Saturday, April 30, 2011

Psalm 119:9-16


How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
~ Ps. 119:9
There are several verses in Psalm 119 where I have penned my sons' names in the margins.  These are verses that I pray over my sons, and Psalm 119:9 is one of them.  May we all take heed according to God's word!

My Bible notes:
God's Word Cleanses
One of the pieces of furniture in the OT tabernacle was called the bronze laver.It consisted of a huge upright bronze bowl filled with water, resting upon a pedestal.  The priests would stop at this laver and wash. 

The Word of God may be thought of in terms of that laver, for it too has the power to cleanse.  The OT laver could only remove the physical dirt from human hands, but the Scripture possesses the ability to take away our moral filth.  What areas of my life can the Bible cleanse?
  • Wrong thoughts:  "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."  Josh. 1:8
  • Wrong words:  "My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness."  ~ Ps. 119:172
  •  Wrong actions"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You."  ~ Ps. 119:11

With my whole heart I have sought You,
O let me know wander from Your commandments!
~ Ps. 119:10
A good verse to pray each day!

Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.
~ Ps. 119:12

In this, David gives glory to God and asks grace from God:  give me to know and do my duty in everything. 
~ Matthew Henry
  • God wants me to know His ways
  •  I praise God for the treasure of His word
     O Lord, I pray that I would seek You with my whole heart; I desire to walk in Your ways - oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  I thank You for the gift of Your word, and pray that I would hide it in my heart that I might not sin against You. 
    Blessed are You, O Lord!  I pray that You will teach me Your statutes, that Your Holy Spirit would grant to me great understanding of Your word.  Give me the discipline to obey that which I do understand, and wisdom to grasp those passages that are more difficult.
     I pray that You would keep Your word ever before me, that I might keep my way clean in my thoughts, actions and words.  In Jesus' name I pray ~ Amen

Friday, April 29, 2011

Psalm 119:1-8

An Acrostic in Praise of the Scriptures

Just two days ago we mediated on Psalm 117, the shortest psalm.  Today we begin our study of Psalm 119, the longest psalm.  Our study will cover several days as we consider all the truths in this beautiful psalm.

As poetry, Psalm 119 is an acrostic with 22 stanzas, and each verse within a given stanza begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Matthew Henry makes this beautiful description of Psalm 119:

This is a psalm by itself, like none of the rest; it excels them all . . . there is seldom any coherence between the verses, but like Solomon's proverbs, it is a chest of gold rings, not a chain of gold links. 

The general scope and design of it is to magnify the law and make it honourable; to set forth the excellency and usefulness of divine revelation, and to recommend it to us for the government of ourselves, by the psalmist's own example, who speaks by experience to the benefit of it.  He earnestly prays, from first to last, for the continuance of God's grace with him.

The great esteem and affection David had for the word of God is the more admirable considering how little he had of it, in comparisons with what we have. 

Many are the instructions which we here find about a religious life.  Many are the sweet experiences of one that lived such a life.  Here is something or other to suit the case of every Christian.
Today's verses of Psalm 119 show that godly people are happy people.  These people make the will of God the rule of all their actions.  A good plumb line for us to examine our lives by, isn't it!

Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed.
~ Ps. 119:5-6
Verses 5-6 is a great exclamation, and one to which I can relate personally.  Can you think of regrets in your own life that you could've avoided if you had only kept God's statutes?  I can!

  • God's judgments are righteous
  • God blesses obedience to His precepts & statutes, His "ways"
  • I praise the Lord for His Word that He has given us - He did not leave us without guidance
  • I praise God that His statutes and precepts are designed for my good, for the very best for me
PRAYER:  I love this prayer-poem by Ruth Harms Calkin, and I think it goes along so well with the verses we studied today - how "blessed" are those who surrender to God's ways!

I am tingling with joy
Of a glorious discovery:
Continuous surrender
Brings continuous freedom.
Lord, I love being free!

~ Ruth Harms Calkin

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Psalm 118

Better to Trust God than People

Psalm 118 is the last of the Egyptian Hallel.

