Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.” Hebrews 12.4-6

Do you discipline your children? Why do you? Hopefully, it is so they will come to understand that authority is to be obeyed for their good. You teach your children that if they do certain things, there will be consequences which is considered to be discipline.

God disciplines his children. His discipline serves at least two purposes. It is to help our faith to grow. Discipline is not always pleasant, but with the proper attitude, much can be learned from it.

Discipline also serves to teach you perseverance. The writer of Hebrews, in 12.2, tells his readers to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus. He is our focal point. He is where all the concentration should be. Only then, can you endure the difficult times. God wants his children to arrive at their destination, which is heaven.

When times become difficult, just remember that, most likely, you have not shed blood due to your struggles or sin. Then, remember that Jesus shed blood, not for his own sin for he had no sin. His blood was shed for you and for your sins.

#risingjoy #Hebrews #discipline

For our benefit: Hebrews 12.10

“Our human parents disciplined us for a little while, as it seemed best to them, but God does it for our benefit so that we can share his holiness.”

Hebrews 12.10 CEB

Suffering should be seen as God’s discipline, because he loves us. He always works for our benefit. What he does for us is far above and beyond what our human parents did.

How is God’s disciplining me right now? Am I aware that I ought to use my difficulties to grow and become more like God? Am I sure that God does all for my benefit?

#votd #Hebrews #discipline

Testimony of two or three: Deuteronomy 19.15 VOTD

“A single witness may not testify against another person for any trespass or sin that he commits. A matter may be legally established only on the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

Deuteronomy 19.15

God is just. He organized the people of Israel so that justice would prevail. Attempts to pervert justice were dealt with harshly so that all would fear.

Such principles continue to bring justice in the disciplinary process of the church of God. Why is the testimony of two or three witnesses important in this process?

#justice #discipline #VOTD

What are some ways a father can provoke their child to wrath?

Last week’s Gospel Advocate Foundations course (Adult Bible Study) discussed Ephesians 6:1-9.

This section of scripture includes the admonition to fathers which says,

“… fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV)

After asking the provided question in the booklet for this verse, the class teacher followed up with his own question. I believe his question was/is a very important one. He asked, Continue reading

#discipline, #fathers, #parenting

It was a family fight but this one…

It was a family fight, but this one took a wrong turn. Husband and wife were at it in a hot dispute of some sort, when 38-year-old Julian Burnett got all he could take and drove his red dump truck into the side of the house in Orange County, Florida. The crash not only ended the fight but hastened police intervention and Burnett was charged with aggravated assault. There is a proverb worth remembering: a hot head never makes for cool thinking. The easiest thing in the world is to lose your temper and do something stupid. The difficult thing is to be disciplined, to talk calmly and to act responsibly. It may be difficult, but the results are a lot easier to live with. This is Just A Minute.

#anger, #discipline, #hot-head, #just-a-minute


(#143) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:27-Don’t Miss A Word!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:27: “Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.”

The way to be lost is to not listen to directions. The way to forget “the words of knowledge” is to quit listening. There is discipline in listening, and there is no learning without it. This has already been stated: “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days” (Proverbs 19:20).

Just because some people quit listening doesn’t mean the sermon is over. “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek,’ of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:9-14). Bible truths need to be learned, and it is not the Bible or the sermon that needs shortening, but more often, there are some in the audience who need to grow in understanding!

Jesus Christ used parables, not to disguise spiritual truth, but to give “milk-drinkers” something to understand until they could handle “meat” of the Word of God. “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them’” (Matthew 13:13-15).

It is difficult enough to lead the disinterested to study the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), but there many who make the path to faith even more difficult, even impossible. Jesus condemned such people in His day: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13); “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered” (Luke 11:52).

“Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word” (John 8:43). When people are children of the Devil (John 8:44), they hear him, but they don’t want to know (“understand”) the manner of Jesus’ teaching, therefore, they “are not able to listen” to what He taught! No Holy Spirit intervention needed here, but the sinner must desire to know Jesus Christ, as Paul’s first recorded sermon indicated: “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him” (Acts 13:26-27). The people who crucified Jesus Christ were guilty of the same attitude toward truth as everyone today who has not obeyed the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16). Don’t let this be your undoing!

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

#bible-study, #discipline, #knowledge, #listening, #proverbs, #truth, #understanding, #wisdom


(#123) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:10-Experience Hurts – Wisdom Doesn’t

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:10: “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.”

