Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 60-62

Psalm 60

To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.

1O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.
2Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.
3Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.
4Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
5That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.
6God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
7Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
8Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.
9Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
10Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?
11Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
12Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

Psalm 61

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

1Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
4I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
5For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.
6Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations.
7He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

8So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Psalm 62

To the chief Musician to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.

1Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
2He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
 3How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.
 4They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.
5My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
6He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
7In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
8Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

9Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
10Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
11God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

12Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

Chapter 60

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "David owns God's displeasure to be the cause of all the hardships he had undergone. And when God is turning his hand in our favour, it is good to remember our former troubles. In God's displeasure their troubles began, therefore in his favour their prosperity must begin." Yeah, I agree with the aspect of remembering my former troubles because doing so allows to see God's glory in deliverance, which was what I did during my darkest moment. I display the banner to show the truth that can be found in Christ (v. 4). Doing so, I set an example for others in case they're interested in following Christ or just appreciate when a Christian treats them in a way that isn't judgemental. I try and show God's love to people, such as when I'm with friends, which is another way in which I display the banner. I could feel the Holy Spirit's touch, for example, when someone is dealing with problems and then I tell 'em I'll pray for 'em for end up doing it. I'd say there's a variety of ways that I could display the banner to people and it impacts their life as a result. Matthew Henry comments on verses 6-10 by stating the following, "David rejoices in conquering the neighbouring nations, which had been enemies to Israel. The Israel of God are through Christ more than conquerors. Though sometimes they think that the Lord has cast them off, yet he will bring them into the strong city at last." Although I don't have to worry about conquering cities, I am reminded in verses 6-10 that God can help me out with challenging tasks. Nothing is too big for Him and depending on Him is what helps me to do what I can't do on my own. And even if I think God isn't there for me, He'll still help me out when I need it (v. 11). If I were to apply verses 6-11 to my darkest moment, I'd say that God helped me to overcome the enemy since I couldn't do it on my own and there was no man could help me out cuz help from man would have been vain or meaningless. I did have people pray for me during my trial, though, which God did work through. I like Matthew Henry's thought on verse 12: " All our victories are from him, and while those who willingly submit to our anointed King shall share his glories, all his foes shall be put under his feet." Yeah...that sums up the ending of my darkest moment.

Chapter 61

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "David begins with prayers and tears, but ends with praise. Thus the soul, being lifted up to God, returns to the enjoyment of itself. Wherever we are, we have liberty to draw near to God, and may find a way open to the throne of grace." And sometimes I just wanna draw near to God so I can enjoy His presence. I was overwhelmed during my darkest moment and ran to Him because He is my strong tower. He protected me from the enemy's influence, which I praise Him for. Abiding in His tabernacle or tent (v. 4) is something that I see as part of my daily walk with Him because it helps to not be under the enemy's grip and it helps to have a close connection with God. I suppose if I were to give into the enemy's lies, my walk would be hindered, which wouldn't be a good thing. Matthew Henry comments on verse 5 by stating the following, "There is a people in the world that fear God's name. There is a heritage peculiar to that people; present comforts in the soul, earnests of future bliss. Those that fear God have enough in him, and must not complain. We need desire no better heritage than that of those who fear God." So I feel that I can learn from those who fear God and (continue to) do it myself. I see my dad as a spirtual giant in my life and his fear of God, I'd say, has had an impact on my fear of God. I learn from his example and I don't think I could've asked for anything better. And by fearing God, I free myself from fearing man, which means I don't have to submit to man's power over me and treat man as God. I can't really relate to verse 6, but what verse 7 means to mean is that my covenant with God means I will eternally abide in Him and that nothing can change that since my relationship with Him is strong and I don't plan on quitting before finishing. My praise for Him is an eternal, ongoing thing (v. 7) and I am thankful to Him for His truth and grace. If I didn't have those things in my life, I'd be on the wrong road for sure. I praise Him daily (v. 8), which can be be seen as a vow or a promise, which I suppose is part of my covenant with Him that started when I accepted His Son into my life.

