Please read Psalm 10.
This Christmas Eve, we join in the tradition of millions of Christians around the world in remembering the anticipation felt before the birth of Jesus Christ. While it is not a typical text studied on Christmas, Psalm 10 gives a good expression of this anticipation.
So far in this Psalm, the author has decried the absence of God’s presence and described the ways in which wicked people were prospering. In verses 12-18, the Psalmist reminds himself of the nature of God and of what God has done in the past, and uses that knowledge to encourage himself that God will act in the future. God will remember, hear, and strengthen the afflicted; He will help the fatherless and give them justice so that they may fear no more.
This promise is ultimately fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah. But before the Messiah came, the Psalmist had to ask, “where is God? Where is He while so many evil people are prospering in their wickedness?”
The answer that the Psalmist gives is that God is still active and working, and we know this because of His past action. Look at verse 14, for example: the Psalmist reminds himself that God sees everything and His justice insists that evil will be judged. This gives him assurance that God will ‘take it into your hands.’ What He has done in the past encourages us as to how He will act in the future.
Or look at the end of verse 14, where the Psalmist reminds himself that God has ‘been the helper of the fatherless.’ This encourages him in the next verse that God will ‘break the arm of the wicked and evildoer.’
Then again, “the Lord is king forever,” so the Lord will strengthen the heart of the afflicted (verse 17).
Who God is and what God has done in the past gives Old Testament believers hope for the future. But their hope will not be realized in their lifetime. They will spend their life looking forward to the Messiah who is yet to come.
Tonight, we remember that the Messiah did come. He was born in Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago to a poor young virgin. He was born without any fanfare, to a people who rejected Him.
Yet, He grew to become the world’s greatest teacher, who alone revealed the true character of God to His people. And still He was rejected. So much so that His own people crucified Him on a cross.
Then, to everyone’s astonishment, three days after His death, He rose again from the grave. He proved that He really did have power over sin and death; he really did pay the price for our sins. He really was the Lamb of God who could take away our sins; He really was Emmanuel, God with us.
While the Psalmist had to remind Himself of God’s past actions as He looked forward to a Messiah, we can remind ourselves of God’s past actions in sending the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to the earth. This Christmas, we rejoice that unto us a Savior has been born, and He has helped the helpless, the fatherless, and the oppressed—he has saved us all of us who trust in Him from our sin.
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