Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 135-138

Psalm 135

1Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.
2Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
3Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.
4For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
5For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
6Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
7He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
8Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.
9Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.
10Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;
11Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan:
12And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.
13Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.
14For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.
15The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
16They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
17They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
18They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.
19Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron:
20Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD.

21Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 136

1O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
5To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
6To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
7To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
8The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
20And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

26O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 137
1By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?
5If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
7Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
8O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

9Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Psalm 138

A Psalm of David.

1I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
2I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
3In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
4All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
5Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
6Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

8The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Chapter 135

I do praise His name (v. 1), pretty much every chance I get. I may not get to do it the next day, so it's a good idea to do it when I can. But if God decides to take my life the next day, it's not like I won't be prasing Him in eternity, but I shouldn't use that as a reason to not praise and worship Him. In church, I do praise Him (v. 2), which is an awesome thing when the Holy Spirit's working through that, which I've kind of talked about before. I can't really describe, though -- you have to be there to experience it. And I know that praising Him is a good thing to do (v. 3) as it expresses the fact that He is good and there is none like Him. It is also pleasant to sing praises to His name because He's pleasant towards me by blessing me and I wanna give back to Him for that. I can't relate to verse 4, but what I have to say about it is that God's people were chosen by Him to do His will and carry it out. That's a great thing to be a part of and I couldn't ask to be a part of anything else. God knew I was gonna live for Him even before I was born, so that means to me that He chose me from the start -- I just had to come to Him when He knew I was going to. I am His child and I try to acknowledge every day. He is indeed great (v. 5), which He expresses by how He works in the lives of His people.  There was a time in my church when there was a couple people who were on stage and they'd walk up individually with a piece cardboard showing that they had writtend down what God has helped them to overcome or provide them with. It God's works which display His greatness and faithfulness and there's no one who can live up to His faithfulness. I praise Him for His faithfulness because I relied on that so He could help me out in my darkest moment. He is above all gods because no other gods contain His attributes and they don't live up to His faithfulness, like I mentioned. I also think that His greatness is what influences Him to be above other gods since they don't contain the same amount of greatness as He does nor do they surpass it. I don't have a lot to say about verse 6, but what it means to me is that God does as He pleases, whether it be on earth or in heaven or in the seas and deep places. He can choose to take one of His own home with Him tomorrow and He probably will since people die every day. He can choose to provide food for a fish or what have you. What I get out of that verse is God's sovereignty is what keeps His creation in line. I can't choose when I'm gonna die since God already knows, meaning that I can't cheat Him ending my life earlier than I think He knows. I don't plan on ending my life any time soon -- I'm just using that as an example. God's soverignty in terms of when He knows something will happen is something I'd like to look into further. I have somewhat and I know C.S. Lewis talked about it. I don't feel like looking up the quote now, but I may include it later. I feel that verse 7 also kind of deals with God's foreknowledge in relation to when knows something will happen since, as I believe I've talked about before, He has control over the weather, which is an implication I see in the verse. The vapours (or clouds) don't ascend by themselves -- God influences it. If they did ascend by themselves, they'd either do so more than or less than what God would see as necessary. That also relates to lighting because lighting could occur more or less than God would see as necessary if He had no control over it and I'm thankful that He does have control because I wouldn't wanna get struck by lighting due to hectic weather conditions beyond His control. I don't think of God and His influence over the wind that much, but I'm glad He brings it out when He sees fit because if He had no control over and it decided to be windy whenever it wanted to, high winds could knock trees and stuff over. Sometimes, when it's windy, trees do fall over, but I think God intends for that to happen. He probably knows it's gonna happen ahead of time, but I think He brings about high winds just for the sake of knocking stuff over. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 8 since I haven't looked much into God's killing of the firstborn, but I am somewhat familiar with God's wonders in Egypt (v. 9). In Exodus chapter 7, I recall the following in verses 8-14...

8And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
9When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
10And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
12For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
13And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

14And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.

I don't have a lot to say about that, but it shows that when God promises a miracle, He delivers. I just wanted to use that passage as an example, particularly because it is that stands out to me and I wanted to share it. Yes, God did kill have His people kill nations and races in the Old Testament (vv. 10-11), which I'm not gonna discuss because I don't wanna go off on too much of a tangent nor waste time talking about it, but I will post some links and videos at the end of this as to why God killed races, which I know seems hard to understand for some people, but that doesn't mean that God didn't have legitimate reasons. After all, He did not want to risk letting a Cannanite live because doing so would've had the potentional to contaminate the bloodline of Christ, which is one of the reasons. I don't own any land (v. 12), but I do see eternity as an inheritance or part of my hertiage as a joint-heir to Christ. What I mean my that is that since He chose me, part of includes knowing I will be with Him in eternity since I chose to accept that fact that He chose me by coming to Him.

If His name didn't endure forever (v. 13), He wouldn't hold up as an eternal being. God's people have stood for Him throughout time and even though may get killed for their faith, God can't be killed. It's as if He displays that His name endures forever by people coming to Him and making Him known. I feel that His name endures forever is that His people trust in Him even in the most difficult of times. I trusted in Him during my darkest moment and doing so displayed that He wasn't gonna give up on me because He reigned during that time by dealing with the enemy. My faith endured during that time because I trusted in my eternal king, which (probably) caused Him to endure against and erase the enemy's influence. I'm not saying that my prayers command how I want God to work, but rather God works through prayer by answering and delivering as He sees fit. And He did by answering me in my time of need in such a way that was greater than I could've imagined. Verse 14 is a verse that reminds that I look forward to God's judgement towards me. Judge translates as "vindicate," which means to clear, as from an accusation, imputation, suspicion, or the like. He always kind of does that when I ask for forgiveness of my sins since He forgives and forgets, which is way of repenting -- or having compassion -- towards His servants. I am thankful that He is a forgiving God and that He honors that. I try not to abuse grace, which I've talked about before. Lately I've asking Him to help me to sin less and tame my tongue when I pray in the mornings and it's been working out for me most of the time. I don't worship idols, so verses 15-18 don't really apply to me. If I did, though, there would be consequences for that, like trying to trust in them as verse 18 indicates. In regards to verses 19-21, I do bless or praise the Lord when I pray mornings and in church worship time. To me, part of praising Him means thanking Him for the small things, such as having food to eat, a roof over my head, and being able to breathe.

Chapter 136

One of the reasons I thank Him and praise Him (vv. 1-3) is because His mercy (or love) does endure forever. What that means to me is that He loves is people show much that when their faith is tested, He's not gonna give up on them no matter how difficult of a time they're going through. In my darkest moment, His love endured forever by His watching over me and keeping me grounded in Him even though the enemy was trying to drive me away from Him. I do give thanks to Him for doing great wonders (vv. 3-4), which I've kind of talked about in regards to chapter 135 verses 6-7. However, I wanna expand on that by saying that He does great wonders every day by providing another undeserved day, for example. I think His love endures in that because His loves creation -- more specicifically the people He created -- so much that He allows every indiviaual to live another day, in the instance that just one more person might come to Him. There are people that hate God and live godless lives, but He's not gonna cut the days short and give up on them just because they rebel against Him. He loves endures because it is stringer than anyone's hate towards Him and I feel that each brand new day is an expression of His love because He's giving those who hate or don't acknowledge His Son's death on the cross another chance on a daily basis until He decides when it will end. He loves those He created so much that He's not gonna give up on 'em, especially because He knows who will accept His love and who won't and when they will, so I think the end will be established partially on the basis He knows all who will come to Him in due time. There are those who have never heard, which is a subject for another time. He did make the heavens and skies and stuff (v. 5) and I think His loves endures forever in that since every day (or should I say night?), His people have the chance to look up in the skies and see the beautiful creation He made. I'm not sure if He uses the skies to bring people to Him, but the heavens do proclaim His glory and sometimes I get to see a rare thing like a sunset, which is an expression to me that His love endures because even though I don't deserve to see a sunset since He brings about another day by grace, He expresses His enduring love through a sunset by reminding me that He loves me so much that He's giving me the opportunity to see something beautiful. I guess verse 6, the implication is that God created land above waters and His love endures forever in that since He provides people with ground above water so they won't drown. I don't have much to say about that and I did kind of already allude to verses 7-8 in regards to talking about the sunset. However, I will add to verse 8 that God watches over the sun and it shines when He wants it too. How His love endures forever in terms of the sun shining is that it provides light even though no one deserves it. He is light Himself yet no one who is already a Christian did anything to deserve His light. Also, He uses the sun to help -- let's say a non-believing farmer's plants grow in this case -- grow even though the farmer did nothing to deserve the light for his plants to grow. The farmer gets food out of the deal, which God provided which He can use to reveal to the farmer that He exists and wants to have a relationship with the farmer. His loves endures in that because He provides the farmer with another day, knowing when the farmer will come to Him as me to him as a result of realizing where the light, should I say, comes from. Not that there aren't other ways in which the farmer can come to Christ, but in this instance I was assuming that the farmer lived away from the city and doesn't have much contact with people. I think it's kind of cool that His loves endures forever in the most simple of ways. I don't have a lot to say about verse 9 since I've kind of already alluded to it and it doesn't really speak to me anyway. I kind of mentioned my thing about verses 10-12 in regards to chapter 135 verses 8-11, but I haven't looked in the original passage which is alluded to in that same chapter, so I'm not sure how His love endured forever in that. I do recall Him departing the Red Sea in the Book of Exodus (vv. 13-15) and I see His love enduring in verse 13 because He left the Red Sea open for the time He needed it be open so the Israelites could cross (v. 14). He could've smashed the Israelites, but no, He loved them and provided an entry for them so they could escapse the enemy, which I see as an expression of His love because they weren't done living their lives. He protected the Israelites from the enemy because He loved them and wanted to test His love in a time that seemed difficult because the only way they could've survived was by escaping. I see God's love in verse 15 because if He didn't overthrow Pharaoh and his host (or army), they might've contaminated the bloodline, which wasn't something God wanted to risk. His love endured in that time because He knew His Son was gonna come and be the Savior to the world and He must've thought of everyone at that time -- the time when He getting ready to ovethrow Pharaoh and his army -- who was gonna come to Christ. So His love held up in a difficult time because He knew people would need a Savior later on.

I'm not sure what passage verse 16 is alluding to, so I'm not sure how God's love endured (forever) in regards to that verse. Same goes for verses 17-20, but I did I was going to include some links and videos at the end of this in regards to chapter 135 verses 10-11, so I will. I think the thing that comes to mind is that, in regards to verses 17-20, the bloodline of Christ would've most likely been contaminated if God let those kings continue to live. I've already explained that position in detail, so there's no need to repeat myself. What I am reminded of in verses 21-22 is that I am a joint-heir with Christ, as I painted out in regards to chapter 135 verse 12. How His love endures forever in terms of eternal life as a heritage is that one a person becomes a believer and they end up facing trials in their life and look at what's going on in this world, they can use those as reminders that those things are nothing compared to eternity. I praise Him that I can find comfort in the fact I have inherited eternal life and that that reminder can keep me going in the toughest of trials. For clarity, here's Matthew Henry's insight on verse 23: "God's everlasting mercy is here praised for the redemption of his church; in all his glories, and all his gifts. Blessed be God, who has provided and made known to us salvation through his Son." I am thankful that I was redeemed of sin (vv. 23-24) and that that continues in the sense that it is represented by the fact that I can repent for the sins I do as a result of His grace of being sufficient. I try not to abuse His forgiveness, though, as I've talked about before. He loves me and wants to help me to not do a certain sin again, especially if I am struggling with one. For clarity, here Henry's insight on verse 25: "May we know and feel his redeeming power, that we may serve him in righteousness all our days. May He who giveth food to all flesh, feed our souls unto eternal life, and enliven our affections by his grace, that we may give thanks and praise to his holy name, for his mercy endureth for ever." He pretty much put the nail on the head and I don't really have anything to add, but I will say that He love endures in regards to His Word as a reflection that because He loves the people He created, He's can use His Word to communicate to them and help them out in the most difficult of times. What I mean by that is that someone can read something encouraging from His Word so they can have guidance for whatever they're dealing with. And He uses that to express to the person that He loves them -- kind of like He did in my darkest moment -- and that His love endures in trials because it uses His Word as a foundation to communicate that. One of the reasons I do give thanks to Him is because His love does endure forever (v. 26). I don't really mention that when thanking Him, but I do usually thank Him for food before eating and I know He provides it because He loves me and would stop at nothing to provide me if I had a hard time getting food, which I believe is how He provides for those who don't get three meals a day. An example of that would be when I helped out with Food 4others so food could be brought over to the less fortunate in other countries. God used His people that day and gave them the energy and humility they needed so they could pack food. That is kind of how God's love endured in that instance. Another way it endured is because God wasn't gonna give up on the less fortunate for being less fortunate and used His people to provide for them.