Chapter 62

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "We are in the way both of duty and comfort, when our souls wait upon God; when we cheerfully give up ourselves, and all our affairs, to his will and wisdom; when we leave ourselves to all the ways of his providence, and patiently expect the event, with full satisfaction in his goodness." I want to do His will, which is a desire of my heart. I want to please Him and I know that nothing can replace the wisdom He provides me with when I ask Him for it. Almost every day, I ask that His will be done in my life, which means that I want to do His will and not mine. He could take a while to do something in my life, but it will have ended up being worth the wait if it's a blessing. I am thankful that He is my soild foundation or my rock (v. 2) because He keeps me grounded. "I shall not be greatly moved" means that God's strength is with me when I face troubles. Henry's thoughts on verses 3-5, "David having put his confidence in God, foresees the overthrow of his enemies. We have found it good to wait upon the Lord, and should charge our souls to have such constant dependence upon him, as may make us always easy." To comment on that, it's as if something simple as putting confidence in God has quite an effect when dealing with enemies. And in order to overthrow Satan, I put my confidence in God during my darkest moment since I couldn't put my trust in man because doing so wouldn't have done much for me. Verses 3-4 basically describe how Satan worked during my darkest moment and waiting on God (v. 5) was what got me through it. Verse 6 is a repeat of verse 2, so just look at what I had to say about that. God is my rock, my firm foundation (v. 7), which helps my faith to be unshaken. Henry's thought on verse 8, "Those who have found the comfort of the ways of God themselves, will invite others into those ways; we shall never have the less for others sharing with us. the good counsel given is, to trust wholly in God. We must so trust in him at all times, as not at any time to put that trust in ourselves, or in any creature, which is to be put in him only." I think it's cool that God can use me in such a way so others will want to trust in Him as well. It's like He wants me to display that to others, which I feel encouraged use as an example to others. And I'll admit trusting Him isn't always easy to do because I feel like I can solve a problem without His help, but I'm a fool to trust myself (Proverbs 28:26) whether or not I agree with God about it. I can't say I've personally trusted in men of low or high degree, as verse 9 talks about, but what I get out of that verse is that God wouldn't like it if I put my trust in those kinds of men because they would eventually betray me or screw me over, which is something God wouldn't do. I'm not gonna around stealing things (v. 10) since doing so could take my mind off God and become an idol to me, which is get of the part where it says, "if riches increase, set not your heart upon them." Power or strength (v. 11) belongs to God and I know I can depend on Him for strength when I need it. I look forward to the day when He judges me according to my righteousness (v. 12), which I believed I talked about before. Verse 12 does talk about God's judgment, which I thought I'd make clear in case it wasn't clear.

                                                   Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 60". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 61". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 62". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 56-59

Psalm 56

To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

1Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
2Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.
3What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
4In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
5Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.
7Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.
8Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
9When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
10In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.
11In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
12Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

13For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

Psalm 57

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.

1Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
2I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
3He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
4My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.
6They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.
7My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
8Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
9I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
10For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

Psalm 58

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.

1Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?
2Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.
3The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
4Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;
5Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.
6Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.
7Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.
8As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
9Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.
10The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

Psalm 59

To the chief Musician, Altaschitch, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

1Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
2Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
3For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.
4They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.
5Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.
6They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
7Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?
8But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
9Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
10The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.
11Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
12For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
13Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.
14And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
15Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.
16But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

17Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

Chapter 56

Sometimes I may deal with enemies that swallow me up or “hotly pursue me” (NIV). In those situations, I am sure to ask God for mercy so I am not overcome by my enemies. I haven’t dealt with enemies to high degree, but I was in a math class at San Jose City where this one guy treated me like crap cuz I looked at him with a goofy face because he thought it had something to do with him and got pissed about it. So I had a bit of an enemy there and asked God for mercy so that guy wouldn’t beat me up or anything. I thought I’d included Matthew Henry’s comments on the first few verses, “We may flee to, and trust the mercy of God, when surrounded on all sides by difficulties and dangers. His enemies were too hard for him, if God did not help him.” Yeah…God helped me out to no fear my enemy even though he intimidated me a few times. I just let God worry about that and if the authorities needed to get involved, I would not have been hesitant to contact them. Putting my trust in His Word is what directs my steps and I can’t say it’s misled me thus far. And since putting my trust in Him is something I’m used to doing, I know He’ll protect me from any man (v. 4). I’m not sure if my enemy’s thoughts were evil towards me (v. 5) except for when he’d flip me off or something. He did threaten me that time after I made a goofy face at him and his threats did have harmful, evil intentions behind them. I’m not sure if verse 6 relates to the situation, but I know that God shows anger toward my enemies (v. 7) and deals with ‘em as He sees fit. Matthew Henry comments on verses 8-9 by stating the following, “The heavy and continued trials through which many of the Lord's people have passed, should teach us to be silent and patient under lighter crosses. Yet we are often tempted to repine and despond under small sorrows. For this we should check ourselves. David comforts himself, in his distress and fear, that God noticed all his grievances and all his griefs.” I can’t really relate to verses 8-9 since I have yet to deal with enemies on the degree that David did, but I suppose I could apply them to my darkest moment because I know was lamenting during that time (v. 8) and when I cried out to Him, the enemy left me alone (v. 9). I see verse 10 as a reiteration of verse 4, so just see my comment on that. I was thankful for His deliverance and that I was able to reground myself in Him (v. 13).

