Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 34

Psalm 34

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

1I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
11Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

22The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Chapter 34

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them." I kinda see where Henry's going with because the fact that I'm gonna spend eternity with God motivates me to do great things for His Kingdom, which has the possibility of changing lives and helping those who need Christ in their lives find Him and know Him. I don't really go around talking to people about Jesus, but I still do things -- such as draw and write -- which can glorify Him and perhaps the Holy Spirit could work through those things and touch people in a way that they wanna know God. He's delivered me from my darkest moment (v. 4), which I've talked about before. That's kinda how I relate to verse 4 anyway. I think as soon as I looked to Him, He filled me with His light (v. 5) and He saved me from the trouble I was experiencing (v. 6) and I praise Him for both those things. I look back on it and it's safe to say that He used my trial for His glory. I grew closer to Him at the end of it and I thank Him for that because it's always a good thing to grow in Him. God's angel eventually helped me out (v. 7) since He must've considered me as one who fears Him. I think, though, that if I didn't fear Him and live for Him, He wouldn't have helped me out and I would've been living under Satan's lies longer than I would've like to. I think the fact that I try to spend time with God and read His Word every day is what helps me to grow and know Him more. I think by doing those things, I am exposing meself to His goodness and love (v. 8), which comfort and humble me. I think it's cool that if I fear Him, if I revere Him -- which I continue to do -- I have no want, or I "lack nothing" (NIV). What verses 9-10 mean to me is the fact that I fear God means I don't have to find satisfaction in anything else. I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again just for emphasis: if I try to find satisfaction in earthly things, that satisfaction's eventually gonna wear away since earthly things aren't eternal and they can't provide the blessings that God provides me. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses, Colossians 3:2, which says, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

Moving onto verses 11-22 now. Matthew Henry comments on the first two verses by stating the following, "Let young persons set out in life with learning the fear of the Lord, if they desire true comfort here, and eternal happiness hereafter. Those will be most happy who begin the soonest to serve so good a Master." I think at a young age, I knew what it meant to fear the Lord and I think because of my dad's influence, I'm doing a pretty good job of it. It's always a great thing to worship God just because nothing can compare to Him. Henry comments on verses 12-13 by stating the following: "What man is he that would see the good of that where all bliss is perfect? Alas! few have this good in their thoughts. That religion promises best which creates watchfulness over the heart and over the tongue." I continue to have that desire of life in Him (v. 12) and I try to control my tongue (v. 13), which isn't always easy to do. Sometimes I may something that God doesn't like and I usually don't feel good about that. I figure that doesn't disqualify me from doing great things for His Kingdom (v. 14) because He wants me to do things which please Him and I know I'll experience His blessings as a result. I am reminded of the time I did community service for CityTeam and helped put food in boxes and helped prepare gifts so they could be sent off to the less fortunate who couldn't really have a Christmas. I think my work with my CityTeam really humbled me and got me to realize that I take so much for granted. God blessed me, though, as a result of the work I did. I think while packing food, I had a chance to be around other believers, which was a blessing because they said encouraging things to me and helped me out if I needed it. I do good things for Him and He notices that (v. 15), which is because when He notices me, He sees the intentions of my heart and He knows how He's gonna bless me. I am not against God and if I was, I'd have to face the consequences (v. 16). At least I'm doing my part -- by doing art for Him -- which will hopefully help people the see that God isn't a moral monster nor is He worth opposing. Since God knows my heart and He sees me as a righteous person, He'll deliver from my troubles (v. 17), like that time I gave into Satan's lies. I am thankful that God has that power and all's I need to do is cry out to Him for Him to help me out. It's amazing how something so simple has such a big impact; furthermore, I think it puts God's power into perspective. Whenever I feel down and defeated, I like the confirmation, the truth if you will, found in verse 18. I can't say I've had a broken heart before, but I'm thankful of being reminded of the fact that God notices that kind of thing and He'll help me out as He sees fit. I also like verses 19-20 because they illustrate to me that no pain or trouble is too big for God to deal with. I don't have much to say beyond that and I just wanted to point that out. I am glad that I am not involved in evil things, like witchcraft or idol worship, because since those are against God, I would be responsible for my own downfall if I was involved in them, which is implied where it says, "Evil shall slay the wicked." If I hated righteous things and lived in way that was against God, I'd end up in hell, which is implied where it says, "and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate." "Desolate" can mean "held guilty." Matthew Henry comments on the last verse by stating, "But whatever troubles befal them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken." I am thankful that I have continued to stay with God and He hasn't given despite certain sins I've committed.

