Monday, May 9, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 41-43

Psalm 41

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
3The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
4I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
5Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
6And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
7All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
8An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
9Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

 10But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
11By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
12And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.

13Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Psalm 42

To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.

1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 43

1Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
4Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Chapter 41

In verse 1, I am reminded of the times I've helped out at CityTeam. I considered the poor -- or less fortunate -- by putting together food boxes for them. And even though I didn't directly give the food to them, I still glorified God in what I did and still met a basic need. It was a humbling experience that made me feel good about the fact that I can do something so small for someone that has a big impact. In verse 2, "The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive" means to me that God will never protecting me, especially because He expresses that by delivering me from trouble (v. 1). Whenever I've dealt with enemies in life, I can't say that God's ever made me fall victim to 'em (v. 2). Sure, they may have given me a hard time, but God made darn well sure they didn't hurt me. I've been sick before and I can say that God's healed me from it (v. 3). I haven't had any illnesses that were life-threatening and I'm overall pretty healthy. There have been times, though, where I was coughing and had a runny noise and wanted God to relieve me from that as soon as He could. It's never fun to be sick and I thank the Lord for all the times He has relieved me from a sickness. Sometimes I feel so bad about sinning against God (v. 4), but I don't end up guilt tripping about it. I am thankful for His mercy and the fact that He cleanses me daily if I come Him and ask for forgiveness. Matthew Henry comments on verses 5-9 by stating the following, "We complain, and justly, of the want of sincerity, and that there is scarcely any true friendship to be found among men; but the former days were no better. One particularly, in whom David had reposed great confidence, took part with his enemies. And let us not think it strange, if we receive evil from those we suppose to be friends." I can think of a time back when I started using the internet and there was one guy I started talking to since we shared similar interests. He and I got along pretty well until one day he called me a name and I guess also said he didn't want to talk to me again. I'm not sure what caused that and I guess he thought I was no longer worth his time for some reason. It kinda sucks that that had to happen because I don't remember doing anything to him to insult me. Maybe his heart gathered iniquity ti itself and he told others not to talk me? (v. 6) Who knows? I'm not sure if verses 6-9 are a reflection of that guy, but whatever he's up to these days, I pray that God is providing for him. I do not plan on having revenge on that guy (v. 10) because that's up to God. That verse also means to that if God keeps in me line, I won't have to desire to repay or requite my enemies with what they deserve. Instead, I should show grace to them, which isn't always an easy thing to do. Since I let God deal with my enemies, I know that I please Him by letting Him be the One who is responsible for vengence upon my enemies (Romans 12:19). It's as if I please God by not doing something because if I tried to take vengeance upon my enemies myself, I'd imagine that'd be a lot like playing God, which God wouldn't like. God likes integrity or honesty (v. 12) and if I don't cheat on, say, a math test, I know that He's gonna help me out if I trust in Him. I imagine I won't stop thanking Him for my victories in my math class once the semester ends (v. 13).

Chapter 42

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "The psalmist looked to the Lord as his chief good, and set his heart upon him accordingly; casting anchor thus at first, he rides out the storm. A gracious soul can take little satisfaction in God's courts, if it do not meet with God himself there. Living souls never can take up their rest any where short of a living God." That last reminds of the fact that one finds utter satisfaction in God. Although one man try to find satisfaction in man, he or she will not be able to since man isn't perfect and since man can't provide one's needs. I myself have a longing for God (vv. 1-2). The more I read His Word, the more I learn about Him. And the more I learn about Him, the closer I grow to Him. And the closer I grow to Him, the more I realize that He's the only One who provides all my needs. I suppose another reason I long for Him is because He's always faithful and I wanna stay on His path for my life so I can find out what He has in store for me as He reveals it to me. Verse 3, I notice a since of desperation on David's part, mostly because it implies he's weeping. Henry comments on that part by saying, "It was not the remembrance of the pleasures of his court that afflicted David; but the remembrance of the free access he formerly had to God's house, and his pleasure in attending there." I imagine if I no longer had free access to God's house, I'd weep because I'd feel as if I was missing out on something. The second part, his enemies are questioning where his God is. That verse, along with verse 4, illustrate how I should react in a situation similar to David's. David ended up going to the house of God anyway (v. 4). Although my soul may be at conflict with itself inside of me, I shouldn't let that keep me from prasing God because of the fact that He helps me out (v. 5). David seems to expressing an uncomfortable feeling in the first part of that verse, like maybe he's not worthy, yet he doesn't let that discourage him. What that means to me is that if I have crap going on in my life, I shouldn't let that keep from praising God. I have to remember to praise God in the midst of trials, which is David was doing, because I can thank Him for the fact that He'll use a trial so I can grow closer to Him. Matthew Henry's thought is similiar to mine, "The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies. David saw troubles coming from God's wrath, and that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord." That pertains to verse 6-8. In verse 7, where is says, "all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me" means to me that God's given me a heavy load because I've decided to go off and do my own thing. That was kinda what happened during my darkest moment -- I decided to go off and do my own thing and believe things that weren't true and God used that trial -- which I assume He had something to do wtih in allowing -- to grow closer to Him. The contrast between the daytime and the night in verse 8 is interesting. It means to mean that during the day, He does great things for me and at the end of the day, I reflect and praise Him for those things. Perhaps I should spend more time praising Him for the things He does during the day at night since I don't seem to do it enough. I can't really relate to the last few verses all that much, do I imagine I felt as if God forgot me (v. 9) during my darkest moment and I imagine I talked about that aspect of it before. Verse 11 is basically a repeat of verse 5.

Chapter 43

Matthew Henry comments on the first couple verses by stating the following, "As to the quarrel God had with David for sin, he prays, Enter not into judgment with me, if Thou doest so I shall be condemned; but as to the quarrel his enemies had with him, he prays, Lord, judge me, and in thy providence appear on my behalf." Yeah, that's pretty heavy stuff. I may wonder sometimes as to why I feel cut off from God (v. 2), which I would imagine would be because of my own actions. I can depend on Him to shine His light on me, though (v. 3). He eventually did that during my darkest moment, but not in the literal sense. He did it in the sense that He helped me to deal with my trial in a way that I didn't feel as if He was far from me. I went His altar and praised Him for the fact that He delivered me. The last verse is a repeat of Psalm 42:11.

                                               Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 41". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 42". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 43". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

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