Friday, March 09, 2007

Grace, Psalm 78 and the authorities set up by God

In our house groups we're looking at aspects of God's grace in line with our verse for the year.

In our last study,we looked at Psalm 78. The title of the lesson was the Patient Grace of God. My daily readings prior to the study were in the book of Exodus where we find Moses' father-in-law Jethro giving what can only be termed sound management advice. You can read about in Exodus 18:13-26.

What was God's solution ?

It seems that implementing Jethro's inspired management advice solved the chaotic situation among the children of Israel at that time. That chaos of that time and place is re-told in Psalm 78 with the added commentary of God's great displeasure at all that was going on.

It seems the appointment of persons in places of authority over the people was how the spiritual disease was to be kept in check.

The same theme of rebellion and chaos goes right through Psalm 78 where we are again told about children of Israel but now as settled in the Land. They are settled but without a King and so up to mischief once more.

What is God's solution ?

The answer is given in verses 70-72 where God appoints King David to be a "shepherd" over His people. And again spiritual harmony is restored. Of course the significance of the Psalm for us is that it further points to the Son of David, the Messiah Jesus who is our Shepherd par excellence who leads us according to Psalm 23.

Contrary to all the egalitarian claptrap that infects the popular culture, the human condition calls for established authorities. The authority of God Himself is assumed but this alone, if we go by the case studies in Psalm 78, is insufficient.

God therefore, sets up human authorities over us for our own good which takes us immediately to the New Testament where this principle is made more explicit.

You can read about it in the following sections of 1 Peter :

1 Peter 2:13-3:17 , 1 Peter 5:1-17

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