Chapter 137

For clarity, here's Henry's insight on the first few verses: "Their enemies had carried the Jews captive from their own land. To complete their woes, they insulted over them; they required of them mirth and a song. This was very barbarous; also profane, for no songs would serve but the songs of Zion. Scoffers are not to be compiled with. They do not say, How shall we sing, when we are so much in sorrow? but, It is the Lord's song, therefore we dare not sing it among idolaters." I can't really relate to the first four verses since I haven't really associated with idolaters, but in case I ever do, I can use that passage as guidance. Also for clarity, here's Henry's insight on verses 5-7: "What we love, we love to think of. Those that rejoice in God, for his sake make Jerusalem their joy. They stedfastly resolved to keep up this affection. When suffering, we should recollect with godly sorrow our forfeited mercies, and our sins by which we lost them." OK, starting with verse 5, I do rejoice in God and by doing so I make Jerusalem -- which is God's chosen people -- my joy, meaning to me that I enjoy rejoicing because God has illustrated to me that I can as a result of His divine works. I believe that He works in ways that I can't understand, but I see the fruits of His works -- such as His helping me out in my algerba class and having victory in that -- as an expression of His divine works, which I rejoiced as a result of every time when I passed a quiz or a test in my class. I think by giving back to Him by rejoicing Him and thanking Him, He continued to help me out by answering my prayers to continue to pass my quizzes, tests, and my final. I can't say God forgot me in regards to algebra (v. 6), but I remember feeling that He did during my darkest moment. I don't think He really did, but the enemy had me thinking that. By crying out to Him, He remembered me (v. 7) and saw that I needed His help and needed to be freed from the enemy. That verse suggests that the children of Edom tried to rase  (or tear down) Jerusalem, much like how the enemy tried to use his lies against me to tear me down, but God intervened and rewarded (or repayed him; vv. 8-9) by dealing with him while protecting me from his influence. So I figure God must've fought the enemy so he would learn his lesson and not influence me on the scale that he did for probably the rest of my life here. I'm not implying that he can influence me when I'm eternity with God -- I'm saying that he can only really influence me or God's people (in general) while they're here in the physical world. And God will finally repay Satan -- on a much larger scale -- in due time, as the Book of Revelation talks about. Verse 9, I know, a lot of atheists will criticize because I guess they think it suggests that God kills babies or something, but the context is Babylonian captivity, which is something they fail to take into consideration. Here's some good info on the subject which should hopefully clear up any misconceptions.

I'd like to dig deeper in regards to verses 8-9, so I'll start off with Hosea 13:9-16, which is a similar passage, where God is speaking to Israel...

 9O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
10I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?
11I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.
12The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid.
13The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.
14I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
15Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.

16Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

How does to relate to Psalm 137:8-9? Well, besides the fact that they both mention infants, both passages are prophetic in nature, meaning that God predicted what would happen, which is why both Psalm 137:8-9 and Hosea 13:14-16 use words such as "will" and "shall." I think the prophetic aspect is important because it doesn't imply that God had already dashed up infants because of the sins the Babylonians and the Samarians, but He had yet to. And God had yet to cause destruction, He was giving the Babylonians and the Samarians a chance to repent, so it's possible that some of the Babylonians and the Samarians did. If He let the Babylonians and Samarians, He would've risked the bloodline of Christ being contaminated, which I've talked about in regards to other passages already, so there's no need to repeat myself.  Here's Henry's insight on the passage in Hosea: "Israel had destroyed himself by his rebellion; but he could not save himself, his help was from the Lord only. This may well be applied to the case of spiritual redemption, from that lost state into which all have fallen by wilful sins. God often gives in displeasure what we sinfully desire. It is the happiness of the saints, that, whether God gives or takes away, all is in love. But it is the misery of the wicked, that, whether God gives or takes away, it is all in wrath, nothing is comfortable. Except sinners repent and believe the gospel, anguish will soon come upon them. The prophecy of the ruin of Israel as a nation, also showed there would be a merciful and powerful interposition of God, to save a remnant of them. Yet this was but a shadow of the ransom of the true Israel, by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He will destroy death and the grave. The Lord would not repent of his purpose and promise. Yet, in the mean time, Israel would be desolated for her sins. Without fruitfulness in good works, springing from the Holy Spirit, all other fruitfulness will be found as empty as the uncertain riches of the world. The wrath of God will wither its branches, its springs shall be dried up, it shall come to nothing. Woes, more terrible than any from the most cruel warfare, shall fall on those who rebel against God. From such miseries, and from sin, the cause of them, may the Lord deliver us."

I got a few more scriptures I'd like to explore in regards to Psalm 137:8-9 then I'll move onto the next chapter. First is the law of retalitation, which is found in Leviticus 24:17-21...

17And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
18And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.
19And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
20Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.

21And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.

I don't have a lot to say about that, but it does illustrate that since God's chosen people (the Israelites) were being opposed, He had every right to deal with their oppressors. He's God and He doesn't have to go by what anyone says since He's sovereign over all. People try and make God do what they want Him to and act how they want Him to act, but it doesn't work that way, especially if they ask Him to work in such a way that does not follow His sovereignty and/or His Word.

Moving on, the aspect of children being dashed or destroyed or whatever is mentioned in two verses. One is 2 Kings 8:12, which says, "And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child." The other is Hosea 10:14, which says, "Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children." I have also two verses that indicate that the Babylonians were guilty of the crimes described in 2 Kings 8:12 and Hosea 10:14. The first one is Jeremiah 51:24, which says, "And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD." That basically means that God was gonna repay the Babylonians for their crimes. The other verse is Isaiah 13:16, which says, "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished." From all that, it is safe to conclude that God curses those curse His people, which is supported in Genesis 12:3, which says, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." A similar verse is Romans 12:19, which says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." And when Jersualem was being opposed in Psalm 137, it's not indicated that God's people took vengeance upon the Babylonians and that's because they didn't. God, however, would take vengeance upon the Babylonians if they didn't repent. It's OK for God to take vengeance because sin is not without its consequences. And since there was no way the Babylonians could've hid from God while engaging in their sin since He sees all, they were basically giving God permission to have vengeance upon them as a result of comitting the sins they committed, which are talked about in 2 Kings 8:12 and Hosea 10:14. I hope I don't have explain any further and I hope I made sense. If I need to corrected, please correct me.

