beseeching Jesus, the promised Davidic king, to save them.

However, the Israelites were making a grave mistake in construing Jesus as the Davidic king to save them from the socio-political slavery of the Romans. Jesus came to set them free from the spiritual slavery of sin and reconcile them with God. It was not the time for Jesus to establish his political kingdom. His kingdom was to be in the hearts of those who believed in him as the Son of God and Savior. He will establish his Messianic kingdom of the believers, but at his second coming.

Because they misconstrued Jesus, they did not believe in him as the Son of God and the Savior from sin. When Jesus did not show any sign of defeating the Roman Empire and becoming the Davidic king in Jerusalem, the same crowd shouted, “Crucify him, crucify him” after a few days [Luke 23:21].

We too need to examine ourselves and how we believe in Jesus. Who is he for us? Is he just the provider of material blessings and pleasures or is he by forgiving our sins become our Lord and Savior? Do we beseech him only for the social-material-physical prosperity and success or do we beseech him to give us continuous victory over our spiritual enemies of self, sin, Satan, and death? If we believe in him only as a blesser of material blessings then we will be disappointed here on earth and in eternity. Only by believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior from sin, we will be set free from spiritual slavery.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to see Jesus as my Savior from the slavery to sin, self, and Satan. AMEN


Psalm 118:22-24

This passage is a Psalm about a Davidic king who leads Israel in thanksgiving after the victory of a hard-fought battle. In expressing praise and joy, the Psalmist talks about the capstone in verse 22. The capstone is a final stone that is placed on top of a building and helps to hold the structure together. The word also carries the connotation of a cornerstone which holds the building firmly together at the foundation.


There are differences of opinion on the correct interpretation of the stone. However, Luke 20:18 helps us understand the significance of both the terms “cornerstone” and “capstone.” After talking about the stone, Jesus says, “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” Thus, the cornerstone is on the ground on which a person can fall and be broken into pieces. And the capstone is at the head of the building which can fall upon a person and crush him. In either case, the stone is central to the house because it holds the foundation and the house together.


In this Psalm, the cornerstone is Israel and in God’s economy, the nation of Israel plays a significant role. Israel was blessed in Abraham and was called upon to bring God’s blessings to all nations [Genesis 12:1-3]. However, because of the small size of Israel, the enemies considered it insignificant and of little prominence. In verses 7-9, it can be noticed that the nations waged war against Israel from every side. The Davidic king seems to have had a setback,  but God helped him and granted him victory, and made Israel a prominent nation like a capstone.


In Psalm 118:22-23, Jesus is conveying to his Jewish listeners that he himself is the cornerstone and capstone [Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17]. As God defended Israel against its enemies and gave the Davidic king a victory, God also defended him against all the enemies of mankind and gave him victory.


Jesus is the one who secures the house of God’s people together and he is the foundation and headstone of the salvation of mankind. Only he can provide security to those who enter the house of God by believing in him. Whoever believes in him becomes a part of the victory. Only in Jesus the house of God is secured. Stephen Wellum rightly says, “He is the beginning represented by the cornerstone and the end represented by the capstone” [see Revelation 22:13]. Even though he is rejected by the Jewish leaders and the entire nation as Messiah, the Savior, he is the foundation of the people of God and he will keep all things secured. 


However, whoever does not believe in him will face judgment and destruction. Let us believe in our cornerstone and capstone, Jesus Christ, so that we may be saved and protected in the house of God for eternity.


PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to understand the significance of the centrality of Jesus in your house and accept him as my Lord and Savior. AMEN.


Psalm 72

This is a Psalm for King Solomon. He is the royal son with justice and judges his people with righteousness. One such case is recorded in Kings 3:16-28 where Solomon declared a right judgment and gave a living son to his rightful mother. Prosperity abounded in his kingdom [v. 3, 7]. All the kings of neighboring nations accepted his suzerainty, served him, and paid him tribute [vv. 9-15]. He had pity on the downtrodden, afflicted, and needy. He saved his people from oppression and violence [vv.12-14]. There is no mention of the Messiah in his Psalm.

However, as Derek Kidner rightly says, “The New Testament nowhere quotes it as Messianic, but this picture of the king and his realm is so close to the prophecies of Isaiah 11:1-5 and Isaiah 60-62 that if those passages are Messianic, so is this.” He further asserts that the person in the Psalm is exalted so far beyond the humanly attainable that it cannot be fulfilled in any person than the Messiah. Therefore, both the Christians and Jews see this Psalm as Messianic. 

The royal son with God’s righteousness is indicative of God’s covenant promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:11-15. Here God promises a King in the line of David to rule over his eternal Kingdom. This cannot be Solomon because he died. The King in Psalm 72 “will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations [verses 5, 17 ]. This description does not suit Solomon. It is for the Messiah-King, Jesus who we see in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of the world have become our Lord’s and his Christ’s and he shall reign forever and ever.” Only Jesus is the King eternal [1 Timothy 1:17].

In verse 8, the description, “He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth,” can be applied only to Jesus because only he will rule over all nations at his second coming. The statement in verse 17b, “All nations will be blessed through him” reminds us of God’s covenant promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. But his nation, the Israelites, could not become blessings to all nations. Through his perfect and sinless sacrifice, only Jesus brought divine blessings to all nations and all generations. The whole earth will be filled with the glory of Jesus and not with the glory of Solomon.

In Matthew 12:42, the queen of Sheba says, “Behold, one greater than Solomon is here.” And she was perfectly right. The description of this Psalm points to a person who is much more exalted than King Solomon or any other King. He is Jesus Christ, the Messiah. His Kingdom will be an universal one and “his kingdom will have no end [Luke 1:33]. He will destroy the oppressors and rule with righteousness and justice. Therefore, prosperity will abound in his kingdom. His kingdom will be a righteous kingdom and only the righteous ones will enter his kingdom [Matthew 5:20].

There is only one way to be the subject of his righteous kingdom; to be righteous in the eyes of God. We must believe in Jesus Christ the righteous One [Acts 3:14, 22:14; 1 John 2:1]. And if we have entered the kingdom of righteousness, then we must bring others into it by sharing the good news of that Kingdom.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to believe in Jesus, the Righteous One of God, and share his good news with others. AMEN.


Psalm 69:7-12, 21

Here, we want to look at a few verses in which David relates his own experience but they foreshadow Jesus Christ, the Messiah. They give us further evidence that this is a Messianic Psalm.

In verse 7, David recounts that he is reproached by his enemies for the sake of his God. Perhaps David’s zeal in meticulously preparing for building the house of God in 1 Chronicles 22 was seen as an over-zealous devotion by his enemies [Barnes]. And David does state in verse 9 that he is consumed with the zeal for the house of God. This over-zealous effort might be misconstrued as a show-off or a pretense. Therefore, they scorned him. Not only his enemies but even his own brothers did not associate with him. They alienated themselves from him and acted like strangers. But for the sake of God, David endured the scorn and reproach.

David’s experienced is foreshadowed in Jesus. Jesus’ righteousness and zeal for his heavenly Father and temple in Jerusalem made the Jewish leaders enemies of Jesus. They wanted to get rid of him. John 7:5 tells us that even his own brothers did not believe in him. And Mark 3:21 says that his own family considered him a man “out of his mind” because of his outright zeal for God’s work. In John 2:49, Jesus asks his family, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

When Jesus drove out the traders and money changers from the temple of Jerusalem out of his zeal for his Father’s house, by using David’s words of Psalm 69:9, Luke tells us that those words were prophetically fulfilled in Jesus Christ when he cleansed the temple. In Luke 2:17, the disciples were saying by remembering Psalm 69:9 for Jesus, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Similarly, Psalm 69:21, “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst” was fulfilled in Jesus when he was hanging on the cross and became thirsty. In David’s case, perhaps the gall and vinegar were metaphors for the bitter scorn his enemies made him eat and drink [NIV]. But they were literally fulfilled when Jesus was thirsty on the cross and they soaked a sponge in wine vinegar and lifted it to his lips [ John 19:29].           

Hendrickson makes an important observation from this Psalm. David affirms that he had borne the reproaches of men who were scornful of God. Paul, by using Psalm 69:13 in 1 Corinthians 6:2, makes the application to Jesus who was selflessly willing to bear our reproaches. So, Hendrickson asks a poignant question. If our Lord could bear the reproaches and penalty for our sins, can we not accommodate one another in lesser matters? Can we not bear reproaches of fellow humans for the sake of our Lord?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as true disciples of Jesus, help us to bear the reproaches of our foes and friends and reflect Jesus through our lives. AMEN.


Psalm 69:1-4

This is a Psalm of a godly and innocent sufferer. The Psalm begins with a desperate cry of David, “Save me, O God.” He is crying out to God in despair because he is in deep and acute trouble as though he is sinking in quicksand. Once someone gets into it, there is no possibility of coming out. He keeps sinking further down to his death. Also, the trouble has come upon him like a flood in which he is being engulfed. He is already at the point of sinking.

This situation was created by his merciless and countless enemies who surrounded him to destroy him. They were falsely accusing him and forcing him to repay what he has not stolen. They defamed him by calling him a thief and a criminal. And without any reason they hated him. Therefore, the Psalmist is crying out to God for salvation.

In verse 2, David says that in this desperate situation, he was calling upon God for help. He was calling for help to the extent that he had no more strength left and his throat was parched. It seems that he had come to the end of his own strength waiting for God to deliver him. But there was no answer.

More than David, Jesus Christ the Son of David, suffered at the hands of his enemies. There were those among the scribes, Pharisees, and priests who hated him and mocked him while he was suffering for the sins of humanity on the cross. At the cross, they surrounded him and accused him falsely. David could only imperfectly say, I have stolen nothing, but his Greater Son could say it in a remarkable way because he did not grasp even what was rightfully his, the equality with God [Guzik]. He stole nothing. Yet his enemies hurled insults at him because of their hatred.


Therefore, quoting Psalm 69:4, Jesus said, “This is to fulfill … ‘they hated me without reason.’” Thus, David’s Messianic prophecy was made for Jesus and was fulfilled in his suffering on the cross. Like the Psalmist, Jesus surely felt himself sinking in quicksand and being engulfed by a flood of waters.


At that time, Jesus cried out to God for help. This can be seen in Luke 27:46, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” His throat was parched due to thirst [John 19:28]. But there was no one to help. He was left hanging all by himself suffering the excruciating pains of the cross. Here in Psalm 69:1-4, we see the shadow of the suffering of Jesus. He himself used these verses to indicate the hatred of his own toward him.


David and the Son of David experienced such dreadful suffering. Sometimes, we too go through a desperate situation of pain and suffering in our lives. Our own people hate us, turn against us, and falsely accuse us of what we have not done. We feel like being at the end of our strength and cannot tolerate it anymore. Sometimes, it might take a toll on our physical, mental, and even spiritual health. In that situation, we cry out to our God and there is no immediate answer. But, like David and his Greater Son Jesus, we wait patiently for the Lord to intervene. We must have faith that God, in his own time and according to his plan and purpose will bring our pain and suffering to an end. God knows how to deliver us and use us for his glory. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And he is with us till the end of the world.


PRAYER: Heavenly Father, in my situations of unjust suffering and pain, help me to trust you and wait for your intervention. AMEN.


Psalm 45:6-7

This Psalm is considered Messianic by Jews and Christians, primarily because it talks about the Messiah as God. It is evident that the Psalmists continue to write about the same person whom they call King. They speak about this King as far greater than a human ruler. The King is addressed as God and his kingdom as eternal. No other king is addressed as God, not even David or Solomon. Therefore, this Psalm goes beyond a human being and must be applied only to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

In the next line, the Psalmists talk about the scepter of the King. The scepter is a symbol of his royal power and authority over the people of his Kingdom. So, his kingdom is founded on righteousness because the very symbol of his royal authority is the righteousness [Guzik]. Here is a picture of the Messianic Kingdom that Jesus the Messiah will establish [Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 25:34; Revelation 11:15] and rule with righteousness [Isaiah 9:7; 32:1].

In verse 7, the Psalmists point out two very important attributes of the Messianic King by saying, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness.” This is the nature and character of the King. They are the inherent and integral attributes of the King that we see in Jesus Christ.  Jesus not only rules with righteousness, but he also is our righteousness [1 Cor. 1:30]. In him, the righteousness of God was revealed [Romans 1:17]. In fact, Jesus Christ is righteousness personified. Therefore, he cannot tolerate any wickedness.

In verse 7, the words “God, your God has anointed you” is a clear indication that there are two divine persons and both of them are God. The first word “God” is used for the one who is anointed, and the second word “God” is used for the one who anointed him. Jesus is God [John 1:18]. Thus, the Messiah is God and anointed by his God. He is set above his fellow human beings by his sinless and perfect life. God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit [Acts 10:38]. The anointing of the Holy Spirit results in Joy [1 Thess. 1:6; Luke 10:21]

The question is, how do we know that the sons of Korah were writing about Jesus as the Messiah-King in Psalm 45? We know it for sure because God the Holy Spirit revealed that fact to the author of Hebrews in 1:8-9. Here, by using the same words of Psalm 45:6-7, the author of Hebrews conveys to us that the Psalmists, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were writing about Jesus Christ, the Messiah who is God the Son and the one who anoints him is God the Father

It is so astonishing to see how God prophesied the future Messiah in detail. He is the embodiment of righteousness who is going to establish His righteous kingdom on earth. The scepter is the scepter of righteousness, mercy, and love, stretched out and held forth for the justification of sinners by having faith in the Messiah, Jesus [Gill].

If we have gotten hold of the scepter of the righteousness of Jesus by confessing him as our Lord and Savior, we become the citizens of the Kingdom of the righteous Messiah for eternity. The marks of his Kingdom are light, eternal peace, justice, righteousness, love, and kindness [Isaiah 9:2-7; Matthew 25:34; See also, Isaiah 2:1-5]. We will enjoy the eternal life of divine peace, joy, and bliss in the presence of our heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to have the assurance of Jesus’ eternal Kingdom of righteousness by making him the King of my life. AMEN.


Psalm 45:1-5

The sons of Korah wrote this Psalm for the King’s literal wedding. However, Guzik rightly says that perhaps they were writing prophetically about the Messiah because he is the dominant figure in the entire Psalm. The description of the King goes beyond a human being and points to a divine person. The general tone points towards the ultimate king, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  

Verses 2-5 describe the beauty, majesty, and might of the bridegroom King. The phrase “fairer than the sons of men” provides a superhuman description of the figure [McLaren]. The words “Grace is poured upon his lips” show that he speaks grace-filled words with blessed lips. It reminds us of Luke 4:22 which says that all were amazed at the gracious words that came from Jesus’ lips.

Yet, he is the mighty One, a man of war with sword and clothed with splendor and majesty. This reminds us of King Jesus going to war in Revelation 19. The King rides majestically upon truth, humility, and righteousness. Here is a picture of the Messiah who after his victory while riding majestically on a chariot. The victory is due to his inherent attributes of truth, humility, and righteousness. In Jesus, these attributes were revealed [John 14:6; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 John 2:1]. Spurgeon envisioned King Jesus riding a gospel chariot, pulled by the three horses of truth, humility, and righteousness. They are the foundations of who he is and what he does.

The King’s right-hand displays awesome deeds. The phrase “right hand” indicates the power of a person. Jesus by his divine power did awesome miracles of healing the sick, casting out demons, controlling natural phenomena, and raising the dead.

The King’s sharp arrows pierce the hearts of his enemies. Jesus’ words pierced the hearts of hypocritical leaders like the scribes, Pharisees, and many Jews who did not like him [Luke 11:37–54; See also, Matthew 23:1–39; Mark 12:35–40; Luke 20:45–47]. Trapp rightly says that when Peter and Stephen spoke the words of the gospel, the listeners were pricked at the heart [Acts 2:377:54]. In the next few verses, the picture of the Messiah unfolds even more clearly. We will see it in the next devotional.

It is awesome and amazing to see how our God predicts the future in detail centuries before it takes place. It is because he is omniscient and knows the end from the beginning [Isaiah 46:10]. So, he is able to predict the coming of the Ultimate King and his works. Also, our God is omnipotent. He has the power, authority, and sovereignty to bring about everything he predicts despite defiance from any natural or supernatural powers. Numbers 23.19 says, “God is not a man that he should lie … Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Yes, he does fulfill what he says. He has been fulfilling his promises and he will fulfill all the promises that remain, especially the second coming of Jesus to take his bride to the heavenly home. Therefore, we must trust our God fully and without hesitation.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to believe in you and your words fully and obey them. AMEN.


Psalm 41:9

In Acts 2:16, Peter says that when David wrote about a friend’s betrayal, he was talking about Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus. Jesus also applied this verse to Judas Iscariot for his own betrayal [John 13:8]. Therefore, this is a Messianic Psalm.

In Luke 6:12-16, we see that Jesus prayed the whole night and in the morning he chose his 12 disciples. So, Judas was the trusted disciple because he was chosen by Jesus and entrusted with the money for the group [John 12:6]. In John 14:14-15, Jesus called his disciples his friends. Therefore, Judas was a close friend to Jesus.  During the Last Supper, he sat next to Jesus who gave him the first morsel of bread. Even his name carried the significant meaning of “thanksgiving” or “praise” to the Lord.

Yet, his name is always used synonymously with betrayal or treason. He is always mentioned as a traitor and the one who betrayed Jesus [Matthew 10:4, 26:24, 25, 46, 48, 27:3]. Jesus also predicted Judas’ betrayal [Matthew 26:21-23]. John even calls Judas a thief as he siphoned off money [John 12:6].

What could be the reason for the betrayal?

At the triumphal entry, covetous Judas perhaps thought that when Jesus became King he would be rewarded an honorable position in the kingdom. But when Jesus started talking about his crucifixion and death, Judas was frustrated [Matthew 26:]. So, he thought of making as much money as possible by betraying Jesus at the hands of the chief priests [Matthew 26:14-16]. Thus, even though Judas was with the Master, his eyes were on other things because of his lust for money. So, he “served as a guide for those who arrested Jesus” following the prophecy of David [Acts 1:16]. Using Psalm 41:9, Jesus also said that “he [Judas] who shares my bread has lifted up heel against me” [John 13:18].

Due to his lust for money, Judas kept his heart unguarded, so Satan entered him and enticed him [Luke 22:3]. Judas served his selfish agenda and handed Jesus over to the chief priests. Therefore, he met the tragic end of his life by hanging himself.   

In the history of the Bible and the church, there are examples of many people of God who were disciples of Jesus. However, they allowed Satan to enter their hearts due to lust and pride. They ultimately betrayed Jesus. They put their own names and the name of Jesus to shame. Their talents and strengths were not used for the glory of God and his Kingdom. They became a harmful witness and a stumbling stone for many.

We too need to guard our hearts and be very careful that we do not succumb to the wicked scheme of the devil and the ulterior motives of our own heart. This is the surest way to betray our Lord Jesus Christ. We must love the Lord with our whole heart so that there is no room left for sinful inclinations and disloyalties.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to guard my heart by being constantly aware of your presence and keep me from serving my own agenda. AMEN.


Hebrews 10:5-7

In the last devotion, we saw the prophecy of Psalm 40:7-10 fulfilled in Jesus when he obeyed God’s will by taking upon himself the humanity and becoming the incarnate human son [Hebrews 10:5-7].

By being on the side of God the Father, Jesus shared the divine glory majesty, sovereignty, and authority with the Father [John 1:18]. Also, as a Creator of humanity, it would have been a difficult task for Jesus to leave his heavenly glory to become an insignificant human being. But no matter how impossible it would have been, Jesus fulfilled the Father’s will through the incarnation.

However, that was the beginning of Jesus’ complete obedience to the will of the Father. During his earthy life, he obeyed the will of the Father fully. God revealed his will in his law. Jesus fulfilled the will of God by obeying the law to the smallest detail [Matthew 5:17-18]. In John 5:34, Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” Without food one cannot exist. So, Jesus’ very existence was to do the will of God [See also John 5:30, 8:26, 10:18, 12:49-50, 14:31, 15:10].

Therefore, he said in Matthew 12:50, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” If one wants to be included in the family of the heavenly Father, he must obey the will of God just as Jesus did.

At the end of his life, we see him praying to his Father in the garden of Gethsemane. Being perfectly sinless and holy, it was difficult for him to carry the sins of the world and be forsaken by his Father. The very thought of separation from the Father was unbearable for Jesus. However, since it was the will of his heavenly Father, he accepted the cup, saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but your will be done” [Luke 22:42].

That is how Jesus followed the will of God. From before his human birth, till he died as a human being, Jesus never violated the will of God. Even at the cost of his life, he followed it. He became obedient to death – even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name [Philippians 2:8].

