Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 113-128

Psalm 119:113-128

113I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.
114Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
115Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
116Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
117Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
118Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.
119Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.
120My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
121I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.
122Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.
123Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.
124Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.
125I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.
126It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.
127Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

128Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

Chapter 119 verses 113-128

What verse 113 means to me is that I should continue to not associate with double -minded men who try to get me to fall away from God. They could influence me to have vain thoughts and chase after the flesh, which wouldn't be a good thing. His law is something I keep held of and I express love (towards Him) regarding it by applying it to my life, which I think I've talked about before. In my darkest moment, He was my hiding place and my shield (v. 114), which means to me that He protected me from the enemy's influence so I could focus on my relationship with Him and focus on hoping in His Word. The enemy did depart from me as soon as I cried out to Him, which is commandment given by God for His people to apply when they are in trouble (v. 115). I also kept the commandments of not giving up on Him and relying on Him to help me out. When the enemy knows I'm gonna keep God's commandments, he gets outta there. To provide clarity for verse 116, here's Henry's thoughts on verse 116, "The believer could not live without the grace of God; but, supported by his hand, his spiritual life shall be maintained. Our holy security is grounded on Divine supports." When I'm facing trials in life, I can depend on Him to uphold (or sustain me), which I find comfort in. In algebra, He upheld me by helping me to maintain a passing record on my tests and quizzes. I wasn't ashamed of my hope because I didn't take crap from people if they had a problem with me being a Christian. My hope in Him was what kept me going in order to cross over my Jordan. If I was ashamed of my hope in Him, I would've felt that I wouldn't have been able to make it through math even if He did help me. I think I'll also relate verses 116-117 to my darkest moment because God did uphold me according to His Word so I could maintain my spiritual walk. He helped me up by freeing me from the enemy's grip, which meant to me that I was safe from tne enemy's influence. I'm not sure if my drifiting away from God during my darkest moment was a sign of disrespect towards His statutes, but I will say that since my relationship with Him was renewed, I saw His statutes for what they really were: ways He wants me to follow. I can't say I can relate to verse 118, but I will take it as a warning as to what God does to those who stray (or err) from His statutes. I'm not sure if verse 119 could possibly apply to my darkest moment, so I think I'll leave it alone in that aspect. However, when God does put away the wicked, I will know that that is part of His ways, which is what I get out of "therefore I love thy testimonies." How I would relate to verse 120 would be that sometimes I get choked up when prasing Him out loud, which I think I've talked about before, so I'm not gonna go into detail about it. What "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee" means to me in terms of getting choked up while prasing Him out loud is that since I am showing reverence towards Him, my flesh is trembles when I get choked up. I don't have much to expand on about His judgments (or laws), but I am sure that part of my praising Him out loud -- which I should do more often -- tends to include thanking Him for His judgments.

I try to do the right things that will glorify God when the opportunities present themselves (v. 121). One time, in high school, there was just kid who was showing me picutres of girls on his phones. I didn't care to see them and I said that what he was doing could lead to sin, which I said I was saying to him out of love. I don't think he knew what I meant by that, but at least I still did the right thing. I think by doing the right thing for His glory, I will not give into association with the oppressors. I can't think of a time I've dealt with the proud, expect for that time I dealt with that kid in my math class (v. 122). God watched over me during that time and never engaged in a fight with the guy -- which he porbably would have started -- due to His watching over me even though the guy tried to intimidate me. Since verse 123 is a similar verse to verse 82, just look at my reflection on the latter verse. To add to that, however, here's Henry's insight on the verse, "The psalmist expects the word of God's righteousness, and no other salvation than what is secured by that word, which cannot fall to the ground." In my darkest moment, my eyes did fail to see what God was going to do, but I ended up crying out to Him and having faith in Him since, in the flesh, I didn't know what He was going to do. He did deal with me according to His mercy (or love, v. 124) by protecting me from the enemy's influence while He took care of him. I resumed learning His statutes so I could work on incorporating thme in my relationship with Him. I like Henry's insight on verse 125, "If any man resolve to do God's will as his servant, he shall be made to know his testimonies." That verse means to me that if I serve Him, I will be blessed by knowing His ways (or testimonies or statutes in this case). I know that His ways are higher above my ways and that I should try and address others' needs as if they are higher than my own, for example. I can't personally relate to verse 126, but I take comfort in the fact that God will deal with those who try to make void His Word. In these end times, I wouldn't be surprised if sometime tried to do that only to have his or her gourd thumped by the living God. I do love His commandments (v. 127), which I feel I express when I live them out, which I've talk about before. It's not always an easy thing to love by His commandments, but when I do, I'm letting God know that I am thankful to have Him as my teacher. The aspect of loving His law above gold means that I am to love it more than worldly things, which I try to maintain by reading it and applying it. Another way I express my love for His laws is by lining myself with His precepts (v. 128), which is the true I've decided to follow when I became a Christian. Like I said, living by His precepts and following them isn't always an easy thing, particularly because I mess up sometimes and I am thankful that He forgives me. I need help taming my tongue in some instances, so I think I'll ask Him for guidance on that.

