Saturday, July 30, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 110-112

Psalm 110

A Psalm of David.

1The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
5The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

7He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Psalm 111

1Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
2The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
3His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
5He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.
6He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.
7The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
8They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
9He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Psalm 112

1Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
2His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
3Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.
6Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
7He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
8His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

10The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Chapter 110

I like verse 1 because it implies the vulnerability of one's enemies when God deals with them. It also illustrates God being on the throne and that His creation has no authority over Him. That applies to my darkest moment because I imagine that Satan was under God's authority, which resulted in the enemy being God's footstool. That meant, for me, that Satan left me alone and that God had me where He wanted me. I feel that verse 2 is a bit of a reference to Psalm 23, the "The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion" part. I know that God protected me during my darkest moment and He did so by using His rod or staff against the enemy. His ruling over the enemy was a very real thing because when the enemy wasn't bothering me, that meant God was ruling over him. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 3, but what verse 4 means to me is that Christ isn't just my King, but also my Priest, which is illustrated by Melchizedek. I am thankful that His priesthood will never go away. If it did, I couldn't look to Him as my Priest. "The LORD hath sworn" means to me that God set it in stone that His Son is Melchizedek. In terms of God's wrath (v. 5), it will go down as He sees fit. There will have been many dishonest kings and I'd hate to be in their shoes. Verses 6-7, to me, are a sign of what to expect of God's wrath and His victory will be known over those who have done things that He will not have approved of. I also like Henry's thought on verse 7, ". He shall be humbled; he shall drink of the brook in the way. The wrath of God, running in the curse of the law, may be considered as the brook in the way of his undertaking."

Chapter 111

Verse 1 reminds me of when I praise and worship God in church, mostly because of the, "in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation" of the part. I should examine myself to see if I do praise Him with my whole heart. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to ask Him. His works are great, yes (v. 2) and I do praise Him for His works, even when I'm not in church. What "sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" means to me is that I see God's work and praise Him for it, such as His freeing me from my darkest moment, His creation, His faithfulness, and His love just to name a few. I praise Him for those things as well as for other things on a constant basis, whether it be in church or in my quiet time with God. What "His work is honourable and glorious" means to me in verse 3 is that God's character is reflected in His works since He is not without honor and glory. How I would relate to the "and his righteousness endureth forever" part is that His righteousness never quits. Once I call upon Him for something, He starts working, which I find comfort in. He didn't even quite on me when working through my darkest moment, so I've expereinced His righteousness and its endurance. I suppose the aspect of verse 4 about wonderful works is pretty self-explanatory because I do sometimes find myself contemplating as a way of remembering the wonderful things He's done. His wonderful works do display His compassion, which was displayed when He freed me from my darkest moment. He knew I had been struck done and showed sympathy towards me by helping me out. Verse 5 gives me hope, knowing that He is ever mindful of His covenant. It lets me know that man might change things in an agreement whereas God won't. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 6, except for that God wouldn't be God if His works weren't revelaed in a person's life. I could go off on a tangent as to how He reveals His works in a person's life and what that means, but perhaps I'll save that for another time. I like verse 7 because it affirms me to me that His commandments are true. I can trust in Him when He wants me to do something because it'll result in something good. That isn't to say that I should I obey Him just to be blessed by Him, though. His commandements will never result on failure (v. 8), which I also find comfort in. I am thankful for God's redemption -- that is, His Son death on the cross and that I could have a covenant with God as a result. I do fear God, which I see as very much a submissive thing. And by fearing God, He has given me wisdom, which came as a result of my asking Him. I can't think of any examples at the moment, but I will at another time.

Chapter 112

Besides the obvious aspect of verse 1 that I'll be blessed if I praise God, what it also means to me is that being in awe of God is an expression of love to Him, which He will honor. I am a God-fearing man, so I try to be in awe of Him on a constant basis. What "that delighteth greatly in his commandments" means to me is that I find delight in the things He tells me to do by not complaining and by obeying Him. It's kind of another reason to express trust towards God. And I will be blessed if I follow His plan for my life, which is cool too. Verse 2 is neat -- saying that God's children will be mighty. The aspect of being mighty reminds me of having victory in Christ Jesus since Christ displayed being mighty over sin. And I can that even when God helps me to overcome small things, I do feel a sense of being mighty because He will have helped me out and stayed with me in whatever I was going through. I wasn't always sure about my algebra tests, but God gave me confidence and helped me to pass the class. I think the aspect of feeling or being mighty is what comes from the confidence that God provides when His children ask for His help and they know they can trust Him. I like the "the generation of the upright shall be blessed" part in that verse because it reminds me that following after God isn't without its blessings. Verse 3 is talking about spirtiual wealth, as Matthew Henry points out, "Blessings are laid up for the faithful and their children's children; and true riches are bestowed on them, with as much of this world's possessions as is profitable for them." I look forward to the spiritual wealth -- that is, the crowns I will receive in eternity. Verse 4 I can relate to because during my darkest moment, light did arise. I believe that the light was God taking care of the enemy and protecting me so I could eventually come back to Him and have a renewed desire to live for Him. I'd say that verse 5 is a verse I could use to examine myself, so I'm not gonna comment on it at the moment. I like the part about everlasting rememberance on verse 6 because it reminds me that God will always be there for me, especially if I stick with Him. I don't plan on leaving Him and I'd imagine He feels the same way. I will say that I try to be righteous towards Him as best as I can and God's always gonna remember my righteous acts and I look forward to how that is revealed in eternity. Verse 7, to me, means that even though evil tidings (or bad news) may come my way, I don't ever find myself being afraid of potential bad news because I know that God will use it for His glory. I usually don't think of hearing bad news when I facing situations in life, so maybe positive outlook has an influence on it as well. I like Henry's thought on verse 8, "Trusting in the Lord is the best and surest way of establishing the heart." In my darkest moment, I did trust in God, which resulted in my heart being established so I could come back to Him. And because of that, I don't have to live in fear of the enemy or what have you. I'm not sure if I could relate to the giving to the poor part in verse 9, but I do exalt God since His righteousness does endure forever. That's one of the things I praise Him for anyway. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 10, but I find comfort in the aspect that the wicked will tremble when my horn or any other Christian's horn is exalted. If that's say that that's how God works through horns being exalted, I praise Him for the unique and wonderful ways in which He works.

