By Pr Isaiah White
To all Christians and regular readers of Good News, it is not news that Psalms is a hymn and songbook of the Bible. All the Psalms are songs composed and inspired by particular situations in the whole scope of the relationship between man and God.
The categories of these Psalms have been discussed in our past editions. Today, however, we want to emphasise the truth that the Songs in Psalms are intentional and situational; that is what makes them canonical.
Psalms 92 is a Sabbath song that was normally sung in Jewish synagogues and the temple on the Sabbath Day. The Sabbath Psalm does not celebrate the Sabbath day itself as the Jews did. It revolves around the fact that from the beginning the Sabbath was not an end in itself, but a means to an end. Christianity does not contend that Sabbath is the 7th day of the week.
The Word of God wants us to grasp what Judaism missed – the difference between the day (time) and Sabbath (the event). The 7th day was the weekly time of
the event known as the Sabbath. Sabbath (or Shabbat in Hebrew) means a rest.
As Jesus said, “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). The reality of Sabbath is not in its day but quality. It is not just ‘time for rest’ or even ‘resting’, but also the quality of ‘the rest’ and what one rests from. That is why the last portion of Psalms 92 lyrics reads:
“Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.
But you, O LORD, will be exalted forever. Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered. But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age, they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!” (Psalms 92:7-15 NLT).
The revelation of the true Sabbath, as distinct from a rigid liturgical day as Judaism set it, installs in a Christian life the blessing of the Sabbath. Sabbath blessing is that God has given us rest from all our foes. Resting in God reminds us we serve a reliable God who will destroy His enemies and prosper His people even if they have to wait a long time to see it happen.
Psalms 92 is a perfect Sabbath Psalm because it helps us to worship and praise our God.
In the world of agriculture, weeds are undesirable plants that grow under a controlled and an intended setting. According to Janick Jules, the term weed also is applied to any plant that grows or reproduces aggressively or is invasive outside its native habitat (Janick, Jules (1979).
Weeds, in essence, are plants that rebelliously grow against the farmer’s expectations. More broadly, “weed” is a species outside the plant kingdom as planned and intended by the gardener.
Weeds are plants whose seeds (if they have any) were never chosen and planted by the farmer. Weeds can survive in diverse environments and reproduce quickly, spreading all over the garden and proving to be successful even better than the intended plants. Psalms 92:7 says: “Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.”
In many ways, the devil due to the rampant effect of his evilness seems to prosper and evil appears to be taking lead ahead of good. However, the truth is that the good reigns now and that is why we are not utterly consumed (Lamentations 3:22-23). Eventually, ‘good’ will emerge victorious over ‘evil’.
I don’t know what kind and how much weeds are growing in your family, economic and spiritual life. I don’t care how prosperous they seem; the Lord will uproot them once and soon. He only calls each one of us to come to Him and He will give us rest from all the weeds (Mathew 11:28).