                                                    Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 97-112

Psalm 119:97-112

97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
98Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
99I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
101I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
102I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
103How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
105Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
106I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
107I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
108Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.
109My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.
110The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
111Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

Chapter 119 verses 97-112

I like Matthew Henry's comment on verse 97, "What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart." I do love His law and I do take the time to memorize scripture. I'd say that I express my love for His law by applying it since doing so glorifies Him. I try to love everyone, which isn't always easy, but when I do it, God is glorified. I can't say I've had an instance where I had an enemy that I depend on God's wisdom for (v. 98), but it encourages me knowing that as a result of learning His wisdom, I can overcome my enemies through prayer and reliance on Him instead of taking revenge on them. For clarity, here's Henry's insight on verses 99-100, "The written word is a more sure guide to heaven, than all the fathers, the teachers, and ancients of the church." I don't depend on man to get me to God or to to grant me salvation since Christ's death on the cross was what granted me salvation, which I honored by coming to Him. Those verses remind me that God's Word should be my ultimate authority. It reminds of this quote by Petr Chelčický, "The man who obeys God needs no other authority (over him)." Those verses also remind me that it's good idea to read and interpret the Bible myself, especially if I don't agree with something man says, such as the (false) doctrine of baptism being a requirement for salvation, which illustrates that me that some people believe that Christianity is works-based when it's supposed to be (and is) faith-based. Learning God's Word from an early age, I'd say it was what influenced me to not live a lifestyle of sin and evil (v. 101). I am thankful that God's Word influenced me that way from the beginning and continues to do so. It kinda reminds me of being dead to sin and alive in Christ and starving the flesh and feeding the spirit. It wouldn't be a good idea for me to get drunk every night and yet still think of myself as a Christian. The more I expose myself to His Word, the less desire I have to sin, which I think relates to sanctification because if I make the effort to live a holy life, I'm gonna see the fruits of that. Some days are worse than others in terms of not watching my tongue, for, example but sanctification is a process and I am thankful that God's grace is expressed through that. Hopefully I have the right idea about santification because I haven't done much study on it. What I have to say about verse 102 is that since God teaches me valuable lessons from His Word, I keep coming back for more. I don't plan on quitting and it's always an awesome thing when God opens my eyes to His relationship with Joshua or Solomon's speech in 2 Chronicles chapter 6. I do pray before reading the Word and I typically ask that God will help me to understand. I also ask, afterwards, that He'll help me to apply what I've learned, which makes a difference. I already discussed math being a Jordan for me, so I'm not gonna talk about it again, but I do believe that crossing over my Jordan was something that resulted from prayer and faith in God. His Words are sweet (v. 103) and they give me hope, especially in the most doubtful of times. I had my doubts going into algebra, thinking it was gonna be a difficult class, especially because the only way to earn credit was through tests and quizzes. However, reading the Book of Joshua at the time was what gave me hope and influenced me to push though. I also like Henry's insight on the verse, "The soul has its tastes as well as the body. Our relish for the word of God will be greatest, when that for the world and the flesh is least." What understanding do I get from His precepts? (v. 104) I get the understanding that I am to hate sin and reflect that by following Him and living a holy life. I have no desire to live a sinful life and I don't plan on starting anytime soon.

Verse 105 relates to my darkest moment because I relied on God's Word for light, which helped to direct towards Him and away from the enemy's influence. Knowing God would free me was enough to know because it was that aspect of His Word that gave me light. When I became a Christian, part of that covenant included and still includes performing or living out His Word (v. 106), which I think I've touched on before. I do try to love others, which isn't always easy, but I thank Him for counting trying as doing. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 107, but I do like Henry's insight on it, "The psalmist is often afflicted; but with longing desires to become more holy, offers up daily prayers for quickening grace." Perhaps I need to take time to really look at that verse and examine myself to see if I need to ask for God's grace. What I get out of verse 108 is that God always accepts my praise, which I can choose whether or not I want to, I guess, partake in. I thank Him (or praise Him for) the little things, such as His Word, food to eat, and a roof over my head. How I would relate to "teach me thy judgments" would by asking God to help to learn from His Word before reading it in the mornings. I can't say I can relate to verse 109, but verse 110 relates to my darkest moment because even though the enemy tried to lay a trap before me and trip me up by trying to get me to believe his lies, he didn't influence me to go away from God's promises because I knew I could rely on them to help me out. What verse 111 means to me is that I when I leanr from His testimonies (or statutes) found in His Word, I illustrate that His testimones are my hertiage (or treasure) when I apply them. By applying them, I show to God that I have taken the time to inherit wheat I have learned, which pleases Him. Verse 112 reminds of the covenant I made with Him when I decided to follow Him -- the covenant of keeping His Word till the end. And when there's a situation where I have to show patience or thank the Lord for my trials, I will try my best to do those things because doing things will not only show the character of Christ, but they will also show that I care about glorifying God.

                                                    Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 73-96

Psalm 119:73-96

73Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.
75I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
76Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.
77Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.
78Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
79Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.
80Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
81My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.
82Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
83For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
85The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.
86All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.
87They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

88Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

89For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
90Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
91They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.
 92Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
93I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.
94I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts.
95The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.

96I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Chapter 119 verses 73-96

I like Matthew Henry's comment on verse 73, "God made us to serve him, and enjoy him; but by sin we have made ourselves unfit to serve him, and to enjoy him. We ought, therefore, continually to beseech him, by his Holy Spirit, to give us understanding." I am thankful that I have opportunities to serve Him and He presents those opportunities to me without playing games. I do wanna (continue to) serve Him and I pray that opportunities will come along to do so. That way I will know (or understand) what He wants me to do. I can relate to verse 74 because it reminds me of when I go to Bible study on Thursday nights. Usually, the people there greet me, especially if I show up at a decent time. They know that I'm there to get something out of God's Word and I might even bless 'em with an insight or a scripture. I could pick a verse on overcoming, for example, and it could really hit home for another person. To me, that shows God at work and that He really knows how to stir in the hearts of His people. I can also relate to that verse because during the Bible study, there is a ten minute break and it's always a good thing to get a hug or two during break time. It really shows the camaraderie of God's people and that they're excited to see each other and study His Word together. I also get hugs from elderly ladies on Sundays in church, which is how the excitement of seeing each and knowing that we're excited to enjoy God also applies. I've gotten some compliments from some elderly women about my article in my church's newsletter on being a worship host, which I think I talked about before. In my article, I illustrated God's work in me as a worship host and I kinda figure that the compliments were related to my describing how God has worked in me as a worship host. So knowing (or finding out) that some of the elderly women know how God's worked in my life as a worship host resulted in them being glad when they saw me and continue to see me because I have illustrated that I served God and continue to do so with Hosea 6:6 in mind. Sorry if took a while to get to the point there...I'm just kinda trippin' out tonight. I am thankful for His judgments (or laws) and that they're true (v. 75). If they weren't true, I wouldn't trust in them. I'm nost sure how I'd relate to the "and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me" part since I don't recall being punished by God, but I do find comfort in His merciful kindness (or love), as verse 76 mentions. In my darkest moment, I did find comfort in His love because it protected me from the enemy and helped tme to draw closer to Him. His tender mercies did come to me (v. 77), mostly as a result of others praying for me and being freed from the enemy's grip. To me, the most obvious one(s) would be that my relationship with God was renewed and that the enemy wasn't trying to get me to believe his lies. I did find delight in His law and trust in His promises because doing helped me to overcome. God helps out His people when they experience days of trouble, which was something I remember trusting in. I can't think of an instance in which I've experienced what is described in verse 78, but it gives me confidence in case I ever do. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to get out of verses 79-80, but I do like Henry's insight on them, "He valued the good will of saints, and was desirous to keep up his communion with them. Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him." I do desire to learn from His Word (v. 80), the more I apply it, the more I imagine God's judgment towards me when that time comes.