Chapter 57

Even though I may deal with calamity from time to time, I know that I can make refuge in the shadow of His wings (v. 1). And if I do that, God’s gonna protect me from calamities, which He did during my darkest moment, which I’ll always be grateful for. I cried out to God, yes (v. 2), which I may even have to do for small things. God wants to hear from me and He wants me to depend on Him for help, which I’ve been asking Him for in prayer lately since I have finals this week. So I suppose I cry out to Him in a small way, which is never a bad thing. I am reminded of God’s deliverance in verse 3, mostly in the case of my darkest moment. He saved me when I called upon Him and kept the enemy at bay. In verses 4-5, I’m reminded to praise God in the midst of trials, which may sound kinda weird for some people. I suppose, though, take if I praise God during my trials they’ll not only be easier to get through but I’ll grow closer to Him in the midst of my trials when I praise Him for them. On a related note, James 1:2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” And to comment on that verse, I should be thankful for trials that come my way because they will typically result in me growing closer to Him. As I’ve mentioned before, I have finals this week, which I see as a trial because I am trusting God to help me out with them. And by trusting in God, I can grow closer to Him since I trust He’ll help me succeeded. Kinda how faith works because believing is seeing and I believe that, with His strength and wisdom, I will pass. Matthew Henry comments on verse 6 by stating the following, “But the mischief they designed against him, returned on themselves. And when David was in the greatest distress and disgrace, he did not pray, Lord, exalt me, but, Lord, exalt thine own name. Our best encouragement in prayer, is taken from the glory of God, and to that, more than to our own comfort, we should have regard in all our petitions for mercy.” And I if have God exalt Himself during my distress, He’ll help me get through my distress as a result of giving up my pride and selfishness to Him, which is kinda cool. Kinda reminds me of my darkest moment when I exalted Him by giving up my belief that I could deal with my problems on my own. After I complained about my problems, I was thankful that God helped me out (v. 7) and I could even use music to praise Him for that (v. 8). I will praise God among others for all the good thing He’s done (v. 9), which I think I talked about in a previous reflection. Since His mercy is great unto heavens (v. 10), that means to me that no one’s mercy and love is as far-reaching and comforting as His, which I praise Him for. I also praise Him for the fact that nothing can compare to His glory (v. 11) and it’s always a great thing to see it in His creation.

Chapter 58

Verses 1-3 seem to be convicting of rulers who are against God. I’ll include Matthew Henry’s comments, which state the following, “When wrong is done under the form of law, it is worse than any other; especially it is grievous to behold those who profess to be children of God, joining together against any of his people. We should thank the Lord for merciful restraints; we should be more earnest in seeking renewing grace, more watchful over ourselves, and more patient under the effects of fallen nature in others. The corruption of their nature was the root of bitterness. We may see in children the wickedness of the world beginning.” Kinda reminds me of Obama and his connection to shady groups, like Acorn. I’m not gonna go on political conspiracy theory rant, but I just thought I’d mention that. Some people who are born sinners (v. 3) from the start never come to Christ, which is a sad thing. It makes me wanna do something about it and perhaps go the extra mile just to bring someone to Christ. Since their poison is like that of a serpent (v. 4), I don’t imagine myself getting involved with them. Verses 3-5 illustrate to me how deceptive the wicked can be. They also emphasize to me to trust in God because He will protect from any evil I may face, as verse 6 says. I don’t think I’ll ever deal with lions in my life, but I know from experience that God will stop anyone who tries to hurt me. I thought I’d also include Matthew Henry’s thoughts, “David prayed that the enemies of God's church and people might be disabled to do further mischief. We may, in faith, pray against the designs of the enemies of the church. He foretells their ruin. And who knows the power of God's anger?” Sometimes I pray that the enemy won’t harm those I care about so their (potential) connection with God won’t be disrupted, so I guess I do my part by praying for the church by asking God to keep the enemy at bay. Verses 7-9 don’t really apply to me, but I do suppose they describe what happens to the wicked when I pray against Satan and his followers having an influence on my friends. I don’t want evil forces in general to influence my friends and I know if I pray about that, God will honor that, which is cool because it shows that He protects people even if they don’t follow Him. Whenever God has vengeance in my life -- such as what I mentioned in regards to praying against the enemy’s influence -- I will praise Him that for the fact that He has helped those I prayed for to not be influenced by the enemy (v. 10), which is something I should probably start doing. And if God frees His people from the enemy’s influence, I see their freedom as a reward (v. 11). Kinda like in my darkest moment how God freed me from the enemy’s influence. From that, I can use my experience to help others and ask God free them because it’s guaranteed when one asks for it.

Chapter 59

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, “In these words we hear the voice of David when a prisoner in his own house; the voice of Christ when surrounded by his merciless enemies; the voice of the church when under bondage in the world; and the voice of the Christian when under temptation, affliction, and persecution.” And sometimes I have to cry out to God when under affliction and persecution, as David did in verses 1-2. I realize that the only way for me to deal with opposition from my enemies (vv. 3-4) is by reliance on God. His helping me out makes me fearless before opposition and it also comforts me since His comforting me is His of letting me know that He’s gonna help me get through whatever I’m dealing with. He helped me get through moment, for example. And since He is against my transgressors -- those who sin against me -- not only will He deal with ‘em as He sees fit, but He will also deliver me from ‘em so they won’t harm me. The latter part was what God did during my darkest moment: He delivered me from the enemy’s grasp so I wouldn’t be harmed by his attacks on me. I could deal with an enemy who comes in contact with me on a daily basis (v. 6) -- almost like that guy in my math class -- and even though they think that God doesn’t pay attention to what they say (v. 7), God will still have power over them (v. 8). I can’t personally relate to those verses, but there’s been the occasional enemy who has snuck up on me as is described in the verses. I suppose if I were to relate the verses to my darkest moment, I would say that during the times in which Satan returned to give me a hard time, which he did in a sneaky, kind of way, it wasn’t a secret because God knew about it and one day the enemy will be in derision. I remember having to wait upon God a little bit but that was only because He provided me with safety when He knew I needed it the most (v. 9). I think during that time, God allowed me to see my desire upon the enemy, which was having his connection cut off from me (v. 10). God brought Satan down(v. 11), which meant that I no longer had to believe his lies (v. 12). It was a great thing to experience freedom from his lies because continuing to live with them wouldn’t have done me any good. God will eventually destroy Satan and I guess He consumed him by freeing me (v. 13). When God poured out His wrath upon Satan, he lost power over me, which meant that nothing was hindering my walk, which was a great thing. And I think by letting the enemy know that He rules to the ends of the rule, He displayed that His saving power and His sovereignty was more than Satan could handle. The enemy may return to give me a hard time (v. 14), but since I won’t succumb to his lies, as I have learned from experience, he’s not gonna be able to hunt for me and treat me as if I’m food (v. 15). I am thankful that from my darkest moment, God helped to learn how the enemy operates and how I can not be influenced by him. He may go out like a dog to attack, but his efforts won’t be successful if I tell him to get behind me. Matthew Henry comments on verses 16-17 by stating the following, “The trials of his people will end in joy and praise. When the night of affliction is over, they will sing of the Lord's power and mercy in the morning. Let believers now, in assured faith and hope, praise Him for those mercies, for which they will rejoice and praise him for ever.” What I have to add to that is that I should never stop praising God for His saving power because nothing compares to it and He’s the only who can save His people from the enemy’s influence.

