Friday, July 8, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 92-95

Psalm 92

A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.

2To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
3Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.
4For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
5O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.
6A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.
7When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
8But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.
9For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
11Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
12The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

15To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Psalm 93

1The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
2Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
3The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
4The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

5Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.

Psalm 94

1O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.
2Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.
3LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?
4How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
5They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.
6They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.
7Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.
8Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?
9He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?
10He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?
11The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
12Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;
13That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
14For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
15But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
16Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.
18When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.
19In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
20Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
21They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
22But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

23And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

Psalm 95

1O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
3For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
5The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
7For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
8Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
10Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

11Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Chapter 92

I like Matthew Henry's thoughts on the first few verses, "It is a privilege that we are admitted to praise the Lord, and hope to be accepted in the morning, and every night; not only on sabbath days, but every day; not only in public, but in private, and in our families." I do give thanks to Him (v. 1) and I'm sure He appreciates that. I thank Him for the little things, such as being able to see, to breathe, and having a roof over my head, which I should probably thank Him for more often. Perhaps I should focus on that during prayer time. I suppose I show forth His kindness in the morning (v. 2) by praising Him for just being so good. I can't say I show forth or proclaim His faithfulness at night, but I should start doing that. I don't have to express that musically (v. 3) -- I can do it during prayer time, which is probably how I would do it. He has made me glad through His works and continues to do so (v. 4). I was glad when He freed me from my darkest moment and I'm glad that He continues to bless me and do good things in my life. He doesn't promise another day, which I see as a blessing because another day gives me an opportunity to continue to grow in Him. His works are great, yes, (v. 5), which I praise Him for. "and thy thoughts are very deep" means to me that God's thoughts towards me are ones of promise and hope. To know the mind of God would be quite a thing to know, especially because I have know idea what His plans for me are later on down the road. He just wants me to trust Him since the plans He has for me could be nothing like I imagine. I could daydream about what He has in store for me, but that doesn't mean I'll be right. It kind of reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11, which says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." A fool doesn't consider God's thoughts (v. 6), which makes me glad I'm not a fool. Verse 7 doesn't relate to me, but in verse 8 I am reminded of God's eternal nature. I am thankful that since He is Most High eternally because that means to me that no one can take His place. And if anyone did, they'd have some pretty tall orders to fill. God will deal with His enemies as He sees fit (v. 9). If that includes my enemies in the sense that some of them are also against God, then I figure God'll be killing two birds with one stone, which is kinda neat. The mutual enemies between God and His people are Satan and his angels, who will be subject to apocalyptic destruction and all that jazz. In verse 10, "unicorn" means wild ox. "Thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn" means that God will me and others with strength. If that is relating to the end times, I am reminded that God will strengthen me during that time so any enemies won't hurt me. I will also see the desire -- or rather -- the destruction of my enemies (v. 11), which God will take care of. That verse, to me, not only includes my earthly enemies, but also Satan and his demons. I like the imagery in verse 12 where it says, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree." What that means to me is that once the evil is taken care of, God's people will emerge victorious and His glory will be shown through that, which will be a great thing to experience. Verse 13 is a continuation of verse 12 since it continues the thought of flourishing. Flourshing is something I look forward in eternity with God because as He waters His people, they grow, they thrive, which illustrates Him at work. And even in eternity, I won't stop growing in my walk, which is what that verse also reminds me of. I will flourish, yes (v. 14), even if I'm old age, which illustrates to me that one can never stop growing in God. That shows that He is upright (v. 15), which means that He is a firm foundation. And since He is my firm foundation, my rock, I don't have to worry about falling away and stop growing in Him. I also like Henry's thoughts on the last verse, "The last days of the saints are sometimes their best days, and their last work their best work: perseverance is sure evidence of sincerity. And may every sabbath, while it shows forth the Divine faithfulness, find our souls resting more and more upon the Lord our righteousness."