I will praise You,
For You have answered me
And have become my salvation.
~ Ps. 118:21

Biblical scholars believe that David penned this psalm when he had, at last, gained possession of the kingdom to which he had been anointed.  He then invites his friends to join him in a believing expectation of the promised Messiah. 

David opens the psalm with a celebration of God's mercy in general, and calls upon others to acknowledge it from their own experience.  Can you name a time in your own life where you experienced the profound mercy of God?

Verses 19-29 are an illustrious prophecy of the humiliation and exaltation of our Lord Jesus - His sufferings and the glory that should follow.   Peter applies this very scripture in his discourse with the chief priests and scribes:
 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 

This is the stone which was rejected by you builders which has become the chief cornerstone.

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.   ~ Acts 4:10-12

Bro. Livy Cope was the father of a dear friend of mine, and a pastor of Ridgeway Baptist Church.  He is most well-known for his love of this verse, and he quoted it every day: 

Another great truth for our "first thought" of each day!

Matthew Henry makes this note:

The psalmist concludes with his own thankful acknowledgements of divine grace.  He will have all about him give thanks to God for these glad tidings of great joy to all people, that there is a Redeemer, even Christ the Lord.  In Him it is that God is good to man and that His mercy endures forever.  

He concludes this psalm as he began it, for God's glory must be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, of all addresses to Him.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. . .
The Lord is for me . . .
~ Ps. 118:6-7
Isn't this a comforting truth!

  • The Lord is good; His mercy endures forever
  • God is my help - He answers me in my distress
  • The Lord is on my side - the Lord is for me!
  • The Lord is my strength and my song, and He is my salvation
  • God chastens His children
  • Christ is the Chief Cornerstone
  • God has given us light
  • He is my God
  • I bless the Lord that He is on my side - that I need not fear man. 
  • I bless the Lord that I can confidently trust Him.
  • The Lord is my help, my strength & song, my salvation
  • I praise God that I can say, with David, "You are my God!"
     O Lord, I give thanks to You, for You are good!  Your mercy endures forever!  I bless You that I can say along with David, 'You are my God, and I will praise You!'  
     Father, what a comforting truth to claim that You - the God of the Universe - are on my side.  How blessed I am to be Your child, to know that You are "for" me, and that I do not need to fear man.  May I trust You more and more.
     Father, the declarations of Psalm 118 are rich - You are my strength and my song, and my salvation.  Save now, I pray, O Lord!
     You are my God, and I will praise You.  You are my God, and I will exalt You.  I give thanks to You, O Lord, for You are good, and Your mercy endures forever.  ~ Amen and amen!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Psalm 117

The Praise of All Peoples

As the 5th Egyptian Hallel, Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm in the Book of Psalms.

NOTE:  in only 33 words, 3 of them are the word PRAISE.  Get the message?

Remember a few psalms ago when we talked about giving God your first thought each morning?  Psalm 117 is a great "first thought" of each day, isn't it! 
For great is His love towards us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
~ Ps. 117:2
Extol means to praise, laud. 

Even though it's just 2 short verses, Psalm 117 holds a glorious truth.  It is cited by the apostle Paul in Romans 15:1 to show that the Gentiles are a part of God's divine plan of salvation:

that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!  ~ Rom. 15:1
  • God is due the praise of all the nations and the Gentiles
  • God's love towards His people is great
  • God's faithfulness is everlasting
  • I praise God for His love towards me, in that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. 
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: 
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
 ~ Rom. 5:8
  • I praise God for His faithfulness, that endures forever.  It seems that my faithfulness can hardly last a day!

     Father, how I praise You for Your great love towards me.  I am continually astounded and amazed by it, and my heart overflows with praise for You.  Thank You that You made me alive, drew me to Yourself, and exchanged my heart of stone for a heart of flesh.   How I bless You for Your faithfulness to me - Praise the Lord!  In Jesus' name ~ Amen

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Psalm 116

Love for the Lord for What He has Done

Psalm 116 is a part of the Egyptian Hallel and is a psalm of individual thanksgiving.  David recounts his deliverance by the Lord, and vows to praise Him publicly before all of His people.  The psalmist recounts a time of great distress and danger, which almost drove him to despair - but he made application to God in that distress.  He records his experience of God's goodness to him and answer to his prayer. 