To put things into perspective, here's Henry's insight on verses 81-82, "The psalmist sought deliverance from his sins, his foes, and his fears. Hope deferred made him faint; his eyes failed by looking out for this expected salvation." In my darkest my moment, I did kind of wonder when God was gonna exactly get me out of it (v. 82). I do believe that He started working as soon as I called upon Him, but He completely freed from it in His timing since I had to depend on Him to do so. I didn't lose hope in His Word because it was gave me confidence during that time. Knowing He would free me was what kept me going and I will say that if one's faith doesn't endure and if he or she doesn't trust God even in the most unsure of times, his or her faith won't build and mature. "Bottle" (v. 83) can be translated as "wine-skin." To provide clarity, here's Henry's insight on the verse, "He was become like a leathern bottle, which, if hung up in the smoke, is dried and shrivelled up. We must ever be mindful of God's statutes." I must've felt like a bottle in the smoke since I was spiritually dried, but I didn't forget His statutes. His statutes are my foundation and since they endure forever, they're a good foundation to have. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 84, but I do like Henry's comment on it, "The days of the believer's mourning shall be ended; they are but for a moment, compared with eternal happiness." That reminds that the trials I face in this life are nothing compared to eternity with God. The enemy did try to dig pits for me (v. 85) in my darkest moment by trying to get me to believe his lies, but I trusted in His commandments (v. 86) -- such as I described before. I am thankful that His promises never fail and that they helped me to deal with the enemy. The fact that the enemy tried to consume me in my darkest moment (v. 87), I feel, was, I guess represented by the fact that I could trust in God to help me out. It was that bad, yes, but when it pours He reigns. How I would relate to verse 88 would be that God helped me out during my darkest moment by His expressing His love towards me by freeing me from the enemy and helping me to grow closer to Him as a result.

I am am thankful that is set heaven in heaven eternally (v. 89). That reminds me that His Word endures forever, which means to me that even though all the Bibles in the world may get taken away on account of liberal agenda in the future, God's people will still know His Word as a result of studying in it. That reminds me that studying His Word is something that is worthy of my time. I like verse 90 because I see God's glory in the fact that His faithfulness has and continues to reveal itself to generations. I praise Him for that because He's not gonna stop working on people even if they've gone off into the deep end and never came to know Him. It, to me, really shows how far His love stretches and that He has a plan for eveyone who comes to Him. And His truth won't go away -- it will keep abiding or remaining, which is carried over in verse 91. What "They continue this day according to thine ordinances" means to me is that heaven and earth operate how God has planned. It's bad on earth now, but I know that eternity with Him will more than make up for that. His law is something in which I find delight (v. 92), which I think is represted by the fact that I wanna read and learn from it as much I can. I also like Henry's thoughts on the verse, "We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us." I don't take His Word for granted, which I think I've kind of already expressed already. I don't plan on forgetting His precepts (v. 93) because if I did, they wouldn't quicken me or give me strength when I need it. In my darkest moment, I was reminded that I belonged to Him and knew that He could free me from it according to His precepts (v. 94) -- such as the one about crying out to Him and being freed from trouble. The enemy tried to get to mess up by trying to get me to believe his lies (v. 95), but concentrating on the fact that God was gonna free me was what helped me push through. What verse 96 means to means is that it's a good idea to find perfection in spiritual things than worldy things since worldly things have their flaws.

                                                 Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible".  <>.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 49-72

Psalm 119:49-72

49Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
50This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
51The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.
52I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.
53Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
54Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
55I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.
56This I had, because I kept thy precepts.
57Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.
58I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.
59I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
61The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.
62At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.
63I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

64The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

65Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.
66Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
67Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
68Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
69The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
70Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.
71It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

72The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.

Chapter 119 verses 49-72

What I have to say about verse 49 is that God sticks to His Word -- no pun intended -- which is a wonderful thing to trust in and realize. I can't say I've thought that God remembers His Word towards His people before, but in terms of His faithfulness towards His people, that is displayed throughout scripture. An example would 2 Chronicles 7:14, which says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." In order to experience God's faithfulness, though, that requires action on the part of the believer -- it doesn't come out of wishful thinking. In my darkest moment, I had to take action by praying and trusting that God would help me out. He did help me out and illustrate His faithfulness towards me as I've talked about before. Praise God for His faithfulness! The fact that God remembered His Word and displayed His faithfulness towards me (v. 50) was what helped me to find comfort in affliction (or suffering). My pain wasn't physical but spiritual, so the aspect of affliction still applies. "Quickened me" can be translated as "kept me alive," according to Bullinger. So trusting in Him and His Word was what kept me alive spiritually, which I can't really describe beyond that. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 51, but I guess there's been instances before on the internet where proud (or arrogant) people had me greatly in derision (or mocked me) for being a Christian. Their words didn't make me give up on my faith nor did I decline His law. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 53, but I am thankful for His statutes (v. 54) and I do praise Him for them, particularly in church. I do thank Him at the end of the day for allowing me to live another day (v. 55), which I do as a result of obeying His precepts (v. 56).

