TODAY’S READING: PSALM 45-53
A description of our King, and the King’s daughter; the psalmist’s confidence in and praise of God; the deception of worldly wealth; David’s prayer of confession after sinning with Bathsheba; the tendency of the tongue toward evil; the foolishness of atheism.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Many of you have learned that there are three layers of application in Scripture. Because these three layers are so easily identifiable in the Psalms, and so necessary to really understand them, perhaps the most profitable use of this space today will be to review these three applications (i.e. Rather than giving you a fish, teach you how to fish!).
Application #1 – The Historical Application Obviously, the events we read about in Scripture really happened to real people like you and me at a particular time in history. Understanding the historical context is vital to proper interpretation and allows us to properly make the second application of Scripture …
Application #2 – The Devotional or Inspirational Application
>From the events, situations and experiences of those real people we were talking about in the Historical Application, we learn lessons we can apply to our own lives from their successes and failures as we face similar circumstances and situations.
Almost every “fundamentalist” or “Bible-believing” person is fully acquainted with these first two layers of application. Yet, there is a third layer that most people fail to see. It is the third application that is really the sparkplug that ignites the whole supernatural engine of the Bible, causing us to stand in complete awe of the Word of God and the God of the Word!
Application #3 – The Doctrinal or Practical Application This application identifies what the event or situation in history foreshadows or pictures prophetically. It is the real “teaching” of the passage (Doctrine = Teaching). Time will not permit an exhausting of the subject, and barely a decent explanation, but God uses the record of history in the Old Testament to point to the key events that will take place in the future. Far from being even remotely connected or mildly associated with the allegorical approach to biblical interpretation (i.e. Randomly choosing what you think or want the “hidden” meaning of the passage to be with no rhyme or reason from a hermeneutical standpoint), the doctrinal application employs strict rules of Bible study to make consistent prophetic applications. Once you begin to identify this third layer of application in the Psalms, you’ll almost begin to wonder what you used to think the Psalms were about!
Let’s take just a second to talk about these three layers of application in the Psalms.
In identifying the Historical Application, recognize that some event and/or circumstances and situations in the life of the psalmist prompted the writing of his song. Many times the Historical Application is even identified in the title, as in Psalm 51 in today’s reading: “A psalm of David when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” As you can understand, knowing that will make this Psalm take on much more significant meaning!
>From a Devotional or Inspirational (Practical) standpoint, the Psalms are filled with personal application and meaning because they so mirror and express how we think and feel about ourselves, God, life, people, etc. as we face the circumstances of our life. They become a great “attitude adjustment” as we see the psalmist work through similar experiences of life.
Though all of the Psalms in today’s reading are jam-packed with the third layer of application, Psalm 46 is perhaps the best example to use to “open the windows” to be able to see it. Obviously, the psalms are songs that were actually sung. They word “Selah” that you so often see appearing in the Psalms (71 times in all) is there because it is a rest written into the musical score. The word made it into the canon of God’s Holy Word because it is a key that God uses to help us identify the prophetic context of the passage. At the Second Coming of Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ will arrive on this planet to establish His millennial reign. The “Millennium,” as we refer to it, is a 1000 year period of “rest” on this planet, specifically identified in Rev. 20:1-6, referred to as the “rest” for the people of God in Heb. 4, and called the “times” of RESTitution of all things” and the “times of refreshing” in Acts 3:19-21.
When you see the word “Selah,” put the brakes on, throw your eyes and your brain into reverse, because God just let you know what the passage is meaning from a doctrinal or prophetic standpoint (i.e. the Second Coming and/or Millennium). Notice in Psalm 46, three perfect descriptions of the Millennium, each marked by the Word “Selah”: 1) Ps. 46:1-3; 2)Ps. 46:4-7a; 3)Ps. 46:7b-11.
Notice in Psalm 50:1-6, a perfect description of the Second Coming, and what follows next? Rest! (“Selah” – the Millennium!) You get the idea. I’ll leave the rest of them for you to see and enjoy for yourself!
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
Through the 10 times the word “Selah” is used in today’s reading, pointing to Christ’s Second Coming and Millennial Reign – Psalm 46:3,7,11; 47:4; 48:8; 49:13,15; 50:6; 52:3,5.