                                                      Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 110". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 112". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 109

Psalm 109

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;
2For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
3They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.
4For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
5And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
6Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
7When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
8Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
9Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
10Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
11Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
12Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.
13Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
14Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
15Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
16Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
17As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.
18As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.
19Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.
20Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.
21But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
22For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
23I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.
24My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.
25I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.
26Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:
27That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.
28Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.
29Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.
30I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

31For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

Chapter 109

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "It is the unspeakable comfort of all believers, that whoever is against them, God is for them; and to him they may apply as to one pleased to concern himself for them." I'm not sure if there's been a situation in my life relating to verses 1-5, but I suppose the closest thing would be when I was made fun of when some guys found that I depended on God to get me through my darkest moment. I guess they saw that as a weakness, but that doesn't mean they were right. I've talked about it before, so there's not much reason to go into detail about it. Even those verses don't apply to that situation -- since it's hard for me to establish connections -- I will say that that passage gives me hope and that I can and should depend on God when dealing with that kind of crap. And those in the past who have made fun of me for my reliance on God in my problems, God will have vengeance upon them, which is what verses 6-7 mean to me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: vengeance belongs to God and I don't plan on taking that from Him. I'll let Him take care of that when the time comes. I 'd say what verses 6-20 illustrate to me overall is that sin has consequences, resulting from the fact that God doesn't like it when His people are insulted and treated like crap. I'm not saying that sin has consequnces to sound arrogant against those who have and who may make fun of me for my faith in Christ or whatever -- I'm saying it because God's judgment affects everyone and that one can accept Christ and end up receiving a judgement that is free of fear, agony, pain, torment, and suffering in hell. To me, hell is eternal separation from God, which I may get into at a later time.

I can relate to verse 21 by saying that God delivered me from those who made fun of me for relying on Him. I basically just let Him take care of it since they wouldn't act like adults. I guess I could apply to the whole being made fun of for my faith in Christ when the enemy was trying to get me to believe His lies. And God delivered me from that, which I asked of Him. Verses 22-26 resonate with me because I remember feeling poor and needy (v. 22) as well as gone like a shadow (v. 23) -- or that God had abandoned me. That must've been Satan deceiving me, though. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 24, but the enemy must've had feelings of reproach towards me (v. 25). Otherwise, he wouldn't have made me believe his lies. I do believe that God saved me according to His mercy (or love) as a result of His knowing that I needed help (v. 26). When it was all over, I know it was His hand that had worked in the situation (v. 27) and that no man could've saved me. Satan must've felt shame after God took take of him (v. 28). And I did rejoice when He saved me and all that. And imaging the enemy in terms of verse 29 isn't hard to do because he must've been both ashamed and confused when God was done with him. I do praise Him for all the good things He's done in my life (v. 30) and I try to do it among the multitude -- or God's people. God did stand at my right hand (v. 31) and I thankful that He'll always do that when I need Him to. I am confident that no opposition can take my soul away from Him if I call upon Him.

                                             Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 109". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 108

Psalm 108

A Song or Psalm of David.

1O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
2Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
3I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
4For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;
6That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.
7God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
8Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
9Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.
10Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
11Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?
12Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

 13Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

Chapter 108

What verse 1 means to me is that when I am fixed, when my heart is set on Him, I can truly praise Him since nothing will be able to distract or move me from that. Sometimes in church my mind does wander during worship time, but I'm not sure if that counts as not being fixed on Him. I think He Himself works in such a way so that I can be fixed on Him and not do my own thing during worship time. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 2, but I will comment on verse 3. What it means to me is that I should let others know about the good things God's done in my life, in a kind of up-to-date way. I try and do that and I'd do it more often if blessings happened in my life on a regular basis. His glory is indeed above the heavens (v. 4). What that means to me is that God's glory can't be described in words and that there's no limit to it. I am thankful for the truth He provides and that it is held high and that it won't fall down. I try to do different kinds of stuff so that God is exalted above the heavens (v. 5), as I've talked about before. If I were to connect that to verse 6, I would I relate it to my darkest moment by saying that I exalted Him above the heavens by trusting in Him, which resulted in His deliverance of me. I can kind of compare verses 7-9 to my darkest moment since God is depicted as conquering cities, which meant that dealing with the enemy was no problem for Him. Reading over those verses makes me realize how strong and powerful God is and that nothing can stop Him. It makes me wonder if He thought dealing with the enemy was child's play compared to dealing with the cities listed. But I suppose thinking of it that way might be in line with traditional theology. I'd really have to study God's character and if one thing is easier to connquer in comparison to another to get a better understanding. In terms of my darkest moment, God eventually brought to where He wanted me, which is how I relate to verse 10. And that place was a renewed, restored relationship with Him. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 11, but in my darkest moment, I knew that no man could help me (v. 12), which lead me to cry out to God for help. He did tread down the enemy (v. 13), which meant that I had victory in Christ, which I continue to praise Him for.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 104-107