 Have you ever felt that level of despair in your own life, with the heaviness of that recorded by David?  Do you ever think God doesn't hear you?  Remember verse 1:

Don't you love that truth!

We are reminded again in verse 6 of how God loves the humble! The psalmist uses the word "simple" - meaning sincere, upright, and without guile. 
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.~ Ps. 116:6
Even though he was king and the most powerful man in all of Israel, he recognized his "state" before the Lord and did not think too highly of himself.  May we all learn from David's example!

 A famous, and often-quoted verse in Psalm 116 is verse 15:
My Bible notes that 'precious' refers to costly, indicating that the life of the saint is valuable.  Of course our God would consider a life for whom the blood of His Son was spilt to be quite precious indeed!
Those who are redeemed with precious blood are so dear to God that even their deaths are precious to him.
~ Spurgeon

In verse 11, David admits that he has sinned with his tongue - he spoke in haste.  How many times have we regretted words spoken "off the cuff," before we had taken time to calm our spirits and speak with controlled emotions!  Spurgeon comments:
It is much better to be quiet when our spirit is disturbed and hasty, for it is so much easier to say than to unsay; we may repent of our words, but we cannot so recall them as to undo the mischief they have done. If even David had to eat his own words, when he spoke in a hurry, none of us can trust our tongue without a bridle.

Consider verse 12 in your own life:
What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?

What God wants most from His children is obedience - the outward actions of the trust in our hearts.  Our acts of obedience are visible affirmations that God's word can be trusted  . . . that we can obey in faith that God knows what He is doing.  Have you ever heard that saying:
God said it
I believe it
That settles it!
May we render obedience to the Lord, and like David, offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon His name. 

  • God hears my voice and my supplication
  • God is gracious, righteous, merciful
  • God preserves the simple
  • God has dealt bountifully with me
  • The death off His saints is precious to God
  • The Lord is due my thanksgiving
  • I praise the Lord that He hears my voice and my supplication; that He inclines His ear to me
  • I bless God that He preserves the simple - that I don't have to "impress" Him
  • I bless the Lord that He has dealt bountifully with me
  • I praise God that death of His children is precious to Him - for they are ushered immediately into His presence
  • I praise God that I can call upon His name  . . as long as I live!
PRAYER: - I love this thought expressed by Ruth Harms Calkin - it seems to me like a modern-day expression of something David might have penned during one of these low points in his life:

The End of the Rope

O dear God
I feel as though I am clinging
To a rough, swinging rope.
Beneath me there is only emptiness.
My hands are bruised and bleeding.
There is no possible way
For me to tie a knot
At the end of the rope
And hang on.
O God, please help me.

Frightened child,
Just let go.
I'll catch you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Psalm 115

To God Alone be the Glory

The title of this psalm reminds me of this famous song by Andrae Crouch.  It was sung at Dave's & my wedding by Charles Heinz.

My Tribute
         ~ Andrae Crouch
How can I say thanks
for the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved,
yet You gave to prove Your love for me;
the voices of a million angels
could not express my gratitude.
All that I am and ever hope to be,
I owe it all to Thee.
To God be the glory,
to God be the glory,
to God be the glory
for the things He has done
With His blood He has saved me,
with His power He has raised me;
to God be the glory
for the things He has done.

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory.
                                   ~ Ps. 115:1
In Psalm 115, we are reminded by the psalmist to give glory to God and not ourselves nor to idols.

Come lift your voice
to Heaven's high throne
And glory give
To God alone!
~ James Boice

Our God is in heaven,
He does whatever pleases Him.
~ Ps. 115:3

Do you ask where He is?  He is at the beginning and end of everything, and not far from any of us
~ Matthew Henry

This psalm mentions idols and the futility of trusting in them.  Do you see yourself in these verses?  Where do you place your trust, other than in the God of Heaven?  Money?  IRA?  Relationships?  Children?  Status?  Job?  Ask God to show you "idols" in your life today.