                                                  Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 56". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 57". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 58". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 59". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 55

Psalm 55

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

1Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
2Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;
3Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
4My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
5Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
6And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
7Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
8I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
9Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.
11Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.
12For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:
13But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
14We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
15Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.
16As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
17Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
18He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.
19God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
20He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.
21The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
22Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

23But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.

Chapter 55

Whenever I deal with burdens in life, I take comfort in knowing that I can cry out to God, as David did in verses 1-2. And whenever I cry out to God, I take comfort in knowing that He'll hear me and respond as He sees fit. If He didn't respond, my efforts would be a waste of time, but they haven't been in the past in terms of His delivering me from my darkest moment. And, as I've said before, I haven't really dealt with enemies but that doesn't mean I don't face spiritual battles on a daily basis. With God's help, I can overcome that, which I think is where verse 3 comes in. David faced much opposition, yes, and whenever I lose to that opposition, I like being reminded that God wants to use that for me to grow closer to Him and for me to depend on Him. That's kinda what the deal was when I gave into the enemy's lies, which I've talked about before. I cried out to God because I could not deal with the enemy on my, which is how I related to verses 1-3 as a whole. I remember dealing with a sore pained or anguished heart, as described in verse 4. That resulted from giving into the enemy and ignoring God, I'd say. I did feel overwhelmed at that time (v. 5) because I didn't know how to deal with the enemy on my own. I suppose I wanted to flee away from my situation (vv. 6-8) instead of having God deal with it. I'm glad I didn't, though, because that would've just made things worse. Verses 9-10 speak of Jerusalem, which Matthew Henry comments on by stating the following, "No wickedness so distresses the believer, as that which he witnesses in those who profess to be of the church of God. Let us not be surprised at the corruptions and disorders of the church on earth, but long to see the New Jerusalem. He complains of one that had been very industrious against him. God often destroys the enemies of the church by dividing them." Yeah....what I have to add to that is God has His place in destroying enemies and I'll let Him deal with that. I can't really relate to verse 11, but I will comment on verse 12. Henry comments on verse 12 by stating the following, "The true Christian must expect trials from professed friends, from those with whom he has been united; this will be very painful; but by looking unto Jesus we shall be enabled to bear it. Christ was betrayed by a companion, a disciple, an apostle, who resembled Ahithophel in his crimes and doom." Yeah, I can't say I've ever been betrayed by any of my Christian friends, but verses 12-14 will give me something to relate to in case I ever am. And since Christ was betrayed by Judas, perhaps I would end up dealing with that in a fashion similar to that of Christ if I was ever betrayed by a fellow Christian or just a friend in general. I suppose if I were to count that former internet friend of mine, as I mentioned in a previous posting, he kinda did betray me. And verse 15 talks about the fate of those who betray God's people, which is reminder to me that I shouldn't betray my friends because there would most likely be consequences for and God would frown upon it.

Now I think I'll reflect on verses 16-23. I know that, as I've done in the past, I can call upon God (v. 16) and I'm glad I can do it any time I need to (v. 17). Otherwise, I'd be limited to when I could do it, which wouldn't be fun. When I'm facing a spiritual battle, I can trust that God will deliver me from it (v. 18), as He did during my darkest moment. I'm glad I'm not living a lifestyle where sin in glorififed because if I did, I would experience pain and affliction that would have been brought upon myself as a result of no accepting Christ. That verse makes me want to touch people so they can know Jesus and not live life as a slave to sin. I can't really relate to verse 20, but verse 21 shows how deceptive man can be and that if I depend on him, I may end up being betrayed if his actions don't match his speech. I choose to cast my cares upon God (v. 22) since I know that I can trust Him with them and since He won't mock me for it as a man might. I like that part where it says "he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" because it reminds that God is my foundation and that I won't be shaken if I trust in Him. My trust in His is a continual thing and I am thankful that God has saved me from the pit of destruction.

                                                    Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 55". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 51-54

Psalm 51

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Psalm 52

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite cam and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.

1Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.
2The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
3Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.
4Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.
5God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
6The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
7Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
8But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

9I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.

Psalm 53

To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.

1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
2God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.
5There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.

6Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

Psalm 54

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims cam and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?

1Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.
2Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
3For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.
4Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
5He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.
6I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.

7For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

Chapter 51

Matthew Henry comforts on the first few verses by stating the following: “David, being convinced of his sin, poured out his soul to God in prayer for mercy and grace. Whither should backsliding children return, but to the Lord their God, who alone can heal them? he drew up, by Divine teaching, an account of the workings of his heart toward God. Those that truly repent of their sins, will not be ashamed to own their repentance. Also, he instructs others what to do, and what to say.” I really see that in the first few verses and even though I won’t get involved with a kind of Bathsheba in my life, I can still relate to the first few verses by considering them instructions of what to do in a similar situation. Heck, I could see this as something that applies to every day sins since I ask God for forgiveness daily since David is asking God for forgiveness in verses 2-3. Verse 4, where it says, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” means to me that God was the only that knew of David’s sin with Bathsheba. I think there are some cases where I commit sin and even though no other man knows about it, God does because there’s no hiding from Him. I was born into sin (v. 5) since I wasn’t born a Christian. That reminds that since sin is inherited -- due to Adam and Eve’s sin -- my parents and their parents and their parents’ parents and so on inherited sin from the beginning of whenever the genealogy traces back to and the only redemption is coming to Christ. It kinda makes me wonder who accepted Christ in my family in past generations and who didn’t. Matthew Henry comments on verse 6 by stating the following, “Thou desirest truth in the inward part; to this God looks, in a returning sinner. Where there is truth, God will give wisdom. Those who sincerely endeavour to do their duty shall be taught their duty; but they will expect good only from Divine grace overcoming their corrupt nature.” That’s an interesting point, especially the last part. Since God wants my nature to be true to Him and not something that just treats Him like a spiritual bellhop. He is able to understand my heart and I see Him as my source which inspires me to do good things for Him. And if makes wisdom known to me, I’m not gonna lose because it I will beneficial to me. I imagine that He wants me to have an open mind to the wisdom He provides me with. In verse 7, I wanted to clear up that “Purge me with hyssop” means that David is asking to be forgiven for his sin by the blood of Christ. It reminds me of Isaiah 1:18, which says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Both verses deal with being cleansed of sin, which I imagine that is something that God does as a part of forgiveness. Yes, I know, that Christ’s blood cleansed me from all sin when He was up on that cross, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t forgive those who live for Him who sin (hopefully not intentionally) on a daily basis. I think it’s OK to ask God for forgiveness on daily basis -- I don’t see repentance as a one shot deal because even though Christ has already taken my sin on the cross, I still have to ask God for forgiveness on a daily basis because it shows that I’m admitting my faults and that I need His help so He can forgive and forget the sins I commit daily. I suppose it really boils down to the nature of the flesh, which I’ve read in Martin Luther’s writings. Flesh is weak and even though I’m a sinner saved by grace, I still sin and there’s no I can attain perfection in the flesh because I mess up sometimes and I try not to make a habit of sinning. Hopefully I didn’t ramble on too much about that verse -- I just had a lot to say about it. Matthew Henry comments on verse 8 by stating the following, “Let me have a well-grounded peace, of thy creating, so that the bones broken by convictions may rejoice, may be comforted.” I just thought I’d share that insight to clear that verse up. If God convicts me of sin, I see how that can be a good thing because I can view in the sense that God convicts me of sin so He can continue to change me so I won’t have a hinderance that keeps me from knowing Him more and more. So if I’m convicted of sin, I can ask God to rid me of whatever sin I’m convicted, which is cool because He’s the only one that can do that. It’s as if I should take joy in the fact that God’s gonna help me deal with a sin I may struggle with since I can overcome sin with His help. God forgets my sin which I ask for forgiveness (v. 9) and He renews His spirit in me as a result of asking Him to forgive me of my sins daily (v. 10). Perhaps, though, I shouldn’t be overoptimistic about God’s freedom from sins which I am convicted of because doing so could cause me to lose focus of the main thing: God’s working in me to help me out with sins I am convicted of. I am thankful that even though I sin, God doesn’t lose connection with me (v. 11). I see that as a reminder of His grace because I imagine I do deserve for God to abandon me since He hates sin and since it is offensive to Him, but He forgives me because He loves me and His love is something that wouldn’t be complete without His forgiving nature. I find salvation a joyful thing since it is what saved me and continues to save me from sin (v. 12). I suppose that whenever I ask God to forgive me of my sins, salvation is restored to me because God has forgotten my sin and I think it even goes back to the concept that not one sin will enter heaven. Since I’m forgiven, makes sense that salvation is maintained by asking God for forgiveness daily. I never really thought of salvation being maintained by asking God for forgiveness of sin, if that is the meaning of verse 12. What it really boils down to is being faithful to God, which I do by trying not to commit the same sins over and over. There are other ways that I show faithfulness to God and trying not to commit the same sins over and over is just one of them. It’s like once I steal, I’m not gonna do it again. If I steal something tomorrow and then do it again five years later, I have repented of it but I ended doing it again. I think that some sins are easier to give into others. For instance, I may swear a few times a week but that doesn’t mean I don’t ask God to forgive me daily so I can be renewed. Typically, swearing isn’t an intentional thing for me -- I don’t usually think about it beforehand and then do it, but it can be how I choose to react to something. I can ask God to help me out with that if it has a negative effect on my relationship with Him. And since His salvation renews me daily, I have that spirit of willing and unforced obedience towards Him, which is what is meant by “and uphold me with thy free spirit.” It’s kind of a two-way street, I guess, because if I wasn’t renewed daily despite asking Him for forgiveness, I don’t think I’d be willing to serve and obey Him. I enjoy serving Him and I am thankful that He allows me to do sin even though I sin and even though I’m not perfect. Those who live in sin, I enjoy teaching them the ways of God (v. 13). I haven’t done much teaching from the Word, but I imagine that when I have in the past, it’s been a blessing to even non-believers. That verse gets me excited about telling people about Christ and the opportunities that will present themselves regarding that. If I had just one person to impact, I know that God’s will would be done in that and that God could use me in such an unique way to change one’s life by helping him or her to not a lifestyle where sin is glorified. I can’t relate to verse 14, but I will talk about verse 15. What it means to me is that since God is faithful to forgive me, I can praise Him for that because He’s not gonna hold sin against me nor is He gonna abandon me as a result of sinning. If He didn’t forgive me, I wouldn’t be able to thank Him nor would I feel that I have no burden to deal with. And since God forgives me of my sin, I see that as one of many reasons to worship Him.