If we want to be in the family of God, it is absolutely necessary to listen to God and obey him completely. One of the commands for our salvation from sin is to confess with our mouth that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead [Romans 10:9]. Yet another one is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart … and love your neighbor as yourself [Mark 12:30-31]. And his final commandment to his followers was to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

The question is, have I believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior in my heart and confessed him with my mouth? Do I love the Lord with all my heart and love my brother and sister as well? Do I preach the gospel to the people around me?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I am weak, but you are mighty. Help me to listen and obey your voice at all times. AMEN.


Psalm 40:6-8

Spurgeon correctly asserts, “Here we enter upon one of the most wonderful passages in the whole of the Old Testament, a passage in which the incarnate Son of God is seen not through a glass darkly, but as it were face to face.” 

In these verses, David talks about his own obedience to the will of God. However,  the author of Hebrews applies them to the obedience of Jesus unto the will of his Father in Hebrews 10:5-7. Thus, this Psalm is a Messianic Psalm.

Offerings and sacrifices played a significant role in the life of God’s people. They were important for the atonement of sins and maintaining fellowship with God. Here, David mentions two of them. The burnt offering was a voluntary act of burning the animal. So, it symbolized the total commitment or surrender to God. The sin offering was a mandatory sacrifice for the atonement of communal or individual sin. They were extremely important because God himself required them from his people.

However, David emphasizes in these verses that God does not desire only the outward act of sacrifice from his people. God desires sincere obedience to his will from their heart. That is what the prophet Samuel says in 1 Samuel 15:22, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Therefore, by saying “Here I am,” David communicates that obedience to God’s will is of paramount importance and he will submit himself fully to God’s will. It is like the bondslave whose ear is pierced as an indication that he must listen and obey only his master’s voice and no one else [Exodus 21:5-6].

Even though David desired to obey the will of God fully, he was unable to do it at times due to his human weakness [1 Samuel 24:6; 2 Samuel 11; 1 Chronicle 21:1-5]. However, Jesus, the son of David obeyed God’s will completely and without any apprehension. He did it out of his own free will and choice.

In Hebrews 10:5-10, the author of Hebrews uses the same concept from this Psalm about the Messiah’s complete obedience to the will of God. Here, the Messiah is saying to God the Father that in accordance with the scriptures he will take upon himself the human body that was prepared for him. He will become fully human and make a sacrifice of himself for sinful humanity.

Because Jesus obeyed the will of God and died for us on the cross as a perfect human being, we can be forgiven for our sins and have eternal life.

By his total obedience to God’s will, Jesus also gave us an example to obey our heavenly Father completely. We must obey his will even if we have to forsake our own will. Then, God will bless us and make us a channel of blessings to others.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to obey your will at all times and become a blessing to many people. AMEN.


Psalm 24:7-10

The lifting up of the gates or doors is mentioned 4 times in these verses. So, it is an important phrase. The words “gates” and “doors” are used synonymously. Raising the gates is figurative of opening them to let the King of glory enter either the city of Jerusalem or the temple in the city. Some believe that the imagery is used of a procession entering through the gates of Jerusalem or the temple after carrying the ark of the Lord around the city.

The picture emerges that after conquering all his enemies, the King of glory is returning in a procession to his royal city Jerusalem to take his place on the throne.

The herald asks the gatekeepers to open the gates. Then, in response to the gatekeepers’ inquiry, he proclaims the identity of the One who wants to enter the city as the triumphant King of glory.

The opening of the gates has been interpreted in a threefold way [Kirkpatrick]:


  1. HistoricallyPerhaps the incident of David bringing the ark of the LORD into the city of Jerusalem is narrated here from 2 Samuel Ch. 6.


  1. Typically. Guzik correctly asserts that when Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey, the whole city asked, “Who is this?” [Matthew 21:10]. The answer should have been “the Lord of hosts, the King of glory.” But the Jews did not recognize him.


The church used this Psalm as “the song of ascension” for the ascension of Christ to his heavenly abode after he triumphed over all the enemies. It is as though the everlasting gates of heaven were opened to welcome him to his abode.


  1. Prophetically.It is seen as a triumphant entry of Jesus to earth in glory when he will establish his throne in Jerusalem. At that time, he will enter Jerusalem through a gate.


Some believe that according to Ezekiel 44:1-3, the LORD shut the eastern gate of Jerusalem. Now, the gate will be opened for the Prince after he makes his offering [Ezekiel 46:12]. Then he will enter Jerusalem through that gate.


Today the eastern gate of Jerusalem is called the Golden Gate or Gate of Mercy. Suleiman the Magnificent, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, sealed it shut in c. AD 1540 to prevent the Jewish Messiah from entering Jerusalem. The Jews believe that when Messiah, the Prince returns, the gate will be opened, and he will enter Jerusalem.


We want to see the contemporary significance for us. Today, as per Revelation 3:20, Jesus, the King of glory is knocking at the door of our heart and waiting for it to be opened. But it is unto us to open the door from within us and let him in. Only when we allow Jesus in our heart, do we have a right relationship with God and an assurance to be with the King of glory for eternity.


PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to have a relationship and fellowship with the King of glory by inviting him into my heart. AMEN.


Psalm 24:7-10

Usually, the literary technique of repetition is for the sake of emphasis. In these verses, two phrases are repeated. The “King of Glory” is mentioned 5 times and “lifting up of gates or doors” is mentioned 4 times. So, these two concepts are emphasized. Here, we want to see the “King of glory” and later, we will see the “lifting up of gates.”

The Psalmist asks a question: Who is the King of glory? And he answers the question: “YHWH of hosts” [v. 10]. The LORD is the King of glory. The epithet “King of glory” is in the subjective genitive case. Glory is the majestic aura of the unsurmountable and  unfathomable personality of the King. It emanates from his person and fills the whole creation. It is this impact of the King’s person which is inclusive of all eternal attributes. It is manifested in various ways, sometimes in the cloud of smoke, sometimes in the form of an awe-inspiring presence, sometimes in the awesome phenomena of nature, sometimes in the fiery things, and sometimes in the supernatural deeds.

Four of his attributes are mentioned in these verses.

This King of Glory is strong and mighty. All authority and sovereignty belong to him. He has the power to create the seen and the unseen matter of the world by mere words and hold it in his hands [vv. 1-2]. He is the King of all creation. He has the power to make impossible things possible.

He is victorious in all battles, even in the most devastating circumstances against earthly kings, principalities of darkness, or the devil himself. The King of glory prevails over them all.

He is the YHWH of the hosts. The name YHWH speaks of the timeless, independent, and unchanging being [McLaren].  He is the eternal I AM and the uncaused cause of the whole cosmos. Therefore, he brooks no rival. He is the King of glory. All the hosts of heaven and earth are at his disposal.

Jesus revealed God by taking the form of a man. He is the mightiest exhibition of the divine power – ‘the Lord strong and mighty.’ [McLaren]. The fullness of God dwells in him [Col. 1:19]. As the Creator of all things [Col. 1:16] he is the King of creation.

Through the cross, Jesus conquered all the enemies: sin, self, Satan, death, and the world. He is worthy to make such I AM claims. He is the King of kings and King of glory.

The King of glory wants to enter our heart and dwell with us [Rev. 3:10]. But it is possible only if we are willing to open our heart and let him in. Meyer rightly says, “We must have the King of Glory within. To have Him without, even though he be on the Throne, will not avail.” If we have not let him in yet, let us do it now and enjoy the presence and fellowship of the  King of glory forever and ever.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to recognize Jesus as the King of glory, accept him as my Savior and Lord, and enjoy his fellowship forever. AMEN.


Psalm 24:1-6

In Psalm 22 we saw the Messiah as a sufferer. In Psalm 23 we saw him as a Shepherd. In Psalm 24 we will see him as a Sovereign, the Supreme Ruler.

Charles Spurgeon correctly affirms, “There is little doubt that this psalm has a primary reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. He it is who alone ascended on the hill by his own merits, and by virtue of perfect obedience stands in God’s holy place.”  The church has long used this psalm in celebration of Christ’s ascension into the heavenly Jerusalem – and into the sanctuary on high, using “the King of glory shall come in” from Psalm 24:7 [NIV].

At the outset, David declares to us an exalted picture of the Lord as the Creator, Sustainer, and Possessor of the entire world in verse 1. It reminds us of the supernatural, angelic beings who were calling out to each other, ‘Holy One, Holy One, Holy One is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” [Isaiah 6:1-3; See also, Psalm 47:2]. Because of his exalted and matchless position, the LORD is worthy of worship and devotion.

Paul uses this declaration in 1 Cor. 10:25-26 when he encourages Christians to eat any meat sold in the market because “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” Spurgeon rightly sees the Most High God as the Possessor of its people, its harvests, its wealth, its life, its worship, and its everything.

Also, the LORD founded the earth upon the waters of the seas. Perhaps for David, this may have seemed to be a wonderful engineering marvel [Guzik]. In Peter’s assertion that “the earth was founded out of the water and by water,” an allusion to Psalm 24:2 is seen. Therefore, the LORD is worthy of worship.

However, David asks pertinent and poignant questions, “Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?” By using the terms “hill” and “holy place” in synonymous parallelism, David indicates the presence of the LORD in the sanctuary of the temple of Jerusalem on Mt. Zion. That is the hill where a person climbs to enter the presence of the Holy One.

The primary prerequisite to enter is to have “clean hands” and a “pure heart.” “Hands” indicates outward action, and the “heart” represents one’s inner inclinations. Therefore, inner intentions and outward actions must be pure. In addition, the one who enters God’s presence to worship must trust only One true God and no one else because God declares in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Also, a true worshipper does not have a deceptive tongue. He must be a person of integrity in internal inclinations and outward words and actions. The Lord diagnoses the falsehood as well as the truthfulness of one’s heart.

It is absolutely essential to have pure intentions, clean actions, and a loyal heart towards the LORD. Only those persons are vindicated by God. All these virtues keep us in the right relationship with God and help us to enter his presence boldly.

Guzik correctly asserts that personal happiness is important, but it is not more important than being in the right relationship with our Creator. The right relationship is possible by believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior who offered himself as a sacrifice for our sin. Only he can give us “clean hands” and a “pure heart.” We are cleansed from within and spurred on to do good works

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to examine myself and see anything that would hinder me from enjoying your fellowship. AMEN.