Psalm 104

1Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
2Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
3Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
4Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
5Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
6Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
7At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
8They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
9Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
10He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
11They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
12By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
13He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
14He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
15And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
16The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
17Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
18The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
19He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
20Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
21The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
22The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
23Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
24O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
25So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
26There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
27These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
28That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
29Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
30Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
31The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
32He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
33I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

35Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 105

1O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
2Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
4Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
5Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
6O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
7He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
8He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
12When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
13When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
14He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
15Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
16Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
17He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
20The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
21He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
22To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.
23Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
25He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
26He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
27They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
28He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.
29He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.
30Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.
31He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.
32He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.
33He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.
34He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number,
35And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.
36He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
37He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
38Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.
39He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.
40The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
41He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
42For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
43And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:
44And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;

45That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 106

1Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?
3Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
4Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;
5That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
6We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
7Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
8Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
9He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
10And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.
12Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
13They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
14But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
15And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
16They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD.
17The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered the company of Abiram.
18And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.
19They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.
20Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.
21They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;
22Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.
23Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
24Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:
25But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.
26Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:
27To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.
28They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
30Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
31And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
32They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:
33Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
34They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
35But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
36And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
37Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
38And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
39Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
40Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
41And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.
42Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
43Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
44Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:
45And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
46He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.
47Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

48Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 107

1O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

3And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

4They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.

5Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

6Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

7And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.

8Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

9For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

10Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

11Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:

12Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.

13Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.

14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.

15Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

16For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

17Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

18Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

19Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.

20He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

21Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

22And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

23They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;

24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.

25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

28Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

29He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

31Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

32Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

33He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;

34A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

35He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.

36And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;

37And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.

38He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.

39Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.

40He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

41Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.

42The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.

43Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Chapter 104

I like the first nine verses or so because they remind me to worship the Creator and not the creation. I can say that I honestly do worship the Creator and I feel like that's what's being emphasized here. Although verses 10-11 apply to animals, I praise Him for providing for animals by sending springs into the valleys. He provides me with water to quench my thirst, which I am thankful for. I don't have anything to say about verse 12, but what I will say about verse 13 is that I see God's glory in His providing for the earth. Since the earth is described as being satisfied, I am satisfied that He provides for me and I know I can depend on Him for that. I'm glad I don't have to bow down to some man in order to be provided for. He does bring food out of the earth (v. 14), which isn't something I take for granted. It's crazy how a lot of the stuff I eat ultimately has its source and that God helps the source to grow. He provides for people even if they don't acknowledge Him, which goes to show how far-reaching His love is. That's the love I wanna continue to show to others because I'm not one to discriminate against those who don't follow Christ. I don't drink wine (v. 15), but I do like Matthew Henry's thought on the verse, "Nor let us forget spiritual blessings; the fruitfulness of the church through grace, the bread of everlasting life, the cup of salvation, and the oil of gladness." So view 15 is referring to communion and I don't take communion time for granted because it's a great thing to be able to reflect what Christ did on that cross. I know that the wine (or juice) and the bread are symbolic and that as a result of Jesus dying on the cross, salvation was presented to me as a gift. What I'm getting at is that I'm not sure if I agree with Henry in terms of it representing everlasting life. I'd have to look into that some more since I'm already getting off on a tangent. I praise Him for providing homes for the birds and the stork (vv. 16-17). Same goes for verse 18 in regards to the goats and the conies. If He didn't provide for animals, they'd have nowhere to go and they'd probably annoy me, so I'm glad they don't.

I like Henry's thought on verses 19-20, "We are to praise and magnify God for the constant succession of day and night." I do tend to thank God for the day -- both at morning and at night, so I guess I'm doing my part in that aspect. I can't relate to verses 21-23,but what I will say about verse 24 is that the Lord has many works and I don't know of a man who done as many work as He has. Those work are basically what I talked about up until this point and there are other works described of His throughout the Bible. "In wisdom hast thou made all" means to me that God knew what He was doing when He made all. I don't attempt to number sea creatures myself (v. 25) and the fact that sea creatures can't be numbered means that to me that since God is unlimited, He can create as many sea creatures as He wants. I'm glad He's unlimited -- not in the sense that He can make a square circle -- but in the sense that He won't stop creating a certain amount of something. I can't personally relate to verses 26-27, but I suppose if I were to relate to them, I'd say that if I were to wait to upon Him to provide me for me. In a way, that was what I did during my darkest moment -- waited for Him to provide me with a way out. With that in mind, God did open His hand and I was filled with good (v. 28). To expand on that, I ended up being at peace with the Lord at the end of my darkest moment, which allowed for me to grow closer to Him. I can't, at this time, relate to verse 29, but what it means to me is that in my darkest moment, God took my breath away which caused me to rely on Him and trust in Him. By doing that, I died to relying on myself since I knew that only God could help me out. He did send forth His spirit (v. 30) and I was eventually renewed. What verse 31 means to me, where it says, "The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever" is that His glory is everlasting and that I can always express thanks to Him for the things He's done in my life. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 32, but I do sing Him (v. 33), which I see as a lifetime thing. I like Henry's thought on verse 33, "And if mediation on the glories of creation be so sweet to the soul, what greater glory appears to the enlightened mind, when contemplating the great work of redemption!" Perhaps I should meditate on redemption more. I do kind of meditate on it when talking about it in my reflection, though, so I'm probably doing OK. I don't have much to say about verse 35, but I will say that I praise Him probably while He's governing, which is what dealing with the sinners and the wicked would be an example of.