I like Henry's comment on verse 57, "True believers take the Lord for the portion of their inheritance, and nothing less will satisfy them." That reminds me that God is my inheritance and I make the effort to learn from His Word -- or portion -- pretty much every day of the week. I guess when I became a Christian, part of the covenant included keeping and obey God's Word and commandments. I try to do the simple things, such as obeying my parents and loving my neighbors and going from there. Those aren't easy things to do, but with God's help, I can do 'em. I'm trying to get better about taming my tongue at the moment, which I think I'll ask God for so He can help me out. I do look to Him -- His favors or face -- by doing things that glorify Him (v. 58), which I've listed and talked about before. If I do seek after Him, His mercy or grace will be with me. I'm not if I experienced a time like that in my life, but there have been times when I've done things that have offended people and ended up being forgiven. I don't feel comfortable about talking about a particular instance here, but I will say that one time I did something that intimidated a female friend of mine and it got blown way out of proportion. She did forgive me, though, and I think that was God working through her as a way of showing grace towards me. I try to think of my animation career -- which is what I wanna pursue -- as something that I can look to God to (v. 59). I figure I'll glorify Him in it and think of my career as a blessing. If I get involved in something that has a biblically or spiritually-based message in regards to doing an animated movie or something, that'd be cool too. I guess verse 60 would kind of apply to when I decided to become a worship host in my church. I believe that God spoke through the head host to get to me to be a part of the ministry. I didn't delay or take a long time to line up with God's will. I probably thought about it for a week or two and kept His command by committing to His will. I can't say I've experienced the instance described in verse 61 on a literal level, but in my darkest moment, the enemy did try to bind me, but I think being a Christian beforehand and trusting in His Word was what helped me to not forget the promise that He's there even in the midst of my trials. I don't have much to say on verse 62, but I do like Henry thought's on it, "Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God."  It kinda makes me wanna do something about those who live in their sinful nature instead of living a life which glorifies God. If God wants me to use the gospel to reach those people, I will so that way they can turn from their sin and live for Him. I would also relate to that verse by also saying that at the end of day, I usually do praise (or thank) Him for the day He provided. Wouldn't hurt to start praising Him for His laws, though. By being a companion (or friend) of those that fear Him (v. 63), I have a strong bond with them and we can build each other up in the good and bad times, which I praise Him for. I do desire to learn from and apply His statutes (v. 64). I also like Henry's comment on the verse, " And we should be more earnest in prayer, that our hearts may be filled with his mercy, grace, and peace."

I like Henry's comment on verse 65, "However God has dealt with us, he has dealt with us better than we deserve; and all in love, and for our good." To give an example of how God has dealt with me, I'd talk about my darkest moment. Not only did He free me from the enemy's group, but He also worked in such a way in which my relationship was renewed with Him. God really delivered and I'm thankful that He stayed true to His Word. Even since I became a Christian, I did believe His commandments (v. 66). If I didn't believe them, I wouldn't have a desire to learn them. I am thankful, though, that God reveals Himself to me in His Word and I have the desire to learn more and apply it. I can't say I've had an experience that would relate to verse 67, but I will say that it is a verse to keep in mind in case God punishes or afflicts me as a result of going astray. I would see His punishment as a good thing (v. 68) because it would illustrate to me that He cares enough about me to lay the smack down on me when I royally screw up. And even though He may punish me in the future for something, I'm not gonna give up on studying His Word. I don't let the proud (or arrogant) take advantage of me by telling lies about me (v. 69). I've had people in the past make up or forge lies about me that I was a homosexual and I was somehow involved with Michael Jackson or something. I did get pissed, yes, mostly because they had no basis for thier claims and also probably because they were trying to ruin my reputation. Keeping God's Word in mind, I didn't let their lies get the best of me. Their hearts were as fat as grease (v. 70) -- or rather "callous and unfeeling" (NIV). Despite that, I still delighted in His law and followed Him. If I was dragged down to their level and joined them in spreading lies about people, I would've been focusing on worldly things and not spiritual things, which would've been bad. For my thoughts on verse 71, just look at my thoughts on verses 67-68. No value can be placed on His law (v. 72) and I am thankful that I can learn from it.

                                                   Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 33-48

Psalm 119:33-48

33Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
34Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
36Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
37Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
38Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
39Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
40Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
41Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.
42So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.
43And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.
44So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.
45And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
46I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
47And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

48My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Chapter 119 verses 33-48

