Going Deeper 1-1-20

The Psalm for Christmas 2…

Psalm 147:12-20   12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. 14 He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat. 15 He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down hail like crumbs— who can stand before his cold? 18 He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow. 19 He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel. 20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord! 


The book of the Psalms—also known as the “Psalter”—concludes with five Psalms of Praise.  In this section of Psalm 147, God is praised for His blessings upon both Jerusalem and Zion, titles which are often used as synonyms.  In this case, “Jerusalem” refers to the city as a whole, and “Zion” to the mount upon which the temple stood.  At this time in history, both must have been in good order, for which the Psalmist is very grateful.


What is most striking to me in this text is the emphasis on the power of God’s “word”, which includes “his statutes and ordinances.”  This was understood as a peculiar blessing to “Jacob/Israel”, something no other nation had received.  God’s word carries power and therefore is transformative, impacting everything it touches.


In the Gospel reading for this week, we will hear of God’s word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  This is the ultimate understanding of the purpose of God’s word, to bring grace and truth, and to transform everything and everyone it touches.  This is accomplished most profoundly through Jesus, the “Living Word”, and the central purpose of the written word has been to bring to us the Living Word.


This is the value of studying and dwelling on the scriptures.  The written word of God is the primary channel through which God speaks to His children, and at the heart of the message is understanding God and His ways as revealed most definitively through His Son, Jesus.  


With You in the Word,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."