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". <>.  

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