The “wise” will take the “rebuke” to heart, while “a hundred blows” only hurt the outside of “a fool.” No one can beat some sense into one who doesn’t want to learn! When David sinned, the Prophet said, “You are the man,” and David said, “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:1-7, 13-14). After Peter’s denial of Jesus, “the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61-62). The “wise” will need a word or a look to learn better, so discipline should be aimed at teaching how to focus on the lesson at hand.

In Egypt, by the end of the 7th plague, “when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the LORD had spoken by Moses” (Exodus 9:34-35). Pharaoh’s “hundred blows” cost him his firstborn, his people, and his army! Many people, it seems, have to learn about sin the hard way, from painful failures with: relationships, jobs, drugs, perversion, money, or church. Other proverbs describe this school of hard knocks: “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools” (Proverbs 19:29); “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart” (Proverbs 20:30); “But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them” (Proverbs 24:25); “Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear” (Proverbs 25:12); “A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back” (Proverbs 26:3); “Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him” (Proverbs 27:22); “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1). Solomon will later say, “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:5). Fools may not learn from “beatings,” “blows that hurt,” “a rod,” “often rebuke,” or being ground down like a blender. A wise person would not want to stay close to those who have to learn the hard way!

Don’t go to the wrong school! “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

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

#beating, #bible-study, #discipline, #hard-way, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rebuke, #sin

When his father ordered his son to clean…

When his father ordered his son to clean up his room, the angry son screamed at Dad and threw a plate of food across the dinner table at him. That might not be so unusual except the son is 28-year-old Andrew Mizsak, who lives rent-free with his parents in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford, Ohio, and is a member of the local School Board. The proverb declares: Do not be quick to anger, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Control of one’s temper is a discipline of character, but it seems both discipline and character are in short supply in these latter days. Better a cool head and a clean room than a hot head and a spilt plate. This is Just-A-Minute

#anger, #discipline, #just-a-minute

A 21 year old man in Santa Fe…

A 21-year-old man in Santa Fe, N.M., inebriated, shifted into reverse, thinking it was “park,” and fell out the driver’s door, running over himself. There is a proverb that says, “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.” The meaning of the proverb is simple: too often we are the creators of our own problems. Whether it is the abuse of alcohol, prescription meds, drugs or some other addiction; there would be no problem if the subject had used a little discipline. But discipline and honor are two items that are in short supply in our modern world. But there is a wealth of self-gratification and greed. This is Just-A-Minute

#addiction, #discipline, #just-a-minute


(#73) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:24-It Doesn’t Take A Village To Raise A Child Who Has Both Parents!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 13:24: “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

The old “spare the rod, spoil the child” is truthful but not a quotation of Scripture. No amount of beatings can ever replace the effect of parental love, understanding, patience, and instruction. Children are to “obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1), but fathers are specifically commanded “do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers must “bring them up,” not beat them down! Discipline includes instruction and enforcement of what is “right,” not dictatorial and tyrannical outbursts arbitrarily enforced with a “rod!” THIS PROVERB GIVES ABSOLUTELY NO PERMISSION TO ABUSE CHILDREN! Listen to the other proverbs on the subject: “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18); “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15); “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die” (Proverbs 23:13); “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15); “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17). “The rod” is the last line of discipline to be applied (not the first or only line), but children must be reminded that there is a limit placed on their actions, beyond which they must not go in respect for parental authority. There is a time limit on good parental guidance, and that is “while there is hope,” or while the child is formative. It is “the rod and rebuke” that “give wisdom,” not just “the rod” without explanation and corrective instruction, but not “rebuke” without “the rod.” All the “rod of correction” is designed to do is sober up the child’s attitude and focus on the seriousness of the parent’s instruction, basically, “wipe that smile off your face!” Unfortunately, in this society filled with divorce and remarriage, custody battles, sexual relations without marriage commitment, a child is “left to himself.” The mother or father who thinks the child can handle things all alone is self-deceived and has abdicated the greatest authority on earth: nurturing a soul. They will give account on the Day of Judgment. Every child raised without proper discipline is a child raised without proper love, for discipline indicates loving care. The “father,” specifically, should be the obedience school for a child.

Every male who sires a child without a marriage commitment to its mother is: (1) profaning god’s sacredness of life; (2) disrespecting the mother of a life; (3) ignoring the God-given responsibility to properly instruct and guide the child’s life; (4) creating an illegitimate child without love (Hebrews 12:5-11); (5) and will be held accountable on the day of judgment for each and every soul he has neglected! It still requires a married couple (male and female) to properly raise every child.

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

#abuse, #bible-study, #children, #correction, #discipline, #family, #illegitimate, #instruction, #love, #marriage, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #spare-the-rod, #teaching, #wisdom

Job’s Friends, Labeling, and Us

We label items to help us account for them and use them efficiently. Both leaders and office workers use carefully named folders (computer and traditional) to organize their material. Labels help to find and also help us to understand. The packaging for food and other commercial items will inform us what is inside, whether it has been inspected, what risks it poses to us (proper use, calories, fat grams, etc.), and how to dispose of it after use. Labels sometimes confuse or misdirect. Signs on dumpsters that state, “This is not a dumpster,” clearly misinform. A dumpster (a large container for item disposal) is a specifically designed piece of equipment. The sign-maker perhaps should have written, “This dumpster is for recycling only. Do not place trash in it.”
We also label people. Soldiers wear uniforms that often have their names and ranks affixed. Soldiers who have trained in special skills may wear badges that identify those skills. Workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries wear uniforms that identify their employer, their name, and their place within the organization. Prisoners today often wear brightly colored uniforms that identify them as such. We may also describe people according their height, weight, skin pigmentation, religious preference, and a variety of other variables. During Jesus’ ministry, a disciple tried to label someone by asking, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born…? We sometimes label people verbally with derogatory descriptions.
Friends of the biblical character Job also labeled him. They said, “Wicked man (Job 15:20),” “blustering wind (8:2),”deceitful (11:11).” We ourselves find it easy to criticize those friends even when, if we reflected, we might have done the same as they. Job rebuked them for their labeling of him. To reinforce the righteousness of such rebuke, God himself berated the frustrated advisors of Job. We spot some of their mistakes easily. They misjudged Job’s character, despite having known him for years. Job reminded them in the twenty-ninth chapter of Job how his words had commanded the respect of community leaders. Job had rescued the poor and championed the cause of strangers. He had clothed himself in righteousness and justice. Job’s friends no longer remembered those days. The Job they saw before them deserved rebuke, or so they thought. His loss of family, his financial devastation and physical suffering compelled them to conclude that Job must have sinned greatly to warrant such severe punishment from God.
Job’s friends struggled because their worldview did not allow for a series of catastrophes devastating a righteous person. We too struggle today when we encounter new situations or meet people who challenge the categories we use to label people, events, and religious doctrines. Job’s friends, despite their faults, actually did a few things right. Before they castigated him, they wept with him, tore their robes, and sprinkled dust on their heads to show their grief over his situation. They sat silently with him for several days. They failed, however, to listen; they failed to consider that the origins of Job’s suffering might be more complex than they imagined. They spoke from ignorance.
Some labels accurately define what they describe. Poison warnings on bottles save lives. Jesus sometimes labeled people, calling some religious leaders “hypocrites” and a devoted disciple who didn’t quite understand his master’s mission “Satan.”
Labels can destroy lives. People sometimes harm themselves after being labeled wrongly by people who did not know them, or envied them, or just had wrong information. Labels can destroy ministry. Judaizing teachers labeled Paul. I observed on on-line discussion in which a preacher asked if a church fit a one-word (label) description. An intriguing aspect of the ensuing discussion was that subsequent contributors had different definitions for the label or even admitted their confusion as to what the questioner meant by the term. Ignorance makes labels dangerous. We may not know what another believes.
Job’s friends started well. They grieved with him. They sat silently with him. Still they did not truly understand Job. If only they had listened. Will we?

#church-of-christ, #discipline, #gossip, #jesus, #job, #labeling, #listening, #slander, #wisdom


Studies in the Book of Proverbs #8

(#8) The Wise Trust God And Improve Their Lives 3:1-12

Following God’s Wisdom brings out the best qualities in us, as we learn to have total confidence in God’s guidance. Heeding Wisdom will give one:

Verses 1-2: Longer Life. “My son” is an expression used some 15 times in the first 7 chapters of Proverbs, for it is written as if Solomon is instructing his son. The way to “not forget” law is to “let your heart keep” the commands. This is explained in James 1:21-25 and applied to Christian obedience. Obedience comes from the “heart,” as do all our words (Matthew 12:35-37), sins (Mark 7:21-23), jobs (Ephesians 6:5-8). Blessings promised include “length of days” as in good health, “long life” as in living to old age, and “peace” as assistance to abundance or prosperity. Statistics show that those who regularly go to church live longer.

Verses 3-4: Better Relations. If “mercy” (feelings for the plight of our fellowmen) and “truth” (factual and accurate knowledge of our, and others’, actions) are written on our heart, we will wear them like jewelry. These two qualities of character are appreciated (“favor and high esteem”) among men and by God. All deep friendships are based upon understanding the friend, and honesty.