                                                 Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 34". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 33

Psalm 33

1Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
4For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
6By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
13The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
16There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
21For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

22Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Chapter 33

I like verse 1, especially where it says, "for praise is comely for the upright." Since I find my strength in Him, I praise Him for and because of that and I think the verse gives me more of a reason to praise Him. Even though I don't play a harp (v. 2), I can still use an instrument to glorify Him. I play harmonica every now and then and I've used that to glorify Him in the past, which is depicted in this video: I think I will continue to play harmonica for His glory and even continue to "play skilfully with a loud noise" (v. 3). I wanna be loud in a way that pleases Him, like a lot of the Christian metal bands I listen to. I've thought about being in a band before and it'd be cool to play metal for Him if that's part of His plan for my life. I like what Matthew Henry says about the first few verses, which I think pretty much speaks for itself, "Holy joy is the heart and soul of praise, and that is here pressed upon the righteous. Thankful praise is the breath and language of holy joy. Religious songs are proper expressions of thankful praise. Every endowment we possess, should be employed with all our skill and earnestness in God's service." I am thankful for the truth of His Word (v. 4). If His Word turned out to be a bunch of lies, I wouldn't know what to live by and I'd just go off in the world and do my own thing. I think it's cool that the earth, which is part of His creation, is a reflection of His goodness or lovingkindness (v. 5). Since I see His glory in His creation, I like the fact that He expresses His goodness to me by creating wonderful things on the earth, like seeds which grow produce, which express to me that He's faithful to provide for me. It's crazy to think about how powerful God's words were when He created the earth (vv. 6, 9). It's like, "Woah, the Creator did something so amazing by just saying a few words." It's things like that that make me thankful that I can tell the enemy to take by just saying a few words. I guess it's not about how many words God said but word the impact He knew they knew were gonna have. Verses 7-9 deal with God's creation of the earth, which I don't have much to say about. I do think the passage is beautiful, though. Matthew Henry states the following about verses 10-11: "He overrules all the counsels of men, and makes them serve his counsels; even that is fulfilled, which to us is most surprising, the eternal counsel of God, nor can any thing prevent its coming to pass." It's as if the counsel of men exists to serve its own self-centered purposes and the counsel exists to serve God. I'm glad to be involved in the counsel of Gof since it's eternal and since I don't have to worry about it going away. I suppose I do my part in the counsel by serving Him and helping out others in their Christian walk.

It'd be great if this nation was just all about God (v. 12), but I guess things are playing out how they're supposed to play out, such as the fact that there's wars and rumors of wars, political concerns and issues, and high gas prices. I think we're living in the end times and perhaps if this nation was all about God and loving one another, we wouldn't be living in the end times. I'm not saying that the world's gonna end in 2012 since I don't believe it will -- I'm saying that prophecy's coming to pass regardless and that Christ's return is soon. I believe the Antichrist will be on the earth first, but that's a discussion for another time. Perhaps one of these days I could share with y'all about what I believe concerning eschatology. God knows what's going on with humanity ("the sons of men") as He looks upon the earth. With that in mind, I try to act in a way that is pleasing to Him (vv. 13-15). Sometimes I mess up but I ask for Him to forgive me. I think those verses also point out the fact that no one can hide from God since He sees humanity and how it acts on earth. I don't trust in my own strength (v. 16-17) because doing so would result in failure. The way the world is these days, I gotta depend on God for strength because I don't I could handle it without Him. I am thankful that God is with me (v. 18) and that He helps me out in harsh times (v. 19). Matthew Henry comments on the last few verses by stating the following: "In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him." I like that because it illsutrates how God is my shield and how I can cling to Him in times of need (v. 20). I rejoice because when I trust Him, He doesn't let me down (v. 21) and I like the fact that His mercy is eternal (v. 22). If His wasn't eternal, I might go over how many times I could sin and I don't think I'd wanna deal with Him being mad at me if His mercy was limited.

                                                      Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 33". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 32

Psalm 32

A Psalm of David, Maschil.

1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
5I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
 6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
9Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

11Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Chapter 32

The way I see it, I am blessed by God with eternal life since I came to repentance (v. 1). I see eternal life as a blessing because I get to live for God ever after I die. Since I asked Him to forgive my sins, I don't have to worry about being separated from Him for eternity. It reminds of Romans 6:23, where Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Since I am redeemed through Christ, I see eternal life -- which started as soon as I came to Him -- as a blessing. Since I am in Christ, He does not count sin against me (v. 2). I am thankful that His forgiveness stretches far because I've done things in the past that I don't feel good about. Matthew Henry talks about the first two verses by stating the following: "Sin is the cause of our misery; but the true believer's transgressions of the Divine law are all forgiven, being covered with the atonement. Christ bare his sins, therefore they are not imputed to him." He goes on to say, "And to the man whose iniquity is forgiven, all manner of blessings are promised." I think it's neat that because my sin is forgiven, God's blessings are promised to me. I imagine if I rebelled against God, I'd miss out on His blessings. Verses 3-4 seem to be dealing how David feels about the affect his sin had on him. I can't really relate to what he dealt with because I don't share the struggle as he did, but Henry writes about it by stating the following: "It is very difficult to bring sinful man humbly to accept free mercy, with a full confession of his sins and self-condemnation. But the true and only way to peace of conscience, is, to confess our sins, that they may be forgiven; to declare them that we may be justified. Although repentance and confession do not merit the pardon of transgression, they are needful to the real enjoyment of forgiving mercy." Sometimes I screw up so much that I don't feel God will be merciful to me yet He manages to. I repent daily, in prayer, to ask God to forgive me (v. 5) so I'll have a clean slate for the next day. Even if I just committed one sin that day, I know that even though I may feel bad about it, God will forgive me, which is really cool. If I truly repent of a sin -- that is, if I change my heart to when I don't commit it anymore, I don't have to have that burden over my shoulders since God helped me to change. I may step out of line and (involuntarily) commit a sin I've changed my heart about again yet I am thankful that God doesn't count that against me. "Floods of great waters," (v. 6) which appears to be a figure of speech means to me that God will protect from great troubles, which is continued in thought in verse 7. I am thankful for God's instruction and teaching (v. 8) and since He guides me with His eye, He knows where I'm gonna go and what I'm gonna do (for Him) before I go there, which I find to be another simple yet strong theological truth. It's kind of a reiteration about what I talked about in the last entry about how since God knows His plan for my life, I can trust Him to direct and guide me concerning that. I look to God for understanding so I will not be as a horse (v. 9) and I am thankful that since I trust in Him, He is merciful towards me (v. 10). As I said earlier, I've done some bad things and I thankful that God forgave me of them. If, however, I lived in sin and enjoyed it, I would not get to expereince His mercy, which I would miss out on. I can be glad in God due to His mercy and I shout and worship Him because He's been so good to me. He's helped me through tough times, like my darkest moment, and I will continue to praise Him for that (v. 11). Being upright in heart means to me that my character is pleasing to Him and not used to impress man. I try and use my humor in a way that please Him, like if I have a funny story where He's done something, even just something small, in my life. I can tell those those kinds of stories to other Christians to display how I reacted in a situation and how my reaction was pleasing to Him and not centered on myself and my worries.  Although I may not intend for a story to be funny where He's done something good in my life, it's OK if others wanna laugh about it because I think it makes them see God's sense of humor in the situation.

