January 3, 2018 : Afternoon Verse Of The Day

4 The Lord hears particularly the prayers of those whom he has “chosen” (cf. Dt 7:6–7; 14:2) and whom he has brought “near” to enjoy his presence. Who are they? They could be God’s priests (Nu 16:5; Jer 30:21), but equally well they could be his covenantal people, to whom he granted the status of a royal priesthood (Ex 19:6). The Lord has promised to reward those who are especially devoted to him (cf. Pss 15; 24:3–4; Isa 33:15–16). Whoever is loyal to the Lord is blessed (cf. 1:1) with “good things” (cf. 23:6). God’s gifts include spiritual benefits (forgiveness of sins, v. 3) and the joys of life (vv. 9–13). The elect enjoy God’s goodness in this life and in the life to come (cf. 1 Ti 4:8; see Reflections, p. 931, The Ark of the Covenant and the Temple; see also C. S. Lewis’s intriguing essay “The Fair Beauty of the Lord” [in Reflections on the Psalms], 44–53.)[1]


65:4 / Those you choose and bring near to live in your courts: Parallel to this expression is the speaking we, who “are satisfied” (lit.) with the good things of your house. This would suggest that those chosen to live at the temple are not a special class of Levites but simply those who have been admitted to Yahweh’s temple through the entrance procedure (described in Pss. 15 and 24 and by 5:7). The “living in your courts” is not Hb. yšb, “to dwell (permanently),” but škn, “to tent.” “Tenting” at Yahweh’s “tabernacle” is the privilege of all who are admitted through the entry liturgy (note škn is used in 15:1), not merely of the Levitical personnel.[2]


65:4 Again we are aware that the first part of the verse speaks of the Messiah Jesus, whereas the second part is the language of redeemed Israel. God’s blessed Son is the One whom God chose, as we read in Isaiah 42:1: “… My elect One in whom My soul delights.” Also He is the One whom God caused to approach Him—a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. He shall dwell in the courts of the Lord, in the place of special nearness to Him.

Then the remnant expresses its confidence of complete satisfaction with the goodness of God’s house, that is, His holy temple. This reference to the temple causes some to question the Davidic authorship of the Psalm since the temple was not built until after David’s death. However the difficulty vanishes when we realize that the word temple was sometimes used to describe the tabernacle before Solomon’s temple was erected (1 Sam. 1:9; 3:3; 2 Sam. 22:7).[3]


65:4shall be satisfied: In other psalms, David expresses his desire to live in the presence of God (27:4, 5). The fulfillment of this desire in David’s day came through the sacrificial services of worship in Israel.[4]


65:4 Salvation means enjoying the presence of God. It is accomplished through Christ, the unique one whom God chooses to come near as our representative (Luke 9:35; Heb. 10:19–22) and through whom we can come near and be blessed (Eph. 1:3–14).[5]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 498). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (p. 270). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 646). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 690). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1014). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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