They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who made them are like them,
So is everyone who trusts in them.
~ Ps. 115:7-8

Regarding verses 7 & 8, my Bible notes:

To trust in an idol is to become like it - powerless and false!

As a mother, verse 14 is near & dear to my heart:
May the Lord give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
~ Ps. 115:14

Regarding this, Spurgeon makes this note:
Let parents seek more grace for themselves for the sake of their children.
(a) That the children may be more influenced by their example
(b) That the parents' prayers may be more prevalent on their children's behalf
(c) That their children may be more blessed for their sakes

They who do not praise God here will not praise Him hereafter; they who praise God in this life will praise Him forever more.  ~ C.H. Spurgeon

  • God is due glory, because of His mercy and truth
  • God is in Heaven - He has not moved!
  • God does whatever pleases Him
  • God is our help and shield
  • The Lord is mindful of us
  • The Lord will bless all who fear Him, both great and small
  • The heavens are the Lord's
  • I praise the Lord that He is mindful of someone as wicked as I; that I will be blessed by Him
  • I praise the Lord that I can trust my children to His care
     To Your name I give glory, O God Most High, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.  I bless You that You are in Heaven, on Your throne, immovable.  No matter the circumstances here on earth, You remain on Your throne, ever-mindful of Your children. 
     How my heart praises You that You are mindful of me . . . how I rejoice that You have made me Your child, and for the blessings You have bestowed on me.  I pray for my own children, that You will be mindful of them and pour Your blessings into their lives.  Will You grant to them a hunger & thirst for righteousness, and may they follow Your voice and walk in obedience to You all the days of their lives. 
     Be my help and shield; may I never look to another or fill my life with false idols.  Keep my eyes & mind alert to the things I put above You, that I may repent and trust only in You. 
     I will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore - praise the Lord!  In Jesus' name ~ Amen

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Psalm 114

In Praise for the Exodus

Psalm 114 is the second psalm of the Egyptian Hallel and a hymn of praise to God who delivered Israel from Egypt in the Exodus.

Matthew Henry makes this observance:
The deliverance of Israel out of Egypt gave birth to their church and nation.  In this psalm it is celebrated in lively strains of praise; it was fitly therefore made a part of the great Hallelujah, or song or praise, which the Jews were wont to sing at the close of the Passover-supper.  It must never be forgotten: 
  • That they were brought of slavery
  • That God set up His tabernacle among them
  • That the sea and Jordan were divided before them
  • That the earth shook at the giving of the law when God came down at Mt. Sinai
  • That God gave them water out of the rock, which followed them through the dry and sandy deserts
The mountains skipped like rams.
~ Ps. 114:4
Possibly referred to the quaking of Mt. Sinai

Moses brings water out of the rock for the children
of Israel

 "Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.  For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ."         ~ I Cor. 10:1-5

The same God who provided for those He rescued from Egypt provides equally for the new Israel. As they drank from the rock, so we drink from the Rock of Christ. As they ate the bread of God, so we do the same of the Bread of Life, Jesus Himself.

  • God set His heart on the children of Israel
  • God delivers His people
  • I praise the Lord that He has seen fit to make me one of His chosen ones as well. 

PRAYER: by F.B. Meyer
     Heavenly Father!  You kill and make alive; You bring down to the grave and bring up; You raise up the poor from the dust and lift the needy from despair, to make them sit in heavenly places and inherit the throne of God.  Glory to You, O Most High!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Psalm 113

The Condescending Grace of God
When I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride 
~ Isaac Watts

 Psalm 113 is the first of 6 psalms (113 – 118) known as the “Egyptian Hallel” (Egyptian Praise).  Psalms 113 and 114 were customarily sung before the Passover Meal, and 115 – 118 were sung after it. 

The call to offer praise in verses 1-3 precedes a recital of the characteristics of God that are worthy of that praise.

 During the first Passover, God helped the children of Israel escape slavery from the Egyptians by inflicting 10 plagues upon the land of Egypt.  The 10th and worst of the plagues was the slaughter of the first-born of every household.  The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of the spring lamb – and in seeing this, the spirit of the Lord “passed over” these homes and did not visit them with death.

