“Of first importance”
Psalm 106 is a survey of God’s dealings with Israel – above all of his mercy toward them: it ends with a petition,
“Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations” (verse 47)
– and he is doing this!
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you”.
Are we holding fast to Paul’s inspired message – it unfolds in inspiring detail when we put all his letters together. He tells the Corinthians,
“I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures …” (verses 3,4).
These Scriptures are, of course, the Old Testament but until he was converted Paul was blind to their reference to Christ, his work and his resurrection and ultimate role on earth. David’s Psalms are a wonderful starting point for us in searching these Scriptures, e.g., 2:7; 16:10-12.
Our studies in the Old Testament are an essential foundation to our full understanding of the New Testament and God’s ultimate purpose in bringing glory to the world through the resurrection of those who take on His Son’s name through baptism – and remain faithful. Christ is
“the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (verse 23).
But what of those who are alive when he returns?
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (verse 51).
We know not how close we are to the sounding of that last trumpet – in some ways it seems awesomely close!
But the last verse in the chapter is a most appropriate final thought, it is essential we all have this fully in mind –
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain”.
We cannot be half-hearted, half-committed – our faithful labours will bring an eternal reward – far beyond our comprehension now. Recall what we read in 1 Corinthians 2:9
“no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”.