This week’s Eurasia Blog Wednesday Devotion focuses on a portion of the Psalm for the Second Sunday after Trinity (this past Sunday). The whole Psalm appointed for the day is Psalm 34:12-22. Last year, we looked at the Gospel reading for this Sunday. You can find the devotion on the Gospel reading here: “Still there is Room.”
By Elizabeth Ahlman
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned (Psalm 34:19-22, ESV).
The whole of the Scriptures testify to Jesus. The Psalms are no exception. Often it is difficult to find Him there, but the Psalms either point forward to Him, prophesy about Him or are found on His lips as His prayers such that we see how they are about Him. This passage from Psalm 34 is one that strikes you immediately with its “eerily” familiar language, language that sounds like it is really about more than just David, who is the author in this case.
Jesus is written all over these lines. He was afflicted in every way — beaten, scoffed at, falsely accused, mocked, crucified — and yet Yahweh delivered Him from all of His afflictions. Jesus kept “all his bones” and not one was broken (John 19:36). In His death and resurrection, He rose victorious over those who condemned Him and so affliction instead slayed the wicked, and those who hate the righteous — those who hate the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Righteous One — have been and continue to be condemned.
And Jesus doesn’t keep this victory to Himself. He doesn’t hog Yahweh’s deliverance. He doesn’t even keep that righteousness to Himself. David goes plural: “The Lord redeems the life of his servants.” In the one Servant, the Lord redeems all servants. In the one Righteous One the Lord makes many righteous ones. Through the One Who took refuge in Yahweh even in the depths of death and the bowels of the earth, the Lord makes us to be those who take refuge in Him. Through our Baptisms, we become redeemed servants, sheltering under the protection of our Heavenly Father, knowing that those who scoff, mock, beat, afflict and even try to kill us are not strong enough to remove us from His deliverance. In Him we are redeemed. In Him we live. In Him we triumph.
So this Psalm is about David, it’s about Jesus, and it’s about us. How’s that for some literary prowess?
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we give You thanks that You have revealed Your Son to us in Your Word; continue to grant that we would be your righteous ones through our Baptisms into the Righteous One so that we may take refuge in You now and into eternity; grant it for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.