Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 6-7

Psalm 6

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

1O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?
4Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
5For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.

10Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Psalm 7

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.

1O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
2Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
3O LORD my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
6Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
7So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
9Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
10My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
11God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
12If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
14Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

17I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Chapter 6

In the first two verses, David is asking God to not hurt him -- to have have mercy on him.  That's kinda like if I screw up, I'll ask God to not chastise me for it. Instead, I'll ask for His help. If I am weak or broken in spirit, then I can ask God for mercy. Not only is David expressing spiritual brokenness, but he is also expressing physical brokenness. Verse 3 rounds it out by David's stating that his soul is also toubled. While I can't say I've experienced spiritual and physical pain at the same time, that doesn't mean that can't happen in the future. Whatever pain I endure, I know that God can and will deliver me from it. And in the past, God's healed me from pain that I had to face -- such as the time I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I think a Christian cannot go through pain without relying on God to deliver them from it. It's one of those things where Jesus is the great physician and God's healing power is beyond that of any doctor or medicine. Perhaps it's even God's way of saying, "My dear son or daughter, know that you can request of Me to heal you of any pain you face and I will not fail you." In verse 4, David seems to be expressing desperation, particularly when he says, "oh save me for thy mercies's sake." God's unfialing, steadfast love provides David with a way out. What that means to me is that since God loves me, (probably) more than words can describe, one of the ways He expresses His love to me is by helping me out in times of need. Some people won't (be able to) acknowledge God when they die, which I would imagine they have their reasons for. What that verse seems to be getting across is that in hell ("the grave"), one will not be able to worship God. Not only that, but one cannot thank God for saving him or her from sin if he or she ends up in hell if he or she does not have a relationship with Christ. In verses 6-7, David is expressing sadness. He is still talking about the pain he's facing ("I am weary with my groaning") and he even cries to the point of his bed being wet with tears. He can't seem to face his enemies on his own (v .7) and he knows that God has heard him (v. 8). I can't say I've had to deal with opposition that has ever caused me to cry myself to sleep, but I what gather from verse 7 is that I should be afraid to get emotional about crying out to God. I imagine I've done that before and if I'm dealing with so much crap in my life, I may have to let it all out. I feel that the last two verses pretty much speak for themselves, but I do wanna say that with God's strength, my enemies will leave me alone.

Chapter 7

In verse 1, "persecute" can be translated as "pursue." Those who give me problems, God will deliver me from them so I won't have to deal with them. It's as if God wants me to put my trust in Him when I am dealing with enemies because God's gonna deal with 'em. If God were not about to deliver me from my enemies, they would destroy my sould (v .2). I see verses 4-5 as an expression -- or rather an implication -- that I should not hurt those that have done nothing to provoke me. If I do choose to do that, I'll basically lose to my enemy. I can't say I've really gone around hurting people for no reason, so I think I'm OK. Furthermore, I don't plan on doing it in the future. Verses 6-8 are talking about God's judgment, which I don't have much to add to, but I figure God will judge me -- when the times comes -- as He sees fit. I don't find myself relating much to verse 9, except for the part that says, "for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins." Even though there is evil, it's comforting to know that God establishes His people so they can overcome it with His strength. God defends me in times of opposition (v. 10), which reminds me of Psalm 3:3. In verse 12, "If he turn not" means "What will happen if one doesn't repent." Beginning with that verse and ending with verse 16, the passage describes how God feels about the wicked. My response to it would be that God does allow the wicked into heaven since they have decided to rebel against Him by not repenting. Matthew Henry says the following about verse 17, "Blessed Lord, give us grace to look to thee in the path of tribulation, going before thy church and people, and marking the way by thine own spotless example. Under all the persecutions which in our lesser trials mark our way, let the looking to Jesus animate our minds and comfort our hearts." In response to that verse, I imagine I would thank God for His promise of eternity since I wouldn't have rebelled against Him.

                                                                  Sources used:

"Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible: Psalms 7." http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/mhc-con/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=007

Bullinger, E.W. The Companion Bible.

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