Gordon-Conwell Blog

Advent Devotional Day 19: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

December 21, 2017

 
2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 19 | Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
 

Psalm 89

 

Following the most despairing of all the psalms, Psalm 89 turns to exalted praise for the steadfast love and faithfulness of God. He is the Holy One of Israel whose unfailing love and faithfulness are the security and guarantee of his covenantal promises to his servant David and to his chosen people Israel.

The psalm then enumerates God’s irrevocable promises to love, favor, strengthen, protect and establish David’s throne forever in righteousness, justice, kindness and truth. In the fulfillment of these promises the ancients anticipated the coming of the Messiah—God’s anointed One, the firstborn, the eternal King of Kings.

However, despite the depth and strength of his conviction about God’s trustworthiness, the psalmist still anguishes over the absence and silence of God amid the devastating crisis of the exile. This sense of rejection, abandonment, and judgment by God leads to an angry indictment against God for his betrayal of David. The psalmist concludes with three accusatory questions: How long, O Lord? Who can save? Where is your steadfast love and faithfulness?

We know now that all three questions were answered in Jesus Christ: 
“…from the exile to the Christ fourteen generations,” (Matt 1:17); 
“…call his name Jesus, for he will save his people,” (Matt 1:22); 
“…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

Though God’s promises were never in doubt, the psalmist could not see that at the time. Even so, in faith he managed one final benediction: Blessed be the Lord forever.

Amid our own crises in this Advent season—for many, an unprecedented season of suffering and grief from injustice, violence, financial hardship, disease, political turmoil, international conflict and even natural disasters—let us, like the psalmist, rest in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. Though we likewise do not yet see the fulfillment of all his promises, we can wait patiently—and confidently! For his second coming is as certain as his first.

 


 

 

    

     Dr. Edward M. Keazirian
     Director of the Greek Language Program at Hamilton;
     Assistant Professor of New Testament

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