Now I think I’ll talk about verses 16-19. Verse 16 is a reminder that God doesn’t want my burnt offering and sacrifices, which I talked about in my reflection on chapter 50, so just look at that. God sacrificed His Son (v. 17) so I could have salvation. Christ was broken for me and I don’t think I’ll ever be thankful enough for that. I though I’d share Matthew Henry’s insight on the verse, which states, “The good work wrought in every true penitent, is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, and sorrow for sin. It is a heart that is tender, and pliable to God's word. Oh that there were such a heart in every one of us! God is graciously pleased to accept this; it is instead of all burnt-offering and sacrifice.” So basically what that means to me is that in order for God to (continue to) work in me. It’s basically my way of saying to God that I surrender to Him and I need to have my spirit broken once in a while so I don’t go on sinning and do whatever I wanna do. Verse 18 is talking about God’s goodness towards Zion. I see that verse applying to me because if I am of a broken spirit and contrite heart (v. 18), I will be saying to God that I want Him in to work in me and that I want Him to do good things in my life. God eventually delivered me from darkest moment, which he used so I could grow closer to Him. It’s as if God built walls of Jerusalem in me in a spiritual sense because I can that since that experience, my spiritual strength has been pretty good. I will continue to do righteous things for God (v. 19).

Chapter 52

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, “Those that glory in sin, glory in their shame. The patience and forbearance of God are abused by sinners, to the hardening of their hearts in their wicked ways. But the enemies in vain boast in their mischief, while we have God's mercy to trust in. It will not save us from the guilt of lying, to be able to say, there was some truth in what we said, if we make it appear otherwise than it was.” Yeah…I am thankful that I can trust in God’s mercy and I don’t have to make a big deal out of the evil things I do. I see it as meaning that God’s mercy covers the evil things I do and I suppose I don’t enjoy doing sinful things, I’m not arrogant about the sinful things I do. God’s renewal has created a sense of humility in me and I think that coming to Him and asking forgiveness shows humility in comparison to making a big deal out of my sins. I can’t really relate to verses 1-4 since I don’t live a life where I boast about the evil things I do, but I know God will take care of those that do (v. 5). If I am witness God’s work towards those who boast about their sin, as described in verse 5, I can imagine myself laughing at them (v. 6). Not only did the man boast in his sin, but He also lived for money, or “trusted in the abundance of his riches” (v. 7). Matthew Henry comments on verse 8 by stating the following, “Those who by faith and love dwell in the house of God, shall be like green olive-trees there. And that we may be as green olive-trees, we must live a life of faith and holy confidence in God and his grace.” I don’t have much to add to that, but I think that since I see myself as an olive tree in God’s house, I don’t have any problems trusting in Him since He can exceed my expectations. I suppose that I would have some problems trusting Him if I boasted of evil things because I’d end up giving into Satan’s lie that God wouldn’t forgive me because I’ve committed sins. And I see a primer in trusting in God’s mercy, which is since He doesn’t have a limit as to how many sins one commits, one can trust that God’s mercy will wash away his or her sins. I even trust in God’s mercy for when I ask for His forgiveness, which means that by trusting in His mercy, I am acknowledging the fact that He forgives me on a daily basis. I am thankful for and I praise Him for the fact that His forgiveness is a continual, constant thing (v. 9).

Chapter 53

This chapter is pretty much the same as Psalm 14, so see my reflection on that, which can be found here: I am reminded in verse 6 that I will rejoice in salvation.