I do enjoy learning from His Word and for the most, part in prayer, I'll ask God to help me to apply what I've read, which is how I would relate to verse 33. I've learned to respect my dad more recently by not getting grouchy when he comes home from work and tries to tickle my feet or something. Now I'll just move my feet so he can't tickle me instead of getting pissed by reacting quickly and trying to kick him. I guess it's just weird for me to have another guy trying to touch my feet. I probably wouldn't mind if a girl tried. And to avoid getting off on some tangent, I believe that God will help me to keep my changed attitude towards my dad till the end. I not only ask for understanding of His Word, but also for understanding to
serve Him as a result of asking Him to help me to be mindful of opportunities to help out and serve people (v. 34). If He gives me understanding of that, I will keep or obey His law by doing what His Word says -- that is, not focusing on myself and displaying a servant's heart when serving others. I do serve in my church and I do apply those principles when handing out the offering baskets and communion trays, so I got that aspect covered. I want God to use to serve outside my church, though, even it's just blessing a homeless person every now and then by buying lunch for him. I do try to follow after His commandments (v. 35) by obeying Him and doing things that display that, such as serving in my church, loving on others, and applying His Word to my life just to name a few. To me, finding delight in those means not only being blessed as a result, but also having the experience and knowing that God's in control. If something goes wrong, I can find (re)assurance in that because I know that it will go according to how God wants it to. Sometimes I do mess up when worship hosting, like if I pass an offering basket in a row that already has one, but that doesn't mean God isn't watching and not having the knowledge that both bags will end up with me or the host on the other side of the aisle. I do want God to (continue to) direct my heart towards His testimonies (or statutes) and if I follow His ways and keep them in mind, my own foolish human nature won't come through and give me something that isn't beneficial for my spirit. For example, I'd rather have a godly woman in my life than a worldly one, which I've already explained why. Verse 37 is kind of convicting -- the vanity aspect anyway -- because sometimes my eyes do behold vanity (or worthless things) due to some of the movies I watch, like I've talked about before. I don't have much else to say about that verse. However, I will say that I try not to argue over the internet over trivial things. On YouTube, if I don't like a comment on a video of mine, I'll remove so I don't have to argue (and possibly offend) that person. So I'm not engaging in vanity in that aspect and I am keeping God's way in mind. I do fear God (v. 38), which I'd say is what results from the promises found in His Word. I can look at the Book of Joshua, for example, and read about when Joshua and the others crossed the Jordan and ask for help to help me cross over the Jordans in my life. Algebra was a Jordan for me and I believe that God helped me to cross that by giving me the knowledge and understanding as a well as a wonderful teacher to pass the class. I would relate to verse 39 by saying that in my darkest moment, the enemy was basically saying I wasn't good enough for God by trying to get me to believe his lies. I depend on God's judgments and guidance, though, and he helped me to not give into the enemy. I do long after His precepts (v. 40) and I know I display righteousness by obeying them -- whether they from His Word or something He tells me to do. God wants to know that He can rely on me and I don't desire to not display righteousness towards Him. I also like Matthew Henry's thought on the verse, "When we enjoy the sweetness of God's precepts, it will make us long for more acquaintance with them. And where God has wrought to will, he will work to do."

I know that by trusting in and reading His Word, His mercies (or love) can come to me (v. 41). In my darkest moment, I did trust in Him and I feel that His love was displayed towards me by relieving me from the burdens that the enemy tried to make me fall with. I like Henry's insight on verse 42, "We need to pray that we may never be afraid or ashamed to own God's truths and ways before men." I can honestly say that I am unashamed of the fact that I'm a Christian, which I display as best as I can. I can't say I've really dealt with anyone in my life that I had to tell that I trust in God's Word, but I know God will equip me to say that to someone who reproaches (or taunts) me as a result of being unashamed. I do hope in His judgments (v. 43), which was displayed in my darkest moment, as I've talked about before. I don't fear that I will forget what I have learned from His Word because not only have I memorized some scripture to help me out in times of need, but also because I'm not gonna forget what I've applied, such as loving my neighbors and obeying my parents for example. The more I practice those things, the more I'll remember them. There are some lessons I've learned from His Word that I won't ever forget since certain lessons spoke me at the time of reading them and I can apply them to something such as conquering algebra, which was how I crossed a Jordan in my life. I haven't memorized every scripture in the Bible and I don't remember some of the stuff I've read, mostly because I've read the Books of Joshua and Isaiah once, to name two books I've read once. But if I decide to read Joshua two years from now, I will come across some familiar stuff and get new stuff out of it, which is a cool thing to think about. Verse 44 kind of goes with what I was talking about in regard to loving my neighbors and obeying my parents. To speak generally, though, I think it's cool that once I learn and apply something I've learned from His Word, I'm not gonna stop doing it. To me, that shows that God's Word has power and there's no limiting it. I like Henry's thoughts on verse 45, "The service of sin is slavery; the service of God is liberty. There is no full happiness, or perfect liberty, but in keeping God's law." My response to that is that by serving God in church and obeying His Word, I am reminding myself of that comment I wrote on Psalm 17:4, which you can look at if you're curious since I had a lot to say about that. God's law provides happiness when I am blessed as a result of following it. I'm not gonna get into how I follow His law, but I have kind of it mentioned in previous reflections. To me, it's mostly doing things that express my love and service to Him. I don't personally know any kings (v. 46), but that verse encourages me to tell others -- non-Christians in this case -- of the good things He's done in my life, such at that time He was with me when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I'll have to talk about that another time in case I haven't already. I do love His commandments (v. 47), which I've kind of talked about in regards to verse 35, so just look at my thoughts on that. "My hands" (v. 48) means "to swear by." I swear by His commandments by trusting in them, which is an expression of love to God that I love Him because He knows what's best for my life. How I got into worship hosting was, I believe, when God spoke through the head host to get me to serve in the church. The head host must've said something that made me consider being part of the team. I did and had I not responded to that, I wouldn't have been doing something in which I can sacrifice my time to serve others. God wants His people to make sacrifices, which I see both as an expression of love and selflessness to Him and His people.

                                                Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 25-32

Psalm 119:25-32

25My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
26I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
27Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
28My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
29Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
30I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
31I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.

