Psalm 143 What If The Spirit Is Not Willing?

This Psalm of David tells us what to expect of life before death! Living for God in a hostile world is not easy but requires trust in God and a strong faith in His Word.

Verses 1-2 give the plea;

Verses 3-8 detail the spiritual struggle within;

Verses 9-12 ask for spiritual awakening.

Verses 1-2: “Prayer” is speaking to God, “supplication” is to ask of God. “Prayer and supplication” are often connected in Scripture (1 Kings 8:37-40; Philippians 4:6). Without repentance and forgiveness, no human would be acceptable to God. No one is acceptable to God who: says they are (Luke 18:9-14); thinks they obey (Matthew 7:21-23); confesses no sin (1 John 1:8-10); works wickedness (Psalm 101:3-4); hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:15).

Verses 3-8: Enemies, in persecuting our souls, may make us feel “crushed,” surrounded in darkness, lifeless and overwhelmed. Reading and meditating on the Word of God helps us “remember” God’s help in the past. “Meditate” is the focus on God’s “Works,” “musing” is thinking through His Way, spreading out one’s hands is to show God we hold nothing back from our obedience. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). When we feel our spirit fail, an alarming thought is that God would turn away from us, thus Jesus cried out from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus was taking our place on the cross (1 Peter 3:18). If we will remember God’s “lovingkindness,” then our “trust” in Him who has shown us “the way in which I should walk” will “lift up my soul to You.”

Verses 9-12: David asks God to “deliver” him from enemies, “teach” him to do God’s will, and “lead” all the way into “the land of uprightness.” God’s “Spirit is good,” so Christians should “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). A soul delivered from trouble is a soul “revived.” God is merciful to His Servants – anyone may become a “servant of God.” Daniel was spared in a den of lions because he was a “servant of the living God” (Daniel 6:20).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #meditate, #obedience, #revive, #servant-of-god, #supplication

Psalm 142 From the Depth of Despair

This Psalm of David may well have been written from the cave of Adullam, while King Saul pursued him to kill him (1 Samuel 22:1).

Verses 1-3 picture the “caveman” mindset;

Verses 4-7 show the difference between refuge and prison.

Verses 1-3: “Cry out” indicates his desperate situation, “supplication” is a prayer presenting a problem to God, but asking for help with it. David’s “complaint” is not with God, but a presentation of his “trouble” that he would “pour out.” David’s “spirit was overwhelmed within” him, more than once (Psalm 61:2; 77:3; 143:4). This perfectly expresses what we all feel like sometimes when life is too much to handle! Jesus shows how not to let this get to us. “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3).

Verses 4-7: Before David’s men gathered to him, he knew “no one who acknowledges” him, his insecurity noted that “refuge has failed” him. In complete despair, he said: “No one cares for my soul.” Jesus reached this moment, for on His way to the cross, “they all forsook Him and fled” (Mark 14:50). Paul had this moment, for he said: “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:16). The common thread woven through these faithful men is the LORD never left them: David “cried out to You, O LORD” (Psalm 142:5); “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46); “the Lord stood with me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17). God was David’s “portion in the land of the living.” As long as David was alive, God was with him. When “persecutors” seem “stronger than I,” never forget God, for He never forgets us. Life can become our “prison,” but once released from this “very low” time, we are freed to “praise” God, and enjoy the fellowship of the “righteous” who “shall surround” us. God abundantly blesses those faithful to Him. Joseph was released from a dungeon through God’s gift of interpretation of dreams (Genesis 39-41); Samson through his renewed covenant strength (Judges 16:21-31); Jesus releases people from their prison of sin (Isaiah 42:5-7; Luke 4:14-21); the Apostles were set free to preach Jesus (Acts 5:17-25). Everyone who remains faithful to God in whatever prison they find themselves, must learn they are not alone.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #cave, #daily-bible-reading, #despair, #faith, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #overwhelmed, #prison, #righteous

Psalm 141 Shut My Mouth

This Psalm of David could have originated at one of several times in his life, so the historical background is not definitely set, but it clearly is similar to other of his Psalms.

Verses 1-2 appeal to God to hear this prayer;

Verses 3-4 concerned with one’s words;

Verse 5-concerned with one’s thoughts;

Verses 5c-7 concerned with one’s bones;

Verses 8-10 concerned with one’s eyes.

Verses 1-2: To “cry out” expresses immediate need(s). For prayer to be “set before” God “as incense” (Exodus 30:1-10), helps us see that when Moses’ Law was taken out of the way by the cross of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:14-16), Christian prayers ascend before God instead of incense (Revelation 5:8).

Verses 3-4: It is not asking for God to choose our words, but knowing we have called attention to the problem we have with wrong words should keep us more keenly aware (Matthew 12:34-37). “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26). “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2). In fact, David realizes, to avoid sin, we must not lean toward “any evil thing,” “practice wicked works,” associate with evil workers, or commonly associate with sinners. This progression into sin is similar to Psalm 1.

