December 16 2022
Today, Friday December 16
Jehovah, Our Chief Shepherd
“The earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Several weeks ago, we mentioned in one of our chats how Psalms 22, 23, and 24 form a trilogy on Christ the Shepherd. These three Psalms give us a clear picture of how the Lord Jesus Christ is the Shepherd of our Souls.
In Psalm 22, we saw how Jesus is the Good Shepherd Who suffers and dies for the sheep He loves. The companion New Testament passage is John 10:1-18. In John 10:11-15 Jesus is speaking and He says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep…”
In Psalm 23, we saw how Jesus is the Great Shepherd who lives for the sheep and cares for them. The companion New Testament passage is found in Hebrews 13:20-21. “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Now in Psalm 24, the Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the Chief Shepherd returns in glory to reward His sheep for their service. The companion New Testament passage is found in 1 Peter 5:1-4. Peter reminded the elders that he had “witnessed the suffering of Christ” and was instructing them to “shepherd the flock of God” as good examples. Because one day, “When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (v. 4).
My friend, the Lord Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd Who died for us. He is our Great Shepherd Who lives and intercedes for us, and one day Jesus will come back for us as the Chief Shepherd.
Most commentators connect this psalm with David's bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6; 1 Chron. 15:1-16:3), and it may well be that David wrote it for that occasion. You might remember that the Philistines had captured it when Samuel was just a boy (1 Samuel 4-5). Thy kept it until diseases and death begin plague them and they finally returned it to Israel. The ark had resided at Kirjath-jearim on the western border of Benjamin in the rugged wooded highlands during the days of Samuel and Saul.
David himself had made one disastrous attempt to bring it to Jerusalem after he had wrested the fortress of Zion from the Jebusites, and he began to set up his capital in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:1-11). Three months later David properly prepared the Levites to carry the ark and bring it home to the tabernacle in the city of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:12-19). Historians and Bible scholars tell us of the music and dancing, of the shouting and sacrifices which marked the triumphal entry of the ark into Jerusalem.
Psalm 24 gives us the anthem which heralded the ark along the way. The people (or a Levitical chorus or choir) opened with verses 1-2. Then a choir leader asked the questions in verses found in verses 3, 8a, and 10a. The Levitical choir or the people would answer by singing verses 4-6, 8b and 10b. Later in history, it was sung in Herod's temple each Sunday, and some connect the psalm with our Lord's entrance into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday.
For years, the church has assigned this psalm to be read on Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter. Christians see Jesus Christ as "the Lord of Glory," first of all returning to heaven after His passion (Eph. 4:8; Col. 2:15), and then returning in glory to establish His kingdom (Matt. 25:31). This explains the repetition of "Lift up your heads" in verses 7 and 9.
My friend, today we should “lift up our heads”! Our King of Glory is coming very soon for us!