32I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

Chapter 119 verses 25-32

What I get out verse 25 is that when I'm down in the dust, God's Word the power to revive. During my darkest moment, I was down in the dust and trusting in Him and His Word was what helped revive me and bring me out of slavery to the enemy. God knows my ways (v. 26), which aren't always pleasing to Him. I wanna (continue to) learn His statutes and follow His plans for my life. Doing so will cover up any self-centered way I  may have in mind and help me to submit to doing something for His glory, which I try to maintain. Before I read His Word, I do ask for understanding, which will help me to walk in that way. And since I take the time to understand His Word, like I'm doing now, it makes it easier to talk (or meditate on) and see His plan for my life. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 28, but I have no desire to lie or do decetiful things (v. 29). I also like Matthew Henry's thought on the verse, "The way of lying means all false ways by which men deceive themselves and others, or are deceived by Satan and his instruments. Those who know and love the law of the Lord, desire to know it more, and love it better." Following Him and living by His Word helps me to not be deceived by the enemy since it provides truth and clarity and I love learning from it and I have the desire to want to learn more. When I became a Christian, I basically chose the way of truth (v. 30), which I wouldn't trade anything for. "Thy judgments have I laid before me" means to me that I go after His Word and try to apply what I learn from it. Most of time, when I read the Word, I'll get something out of it, and it's even better if I can apply and show that I care to take the time to go hands-on with His Word. I consider myself a hands-on person and figuring outways in which I can apply passages in more than one area in my life leads to some good experimenting. I try to find multiple ways in which I can serve God, for example. I do stick to His commandments (v. 31), which I find no shame in. I like Henry's comment on it, "Those who stick to the word of God, may in faith expect and pray for acceptance with God." I don't have much to add to that, but I thank Him that I can find acceptance in Him. I do run and follow after His commandments (v. 32) -- not in a literal sense, but rather a spiritual one. And what has resulted in following Him commandments -- such as loving on homeless people in San Franscisco -- is being blessed with insight and discernment to know I can do great things for His Kingdom.

                                                 Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 119 verses 1-24

Since Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible, I will go through the chapter in sections.

Psalm 119:1-24

1Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
5O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
12Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
13With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
14I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
15I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

16I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

17Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
18Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
19I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
20My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
21Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
22Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
23Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

24Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

Chapter 119 verses 1-24

I do try to walk in His law -- that is, I try to live by His Word (v. 1). I don't do it just so I can get blessed, but I know that living by His Word has helped me love others and serve them, which result in the blessings of hugs and being loved back. I do try to keep His testimonies (v. 2) and I do try to seek Him and His kingdom with my whole heart because I know that blessings will result from that. What's cool is that God counts trying as doing. What verse 3 means to me is that since I'm dead to sin and have no desire to sin, I have a desire to follow Christ since His work in me is what makes me dead to sin. I may sin, yes, but I don't live as a slave to it since Christ has freed me from it. I find His precepts in His word (v. 4) and if I keep them, I'll (continue to) live as God wants me to. I like the fact that He commanded His people to keep His precepts because if it was just a suggestion, then most of His people wouldn't be living holy and odedient lives, which would be a bad thing. To comment on verses 5-6 as a whole, I will say that I try and make sure to follow Him and keep His ways since I know them to be a rock solid foundation. I do respect God commandents and I feel that is expressed by living them out. One example would be worship hosting in my church, which I have humility for and give God all the glory for. I am thankful for His judgments (or laws), which I express to Him by living a holy life. I don't have anything to say about verse 8, but I do like Matthew Henry's thoughts on it, "The psalmist coveted to learn the laws of God, to give God the glory. And believers see that if God forsakes them, the temper will be too hard for them."

I do live by His Word (v. 9) and have since I was young. I believe that doing so has resulted in not living a life as a drug addict or a sex addict or what have you. I sought God in early life, which contributed to living in a moral way and never doing drugs. I think God for His influence on me and that it helped me to live as to how He wanted me to live. I should examine myself if I do seek Him with my whole heart (v. 10). What "O let me not wander from thy commandments" is that His Word keeps me bound and helps me to not wander from my faith. I ask Him to help me to sin less, which I like seeing the fruits of. I like Henry's comment on verse 11, "God's word is treasure worth laying up, and there is no laying it up safe but in our hearts, that we may oppose God's precepts to the dominion of sin, his promises to its allurements, and his threatenings to its violence." I don't have much to add to that, but I think it's cool that God's Word impacts me to not sin against Him. To me, His power is revelaed by His Word when He works in that way. I am still capable of sinning, yes, but I don't have a desire to go out of my way to sin against Him. Learning His statutes (or laws) is a wonderful thing and before reading His Word, I ask that He'll help me to live by it and learn from it. I can't say I've (verbally) put verse 13 into practice but it wouldn't hurt to. How I would relate to verse 14 is by realizing that His testimonies (or statutes) are of much value and that I can learn from them and live by them. By meditating in His precepts, I will respect and follow His ways (v. 15). I learn from His Word, which helps me to know His ways and follow what He wants for me instead of following my own will. How I would relate to verse 16 is that I do delight in His statutes by being excited to learn from His Word and looking forward to a Bible study. And since I delight in His statutes, remembering or writing down what I have learned, like I'm doing, is helpful.

I like Henry's comment on verse 17, "If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word." I do consider myself a servant of the Lord and I am thankful that His Word provides life for me. I am open to learning from His Word (v. 18) and I think that results in beholding the wondrous things resulting in His law. That means to me that if I'm open to what God has to say to me in His Word, it will have an effect on me, which would show His Spirit at work. I want His Word to (continue to) have an effect on me so I'll know when His Spirit is touching me and revealing something to me. "I am a stranger in the earth" (v. 19) reminds me that I am not of this world and that I should not live in worldly ways. I think since I live according to the Spirit, God's commandments are not hid for me since I have a hunger for them as a result of living in the Spirit. I do long to learn from His judgments (or laws), which I'd say is represented by the fact that I read His Word and never plan to stop doing so even if I read all of it. I could go back and read Ecclesiastes again, for example, and get something out of it that I didn't catch the first or second time around, which is cool. I can't relate to verse 21 since it doesn't pertain to me, but since I keep His testimonies (or statutes), I can trust that God will deal with those who are against me (v. 22), which is what I get out of "Remove from me reproach and contempt." I can't say I've dealt with the people descrobed in verses 21-22, but those verses are ones to keep in mind in case I ever do. I haven't had any prices or rulers speak against me, I will find comfort in His Word in case that ever happens. My thoughts on verse 16 pretty much apply to what I would have put for verse 24, so just look at my thoughts regarding that.

