Monday, April 4, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 3-5

Psalm 3

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

1Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
6I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
7Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Psalm 4

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David.

1Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
2O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
3But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
4Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
6There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
7Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

8I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Psalm 5

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

1Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
2Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
9For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
10Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
11But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

12For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Chapter 3

What I notice in reagrds to the first two verses is that David is dealing with an opposition of some sort. Since David is outnumbered, he cries out to God for help. I can relate to that because in my life when I've dealt with crap I couldn't handle (on my own), I cried out to God. With the Lord, I find comfort in knowing that I am fealess before opposition and not ashamed to depend His guiding me through it. Regarding verse 2, according to the Companion Bible, "help" can mean salvation, or deliverance. It deals with doubters, since David says that they (the doubters) claim that he himself cannot rely on God to deliever him from his troubles. I myself haven't dealt with many doubters that have said, "Oh, regardless of how much crap you're dealing with, God isn't gonna help ya out" or something those lines. In fact, God's helping me out in the past strengthened my relationship with Him because there's nothing He wasn't able to get me through. I've gone through trials and tribulations and the only way out was utter and absolute dependence on God. I'm not gonna get into it, but there was a time when I felt like stabbing myself cuz Satan had me believeing his lies and God delivered me from that. In terms of reflection, I think that's where verse 3 fits in because the fact that God is being described as a shield -- metaphorically speaking -- illustrates that He provides safety and protection for me when I'm dealing with crap in my life so I can get through whatever trial I'm dealing with due to His guaranteed victory over trials and tribulations. He'll protect me from the enemy when I need it, which was what He did when I believed Satan's lies. He made it so I would not give into the enemy's pressuring me to stab myself. With that being said, I find myself resonating with verse 4 because I cried out to God to help me out. God heard me and eventually delivered me. Matthew Henry writes about verse 5 in his Concise Commentary by saying, "Many lie down, and cannot sleep, through pain of body, or anguish of mind, or the continual alarms of fear in the night. But it seems here rather to be meant of the calmness of David's spirit, in the midst of his dangers." I think, during that trial I faced, God did comfort my spirit when He saw fit. Although He didn't answer my call immediately, He still heard me and comforted me to the point where I didn't I had to injure myself to get His attention. Verses 6-7, to me, say that I should be afraid if I am outnumbered by opposition because with God, who am I to be intimidated? That's not always easy, being fealess before opposition, but I guess that's why God wants me to depend on Him for it. He'll deal with my enemies, as verse 7 illustrates -- I just have to have faith in Him. Verse 8, which again illustrates deliverance, says to me that only salvation, only deliverance from my enemies, is something that only God is capable of.

"Selah," which is a word used throught the Pslams, is a pause since the Psalms are bascially songs and poetry. It's a Hebrew word for "Interlude."

Chapter 4

Heh...another mention of David crying out to God in his distress. I guess it's kinda being reiterated here. I like the part that says, "Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress." It's kinda like saying that God won't throw anything at you that's too big for you to handle. I found that to be true many times and I like being reminded that with God, our problems aren't too big. Makes me wanna run around the block exclaiming, "Nothing is too big for God!" "Englarged" can be translated as "relieved" and I see it as David's way of saying that God removed the weight from his shoulders. I don't have much to say about verse 2 since it seems to speak for itself, but I think I'll comment on verses 3-4. In regards to verse 3, what I gain from it is that God knows what is godly, which has to do with calling on Him. He knows that what I have to say to Him not only pertains to Him, but is a genuine crying out to Him. He knows when I am need, specifically when I need to be delivered from my trobules. Matthew Henry says the following about verse 4: "Consider your ways, and before you turn to sleep at night, examine your consciences with respect to what you have done in the day; particularly what you have done amiss, that you may repent of it. When you awake in the night, meditate upon God, and the things that belong to your peace. Upon a sick-bed, particularly, we should consider our ways. Be still. When you have asked conscience a question, be serious, be silent, wait for an answer." In a way, I can relate to that because I typically pray before I go to bed. Although I don't reflect as in-depth as Henry describes, maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea. I ask God to forgive my sins, but I don't really think about the opportunities I had in which I didn't share about Him, which can be seen as not honoring what God wants me to do. I think Henry's thought is a bit conviciting and perhaps even an encouragement for me to change. Although, in modern times, Christians are not required to make sacrifices to express their love to God (Hosea 6:6), verse 5 still stresses stresses trusting in the Lord. Verse 6, another verse dealing with doubters, is saying that some people don't think God will help them. David, however, wants to prove them wrong, and he asking God to do so. I guess in a way, if I witness to people, that verse encourages me to talk about the good things that God has done in my life. Verse 7, to me, says that the joy God has filled me with cannot be replaced by the pleasures of this world. And due to God's goodness, I can sleep comfortably at night (v. 8).

Chapter 5

The first three verses seem to be illustrating to the fact that David is talking to God in prayer. I don't have much to say about it since it seems to speak for itself, but I will cover verses 4-6. Verse 4 says to me that God does not delight in evil things -- rather, He delights in blessing who obey Him. He's blessed me before and I can't say He's ever done anything wicked or evil to me. If God had even a hint of evil dwelling in Him, that would cancel His goodness. Verses 5-6 are dealing with how God feels about those who oppose Him -- those who choose to live in sin and not acknowledge His saving grace. I can't really relate to it since I don't oppose God, but if I did oppose Him, then I would be under His wrath. Verse 7 is David saying that He's gonna do the opposite of what the the foolish do: he's gonna get involved in public worship and express love to God. I enjoy public worship, especially when the Holy Spirit is working through it. Verses 8-9 is David's way of saying that he doesn't want to be influenced by his enemies. In response to that, I don't wanna be influenced by my enemies. Furthermore, I'm gonna go out on a limb by saying that I'm not gonna accept their lies. In verse 10, "Destroy thou them," according to the Companion Bible means to "Deal with them as guilty." In other words, God will deal with those who rebel against Him and those who try and deceive me. By trusting in God, though (v. 11-12), I will get rewarded. It's comforting to be reminded of that.

                                                             Sources used:

"Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible: Psalms 3."

"Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible: Psalms 4."

Bullinger, E.W. The Companion Bible.

No comments:

Post a Comment