Verses 5-6: Higher Direction. Total trust in God in all our ways is possible because He made us (Genesis 1:26-27), greatly loved us (Ephesians 2:4-7), gave His Son for us (Ephesians 5:1-2). Why should we not believe He wants to help us make the best decisions in our lives? Trust “with all our heart” means we give up our “own understanding” and defer to His direction. It reduces tension to know what to do.

Verses 7-8: Better Health. To be “wise in your own eyes” is another way of describing “loftiness and arrogance and pride” (Jeremiah 48:29-31), but it takes “fear” (respect, awe) of the LORD, and the desire to “depart from evil” (or leave sinful practices, also known as repentance). By listening to God, we may keep our physical bodies from the dissipation and disease of sins, and live healthier and stronger lives, just as God promised His Israelites (Deuteronomy 15:26). Humility is the way of recognizing realistically our place in this vast world, without hypocrisy.

Verses 9-10: Better Prosperity.  Thank God first with whatever we prosper, and He will think of us when we prosper. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). God always has required that giving to Him come before any other consideration, and be freewill (Leviticus 23:37-38).

Verses 11-12: Better Attitude. A person who wants to be a spiritual “child of God” will accept some things that happen in life as God’s “chastening” (teaching) or “correction” (sometimes hurtful reminders not to stray from the path of good). No parent loves his/her child who will not “correct” (discipline) the child, when needed. These two verses are used to show Christians not to become discouraged at God’s correction, for it proves that God is dealing with them as a child whom He loves (Hebrews 12:3-11).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #correction, #daily-bible-reading, #discipline, #god, #health, #life, #long-life, #mercy, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #pride, #proverbs, #sin, #teaching, #truth, #wisdom


Psalm 119:65-72 Teth Learning Good From Affliction

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

Psalm 119:65-72   Teth                         Learning Good From Affliction

Verses 65-66 say experience teaches;

Verses 67-72 show how God gives good lessons.

Verses 65-66: (Verse 65) Based upon what God has said He would do, no one can say God has done them wrong! Many misrepresent what God has promised; or become impatient before He has acted in their lives; or misunderstand His promises; but God has never failed His servants! (Verse 66) By following His “commandments” (precise obedience), we develop “good judgment and knowledge.” By diligent application of God’s commandments, we learn that “solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

Verses 67-72: (Verse 67) It’s easy to run wild until we learn where the brick walls are. This is why, for many, it takes: drug addiction before desiring to dry out; pre-marital abuse and parenthood before trying marriage; rejecting parents before acknowledging their contributions to life; failing at jobs before learning good work habits; dented fenders before driving caution; facing loneliness before finding Christians; despairing at personal sins before obeying Jesus’ Gospel and being added to the church of Christ. Unfortunately, only then do people discover God’s Word—but at last, they do that! (Verse 68) God’s “statutes” (lines marking proper behavior), when learned, are always “good, and do good.” Jesus said only God is the source of “good” (Matthew 19:17), Jesus is the “good Teacher” (Mark 10:17), whose disciples do “good works” (Matthew 5:16), even for their enemies (Matthew 5:44-45), and are “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).  (Verse 69) Those ruled by their own pride create lies against do-gooders, but whole-hearted obedience of God’s “precepts” (words which make things clear) will keep us faithful to Him. (Verse 70) God’s “law” (words marking the straight path) keeps us on track, instead of following those whose hearts are “fat as grease” (dull, insensitive, sated by sin instead of righteousness). Isaiah’s prophecy spoke of Jews in his day (Isaiah 6:9-10), Jews in Jesus’ day (Mark 4:11-12), and Jews in Paul’s time (Acts 28:23-29). This very attitude should be avoided by all who obey Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:17-20). (Verse 71) “Affliction” is oftentimes, not always, only a reminder that we need to re-learn and return to God’s “statutes” (words defining lines of proper conduct). (Verse 72) God’s “law” (words guiding conduct), therefore, is worth more than any “gold and silver” (valuable metals). Lessons in life through experience are costly, lessons learned through God’s Word are priceless!

Thought: Living life gives all of us ample opportunity and time to see that we need to learn what God is trying to tell us in the Bible! Life is “discipline” designed to force, even the dull-hearted and hard-headed, to see truth in God’s Word (Hebrews 12:1-11). Whether they accept it or not, they cannot plead ignorance.