                                                     Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 32". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 31

Pslam 31

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
4Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
7I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
 9Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
 11I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
 12I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
 14But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
 16Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
 19Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
 20Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
 22For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
 23O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Chapter 31

In my experience, I'd rather place my trust in God than in man (v. 1). Man can let me down and then I wouldn't comfortable about trusting anyone for a while. With God, though, I'm not gonna lose if I place my trust in Him. Trusting Him is what helps me out in life, like say when I have a math test coming up. I'll prepare for it if need be and ask God for wisdom, guidance, and discernment. That's kinda where faith comes in, I think, because God's gonna (already) how I'm gonna do on my test. That's the cool thing about trusting God: it results in success and I can have confidence in the fact that I passed since God already knows that kinda stuff. I can also tust in God for His righteousness so I can trimuph over my enemies, as the verse says. I think that helps because if I trust in Him, He's gonna help me to have strength over my enemies so they don't defeat me and also so I won't fall away from God. God hears me when I need His deliverance (v. 2) and I think the fact that He'll deliver from my enemies so I'm not dragged down to their level is a reason to think of God as my rock and my fortress (v. 3). If He didn't deliver me from my enemies and just ignored me, then I probably wouldn't think of Him as my rock. Having Him as my rock, to me, means that I can think of Him as my strong foundation since doing so is what causes me to stand in the face of opposition. Though some people at my school may act like enemies towards me, God isn't allow me to submit to them and give into the things they want me to do since He's my rock. If, however, my enemies do set a trap for me (v. 4), the cool thing is that God can rescue me from it. I like to think of "net" the metaphorical sense because I don't I ever fallen into a literal, physical, material trp set by my enemies. I guess I can't think of a time like that at the moment. Since I mentioned the net being thought of as a metaphor, I've had enemies, from time to time, trick me into something and I fell for it. I remember in, I think it was high school, when I was just minding my own business and this one guy wanted me to talk to him, so I came up to him to see what he wanted. While I was doing that, a few of cronies used a magnifying glass to burn holes in my backpack. I ended up noticing what they were doing and yelled "Hey!" so they would stop what they were doing. After that, I walked over to my backpack to see what shape it was in and I figured it could've been worse. Looking back on the situation, I can see how God used my reaction to free me from the trap that my enemies set. I thank Him for that and I guess He used the fact that I can have a short fuse sometimes for His glory. He knew what was gonna happen that day and He knew how I was gonna react. Before I get off on too much of a tanget here, I wanna talk about verses 5-7, which Matthew Henry talks about in the following: "Many think that while perplexed about their worldly affairs, and their cares multiply, they may be excused if they neglect their souls; but we are the more concerned to look to our souls, that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may suffer no damage. The redemption of the soul is so precious, that it must have ceased for ever, if Christ had not undertaken it. Having relied on God's mercy, he will be glad and rejoice in it." I like that because it reminds me to look upon my soul and realize that it's more worth worrying and more worth investing time into, spiritual growth-wise, than anything in this world. I thank God for His mercy and the fact that He has helped me it whenever I've dealt with enemies. I also wanna say that I don't give into those who worship idols (v.6), which is another way of saying "lying vanities." I see that as a reason why I shouldn't trust in man all that much since I figure that doing so can have its consequences. Instead, I trust in God and I can relate to David on that. God has not caused me to give myself to an enemy (v. 8), which I think results in having a strong foundation in Him.