Psalm 23:5-6

David was familiar with pastoral life. So, he uses the imagery of a shepherd to communicate the abundance of provision, protection, and guidance of the Lord.

In verse 5, he uses the imageries of a table and a cup. The table is a metonymy of a lavish banquet that mostly host gives in honor of his guest. Many banquets are mentioned in the Bible [Job 36:16; Luke 5:29]. In Luke 12:37, the Master is so pleased with the loyalty of his servants that he prepares a table for them and himself serves them. David refers to the LORD as a generous host who entertains David in his presence by generously providing the best things in abundance.

The picture emerges that David conquers his enemies with the help of his Shepherd-LORD. The LORD is pleased with David and invites him to a lavish banquet in front of his enemies. David looks in triumph over them while enjoying the banquet. The LORD anoints his head with oil as a customary treatment of an honored guest at the banquet. The overflowing cup again shows the favor and generosity of the host. Merely ‘full’ is not enough. The host’s exuberant joy is expressed by pouring his favor so much that it overflows. His favor is more than the heart can desire.

David is confident that such abundant goodness and lavish favor is going to be with him forever in the presence of the LORD. David’s acute desire to be in the presence of the LORD is evident from Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask from the Lord … that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.”

That is how the LORD of David provides for us also. He gives us victory over our enemies; Satan, sin, death, and the world. And makes us more than conquerors [Romans 8:  ]. He pours upon us the power of his Holy Spirit in fulness [Acts 2]. As our Lord, Jesus makes lavish provisions to satisfy our souls. With the abundance of the bread of life and ever-flowing living water, he satisfies all our needs and gives us the strength to obey his will.

The best way to understand God’s lavish and abundant provision is to let the Word of God speak about them.  

Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” [Jn 10.10]. The grace of our Lord overflowed for us with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus [1 Timothy 1:14]. The grace and peace of the Lord are multiplied to us in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord [2 Peter 1:2]. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit [Romans 15:13].

Jesus also gives us an eschatological hope of enjoying the abundance at his table. In Luke 12:37 he says, “I confer on you a kingdom so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom” [Luke 22:29-30].  For the consistently loyal servants, “he [the Master] will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them [Luke 12:37]. “I tell you; many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,”  [Mt 8:11] The best of all is that “blessed are those who are invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb in heaven [Rev. 19.9].

The Good Shepherd grants us all the above blessings of abundance for a purpose. Paus says in 2 Cor. 9:8, “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” So, let us enjoy the abundance of the Lord and respond to it by abounding  in doing good works so that men may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.”

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to be mindful of and thankful for all the abundance we have in Jesus. And help us to abound in good works for your glory. AMEN.


The shepherd in Psalm 23 carried a rod and a staff. Earlier, the significance of the rod was seen. It is for the protection of the sheep from the animals of the wild. Today,  we will look at the staff in the hand of a shepherd.

A staff is a long and sturdy stick with a hook at one end, often with the point flared outwards. It is used by a shepherd sometimes to catch a sheep, especially if it is falling over a cliff. Sheep tend to wander away. The shepherd would bring the sheep back into the flock by using the staff gently. We too like sheep go astray at times, but Jesus pleads for us before the Father on our behalf [1 John 2:1-2] and brings us back to the right path.

Staff is also used to feed the sheep. With the staff, the shepherd brings down the tender branches with leaves and feeds his sheep. In John 6:35, he says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” He says, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life [John 4:13-14].” Our Good Shepherd feeds us constantly through his Word and fellowship.

A shepherd would also use his staff to number his sheep as they enter through the gate of a sheepfold. He knows each sheep that belong to him. Jesus says in Luke 12:7, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Our Good Shepherd knows everything about us in minute details. Therefore, like the sheep, we too do not fear bad times.

David experienced all these things because he trusted his Shepherd wholeheartedly even in the worst situations of his life. He went through the “valley of the shadow of death”. If we want the protection, provision, and guidance to walk on the righteous paths, we need to trust the Good Shepherd as well.

Charles Spurgeon correctly says,

The sweetest word of the whole Psalm is that monosyllable, ‘My.’ He does not say, ‘The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock,’ but ‘The Lord is my shepherd;’ if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me.”

Our personal faith in the LORD is the key to receiving his eternal care, provision, and protection. Let us place our complete trust in the Shepherd of our soul, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to place our complete trust in Jesus and follow him with our whole heart. AMEN.


Psalm 23:4

In 1 Samuel 17:28-36, we notice that David tended his sheep in the wilderness, a place of danger with animals like lions and bears. They can snatch away and devour the defenseless sheep. David knew that a true shepherd would not run from the wild beasts but would risk his own life to protect the sheep. Therefore, his sheep had nothing to be afraid of. Shepherds would use a thick and sizable rod of solid wood to fight any animals, protect their sheep against any danger with it, and lead their sheep to safety.

David himself faced the threat of death from Saul, Absalom, and others. For him, it was like going through the ‘valley of the shadow of death.” He fled from place to place and hid in caves to protect himself. But amid the valley experiences, David relied upon the LORD, his true shepherd. He never took his eyes off the LORD. The protecting arm, the rod of the LORD, was with him. Therefore, he says, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:6).  

David’s shepherd is our shepherd as well. What he did for David, he does for all those who believe in him. He says, “I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus did lay down his life on the cross to save his people from the enemies of sin, Satan, death, and the world. He became a bridge over the valley of death for us to cross over to God. Jesus never lets the enemies attack and destroy his sheep but keeps them safe (John 10:11-13).  We know from 1 Peter 2:25 that Jesus is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. His watchful eyes are always upon us. We read in John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them [the disciples] and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost.” Jesus continues to do it today. He watches over our souls diligently and protects us by giving us the guidance and power through his Holy Spirit to walk in the paths of righteousness.

Our enemies of sin, Satan, and the world are always around us to devour us. Satan, like a roaring lion always prowls around us. Sin is always crouching at the door of our heart trying to get inside and occupy it. Only by putting our absolute trust in our Shepherd and following him at all times, we can be well protected and blessed. Let us continue to trust and obey the Shepherd of our soul.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to put our trust only in our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and experience his protection from all our enemies day by day. AMEN.


Psalm 23:1

In Psalms 22, 23, and 24, we have a trilogy or triptych of Psalms. J. Vernon McGee correctly asserts that we see in Psalm 22 the cross of Messiah, in Psalm 23 the crook [of shepherd] of Messiah, and in Psalm 24, the crown of Messiah.

In Psalm 22 we saw the Messiah as a sufferer. In Psalm 23 we will see him as the Shepherd. The first words of David in this Psalm, “the LORD is my shepherd” resound the assertion of Jesus Christ in John 10:11, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

Before we look at David’s experience in Psalm 23 and see the parallels in Jesus, we want to look at a man of God in the history of Israel whose end of life was similar to David. At the end of his life, he said, “God has been my shepherd all my life to this day” [Genesis 48:15]. That person was Jacob, one of the patriarchs of Israel.  

Jacob went through wonderful and also difficult times in his life. He received the blessings of the firstborn from Isaac. He was blessed with twelve sons who became the nucleus of God’s people Israel. He acquired a sizeable estate and family at Haran. He returned to his own land in safety and prosperity. The nation of God’s chosen people was called by his name, Israel. He flourished in the land of Canaan.

At the same time, he also faced the most trying times in his life. His journey began with fleeing from his own brother Esau under the threat of death. His own uncle Laban deceived him and had him do hard labor. Laban even pursued him to do him harm. His young daughter Dinah was violated by Shechem, the son of a Hivite ruler. He was deceived by his sons who gave him the fake news of the death of his beloved son Joseph. It made Jacob’s life bitter. He lived in anxiety when his son Simeon was detained in Egypt and his dear son Benjamin was taken to Egypt during a famine.

In all these circumstances, Jacob experienced the presence, protection, and provision of God. Therefore, even though he said in Genesis 47:9, “My years have been few and difficult,” Jacob successfully lived 130 years with a strong faith in God. And before he died, God used him to bless his twelve sons, “giving each the blessing appropriate to him” [Genesis 49:28].

Many scholars believe that the tone of Psalm 23 is calm and meditative as David remembers his days as a shepherd. So, David wrote the Psalm towards the end of his life after having lived through the good times and bad times. He was a shepherd from his youth. He knew all about being a shepherd. Therefore, he trusted the LORD as his shepherd and he too, like Jacob, experienced the presence, provision, and protection of God throughout his life and could confidently say, “The LORD is my shepherd.”

Like Jacob and David, we too experience the goodness of the Lord in our life and also face trying times of unbearable magnitude. They may sound like “the valley of the shadow of death.” However, if we hold on to Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, we too will be able to experience God’s presence, provision and protection in life and will be able to complete our journey of life successfully and fruitfully.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to trust our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ through the good times and trying times in life. AMEN.


Psalm 16:11

There are prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament which are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The New Testament writers, also inspired by the Holy Spirit, use the Old Testament prophecies to give evidence to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah who was promised in their scriptures.

This is the case with Acts Ch. 2:27-28. Peter quotes Psalm 16:9-10, as the fulfillment of prophecy concerning the body of Jesus Christ which was placed in a grave but was not left there to decay. In Acts 2:31, he mentions this prophecy as fulfilled in Jesus. Then he talks about the raising of Jesus to life in Acts 2:32 as, “God has raised this Jesus to life.” This relates to David’s prophecy in Psalm 16:11 about “making known to him the path of life” [Acts 2:28].

Thus, Jesus’s body did not decay but was raised to life. The resurrected Jesus entered the presence of God the Father and is seated at the right hand of God [Hebrews 12:2, Psalm 16:11]. Because of his resurrection, Jesus is able to bring eternal pleasure, namely eternal life, and the hope of resurrection to all those who believe in him. The greatest blessing is to be at the right hand of God in Jesus [Psalm 16:11].

Ephesians 1:20 states that God raised Jesus from the dead and “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 2:6 states, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” In both verses, the tense of the verb ‘seat’ is indicative of a single and completed action [Aorist]. It is also called a perfective past tense.

Therefore, if anyone is “in Christ,” he is already raised with Jesus and seated with him at the right hand of God [Watchman Nee]. Isaiah 46:10 says, “God knows the end from the beginning.” So, in God’s sight, we are already in the heavenly places if we are in Christ. At the second coming of Christ, we will realize that position. At that time, we will be caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus Christ in the air and will be with him forever. [1 Thes. 4:13-17]. We will enter the physical presence of God in the heavenly realm.