Chapter 54

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, “God is faithful, though men are not to be trusted, and it is well for us it is so. David has no other plea to depend upon than God's name, no other power to depend upon than God's strength, and these he makes his refuge and confidence. This would be the effectual answer to his prayers.” During my darkest moment, I had to depend on God to help me out as David did in his struggle. God saved me (v. 1) and heard my prayer (v. 2). I haven’t dealt with oppressors that have tried to seek after my soul or my life (v. 3), but I imagine I could count Satan as one who acted in that way during my darkest moment because he made me feel like I wanted to hurt myself. God helped me out, though (v. 4), and I know whenever God helps me out, He will have vengeance on my enemies (v. 5). I’m glad I don’t have to have vengeance on my enemies myself because I’d probably be hesitant to do it. To address verse 6, I will say that although I don’t make sacrifices to God, as I’ve discussed in regards to Hosea 6:6 in my reflection on Psalm 50, I still offer myself as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1) on a daily basis. I have free will in doing that, however, because I could choose to live for myself one day and live for God the next. That is what verse 6 means to mean, since I see Hosea 6:6 and Romans 12:1 as parallel verses. I freely sacrifice myself to God but I don’t feel like I’m enslaved and have no choice in regards to doing so. And if I choose to live for God daily, I can see how praising Him would be included in that. God delivered me from darkest moment (v. 7) and I know He’s gonna take care of Satan -- He’s gonna defeat him -- when that time comes. I’ll even go out on limb by saying that God weakened Satan’s power over me during my darkest moment, which was how He dealt with him.

                                                    Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 51". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 52". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 54". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reflecting on the Pslams: Chapter 50

Psalm 50

A Psalm of Asaph.

1The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
3Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
4He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
5Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
7Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
8I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
9I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
10For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
12If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
15And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
17Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.
18When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.
19Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
20Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
21These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
22Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

23Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Chapter 50

This chapter starts out by describing the judgment and how God will work in that. "The perfection of beauty" (v. 2) means to mean that Christ, or should I say Christ in the flesh, will be visible to all and He'll be easily made out since no one looks like him and since no one's flesh will compare to His beauty. Maybe that'll be discernment from God at work -- I dunno -- but I imagine that He will someone influence to His people so they know that Christ can't be missed and that He came to judge. "A fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him" (v. 3) reminds of the fact that God is an all-consuming fire. I imagine that fire will not only be something to associate with Jesus but also a sign that it'll be Him. I'm not sure what effect the all-consuming aspect will have on those who have rebelled against God, but I imagine it wouldn't be a good one. Matthew Henry comments on verses 4-5 by stating the following: "In the great day, our God shall come, and make those hear his judgement who would not hearken to his law. Happy are those who come into the covenant of grace, by faith in the Redeemer's atoning sacrifice, and show the sincerity of their love by fruits of righteousness. When God rejects the services of those who rest in outside performances, he will graciously accept those who seek him aright." I don't have anything to add to that -- I just thought I'd share Henry's insight. I don't fear being judged, though (v. 4), and I wanted to make a point about verse 5. What it means to me is that since I have accepted Christ's redemption -- His death on the cross -- I have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice. I like how that verse is phrased, I guess, and at first I didn't really know what it meant. I thought the implication was animal sacrifices, but know I now what it's talking about. That's the value of reading it again, I guess. Anyway, if I didn't accept His redemption, then I wouldn't end up being gathered with Him. He will protect me from any kind of tribulation during the last days, which is great. I believe I will have to face the tribulation on earth and it's not just something that's just saved for the non-believers, as the Left Behind series says. That verse reminds me of the fact that God will be there with me in the midst of what will be quite a trial. I will thank God for His protection (v. 6). In verse 7, God is pointing out His charges against Israel, which are described in verses 8-9. I will comment on verse 8, which reminds me of Hosea 6:6, which says, "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." That verse and verse 8 mean to that, as a favorite pastor of mine puts it, "God doesn't want your burnt offerings and sasrifices -- He wants your love." I'm glad I don't have to make sacrifices to God because I'd probably fail at doing so. I love God and it's cool that I express that Him in so many ways and am not limited to burnt offerings and sacrifices. I see verse 9 as a continuation of verse 8 since it seems to be talking about the animals that would be used for burnt offerings and sacrifices -- bulls and goats. I said all that had to say about verse 9, but in verses 10-13 I am reminded that God's creation belongs to Him and He doesn't want them being used for burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Now I think I'll talk about verses 14-23. God wants my love (v. 14), as I pointed out when discussing verse 8 and Hosea 6:6, so just look at my reflection on that. Verses 15-22, I think I'll talk about. In verse 15, I am reminded of my darkest moment, which I've talked about before. I can compare with the description of the burnt offereings and the sacrifices, which are described in verses 8-9 and 14. I see those verses as trying to deal with my problems my own way instead of depending on God to help me out during my tribulation period. He did help me out, though, and I think it expresses love to Him when one lets Him know he or she needs help. In a way, I see it as submitting to God and His will. God does not speak well of the wicked (vv. 16-18). I see the deceptions of the tongue that can result from one's evil nature in verses 19-20. I'd hate to get involved with anyone that says evil things to me (v. 19) and slanders against me (v. 20). Now, I don't have any bothers or sisters, but I suppose verse 20 still applies to me because there could be someone in my life who slanders against me, which God wouldn't like. I will God take care of those who slander against His people since vengeance belongs to Him. In verse 21, "thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself" means that the wicked person thought God associated with Him was OK with the actions described in verses 17-20 I thought I'd clear up that part of verse 21 in case there was any confusion. I am also reminded in verse 21 that God hates sin and He won't allow any one sin to enter heaven. So God wants those who live in sin and live a life where they think they can somehow gain an advantage over Him by living a life where they don't think they'll be held accountable for their sins to come to Him and repent and live a life for Him, which is kind of what get out of verses 22-23. I thought Henry had an interesting insight on verse 23, which says, "We must praise God, sacrifice praise, put it into the hands of the Priest, our Lord Jesus, who is also the altar: we must be fervent in spirit, praising the Lord. Let us thankfully accept God's mercy, and endeavour to glorify him in word and deed." So I'd say that verses 22-23 still apply to me even though I've already accepted Christ into me life. I must not forgot God or else there will be consequences (v. 22). I could forget God by living a life of a sin, which could happen, but isn't very likely since I have no desire to live that kind of life. I am capable of falling, though, and so is any other Christian. I continue to do things which glorify God as well as trust in Him (v. 23). Salvation is something attained by faith alone and I suppose I glorify God by putting my faith in Him, which is something I'd have to think about for another discussion.