                                                 Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 119". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 118

Psalm 118

1O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
2Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
3Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
4Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
5I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.
6The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
7The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
8It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
9It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
10All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.
11They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
13Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.
14The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
15The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
16The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
17I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
18The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
19Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
20This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
21I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
22The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
24This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
26Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
27God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
28Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

29O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Chapter 118

I think by expressing thanks towards God, His goodness is made known when I talk about the things He's done in my life (v. 1). In the past, in Bible study groups, I have talked about how God's helped me out on test I did in school, by saying that He provided me with wisdom and knowledge to help me out. I did study for my tests, yes, and I plan to in the future, but the point is that God helped me to apply what I studied. I'd say that He helped me as an expression of His love towards me, which is what I get out of "his mercy endureth for ever." Even though, I was kind of stressed out about algebra tests at times, God's love what was kept me going because I knew that He didn't want me to fail. I got mostly Cs on my tests and quizzes and math, which I saw as part of God's will because He knew my strengths and weaknesses in math and He knew how I would do, which I could trust in Him for. If He didn't have a plan for my life, He would have expressed that by not being there for me during my math tests and not caring. But because He cares, He's always there for me and He'll me out even with something as small as a quiz. I am thankful for the experiences in my algebra class, in terms of trusting in the Lord for my test and quizzes because I think they helped to strength my faith in Him. Not that my faith was weak to begin with, but it illustrated that I can trust God even with something small. I am not required to trust in Him just for something like my darkest moment. If I was only to able to trust Him during those times, I'd feel abandoned. And I can say that His mercy (or love) does endure forever (v. 4), as a result of whatever God does in my life, as the Israelites (v. 2) and the house of Aaron said (v. 3). During my darkest moment, I did call upon Him in my distress (v. 5). He did answer me, as I've talked about before. What "and set me in a large place" means to me is that He delivered me from my darkest moment. How I would relate to verse 6 is that, in my darkest moment, I knew He was on my side when He took care of the enemy and no longer had to worry about the enemy trying to make things worse for me in terms of trying to get me to believe his lies. What verse 8 means to me is that man could disappoint me in terms of trust and not live up to my expectations. I haven't met any princes, but what I said about verse 8 applies as well. During my darkest moment, I could only place my trust in God because I knew that He was the only one could help me out. He helped me out as a result of my crying out to Him and as a result of others praying for me, which is what I'm getting at in terms of how those verses tie in. I am a strong believer in the power of prayer and it's made a difference in my life as well as in the lives of others when they had stuff goin' on. I can't say I've been compassed about (or surrounded) by nations (v. 10), but I will say that in my darkest moment, I felt that God could only provide me with a way out from the enemy, so I guess in a way, I was surrounded by him because only God could help me. That's what I get out of the "but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them" part. I didn't literally destroy the enemy, but crying out to Him was what helped get the enemy off my back. That also applies to verses 11-12, so I don't feel it's necessary to add to those. The enemy tried to make me fall by trying to get me to give into his lies, but the Lord gave me wisdom not to (v. 13), which was what helped me out. His wisdom provides clarity, which I'm thankful for. He does provide strength and I will continue to depend on Him for that (v. 14). I praise Him for being my strength because I know He'll never give up on me and I feel that He proved that during my darkest moment by displaying that He'll take care of the enemy and protect me from his influence even when I'm at a low point. Verse 15 reminds that I can praise (and should) praise God for all the good things He does in my life. He saved me from the enemy during my darkest moment, which I praise Him for. I also praise Him for His helping me out on math tests and being there for me. His hand works in so many great ways and without it, I wouldn't have that hope that He can work valiantly. That also relates to verse 16. I'm not sure how'd I'd relate to verses 17-18, but what verse 19 means to me is that when I'm in His presence, I express thanks to Him, even for the little things in life. I don't have much to add to verse 20 since it pretty much speaks for itself.

Verse 21 reminds me of when I first became a Christian because when I called on Him, He did become my salvation and I thankful that He saved me at a young age from a lifestyle of sin and lust. I like Matthew Henry's thoughts on verse 22, " 2. His exaltation; he is the chief Cornerstone in the foundation. He is the chief Top-stone, in whom the building is completed, who must, in all things, have the pre-eminence." Yes, Christ is my Cornerstone and I am thankful that I can build my foundation upon Him and His Word. And I thankful that God provided a Cornerstone for me, which is how verse 23 fits in. I try and thank God for the days He provides (v. 24), especially because a new day isn't promised. Perhaps I should try and do that more often. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 25, but what verse 26 means to me is that if I come in His name to experience Him -- in church or a Bible study or what have you -- I will be blessed. There's been times, where after a Bible study, I felt encouraged by God's Word, which was the blessing because illustrated that God's Spirit was at work and had something to reveal to me. I can't recall a time, but it's something to think about it. I guess whenever I read His Word in general, I come out of it feeling blessed, especically if it's something reminding me of God's love. My pastor's been doing a message series on faith and there's a been a time or two where I've been blessed after hearing a sermon. I think that had to do providing clarity with was preached on it so I could apply to my life. And when I apply the Word to my life and live it out, God is glorified in that. He is my light (v. 27) and He was during my darkest moment. He is my God and I am thankful that I can have a relationship with Him and I praise Him for being a personal God (v. 28). See my thoughts on verse 1 since verse 29 is the same thing,

                                               Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 118". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 116-117

Psalm 116

1I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
2Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
4Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
6The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
7Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
11I said in my haste, All men are liars.
12What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
13I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
14I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
17I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
18I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

19In the courts of the LORD's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the

Psalm 117

1O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

2For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Chapter 116

I didn't live a life of being under God's wrath before I became a Christian, so I'll reflect on this chapter from the perspective of my darkest moment.