Whenever I'm in trouble, I'll call out to God (v. 9). That's kinda like the time when I cried out to Him in the midst of my darkest moment, which I mentioned in the last entry as well as previous ones. I can't really relate to what David faced in verses 11-13, but I wanna say that I almost take the fact that I didn't ever face what He did for me for granted. Matthew Henry writes, "Herein he was a type of Christ, who was acquainted with grief. David acknowledged that his afflictions were merited by his own sins, but Christ suffered for ours." It makes me realize that I have it so easy since I didn't have to die for humanity's sins and that His grace is something I may abuse but I'll try and submit to Him if He chastises me. By trusting in God (v. 14), I realize that if "they devised to take away my life," I'd be in Paradise with Him. So I can trust God by having in where I'm gonna end up when my time comes. If I'm gonna face any more enemies down the road (v. 15), I can trust that God will deliver me from them and that, figuratively speaking, His face will shine upon me and will be an expression of His mercy (v. 16) while dealing with an enemy. I can't say I've dealt with opposition to the degree that David has, except for perhaps that time I gave into Satan's lies, and I see verses 17-18 as an encouragement for when I have to deal with enemies. God has always been good to me since I fear Him (v. 19). I pretty much always trust in Him, which has resulted in blessings, which I dunno what I'd do without. God continues to hide me from evil men (v. 20) and I am forever thankful for His grace or kindness (v. 21). Even though I thought I was cut off from God during my darkest moment (v. 22), He still heard my voice and helped me out. I do not oppopse Him since I am faithful to Him (v. 23) and since my hope is in Him, He strengthens my character or heart as a result of going through a trial.

                                                   Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 31". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 29-30

Psalm 29

A Psalm of David.

1Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
4The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
6He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
7The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
8The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
9The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
10The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

11The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Psalm 30

A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.

1I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
7LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
8I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
9What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

12To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Chapter 29

I like how this psalm starts off, especially because it reminds me of the fact that God is to be revered. What's interesting about the phrase "the beauty of holiness" is that it can be translated "His glorious Sanctuary." I think verses 3-9 put into perspective the fact that when I hear His voice it isn't something I should ignore nor is it something I should take for granted. Since His voice is something that I try to pay attention to, I know that doing so with result in me knowing in what I can do to advance His Kingdom. Although hearing from God does not always means listening for His voice, I should still be aware of when He speaks through people so I can take action to do something great for Him. I think since God's voice is as powerful as described in the verses, it gives me confidence in knowing that He's not gonna foll around with me. His voice also affects His creation, which is illustrated throughout the passage. I praise Him for the fact that nothing is more worth paying attention to than His voice and His authority over me. He may something to me and it's an expression of love to Him if I respond in the right way, which means typically doing something for His Kingdom. I feel like He has called me to go on a short-term missions trip to Mexico this year and I think Him for the fact that His voice was clear and wasn't hindered by His creation. I guess His voice is so powerful that nothing can hinder it. I figure He knows when His people are in the best position to hear His voice and He says to 'em what He needs to say to 'em at the time in which they are free from any distractions. I think that if He wasn't an eternal King (v.10), then I wouldn't to have a relationship with Him. If He could only live till a certain time, then I wouldn't be able to have communication with Him as I do. He's been there since the beginning and I like the fact that He's never gonna perish since He isn't of the flesh. God gives me strength when I ask Him and I'd say that it's great thing to be at peace with Him (v. 11). If I wasn't at peace with Him, I don't think I'd get along with Him very well.

Chapter 30

God's helped me out before (v. 1-2), like that time where I gave into the enemy's lies. He helped me to live a hell on earth-type experience (v. 3) by taking me at my dakest moment, my hell and delivering from it and I thank Him for that. I talked about it in previous entries and I don't feel I need to talk about it here. I try and remember God and His holiness for the things He's done in my life (v. 4). Sometimes I dwell on my own thoughts but I guess it's better to focus on God and what He has done in my life. I'm glad that God's anger isn't something that He draws out among His people (v. 5) because people like me have probably done things that would've pissed Him off for a long time. I'm thankful for His grace and mercy, though, and the fact that His favor outweighs His anger. I also think that the fact that I find joy in Christ outweighs any sadness I may have to deal with. I can trust that with God, I will never be moved or shaken or in danger of any sort (v. 6). I like the mountain aspect of verse 7, especially because if I have a strong foundation, I'm not gonna lose. That's kinda I feel about my walk -- it's strong and enduring and God doesn't want me to give up. When I felt that God hid His face from me during that time in which I gave into the enemy's lies (v. 7), I called out to Him (v. 8) and told Him that I needed His help and His mercy. Matthew Henry states the following about verse 9, "The sanctified spirit, which returns to God, shall praise him, shall be still praising him; but the services of God's house cannot be performed by the dust; it cannot praise him; there is none of that device or working in the grave, for it is the land of silence." I returned to God after the trial I faced and after reading what Henry had to say about the verse, I think it's cool that nothing that is in the grave can praise Him. I never really looked at it that way, I guess. God helps me out when I need it (v. 10) and He has done great things in my life that I have praised Him for (v. 11). He's taught from His Word, for example, and I don't think I can thank Him enought for enough because His Word has helped me out in times of trouble. I praise Him pretty much every day, even for the fact that I can breathe and see, and I will never stop praising Him.

                                                    Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 30". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 26-28

Psalm 26

A Psalm of David.

1Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
2Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
3For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
4I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
5I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
6I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
7That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
8LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
9Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
10In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
11But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

12My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.

