The Covenantal Faithfulness of God | Daily Office Devotional 2021/10/23

In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Psalm 31.1-5

Just before our Lord died on the cross, he cried out to his Father from Psalm 31: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Even at the most hopeless nadir of his life, he could still be confident in God’s salvation and commit himself to his divine protection. For the onlooking Jews, his confidence would have been unwarranted. They know Psalm 31 is a petition for divine rescue and an expression of confidence that one would receive it. Hence, it was not something a crucified man dying on a cross would or could pray. Any change or reversal of his situation would be nothing short of miraculous. Moreover, why would God show mercy to a condemned criminal?

Yet, we know that Christ led a life of complete obedience to his Father. He was faithful to him and lived in close communion with hiim. Therefore, he knew full well that his Father would never abandon him or let him be put to shame. This is all the more significant because he was feeling so overwhelmed by the sense of abandonment on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” he had cried. Even in all his suffering, he never despaired and lost his confidence in God’s covenantal faithfulness. In his covenant with Israel, God had promised to save his people if they remained faithful to him. Since our Lord was faithful to him all his life, he knew he would receive salvation from him regardless of the situation.

Sure enough, three days later, his Father raised him up by the power of the Holy Spirit. The resurrection of Christ was not only a vindication of his life and ministry as faithful and true, but it also demonstrated God’s justice, that he is faithful to his covenant and will save those who are faithful to it. For those of us who share in the same faith as our Lord, we too will receive the same salvation no matter what peril we may face. The most fearful foe is death, but in Christ, God has shown us that his power over death. Surely, he will also rescue us from death in the day of resurrection. Since our God is an unshakeable rock and a mighty fortress, we can commit ourselves to him in complete confidence, just as Christ did on the cross.

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