Chapter 105

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "Our devotion is here stirred up, that we may stir up ourselves to praise God. Seek his strength; that is, his grace; the strength of his Spirit to work in us that which is good, which we cannot do but by strength derived from him, for which he will be sought." I already put verses 1-3 into practice on a regular basis, in church and stuff. I will say, though, that in regards to verse 1 where it says, " make known his deeds among the people" that God wants for me to make known the great things He's done in my life, especially because it glorifies Him, even if it's just something small. I do seek His strength (v. 4), but perhaps I should do it more often in regards to the little things. During Old Testament times, He did do mavellous works in Egypt (v. 5). I figure people grew closer to Him as a result. I grew closer to Him when I was freed from my darkest moment. I'm not sure if I supposed to consider myself a seed of Abraham (v. 6), but I do like the fact that His judgments are in all the earth (v. 7). What that means to me is that I can trust in His plan and how it will affect the world and know that something good will come out of it. Think I'll include Henry's thoughts on verses 8-15, "Though true Christians are few number, strangers and pilgrims upon earth, yet a far better inheritance than Canaan is made sure to them by the covenant of God; and if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, none can do us any harm. Afflictions are among our mercies." The Holy Spirit anointed me when I came to Christ, which is how I see verses 14-15. God must've told the enemy to not touch me during my darkest moment. I can't relate to verse 16, but verses 17-19 remind me of my darkest moment. I was spiritually hurt (v. 18), but God's Word helped me to stay strong (v. 19) so I could have confience in Him. He freed me (v. 20), but I suppose I can't relate to verse 21 considering my age. I know that I can teach and provide wisdom to those younger than me (v. 22), which I can't say I've done much of. Maybe I could use my darkest moment to draw wisdom from to encourage others. It would be a wonderful thing to be used by God in that way. I'm not sure how I would relate to verses 23-26, but I know that the Lord does show signs (v. 27) and that I should try and be mindful of the ones being shown in these last days. What verses 28-30 mean to me is that sometimes God brings about plagues in one's life so he or she will submit to Him. That wasn't how I came to Christ, but I know some people that have and it resulted in something good, so it's not like God made Himself look like a tyrant or what have you. What the plagues illustrate in verses 31-39 to me is that when I have plagues in my life is that I should rely completely and utterly on God to help me out, which was what I did during my darkest moment. I like Henry's thought on verses 40-41, "He satisfies our souls with the bread of heaven, and the water of life from the Rock of salvation, and will bring us safely to heaven." The moment I was freed from my darkest moment, my soul was satisfied with the bread of heaven (v. 40) and even though I was spiritually dry, His living water came upon me (v. 41). I can't say that I relate to verse 42, but I know that I had feelings of joy when I was freed from my darkest moment (v. 43). I like Henry's thought on the last two verses, "He redeems his servants from all iniquity, and purifies them unto himself, to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works." I don't have much to add to that.

Chapter 106

I do give thanks to Him (v. 1) and I thankful for His mercy (or love) towards me and that it endures forever. It reminds that I can still praise Him and give thanks towards Him even though I may sin. I also like how Henry put it, "None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired." Verse 2 reminds me that there's no one I could know all the good things God has done -- in the past and in the present. I think that illustrates how good He is and that I can praise Him for the good things He's done in the lives of others besides my own. Verse 3 calls me to examine myself to see if I am doing righteous things at all times. That can be a hard thing to live up to, but that doesn't mean I can't try. I feel that verse 4 relates to my darkest moment since I asked God to show His favor upon me. I didn't use those exact words, but the point is that God saved me and helped me out. The only thing I get out of verse 5 in regards to my darkest moment is that I was reminded that God is my inheritance and I was thankful to be a part of that and I still am. Here's Henry's thoughts on verse 6, "Here begins a confession of sin; for we must acknowledge that the Lord has done right, and we have done wickedly. We are encouraged to hope that though justly corrected, yet we shall not be utterly forsaken." Verse 6 kinda reminds me that sin is an inherited thing, but that's no excuse for it. I'd say that when I gave my life over to Christ, I acknowledged that I was a sinner and needed His help, which is also how verse 6 fits in. I'm not sure how I would relate to verse 7, but I do know that God saved me for His Name's Sake (v. 8) and He does make His power known in my life. He did that during my darkest moment -- when He freed me from the enemy and dealt with him. I guess I would relate to verse 9 by saying that the Red Sea that was rebuked in my life was the enemy trying to get me to believe his lies. God dealt with him, which is how I see the spiritual application. He did save and redeem me (v. 10) and covered the enemy by battling him, which is what verse 11 illustrates to me in terms of spiritual application. I did praise Him as a result of His freeing me (v. 12) and I still do. I can't relate to verses 13-15, but I will say that I have applied them to my life by not doing them since God would frown upon me for doing them. It's kinda weird to say that I have applied those things to my life by NOT doing them, but I'd say that it shows that by learning from examples, I know what to do and what not to do so God is glorified as a result. If I do something that God wouldn't want me to do there would be consequences, which is what verses 16-33 mean to me. I can't think of a time when I didn't do something that God told me to do, but I suppose I could examine myself in that aspect. There has been a few times where I felt that the Holy Spirit was leading me to do something and I didn't do it, which is what comes to mind. I'm not sure how I would relate to verses 34-40 since I haven't mingle among the heathen or anything like that, but I will say that there are consequences for my actions -- both good and bad. God knows what I do and don't do and if He's gonna ask me why I didn't something that He told me to do during judgment time, I'll be OK with that and I imagine I'll be prepared to give an answer. I can't relate to verses 41-42, but I will say that it's a bad idea to make God angry. I haven't fooled God into asking for a fake deliverance (v. 43) and that verse lets me know that I shouldn't. Even if I did, though, God would help me out (vv. 44-45). In regards to that, I thank Him for His grace and mercy and that even though He'd get pissed at me for lying to Him, He'd eventually show love towards me.  It reminds that before I became Christian, God probably didn't like some of the things I did yet He was willing to forgive me. I imagine that there's no man that forgives like God does and no man that forgets like God does. God's covenant was something I committed to when I became a Christian, which is what I get out of verse 46. I also get out of it that even though I may screw up nowadays, God will forgive me even if He's pissed at me. I guess He kinda felt that way during my darkest moment since I basically fell on my face, which I needed in order to get back on my track on my walk. So maybe my falling on my face was God's way of expressing that He didn't like what I was doing. I like Henry's thoughts on the last few verses, "The psalm concludes with prayer for completing the deliverance of God's people, and praise for the beginning and progress of it. May all the people of the earth, ere long, add their Amen." I guess I did thank God when He started freeing me from my darkest moment.