Chapter 93

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "The Lord might have displayed only his justice, holiness, and awful power, in his dealings with fallen men; but he has been pleased to display the riches of his mercy, and the power of his renewing grace." The fact that He is clothed with majesty and strength (v. 1) reminds of His sovereignty and the fact that He can strength me I need it. If He wasn't  sovereign, then He wouldn't reign. I am thank that He reigns (like the Newsboys song), especially when it pours. Bad pun, yes, but when it poured during my darkest moment (which is starting to sound like the name of a depressive black metal band), He did reign and His sovereignty and His strength definitely played a big part in that. He is my King and the fact that He had authority over the enemy and authority over my coming back to Him were what revealed His sovereignty. And He did give me strength so the enemy would leave me alone. It probably had something to do with the fact that he took care of the enemy for me and He protected me as a shield. I am glad that His throne is eternal (v. 2) because if it wasn't, anyone could take His place and I wouldn't know who to follow. I think that also illustrates that His reign is eternal and He has authority even over the little things. When He said, "Let there be light," He was giving a command, which to me shows that He has authority over the light and the darkness and His creation. I don't think of His authority as a bed thing because through His authority, His will can be accomplished. If God wants me to do something, more oftne than not I'll do it because who I am to disobey Him or question His authority? I don't tent to question my parents' authority -- I just do what they tell me since they know what's best for me. God does too, which is why it's wise to obey Him. Verses 3-4 apply bodies of water. In verse 3, I am reminded that Go. And even though the floods lift up their waves, God is mightier than His waves (v. 4). I am thankful that He is mightier than waves and His creation in general because if He wasn't, I'd end up worshipping His creation instead of Him, which would be bad. I like Henry's comments on the last verse, "All his people ought to be very strictly pure. God's church is his house; it is a holy house, cleansed from sin, and employed in his service. Where there is purity, there shall be peace. Let all carefully look if this kingdom is set up in their hearts." That reminds to stay pure, which isn't easy to do, but I know that I can do it by God's grace.

Chapter 94

I am reminded that vengeance belongs to God (v. 1). If I have an urge to take vengeance upon someone just because they do something to me, it's much better to put that in prayer than to physically hurt that person. I just let God have vengeance since that's His place. He will show Himself when it is time for Him to have vengeance and He will deal with the proud or arrogant (v. 2). I never had vengeanc upon that guy in my math class who was hard to deal with Him. I figure God'll deal with him as He sees fit. I don't remember if he acted arrogant toward me, though. What verses 3-4 mean to me is that even though it may seem like a long length of time that the wicked will triumph over God's people, that's nothing compared to the eternity in which they'll separated from God. I'm not saying that to sound arrogant or anything -- I'm saying it because if a wicked person doesn't repent, there will be punishment. That's how God operates and I'm gonna let Him take care of that. And my time here on earth is nothing compared to eternity with God since eternity never ends and since no sin will enter heaven. I have been broken in pieces (v. 5), metaphorically speaking. I guess that guy in my math class kinda did that since he intimidated me into not looking at him. I know that God's gonna deal with him with the time comes, though, which I'm glad I don't have to do myself. God will deal with him if he never turns to Christ and repents of his sins. It'd be cool if he turned to Christ since I don't anyone to go to hell, even my enemies. I imagine if he did turn, he'd have a lot more peace in his heart and probably apologize to me for the way he acted. Perhaps I should start praying for him. I can't relate to verses 6-7, but I will say those who hurt God's people (v. 6) -- probably in terms of persecution -- and doubt (v. 7) are foolish (v. 8). I'd hate to be in their shoes. The fact that God will hear and see them (v. 9) reassures me that no one can hide from God -- even those who persecute His people. I haven't met anyone who thinks they can hide from God, but God knows and sees all. He judges people based on their heart (1 Samuel 16:7), which means He knows the hearts of both believers and non-believers. I don't, so I can't judge. I will let Him deal with the heathen (v. 10) since it's His place. God knows the thoughts of rebellious people (v. 11), which are vain. That kind of sums up those who think they can hide from God and hurt His people. They don't think God will have vengeance on them, which is a real shame. That verse makes me wanna plant seeds so others can avoid having God's vengeance poured out on them. Not only would they repent and relaize that they've God's people, but God would save them from experiencing His wrath.

