Monday, April 11, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 12-14

Psalm 12

To the chief Musician upon Shemonith, A Psalm of David.

1Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
2They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
4Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
5For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
6The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

8The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

Psalm 13

To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
2How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
3Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

6I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 14

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
5There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
6Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.

7Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

Chapter 12

David starts out by saying that the godly men are no more and that the faithful have fallen. I try not fall myself, knowing that God is my rock and firm foundation and that I can finish the race with His guidance and direction. Trying to not fall away from Him isn't always an easy thing to do, but God never said it would be. Verses 2-4 contrast the words of man with the words of God. Trusting in what God says and what His Word says mean that I'll never be deceived since doing so wouldn't be in His nature. What I like about verse 5 is the part that says, "I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him." That means that if I am deal with a wicked man, God will provide safety for me. Verse 6, with its comparison regarding the words of God and silver, is neat. I live how that verse is phrased and how from it I can see that what God says to people is ever-enduring and always pure. It's kinda like having God provide wisdom if one asks for it. I figure that all wisdom comes from God and that it's not gonna mislead anyone. Verse 7 is talking about the godly ("them") and God's watchful eye over them. I don't have much to say about verse 8 since I figure it pretty much speaks for itself.

Chapter 13

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by saying, "God sometimes hides his face, and leaves his own children in the dark concerning their interest in him: and this they lay to heart more than any outward trouble whatever. But anxious cares are heavy burdens with which believers often load themselves more than they need." I wanna add to that by saying that one has to be interested in God so He will continue to reveal Himself to him or her. If one has a relationship with God and spends time with Him, He will work in his or her life. However, if one does not spend time with God despite being a Christian, then He cannot work in one's life. I suppose part of honoring Him is acknowledging the fact that one has a relationship with Him and takes the time and effort to do his or her part in developing it. I try to grow daily and I think that since I don't do activities related to my Christian life just on Sundays, I, for the most part, have a degree of closeness to Him. I wanna maintain closeness to God not because He'll hide if I don't, but rather because I enjoy that sense as well as that experience of intimacy, which nothing can replace. In verse 3, David seems to be asking God to help him out. He's down and out, yes, and knows that he can seek God for guidance. Although I can't relate to David's exact words, I have asked God before to revive me ("ligheten my eyes") when I felt I was defeated. God has helped me to deal with problems in life when I felt there were too much for me to handle, such as being busy with school or problems with people. I don't have much to say about verse 4, but verse 5 seems to contrast with it. Although David's enemies, have prevailed against Him, he knows he has confindence in God's love ("mercy") and confidence in the fact that he has salvation. Even if my enemies prevail against me, at least that doesn't disqualify me from my salvation. Verse 6 is David's way of reflecting upon God's blessings. I try to thank God for His blessings, even the little things, which I guess, in a way, is rejoicing.

Chapter 14

Matthew Henry comments on the first verse by saying, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. The sinner here described is an atheist, one that saith there is no Judge or Governor of the world, no Providence ruling over the affairs of men. He says this in his heart. He cannot satisfy himself that there is none, but wishes there were none, and pleases himself that it is possible there may be none; he is willing to think there is none. This sinner is a fool; he is simple and unwise, and this is evidence of it: he is wicked and profane, and this is the cause. The word of God is a discerner of these thoughts. No man will say, There is no God, till he is so hardened in sin, that it is become his interest that there should be none to call him to an account." I think Henry pretty much hit the nail on the head with that and I wanted to say that I've done my part and said in my hear that there is a God. I just believe that by faith since I can't see God yet I take comfort in knowing that believeing is seeing. And one day I will see Him. Verses 2-5 seem to focus on God and how He reacts to those who have gone astray. I just wanna say that I'd hate be in the shoes of a person who never acknowledged the fact that God has a plan for their life. Doing so would have rather unfortunate consequnces, as verse 5 states. Even though the wicked may oppose me, God is still my refuge (v. 6). If I am killed by someone, then I can take comfort in knowing that I'll be with God and not have to endure hell since I came to repentance. I'll conclude with verse by saying that, according to E.W. Bullinger, to "bringteth back the captivity" is an "idiom for relief for from any trouble."

                                                           Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 13". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 14". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Bullinger, E.W. The Companion Bible.

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