Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 84-85

Psalm 84

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the son of Korah.

1How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
2My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
3Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.
4Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
5Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
6Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
7They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
8O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
9Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.
10For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

12O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Psalm 85

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

1Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
3Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
4Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
5Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
6Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
7Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.
8I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
 11Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

13Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

Chapter 84

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "The ordinances of God are the believer's solace in this evil world; in them he enjoys the presence of the living God: this causes him to regret his absence from them. They are to his soul as the nest to the bird." In verse 1, I am reminded of the fact that God's dwelling place (tabernacle) is indeed a lovely thing. When I feel His presence, such as during communion time, nothing can compare to that. In a way, it's a reminder that He loves me and He knows that my heart is set on serving Him, which is kind of carried over in verse 2. My soul does long for Him and He knows that. I want more and more of Him each day and it's great that He can fulfill that since His love never runs out. If I tried to get more and more of man each day, I imagine I'd end up unsatisfied because man cannot address my spiritual needs -- only God can. The part where it says "my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God" reminds me of the worship song Better Is One Day, as does verse 10 as a whole. I imagine those verses inspired that song, which has been played in my church a couple times. Henry's comparison in regards to verse 3, "They are to his soul as the nest to the bird." What a wonderful thing His ordinaces are and what a wonderful thing it is to find rest in Him. I know that since I dwell in Him -- or rather the body of Christ -- I am blessed (v. 4). I'd say that I express the fact that I'm blessed by praising Him in various ways, which I have discussed before. I find my strength in Him (v. 5), which I did during my darkest moment and the blessing that came out of that was growing closer to Him. While I don't have anything to say about verse 6, I do like Henry's thought on it, "The pilgrims to the heavenly city may have to pass through many a valley of weeping, and many a thirsty desert; but wells of salvation shall be opened for them, and consolations sent for their support." I am thankful that God opens up wells of salvation for me, especially during hard times, which is what that verse means to me. Since it's a continuation of verse 5, I see how God's strength is necessary to make it through hard times, which ringed true in regards to my darkest moment. As I go onward in my walk with God, I will come to a point where I appear before Him (v. 7), which I look forward to because I know I will be in eternity with Him. What ends my time on earth is up to Him -- what matters is that I live for Him and do His will in this world as best I can. I like how Hnery puts it as well, "Those that press forward in their Christian course, shall find God add grace to their graces. And those who grow in grace, shall be perfect in glory." When I cry out to Him, I know He hears my prayer (v. 7), especially since He is my shield. That ringed true during my darkest moment because God was my shield against the enemy during that time, and He looked on His Son -- His Anoitned One -- for my sake, so I could be delivered. I figure God worked in that way even though I didn't see it, but perhaps my growth that resulted from my darkest moment reflected God's consulting His Son. Verse 10, I am reminded of that song Better Is One Day, as I've mentioned. Also, that verse reminds me that it's better to choose God than get involved in sinful ways, which is what I see implied in, "than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." I (should) continue to seek after God because in terms of the Christian walk, it's not about how you start but how you finish. In verse 11, where it says , "For the LORD God is a sun and shield, " I am reminded that God is my light as well as my protector, especially because His light showed up and He protected during my darkest moment. I like where it says, " no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" because that means to me that if I follow after Him and do His will, I will experience His blessings, which is always a great thing to be reminded of. And it all starts by trusting Him (v. 12), which will result in having His will revealed to me. The more I do His will and do things His way, the more blessings I will experience.

Chapter 85

In first two verses, I am reminded of God's forgiveness. As God showed favor towards His land, He shows favor to those who come to Him and repent from their sins. It's His way of saying, "Now you've come to me, you no longer have to live in sin." That idea of God's favor is implied in verse 2 as well, which I suppose I already hinted at. Knowing that God has covered my sins as well as those of my fellow believers isn't something that we take for granted. I also like Henry's thoughts on the first two verses, "The sense of present afflictions should not do away the remembrance of former mercies. The favour of God is the fountain of happiness to nations, as well as to particular persons. When God forgives sin, he covers it; and when he covers the sin of his people, he covers it all." And when one comes to repentance, God takes away His wrath (v. 3) and ceases His anger towards them (v. 4). I don't have a lot to say about that, but I think it's cool that God welcomed me with open arms when I gave my life over to Him. I can look back on that moment and imagine how God's attitude changed towards me, especially since I no longer had to live in fear of His wrath. Speaking of wrath, here's Henry's thoughts in verses 5-7, "The Lord's people may expect sharp and tedious afflictions when they commit sin; but when they return to him with humble prayer, he will make them again to rejoice in him." That, to me, reminds me of His grace and the fact that no one forgives like He does. He revives me every time I repent (v. 6), which means to me that He helps me to get over that hurdle. His mercy is something He continues to show His people (v. 7), which I praise Him for. And since I have salvation and have been redeemed from sin, I imagine His voice is much clearer to me (v. 8). God may want to reveal something to me and ever since He's freed my mind from profane thoughts, He shouldn't have much of problem doing that. I haven't fallen back into that sin and I think God watches over me to make sure I don't. Since I fear Him, salvation is near (v. 9). I like that verse because it was kinda how I felt when I cried out to God in the midst of my darkest moment -- the fact that He was gonna deliver me from my pain was what kept me going and enduring and keeping my faith in Him. I don't have a lot to say a lot to say about verse 10, but I do like the figurative language in regards to righteousness and peace each other. I think that verse sums up Christ's attributes as a whole and how they bounce off of one another. It also means to me that in terms Christ (or God), you can't have mercy without truth and you can't have righteousness without peace. In the future, that's a verse that I'd like to do an in-depth study one because I think there's a lot that can be drawn from it, mostly in terms of how it all fits together. Perhaps I would include verse 11 as a part of that study. That verse itself is an interesting contrast in terms of where truth and righteousness come from. I am thankful for God's truth and righteousness because those aspects have helped me through a lot of hard times, one being my darkest moment. Henry's thoughts on the last few verses, "For his sake all good things, especially his Holy Spirit, are given to those who ask him. Through Christ, the pardoned sinner becomes fruitful in good works, and by looking to and trusting in the Saviour's righteousness, finds his feet set in the way of his steps. Righteousness is a sure guide, both in meeting God, and in following him." God does give me good things, such as friends, food, the adundant life, and more blesings I could ask for. In verse 12, where it says, "and shall set us in the way of his steps" means to me that God's righteousness is what causes me to follow His plan for my life and that His righteousness is filled with the promise of: if you look to it, you won't lose. Your path will be clear and you'll get more than you ask for.

                                                Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 84". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 85". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 83

Psalm 83

A Song or Psalm of Asaph.

1Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
2For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
3They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
6The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
9Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
10Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.
11Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
12Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
13O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
14As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
15So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
16Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
17Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:

18That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Chapter 83

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "Sometimes God seems not to be concerned at the unjust treatment of his people. But then we may call upon him, as the psalmist here. All wicked people are God's enemies, especially wicked persecutors. The Lord's people are his hidden one; the world knows them not. He takes them under his special protection." In those first few verses, I am reminded of my darkest moment, especially because God didn't keep His silence and gave me peace (v. 1). At the end of it, I was at peace with Him, which I think was what resulted from my relationship with Him being restored and renewed. Verse 2 relates because I feel that it reflects Satan's plotting against me in the face of God, since, in a way, he did take crafty counsel against me (v. 3). That's kinda how the enemies God's church operate: they try and cut off His people (v. 4), which I'll expand on a lot bit from my experiences. I see a parallel between my being cut off from God during my darkest moment and that time when my church was facing financial hardships, which I believe resulted from Satan plotting against God's people. I kinda gave up on God during my darkest moment and so did my church due its financial hardships, which basically made it hard to rely on oneself or on man. Verses 5-8 talk about the opposition that nations faced due to being plotted against and being cut off from God. I can't say my church faced opposistion that compared to the opposition that the nations faced, but I know that the enemy's alliance against me was quite unpleasant and probably right up there with what the nations faced. Henry's comments on verses 9-10, "All who oppose the kingdom of Christ may here read their doom. God is the same still that ever he was; the same to his people, and the same against his and their enemies. God would make their enemies like a wheel; unsettled in all their counsels and resolves." Yeah, the enemy's gonna meet his doom when that time comes and so are the enemies of my fellow believers and myself if they don't turn from my sinful ways. I will let God take care of enemies as He sees fit since vengeance is His. I'm not sure how I would relate to verses 11-12, which is continuing the thought of the fate of the enemies. Here's Henry's though on it, though, which clears it up, "Let them be made to fear thy name, and perhaps that will bring them to seek thy name." So perhaps if God uses me to change the lives of those who oppose Him, they will abide in His houses and take them in possession (v. 12). I'm not sure if that's part of God's plan for my life, but it'd be an awesome thing to be used in that way. Who knows? Maybe some artwork I do in the future could touch someone who is lost and has wrong ideas about God. If God wants to use me in that way, I can imagine lost souls softening their hears to Him, which is what I see in the wheel and wind aspects in verse 13. Verses 14-16 talk about the enemies and the conviction of their sin, which I'm gonna expand on a bit. Verse 14 pretty much speaks for itself, but I know that God will make them afraid of metaphorical storms, but I think Henry states it better, " The stormy tempest of Divine vengeance will overtake them, unless they repent and seek the pardoning mercy of their offended Lord." Verse 15 just encourages me to do the Ray Comfort thing and ask people if they've stole anyting, lied, or what have you, so they can turn to their ways and experience God's mercy. They will be ashamed of their sinful ways, their faults (v. 16) and hopefully, if they're ready, seek His name. I'd like to God work in that way and I'd like to be used by Him in that way at least once in my life. Lord, I ask that you will use me to bring people to You and that Your will will be done and terms of them seeing their faults. Welcome them with open arms, Lord, and help them to see that they don't have to live in sin. And what will result from them turning from ways which trouble and confound them (v. 17) will be knowing that God (or JEHOVAH) is the Most High over earth (v. 18). What I see in that is that there's power in His name and the fact that He's so sovereign ("Most High") is what causes people to turn to Him, which is something I wanna be a part of so people can know that the only way for them to break free from their troubled lives is to acknowledge that God is above all, which would result in knowing Him and living for Him.

                                                 Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 83". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 81-82

Psalm 81

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph.

1Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
2Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
3Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
4For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.
5This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.
6I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.
7Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
8Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
9There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
10I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
12So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
13Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
14I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
15The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.

16He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

Psalm 82

A Psalm of Asaph.

1God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
2How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
5They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

8Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Chapter 81

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "All the worship we can render to the Lord is beneath his excellences, and our obligations to him, especially in our redemption from sin and wrath. What God had done on Israel's behalf, was kept in remembrance by public solemnities." I don't worship God by just singing in church -- I also do it by drawing, writing, reading His Word,  and spending time with Him, just to name a few. However, I do sing to Him (v. 1) and I am thankful that He is my strength. If He wasn't my strength, I'd have no leg to stand on and I'd be weak. In regards to verses 1-2 as a whole, I am reminded of this. I may have shared that before, but playing with my friends was fun and it was just a great thing to get so excited in the process of praising God and having a good time doing it. I can't relate to verses 3-4, but I think I'll touch on verses 5-7. In verse 5, God is speaking of Joseph (I believe from the Book of Genesis) and removes his burdens (v. 6) and delivers him from trouble (v. 7). Taking those verses into consideration, I can relate to Joseph, mostly God took my burdens away when I called upon Him during my darkest moment. I can't quite relate to verses 8-12 or so, but I do like Henry's thoughts on them, "We cannot look for too little from the creature, nor too much from the Creator. We may have enough from God, if we pray for it in faith. All the wickedness of the world is owing to man's wilfulness. People are not religious, because they will not be so. God is not the Author of their sin, he leaves them to the lusts of their own hearts, and the counsels of their own heads; if they do not well, the blame must be upon themselves." I think Henry pretty much hit the nail on the head, so I don't have much to add to it except for a thought I have. In today's society, people don't hearken or lisen to God's voice (v. 11), which causes God to give them over to their lusts (v. 12). Those verses inspire to spread the gospel and help out those who have given into their lusts, so they will listen to and submit to Him. I like Henry's thought on the last few verses, "Christ is the Bread of life; he is the Rock of salvation, and his promises are as honey to pious minds. But those who reject him as their Lord and Master, must also lose him as their Saviour and their reward."

Chapter 82

This chapter gives me an overall picture of what God's judgment will be like as well as the nature of His judgment among those who accept or reject His love. So in a way, I think I'll reflect on both. I can imagine Him standing in the congregation of the mighty (v. 1), which is the place from which He'll judge. Perhaps that is current place from which He judges? I'm not sure, but I'll have to look into it. I haven't wondered about God's judgment towards the wicked all that much, but maybe it's something I should do more of (v. 2). It's basically just rhetorical question leading into verses 3-5, which I'm gonna get into. The reason I mentioned the nature of God's judgment among those who accept or reject His love is where verses 3-5 tie in. I have faced affliction before (v. 3), particularly during my darkest moment. I'd say that God did defend me during my that time. To tie verse 2 into, I probably did wonder why God was allowing Satan to do what he did, which is what I see in "accept the persons of the wicked." He delivered me and took me from the enemy's hand (v. 4). Verse 5, even though it's a verse I can't relate to, it seems to be speaking of the oppressed after they have relied on God to deliever them. If I am wrong about that and if the verse is speaking of the oppressors or "the wicked" (v. 4), then I can see how God would allow them to continue to walk in darkness. To avoid getting off on too much of a tangent, perhaps I will examine that verse at a later date. Henry's thoughts on verse 5 do help to clarify, "But when justice is turned from what is right, no good can be expected. The evil actions of public persons are public mischiefs." If the former is true about verse 5, as I was discussing, then I am reminded not to turn from my ways after God has helped me out. Doing so would basically be betraying Him, which I don't think He'd like very much. I cannot think of myself as a god (v. 6) and usually don't. To do so while being a child of the Most High would most likely cause God to be mad at me, which would result in me falling (v. 7). I am thankful that I don't have to be my own god because that'd be quite a burden I wouldn't be willing to deal with, especially since God guides and I follow, which is another reason why I don't have to be my own god. If I did, I'd basically be rebelling His plan for my life. I like Henry's thought on the last verse, "Considering the state of affairs in the world, we have need to pray that the Lord Jesus would speedily rule over all nations, in truth, righteousness, and peace." Yeah...something to take consideration in regards to prayer, mostly because of the way things are going in this world. And when God inherits all nations, it will be similar to the in instance in the Book of Joshua, where Moses told the Levite tribe that God was their inheritance, which I've talked about before and I thought I'd point it out. Another thing I'd like to point out about that verse is that since God will judge the earth, His judgement will have an affect on everyone, which is another implication I see in, "for thou shall inherit all nations." I look forward to God's judgment on myself and my fellow brothers and sisters and Christ because we will be judge by God's standard, which is how His judgement will be an inheritance to us.

                                                Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 81". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 82". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 79-80

Psalm 79

A Psalm of Asaph.

1O god, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.
2The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
3Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
4We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
5How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
6Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
7For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
8O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
10Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
11Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
12And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.

13So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

Psalm 80

To the chief Musician upon ShoshannimEduth, A Psalm of Aspah.

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
2Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.
3Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
4O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
5Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
6Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.
7Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
8Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
9Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
10The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
11She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
12Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
13The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
14Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;
15And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
16It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
17Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
18So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

19Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Chapter 79

I'd say that the first five verses or relate to my darkest moment not because I did engaged in things that the heathen did -- as the passage descibes -- but because I did rebel against Him, which probably angered Him (v. 5). I like Henry's thought on the verses, "In every affliction we should first beseech the Lord to cleanse away the guilt of our sins; then he will visit us with his tender mercies." That's basically what I did so the enemy would stop influencing me. He did pour out tender mercies on me, which was a great thing that reminded me that He loves me. And since I didn't have guilt and had God took that burden, I felt a sense of peace and warmth. I can't say I can't relate to verses 6 and 7, but Iam reminded that God will take care of the heathen as He sees fit (v. 6). Think I'll dig into verse 8 a little bit and how I relate to it. "O remember not against us former iniquities" means to me that God not only forgives but He also forgets. In other words, He doesn't hold sin against me, which is great because if He did, I'd have to live up to some absurd standard, which I would fail to do so in my attempts. I also feel that when I became a Christian, God took that desire to sin away and forgot my sins that I committed up until that point. It works that way as well, mostly because when I became a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and part of that resulted in my old sin nature being removed, which also ties in with 2 Corinthans 5:17. "Let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low" means to me that sometimes I ask God to help me to not sin because, which sometimes results in being desperate (brought very low) for His help. That leads to God delivering me and forgiving me or purging me from my sins (v. 9) -- both of which He did when I was facing my darkest moment. He did those things so He could be glorified, or rather for His name's sake. I can't relate to verse 10, but I do like Henry's thoughts on the last few verses, "How fervently should he at all times pray, O let the sighing of a prisoner come before thee, according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die! How glorious will the day be, when, triumphant over sin and sorrow, the church beholds the adversary disarmed for ever! while that church shall, from age to age, sing the praises of her great Shepherd and Bishop, her King and her God." What I have to add to that is I look forward to when God is  triumpahnt over sin, which will basically take place when Christ returns. It'll be a great thing to have Satan's influence removed once and for all. Who knows? Maybe some people will come to Christ as a result of that.

Chapter 80

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "He that dwelleth upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his converting grace." I did take part of His converting grace when I decided to follow Him and when I was saved as a result (v. 2). God'll turn to me when I'm in a bad spot (v. 3), which was what my darkest moment basically was. That verse, though, is mostly dealing with being saved and I feel that God did shine His face upon me when I prayed and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. He knew I needed to be saved and honored that by (metphorically) shining His face upon me. I can't relate to verses 4-6, but it is speaking of those who engage in secret sin, which is how Henry puts it, "If he is really angry at the prayers of his people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears, and their enemies in triumph." However, if I did live with secret sin, I would turn to Him (v. 7), which would result in me not living with the consequences of secret sin, which are described in verses 4-6. In verses 8-16, the church is spoken of as the vine, which is implied in verse 8, where it says, "Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt." Taking verses 8-16 into account, I am reminded of John 15 where Jesus speaks of the vine and the branch, specifically of verses 1-8, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." The church is thought of as Christ's disciples and those in it bear much fruit for Him. People in my church that are rooted in Him (Psalm 80:9) is something is that I see, such as with the worship hosts and myself as well as the worship team. I think it's cool that if one is rooted in Christ, that will be evident in their actions and their dedication to Him (John 15:4). That thought also goes along with verse 9 because where it says, "and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land" means to me that since I am rooted in Christ, I can do things that fill the land -- or rather be a blessing to those around me that need it. It'd be cool to be used by God to not just have an impact on one person but a bunch of people and do something that affects my community which His love is displayed through. I've been used by God that way before -- such as the time I did community service at CityTeam, which I think I talked about before -- and it'd be great to be used by Him like that again. I'm not sure how verses 10-11 tie or if I can even relate to them, but in verses 12-13, I do see a parallel between John 15:6, which says, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." I do abide in Him, which is shown by the fruit I bear and the things I do which glorify Him, such as worship hosting, drawing, and writing. I try to make a difference in the loves of others by doing things that glorify God, such as my reflections on the Psalms. If someone comes to Christ as a result of or in the process of my reflective writings, great. If not, I'm not gonna get mad at God. God will use His Word as He pleases -- my reflections are just a way of reaching out to those who have dealt with similar things in their lives. Sometimes the church needs help with its vine, such as the time when my church was facing financial hardships (vv. 13-15). I've talked about that before, so I'm not gonna go into detail about it. If you read what I said about my church's financial hardships, you'll see how the verses connect. If not, I'll explain it to you. He was upon my church during those times (v. 17) and He did not turn from us (v. 18). He did shine His light upon my church (v. 19) and we were saved from out hardships.

                                               Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 79". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 80". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 78

Psalm 78

Maschil of Asaph.

1Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
8And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
9The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.
10They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
11And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.
12Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.
14In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
15He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.
16He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.
18And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.
19Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
20Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
21Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;
22Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:
23Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,
24And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
25Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.
26He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.
27He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:
28And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.
29So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;
 30They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,
31The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.
32For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.
33Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.
34When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.
35And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.
36Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
37For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.
38But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
39For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
40How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!
41Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
42They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.
43How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan.
44And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.
45He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.
46He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust.
47He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost.
48He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
49He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
50He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;
51And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:
52But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.
55He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:
57But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:
60So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
61And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.
62He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.
63The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.
64Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the LORD awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
66And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.
67Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
68But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
69And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.
70He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
71From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

72So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

Chapter 78

Matthew Henry's thoughts on the first few verses, "These are called dark and deep sayings, because they are carefully to be looked into. The law of God was given with a particular charge to teach it diligently to their children, that the church may abide for ever. Also, that the providences of God, both in mercy and in judgment, might encourage them to conform to the will of God." As a kid, I was taught God's Word, in Sunday school and stuff, which I am reminded of (v. 4). It'll be an awesome thing if I have kids one day and teach them God's Word. If God has that in mind for me, I know that I will enjoy doing it and that He will be glorified in it. Verses 5-6 fit in because if I were to be a father one day, I'd basically be instructed by God to teach my kids the Word so they can know Him and tell their children about it, which would be quite a thing. However, with the way things are going in this world, I'm not if I'll ever have a family, which would be OK because because God's blessings would be greater than that in eternity. It would be a great thing to have a wife and kids, but it's not guaranteed. And if my kids teach their kids, that generation will keep His commandments (v. 7) and not rebel against Him (v. 8). What an awesome thing it would to be to be used by God to influence other generations.

Henry's comments on verses 9-11, "Sin dispirits men, and takes away the heart. Forgetfulness of God's works is the cause of disobedience to his laws. This narrative relates a struggle between God's goodness and man's badness. The Lord hears all our murmurings and distrusts, and is much displeased. Those that will not believe the power of God's mercy, shall feel the fire of his indignation." Although I can't personally relate to verses 9-11 since I didn't break my covenant with Him, I'd hate for my kids to if I have kids one days. I heard about people on the radio whose kids went to college and came back and said, "I don't believe in God anymore" or something along those lines. In order for that not to happen, if my kids go to college, I'll have to pray against the enemy's influence if he's gonna try and turn my kids away from God. Just because some scientist somehow illustrates that it's impossible for God to exist or what have you, that doesn't mean the scientist is right. And just because one tries to prove something doesn't mean he or she will convince people regardless. A good argument may get provoke thought, yes, but the chances of convincing people on the spot are pretty slim. I could post YouTube videos that illustrate God's existence, but I'm not gonna get into that right now because I figure I've already gone off on too much of a tangent. I'm here to reflect on God's Word, not to get into some apologetic debate. Anyhow, verse 12 is a continuation of verses 9-11 and my reponse it is that if I tell my kids about the wonderful things God's done in my life, I figure they'll remember what I tell those things even though I've had an experience that literally relates to verses 13-16. I suppose, however, that He did divide the sea (v. 13) during my darkest moment by freeing me from Satan's grasp. He guided me through that (v. 14) and clave or split any rocks I had (v. 15) so I could experience the living water, which is where "gave them drink as out of the great depths" comes in. I remember a flow of His love, which ran like a river (v. 16). I can't relate to verse 17 since I haven't provoked God in the wilderness or ask for meat or food via tempting God (v. 18). Jesus suggests against tempting God, so why would I in the first place? Henry's insight on verses 19-20 is interesting, "Those that indulge their lust, will never be estranged from it. Those hearts are hard indeed, that will neither be melted by the mercies of the Lord, nor broken by his judgments. Those that sin still, must expect to be in trouble still. And the reason why we live with so little comfort, and to so little purpose, is, because we do not live by faith." That seems to be concerning those who do not live for God, which pretty much speaks for itself. I can't personally relate to verse 21, but I do trust in His salvation (v. 22) since it does save me, such as the time when God saved me from my darkest moment. Thought I'd share Henry's thoughts on verses 23-35, "Under these rebukes they professed repentance, but they were not sincere, for they were not constant. In Israel's history we have a picture of our own hearts and lives. God's patience, and warnings, and mercies, imbolden them to harden their hearts against his word." In a way, during my darkest moment, I did experience God's wrath for my rebellion, but I did remember that He was my redeemer (v. 35). I don't see myself relating to verses 36-37 since I continuted to stay true to God after my darkest moment. I am thankful that He forgives me even though I mess up (v. 38) and that He remembers that I'm flesh and not perfect (v. 39).

Henry's comments on verses 40-42, "Let not those that receive mercy from God, be thereby made bold to sin, for the mercies they receive will hasten its punishment; yet let not those who are under Divine rebukes for sin, be discouraged from repentance." I am reminded that it's not OK to abuse God's forgiveness and I'm usually not bold to sin. I don't have a lot to say about verses 40-55 as a whole since I can't really relate to 'em, but I know that since I am part of His flock, He guides me (v. 52) He will lead me safety (v. 53), as He did during my darkest moment. Henry's comments on verses 54-55, "Thus the true Joshua, even Jesus, brings his church out of the wilderness; but no earthly Canaan, no worldly advantages, should make us forget that the church is in the wilderness while in this world, and that there remaineth a far more glorious rest for the people of God." He is my inheritance (v. 55) and it's a great thing that I can depend on Him for rest.

I can't relate to verses 56-72, but I do like Henry's insight on the last few verses, "And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any." Don't have much to add to that.

                                                Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 78". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 75-77

Psalm 75

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Aspah.

1Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
2When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.
3The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
4I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
5Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
6For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
8For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
9But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

10All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song of Aspah.

1In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.
2In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.
3There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.
4Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.
5The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
6At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
7Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
8Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
9When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
10Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
11Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.

12He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.

Psalm 77

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

1I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.
2In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
3I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
4Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
6I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
7Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
8Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?
9Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
10And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
11I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
12I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
13Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?
14Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
15Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
16The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
17The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
18The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
19Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

20Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Chapter 75

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "We often pray for mercy, when in pursuit of it; and shall we only once or twice give thanks, when we obtain it? God shows that he is nigh to us in what we call upon him for." That relates to my darkest moment because in a way, I did ask for mercy and at the end of it all, I thanked Him for helping me out. That last part is profound, about God's closeness to us. I'd say that that was another way in which God worked during my darkest moment. In verse 2, according to Bullinger, "I shall receive the congregation" can mean "the set time has come." I look forward to God's judgment not only for myself but also for my fellow Christians. Those who will have truly lived for Him and followed Him will receive judgment according to those things, which means to me that even though I may stumble and fall, I can still get back up and still follow Christ. As long as I'm loyal and obedient to Him and do His will, I'm OK. I'm thankful that God doesn't grade on a curve like some teachers do. I'd hate for it to go like this: "OK, James, you'll either get an A or a D. Let Me judge you first." If it was like that, I'd probably turn away from God because I wouldn't think of Him as being just. I'm not sure if I could relate to verses 3-5, but I do know that they are dealing with God's attitude toward the wicked. I think I'll just include Henry's comments, "He who is made of God to us wisdom, bids us be wise. To the proud, daring sinners he says, Boast not of your power, persist not in contempt. All the present hopes and future happiness of the human race spring from the Son of God." I trust God's judgment (vv. 6-7) since it comes from Him and I know that since I will have followed hard after Him, He'll lftt me up. I look forward to that moment. Here's Henry's comment on verse 8, "There are mixtures of mercy and grace in the cup of affliction, when it is put into the hands of God's people; mixtures of the curse, when it is put into the hands of the wicked. God's people have their share in common calamities, but the dregs of the cup are for the wicked." His mercy and grace are great things which I couldn't live without out. I praise Him for those things (v. 9), especially since no man has as much grace and mercy as He does. I feel that my horns or spiritual strength were exalted during my darkest moment since I came out of it spiritually stronger. I look forward to that day in which my horns will be exalted, which I suppose will be part of God's judgment.

Chapter 76

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "Happy people are those who have their land filled with the knowledge of God! happy persons that have their hearts filled with that knowledge! It is the glory and happiness of a people to have God among them by his ordinances." If only the US was filled with the knowledge of God. I suppose if that was the case, though, prophecy would play out a bit differently and perhaps Obama wouldn't be president. Yeah, I went there. I am happy, though, that I have my heart filled with God and being able to have a relationship with Him. "More glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey" (v. 4) means to me that God is more wonderful than His creation. Now, I don't hunt, but even if I did, I imagine that I would praise Him over animals in the mountains any day. I'm not sure if I can relate to verses 5-6, but here's Henry's thoughts on them, "Wherein the enemies of the church deal proudly, it will appear that God is above them. See the power of God's rebukes. With pleasure may Christians apply this to the advantages bestowed by the Redeemer." He pretty much said it, I think. Henry's comments on verses 7-10, "God's people are the meek of the earth, the quiet in the land, that suffer wrong, but do none. The righteous God seems to keep silence long, yet, sooner or later, he will make judgment to be heard. We live in an angry, provoking world; we often feel much, and are apt to fear more, from the wrath of man." I only fear God because man is not perfect and man cannot compensate for a relationship with God. I've suffered wrong before, such as that run-in with that guy from my math class, which is how the meek aspect fits in. I try to be meek, which isn't usually a hard thing to do since I've been a Christian for so long and I tend not to boast about my accomplishments. That and I try not to let my vengeful feelings get the best of me when someone's done something to me. Meekness, simply put, is power under control and although someone may call me vulgar names, for example, I'll let God take care of it and not get back at the person. Sometimes giving control over to God is all He requires of me since He's the One who vengeance belongs to. I imagine He also likes it when I give control over to Him by being meek. I'm not sure how I would relate to verse 10, but I know that if I make a promise to Him, I should honor and keep it (v. 11). I suppose I made a vow to Him when I accepted His Son into my life and decided to live for Him. That's all I can really think of for that verse. Henry sums up the rest of the chapter pretty well, "He shall cut off the spirit of princes; he shall slip it off easily, as we slip off a flower from the stalk, or a bunch of grapes from the vine; so the word signifies. He can dispirit the most daring: since there is no contending with God, it is our wisdom, as it is our duty, to submit to him. Let us seek his favour as our portion, and commit all our concerns to him."

Chapter 77

I'd say that the first four verses relate to my darkest moment since I did cry out to God (v. 1), particularly in my day of trouble (v. 2). Henry's comment on verse 3, "When he remembered God, it was only the Divine justice and wrath. His spirit was overwhelmed, and sank under the load." My spirit was overwhelmed during my darkest moment since the enemy was trying to get me to give into him, which was too powerful for me to handle on my own. Since I wanted Him to act, I had a hard time sleeping (v. 4). God's response, I feel, was immediate even though it didn't seem like it was at the time. He let me know when He was helping me when He saw fit -- I just let Him work because I figued He was at work even though I couldn't see it. I'm not sure if I can relate to verses 5-6, but I don't have to worry about Him cutting me off (v. 7). I don't question His mercy, His lovingkindness (v. 8) because I know it lasts forever. No man can provide those things in the way that He does since man is imperfect and not always willing to forgive. His promises don't fail, which is another reason why I can rely on Him. For example, He promises eternal life and man doesn't. He did not forget to be gracious to me during my darkest moment (v. 9), which resulted in me remembering Him and the time I've known Him for (v. 10). In a way, I did turn away from Him and remembered that I had a relationship with Him but I wasn't honoring my part.

Henry's comments on verses 11-13, "The remembrance of the works of God, will be a powerful remedy against distrust of his promise and goodness; for he is God, and changes not. God's way is in the sanctuary. We are sure that God is holy in all his works." I can't say I distrust God's promises, but Henry hasa good point nonetheless. I tryt and remember the good things He's done in my life (v. 11) and praise Him for them. Perhaps I could do a bit more of that, which also also applies to verse 12. I find happiness and peace in God's sanctuary (v. 13) or rather His presence. I talked earlier about the Holy Spirit's touch during communion time, which is quite a thing to expereience as a reminder that He loves me and wants me to be happy and peaceful. Since there is no god that is greater than Him, I am reminded of that worship song Our God is Greater, which pretty much speaks for itself. He does wonderful things, yes (v. 14), and I feel that His strength was declared among me when He helped me out during my darkest moment and helped me to overcome the enemy, which was how He redeemed me (v. 15). Here's Henry's thoughts on the last few verses, "God's ways are like the deep waters, which cannot be fathomed; like the way of a ship, which cannot be tracked. God brought Israel out of Egypt. This was typical of the great redemption to be wrought out in the fulness of time, both by price and power. If we have harboured doubtful thoughts, we should, without delay, turn our minds to meditate on that God, who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, that with him, he might freely give us all things." I tend not to have doubtful thoughts -- ones that could affect my relationship with God -- but when I do, I turn to Him. A while back, when I thought, I would often use profanity in my thoughts, which I didn't really like. I'm not sure what caused that, but I did ask God to take it away and He did, which made it so things wouldn't get worse. It's as if my throughts were the waters (v. 16) and saw God and were afraid. His voice of thunder came down (v. 18) and took that hindrance away. Verse 19 applies because God used His way to take care of problem even though I was not about to see His footsteps. In a way, it was a matter of faith because He wanted me to do my part by trusting that He would make it so I wouldn't have those thoughts -- or rather by taking them away. I am thankful that He freed me from those thoughts because it's easier to think clearly, especially when I talk to Him.

                                             Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 75". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 76". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 77". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Bullinger, E.W. The Companion Bible.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 69-74

Psalm 69

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

1Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
5O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
6Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
8I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.
9For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
11I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
12They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
13But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
19Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
20Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
21They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
24Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
25Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
26For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
27Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
29But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
32The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
33For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
34Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
35For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.

36The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

Psalm 70

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.

2Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
3Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.
4Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.

5But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.

Psalm 71

1In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
2Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
3Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
4Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
5For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
6By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.
7I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.
8Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
9Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
10For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
11Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
12O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.
13Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.
14But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
15My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.
16I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
17O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
18Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
19Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!
20Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
21Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
22I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
23My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

24My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

Psalm 72

A Psalm for Solomon.

1Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.
2He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
3The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
4He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
5They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
6He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
7In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
8He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
9They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
10The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
11Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
12For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
13He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
14He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
15And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.
16There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
17His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
18Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
19And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

20The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

Psalm 73

A Psalm of Asaph.

1Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
 2But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
3For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
5They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
6Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
7Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
8They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
9They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
10Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
11And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
12Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
13Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
14For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
15If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
16When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
17Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
18Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
19How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.
20As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
21Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.
22So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
23Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
24Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
25Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
26My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
27For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

28But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Psalm 74

Maschil of Asaph.

1O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
2Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
3Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.
4Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.
5A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.
6But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.
7They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.
8They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
9We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.
10O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?
11Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom.
12For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
15Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers.
16The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
17Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.
18Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
19O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
20Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
21O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
22Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.

23Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.