This is the assurance God wants all his people to have, whether Jew or Gentile. It is only because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that the believers have eternal joy, the hope of resurrection, and a position in Christ in the heavenly realm. And if we know our status in Jesus as heavenly citizens, we must display that status in our actions and reaction in day-to-day life.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to have an assurance of eternal privileges by being in Christ. And help us to conduct ourselves in a way that is appropriate to our assurance. AMEN


Psalm 16

Psalm 16 is a Messianic Psalm. Peter and Paul quote this Psalm in their writings as they see the fulfillment of these verses in Jesus Christ.

The Psalmist has confidence that God is his refuge. The unsurmountable YHWH is his Lord, his provider, and his security. The Lord is his inheritance and his counselor. The Lord is at David’s right hand. The right hand is described as the chief seat of a man’s strength, an instrument of action to protect, assist, and comfort [Matthew Poole]. It is expressive of the nearness of God to counsel and instruct, to help, protect, and defend. It is his readiness to assist and stand by his needy people against all their enemies. [Joseph Benson]. This is obvious from Psalm 109:31, “For he [God] stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.”

Because of this confidence in God, the Psalmist says in verses 9-10, “My body will rest secure because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see corruption.” He believes that God will not let him die and be buried and his body undergo decay.

However, since David knew that he was going to die, and his son will become king after him [2 Sam. 7:11-12; 2 King 20:1;], Psalm 16:9-10 cannot be applied to David. Ultimately, he died and was gathered to his ancestors [Acts 2:29]. Therefore, these verses must be applied to the eternal Son of David.

Peter and Paul see the fulfillment of these verses in Jesus’s death and resurrection. In Acts 2:29-33, Peter makes it clear that when David spoke the words of Psalm 16:9-10, as a prophet, he was prophesying the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In verse 31, Peter says that David even saw the death and resurrection of Jesus in the future.

Similarly, Paul mentions in Acts 2:34-37 that David’s words of Psalm 10:9-10 were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. David’s body decayed but “the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay” [Acts 13:36-37].

Thus, Psalm 16 is a prophetic Psalm that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It was God who prophesied the events about Jesus Christ through David. In Numbers 23:18, the writer asks two rhetorical questions, “Does he [God] say and then not act? Does he speak and not fulfill?”

And the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Yes, our God will fulfill what he says because he knows all the future events in detail, and he has the power to bring about each one of them. Because of his truthfulness, we can trust our God without any apprehension and do whatever he says.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I trust you and your Word completely. Help me to obey your word without apprehension or hesitation. AMEN.


Psalm 22:26-31

In these verses, the Psalmist asserts that if God paid attention to the abandoned ones, there is great hope for the poor because God will take care of them as they trust and seek him. The faithfulness of God to the Forsaken One becomes a foundation for his faithfulness and blessings to those who are in need [Guzik]. These blessings are extended to the ends of the earth and all the families of the nations. Verse 27 reminds us of the promise and commission God gave to Abraham and his nation Israel in Genesis 12:1-3, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you … and all the families on earth will be blessed through you.” God chose in Abraham the nation of Israel to be a blessing for all humanity [Isaiah 42:6].

It was God’s plan from the beginning of the creation to bless humanity and have a relationship with them. A righteous King and his obedient subjects. However, that plan was thwarted due to the disloyalty of his subjects. So, now through his Messiah, Jesus Christ, God is reaching out to all the families on earth to restore the broken relationship. He wants to give eternal life to all who trust him. Those who believe in Jesus accept the kingship and rule of God because they have a new nature. Our newborn nature craves for the spread of the Redeemer’s kingdom and prays for it instinctively [Spurgeon].

From the most prosperous to those on the brink of death, all will kneel before the Lord and accept his Lordship. This reminds us of Paul’s words in Philippians 2:10-11, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The faithfulness and righteousness of God will be proclaimed to the future generations and even to the people yet unborn.

Thus, Psalm 22 begins with a cry of abandonment and suffering and ends with great hope and blessings. The suffering Messiah becomes a channel of blessings to all nations and all generations. God chose Israel to bring divine blessings to all nations. But Israel failed because of her rebellion against God. Therefore, God has chosen us, the church, and assigned to us the Great Commission, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” [Mark 16:15]. Let us bring the eternal blessings of God’s salvation to sinful humanity and also equip our next generations to do so as well.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, make us an instrument to bring about your blessings to our generation and equip our next generation as well. AMEN.


Psalm 22:19-24

In these verses, the Psalmist again uses wild animals, in reverse order this time, to describe his blood-thirsty enemies whom we saw in verses 12-16. By nature they are destructive. The Psalmist also adds a ‘sword’ as an instrument of death.

Amid such brutal enemies and their persecution, the Psalmist is pleading for God’s quick intervention to deliver him by repeatedly praying, “come quickly to help me … deliver my life … rescue me.” He considers his life precious because he knows that he is chosen and anointed by God for a purpose to save his people from enemies.

The purpose of his deliverance is mentioned in verse 22, to declare God and his works to his people, the descendants of Jacob. The works of God are described in verse 24. Humans despise the suffering of David but God would not. Even though the sufferer thought that God did not listen to his cries, now he is convinced that God listens to the cry of his people and shows them his favor. Therefore, the Psalmist says that he will declare God’s works in the assembly of his people. The same thought is expressed in verse 22, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation, I will praise you.”

By using the same words of verse 22 in Hebrews 2:12, the author of Hebrews conveys to us that Psalm 22 is a prophetic Psalm and the fulfillment is in Jesus. Jesus suffered and died but God delivered him.  Acts 2:24 states, “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

In Hebrews 2:12, Jesus considers us his brothers and reveals God the Father and his works to us. Hebrew 1:3 states, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” In John 17:25 Jesus himself says, “O righteous Father; the world doesn’t know you, but I do; I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so.” In John 1:18 he says, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.” Jesus is the One through whom comes the fullest revelation of God the Father.

Jesus also reveals the works of the Father. He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” John 5:19.

God lets us go through trying times and delivers us so that we will be able to know him more fully. Then God will use us to make him known to sinful humanity. The revelation of God that we received through Jesus must be passed on to those that will experience eternal death.

PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, please make yourself more fully known to me through your Son Jesus and use me to make you known to others. AMEN.


Psalm 22:14-18

In these verses, David is expressing the magnitude of his suffering. His heart melted within him like wax he exclaims. Normally, the phrase ‘melting of the heart’ is used to indicate someone that is moved with compassion and pity for a suffering person. But here it is used for the terror and anxiety of the sufferer. The suffering was so intense that his courage failed and his confidence gave way. It was like the hearts of the Israelites that melted when they heard the report of the ten spies regarding the giants in Canaan [Dt. 1:28], or the Canaanites when they heard of the powerful works of the Lord [Josh 2:11], or Israel’s warriors before the people of Ai [Josh. 7:5]. Their hearts “melted and became like water” and they ran away from the battle.

David suffered from acute thirst and his tongue was swollen and stuck to his pallet. Perhaps from his flight from Saul or Absalom in the wilderness. People do testify to such experiences when lost in a wilderness. He was so exhausted that he felt as though his bones came out of their sockets. He even felt as though his enemies pierced his hands and his feet. On top of it, while he was enduring the death-like suffering, his enemies divided his clothing by casting lots.

Now, we know that some of the things described in these verses might have taken place in David’s life. However, there is no mention of the piercing of David’s hands or feet in any of his battles. He never experienced laying in the “dust of death” because he was alive to write the Psalm. There is no record of dividing his clothes by his enemies.

Therefore, this Psalm was prophetically written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to be applied only to the Son of David, Jesus Christ. David did not know the practice of crucifixion in his day, but God by the Holy Spirit inspired him to describe the physical agony of Jesus with accuracy [Guzik]. And the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus.

The melting of Jesus’ heart is seen from his cry, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” How am I going to go through the terror of the ordeal without you being with me? Under the agony of crucifixion, he suffered from acute thirst [John 19:28]. From hanging on the cross for about six hours, Jesus felt as though his bones were out of joint. His hands and feet were pierced to be able to nail him on the cross [Mark 15:24]. The chief priests, teachers of the law, passers-by, soldiers, and others were staring and gloating over him. Right in front of the crucified Jesus, the soldiers divided his clothes by casting lot [Matthew 27:35]. And ultimately, he died and was laid in the dust of death [John 19:38-42].

The magnitude of the suffering Jesus went through and the death he endured is unimaginable. But he did it all to save us from the penalty of sin, the eternal suffering in the fire of hell [Matthew 14:40-42].

He endured the suffering and gave his life for us. The question is what have we done for Jesus? Frances R. Havergal captures this truth well in her song,

I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed,
That thou might ransomed be, And raised up from the dead;
I gave, I gave My life for thee, What hast thou giv’n for Me?

Let us meditate on the act of Jesus on the cross and give our lives to him by accepting him as our Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to understand that Jesus suffered and died for us and help us to give our lives to him. Help us to serve him faithfully. AMEN.


Psalm 22.9-16

King David was surrounded by evil enemies. Their fierceness can be seen from the ridicule and insults they hurled at David in his agonizing situation. They even questioned David’s faith in God in extreme circumstances.

In verse 12, the enemies are described as the bulls of Bashan. Bashan was fertile pastureland, and the bulls were well fed. “It was an emblem of brutal strength, they gored and trampled anything before them.” (Clarke). In verse 13, the enemies are like roaring lions. They come with their mouths wide open to kill mercilessly and consume their prey. The prey happened to be David. In verse 16, the enemies are also like a pack of dogs who hunt down their prey and keep barking at people.

He was surrounded by brutal enemies but there was no one to save him, not even his God whom he trusted. The God who created David in his mother’s womb, brought him out [verse 9, Ps. 139], and made David trust in him from his infancy [[vv. 11-12]. He was the same God who chose and anointed David as his son [Psalm 2, 2 Samuel 7].

The words of these verses were prophetically and precisely fulfilled in the suffering of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He was conceived and was brought into the world by the power of the Most High God through a human mother [Luke 1:35]. God declared of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased” [Matthew 3:17]. God was with Jesus in all the miraculous works he performed [John 3:2]. Jesus often made it clear that he did everything in obedience to the will of his Father. Jesus did not seek his own will but the will of God his Father who sent him into the world [John 5:30].

