Posted by: Pauline | December 4, 2016

Scriptures for Sunday December 4

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

In ancient Israel, this psalm was most likely sung at the king’s coronation, and perhaps yearly at the anniversary of his coronation. It expressed people’s belief that God ruled them through the king as His representative on earth, and their ideals of what the reign of a godly king would be like.

No earthly king ever fulfilled perfectly these ideals of justice, prosperity, and peace. Most of the kings of Judah and Israel failed miserably, and the prophets frequently pronounced judgment on God’s people for their failure – and especially the failure of their leaders – to exercise justice so that the neediest people in society were provided for.

As Christians, we see the ultimate fulfillment of these ideals in Christ the King. His rule, inaugurated but not yet fully realized on earth, is perfect, and one day He will bring about the perfect justice and peace people have longed for. In the meantime, He uses His people to do His work and reflect the right ordering of human relationships under His rule.

Matthew 3:1-12

Like the prophets of the Old Testament, John boldly rebuked those who were supposed to be Israel’s leaders but who used their power to their own advantage rather than for the good of the people. He preached repentance, but made it clear that repentance required not just words acknowledging sin but also a change in behavior. John also announced the coming of the one who would finally fulfill the people’s messianic hopes.

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