For my weekly quiet time this week, I will blog about Psalm 98.
King James Version for Psalm 98:1 says "his right hand, and his holy
arm, hath gotten him the victory." What the Hebrew appears to say,
however, is "his right hand, and the arm of his holiness, saved for
him." The Septuagint says the same thing----that God's right hand and
holy arm saved for him.
What does this mean? Did God save Israel
for God's own benefit? Of all the commentators whom I read, Augustine
actually interacts with the eccentricity of this phraseology. According
to Augustine, we should be healed for God. In Augustine's eyes, when
we are healed and then go on to live dissolute lives, then our healing
is not for God. Augustine also affirms that God's inward healing of
us----our spiritual healing and transformation, if you will----is for
God. As far as I could see, Augustine in his comments on Psalm
98 does not specify what being healed for God means, but he may mean
that we should make God happy by pursuing righteousness and should use
our healing as an opportunity to serve God.
John MacArthur preaching a sermon in which he said that Christ died for
God. Many Christians focus on Christ dying out of love for them, but
Christ also died out of love for God: to obey God, and also to give
glory to God. Speaking for myself, I think that both concepts are
important: Christ died out of love for me, and Christ also died because
he loved God. There are a variety of ways for God to be
glorified, including the punishment of sinners. But Christ chose a way
to glorify God that was also beneficial to humanity.
terms of Psalm 98 itself, I did a Bibleworks search on the hiphil of
y-sh-' plus the preposition "l" (which means "to" or "for"). Most of
the time, that phrase in the Hebrew Bible says that God is saving
somebody: the "l" precedes the object of God's salvation. On two
occasions, however, the phrase is used for God saving for himself. The
first example of this is Isaiah 59:16, which states in the KJV: "And he
saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor:
therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it
sustained him." The second example is Isaiah 63:5: "And I looked, and
there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold:
therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld
How does God save for himself in Psalm 98? God
brings glory to himself in the eyes of Israel and the nations when God
saves Israel and effects a rule of righteousness over the world. God
also fulfills God's desire to show God's commitment and love for God's
people, Israel, and that is probably something that God
appreciates----since we all like for our desires to be fulfilled. Consequently, in a sense, God is a beneficiary of his salvation of Israel.
Was Jesus a pacifist?
2 hours ago