Yet, there was no help available to save from the enemies. The fierce enemies of Jesus are described as the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law [Matthew 16:21]. Also described as mocking soldiers in Mark 23:36, as robbers in Matthew 27:44, and as the passerby in Matthew 27:39. The Pharisees and Sadducees also are his enemies. They stamped and foamed around the innocent One and longed to gore him to death with their cruelties” [Spurgeon].

However, neither David nor Jesus said that because God has abandoned them, they also will abandon him. They were focused on the task that God had assigned to them; to save their people. David saved his people physically and Jesus spiritually.

That is the lesson we need to learn from David and the greater Son of David, Jesus. Enemies are around us at all times. Sometimes, they are noticeable, and sometimes they are hidden. Sometimes they come at us in the form of an angel of light and sometimes as roaring lions. Our most powerful and fierce enemy is the devil, the roaring lion who sprawls around us all the time. No matter what kind of enemies we are faced with, we continue to trust the Lord. We must be faithful to him, and fulfill the Great Commission God has given to us; to save the people who are lost in their sins by sharing the gospel. 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to continue to be loyal to you and carry out your commission despite the enemies all around us. AMEN.


Psalm 22:7-9

David suffered from the abandonment of God and the mockery and insults of his people while enduring agonizing circumstances. In verses 7-8, even his people called into question his trust in God and his relationship with God. These very words were used as a prophetic fulfillment for Jesus while he was nailed to the cross, bearing the burden of our sins.

David describes the mockery in detail. His enemies were shaking their heads and hurling insults at him. They questioned his relationship with God by saying that even though he claims to trust and delight in God, his claim is false. The tone was that God would not save him because of his sins. Hundreds of years before the Romans adopted the Persian practice of crucifixion, the prophet David described the insults and mockery at the crucifixion that his Greater Son would bear [Guzik].

The words of verses 7-8 were fulfilled in the suffering of Jesus on the cross. Mk. 15:29 says, “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “come down from the cross.” Mat. 27:43 records the mockery of Jesus’ enemies, “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him” [Ps. 22:8]. The enemies claimed he was not delivered because his trust and delight in God were false. His suffering was due to his sins.

However, under the excruciating circumstances, neither David nor the Son of David doubted or denied God. They trusted God fully. And ultimately God delivered them and his chosen people through them.

By believing in God through Jesus Christ, we become the righteous people of God. But as Psalm 34:19 says, “Righteous will have many troubles.” Philippians 1:29 says, ” For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in him, but to suffer for his sake.” At times, we go through the most trying circumstances in life. Sometimes they are created by our enemies and sometimes by our own people. Sometimes in the form of persecution and sometimes in the form of jesting and mockery. It is heart-wrenching to see that in such circumstances they turn against us and make a mockery of us. Even God seems to pay no attention to our cries for help.

However, we must not lose heart. We must go through those trying times with faith in God. They should not deter us from our loyalty to God. If we continue to cling close to God, he will answer our pleading, deliver us in his time, and use us to save people.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, when we go through the trying circumstances of our life, please help us to continue to have faith in you and be loyal to you. AMEN.


Psalm 22:3-7

In verses 1-2, we saw that David was close to God, trusted him, and called upon him in his worst agony. Yet, when he needed God the most, God abandoned him. God did not even answer him. This was prophetically fulfilled in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

From verse 3, it can be seen that even with that kind of abandonment, the sufferer still declares his firm faith in God. The coordinating conjunction “yet” is indicative of this fact. Despite the rejection, God is still seated on his throne as the Holy One. The “throne” is a metonymy for the sovereignty of God. So, God is still the same praiseworthy One for the sufferer. Stevenson correctly captures David’s situation by saying, “Storms may howl upon me; men despise; devils tempt; circumstances overpower, and God himself forsake me, still God is holy; there is no unrighteousness in him.’” When we face storms of life, we still must see God on his eternal throne as the Sovereign One and never doubt his power.  

Then, in verse 5, the sufferer is wondering why God is unwilling to deliver him. It may be because he has become like a lowly worm and not considered even a man [verse 6]. That is why his own people despised him and his own God did not listen to him. The intensity of the conflict made the sufferer feel not only ignored, but also insignificant. God seems to help other men but seems to give no help to worms [D. Guzik].

Jesus, the righteous sufferer too experienced this lowly state on the cross when God turned his face away from him and he was despised by enemies. Spurgeon correctly asserts, “How could the Lord of glory be brought to such abasement as to be not only lower than the angels but even lower than men. This was a true likeness of himself when his body and soul had become a mass of misery – the very essence of agony – in the dying pangs of crucifixion. What a contrast between ‘I am’ and ‘I am a worm’!” But that is the humiliation the greater Son of David went through on the cross, no matter how unbelievable it might sound.

But why did he go through the rejection as an insignificant worm? It was all for worms like us. In Job 25:6, the same word ‘worm’ is used for man. It says, “a man is but a maggot – a son of man who is only a worm.” Thus, Jesus fully identified with insignificant humans.

Isaac Watts has well captured this truth in the following song:

                    “Alas! and did my Savior bleed, and did my sovereign die?

                     Would he devote that sacred Head for such a worm as I?”

But it was with a definite purpose to make the worms the precious children of God. Jesus died a humiliating death but rose triumphantly from death and is seated at the right hand of God the Father in glory. Whoever believes in him is transformed from an earthly worm into a child of God to inherit an eternal and glorious body [1 Cor. 15:42-53].

Let us place our trust in Jesus and assurance of transformation into glorious existence. And if we already have, then let us share this privilege with others.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to open our hearts to Jesus who suffered the lowly state on the cross to exalt us to the state of being the eternal children of the living God. AMEN.


Psalm 22:1-2

This is a Psalm of David. It begins with the most anguished cry, unparalleled in the history of humanity, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The repetition of the words “My God” shows the intensity of the agony the sufferer was going through. The cry is accompanied by a complaint that God is paying no attention to him although the sufferer seems to have a close relationship with God. While he was suffering unjustly and when he needed God the most, God abandoned him instead of rescuing him.  Thus, there is double pain; on the one hand, he is suffering unjustly and on the other, his God is not paying attention to his cry.

Although a specific incident is not mentioned, we know that David had been through intense suffering a number of times in his life. He came under the threat of death from his own King Saul and his son Absalom. In those times, he might have cried out to the Lord with intensity in the way that is described in verse 1. Also, he was the anointed one of the Lord. Yet he might have felt abandoned by the Lord as he saw no immediate answer to his pleading for deliverance and gave out a cry of abandonment.

However, as Mathew Henry correctly asserts, “Much of the Psalm is expressly applied to Christ in the New Testament, all of it may be applied to him, and some of it must be understood of him only. David was not only a father of Messiah but a figure of him.” Looking at the intensity and passion of the cry, this Psalm is very applicable to Jesus Christ during his suffering on the cross.

Most of Psalm 22 conveys the picture of the suffering Messiah. Jesus himself used the Psalm with Messianic significance when he cried to his heavenly Father from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [Luke 27:46]. He felt in his soul and body the horror of God’s displeasure against sin [John Trapp]. Jesus, the righteous sufferer, was going through agonizing suffering and felt abandoned by his Father when he needed his Father the most.

Though Jesus was the Anointed One of the Lord and did not commit sin, he went through the agony of the cross. He experienced abandonment from his God who sent him into this world for that very purpose. God forsook him because the holy God was not able to look upon the sins of the world that Jesus was carrying upon himself. They were not his sins, but he carried our sins upon himself [Isa. 53:5, Cor. 5:21]. Because of us he went through the excruciating suffering on the cross and cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus suffered the separation from his heavenly Father on the cross so that we can be reconciled with God and restored into fellowship with God. Let us accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior who suffered such brutal agony for us. If we have done so, then let us live with an attitude of gratitude to Jesus every moment of the day.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to realize that Jesus suffered on our behalf and be thankful for him always.


Psalm 20:6-8

In response to the community’s prayers for his protection and victory, the king expresses his confidence that God will give him victory by the right hand of his power [verse 6]. The phrase “right hand” of God is used metaphorically in the Bible with a few nuances. Here, it is used for the power of God to destroy his enemies. This usage is seen in Ex. 12: 6, 12 where God’s “right hand”, which is majestic in power, destroyed Pharoah’s army as they were swallowed up by the depths of the sea.

In verse 6, the words “Now I know” reflect David’s confidence that God has heard the prayers and has given the victory by his divine power. The reason for victory is spelled out in v. 7. Unlike those people of the world who trust in their own strength and powerful human weapons, David and his people put their trust in the LORD their God. It was God who gave them victory over the most powerful and well-equipped enemies. Without weapons, enemies like Pharaoh, the city of Jericho, and various fierce people groups of Canaan [Gen. 15:19] were defeated. The victory came about when they trusted and obeyed God.

The Son of David, Jesus Christ also went into battle with God’s enemies by complete submission and faith in his heavenly Father. Jesus did not rely upon his own strength. Nothing Jesus did was outside the will of his Father. Jesus mentions his own submission to the Father’s will in John 4:34, 5:30; 6:38, 10:18, 15:10. He took upon himself his own humanity while being submissive to God’s will [Heb. 10:5-10]. He submitted to God’s will in Gethsemane. He did not retaliate when insulted but entrusted himself to God who judges justly [1 Pet. 2:23]. He became obedient even to the death on the cross. Therefore, God gave him victory over the enemies and exalted him to a place to be worshipped by all of humanity [Phil. 2:5-11].

Here is the basic principle for victory in any area of our Christian life. Never trust our own ability, wisdom, strength, people, weapons, etc. But in the battle of life, always trust God, obey him, and submit to him. He knows how to handle our circumstances and situations. He knows how to fight our battle. He knows how to give us victory because he knows our enemies, their strategies, and how to take care of them.

When King Jehoshaphat was under attack from three enemies, God said to him, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” [2 Chronicles 20:17]. Jehoshaphat trusted the Lord and God gave him a great victory. That principle remains unchanged through the ages for God’s people.

One night, in Rev. D. L. Moody’s meeting in Brockton, Massachusetts, a young man rose and said, “I am not quite sure but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.” Rev. J. S. Sammis composed a song based on that testimony,

“Trust and obey—for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

That must be a perpetual philosophy of life for God’s people.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us not to trust in our own abilities and strength but in your power and wisdom for victory over the battles of our life. AMEN.


Psalm 20:4-6

As king David was going into battle, the congregation was praying for the 3 things described in verses 4-6; God will give him the desire of his heart, God will make all his plans succeed, and God will grant all his requests.

