Day 29: The Cup of Praise (Acceptance, Blessing)
I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Exodus 6:7a
This fourth cup is the cup where several of the Hallel, or praise psalms are sung. Gospel accounts of the Last Supper show Jesus and his disciples left the Last Supper singing. It is very likely they were singing Psalms 113-118, which are the traditional Hallels for the fourth cup.
It is very instructive to turn to these Psalms and read through them in light of what Jesus was about to go through. Please indulge me as I quote extensively, and please read through them from the perspective of Jesus, who was singing these just before he faced the horrors of the day ahead. How the perspective of Psalms 113-115 must have encouraged him. How poignant are the verses of 116 and 118: “The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, save me!”…For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.”…I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord…The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my foes…I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation…I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter…The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes…”
• As you read through these verses (and please do read the entire selection of Hallels), how did it change your perspective of their meaning? What do you think they may have meant to Jesus at the time?
• The verse says, “I will take you as my own people.” What does this acceptance do to your security in him?
Lord, I am moved by the poignancy of how the Word of God must have ministered to you! I am stunned by the price you so willingly paid for my acceptance. I am reminded again how everything I go through is part of your plan and you are with me. I gain strength to meet trials in your word.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries