Friday, September 9, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 120-121

Psalm 120

A Song of degrees.

1In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.
2Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
3What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?
4Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
5Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
6My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.

7I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

Psalm 121

A Song of degrees.

1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Chapter 120

Here's Henry's insight on the first two verses, "The psalmist was brought into great distress by a deceitful tongue. May every good man be delivered from lying lips. They forged false charges against him." In my darkest moment, what caused me distress was the fact that the enemy was trying to get me to believe his lies. The Lord delivered me from the lies and deceit before things got worse, which I am thankful for. Verses 3-4 don't seem to be directed at the reader, but what the verses mean to me is that since the enemy was really working on me to deceive me, God's gonna punish Him for that. That also relates to God's people in general and I praise Him for His sovereignty in the sense that the enemy won't overtake or dethrone Him. I'm not sure if I can relate to verses 5-6, but for clarity, here's Henry's insight on the verses, "It is very grievous to a good man, to be cast into, and kept in the company of the wicked, from whom he hopes to be for ever separated. See here the character of a good man; he is for living peaceably with all men." I haven't had an experience similar to the one described in verse 7, but what I will say about it is that there have been others in the past who wanted to fight and stuff, but I think my Christlike character shows that I try to make peace when possible. If someone hits me, I will most likely hit them back out of self-defense, not revenge since venegeance belongs to God. I do not believe Jesus was a pacifist, so I think that also contributes to it.

Chapter 121

In my darkest moment, I did look up the (metaphorical) hills (v. 1). Doing so was what was brought about my help from the Lord (v.2), which was His bringing me out of it. I like verse 3 because it reminds that God sees the little details and not just the big picture. The little detail in this case being that fact that He doesn't let His people move or slip even in the most trying of times. I think He uses the little things to bring about His plan in the lives of His people. Since I like Henry's insight on verse 4, I thought I'd include it, "He is a wakeful, watchful Keeper; he is never weary; he not only does not sleep, but he does not so much as slumber." I am thankful that He watches over me even in my sleep and that He can protect me during that time from an any evil, which He did during my darkest moment. I guess God never gets tired and never sees the need to sleep, which isn't a really need for an entity or spiritual being. I don't have a lot to say about verse 5 since I pretty much covered things in verse 4, but the fact that He is shade lets me know that He covers me (metaphorially) so darkness can't remain and have an influence on me. He was my shade during my darkest moment when He protected me while dealing witht the enemy. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 6, but in my darkest moment, He did preserve (v.7) or watch over me so the enemy wouldn't have an influence on me. Same goes when He preserved my soul (or life). I like the idea that He preserves (or watches over) me (v. 8), particularly on a constant basis because it lets me know that even if took His eyes off His people for just a second, they wouldn't be under His protection. "Coming and going" has to do with a believer's time on earth and his or her time in eternity. I believe that God is with His people every step of the way as long as they are loyal to Him.

                                                    Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 120". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 121". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

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