When a true king goes into battle, he has the welfare of his people at heart. He wants to destroy his enemies and protect his people. When David went to war, he also had the desire to destroy the enemy, gain victory, and protect his own people. His people being the covenant community of God.

Also, like any wise king, David had a well-drawn battle plan according to the given situation [e.g. 2 Sam. 18:1-2]. Unless the battle plan is executed successfully, a king cannot win the battle. People were praying that God will favor his battle plan. King David went into the battle trusting God to grant him the above 3 things. God did fulfill the desire of his heart, protected him, and gave him victory.

Here we see these verses also apply to the great desire and purpose for the King of Kings as He went into the battle to accomplish our salvation [D. Guzik]. When the Ultimate King, Jesus Christ, went into battle against the dreadful enemies of God, he had a desire in his heart; to destroy them [Heb. 2:14] and save and protect his creatures from the eternal destruction [John 3:16-17; Lk. 19.10; 2 Pet 3:9]. 

What was his battle plan? It is mentioned in Rev. 13:9, to be a sacrifice as a perfect lamb of God, chosen before the foundation of the world. When the time of fulness had come, Jesus became a man and successfully executed the battle plan to defeat the enemy [Gal. 4:4]. Col. 2:15 says, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Then, we see Jesus praying for the protection and unity of his people in John 17:11-12. 

We can take home a message from the above discussion. If we are in Jesus Christ, we have already won the victory over our enemy, the devil. Yet, he always prowls around us like a roaring lion. It is a constant battle for a child of God to keep him out of the reach. Therefore, we must have a battle plan to fight with him and defeat his wicked planning. The plan is well described in Rom. 6.11-13, “Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus … Do not let sin reign in your mortal body … do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life and as instruments of righteousness.” Also, “put on the full armor of God so that you take your stand against the devil’s scheme” [Eph. 6:10-18]. Let us follow the plan and fight a good fight of faith.


PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to claim our victory in Jesus Christ and implement a plan to counter the enemy at all times.


Psalm 20:3

From the last verse of Psalm 20, it is clear that the congregation was praying for King David as he was going into the battle with the enemies of God’s people. It was a common practice to offer sacrifices at the time of going into battle [1 Sam. 7:9-11]. In verse 3, the olah was a sacrifice by burnt offering which is described in Leviticus Ch. 1. An animal or bird without defect was slaughtered, its blood was sprinkled on all sides of the altar, and the sacrifice was burnt with fire [Lev. 6:8-10].

The sacrifice was to express complete faith in God and total submission to him. If they were offered without submission and faith, they would not be accepted by God because ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God …” [Heb. 11:6].

So, the congregation prayed to the Lord to accept the sacrifices as an act of submission and faith in the Lord by the king and his army at the time of going into battle. In fact, it was an act of submission and faith by the entire congregation because the king was going into the battle as their representative. Therefore, they also shared in the victory or defeat of the king.

Here we could see the shadow of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. David Guzik correctly says, “The place of faith was important in the Old Testament sacrificial system. The one who brought the offering had to have faith in the ultimate, perfect sacrifice that God would one day provide, the one that each animal sacrifice pointed towards” [Gen. 22:8, 22:14].

In Jesus, all sacrifices were fulfilled. While battling against God’s enemies, Jesus the King made his own sacrifice of burnt offering in submission to the will of God [Heb. 10:5-10]. As he bore the sins of humanity, he took upon himself the fire of the wrath of God.  He offered himself as a sacrifice and “entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood” [Hebrews 9:12]. God accepted his sacrifice and gave him victory over his enemies as mentioned in Heb. 1:13 where God says, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

After the sacrifice and the battle with the enemies, God gave David victory over his enemies and the whole community shared the victory with him [Ps. 20:5]. Through his own sacrifice, Jesus achieved victory over the enemies [sin, Satan, death, world, and self]. Now, whoever is in the community of Jesus shares his victory over the enemies.

Therefore, let us be in the community of Jesus by placing our faith in his sacrifice. Through that faith in him, we share in the victory.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to have victory over our enemies by putting ourselves in Jesus Christ by faith. AMEN.

Praise of the Children

Psalm 8:2

Jesus references in Matthew 21:16 the same text that appears in Ps. 8:2. The context in Ps. 8 is the praise and worship of children and infants for the astounding creation. The same concept is applied to the praise of the children and infants for the miraculous works of Jesus in Mathew 21:16.

In Ps. 8:1, David mentions the glory and majesty of God which is evident both across the earth and in the host of heavens. Perhaps on a clear night when he saw the vast heavenly lights, stretching from horizon to horizon, he noticed the glory. Since the first and the last verses of Ps. 8 forms an “inclusio” (one major theme between parentheses), the whole Psalm declares God’s majesty and glory in his creation of heaven and earth and everything in them.

The right response to such revelation of God’s glory and majesty must be praise and worship. But God’s enemies were unwilling to praise him. Therefore, David says that God is able to use even the children and infants to praise him for his majestic deeds.

A similar situation is referred to by Jesus in Matthew 21:16. The blind and the lame came to Jesus at the temple of Jerusalem. Jesus drove out the buyers and sellers but accepted the needy and suffering people. He performed the wonderous work of healing the blind and the lame and revealed the power and glory of God. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were supposed to respond with praise and worship for such miraculous work of God through Jesus.  However, they refrained from it. Instead, when children started praising Jesus for his wonderful works, they became indignant out of their jealousy for Jesus and rebuked him.

Therefore, by quoting Ps. 8:2, Jesus affirms the fact that God is able to use even the weaker people like children and infants to offer to God praise and worship.

When we think of God and his mighty works in the creation and our life, our natural response must be praise and worship. If we do not praise God, he is able to use the weaker people to do it [1 Cor. 1:27]. God is not dependent upon particular people. He can use anyone to fulfill his design. It is our privilege and obligation to praise God for who he is and what he does.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to be mindful of your majesty and glory in the creation and our lives and offer praises to you at all times. AMEN.

Praise of the Children

Psalm 8:2

Jesus references in Matthew 21:16 the same text that appears in Ps. 8:2. The context in Ps. 8 is the praise and worship of children and infants for the astounding creation. The same concept is applied to the praise of the children and infants for the miraculous works of Jesus in Mathew 21:16.

In Ps. 8:1, David mentions the glory and majesty of God which is evident both across the earth and in the host of heavens. Perhaps on a clear night when he saw the vast heavenly lights, stretching from horizon to horizon, he noticed the glory. Since the first and the last verses of Ps. 8 forms an “inclusio” (one major theme between parentheses), the whole Psalm declares God’s majesty and glory in his creation of heaven and earth and everything in them.

The right response to such revelation of God’s glory and majesty must be praise and worship. But God’s enemies were unwilling to praise him. Therefore, David says that God is able to use even the children and infants to praise him for his majestic deeds.

A similar situation is referred to by Jesus in Matthew 21:16. The blind and the lame came to Jesus at the temple of Jerusalem. Jesus drove out the buyers and sellers but accepted the needy and suffering people. He performed the wonderous work of healing the blind and the lame and revealed the power and glory of God. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were supposed to respond with praise and worship for such miraculous work of God through Jesus.  However, they refrained from it. Instead, when children started praising Jesus for his wonderful works, they became indignant out of their jealousy for Jesus and rebuked him.

Therefore, by quoting Ps. 8:2, Jesus affirms the fact that God is able to use even the weaker people like children and infants to offer to God praise and worship.

When we think of God and his mighty works in the creation and our life, our natural response must be praise and worship. If we do not praise God, he is able to use the weaker people to do it [1 Cor. 1:27]. God is not dependent upon particular people. He can use anyone to fulfill his design. It is our privilege and obligation to praise God for who he is and what he does.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to be mindful of your majesty and glory in the creation and our lives and offer praises to you at all times. AMEN.


Psalm 8:6

Apostle Paul applies the eschatological implications of the words of Psalm 8:6, ‘you put everything under his feet” to Jesus Christ in 1 Cor. 15:27. The context in Ps. 8:6 is subjugating everything under man whom God created to rule over God’s creation. The same words are applied to Jesus Christ to demonstrate his subjugation of every enemy of God.

In the church of Corinth, some did not believe in bodily resurrection. Paul argues that if there is no bodily resurrection then Christ also did not rise again and there is no hope for believers beyond the grave. It also means that Christ died in vain.

However, Paul affirms that Christ indeed was raised from the dead and that way, he conquered the enemies of God. According to 1 Cor. 15:24, the enemies are “all dominion, authority, power” that Christ has destroyed. Though Paul does not make it clear,  we know that till his death, Christ never succumbed to the power of sin, Satan, self, and the world. In Eph. 6:12, they are described as “rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil.” They are the enemies of God. They have dominion and authority over the sinful human race but not over the sinless and perfect man, Jesus Christ. By not succumbing to the enemies till his death on the cross, Christ ruled over them and destroyed them. Now, he has to rule till he destroys the last enemy, death [v. 26].

This will happen when Christ returns to the earth and all who belong to him will be made alive [1 Cor. 15:22]. Death will not be able to hold them in the grave. Gordon Fee correctly asserts that when this occurs, all of God’s enemies will be subjected to Christ. And finally, the Son himself will be subjected to God because it is God who put everything under Jesus so that “God may be all in all” [v. 28]. Fee correctly says, “God has set in motion the final destruction of death. When that occurs he will be ‘all in all.’ Christ’s role is to bring about this destruction through the resurrection.” Thus, God is both the source and goal of all in all.

Thus, Jesus is the conqueror over God’s enemies, sin’s dominion, authorities and powers, principalities of darkness, and death. If we choose to place ourselves “in Christ” by believing him as our Lord and Savior, we too become more than conquerors in Christ Jesus [Rom. 8:37]. And we become the subjects of our loving and living God who is all in all. Let us be mindful of our victory over the powers of darkness in Jesus Christ and live a victorious Christian life unto God always.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we thank you for putting everything under the feet of Jesus. Help us to realize that in Jesus, we are on the victory side. Amen.

The Son of Man

Psalm 8

As was seen earlier, a Messianic Psalm is applied to Jesus in the New Testament. This is the case with Psalm 8. There are four references to Jesus in Psalm 8. We will look at vv. 4-6 here.

Ps. 8:4-6 is quoted in Heb. 2:6-8 and applied to Jesus. In the Psalm, David is referring to the unfathomable heavens and vast solar system that God created. Compared to the incomprehensible heavens and solar system, man who is described by the epithet ‘son of man’ in v. 4, is insignificant because he is like nothing compared to God’s immense creation. Also, God made man lower than the supernatural angelic beings.

