Merry Christmas to all of you out there! I hope that you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy time with friends, family or whoever else you might be spending the day with. As you can obviously tell, we are not taking a holiday from reading a chapter per day, so today we are in Psalms 43.
We do not know the author, but in my opinion, it sounds a lot like what David had written in previous Psalms. The interesting part about this one is that he (or I guess possibly she) makes a very appropriate request considering today is Christmas.
Psa 43:3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
Psa 43:4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
The author is asking for the light and truth to come from God, and after that has happened, the author will be able to approach the altar of God.
How perfect is that?
Let’s talk about light and truth. Jesus was indeed both of those things for the world.
Joh 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Joh 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
As most of you probably already know, these verses are speaking about John the Baptist’s mission to tell people about Jesus. Jesus is indeed the true Light.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus being the Truth brings quite a few implications along with it. It implies absolute honesty, and it also implies omniscience. If Jesus is truth by nature, then it seems to me that He must be able to provide the true answer in every situation. The only way to do that is to be omniscient and understand all things about every situation.
Now, with these two characteristics, we then read about approaching the altar of God. In the Old Testament, you had to be a priest if you wanted to do that. As I understand it, the altar was generally the territory of the priests as they needed to handle sacrificing and other things.
Notice then that because of this Light and Truth, this author is going to be able to approach the altar. Perhaps the author was a priest, but we don’t know that for sure. If the author was not a priest, then we are talking about a game changer. We are talking about someone who is capable of giving all people direct access to the God of the universe. It sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?
Jesus came, lived, died and rose again. He provided the perfect sacrifice that covers over the sins of anyone who will receive that forgiveness. That is really the most miraculous part of Christmas. It was the first step in a process that provided salvation for you and me. It is the best gift you could ever receive.
Merry Christmas! I hope that you all have an excellent holiday and remember the True Reason for our celebration!
Deuteronomy chapter 3 might not seem like a very Christmasy passage, but I assure you that it is. After all, isn’t Jesus everywhere in history? He might not have physically been on earth in His earthly body, but He has been intricately involved with everything for all time. God is as active and alive today as He ever was or will be.
Still, to returned to Deuteronomy, we are being reminded by Moses how the power of God was exhibited through the Israelites.
Deu 3:4 And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
Deu 3:5 All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.
Through the power of God, the Israelites were able to overtake all of these seemingly insurmountable foes. They took down fortresses through His divine might.
Now, we are called to also take on an enemy that might seem overwhelming. Just like the Israelites, we need the power of God to conquer our opposition.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
As we are attacking the gates of hell, we know that we will win. In fact, we know that we will win because the Rock that the church is built upon is salvation through Jesus Christ. Because Jesus died, we have been given the gift of salvation, and through that salvation, we are no longer slaves to sin.
How were we given this gift?
Jesus needed to die on the cross and take on the sins of the world, but He needed to be born first.
That is why we celebrate Christmas.
The miraculous virgin birth started a sinless life that qualified Jesus as the perfect Sacrifice capable of atoning for every mistake you or I have ever made. We don’t deserve mercy, but we have been given it.
I encourage you to think about this as you celebrate today. The festivities are fun, and I think that we all can say that we love spending time with family or friends.
However, I would encourage you to think behind the tinsel. Think about how God came to earth to provide the final blow to Satan. Just like the Israelites conquered their enemies, Jesus was born to conquer Satan and death. That is why we will never forget this day.
Well, who would have ever thought that we would find Christmas in Numbers chapter 24?
Actually, when I was in church yesterday, the sermon was obviously Christmas-themed, and this verse was used as an Old Testament reference for the star that the Magi followed.
Num 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
Obviously, we see a reference to a star rising out of Jacob. I don’t know how much more explanation that point needs. Also, the scepter is a another symbol of the Messiah who will reign as the King forever. Pretty amazing, right?
These are not the only star references though.
In my first ever post on this blog, I wrote about how we can find the evidence of God using a star all the way back in Genesis chapter 1.
Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Even in the beginning, God had planned on using the stars as a beacon. He knew that He would call people to the birth of His Son using a star.
Beyond that, we can see more evidence of the fulfillment of prophecy from Isaiah.
Isa 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
Isa 60:4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
Isa 60:5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
Isa 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
I think that this is remarkable. Maybe this can help you get into the Christmas spirit a little bit more today.