                                                    Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 50". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 49

Psalm 49

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

1Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:
2Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
3My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
4I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
5Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?
6They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
 7None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
8(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
9That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
10For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
11Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
12Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
13This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
14Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
15But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
16Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
17For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
18Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.
19He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.

20Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Chapter 49

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "We seldom meet with a more solemn introduction: there is no truth of greater importance. Let all hear this with application to ourselves. The poor are in danger from undue desire toward the wealth of the world, as rich people from undue delight in it. The psalmist begins with applying it to himself, and that is the right method in which to treat of Divine things." I don't have much to add to that, but I am reminded that wisdom is vital in those first few verses. I could be talking to my dad and he could share some words of wisdom, which could be hlepful to me later on in life. And I think it was in Proverbs or something, Solomon wrote that all wisdom comes from God, which means it's valuable and useful. What "and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding" (v. 3) means to me is that I should be aware of when someone is sharing words of wisdom to me. If not I could be screwed for not paying attention and miss out what could've otherwise been useful information for a situation I'm dealing with. I will continue to listen for God's wisdom (v. 4), which is what "I will incline mine ear to a parable" means to me. I pretty much said what had to say about wisdom in verse 3. Matthew Henry comments on verse 5 by stating the following, "In the day of judgment, the iniquity of our heels, or of our steps, our past sins, will compass us. In those days, worldly, wicked people will be afraid; but wherefore should a man fear death who has God with him?" When I first read that verse, it bascially meant to me to not fear the last days. God knows how it's all gonna pan out and He wants me to trust in Him for that. I feel that that will be a real test of faith and endurance in terms of trusting God. If I worry and get all depressed because of apocalyptic events, I'll be discrediting God. And it's never to discredit God, especially if He already knows how things are gonna work out and how they're gonna work out for His glory. I think Henry makes an interesting point about the whole thing where he says that one's sins will compass him or her. I never really though of it the way he describes it, which I think is what makes it interesting. I don't have to worry if my sins surround me if I have accepted His Son and my Lord and Savior since He took my sins upon the cross. And by His grace, I am a Christian. I don't have to fear death -- I suppose death of the soul in this case -- since I have a relationship with Christ. However, I wonder about those who don't follow Christ and if they'll ever accept His love. I could imagine the wordly people being afraid of the fact that they sinned and never came to Christ and regretting their decision in the last days. I'm not saying I'm better than them or anything -- I'm saying that their demise is their own decision unless they get right with God. I personally can't relate to verses 6-7 since I don't trust in wealth to get by. I think that if I did, though, I'd worship and live for money rather than worshipping and living for God. God wants to redeem those who live for money (vv. 8-9). It's a reminder that there's better things to live for than worldly things (Colossians 3:2). Sometimes I'm more concerned about worldy, material things than I am my relationship with God. So I find verses 8-9 to be convicting in that aspect. I can't relate to verse 10, but verses 11-13 show how foolish man can be by giving into riches. "And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning" means to me that since I've made to right choice by following Christ, I have dominion that rebel against God. I don't have to live as a slave to riches, which is kinda nice.

I think I'll reflect on verses 15-20 now. Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "Believers should not fear death. The distinction of men's outward conditions, how great soever in life, makes none at death; but the difference of men's spiritual states, though in this life it may seem of small account, yet at and after death is very great. The soul is often put for the life. The God of life, who was its Creator at first, can and will be its Redeemer at last." Since I have accepted His Son into my life, I am thankful that God has redeemed me from hell (v. 15). If He didn't redeem me, I'd probably be hanging out with the wrong crowd these days. I see verses 16-17 as a reminder of the fate of those who have worldly riches and don't live for God. They will wear away and they won't their money with them when they die. There is a reference in the New Testament to verse 17 --  1 Timothy 6:7 -- which says, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." Yeah...that really goes against the saying that he who has the most toys when he dies wins. I think that verse pretty much speaks for itself, but I thought the reference was interesting and I thought I'd include it. I will say, though, that since I am spirtually rich, I get to experience God's blessings, which I kinda figured upon reading those verses. I think I'm much better off than being spiritually rich than worldly rich because worldly riches have no eternal security. Verses 18-19 continue to talk about the fate of the worldly men and verse 20 is a reminder that I should be living for God because I'll be "like the beasts that perish" if I don't.

                                                Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 49". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.