Jun 5, 2020
David returned from being sent home from the battle with Israel only to find that his town had been ransacked by the Amalekites. He found strength in God, asked for God to direct him, and succeeded in retrieving everything, and even much more. However in Israel, Saul and his three sons died, and the Israelite army was completely defeated.
We come to another of my favorite psalms. In E.C. Olsen’s book on the psalms (which is a transcription of his radio programs), he said that this psalm has a message for America. That message is in the repeated refrain found in this psalm. Then Olsen gave examples of the Great Depression starting in 1929, the Dust Bowl plagues in 1933-34, and the drought of 1936. Olsen observed, “Do you think we heeded [God’s warnings]? Indeed not. … Did we cease our wicked doings? Indeed not.” And I similarly ask about the increasing pace of disasters right now. My observation is that we as a nation turned to God when we confronted the first disasters. But our turning to God lasted only a few days. Now, even as natural disasters multiply, we steadfastly talk of Climate Change and never talk about God. Consequently, we do NOT do like the people we hear about in this psalm.
As Paul said in his topic sentence in this book (Rom. 1:16-17), the way God has revealed for making people right with himself is— from start to finish, by means of fully believing. In chapter 10 we have a great and succinct summation of the content that we are to ‘fully believe’. Our confessing the belief that is in our hearts is also important. At the end of chapter 10 there are a series of Old Testament quotes. Two of those quotes are about the non-Jews. Paul was not changing his topic. He is still talking about Jewish rejection of the Gospel. The two Old Testament prophecies about the non-Jews (19-20) are quoted as a powerful sign to the Jews. This is the topic Paul continues with in chapter 11.