Sometimes God does need to chastise me (v. 12), which He kind of did during my darkest moment for me to snap out of Satan's grip. He did it out of love, though, not as am expression of hatred towards me. If He didn't love me, He wouldn't discipline me. And I think His disciplining helps to make me a better Christian since it humbles me and all that. Verse 13 reminds me of my darkest moment since He did and continues to give me rest. Adversity could pop up again, but I know that God will take care of the wicked once and for all. That is when God's people will have complete and utter rest -- or relief -- which will be great. I find comfort in knowing that God won't cut off His people (v. 14), no matter how the wicked try to cut off God's people. A firm foundation in Christ cannot be upset by the wicked and it wouldn't be in God's nature for Him to let the wicked cut off His people. In verse 15, I am reminded that God will judge His people according to their righteousness, which I've talked about before. I know that He will rise up against the evil in the last days (v. 16). To me, that means that He will overcome and defeat the evil so it won't influence His people. I imagine that will be similar to my darkest moment, but on a much larger scale. And speaking of my darkest moment, the Lord helped me so I didn't dwell in silence (v. 17), which I am thankful for. I was slipping away from Him (v. 18) and He held me up with His mercy (or love in this case). If He didn't love me, He wouldn't have helped me out while He dealt with the enemy. I must've had a multitude of thoughts during the course of my darkest moment, which is how I relate to verse 19. Finding comfort in God was what delighted my soul and is what continues to delight it. I also take comfort in knowing that God won't associate with a throne of iniquity (v. 20). If He did, that would corrupt His relationship with His people because sin would enter it, which would be bad. I am thankful that He is perfect and that sin has no power over Him. Another thing to praise Him for, I'd say. I can't say I've been condemned by those who are against the righteous (v. 21), but He is indeed my rock (v. 22), which is why I can rely on Him when I'm dealing with crap. I don't have much to say about verse 23, but I do like Henry's thoughts on it, "And he will reckon with the wicked. A man cannot be more miserable than his own wickedness will make him, if the Lord visit it upon him."

Chapter 95

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "Whenever we come into God's presence, we must come with thanksgiving. The Lord is to be praised; we do not want matter, it were well if we did not want a heart." I sing in church to the Lord (v. 1), which is a joyful noise to Him. I suppose before I've mentioned that I've thought of being in/forming a Christian metal band. And even if I haven't, if it's God's plan for me to be in a band, I imagine that the band would make joyful noises for Him, which be an awesome thing to be a part of. In my church, others and myself do come before His presence by being thankful to Him (v. 2). I see that as expressing thanks to Him for various things. And God can be thanked for all the things He's done -- no matter how small. I never get tired of thanking Him, especially when it chokes me up. I think being vulnerable like that is what results from the Holy Spirit at work. He is a great God, yes (v. 3) and the fact that He's King over all the others gods reminds me that no one can take His place and that true life can be found in Him. If I had to worship multiple, I'd probably get confused, but I'm glad He's not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). I don't have much to say about verses 4-5 except that I am reminded that His creation belongs to Him. And because of that, I thank Him for His creation, which doesn't feel like I'm cheapening my own experience, which many atheists will bring up to, I guess, discourage God's people. To me, it's more of expression of how blessed I am to enjoy God's creation. It's almost as if I don't deserve it, but God had a plan for me, which was why He created me. In verse 6, I am reminded of being in reverence of the Lord. I can't say I bow down to Him in church, but I've seen people do it and it's a great thing to see God at work like that. I do sometimes put out my hands -- as I've explained before -- which I think would count as being in reverence of Him. I am blessed to be a part of His flock (v. 7) and I should not harden my heart when He speaks to me (v. 8). If I do, then I miss out on the blessing that will result from Him telling what He whats me to do for Him if He wants me to do something for Him. That verse is basically saying to me that I should be mindful. What the temptation aspect means to me in verses 8-11 is that I should be aware of sin lurking in my heart and let God take care of so it doesn't get any worse, which was how I dealt with profane thoughts I had. Letting God take care of it prevented me from falling into higher degress of temptation, which I thank Him for.

                                                   Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 92". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 93". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 94". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 95". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

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