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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent, Day 1

JOURNEY to the MANGER: Advent 2010

Ryan M. Reeves

The Christian life is summed up in this short psalm. 5 Praise, confession, conviction, comfort, exhortation– 6 all of these sprout up from the soil of Psalm 146. 7 The author begins in a posture of praise and worship, a 8 worship that includes creating melodies and spiritual songs 9 to the Lord. He then moves to the confession that God is, 10 as our Christian creeds echo, “Maker of heaven and earth.”

But the heart of Psalm 146 is what flows out of this prayerful confession. “Do not trust human leaders,” he says, “for there is no deliverance from them.” The shock we receive from this harsh exhortation is matched only by the fact that it applies to all human authorities. The psalmist does not have in mind only pagan rulers, but his own kin as well. The limitations of human authority are a result of their being finite, human, frail–they offer hope for a brief moment and then crumble. Even those rulers who shroud themselves in an aura of godliness are unable to bring deliverance, for their “breath” (ruah) will soon stop and the powerful will return to the dust of the earth.

Our hopes, our prayers, our longings for the Lord to fix this broken and sinful world must rest in the “one who keeps faith forever.”

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

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