Sunday, October 9, 2016

from one degree of glory to another -- part 1

The Word for today:
Psalm 122, 123
mark this: ascription, Psalms 122, 123--
"A Song of Ascents." (NIV, ESV);
"A Song of degrees." (KJV)
Note: Today we begin a 3-part article concerning Psalms 120-134, known-- because of the ascriptions they have in common--as Songs of Ascents (or Songs of Degrees) . 
Many of the Psalms have an "ascription" at the beginning. Don't neglect to read these! They are part of the inspired text of the Bible. The ascription tells us by whom the Psalm was written--or for whom, or to whom, or about whom, or about what.
Every part of the Bible enhances all the other parts. So if we understand--from systematic study of Exodus through Joshua--the geographic features of Israel's journeys, then our reading of the Psalms is so much the richer.
If we can trace Israel's journey -- out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, through the Wilderness, over Jordan, into the Promised Land; past Jericho, up to Jerusalem; into the Temple, past the brazen altar, the bronze laver; through the curtain, into the Holy of Holies, with the ark of the covenant before us -- then we will enrich our reading of the gospels.
In an article to be published over 3 of the next 4 days, we will consider the "Songs of Ascents" -- called "Songs of Degrees" in the KJV -- and what they signify for the believer today.
To understand the progress of the article, the reader should know that the Shekinah glory -- the visible presence of God -- emanated from the Holy of Holies, the inner chamber of the Tabernacle/Temple. Furthermore, we must understand that the glory is Jesus:
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
We must also be aware that (according to scripture and our own experience!) the salvation of the believer is an ongoing process, from one degree of glory to another, which takes us
1. past the cross -- represented in the tabernacle by the altar of burnt offering -- where Jesus achieved our justification;
2. then through the process of sanctification, represented by the bronze laver (wash basin); and
3. on to glorification--when we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
Thus we take the title for this article from 2 Corinthians 3:18:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
With that information in the background, we'll continue this topic on the day after tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment