Friday, June 3, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 63-67

Psalm 63

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
2To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
3Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
4Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
5My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
6When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
7Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
8My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
9But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

11But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

Psalm 64

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
3Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
4That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
5They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
6They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
7But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
8So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
9And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

10The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

Psalm 65

To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David.
1Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.
2O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
3Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
4Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
5By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:
6Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power:
7Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
8They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.
9Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
10Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.
11Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.
12They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side.

13The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.

Psalm 66

To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm.

1Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
2Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
3Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
4All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
5Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
6He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

7He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

8O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:

9Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

10For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

11Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

12Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

13I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

14Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

15I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

16Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

17I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

19But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Psalm 67

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

1God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.
2That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.
3Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
4O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
5Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
6Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

7God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

Chapter 63

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "Early will I seek thee. The true Christian devotes to God the morning hour. He opens the eyes of his understanding with those of his body, and awakes each morning to righteousness. He arises with a thirst after those comforts which the world cannot give, and has immediate recourse by prayer to the Fountain of the water of life." I am reminded of when I spend time with God in the mornings, reading the Word and talking to Him. It's not a time I take for granted and it's something I do daily in order to grow and know Him more. The part where it says, "my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is" reminds me of Christ as the living water. He quenches my spirtual thirst daily and I'm thankful for because if He wasn't the living water in my life, I'd be just like a dried up root in the ground. And knowing what I'm rooted in is essential because from that, the fact that I follow Christ can be displayed to others, through actions or what have you. His power and glory is a wonderful thing to experience (v. 2) and I can't say I've ever thought of God's lovingkindness or mercy as being better than life. I think, though, that His mercy is something that I praise Him for because even though He has given me life, He loves me more than life itself, which is awesome. If the Father was the only One Who loved me more life itself, I'd be OK with that since I seek after His approval and not man's. I like Henry's comment about verse 3, which states, "God's loving-kindness is our spiritual life, and that is better than temporal life." Yeah, I agree with that and I would have to add that it's kinda like saying that His expression of His love for was and is so profound due to His Son's dying on the cross for my sins. It's as if His Son's death is the foundation of God's love through because by redeemed by His Son's death on the cross, my spiritual nature was given new life when I accepted His Son into my life. I guess it also has to due with eternal life because I believe that one's eternal life as soon as he or she accepts Christ into his or her life. Now, they may sound like a contradiction since if something is eternal it doesn't have a beginning, but eternal life -- or should I say the eternal nature of one's spirit -- does start as soon as he or she accepts Christ into his or her life. It's not eternal in the sense that one is born a Christian, but rather in the sense that it is what results from accepting Christ into one's life. At best, I could say that the aspect of eternal life -- as I described -- could be thought of as a paradox, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I just don't wanna get off on too much of a tangent. Perhaps the eternal nature of the spirit is a discussion for another time. Anyway, onto verse 4, where I am reminded of showing vulnerability to God by using my hands, which I sometimes do in church. What I'll do is I'll bend my arms at elbows and have my palms facing my chest and have my fingers spread out and slightly bent, which other people in my church do during worship time as well. I think it's great I can use my body language to display reverence before the Lord and it's something that I should probably do more of. Furthermore, I think that when I show vulnerability towards God, I trust Him during that, which helps my faith to grow in Him, which is kinda neat because before I didn’t think that using my body language to praise God had an influence on my walk with Him, which I think makes me wanna spread my hands more often. Matthew Henry comments on verses 5-6 by stating the following, “How happy will be that last morning, when the believer, awaking up after the Divine likeness, shall be satisfied with all the fullness of God, and praise him with joyful lips, where there is no night, and where sorrow and sighing flee away!” I tend to find my satisfaction in who God is and His faithfulness to me because only He can satisfy my soul and He provides me with all I need. I thank Him for His feeding my soul, which is something that happens almost daily. As I said before, I spend time on His Word, which is part of my daily soul food or daily bread. I am thankful that I have the freedom that allows me to read and study God’s Word in the mornings as it’s not something I take for granted. I wouldn’t be surprised if God was behind that freedom being granted when this nation was founded. I am thankful for God’s help (v. 7). To name an example, I’ll mention my darkest moment I’ve described God’s help in that in previous reflections, so I’m not gonna repeat the details. However, I am thankful that God has helped me out numerous times, such as when I had math tests because it was His help that I relied on so I could pass. I rejoice in the fact that He was there for me and provided me with the wisdom and knowledge I needed. I make the effort to follow after Him (v. 8), which can be hard but rewarding. During my darkest moment, my faith was put to the test and I remember not wanting to have God help me out through part of it, but doing so resulted in failure and my submission to Him. If I follow hard after Him, even during the toughest of trials, His right will uphold me, which means I’m not gonna fall if I rely on Him, which is awesome. I see His glory and His work in that kinda thing, which is kinda neat because it’s like God expresses His love by helping me out when I’m dealing with a lot of crap. God wants to protect my soul (vv. 9-10) since He knows I follow after Him. In verse 11, I am reminded that vengeance belongs to God and I’m glad I don’t have the job of dealing of those who try and destroy my soul. Not that that happens often, but it’s always a good idea to let God be God.

Chapter 64

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, “The psalmist earnestly begs of God to preserve him from disquieting fear. The tongue is a little member, but it boasts great things. The upright man is the mark at which the wicked aim, they cannot speak peaceably either of him or to him.” I remember dealing with that enemy in my math class in a reflection I posted before. I did ask God for help in that and I didn’t fear my enemy as much after that. I didn’t like it, though, when he would do things like flip me off , but I know God’s gonna hold him accountable for that. I’m not sure if the guy plotted against me (v. 2), but I know he did say some things that to me that weren’t nice since his tongue was “wet like a sword” (v. 3). His words and actions were like arrows to me, which wasn’t pleasant. I’m not sure what was going through the guy’s head or when I wasn’t around him, so I’m not sure if verses 4-6 really apply, but they do describe what an enemy can do if they don’t like me. I know that God will deal with them (v. 7) and that they will eventually meet their fate (v. 8). Matthew Henry comments on verses 9-10 by stating the following, “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord; not glad of the misery and ruin of their fellow-creatures, but glad that God is glorified, and his word fulfilled, and the cause of injured innocence pleaded effectually.” That’s interesting because I never thought of it that way and it’s a reminder to me that I should to look for God’s glory since its manifestation isn’t always obvious.

Chapter 65

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, “All the praise the Lord receives from this earth is from Zion, being the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, and acceptable through him. Praise is silent unto thee, as wanting words to express the great goodness of God. He reveals himself upon a mercy-seat, ready to hear and answer the prayers of all who come unto him by faith in Jesus Christ.” God’s people are the ones He praises receives from and it’s a great thing to be able to praise Him. In verse 2, it’s as if God wants all to come to Him, which reminds of His love because He doesn’t discriminate against anyone and He wants a relationship with everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone will give themselves over to God. Another thing I see in that verse is that God hears my prayers and He hears ‘em on a daily basis since I talk to Him daily and since He wants to hear from me. I see His love in that because when I spend time with Him, I am expressing my love to Him. It shows that I care to spend time with Him and that my time isn’t more important than His. I am thankful that my sins are forgiven (v. 3) because I’d be living a hell if they weren’t. And when my “inequities prevail against me” I ask God for forgiveness and He definitely takes that burden away. I am thankful that He does that and that the redemption that was brought about by His Son’s death on the cross allowed for that. God chose me, I didn’t choose Him (v. 4). It’s as if He knew I was gonna be born and accept His Son into my life later on. And since He chose me to be part of His Kingdom, there has been and there will be blessings that result from that. I guess the aspect of eternal life could be one as well as a desire to live for God, which means I’m free from living for my sinful desires, which I praise Him for. In verse 5, I am reminded of the hope God provides as well as His righteousness. He performed a righteous deed by delivering me from darkest moment, which illustrated His faithfulness and His love for me. Matthew Henry comments on verses 6-7 by stating the following, “That Almighty strength which sets fast the mountains, upholds the believer. That word which stills the stormy ocean, and speaks it into a calm, can silence our enemies. How contrary soever light and darkness are to each other, it is hard to say which is most welcome.” Yeah…I guess I’m reminded of Psalm 63:8 in terms of God’s upholding those who live for Him. To connect verse 5 with verse 6, I’d say that God is my hope which is why He upholds me. I can hope and trust in Him if I’m dealing with any problems and He’ll be there for me, which was what happened during my darkest moment. He even “stilled the noise of the seas” (v. 7) by delivering me from the enemy and stopping me from giving into the enemy’s lies. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what I think of as the noise of the seas. Verse 8 is speaking of those who live in the farthest corners of the earth and how they will be amazed at God’s works. I can’t really relate since I don’t live in a corner of the earth where I’ve never been exposed to the gospel, but I think it’s a great thing that God can work in such a way to reveal Himself to those who have never heard the gospel. I like Henry’s thought on verse 9, which says, “He who enriches
the earth, which is filled with man's sins, by his abundant and varied bounty, can neither want power nor will to feed the souls of his people. Temporal mercies to us unworthy creatures, shadow forth more important blessings.” I don’t have much to add to that except that I thank Him for providing water because even though it’s a basic need, it’s not something I take for granted. He even provides for those who are against Him, which is expression of His love and I praise Him for that love expressed to those who are against Him. It goes to show that God cares and He’s the only One who provides for both believers and non-believers and I don’t think there’s words which can express His goodness towards both believers and non-believers. He even provides food (corn or grain), which is another basic need. I thank Him for providing food and I’m getting about praying before I eat, which is good it shows that I care to acknowledge that God provides food for me. Verse 10 is another verse that deals with God’s providing for the earth. I think it’s a beautiful description of His creation in motion and I am thankful that He works in the that is described in the verse to provide for me. Besides what I’ve already said, verses 8-13 also talk about cultivating and leading people to Christ, which is made obvious by Henry’s thoughts on verse 11, “Wherever the Lord passes, by his preached gospel, attended by his Holy Spirit, his paths drop fatness, and numbers are taught to rejoice in and praise him.” With that being said, I think verses 9-11 make more sense to me now since they’re (also) about how God works in response when gospel seeds are planted. Those verse are encouraging because sometimes I’ll say something about Christ to a non-believer and most of the time, I’m not really sure how God is gonna work through that since I can’t see it, but He’s at work even when we can’t see it, which something to keep in mind. It makes me wanna make a difference in someone’s life and touch them so they want to know Christ because then they’d truly experience a blessing and be freed from their sin. Perhaps I should start praying so God will bring someone into my life to minister to because I’d like to be used by God in that way and I’d like for Him for work in me to trigger the process that is described in verses. I thought I’d include Henry’s thoughts on verses 11-12, “They will descend upon the pastures of the wilderness, all the earth shall hear and embrace the gospel, and bring forth abundantly the fruits of righteousness which are, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father. Manifold and marvelous, O Lord, are thy works, whether of nature or of grace; surely in loving-kindness hast thou made them all.” I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

Chapter 66

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, “The holy church throughout all the world lifts up her voice, to laud that Name which is above every name, to make the praise of Jesus glorious, both by word and deed; that others may be led to glorify him also.” I am reminded of Sunday worship, especially because verses 1-2 deal with worshipping God. I thank Him for His glorious and wonderful works (v. 3), such as His freeing me from my darkest moment and just the fact that He’s done so many good things in my life and the lives of others. I wonder about the implication in verse where it says, “All the earth shall worship thee.” Perhaps that’s referenced to in Philippians 2:9-11, which says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” I don’t much else to say about verse 4, but I just thought I’d include my observation. If verse 4 is referenced in Philippians later on, though, it makes me wonder what it will be like when every knee bows and every tongue confesses Jesus Christ is Lord. His works always surpass those of man (v. 5) because He has indeed made a beautiful creation. I praise Him for His creation and that He made it so I could enjoy it. Verse 6 speaks of a glorious work of God, probably a reference to the Book of Exodus where Moses and the chidren of Israel cross the Red Sea. And with His help, I can accomplish great things. I did pretty good this past semester and I know that God helped me to achieve that because I depended on Him to help me out. I praise Him for that and I thank Him for His faithfulness. I don’t have much to say about verse 7, but I will reflect on verses 8-10. Henry comments on those verses by stating the following, “The Lord not only preserves our temporal life, but maintains the spiritual life which he has given to believers. By afflictions we are proved, as silver in the fire.” I praise God even for the little things (v. 8) and I’m thankful for His providing me with eternal life (v. 9). I like the comparison to verse 10 to silver. God tries His people and the more He tries ‘em, the more they grow spiritual strength-wise. I can say that as a result of my darkest moment, I did grow spiritually stronger and I am thankful to God for that. And with spiritual strength, I can endure more and not feel as, should I say, pressured to give into the enemy’s lies. I like Henry’s comments on verses 11-12, “Through various conflicts and troubles, the slave of Satan escapes from his yoke, and obtains joy and peace in believing: through much tribulation the believer must enter into the kingdom of God.” It’s as if God allowed me to go through my darkest moment so I could escape from the enemy and continue living for Him. It was a great thing to come back to God after learning a lesson from what happens when I give into the enemy’s lies. God just welcomed me with open arms because He knew I loved Him and wasn’t gonna give up on Him.

To comment on verses 13-15, Hosea 6:6 says that God doesn’t want my burnt offerings and sacrifices, but rather He wants my love. However, I do express my love towards Him, whether it by serving in my church, doing creative things which glorify Him, or what have you. I’ll include Henry’s thought on verses 16-17,
“We should declare unto those that fear God, what he has done for our souls, and how he has heard and answered our prayers, inviting them to join us in prayer and praise; this will turn to our mutual comfort, and to the glory of God.” Sometimes I just tell others of the great things He’s done in my life. For my church’s newsletter, I was asked to write about my being a worship host. I did, and in that, I touched upon the Holy Spirit’s presence during communion time. You know, when those I am handing out the communion trays to are sitting and waiting to be served the bread and the juice. And in the article, I basically said that it’s a blessing to experience the Holy Spirit’s touch. And I think even the small things are worth praising God for because it lets others see how He works in my life. In verse 18, I am reminded that God hates sin and that I should (continue to) have it as well. If I love sin, that puts a hindrance on my walk with Him because it blocks out any potential for spiritual growth. Plus, it makes it hard for communicate with God and follow His path for my life since I would have a difficult time hearing from Him. To link verses 16-18 as a whole, I would not be able to tell others of the good thing He’s done in my life (v. 16) and ask Him for help and praise Him (v. 17) if my walk with Him was hindered by sin (v. 18). God heard me during my darkest moment since it wasn’t hindered by sin (v. 19) and His mercy was expressed to me when He answered my crying out to me (v. 20).

Chapter 67

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, “All our happiness comes from God's mercy; therefore the first thing prayed for is, God be merciful to us, to us sinners, and pardon our sins. Pardon is conveyed by God's blessing, and secured in that.” I try and ask God to forgive me of my sins on a daily basis (v. 1) and I also try and ask to continue to be like Him, which is what I get from “and cause his face to shine upon us.” If His face shines upon me, then others will see that in me, which will, in turn, make know God’s saving power to those I come in contact with (v. 2). Maybe I should start asking God for my Christlikeness to be made known to others so they’ll see that in me and have a desire to follow Him. I imagine that come to Him due to His working in me will praise Him (v. 3) in due time. Henry comments on verses 4-5 by stating the following, “The joy wished to the nations, is holy joy. Let them be glad that by his providence the Lord will overrule the affairs of kingdoms; that even the kingdoms of this world shall became the kingdom of the Lord, and of his Christ. Then is declared a joyful prospect of all good when God shall do this.” I don’t have much to add to that, but I do look forward to the kingdoms of this world turning to God. It will be a great to experience praising God (v. 5) when nations turn to Him. Not only do I look forward to witnessing that, but I also look forward to praising Him during that time. Verse 6 is talking about the spiritual harvest and its end when God’s touch reaches all the nations. I look forward to God’s blessings during that time, especially if I have brought someone to Christ. Verse 7 is a continuation of verse 6 and I can’t help but imagine what it will be like when “all the ends of the earth shall fear him.” It’s gonna be a great thing to see God’s power at work in that.

                                          Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 63". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 64". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 65". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 66". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.  

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 67". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

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