Chapter 107

Verse 1 is basically a repeat of Psalm 106:1, so just look at my reflection on that. What verse 2 means to me is that God knows who has been saved and who hasn't and only He can make that judgment. That is what His redemption will demonstrate when the time comes, which should be an interesting thing to see. I also imagine that God will gather up those people (v. 3) in order to judge them. I'm not sure exactly how the judgement takes place, so it's something I'd have to look into. I don't think of God's judgment as a negative thing, though, so being judged will be a good thing from my perspective. I suppose in regards to verses 4-6, I could use those to relate to my darkest moment since I did wander and was spiritually hungry. I was and am still thankful that God helped me out in my distress. I don't think I could've asked for anything better. Once I was freed, He did continue leading me (v. 7). I think by doing that, He kept the enemy at bay and kept me from getting involved with the enemy, which made direction from Him clear. I haven't told a lot of a people much about my darkest moment, but verse 8 kind of encourages me to because doing so could encourage others. God did fill me (v. 9) -- I remember a feeling of revival and that when I came to Him, He filled me up and satisfied my (spiritual) hunger. I think that caused my walk with Him to become closer and deeper since it helped me to realize that He can and He does fulfill spiritual hunger. I'm not sure how I would relate to verse 10, but I know that my rebellion (v. 11) was kind of what started my darkest moment cuz I did rebel against God by trying to do things my way. I did fall down (v. 12) and had to cry out to Him when I was in trouble (v. 13). I was thankful that He let me do that even thought I did nothing to deserve it. I remember being brought out of darkness (v. 14) -- like a feeling that the enemy wasn't gonna bother me anymore. I dunno how to describe it, but that's how I remember feeling. I do praise Him for His good works (v. 15), but perhaps I should try and do as verse 8 says in regards to my darkest moment.

I'm not sure how I'd relate to verses 16-18 since I don't abhor (or loathe) food, but I will say that if my sins afflict me (v. 17), it is a sign that I need God and that He wants me to cry out to Him so He can save me (v. 19), which is kinda how my darkest moment fits in here because I was afflicted by my rebellion and I needed God to help me out. I'm not sure how to describe that He healed me (v. 20) but He did. See my reflections on verses 8 and 15 in regards to verse 21. I don't make blood sacrifices to Him (v. 22), but I do express thanks to Him pretty much every day.

I can't relate to verses 23-24 since I don't spend much time in great waters, but I think I'll look at verses 25-32 as a spiritual metaphor in terms of how I relate to the passage. Since God commands the sea and its moment, He can do the same thing in one's spiritual life (v. 25). That was kinda how God worked if I go back to the part where I feel on my face: He allowed me to fall so I could rely on Him. That applies to verses 26-27 as well. I did cry out to Him (v. 28), which caused me to be free from distress. He made my storm calm (v. 29) by freeing me from the enemy's grip. I was glad to have been brought to my haven (v. 30), which I thanked Him for. In regards to verses 31-32, just see my reflection on verses 8 and 15.

If I were look at verses 33-35 from a spiritual application perspective, I could. The way I see it, I expereinced what those verses are talking about during my darkest moment since I did feel dry (v. 33) for a while as well as barren (v. 34). Those basically gave the enemy a sign to attack me and they let me know that I needed to depend on God. He turned things around me for me immediately, which is how I would relate to verse 35. It's a crazy thing to think about -- God's way of changing things, especially no one turns things around like He does. I can't say I've prepared a city for people to live in (v. 36), but I know that since I felt spiritually hungry during my darkest moment, I could depend on God to be my dwellingplace and He was, which really made me feel at home and loved. To me, verses 36-38 deal with planting seeds to non-belivers and helping them to grow and, I guess, cultivate. I can't say I've ever reached that level in planting seeds, but I would like to some day and it'd be great if God used me in that way. I can't relate to verses 39-40, but they remind that being against God has consequences. If I were to get involved with those kinds of people, I would try and stay away from them as much as I could so I wouldn't be brought down with them, which is what verse 41 means to me. I can't think of time when I had a similar experience to what verses 39-43 are describing, so I'd have to think about that. Otherwise, there's not much point in talking about the last two verses. I will say, though, that my darkest moment kinda comes to mind in reagrds to the passage since God poured contempt on the enemy and since I was released from my affliction.

                                              Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 104". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 105". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 106". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 98-103

Psalm 98

A Psalm.

1O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
2The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
3He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
4Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
5Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
6With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.
7Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
8Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together

9Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

Psalm 99

1The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
2The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.
3Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
4The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
5Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
6Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
7He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.
8Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.

9Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.

Psalm 100
A Psalm of praise.

1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 101

A Psalm of David.

1I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
2I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
5Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
6Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
7He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

8I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.

Psalm 102

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and pourteth out his complaint before the LORD.

1Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.
2Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
3For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.
4My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
5By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.
6I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
7I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
8Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.
9For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.
10Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.
11My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.
12But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.
13Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.
14For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.
15So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
16When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
17He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
18This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
19For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
20To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;
21To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;
22When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
23He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.
24I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.
25Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
27But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

28The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

Psalm 103

A Psalm of David.