Chapter 69

The first two verses remind me of my darkest moment, mostly because I did cry out to God to save me and I did feel as if I was stuck in mire and the only way I could get out was with God's help, which I think is kinda where verse 3 comes in. Matthew Henry seems to have an interesting insight on verse 4, "David was hated wrongfully, but the words far more fully apply to Christ." Yeah...Christ took all that hate for me and I can't say that I deal with as nearly as many people that hate me as He did. I've dealt with people that have hated me before, such as that guy in my math class, and that's nothing compared to what Christ went through. In a way, it's a reminder that Jesus loved me enough to go through all that He went through for me and I thank Him for that. Sinning is done out of foolishness (v. 5) and God sees it. To expand on verse 5, it's as if God is saying, "If one wants to be foolish, he or she can do so by sinning. However, one can only make up for it if he or she repents." And since my sins are not hid from God, I think that makes me accountable for them and gives me reason to ask Him for forgiveness. So I think the fact that sin can't be hidden from God is a good thing because since He knows when I commit it, it's an invitation to ask for forgiveness and not feel like I have to carry a burden on my shoulders. Henry's comments on verses 6-8, "David complains of the unkindness of friends and relations. This was fulfilled in Christ, whose brethren did not believe on him, and who was forsaken by his disciples. Christ made satisfaction for us, not only by putting off the honours due to God, but by submitting to the greatest dishonours that could be done to any man." What I have to add to that is I am thankful that He took it all for me as well as another parallel between David and Jesus, such as the one in verse 4. My love for God consumes me (v. 9) and those who offend God also offend me. It reminds me of that guy from my math class and the times when he would say offensive things to me. I don't think the guy ever insulted me for being a Christian, but I am reminded of what Christ had to deal with when He was insulted for being dead to the world. Henry puts it like this, "We need not be discouraged if our zeal for the truths, precepts, and worship of God, should provoke some, and cause others to mock our godly sorrow and deadness to the world." I can't say I've ever been mocked for those things, but Henry's observation is encouraging either way and I'd say that verse 9 comforts because it's basically David's expression of being persecuted for his love for God and if I'm persecuted for my love -- my walk with God -- even to the point of being killed for it, I will be able to experience God's sovereignty in that since I'll be in heaven with Him since I will have lived for Him and accepted His Son into my life. I can't say I've ever fasted from food (v. 10), but I know what can happen to me if I decide to -- no pun intended -- starve the flesh for a period of time. And even though I may persecuted for fasting, I shouldn't let that discourage me from having a relationship with God. In fact, it should let me desire Him more, as fasting could do. I kinda wanna fast for a day to see what it's like since doing so is one of the things to do grow closer to God. I can't relate to verses 11-12, but I will say that if I am a subject of gossip and non-believers, I should let God worry about let and hold them accountable for their actions when that time comes. I like Henry's thoughts on verses 13-14, "Whatever deep waters of affliction or temptation we sink into, whatever floods of trouble or ungodly men seem ready to overwhelm us, let us persevere in prayer to our Lord to save us. The tokens of God's favour to us are enough to keep our spirits from sinking in the deepest outward troubles." I will admit that sometimes temptation can be easy to give into, but with God's strength, I can overcome it. At the moment, I don't struggle with sin, but in case I do, I will put it in prayer and talk to God about it. I have no desire find myself in deep mire (v. 14) and I know that God can deliver me from it in case I do, as He did during my darkest moment. I cried out Him to be saved from Satan's lies, which was the deep I did not want to be swallowed by (v. 15). I knew only God could save me from that and that relying lovingkindness was the right decision on my part (v. 16). God didn't hide from me when He helped me (v. 17) and He drew near to me and deliver me from the enemy's influence (v. 18). I haven't dealt with enemies on the level David has, as described in verses 19-20, but I am reminded that I can find comfort in Him if I have insults tossed at me and need His love to lift me up. I thought I'd include Henry's thought on verse 21, "The sufferings of Christ were here particularly foretold, which proves the Scripture to be the word of God; and how exactly these predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, which proves him to be the true Messiah. The vinegar and the gall given to him, were a faint emblem of that bitter cup which he drank up, that we might drink the cup of salvation. We cannot expect too little from men, miserable comforters are they all; nor can we expect too much from the God of all comfort and consolation." I am thankful that He provided the cup of salvation for me.

Although I can't personally relate to verses 22-28, I know that they do describe what happens to those who don't accept the truth. Henry's thoughts on it, "Their sin was, that they would not see, but shut their eyes against the light, loving darkness rather; their punishment was, that they should not see, but should be given up to their own hearts' lusts which hardened them. Those who reject God's great salvation proffered to them, may justly fear that his indignation will be poured out upon them." God's gonna have His wrath, in other words, which I'll let Him worry about (vv. 24-25) since it's His business, not mine. I try not to play God, which isn't a hard thing to do. Verse 26, I believe is talking about Christ and since I'm on God's side, I'm not among those who talk bad about Him or His Son. I can't personally relate to verses 27-28, but I know that I can trust in His salvation and saving power (v. 29) and that it what protects me in times of trouble, such as my darkest moment.

I thank Him for all the good things He's done in my life (v. 30) and I'm glad I don't have to make sacrifices to Him to express that (v. 31). Henry's thought on verse 32, "The humble shall look to him, and be glad; those that seek him through Christ shall live and be comforted." What I have to add to that would be that there are probably people that look up to me and see how God is working and me and want that in their lives. He heard me when I poor or helpless (v. 33), during my darkest moment. I am thankful that He didn't ignore, which I imagine was because of the fact that I live for Him. I praise Him in church (v. 34), which I think I talked about before. I am thankful for His saving power (v. 35) and that since His is my inheritance and I'm part of His Kingdom, I can abide in it forever (v. 36). I don't plan on leaving His Kingdom since it's a wonderful thing to be a part of and since I know I have a role in it.

Chapter 70

I think I will reflect on this a bit even though, according to Matthew Henry, "This psalm is almost the same as the last five verses of Psalm 40." I asked God to deliver me during my darkest moment (v. 1) and the enemy was turned backward (v. 2) by Him. The enemy truned back because of his shame (v. 3) and I rejoiced and praised Him for His deliverance (v. 4). God didn't delay or tarry (v. 5) when when I felt poor or needy when I needed His help. I imagine that He started helping me out as soon as I called upon Him. I like Henry's thought on this psalm, which I think pretty much speaks for itself, "While here we behold Jesus Christ set forth in poverty and distress, we also see him denouncing just and fearful punishment on his Jewish, heathen, and antichristian enemies; and pleading for the joy and happiness of his friends, to his Father's honour. Let us apply these things to our own troubled circumstances, and in a believing manner bring them, and the sinful causes thereof, to our remembrance."

