Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Blessing of YHWH in Jesus' Blood

The Songs of Ascents (120–134) are among my favorite portions of Scripture. And Psalm 128 is one of my favorites among these songs. These songs were likely sung while the Israelites were in Babylonian exile when they made their pilgrimage several times a year to Jerusalem for the great old covenant feasts.

Psalm 128 sings about what it means to be blessed. Psalm 128 promises blessing. It promises blessing to "the man who fears YHWH, the one who walks in his ways" (v. 1). Then that blessing is spelt out (v. 2): satisfaction in work ("you shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands") and peace everywhere ("it shall be well with you"). This sort of blessedness speaks directly to the curse—and is something of a reversal of it! Held out hundreds of years before the Christ came and bore the curse in his own body (Gal. 3:13).

The blessing flowing to the one who fears YHWH is further described in v. 3: a fruitful family, with fruitful wife and children ("your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table"). This blessing comes from Zion (v. 4), where God dwells, the city of the great King. And the psalmist prays and the people sing for this man who fears YHWH to have long life and see Jerusalem's prosperity and his grandchildren, and for peace to be upon all Israel (vv. 5–6).

This is the blessing of YHWH for those who fear his great and good name. And that fear to which these great promises come was purchased in the new covenant bought with Jesus' blood (Jer. 32:36–41; Lk. 22:20). So all praise to King Jesus, the true Israelite, the true Jew, the man who feared YHWH fully and faithfully!

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