Verse 5: If we find ourselves heading in the wrong direction, the rebuke of a righteous person should bring us back to spirituality. “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5). “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

Verses 5c-7: Our prayers should be not only for us to be strong, but for the wicked to be blunted and weakened. “Judges” are their leaders, but “sweet” “words” of a prayerful appeal to God can see them taken down. Their damage, however, may break up God’s people as if physical bodies had been plowed under!

Verses 8-10: “Eyes,” rightly focused on the goal, must not be misled. Once a person has been buried in the water of baptism into Jesus’ death (and not before), and raised to a new life with Him (Romans 6:3-5), they are saved (1 Peter 3:21). “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3). By obeying God and following Jesus Christ, God will “keep” (avoid sin, 1 John 3:6) a Christian from the “snares” and “traps” the wicked continually provide. It was the partial obedience of the Israelites in cleaning the wicked nations out of the Promised Land, that God warned they would become “snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you” (Joshua 23:13). “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them” (Proverbs 22:5). David did not pray out of vengeance or hatred, but simply that God let “the wicked fall into their own nets” and he be allowed to “escape.” When the wicked are treated with their own wickedness is not only just, it is fair for the righteous. “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27). A rolling stone may not gather moss, but often it punishes the ones who started it rolling!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #prayer, #salvation, #sin, #snares, #traps, #wicked, #words, #workers-of-iniquity

Psalm 140 Deliver Me From Evil

A Psalm of David that recognizes how evil surrounds someone trying to live right. Paranoia involves fear without facts – this Psalm, however, deals with facts that give ample reason to be aware and careful! “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (2 Peter 3:17).

Verses 1-5 pray for preservation from evil men;

Verses 6-7 reassert confidence in God;

Verses 8-11 pray for persecution on the wicked;

Verses 12-13 remind the upright of their reward.

Verses 1-5: God is asked to “Deliver me” “from evil men; “Preserve me from violent men;” “Keep me” “from the hands of the wicked.” Jesus taught His disciples to pray “do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). “Evil men” are those who: plan it in their hearts; gather for war; hone their tongues like serpents; speak venomously. Psalm 140:3 is quoted in Romans 3:13 to help describe sinners in need of Jesus Christ. Little wonder that John the Baptist (Luke 3:7), then Jesus (Matthew 12:34; 23:33), called their generation of Jews a “brood of vipers.” “The wicked” are those determined to “make my steps stumble;’’ hidden a snare to tie me up; “spread a net;” “set traps,” all designed to stop a faithful person from being faithful!

Verses 6-7: David’s God hears his supplication, provides strength to save, and protects his head in battle.

Verses 8-11: If the wicked are unpunished, their pride swells. Solomon would later say: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). David’s prayer is that: their evil words are turned back upon them; they are consumed by fire; their slander goes unproven; evil men fight it out with the violent men! Worldly people “slander” the message of salvation: “For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come?’–as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just” (Romans 3:7-8). “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18).

Verses 12-13: Regardless of the opposition, God will prevail on behalf of the “afflicted,” giving “justice for the poor,” being thanked by the righteous, and receiving the upright to “dwell” in His presence.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #evil-men, #faith, #god, #obedience, #prayer, #sin, #slander, #violent-men, #vipers

Psalm 139 Father Knows Us Best

This Psalm of David gives a picture of how thoroughly God knows us. We should seek to know Him as completely as we can, for “when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods” (Galatians 4:8); “the world through wisdom did not know God” (1 Corinthians 1:21); “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8); Jesus Christ will be “taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

Verses 1-6 show how completely God knows about our individual lives;

Verses 7-12 show how useless it is for anyone to try to flee from God;

Verses 13-16 show when God begins to know us;

Verses 17-18 show how completely we should know God;

Verses 19-22 show how completely we should side with God;

Verses 23-24 show how completely open we should be with ourselves and God.

Verses 1-6: There is no one who knows and understands us like God does: not Mother, Father, Children, Husband or Wife, close friend. God interacts with individual lives by examination, constant monitoring, complete understanding of our thinking, hearing all our words, protecting and guiding at times, all exceeding our own understanding of ourselves!

Verses 7-12: As Adam and Eve discovered in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6-8), there is nowhere God cannot find us: Heaven (as if we could!)? He is there; “Hell” (Sheol, the place beyond the body’s grave, where departed spirits dwell)? He is there; fly as fast as the light of a new day (as if we could!)? dive as deep as the sea goes? He still could guide and hold us; be surrounded by total darkness? God sees as if it was still light. God is everywhere, but He is NOT everything! God is Creator NOT the Creation! Pantheism is totally wrong in this concept.

Verses 13-16: God designs, develops, and delivers each and every human baby ever born! For each and every human baby, while in the womb, God “covered” (intricately weaves together) our organs; “fearfully and wonderfully” develops the baby; makes the skeleton support structure; begins His work on “unformed” “substance” (Hebrew term for embryo), prepared the baby to live “the days fashioned for me” (plans for the baby to live its life on earth). Abortion is the destroying of the work of God, and wise Solomon said: “I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14). Abortion is taking from the work of God!