1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalm 28

A Psalm of David.

 1Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
2Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.
3Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.
4Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
5Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
6Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
8The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

9Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

Chapter 26

At the end of the race, I will have walked in my integrity and I look forward to God's examination (vv. 1-2). Matthew Henry comments on this psalm by stating the following, "David here, by the Spirit of prophecy, speaks of himself as a type of Christ, of whom what he here says of his spotless innocence was fully and eminently true, and of Christ only, and to Him we may apply it. We are complete in him. The man that walks in his integrity, yet trusting wholly in the grace of God, is in a state of acceptance, according to the covenant of which Jesus was the Mediator, in virtue of his spotless obedience even unto death." I wanna be spotless when God judges me and I like the fact that I can walk with integrity while trusting in the Lord. To me, that means that my standards and the (right) way in which I go about doing, say, a math test can be done with integrity and not cheating. So it's (positive) human nature for me as well as living in a way where I can have faith in God. "Heart" in verse 2 can be translated as "kidneys." God expresses His love to me in different ways and I feel that I continue to walk strongly in Him (v. 3). If I didn't walk in His truth, then I'd imagine that He wouldn't express His love to me even though He loves no matter what. What I mean by "express His love to me" is He wouldn't bless me if I didn't walk in His truth to receive His blessings. I shouldn't serve Him just to receive His blessings either (Hebrews 11:6). For most part, I don't get involved with bad influences (vv. 4-5) and doing means that I don't have to deal with the consequences that come with getting involved with bad influences. I am thankful that God has helped me to steer clear of those who could mess my life up. I will show God that I am innocent before Him so I can be near His altar. I imagine that if I did not come to repentance, I wouldn't have the opportunity to go before His altar. I do look forward to that day, though. I will express praise for the wonderful things He has done in my life (v. 7), which I kind of already do, so I imagine that the praise will be tenfold since there's probably some more great things that He's gonna do in my life and I probably don't even know what they're gonna be. He'll reveal those things, though, in His timing. The place where God dwells is a great place (v. 8) and I think that it's always a wonderful experience tobe in His presence, especially when the Holy Spirit reveals Himself and fires everyone up while they're worshipping. That's kinda what happened at my church's Good Friday service earlier: the Holy Spirit was just moving in the service during the worship time and it was a great experience. I think I even felt His touch as a result of the Holy Spirit being at work during the work during thr worship time. It's always a great thing to feel His touch, even if it's just for a short while. God will seperate from those who end up in hell (v. 9) since He probably figures that I don't wanna get involved with them since they try to bribe the innocent (v. 10). I am thankful that God will make sure that I am eternity with Him since I have decided to live for Him and not live in a way which would lead me to hell. I will continue to walk in a way which my integrity is pleasing to God (v. 11) and I can be thankful for Him since He makes sure I don't fall away from Him, which is what is meant by "My foot standeth in an evil place" in verse 12.

Chapter 27

Since God is my light and my salvation, I don't have to be afraid of anything (v. 1). It's amazing how such a simple truth has such an impact on how I live as a Christian when I am facing fear and darkness. It's as if God gives me the strength to help me to overcome fear so I don't have to live as a slave to it. I don't have to worry about being of afraid my enemies when God's involved, which I think also applies to verses and 3. It's probably even the main point of the first three verses if I were to sum them up. I can't go wrong with dwelling in His house every day (v. 4), especially since doing so is such an uplifting experience. To use an example, I will say that the Good Friday service was an uplifting experience and(probably) just a dose of what heaven will be like in terms of being in the Lord's presence and admiring His beauty for eternity. God has hidden from trouble in the past (v. 5), like that time when I gave into Satna's lies. God intervened in such a way that I was protecteted by the enemy and I praised Him as a result of it (v. 6). God heard my voice (v. 7) and I did my part by seeking Him (v. 8). I guess verse 9 would apply to me because God didn't hide from me when I cried out to Him -- He helped me out. Matthew Henry comments on verse 10 by stating, "God's time to help those that trust in him, is, when all other helpers fail. He is a surer and better Friend than earthly parents are, or can be. What was the belief which supported the psalmist?" What I get out of that is that even if my parents abandon me, God will still be there for me. I don't think my parents are gonna abandon me anythime soon, but it's nice knowing that God's still gonna be with me even if everyone one in the world abandons me. God leads me in a straight path so I won't give into my enemies (v. 11). To me, that means that I can (continue to) depend on God's way instead of deciding not to, which would result in following a path that is pleasing to the flesh. God will not give me over to my enemies (v. 12) because doing so is not in His nature. He leads me in truth and life, not death and destruction. I am excited to see His goodness where the living dwells (v. 13) since His goodness doesn't seem to dwell in, say, a realm of death and sorrow. Wherever God is, His goodness is with His and I am thankful He's always there for me and that He expresses His goodness towards me. I just gotta wait for Him to help me out when I am dealing with a problem (v. 14), like that time I waited on God to help me out during the time I gave into the enemy's lies. I guess when waiting for Him to help out, He'll do it a way that is far beyond what one expects.