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

#affliction, #bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #discipline, #faith, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #thick-hearted, #truth, #wisdom


Psalm 102

Vs. 1-11 describe feeling of suffering;

Vs. 12-22 speak of the hope that God would act on their behalf;

Vs. 23-28 acknowledge that only God can help.

Though the author of this Psalm is unidentified, the reference to “Zion” (Jerusalem) needing to be restored (verse 13) places the time frame at the end of the Babylonian Captivity (2 Chronicles 36). Psalm 102:25-27 are quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12 as an address to the “Son” of God (Hebrews 1:8). Therefore this reference in Psalm 102 was far-reaching toward “the generation to come” (verse 18), and the work of the eternal Son of God (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 2:1-21).

Verses 1-11: This begins with an urgent appeal for God to hear (verses 1-2) because: (verse 3) life is brief as smoke and fire; (verses 4-5) the heart is burdened and body aches; (verses 6-7) loneliness is like the “pelican,” “owl,” “sparrow” all out of their element, and keeps the Psalmist “awake;” enemies are active (verse 8); food doesn’t appeal (verse 9); the feeling of alienation from God (verses 10-11) is like a lengthening shadow.

Verses 12-22: God, however, is capable of helping because He: is timeless (verse 12); has reached the end of the 70 years of exile for Judah/Israel (verse 13; 2 Chronicles 36:15-23; Jeremiah 25:8-14); sees His people seeking to return to the Promised Land (verse 14); preserves His people (verses 15-17); will see that this return is preserved in Scripture for all time (verse 18; Ezra-Nehemiah; Haggai; Zechariah; Malachi); is merciful and forgiving (verses 19-22).

Verses 23-28: Our lives are in the hand of God (verses 23-24a), but God is above all time constraints (verses 24b-27), and eternity is for those who faithfully serve Him (verse 28; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 1 John 2:17).

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #discipline, #god, #jesus-christ, #prophecy, #restoration


Psalm 94

Vs. 1-3 appeal for God to Judge humans;

Vs. 4-7 appalling behavior deserving condemnation;

Vs. 8-11 above all is God;

Vs. 12-15 approved of God;

Vs. 16-23 assurance from God.

There is no definite time or person originating this Psalm, but it does seem to deal with Israel’s corruption, and could have applied to the time of 2 Kings 17:1-23. There are numerous verses that are either quoted or referred to in the New Testament, as will be indicated.

Verses 1-3: God claims the power to rightly dispense “vengeance” (Deuteronomy 32:25; Hebrews 10:30), and this is acknowledged (verse 1) appealing for God to “shine forth,” “rise up,” “render punishment to the proud” (verses 1-2). The question “how long will the wicked triumph” (verse 3) is asked before the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Revelation 6:10).

Verses 4-7: Explain how corrupt the people had become that justified God’s vengeance. Their disobedience to God was seen in their: idle and arrogant speech (verse 4); oppression (verse 5); heartlessness toward the hurting-widow, stranger, fatherless (verse 6); blindness toward God (verse 7). They thought “whatever is done in Israel stays in Israel,” when the truth is “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Verses 8-11: “The LORD” is untainted by their evils because He is wise, they are “senseless among the people” [Israelites, jtpII] (verse 8); He created human ears and eyes because He hears and sees (verse 9); He is the source of “knowledge,” therefore is the only One who can “correct” “the nations” [Gentiles, jtpII] (verse 10); He knows all the “thoughts of man, That they are futile” (verse 11), quoted in 1 Corinthians 3:20.

Verses 12-15: By contrast, those who remained faithful to God: received His teaching “out of Your law” (verse 12); were given “rest from the days of adversity” (verse 13) while “the wicked” were targeted, that is, even the righteous were included in God’s discipline of removing all the Israelites from their land; were not included in the number of those who were to lose their inheritance (verse 14). When the people came to their moral senses (verse 15), the righteous would have learned the lesson. Verse 14 is explained in Romans 11:1-5 that God did not completely cast off His people for their sins, but kept His part of the promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 3:15-16) by returning the faithful to the Land after 70 years exile (Ezra-Nehemiah) until the Gospel of Jesus Christ came.

Verses 16-23: Who stands with the righteous when sinners prevail (verse 16-17)? “The LORD” without Whom a righteous soul would “have settled in silence,” or be destroyed by his enemies. This is what Paul claimed had happened to him: “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). When we fail, God is there to help (verse 18-19), which happened to Peter (Matthew 14:22-33). This case is summarized (verses 20-21) and reassurance repeated (verses 22-23). Verse 21 aptly describes the situation that sent Jesus Christ to the cross (Matthew 27:1-5, 20-27).

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

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