If an atheist happens to come across this entry, I'm not expecting that they will believe scripture to be true, but rather that scripture is backed up by scripture in regards to Psalm 137:8-9. Maybe it'll turn some heads, I dunno, but I do know that God will use as He pleases. I like giving non-believers things to consider, especially if it challenges them and changes their opinion about God and the Bible and all that. In a way, I defended the faith in by digging deeper into Psalm 137:8-9 -- I guess because I had looked more into it and wanted to stand for God.

Chapter 138

I like Henry's comment on the first verse: "When we can praise God with our whole heart, we need not be unwilling for the whole world to witness our gratitude and joy in him." Whether or not I do praise (or thank) Him with my with my whole heart is something that I should examine myself in regards to. I try to and it's not always easy, but I do know that He counts trying as doing. I think part of it that is hard to live up to for me is that sometimes when I'm worshipping God in church, my mind focuses on other things when it should really be focusing on Him since I'm worshipping Him. I usually do come back to Him, though, so I can focus on Him, which tends work out better when I humble myself and turn my hands toward my chest like I described before. I try to be thankful for the little things, such as having a roof over my head and having food to eat, which is one way in which I express that I am thankful in my heart towards Him. I don't have much to say about the "before the gods will I sing praise unto thee" part since I already do it. I do worship in His temple (v. 2) -- or the church I go to, which is a house of God. I feel that one of the reasons I engage in public worship is to proclaim His lovingkindness (or faithfulness) if it is lyrically represented in a song. I could also start thanking Him for His faithfulness in my own prayer time. The "thy truth" part applies because usually before I read His Word, I thank Him for the truth found in His Word. What "magnified" in verse 2 means, according to Bullinger, is "by fulfilling it beyond all expectation." So if I use God's Word as a guide and rely on it for direction, He will fulfill my prayers beyond my expectations, which He did during my darkest moment when I cried out to Him, knowing He would deal with the enemy, as His Word says. And He didn't do just that -- He renewed my relationship with Him. That kind of describes what I was going to say about verse 3, but I will say that, in my darkest moment, He did answer me and He did strengthen me by protecting me from the enemy's influence. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verses 4-5 since it doesn't really appeal to people like me, but I can relate to verse 6 since I do consider myself one of the lowly. I do like Henry's insight on it as well: "Though the Lord is high, yet he has respect to every lowly, humbled sinner; but the proud and unbelieving will be banished far from his blissful presence." When I let God know I need help with something or when I ask Him to be forgiven of my sins, which I do pretty much every day, I am humbling myself before Him and saying to Him that I can't deal with my sins on my own, especially if I need His influence to help me to tame my tongue. I never really thought that when I ask God to help me to tame my tongue I am humbling myself, but it makes sense. And what I will say about the proud is that they have the chance to come to Christ every day -- they just need to humble themselves and acknowledge that they need a Savior. In my darkest moment, it was in the midst of my troubles in which I cried out to God (v. 7). He revived by protecting me in my trial and also by working so that my relationship with Him could be renewed. How He stretched forth His hand against the wrath of the enemy was when He dealt with the enemy for me was when He was in an spiritual battle which I didn't witness because I can't see God. But just because I can't see God, I still believed, by faith, that He was taking care of the enemy for me. To say He wasn't would be absurd. The enemy didn't bother me much to the point he could try to deceive me again after my darkest moment had ended, so I'd say God took care of him. Yes, the enemy can still attack me, but I can tell him to get behind me in Christ's name. I don't have much to say about the last verse, but I will say that it reminds me of Philippians 1:6, which says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." I do have confidence that He will continue to work in me and in my life, which is a reflection that He loves me and that that loves endures forever no matter what I go through. He will never forsake me, as the psalm ends, and I am thankful that He lives up to that and that He is the only one who does.

So I said I was gonna post some links and videos in regards to the kings that were killed, which will present more of a general overview, but here they are anyway...

1. Thou Shall Not Kill: Does God Violate His Own Commandment?

2. How can a God of love orchestrate Killings in the Old Testament?

                                                    Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 136". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 137". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Hosea 13". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 138". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

Bullinger, E.W. The Companion Bible.

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