Chapter 28

Matthew Henry comments on the first verse or so by stating the following: "David is very earnest in prayer. Observe his faith in prayer; God is my rock, on whom I build my hope. Believers should not rest till they have received some token that their prayers are heard." That's really encouraging, especially that last part. I cry out to God to answer my prayers, sometimes even write in my prayer journal, and wait for His repsonse. Gotta make sure what I say to Him aligns with His will, though, and that my heart's in the right place. Verse 3 kind of reminds me of Psalm 27:13, which I commented on already. What I get out of it, though, is that I shouldn't hang out with people that try to deceive others ("which speak peace to their neighbours"). God's gonna pour out His wrath among the deceivers as He sees fit (v. 4), especially do not see His works as something of excellence (v. 5). Even though those verses don't really apply to me, I just wanna say that I'd hate to be in the shoes of one who oppresses God and His people. I am thankful that God continues to supply my needs (v. 6), even the little things like food and water. Without His strength, I'd be spiritually vulnerable (v. 7). I'm not saying that I'm spirtually invulnerable -- I'm saying that I am strong spiritually and can deal with certian things that the enemy may throw at me. I am thankful that He is my strength and that I can depend on Him for that. His strength is what gets me through trials (v. 8; "the saving strength of his anointed") and I praise Him for His strength that helps me through tough times. Verse 9 reminds of how God is my Shepherd. Since I consider God to be my inheritance, I see that as a shepherd/sheep relationship, because by being one of His sheep, I have acknwoledged the fact that He is my Shpeherd. If I wasn't one of His sheep, I wouldn't consider Him to be my inheritance -- or rather, my Shepherd.

                                                   Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 26". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 27". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 28". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 25

Psalm 25

A Psalm of David.

 1Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
8Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
 10All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
12What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
15Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

22Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Chapter 25

Since I trust in God, He is the only One that I belong to and the One look to when talking to Him (v. 1). I seek out His guidance and direction when I know I'll need it. If I need to know the right words to say, for example, for a situation I'm dealing with, I can left up my soul to God and He'll help me out. God knows who my enemies are and He will make sure they don't defeat me (v. 2). In a way, that is expression of how God pretects His people from their enemies -- He intervenes so they won't hurt His people, which is really cool because I think that fact that God wants to protect His protect is a way in which He expresses His love towards them. In regards to verse 3 ("let them be ashamed which transgress without cause"), those who sin against me and act treacherously towards me will have to deal with God's wrath, especially since they won't end up having a (good) reason as to why they sinned against me. The fact that I won't be put to shame, won't be ashamed since I will have done what was right and will have followed His plan for my life is neat because I like knowing that it results in spending eternity with Him. I haven't have a habit out of sinning against His people, which wouldn't make sense if I did since I am one of His people. I continue to trust in God so He'll continue to lead me on a path that is not a bunch of baloney (v.5). With Him, there's no deception. As a result of God's leading me to truth, I am being taught what is the true path as well as what is the false one. What I mean by that is, God is leading me in a path that in pleasing to Him and not a path that is meat to please the flesh. The false path, on the other hand, would be a path where God isn't in the equation and where I live to please the flesh. Since time doesn't exist to God, "on thee do I wait all the day." That reminds of the saying that God's timing is not our own. He wants me to be patient with Him because He knows when He's gonna provide for me when I ask Him for something and I don't. God shows mercy and love towards me even when I don't deserve it (v. 6). It's crazy how I can mess up so much sometimes yet God continues to deal with me. God has erased the sins of my youth (v. 7) and I thankful to Him for that since I don't think I could live with being reminded of past sins. I am thankful that God remembers me for His goodness' sake and not because of sins I've committed. God continues teach me in the way He sees fit for my life (v. 8) and I continue to trust in Him for that since He won't let me down ("Good and upright"). If I tried trusting in man, though, there's no doubt that I'd evenetually be let down. I find comfort in knowing that He continues to teach me His way for my life even if I sin. I'm not implying that I abuse God's forgiveness and He leads me in the way despite that -- I'm saying that I may commit a sin or two and repent at the end of the day and God is graceful enough to where since I repent and try not to commit the same sins over and over again, the (repented) sin doesn't interfere with my walk with Him. I guess I like thinking of sin and repentence as sugar and sweets as they are depicted Food Guide Pyramid: though they may taste good, I shouldn't make a habit out of them because making a habit out of sin could cause me to drift away from God as eating nothing but sugar and sweets could be detrimental to one's health. Since I try to be meek ("humble," NIV) or patient, God will continue to teach me His way. However, if I am not patient with God, then I may miss out on knowing His way. I suppose verse is an extension of verse 9. The verse pretty much speaks for itself, but I wanna say that I am where God wants me at the moment since I have obeyed Him and since I haven't strayed away from Him. No matter how big a sin that I may commit in the future -- and hopefully not commit after that -- God's gonna forgive me of it if I ask of Him (v. 11). I guess with this verse I'm just being reminded of the simple yet strong theological truth that no sin is too big for God to cover, which is a good thing to be reminded of because I'm glad that since His Son took the sins of the world upon Himself, I don't have to carry the burden of my own sin. I am thankful that I am saved by grace and I don't have to be condemned (Romans 8:1). As a result of fearing God, He will (continue to) teach me and lead me in the way that He has chosen -- not in the way that I choose since what I may have chosen for myself probably wouldn't have been compatible with what He has chosen for me so for in my life (vv. 12-14). By His leading me, He has kept me away from making bad choices that would've otherwise caused me to not live for Him. I am at ease since God directs me where He wants me to go and what He wants me to do (v. 13). I guess that reminds that God won't lead me into a path of death and destruction, but rather into one of life and blessings. Keeping my eyes on Him means that He will protect from any snares (v. 15). I like that because it's a sense of confirmation that God has displayed in my life. So far, as a result of keeping my eyes on God, I haven't been caught in any traps. If I am dealing with distress, like I have in the past, I can ask God to help me out (v. 16-18). I feel that those verses pretty much speak for themselves and I don't have to repeat what I've said, but I do wanna comment on the last couple verses. It's cool knowing that if I am dealing with multiple enemies that express hatred towards me, God will rescue me from that as a way of protecting me (vv. 19-20). I imagine if that were to occur, I'd praise Him immediately for it. I will have to wait on God's deliverance (v. 21), but that doesn't mean the wait won't be worth it. Matthew Henry comments on the last verse by stating, "God would, at length, give Israel rest from all their enemies round about. In heaven, God's Israel will be perfectly redeemed from all troubles." I think I'll just leave y'all with that.