Verses 17-18: There is much more about God than we can grasp, but we should learn all we can while we can. The Word of God is the gradual unfolding of the revelation of God.

Verses 19-22: Instead of demanding God to “side” with us, we should get on God’s “side.” There should be no evil work a Christian would practice, plan, or proceed to do: terrorism, abortion, self-centeredness, drunkenness/drug abuse, divisiveness, fornication/adultery, lust, or anything else contrary to “sound doctrine.” Whatever God condemns, Christians should condemn. Whatever God hates, Christians should hate. Whoever is an enemy of God, should be an enemy to a Christian. No Christian should compromise this commitment to God for any  political platform, union slogan, or gang fidelity!

Verses 23-24: An open heart asks for God to check it out, and is willing for Him to “lead me in the way everlasting.” Why wait? God provides for Christians to “examine themselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#abortion, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #christian-living, #condemn, #daily-bible-reading, #enemy, #god, #hates, #jesus-christ, #life, #pantheism, #sin, #truth, #wisdom

Psalm 138 God’s Name Works

A Psalm of David that is so typical of David’s other Psalms, full of praise to God.

Verses 1-2 God’s Name is worshiped above all gods;

Verses 3-5 God’s Name is glorified above all kings;

Verses 6-8: God’s Name reaches to all people.

Verses 1-2: (Verse 1) Praise to God should include the “whole heart” out of which we “sing praises.” David, with all the musical instruments introduced by him into worship, felt praise involved singing from the heart, in spite of others’ “gods.” In the New Testament, Christians should, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). (Verse 2) What God has done in “lovingkindness” and “truth” distinguish Him above all.

Verses 3-5: (Verse 3) David’s boldness came from God’s answering His pleas. No proof of God’s care is better than experience, and hindsight is always 20/20! (Verse 4) “Kings of the earth” quickly learn Jehovah God is mightier than they are. (Verse 5) When defeated, even they join in God’s praises (Example Daniel 4).

Verses 6-8: (Verse 6) God never loses sight of, or sensitivity toward, “the lowly.” No one is too minute or insignificant but that God will hear. But “the proud” God recognizes from “afar,” that is, God doesn’t need to have them close to know how to deal with them. “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). (Verse 7) “In the midst of trouble” God “revives” (refreshes), extends a protecting “hand,” offers His “right hand” to “save.” Since Jesus said God is “spirit” (John 4:24) which has no “flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39), then all references to God’s “body” of physical characteristics obviously are figures of speech designed to help us understand Him. (Verse 8) God looks better to our cares than we can, which is why we should cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He does this out of His “mercy” which “endures forever.” “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #gods-name, #obedience, #praise, #prayer, #proud, #singing, #worship

Psalm 137 What 70 Years of Regret Did

Because of their horrendous sins, God’s people (both Northern Israel and Southern Judah) were violently removed from their Promised Land for 70 years (2 Kings 17:5-23; 2 Chronicles 36:15-23). This Psalm was clearly written to express the Israelites’ sense of loss and regret while in Babylon, and their anticipation of revenge which God would bring against the Babylonians. That “payback” came at the hands of Cyrus, king of Persia, who then caused the Israelites to return and rebuild their Holy City, Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Jeremiah 50:18-32).

Verses 1-6 state the woeful lesson learned;

Verses 7-9 give the somber belief that God repays “in kind” (Jeremiah 50:29).

Verses 1-6: Being “by the rivers of Babylon” instead of their Jordan River was a constant reminder of why they were in Babylon. Those rivers included the Tigris and Euphrates, Chebar (Ezekiel 1:3), and the Ulai (Daniel 8:2). Israelite sorrow was so deep they “wept” when they thought about destroyed Jerusalem; “hung [their] harps” because there was nothing to sing about, even though their captors requested a song; and prayed for their “right hand” become useless and “tongue” stick to the “roof of” their mouth, if they tried to forget their “chief joy” should be in Jerusalem.

Verses 7-9: Israel was descended from Jacob, and his twin, Esau, became known as “Edom” (Genesis 25:30; 36:1). “Edom,” thus was a name for non-Israelites, or “nations” in the Old Testament and “Gentiles” in the New Testament. The Babylonians who had destroyed Jerusalem are represented by the term “sons of Edom” and specifically, “daughter of Babylon” whom God was going to destroy at the time of this Psalm. That destruction has already taken place, and a lingering prophecy still affects that place today. “Babylon” is modern Iraq, and the first “Gulf War” was fought when Saddam Hussein declared he would excavate ancient Babylon and bring it back to its former glory. God had decreed otherwise: “’Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation’” (Jeremiah 25:12; also see Jeremiah 51:24-26, 59-64).  (Psalm 137: 8-9) These verses reflect what God promised would happen to Babylon: “’Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,’ The inhabitant of Zion will say; ‘And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!’ Jerusalem will say” (Jeremiah 51:35). Babylon’s bloodshed of innocent children in Jerusalem was repaid in kind when the Persians did the same to Babylonian babies.

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#babylon, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #iraq, #obedience, #payback, #repentance, #sorrow