1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
18To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

Chapter 98

Matthew Hnery comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "A song of praise for redeeming love is a new song, a mystery hidden from ages and generations. Converts sing a new song, very different from what they had sung." I don't much to say about that expect for the fact that I like it. In verses 2-3, I am reminded to not take salvation for granted. I am thankful for that reminder because it lets me know that I shouldn't think of salvation as an excuse or license to sin. What I get out of verses 4-6 is that instruments can be used to express His glory and to praise Him. As a result, the Holy Spirit can work in, say, a church service and make it go longer than intended. That has happened at my church a few times and it was a great thing to see the Holy Spirit at work. His creation express His glory as well (vv. 7-8). What I have to add to that is I think it's cool that His creation can praise Him in a personification kinda way (v. 8). It displays how He works in His creation and how He uses His creation to glorify Himself. God's reign is an awesome thing and I'm glad it's being revelaed to me in a small way. I don't have much to say about verse 9 since I've talked about God's judgement before, but I do like Henry's thoughts on it, "But sin and its dreadful effects will not be utterly done away, till the Lord come to judge the world in righteousness. Seeing then that we look for such things, let us give diligence that we may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."

Chapter 99

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "God governs the world by his providence, governs the church by his grace, and both by his Son. The inhabitants of the earth have cause to tremble, but the Redeemer still waits to be gracious." I'd say that because of God's reign, people (or nations) tremble. It's cool to God work in such a way where He could have that effect on a non-believer for him or her to tremble before Him. I know some Christians who used to be addicted to drugs and I imagine that they trembled before Him because they realized that their lives were unmanageable. It's good to see them living a life that glorifies God and I think their testimonies are a reflection of that. "Let the earth be moved" means to me that God can transform people so they'll wanna live for Him, which was how He worked in the lives of the ex-addicts I know. The Lord is great in Zion, yes (v. 2). In our modern age, I'd say His greatness is expressed in churches during praise and worship time. And I think when His greatness is expressed, the Holy Spirit works as a result of that, which I talked about earlier. In church, His great and terrible name is praised (v. 3) since it is holy. I don't have much to say about that since it pretty much speaks for itself, but I thought I'd include it anyway. I am thankful that He loves judgment (or justice) -- which is talked about in verse 4 -- so much so that He shows justice towards His people. He governs His people and He'll forgive them if they mess up, which shows that those who have accepted His Son can be forgiven in their sins. He also governs those who will spend eternity with Him and those who won't. I'd like to do a study on that sometime to explore on it and possibly deal with the aspect of those will who never accept Christ no matter what. There's a phrase for that, but I forget what it is at the moment. I do exalt Him (v. 5) and what "worship at his footstool" means to me is that I am to be submissive towards God, in terms of His plans for my life. I never thought of it that way, but I guess being submissive towards God is an expression of worship. It also means to me that my life is nothing without Him and He gets all the glory when something good happens. I believe Moses, Aaron, and Samuel were all men of strong faith (v. 6). What that verse means to me is that even though I may be strong in faith, I can still cry out to Him when in need, even if it's just for something small. I guess in a way that applies to my darkest moment because I did cry out to Him. I don't believe He spoke to in a cloudy pillar (v. 7), but His testimonies -- what He told me to do -- were kept by letting Him deal with the enemy. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 8, but I do exalt Him (v. 9). I also like Henry's thoughts on verse 9, "Let us not only exalt the Lord with our lips, but give him the throne in our heart; and while we worship him upon his mercy-seat, let us never forget that he is holy." I should examine myself to see if I do give Him throne in my heart. If I don't currently do that, I'll ask Him to help me out with it.

Chapter 100

Matthew Henry comments on the following verses by stating the following, "This song of praise should be considered as a prophecy, and even used as a prayer, for the coming of that time when all people shall know that the Lord he is God, and shall become his worshippers, and the sheep of his pasture. Great encouragement is given us, in worshipping God, to do it cheerfully." I look forward to the time when people know He is God and have that desire to worship and praise Him. What a great thing that will be to be a part of. Making a joyful noise (v. 1) will be a sign to look for since it's basically what will be going on when people worship Him in the last days. I currently do serve Him with gladness (v. 2) and I can't help but imagine what that will be like on a much larger scale. I like the "come before his presence with singing" part because it makes me think that that's what will go along with serving Him. I am reminded of the fact that God made me in verse 3 and I thank Him for making me and allowing me to live even though I did nothing to deserve it. I am one of His sheep, yes, but sometimes I stray off the course, which was how my darkest moment started. I did enter in His gates with thanksgiving (v. 4) by thanking Him for freeing me. And when the time comes when verse 4 comes to pass, in terms of prophecy, I it will be a great thing to see myself and others express thanks and praise towards Him as we enter into eternity. I am reminded of His eternal nature in verse 5. I am thankful for His everlasing mercy because He can express that to me whenever, which makes me think that man can't live up to that since man can only do so much. His truth does endure to all generations, which means to me that it's never gonna go away and it'll always be there for when I need comfort. I could have my Bible taken away, which I supposes encourages me to memorize scripture. I have a couple verses memorized so far and I've been working on Exodus 15:2 lately, which I pretty much have down.

Chapter 101

I do sing of His mercy and judgment in church (v. 1), but perhaps I could praise Him aloud more often regarding those things. Verse 2 reminds that I should strive to be living a perfect (or blameless) life for God. In the flesh, I'm not gonna be able to live in a perfect way due to sin, but that doesn't mean I can't work on being perfect spirit-wise. Spiritual perfection is something that I strive for and I know that I can (continue to) be made in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28). I try not to sin and I mess up a lot of the time, so I should ask God for help in that aspect so I can be blameless. Verse 3...yeah, wow -- it kinda convicts me since I watch horror movies every now and then. Being an avid B movie fan, I can say that a lot of the stuff I watch is more original than the crap Hollywood comes out with these days. I have watched some B movies recently that weren't so focused on blood and gore, so maybe I'm getting better about it. I can see why setting a wicked thing before my eyes could interfere with my being blameless before God and how an evil or demonic force could influence me (in a negative way) when watching a horror movie so I tend to be careful. And I do set my own boundaries and I go outside of my boundaries (usually without knowing it), I tend to feel bad afterwards, which is probably how I should feel as a way to express that I need God's grace because when I mess up like that, I probably piss Him off. It's not so much that watching a horror movie is a sin -- it's that fact that it could effect my spirit, which I have to be careful about. I like Henry's thoughts on verses 4-5, "A froward heart, one that delights to be cross and perverse, is not fit for society, the bond of which is Christian love. Nor will he countenance slanderers, those who take pleasure in wounding their neighbour's reputation." I do try and show love to others, which isn't always easy to do. However, I can do it with God's help. I probably have gotten involved with a wicked person who has slandered his neighbor in the pst (v. 5) and I try not to these days. I'm not sure how I would relate to verse 6 except for the fact that I'm a worship host and am under a head host. I serve God's people as well as God, so I guess that's how that verse applies to me. I tend not to work deceit and lie (v. 7), but I do mess up sometimes. I think what that verse means to me is that I shouldn't do those things voluntarily. I imagine if I did do those things voluntarilty (v. 8), I would be cut off from serving as a worship host. I also like Henry's thought on the verse, "Let every one be zealous and diligent to reform his own heart and ways, and to do this early; ever mindful of that future, most awful morning, when the King of righteousness shall cut off all wicked doers from the heavenly Jerusalem."

Chapter 102

Since this psalm relates to my darkest moment, I think I'll connect the verses in that way. I probably won't go into detail for most of the verses, though, since I've already explained what I went through.

I did cry out to Him (v. 1) and I know that He didn't hide His face from me (v. 2) when I was in trouble. He revealed Himself and worked even when I didn't see it. I will be forever thankful that He worked in that way and helped me out during that stressful and hard time. And I'd say He did answer me speedily even though He may have not made it known to me. I think He showed up as soon as I cried out to Him and He eventually let me know that He was working. I'm not sure if I could relate to verse 3, but I must've had a had a smitten heart (v. 4), which was due to the enemy's influence. I can't recall if I didn't feel like eating or if my bones groaned (v. 5), but I did feel like a pelican of the wilderness (v. 6) because I felt like I had been abandoned, which is how I would also relate to verse 7. I figure by the enemy trying to get me to give into his lies was how he reproached me (v. 8). It was kind of his way of saying I wasn't good enough for God. I am thankful that God showed me that I don't have to be good enough and that I shouldn't believe Satan's lies. I'm not sure if I can relate to verse 9, but I remember being lifted up and cast down (v. 10). I was close to God before my darkest moment took place, but I really had no idea how to maintian that, so God's wrath kinda came behind me. I guess liking the girl I liked at the time, before my darkest moment, was one of the things that lead to it because the enemy was telling me she was never gonna like me back. I did feel withered, spiritually speaking (v. 11), but He helped me to endure (v. 12) since He endures forever. I must've asked Him to help me endure because I remember having an enduring spirit. I also like Henry's thought on the verse, "We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected." I was confident that I wouldn't be neglected, which I think helped me to endure and trust in Him. He eventually arose and had mercy (or compassion) upon me (v. 13) -- mercy for my falling away from Him. It was a great thing to be welcomed back with open arms.

I'm not sure how I would relate to verse 14, but I know that whenever God's Kingsom face opposition, it will end in the heathen (or nations) fearing the Lord (v. 15). That verse reminds me to be fearless before opposition, which I should do when I face opposition, especially God knows how it's gonna end. I'm not sure if Satan ended up fearing Him, but the heathen will when the time comes. I look forward to the Lord rebuilding Zion (v. 16) and the thought of that gives me hope, especially because it's a prophecy of hope, as indicated by, "appear in his glory." I can't say I'm destitute (v. 17), but it will be a great thing to see God answer the prayers of the destitute. I look forward to seeing His hand at work and His influence touching (probably myself) and others. "The generation to come" (v. 18) indicates a future generation. I imagine I am part of that generation and it will be quite to thing to experience those things which are written, which will include praise of Him, which I can only imagine -- myself and others praising Him and having a good time doing it. I also like Henry's thought on verses 18-22, "Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel." I see God's glory in verses 19-22, how He looks down to those who are appointed to death. I praise Him for His saving power and I suppose those verses kinda fit in with my darkest moment because he saw me groaning and helped me out. Now I try and declare His name as much as I can (v. 21), which will also take place in terms of prophecy, which will happen when His kingdom is gathered together (v. 22). I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 23-24, but I thank Him for creating the heavens and the earth (v. 25). He didn't have to create those things, but I am thankful that did because I can spend time here doing things for His Kingdom, which is always fun and exciting. I am called to do His will and I'll do it as best I can. If He didn't create the heavens and the earth, I'd probably be floating off in space somewhere and I'm glad I don't have to do that. The fact that God will never perish (v. 26) reminds me that He'll always be there for and I can always depend on Him. I think God stands out in comparison to man in that aspect that man can perish and God can't. I am thankful that He is the same every day (v. 27). He love never changes and I don't think I could ask for anything better. Man's love can change -- that is, a person could stop loving me -- but I know He never will. I could connect that to His eteral nature because I figure if a non-believer dies who loved me when we were friends, he or she won't be able to love me if they passed away. I'm not sure about a believer who dies and if they live while me while they're with and while I'm here still. I'd have to look into that. God's love is eternal since He'll never perish and that's a promise. I figure if I have children, they'll continue in their Christian walk long after I have passed away (v. 28). And hopefully, if they have kids, they'll raise up their kids in that way. I also like Henry's thoughts on the last few verses, "Though all things are changing, dying, perishing, like a vesture folding up and hastening to decay, yet Jesus lives, and thus all is secure, for he hath said, Because I live ye shall live also." I am reminded of life in Him in that, which is a good thing to be reminded of.