                                                     Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 25". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 23-24

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psalm 24

A Psalm of David.

1The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Chapter 23

This psalm starts out by talking about Christ being the shepherd. I think of Christ as my shepherd every now and then and to Him, I am considred to be one of His sheep. Since He's my shepherd, He watches over me and provides for all my needs. As a sheep of His, He makes me want to rest in green pastures (v. 2). God takes care of me and I can come to Him if I need rest. Same goes for the waters -- since they are still, I will not have to worry about being harmed while in His presence. I can trust in Him to keep me on the path (v. 3) since I know doing so won't cause me to go off in the wrong direction. God helps me out when I have to with life's perils ("the valley of the shadow of death"). Verse 4 is a verse I have tied to memory and I find myself quoting it when I am unsure about a situation that I'm facing. Matthew comments on verse 4 by stating the following, "The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of providence, that the psalmist ever could come under. Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God's people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side. Death is a king of terrors, but not to the sheep of Christ. When they come to die, God will rebuke the enemy; he will guide them with his rod, and sustain them with his staff." I like how Henry associates the valley of the shadow of death with affliction. Looking at it from that perspective, I am reminded that I shouldn't be afraid of dealing with affliction -- probably typlically physical -- because I know that God with get me through it. While I feast, God will take care of my enemies (v. 5). I don't have to worry about dealing with enemies, which is nice because while I'm enjoying myself, God will protect and I won't even have to lift a finger. The idea of being anointed with oil and my cupping runnig over means to me that God will always make sure I am safe and He will satisfy me beyond what words can express. I am thankful that God renews His mercy each day (v. 7).

Chapter 24

Matthew Henry comments on the first couple verses by stating, "We ourselves are not our own; our bodies, our souls, are not. Even those of the children of men are God's, who know him not, nor own their relation to him. A soul that knows and considers its own nature, and that it must live for ever, when it has viewed the earth and the fulness thereof, will sit down unsatisfied." Since my soul and my my body belong to God, I have to try to honor Him with them, which isn't always easy because sometimes I wanna go off and do my own thing. I am reminded of Ezekiel 18:4, which says, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Another verse supporting that all souls belong to God. If I never came to repentence, then I'd die without ever knowing Him, which would result in not spending eternity with Him. Matthew Henry comments on verse 3 by stating, "It will think of ascending toward God, and will ask, What shall I do, that I may abide in that happy, holy place, where he makes his people holy and happy? We make nothing of religion, if we do not make heart-work of it." To me, that means my heart has to (continue to) be in the right place in order in be in good standing with God. If go out and get drunk every night, then I would that, after a while, I'm not gonna be in good standing with God. If I stay true to God, I will (continue to) be part of the generation that receives His blessings (v. 4-6). I think that's really encouraging because when there are times that I don't feel like being a Christian for whatever reason, I should remember that if I am going through a trial where I may feel like giving up on God to avoid dealing with it, I will experience His blessings if I don't give up. I guess the blessing that results from the trial could be something as simple as growing closer to Him. The last four verses pretty much speak for themselves, but I think I'll leave y'all with some of Matthew Henry's comments about them. He states, "The splendid entry here described, refers to the solemn bringing in of the ark into the tent David pitched for it, or the temple Solomon built for it. We may also apply it to the ascension of Christ into heaven, and the welcome given to him there. Our Redeemer found the gates of heaven shut, but having by his blood made atonement for sin, as one having authority, he demanded entrance." Since He made atonement for sin, that opened the door for me to come to Him and accept Him into my life when I did. Had He not taken the sin of the world upon Himself, my efforts to accept as my personal Lord and Savior would have been vain. He entered in my life so I could glorify Him.

                                                  Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 23". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 24". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 21-22

Psalm 21

A Psalm of David.

1The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
2Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
3For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
4He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
5His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
6For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
7For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
8Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
9Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
10Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
11For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
12Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.

13Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

Psalm 22

A Psalm of David.