I was glad that He heard my voice when I cried to Him (v. 1). One is the reasons I love God is because He provides for me and because He's always there for me. I expressed my love and thanks to Him when my relationship with Him was a renewed as a result of His hearing my voice simply by saying that I loved Him and was thankful that He helped me out. I will continue to call upon Him (v. 2), which doesn't necessarily have to be in times of trouble. If I need help or guidance with an issue in life, more often than not, I will seek the Lord's help and ask Him about it. It kinda makes me imagine a situation where I'm starting to getting a know a (Christian) girl that I'm considering to be in a relationship with and how I would ask God about that and put it in prayer. I don't feel that would be a decision where I wouldn't consult the Lord because if I don't ask Him, I could be setting myself up for something that isn't fulfilling and for something that doesn't last long. God's guidance is unparalleled and I'd rather trust in Him than in myself or any man because He would (already) know whether or not the relationship would work out. I know that affection and the desire for it can draw me in, but I'd hate to go into a relationship with a godly lady without any foresight or whatever. Moving on, I remember feeling pain and sorrow in my darkest moment (v. 3). I imagine that was when the enemy was trying to get me to believe his lies and draw me away from God, which made me wanna hurt myself. In the midst of all that pain, I did call upon Him (v. 4) so He would deliver me. He did and His righteousness and grace were displayed by that (v. 5). What I mean by that is that I knew could rely on Him to help me even though I didn't do anything to deserve that. However, He helped me out as an expression of His love. "I was brought low" (v. 6) descibes how I felt before God helped me because I remember being in great need of His help, which He provided. Before my soul at rest (v. 7), it was chaotic as the enemy tried to get me over to his side, but God did work in me -- which I'm not sure how I'd describe -- in order for my soul to return to rest. As a result of that, I became at peace with Him and wanted to (continue) to do great things for His kingdom. I'm not sure if if I cried or if I fell during my darkest moment (v. 8), but do I know that by being freed from the enemy's grip, God helped me to avoid those things. I did end up walking in the land of the living afterwards (v. 9), which means to me that I was able to enjoy life with the enemy attacking me and that I was able to associate with others without feeling like they were gonna bring up my mistakes. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verses 10-11, but I do remember feeling afflicted. In the midst of my darkest moment, what caused me to turn to the Lord was His goodness and blessings towards me (vv. 12-13). I knew that since the Lord was good to me before, He wouldn't stop being good to me. He displayed His goodness to me by dealing with the enemy and bringing me back to Him. I knew that in order for the Lord to display His goodness to me by freeing me from my darkest moment, I had to call upon Him (v. 14). If I were to die, I would be with Him, which is what verse 15 means to me. Whenever God wants to take me, that would be fine with me because I'd be with Him. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 16, but what I will say is that since I am His servant, He will free me from any bonds I may be dealing with, which is encouraging. I don't have much to say about the last few verses, but I do like Matthew Henry's comments on them, "Doing good is sacrifice, with which God is well pleased; and this must accompany giving thanks to his name. Why should we offer that to the Lord which cost us nothing? The psalmist will pay his vows now; he will not delay the payment: publicly, not to make a boast, but to show he is not ashamed of God's service, and to invite others to join him. Such are true saints of God, in whose lives and deaths he will be glorified."

Chapter 117

Yeah, the shortest chapter in the Bible, so I'll reflect on it in terms of what I get out of it. What the chapter means to me as a whole is that it gives (God's) people the praise the Lord. His merciful kindness (or love) is unmatched and it's displayed when He works in the lives of His people by freeing them from addictions, providing them with a place to live, helping them overcome sin, and helping them to make crucial decisions just to name a few. And when I find out about what God has done in or is currently doing in the lives of fellow believers, I can take part in praising Him, which is cool. What "the truth of the LORD endureth for ever" means to me is that His truth will never go away. I find on a constant basis truth in His Word and I am thankful that I can use His truth as my foundation. It guides and directs me to where God wants me, which means I'll never end up feeling misled. And even though Bibles may be burned and all that, I take the time to memorize scripture so that I can use God's encouraging and enduring truth to help me out if there's ever an instance when I have my Bible taken away from me.

                                              Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 116". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 115

Psalm 115

1Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.
2Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
3But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
4Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
5They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
6They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
7They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
8They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
9O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
10O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
11Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
12The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
13He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.
14The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
15Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.
16The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
17The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

18But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

Chapter 115

I am reminded that God has all the glory in circumstances where His mercy (or love) and truth shine (v. 1). In my darkest moment, I remember His love and truth shining through. He showed me love by protecting me from the enemy. He me truth by showing me that the enemy was trying to deceive so I wouldn't have to give into his lies. I thank Him for that and I will say that He has all the glory for those things because I had no part in doing those things. I can't say I've really ever dealt with anyone who has questioned where God is (v. 2), but I think they should take the time to realize that God is in heaven, which is where He operates from and does as He sees fit (v. 3). I may have said this before, but I don't believe heaven is some place in the clouds, but rather where God is since He's omnipresent. I don't worship idols, so verses 4-8 don't apply to me, but I will say that it would be pointless or meaningless for me to do so and that God would look down upon it. And since I don't trust in idols, I place my trust in God (vv. 9-11). So much good comes from that because since I trust in Him, He is my help and my shield, which is something only He could live up to. He helped me out during my darkest moment by freeing me from the enemy's grip and He acted as my shield by protecting me while He dealt with the enemy. I trusted that He would and He did, which is something I'll always remember as a way of showing how He's worked in my life. In verse 12, what "The LORD hath been mindful of us" means to me is that God pays attention to what's going on with His people and He knows when they do things that glorify Him. I do do things to glorify Him and He does bless me. I'd say that when I serve in church, I am sometimes blessed by experiencing the Holy Spirit's presence, which I think I've talked about before. And with that in mind, I see verse 13 as a promise since by fearing Him and continuing to do so, I will be blessed. I can express my fear or reverence towards Him by doing things that glorify Him, such as worship hosting. I can also do artwork for Him and blessed if that speaks to others and helps them out in life. I can't say I've made a difference in someone's life through my artwork, but it'd be cool if God wanted to use me that way. I don't have children (v. 14), but I know that if I did the Lord would bless me and my children. I don't have anything to say about verses 15-17, but verse 18 reminds me that praising God is a continual, ongoing thing.