 This was a sign to come of the Messiah – that His blood was shed for us so that God’s wrath will “pass over” those who believe in Christ and we will not be ultimately destroyed.
For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am the Lord.  Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are.  And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.   ~Exodus 12:12-13

For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
 ~I Cor. 5:7
As we reflect on this Easter Sunday and praise our God for providing His sacrificial lamb for us so that His cup of wrath will “pass over” us and we can enter into His presence clothed in the righteousness of Christ, let us claim with the words of the psalmist in verse 3
The Lord’s name is to be praised!
I love verses 5 & 6 :
Who is like the Lord our God, Who dwells on high,
And humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?

If it be such condescension for God to behold things in Heaven and earth, what an amazing condescension was it for the Son of God to come from Heaven to earth and take our nature upon Him, that He might seek and save those that were lost! 
 ~ Matthew Henry

I have two very favorite hymns – below is one of them:
How Deep the Father’s love for Us
~ Stuart Townend

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast, beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure!

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

What should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

  • The Lord’s name is to be blessed forevermore
  • The Lord is high above all nations
  • The Lord dwells on high
  • The Lord humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth
  • The Lord is with the poor and needy
I bless the Lord that He humbled Himself to behold me – that He raised me out of the dust and lifted me out of the ash heap . . . and that I that I will one day be seated in the heavenly places with the Prince of Glory at His table – the Lord’s name is to be praised!

 PRAYER: by Ruth Harms Calkin
It was early dawn, Lord
And I was looking for You.
And weeping.
Within the dismal tomb
I searched
I called
I waited
But nowhere could I find You.
Then through the gray
There came a vibrant voice:
He’s risen!
He’s alive!
Rush toward joy!
You’ll find Him everywhere
Outside the tomb –
But never, never there.
Startled and amazed
I left the tomb
To walk the path of praise –
Then looking up
I saw You by my side
And all of life became
An Easter morn.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Psalm 112

The Blessings of Those Who Fear God

Psalm 112 begins with the same "Hallelujah" as Psalm 111.  It reiterates the message of Psalm 111 - of how much it is our wisdom to fear God and do His commandments.  The psalm ends with good and evil set before us, the blessing and the curse. 

The psalmist begins with a call to praise God, and then turns to those who fear and serve the Lord - noting that they are a blessed people owing entirely to the grace of God.  Matthew Henry notes those whom the psalmist pronounces as blessed:
  1. They stand in awe of God and have a constant reverence for His majesty and a deference to His will
  2. They are called the upright, and deal faithfully both with God and man
  3. They are both just and kind in all their dealings
  4. They shall be blessed of God - they shall prosper, and especially their souls shall prosper
  5. They shall have comfort in affliction
  6. They shall have wisdom for the management of all their concerns

Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.
~ Ps. 112:4
My Bible notes that the righteous man is characterized by his sense of divine guidance, as well as by his generosity.  In addition, it is noted that those who fear the Lord will have their share in the common calamities of human life, but when they 'sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to them.' (Mic. 7:8)

Regarding verse 3, we obviously know that not all Christians are millionaires.  Many are not financially well-off at all.  So what does it mean, "wealth and riches will be in his house"?  Matthew Henry notes:
They shall be blessed with outward prosperity as far as is good for them.  But, which is much better, is that they shall be blessed with spiritual blessings, which are true riches
Grace is better than gold, for it will outlast it.

He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
~ Ps. 112:7

Trusting in the Lord is the best and surest way of fixing and establishing the heart. 

The fixedness of the heart is a sovereign remedy against the disquieting fear of bad news. 