Chapter 71

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "David prays that he might never be made ashamed of dependence upon God. With this petition every true believer may come boldly to the throne of grace. The gracious care of Divine providence in our birth and infancy, should engage us to early piety." In verse 1, I am reminded to not be ahsamed of my faith. There are times when I try to hide the fact that I'm wearing a shirt with Christian imagery on it, but what good will that do? That verse makes me want to display my love for God on a much larger scale. I put my faith in Him during my darkest moment and He delivered me in His righteousness (v. 2). He is my strong habitation or rock (v. 3) and I go to Him whenever I need Him, such as when I did during my darkest moment. It's a reminder that He's always there for me and that He wants me to come to Him whenever I'm having problems in life besides my regular interaction with Him. He delivered me from the enemy (v. 4), which made me realize that it's a good to idea to (continue to) hope in Him (v. 5). And since I was young, I trusted Him -- I just needed an experience to rock and test me. "By thee have I been holden up from the womb" (v. 6) means to me God was at work when I was being born and had an influence on me coming out me my mother's womb when I was born. He knew I was gonna live for Him and I thank Him that He created me and (probably) helped my mom in order for me to emerge from her womb. I'm not sure how to comment on verse 7 at the moment, but verse 8 means to me is when I've gone to Christian music concerts in the past and I've basically praied Him all day cuz He's so good. Henry's comment on verse 9, "The faithful servants of God may be assured that he will not cast them off in old age, nor forsake them when their strength fails." I am thankful that God will always be with me, even in old age. I think that if I see old age, my walk with God can encourage other people and give them wisdom, which would be awesome things to provide to those who need them. Satan really tried to deceive me during my darkest moment, similar to which is described in verses 10-11. However, I cried out to Him from help since I knew He was near and since I knew He could help me quickly (v. 12). The enemy was probably "confounded and consumed" and "reproached with dishonour" (v. 13) after I cried out to God. I see verse 14 as a reiteration as of verse 6, mostly just where it says, "my praise shall be continually of thee." Verse 15 seems to be a reiteration of verse 8, so just look at my comment on that. When I praise Him, I mention only His righteousness (v. 16), which is reminder that He should get all the credit for all the good things in my life. I guess I could also say that I praise Him for His blessings, which I praise Him for even to this day (v. 17). Verse 18 is a reiteration of verse 9, so just see what I had to say about that. I like verse 19 because what it means to me is that God's righteousness is unmatched and no man can try and imitate Him. I thank Him for His righteous works, such as when He delivered me from darkest moment. And since no one is like Him, He was the only One Who could help me out that time because there was no man that could help me, which I think I talked about before. Even though I faced troubles and continue to (v. 20), I am thankful that He quickens me or makes me alive as a result. I think through that, I grow spiritual strength-wise, which resulted from my darkest moment. I'd say that I came out of my darkest moment, when it was all said and done, He increased my greatness or honor, and comforted me (v. 21) by toucing me, which I've talked about before. I praise Him for His deliverance (vv. 22-23) and since I see verse 24 as a reiteration of verses 15 and 8, so I don't have much to say about it.

Chapter 72

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses, "The best we can ask of God for our children is, that God would give them wisdom and grace to know and to do their duty. This is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ; many passages in it cannot be applied to the reign of Solomon. There were righteousness and peace at first in the administration of his government; but, before the end of his reign, there were troubles and unrighteousness. The kingdom here spoken of is to last as long as the sun, but Solomon's was soon at an end." If I ever have kids, I'm gonna ask God to give them wisdom or help them to make just decisions (v. 1) so they don't mess up as a result of relying on their own wisdom. I've tried relying on my own wisdom before, which didn't work out so well. I remember taking a math test at San Jose City for a remedial class two semester ago and I thought I could pass out without relying on God even though I didn't study much for it. I was ticked at myself for not doing what I should I have done even though I had other things going on. I like the fact that God's gonna judge me with righteousness (v. 2), which reminds of the verses I've discussed before that talk about one being judged according to his or her righteousness. It's as if God will judge me according to my devotion to Him and even though I'm not perfect, I try to devote myself to Him as best I can. I typically honor what He wants me to do, which I assume would (also) have to do with my righteousness to Him. I can't personally relate to verse 3, but I think it's cool His peace or properity will be shown through montians and hills. I suspect that will be an interesting and exciting thing to witness and I look forward to it. He's also gonna work with the poor and the children of the needy (v. 4), which includes me. "He shall judge the poor of the people" means that He will defend those who are poor from the oppressor. He did that during that my darkest moment and I imagine when He does it during when that time comes, it will be on a much larger scale since it seems to have all His people in mind. "And shall break in pieces the oppressor" means that Christ will make it so the enemy (Satan) will no longer be able to have an influence on His people since He will have crushed or destroyed Him, which reminds me of Christ being the demon crusher, which reminds me of  this. I'm not sure how I'd realte to verse 5, but verse 6 describes Christ's presence on earth for His people. Knowing that it will "come down like rain upon the mown grass" means that it will be something to watch for, perhaps a sign. I'm glad God has provided what to look for and what it will be like when Christ shows up on earth. I look forward to being part of the righteous that will flourish (v. 7) as well as an abundance of peace because I know that God's gonna provide those things as He sees fit. His rule will reach from end to end, or from sea to sea (v. 8), which means to me that there's no follower of His that won't be under His rule. I look forward to His Kingdom here on earth and enjoying that experience. It will be a great thing to bow before Him with others (v. 9). I think when Christ's Kingdom is established on earth, some of my most intense worship expereinces will take place. It will quite to thing to see God at work during that time, especially since His people will be with Him, not just me. I'm not sure if I have to say much about verse 10, but it will an interesting thing to see kings bow down before Him (v. 11), which sort of relates to verse 9, so just look at my comments on that.

I see verses 12-13 as a reiteration of verse 4, so just look at my comments on that. I will save, however, that He has saved me from death, which is what "and shall save the souls of the needy" (v. 13) means to me. So since I accepted Christ into my life, I have been saved from eternity from hell, which I thank Him for. He's gonna redeem or save me from violence and deceit (v. 14). I'm not completely sure if that verse pertains to Christ establishing His Kingdom on earth, but if it is, I will be thankful for His protection. I believe I will be on earth during the tribulation, which God will protect me from. Perhaps I will go into detail about that at another time. I'm not sure what to say about verse 15, but here's Henry's thought on it, "Those that have the wealth of this world, must serve Christ with it, do good with it. Prayer shall be made through him, or for his sake; whatever we ask of the Father, should be in his name." I don't have the wealth of the would, but I would serve Him with it if I did. He continues, "Praises shall be offered to him: we are under the highest obligations to him." I praise Him every day, even for the little things such as being able to see an breathe. Verse 17 seems to be a reiteration of verse 5, so just look at my comments on that. I thank and praise Him for all the good things (v. 18) and I look forward to when the earth is filled with His glory (v. 19). Henry's comments, "May we, like David, submit to Christ's authority, and partake of his righteousness and peace. May we bless him for the wonders of redeeming love. May we spend our days, and end our lives, praying for the spread of his gospel."