At creation, God granted glory and honor to man by creating him in his own image and putting his own breath in man. F. F. Bruce correctly asserts that the language of the Psalm is based on the words of the Creator in Gen. 1:26. Then God assigned to man the dominion over creation and all the creatures on earth, sky, and sea. This is seen from Ps. 8:6-8 where it says, “you put everything under his feet.” The epithet ‘son of man’ in v. 4 is used for the man God created in his image. It was God’s design for man to rule over the creation as God’s representative and keep the creation in order and harmony.

By using this Psalm in Heb. 2:6ff, the author implies that man lost dominion over creation when he rebelled against God’s will [William Heron]. God’s design of ruling over the creation through man was not fulfilled.

Jesus came to earth as a perfect man. He was made “little lower than the angels” [Ps. 8.5, Heb. 2:9]. He used the epithet Son of Man to refer to himself. The epithet is used in this way more than 80 times in the gospels. He took away the rebellion of man through his death on the cross. He did it as the sinless and perfect sacrifice in complete obedience to the will of God.

Therefore, God “put everything under him” and crowned him with glory and honor [Heb. 2:8]. Now, Jesus the Son of Man has dominion over the whole creation. After his resurrection from the dead, the Son of Man is ascended to the Father and seated at the right hand of God in glory. He will return with glory and power to take the believers to their heavenly home [Mat. 24:30]. He will establish his millennial Kingdom on earth. Those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and are loyal to him will reign with him [Rev. 20:4-6].

Therefore, we must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and be loyal to him. When he establishes his millennial kingdom, we will be his kingdom subjects and will reign with him.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us realize what the Son of Man did for us by his obedience to the death on the cross and live in complete loyalty to him. AMEN


Psalm 3

This is a Psalm of David written at the most difficult times of his life. Yet he had the confidence of deliverance. An allusion to the abandonment and deliverance of the Messiah can be seen from this Psalm.

King David was surrounded by enemies and was in great trouble. His own son Absalom conspired and rebelled against him. Many of David’s colleagues deserted him to join Absalom’s rebellion [2 Sam. 15]. His friend Hushai the Arkite deserted him and joined Absalom’s service. His trusted advisor Ahithophel left him and joined Absalom’s camp. Shimei, son of Gera cursed David and even pelted him when he was leaving Jerusalem [2 Sam. 16]. 

Many mocked David while he was in trouble. David’s situation was so adverse that many were saying that he was beyond God’s help. They were saying that God would not help him because of his sin [David Guzick].

A parallel can be noticed in Jesus, the Son of David. He was abandoned by his own disciples when going to the cross. Judas Iscariot even betrayed him. Jesus was hanging from the cross and called upon God by saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The response of the crowd, his own people, was mockery and jesting. They were saying among themselves that let him cry out because Elijah will not come to save him [Mat 27:45-49].

Again, in his last moments on the cross, the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him and challenged him to save himself. The underlying belief was that God would not save him because of sins. Yes, Jesus was bearing the burden of sin on the cross but not of his own sins because he was the sinless and spotless lamb of God [1 Pet. 1:19]. He was bearing the burden of our sins. “He who knew no sin was made sin for us” [2 Cor. 5:21]. His own abandoned him while he was going through the most difficult time of his life.

Then in Psalm 3:3, we see David’s confidence in his protection, deliverance, and exaltation by the Lord. The Lord delivered him from the betrayers, mockers, and persecutors and re-established him on his throne in Jerusalem [2 Sam. 19]. Jesus was protected, raised from death, and declared to be the Son of God with power [Rom. 1:4] to sit at the right hand of God the Father [Rom 8.34]. All those who are in Christ may experience abandonment even by our own people. But the Lord knows how to deliver us and bless us with all privileges in Christ Jesus [Eph.1:3-14]. If we are in Christ, we are seated with him in the heavenly places [Watchman Nee].

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord and always be mindful of our privileges in him. Amen.


Psalm 2

This Psalm talks about the Davidic King. He is the Anointed One of God. God who is enthroned in heaven has installed him as a King on his holy hill, mount Zion to rule over all the kings of the earth. This indicates that the rule of the Anointed One is universal.

God also decrees that the Anointed One is his Son. As a Son, he inherits all the nations from his Father and rules over them with an iron fist.

The nations of the earth consider his rule a yoke of bondage. So in outrage, they form a coalition to conspire against the Son. They want to set themselves free from his bondage by rebelling against him and overthrowing his yoke.

Therefore, his Father in heaven becomes angry with the rebellious nations, makes fun of them, and scoffs at them.  They are powerless and insignificant before God the Father. He gives them stern advice to be submissive to his Son, serve him with trembling and rejoicing, and take refuge in him. Otherwise, they would be destroyed.

The Anointed King in this Psalm does not seem to be an earthly-human Davidic king because none of the conditions described in the Psalm have been fulfilled in any Davidic King. Although nations rebelled against some of them, none of them had universal dominion over all the nations.    

Therefore, this Psalm is to be considered a prophetic Psalm having its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. When God says in Matthew 17:5, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” the people of God realize at once that all the hopes concealed in the ancient prophecies are fulfilled in the One of whom this word was spoken [G. Campbell Morgan]. This is seen from the use of Psalm 2:1-2 as fulfillment in Acts 4:25-28  for God’s holy and anointed servant Jesus Christ [see also, Acts 13:33 cf. Heb. 1:5-6].  

In Revelation Chs. 19-20, Jesus is the One to whom the kingdom of the whole world is given. The wicked kings of the earth will not submit to his rule and rebel against him. But, as the Word of God, he will rule over the rebellious kings “with an iron scepter” [Rev. 19:15, cf. Ps. 2:9]. He will destroy them with his mighty power. Then he will rule over his millennial kingdom of righteousness with those who submit to his lordship. Thus, Psalm 2 looks forward to Jesus the Messiah who not only subdues the kings of the earth but also conquers the enemies; Satan, sin, and the world. Therefore, only Jesus can be the Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to see Jesus as the eternal and universal King and surrender to his lordship. Amen.


Psalm 1

Psalm 1 is a great introduction to the entire Psalter. In fact, it introduces two classes of humanity- godly and ungodly and the corresponding consequences – blessed and perishing. A man’s response to the law of the Lord is the deciding factor for humans to be either godly or ungodly.

The man who continuously meditates on the law of the Lord and obeys is called blessed because he knows how to be able to keep away from sin and sinners. He is honored by the Lord and has fellowship with Him. But he who does not know the law of the Lord walks in sinful ways and does not have fellowship with God. He cannot stand in the assembly of godly people. Ultimately, he will perish in the judgment.

Thus, the godly man is blessed by persistently living in the presence of the law of God. In the New Testament, Jesus the living Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us [John 1:1-3, 1 Pet. 1:23, Rev. 19:13]. The written law of the Lord gives us the knowledge of righteousness, unrighteousness, and the way of salvation [2 Timothy 3:15]. The living Word of God, who became a perfect human being, can save us from our sins through the cross and guide us in all truth by indwelling in our hearts [John 20;31, 1 Cor. 10:11]. He also empowers and strengthens us by being in us through the Holy Spirit [John 16]. He is the One who helps us in all our weaknesses [2 Cor. 12:9-10]. And he will return to take his people to the heavenly home.

Thus, the believer’s life is eternally blessed by the presence of Christ in his heart and his loving care, bearing eternally significant fruit by being grafted into Jesus, the source of eternal life.

Therefore, during this Lent season let us consciously and continuously meditate on the written law of the Lord and accept Jesus, the living Word of God, in our hearts as our Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us meditate on your written word and accept Jesus, your living Word in our hearts as our Lord and Savior.


The longest book in the Bible is the Psalter, the Book of Psalms. John Calvin correctly called the Psalms “an anatomy of all parts of the soul.” They have the whole range of emotions and subjects written by many types of writers from kings to common men. There are Psalms of joy and sorrow, love and hate, Word of God and worship, prayer and lament, repentance and restoration, wisdom and creation, etc. John Calvin correctly sums up the psalms by saying, “The Psalms are a Little Bible, wherein everything contained in the Bible is beautifully and briefly comprehended.”

This Psalter is comprised of five Books (Ps 1-41; 42-72; 73-89; 90-106; 107-150) and in each of them, there are Messianic Psalms. A Messianic Psalm is the one that has a reference to the Messiah, and it is applied to Christ in the NT. Sometimes a whole Psalm applies to Christ, e.g., Ps 22. Sometimes a paragraph, e.g., Ps 40:6-10. Sometimes several verses, e.g., Ps 69:4,921 . Sometimes a single verse, e.g., Ps 41:9.

Their use in the New Testament conveys the history of salvation. Jesus, the Messiah was despised, Ps. 22:6, 69:19–22; rejected, Ps. 118:22; mocked, Ps. 22:7–8, 89:51–52; whipped, Ps. 129:3; derided, Ps. 69:8,20; forsaken by God, Ps. 22:1-2; crucified Ps. 22:14–17; thirsty, Ps. 22:16. Also, he was given wine mixed with gall, Ps. 69:20–22; lots were cast for his garments, Ps. 22:18–19; his bones were not broken, Ps. 34:20; he rose from the dead, Ps.16:10; he ascended to heaven, Ps. 68:19; he is at the right hand of God, Ps. 110:1; he is the High Priest, Ps. 110:4; he is in the line of David, Ps. 89:3–5; his reign is eternal, Ps. 89:35–37; he is the son of God, Ps. 2:7; he spoke in parables, Ps. 78:2; the people sang Hosanna to him, Ps. 118:25–26; he is blessed forever, Ps. 45:1–4; and he will come in his glory in the Last Days, Ps. 102:16—23 (Risto Santala). He is the King eternal (Ps. 2).

Thus, Jesus, the Messiah is one of the major themes of the Book of Psalms which are widely used in the New Testament. In the list of the Nestlé edition of the Greek New Testament, about 50 quotations are mentioned from Psalms that deal with the sufferings, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. In Luke 24:44, Jesus himself said, “everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

As we enter this Lenten Season, the devotionals about the life and ministry of Jesus the Messiah will be shared from the book of Psalms as the Church meditates upon his act of redemption for the whole of humanity.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as we meditate this Lent Season on Jesus the Messiah and his work of redemption, help us to see and accept him as our personal Lord and Savior and be loyal to him. Amen