  • God is worthy of our praise
  • God is worthy of our trust
  • Committing our lives to God will cause His children to lead lives that are "other" than those of the world:  full of grace, compassion, righteous living, generous spirit, unshakable faith, a steadfast heart
  • I praise the Lord that, through His power, I can be 'different.'  I can be transformed, by His Holy Spirit, into an upright person, gracious and full of compassion & righteousness. 
  • I praise the Lord that because I trust in Him, my heart can be steadfast and established; unafraid
God of creation, You formed us out of the dust of the earth and breathed life into us.  By Your Spirit, breathe new life into us.  Lead us to life eternal by the mighty love of Jesus Christ, who suffered on the cross and was raised from the dead.  You lifted Him to glory, where with outstretched arms, He welcomes the world with His strong embrace of salvation.  In His holy name we pray ~ Amen
 - Presbyterian Church

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Psalm 111

Praise for God's Tender Care

will sing my Maker’s praises and in Him most joyful be,
For in all things I see traces of His tender love to me.
~ Paul Gerhardt

 Psalm 111 is also entitled "Hallelujah - Praise the Lord!"  It is a hymn in praise of God, and it is written in an "acrostic" form having 22 lines, with each succeeding line beginning with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  We will see this again in expanded form when we study Psalm 119.
Biblical scholars believe that Psalm 111 was penned by David for the services of the church during their solemn feasts.  Through it, the psalmist exhorts us to praise God
  1. by setting himself as an example for us
  2. by furnishing us with matter for praise from the works of God
  3. and he recommends the holy fear of God and a conscientious obedience to His commands as the most acceptable way of praising God.  
Item #3 is very good food for thought, isn't it?  How well does my daily Christian walk reflect praise to God?
I will praise the Lord with my whole heart.
~ Ps. 111:1
He has made His wonderful works to be remembered. . .
He has declared to His people the power of His works.
~ Ps. 111:4,6
Matthew Henry notes that God's works are great like Himself; there is nothing in them that is mean or trifling

God works are the products of infinite wisdom and power

Psalm 111 is only 10 short verses, but holds such wondrous truths!  It
speaks of
  • God's wonderful works
  • His faithfulness to His covenant with His people
  •  the surety, truth and uprightness of His precepts
  • His redemption for His people
At the reading of this psalm, there is no other action than to praise His holy and awesome name!

We see once again the "fear of the Lord" mentioned - Ps. 111:10 is a well-known verse:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
~ Ps. 111:10

 As my Bible notes and we've seen in prior discussions, fear of the Lord is reverence and awe before Him.  True religion is a life that expresses its accountability to God.  This awareness of accountability to God is seen as the foundation of wisdom.
Men can never begin to be wise until they begin to fear God.
Where the fear of the Lord rules in the heart there will be a constant conscientious care to keep His commandments.   ~ Matthew Henry

  • God is worthy of our praise - with our whole hearts
  • God works are great, wonderful, powerful, everlasting
  • The works of God's hands are truth and justice
  • God's precepts are sure, everlasting, and done in truth and uprightness
  • God is our Redeemer
  • God is ever-mindful of His covenant and has commanded it forever
  • Holy and awesome is His name!
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
On this Good Friday, how fitting to meditate upon a psalm that is full of praise to God!  May our hearts reflect on this day and the event that occurred over 2,000 years ago . . . and remember that it was the covenant God made with His people - to be their Redeemer - that He sent His Son to die for our sins.  As verse 9 says, He has sent redemption to His people.  By Christ's death on the cross and resurrection.  His praise endures forever!

Christ Jesus, You hung upon a cross and died for us
So that we might live for You.
Your body was broken and Your blood shed
So that we might be healed and made whole.
You were faithful unto death 
So that we might be faithful unto life.
Your last command was that we might love one another,
One family together from every tribe and nation,
A new creation united through Your sacrifice,
Redeemed by Your blood
Healed by Your love
United by Your covenant of peace
In Your death may we find life
~ Christine Sine