Chapter 73

Since I am pure or of a clean heart (v. 1), I experience God's goodness. He knew His people in Israel were good and loyal to Him, so He blessed them. I do things which glorify God, such as worship hosting. During communion time, I'll sometimes expereince His presence in the stillness, which is always a blessing. I try not to slip, which is what the psalmist is talking about in verse 2. I guess there was a moment I slipped, which lead up to my darkest moment since I gave into the enemy's lies. Matthew Henry's comments on verses 3-6, "The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations." Although I can't say I've ever envied the foolish o arrogant (v. 3), I know that nothing will come out of doing so if I choose to do so. It'd basically be worrying about something that wouldn't warrant worrying about since it's better to be focused on God and His plan for my life. Sure, in my math class, if someone got a higher score than me on a test, they'd rub it in, but I didn't envy them because in terms of eternity, it's not gonna matter whether or not I passed on a math test. I remember after posting how God worked in my darkest moment on deviantART, there were some people that thought I was a wuss for relying on God. I suppose verse 4 does somewhat tie into that because those who judged me probably did have firm strength. However, I saw no need to envy because that wouldn't have benefitted me in any way and it would've made me worse than they were. I'm not judging those who judged me -- I'm just relating the verses to what I experienced, which I think I mentioned somewhere before. I suppose they weren't troubled (v. 5) and I remember them acting prideful (v. 6) by saying that I was a wimp or what have you since I relied on God to helped me out. I think, though, that God helped me more than any man could have and it was a good a idea to trust in Him because it brought me closer to Him and I also experienced victory in Christ Jesus, which was an awesome thing. I'm not sure if verse 7 relates, but I figure they did speak wickedly (v. 8) when they said that I was a wimp to have relied on God. I don't remember them setting their mouths against the heavens (v. 9), but I do like Henry's thoughts on verses 9-11, "Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith." I don't have much to add to that, but I will say that it's a good thing to turn to Him if the wicked ever give me problems. That's what I did during my darkest moment -- I turned to God since the enemy was giving me problems.

I can't say I've dealt with anyone who has prospered in the world (v. 12), but in case I ever do, I can remind myself of 13. It's a reminder that I have been washed in His Son's blood and that my life found in Him is better than worldly riches. I'm not sure how I would relate to verse 14, but here are Matthew Henry'c comments on verses 15-16, "The psalmist having shown the progress of his temptation, shows how faith and grace prevailed. He kept up respect for God's people, and with that he restrained himself from speaking what he had thought amiss." It's as if whenever I'm tempeted, I can rely on God to help me to not give into it. I haven't been swearing as much even though I've been tempted to in some cases, so maybe God's helping me to deal with that. Here's Henry's comments on verse 17-18, " The sanctuary must be the resort of a tempted soul. The righteous man's afflictions end in peace, therefore he is happy; the wicked man's enjoyments end in destruction, therefore he is miserable." I was thankful to God when my darkest moment ended, which I am reminded of. I know that He will deal with those who have been brought into desolation (v. 19) and He will see their image (v. 20). I suppose that was how He dealt with the enemy during my darkest moment. I was against God when I gave into the enemy's lies (v. 22), but I did end up coming back to Him (v. 23). I enjoy being guided by His counsel (v. 24) since His teaches me from His Word and I learn from it. If His Word didn't instruct me properly, I'd be lost and would have nothing to live for. The cool thing is I'll end up being in heaven, which will be a great thing since He'll be there (v. 25). I only desire Him -- I live for Him and enjoy His presence and His blessings. Since He's awesome and good, there is no one like Him and no other being who is worth living for. I don't have to worry about my flesh body physically wearing away since my inheritance is in Him (v. 26). I'm reminded of the gift of eternal life because if I were to die, say of heart failure, I'd end up in heaven with God due to accepting His Son as my Lord and Savior and having a relationship with Him. If God were to have me killed a week from now or whatever, that'd be OK becuase I'd be with Him. Verse 27 doesn't relate to me, but I will say that I try and draw near to Him on a daily basis by reading His Word (v. 28) and spending time with Him. I put my trust in Him, even for the little things, such as passing a test and letting others know that I praise Him for helping me to get a passing grade.

Chapter 74

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "This psalm appears to describe the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Chaldeans. The deplorable case of the people of God, at the time, is spread before the Lord, and left with him. They plead the great things God had done for them." I can't say I've ever felt that God has cast me off (v. 1), except for my darkest moment. I think it's a great thing if God's people feel as if they've been cut off from Him, He can remember them (v. 2), as Asaph stressed. I can't speak for my church to say we've ever been cut off from God as a church family or what have you yet if we were, I know He would welcome us with open arms, which would be an expression of His love for us. I also know that if my church was oppressed, we would trust in Him to take care of it (v. 3). In a way, I'm glad my church hasn't dealt with oppression, at least on the level Jerrusalem did, because it would take a while to put things back together. I am thankful that this psalm could encourage my church in case we ever do face oppression (from the enemy) as a church family. Henry's comments on verses 4-11 by stating the following, "Infidels and persecutors may silence faithful ministers, and shut up places of worship, and say they will destroy the people of God and their religion together. For a long time they may prosper in these attempts, and God's oppressed servants may see no prospect of deliverance; but there is a remnant of believers, the seed of a future harvest, and the despised church has survived those who once triumphed over her. When the power of enemies is most threatening, it is comfortable to flee to the power of God by earnest prayer." Yeah, I think Henry pretty much hit the nail on the head. I do have some things to add to that, though. For one thing, I see oppression as God's way of saying that He wants His people to depend on Him My church, as long as I've been going there, hasn't faced a spititual warfare-type deal between God and Satan, but there was a time when the church wasn't doing so wellfinancially -- which, in a roundabout way, was a form of opposition. I remember that some people didn't take the news so well and I think part of it had to do with the elders not trusting in God with the finances and whatnot. I'm not sure if that was the enemy trying to attack God's people, but I know that the elders did submit to God so He could be in charge of the finances.

Henry's thought on verse 12, " The church silences her own complaints. What God had done for his people, as their King of old, encouraged them to depend on him. It was the Lord's doing, none besides could do it. This providence was food to faith and hope, to support and encourage in difficulties." That basically describes how God worked when my church was facing financial hardships, which I don't have much to add to. Verses 13-15 (metphorically) apply here because even though my church didn't face literal dragons (v. 13), God still freed the elders from any hinderances by breaking any leviathans (v. 14). Henry's comments on verses 16-17, "The God of Israel is the God of nature. He that is faithful to his covenant about the day and the night, will never cast off those whom he has chosen. We have as much reason to expect affliction, as to expect night and winter. But we have no more reason to despair of the return of comfort, than to despair of day and summer. And in the world above we shall have no more changes." I can talk to God any time during the day, which is a great thing since He's always there for me and always wants to hear from me. And since He's faithful to the covenant, I don't have to worry about Him changing His mind about something in regards to it, which is great because it's not Empire Strikes Back-type thing where Darth Vader kept altering the deal. Yeah, I just contrasted the fact that Christ died on the cross for our sins with Star Wars. How awesome is that? I guess Star Wars has been on my mind here and there and it was the perfect opportunity to mention it. Anyway, here's Henry's comments on verse 18, "The psalmist begs that God would appear for the church against their enemies. The folly of such as revile his gospel and his servants will be plain to all." I'm gonna let God deal with the enemies when the time comes, which verse 19 also kind of talks about. And I'm glad that God's gonna remember me and I'm gonna be with Him since I will have made the right choice by choosing to live for Him. Henry's comment on verses 20-21, "Let us call upon our God to enlighten the dark nations of the earth; and to rescue his people, that the poor and needy may praise his name." He will remember the covenant I've made with Him, which was what He did when I called upon Him during my darkest moment. He took that cruelty and darkness away and I returned to Him in a way that did not express shame and I praised Him for helping me out (v. 21). I'll let God deal with the foolish (v. 22) since it's His concern and since He will not forget those that oppress His people (v. 23).

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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 69". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 70". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 71". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 72". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 73". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 74". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.