Chapter 103

I try and bless Him with my soul and all that is within me (v. 1). What that means to me is that I should (continue to) live in a way that glorifies Him. I think that verse challenges me to examine myself to see if I am truly living in that way. "and forget not all his benefits" (v. 2) reminds to thank Him for the good things in life, which I'm trying to make a habit of prayer-wise. I am thankful that He forgives (v. 4) and although I can say I've had any diseases, I am thankful that He is a God that heals and that He heals others and helps 'em out. He did redeem my life from destruction (v. 4) by having His Son die on the cross. I am thankful for my kinsman redeemer and that I don't have to live a life of destruction. I accepted His Son at a young age, so I that saved from destruction in the long run. I know people who have lived destructive lives before coming to Christ and it's good to see that they've been redeemed as well. And I'd say by Christ's redeeming of others -- when they come to Him -- He does crown them with lovingkindness and tender mercies. I kinda see God at work in that aspect because it reminds that Jesus loves you and wants you to love Him back. When I would make friends with someone, they would accept me and wanna be friends with me, which I can draw from Christ's crowning with lovingkindness and tender mercies. I'd say He has and continues to satisfy my mouth with good things (v. 5). That resulted from my darkest moment -- when I was free from it and when I ended up being closer in my walk with Him. And my youth was renewed like an eagle's when He begun working on my so I would grow closer to Him after my darkest moment. That reminds me of Isaiah 40:31, which says, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." I didn't faint when waiting upon the Lord, which proved His faithfulness. He did execute righteousness and judgment (v. 6) during my darkest moment. I think that was how He stood up to the enemy -- by displaying His righteousness and judgement to where I was well aware of the fact that He was taking care of my problem. Although I'm not Moses (v. 7), I can still say that God makes known His ways to me and I'm glad He does that. I figure He does that when He wants me to do something for Him, which I'm usually more than happy to do. I praise Him for His mercy and grace (v. 8) as well as the fact that He is slow to anger and has plenty of mercy (or love) to go around. No man has those qualities to the extent that God does and I thank Him that those qualities will never go away or run out. In verse 9, "chide" means accuse. I am thankful that He will never chide me or His people in general because if He did, I would probably not want to be His child. Man can accuse, but usually when he does, he's wrong. However, I can depend on God's knowledge since He knows who did what, which comforts me. I am thankful that He doesn't repay me for my sins (v. 10). Man might repay me for my wrongs, but I know that God will show His love to me even though I may have sinned, even though I deserve hell. I figure that when I ask Him for forgiveness for my sins in prayer, verse 10 must be something that He has in mind. I do fear Him (v. 11) -- that is, I am in awe of Him -- and I can't say there's any greater mercy (or love) than His. It's kinda like if I fear Him, He'll love me back and express that love to me by blessing me. Verse 12 reminds me that not only does God forgive, but He also forgets it. I may have touched on that already, but I will say that that verse kinda makes me wonder if I forget the sins that others have committed against me. I don't bring up things that others have done to me when I see them, so I think I have that covered pretty well. It reminds of the kind of Christlike love that is talked about in 1 Corinthians 13. And speaking of love, I like the comparison to an earthly father in verse 13. My dad does pitieth (or show compassion towards) me and I am thankful that God does the same. And I love God and my dad, so I guess I'm doing my part in that aspect. I like Matthew Henry's insight on verse 14, "He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears." The reason why I like that is because I am reminded  even though I am imperfect, God's never gonna stop loving me, which is a profound insight I came across while reading Og Mandino's The Greatest Miracle in the World, which is a book I'd recommend.

My days aren't long (v. 15) -- or rather, my time in my flesh body is just a blip on the radar screen. I will be gone some day (v. 16), but I am thankful that His mercy is everlasting towards His people (v. 17). That means to me that He showed mercy by providing eternal life as a result of accepting Christ. I am thankful for the mercy He shows, especially because it never ends. I'm not sure if I'll ever have kids, but I like the thought that if I do, God's righteousness will carry over to their children, which shows that others -- in my (potential) bloodline -- will have the choice to live for His Kingdom, which is an exciting thing. Hopefully they'll keep His covenant (v. 18) and all that because it's a good thing to keep and it saves from a lifetime of hell. I am thankful for God's reign and rule over all His creation (v. 19). Perhaps I should be more thankful for that kind of thing because even though things are the way they are in this world, something good will eventually come out of that, which I look forward too. Even though I'm not an angel, I can still relate to verse 20 because I try to do His commandments and hearken (or listen) to and obey His Word as best I can. I figure that by doing His pleasure (v. 21) -- even if it's just something small -- I bless or praise Him through that and He gets all the glory, which is a neat way to look at things. I don't have anything to say about verse 22, but I'll include Henry's insight on it, "And let the feeling of each redeemed heart be, Bless the Lord, O my soul."

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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 98". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 99". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 100". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 101". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 102". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 103". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
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