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Psalm 110

The Coming of the Priest-King-Judge

Psalm 110 is the one most frequently quoted or alluded to in the New Testament.  It is a psalm of Christ's Resurrection, Ascension, and Session in glory.  What a perfect week to meditate on the beautiful truths of this psalm, as we approach the celebration of Easter this Sunday!  Glorious things are spoken here of Christ.  He existed in glory as the eternal Son of God, and is superior to all earthly kings.
This psalm is one of the fullest and most compendious prophecies of the person and offices of Christ in the whole Old Testament.    ~ Charles Spurgeon
This psalm has been well designated the crown of all the Psalms, of which Martin Luther says that it is worthy to be 'overlaid with precious jewels.' Luther further states, regarding verse 5
a well spring, -- nay, a treasury of all Christian doctrines, understanding, wisdom, and comfort, richer and fuller than any other passage of Holy Writ.
Verse 1 is a famous verse, and is spoken of again by Jesus Himself in Matthew 22:44-45-
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Messiah?  Whose son is He?"
"The son of David," they replied.
He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call him 'Lord,' saying:
     'The LORD said to my Lord,
     Sit at My right hand
     Until I put your enemies beneath Your feet"?
If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his son?"
No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.
Spurgeon comments on this fabulous discourse:
The LORD said unto thy Lord. -- Jehovah said unto my Adonai: David in spirit heard the solemn voice of Jehovah speaking to the Messiah from of old. What wonderful intercourse there has been between the Father and the Son!
Though David was a firm believer in the Unity of the Godhead, he yet spiritually discerns the two persons, distinguishes between them, and perceives that in the second he has a peculiar interest, for he calls him "my Lord." This expresses the Psalmist's reverence, his obedience, his believing appropriation, and his joy in Christ.

It is well to have clear views of the mutual relations of the persons of the blessed Trinity; indeed, the knowledge of these truths is essential for our comfort and growth in grace. There is a manifest distinction in the divine persons, since one speaks to another; yet the Godhead is one.
In verse 4, the King is identified as a perpetual priest "according to the order of Melchizedek."  The name Melchizedek means "Righteousness is my king."  Melchizedek is Biblically identified as the King of Salem and priest of God Most High. Thus, Psalm 110 is telling us that Jesus' High Priesthood is more ancient and superior to the Levitical high priesthood. 

For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
~ I Cor. 15:25
There is so much to learn in this psalm.  We could much more than one day meditating on and studying the truths of this psalm - I encourage you to further your understanding by spending more time on Psalm 110. 
  • Our Messiah is David's Lord. 
  • Jesus is constituted a sovereign Lord by the counsel and decree of God Himself
  • Christ will have a kingdom established in this world
  • Christ will overcome His enemies
  • Our Lord Jesus is God's minister to us, our Advocate with God, and a Mediator between God and man
  • I praise the Lord that He is my great High Priest, my Advocate, my Sovereign Lord, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, And He shall reign forever and ever, Hallelujah!
 PRAYER: another beautiful prayer by pastor Scotty Smith on this day in Holy Week:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ?” Matthew 22:41
     Dear Lord Jesus, it’s Thursday of Holy Week. The question You directed to Pharisees en route to the cross, You still put before us. “What do you think about the Christ?”  There’s no more important question for us to wrestle throughout our lives. No other question has the power to disrupt us and delight us like this one.
     What  do I think about You, Lord Jesus? Who do I think You are? You are God and I’m a mere man. I would despair if You were anything less and I get weary of trying to be more. You are the creator, sustainer and restorer of all things. You don’t just care about my soul, You care about everything You have made. One day You will return to finish making all things new.
     Lord Jesus, I honor You as the promised Messiah—the one who fulfills every promise the Father has made. You as the second Adam—our substitute in death and in life. You lived a life of perfect obedience for us and You exhausted God’s judgment that stood against us. You are our complete forgiveness and our perfect righteousness before the Father. Nothing will every separate us from Your love. I humbly and confidently stake my life and my death upon what You’ve done for us.
     Lord Jesus, there’s so much more to who You are, and eternity will be a perpetual discovery of the inexhaustible riches found in You. But this particular holy week, I’m especially comforted to know You are always thinking about us. It’s what You think about us that makes all the difference to me.
     We are in Your heart and on Your mind all the time. You are always praying for us and advocating for us before the Father. You greatly delight in us and You will never be ashamed of us. Indeed, You know us the best and You love us the most. With fresh gratitude and knee-buckling awe, we worship and adore You on this Thursday of Holy Week.  So very Amen, we pray, in Your name-above-all-names name.