1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.
29All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Chapter 21

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating, "Happy the people whose king makes God's strength his confidence, and God's salvation his joy; who is pleased with all the advancements of God kingdom, and trusts God to support him in all he does for the service of it. All our blessings are blessings of goodness, and are owing, not to any merit of ours, but only to God's goodness." Even though I don't live in a country that is ruled by a king, I wouldn't mind having a president who looks to God for Hos decision-making. Since I doubt that Obama finds his strength and guidance in God, I don't think this country would be falling on its face like it has been if it had a president that relied on God for strength. Even though this chapter is focused on a king, I can still see how it applies to me in a leadership aspect. If I were to lead some of God's people and disciple them, I'd definitely look to Him for strength so I could be an effective and influential leader. God would honor my request if I were to ask Him to help me to lead (v. 2). Verses 3-4 seem to be dealing with blessings and life in Christ. I look forward to the rewards that God will have for me in eternity (v. 3) and He knows what my rewards will be ahead of time, which is cool because I can have confidence knowing that what He's gonna reward me with will be more awesome that words than words can describe. As a believer, I find life in Christ not only in my flesh body but also in my spiritual body. If I were to die, I wouldn't have to worry about not spending eternity with Him since I came to repentance years ago. When I die, my spirit will go to Him and not to hell (Ecclesiastses 12:6-7). Same things goes for if I am around during Christ's return -- my spirit will be with Him in eternity. In regards to life in Christ, John 10:10 comes to mind, where Jesus says, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." If I am involved in a leadership role, I can ask God to help me out and give Him all the glory in return (v. 5). God's blessings are something that I can continue to praise Him for and since they're eternal, they're never gonna stop (v. 6). If I trust in Him, I will not shake in the presence of enemies (v. 8). Verses 9-12 deal with how God takes care of oppressors, which I think pretty much speaks for itself. However, verse 10 is that the word "fruit" can mean "descendants" (NIV) or "offspring" (NRSV). I can praise God for the strength He provides since I think of Him as my firm foundation (v. 13).

Chapter 22

Another messianic psalm. In this chapter, David is predicted the words as well that Christ spoke as well as the pain He experienced while He was on the cross. I kinda summarized what the chapter's about, but I think I'll add some of what Matthew Henry had to say about it for good measure. He states, "The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness." As a follower of Christ, I've dealt with pain and suffering and grief and terror and I ended up crying out to God as a result. I wanted Him to build me up and strength. I don't recall feeling that God abandoned me, but I did cry out to Him when I needed His strength (vv. 1-2). Another thing I get out of those verses is that it's OK to ask God for help when in a state of desperation. David himself is expressing a state of desperation, which I mostly in verse 1. Even if it doesn't seem like God hears me in a time of need, He is still holy (v. 3). I figure that is because He's at work even when I don't see it, which means that He's still helping me out even if He doesn't do it in a way that is obvious and clear. I can learn from the experiences of others who have placed their trust in God (v. 4-5). In a way, I can think of my fathers or ancestors as examples. I relate to verses 6-8 because of the fact that I could come in contact with people that treat me like crap for being a Christian. Even though I will be mocked and treated like crap, I can trust God to watch over me and help me to get through it (v. 9). God knew me before even before I was born (v. 10) and He knew I was gonna make the choice to live for Him. If I am trust in Him, He won't give me more than I can handle and He will protect me if I treated like crap by people who don't like Christians. When trouble is near, I can be assured that God is with me (v. 11). Verses 12-21 deal with Christ's suffering. I can't relate to 'em since the suffering that Christ endured was worse than any suffering I may endure. It kinda makes me realize that I don't have to be so discouraged when things aren't going my way in life because God'll work it out. I guess I kinda think that the crap I have to deal with in life is something I should get uptight about even though it's not worth it because I should be focused on Christ's suffering -- since Easter's coming up -- more than I should my own. His suffering is what made it so my sins could be forgiven and also so I could have eternal life. My own pain and suffering doesn't change the lives of others but it may help me to grow closer to Christ if that's what God decides tio use it for. I'm not saying I enduring suffering every day -- I'm talking about the times when I will end up enduring it.

After I have endured pain and suffering -- with God's help to get me through it -- I can praise Him for that and tell others about it (v. 22). I figure that I am expressing praise to God by being in reverance of Him (v. 23). Since I fear Him, I do so out of love and respect of Him and that, in a way, is a way that He is glorified. If I am experiencing pain or affliction, God will stretch out His loving arms to comfort me (v. 24). That was what He did when I cried out to Him when I was giving into the enemy's lies. He honored what I had to say to Him and expressed His loves towards me by helping me out. I can praise God when I am with others (v. 25) and if I have am patient or have been wronged ("meek"), I can enjoy the simple pleasure of eating (v.26). I try to praise God for the little things in life and it's kinda cool that my heart for God is everlasting. I like the aspect of verses 27-28 that deal with God being the Governor among the nations. I look forward to how He will rule when the time comes. The part in verse 27 that says, "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD" reminds of that verse that says that every knee will and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord. I don't have much to say about the last three verses, but what stands out to be would have to be in verse 31 where it says, "shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this." I guess I just like the fact that God's righteousness will be used in a way to tell people about Him.

                                                                Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 21". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

 Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 22". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.