|Passage: Psalms 1-8|
On Friday, June 23, 2017, Yujin wrote,
Psalms are songs, but this does not mean they are all happy songs. In fact, right from the start, David addresses conspiring nations (2:1), seeks deliverance from his foes (3:1,7), asks for relief from his distress (4:1), puts before God his lament (5:1), prays for healing from divine discipline (6:1-2), and cries out for deliverance from murderous enemies (7:1-2).
Oftentimes, psalms of lament resonate with us more than psalms of praise, psalms of deliverance more than psalms of adoration, psalms of repentance than psalms of triumph. The Bible calls us to "rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15), yet we often find greater solace from the empathetic mourner.
In this life God does not promise to remove sadness, but He promises us to be with us and to hear our petitions in the midst of it. And as we pray we discover His peace. He tells us to worry about nothing, pray about everything, and we'll find peace through anything. (Philippians 4:6-7).
|Passage: Psalms 1-8|
On Sunday, June 23, 2013 (Last Updated on 6/22/2021), Yujin wrote,
How blessed is the man who does not walk in thecounsel of the wicked,
Psalm 1 is the first psalm. It is also an introduction to the entire psalter. It sets the tone for the 149 psalms to come, some of which reflect celebration, some confession, some petition, some instruction, and some praise.
And how does the psalmist begin this amazing collection of inspired poetry and song? He contrasts the way of the righteous with the way of the wicked. The way of the righteous is fruitful, enduring and prosperous. The way of the wicked is fleeting, cast out, and perishing.
But at the heart, what sets the course for the righteous over the way of the wicked? Is it simply a state of being? Is it an ecstatic experience? Is it a miracle? A prophecy? No. no. no. no. It is none of these things. When the righteous turn away from the way of the wicked, refusing to walk in their counsel, refusing to stand in their path, and refusing to sit among them, they are turning to "the law of the LORD." This law of the LORD represents God's written instructions to Israel, which provide the guidelines for how they are to live in a way that is good and pleasing to the LORD.
Today, we have the whole counsel of Scripture, represented in the Old and New Testaments, that serve this same purpose. So we read from Paul,
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The whole of Scripture, the Bible, is sufficient to completely equip the servant of God, who is seeking to please God in every good work. He does not need anything else. The Bible is an all-in-one kind of tool.
What is more, the righteous do not simply turn to the law of the LORD, he delights in it. He needs no coercion to turn to God's law because He wants to do it.
Now his delight is not simply a feeling that he carries around with him. It has an actionable component. And that action is not in simply singing about it or talking about how precious it is. No, his delight is reflected in this, that he meditates on it day and night.
"Day and night" is a figure of speech called merism, which describes a pair of contrasting words used to express totality or completeness. Day contrasts night, and they serve as bookends to represent the entire day. It is not so much that the psalmist is describing two occasions for meditating on God's law, once in the morning and once in the evening. No. He is describing a meditation that lasts all day long. This reflects how much the psalmist delights in the law of the LORD. He is always thinking about it.
This kind of reflection should remind us of the instruction given through Moses in the Law:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
Moses is even more descriptive of the place Law of the LORD was to have in the life of the righteous. It was to be an all-consuming and constant discussion topic, reflection, reminder, and meditation.
Whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament, meditation on the Word of God is the chief emphasis. It is described as an all-sufficient and safe resource for every believer to live this life in a way that most pleases God. It is no mere word of men, but it is supreme and most reliable masterpiece of the Holy Spirit, which is the means by which we know Christ, our Savior, and by which we also understand God's nature and His purposes for us.
Therefore, dear friends, what are you doing to make the Word of God take front and center stage in your life? We know that above all things God's Word brings enduring benefit to our lives. We know that it is an all-sufficient resource for godliness. It is preeminent in reliability, unlike those peddling experiences, miracles, and prophecies, which are not necessary and often dangerous.
How is the Word of God our meditation every day and all day long? How is it our primary conversation with our spouse, our children, our friends and our co-workers.
As generations come and go, one technology gets eclipsed by another, and human traditions fade with the changing culture, if we make God's Word preeminent in our lives, then this one thing will endure: future generations will not forget the Lord.
|Passage: Psalms 1-8|
On Saturday, June 23, 2012 (Last Updated on 6/22/2020), Yujin wrote,
But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the LORD,and he answered me from his holy mountain. [Interlude] I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. (Psalm 3:3-6 NLT)
The superscription to this psalm tells us that David wrote this with his flight from Absalom in view. If you recall the event, Abasalom was David's son, who chose to forcefully seize his father's throne for himself.
In the Psalm David says, "I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies..." While David is not afraid, he is also not a fool. He knew that to remain in the capital would be his life and the lives of those near to him. It is not a contradiction for David to flee and yet express his confidence in God, for when we read the account, we learn that David thought that this turn of events was from the LORD, and if the LORD would again look on David with favor, he would return to the throne (2 Samuel 16:11-12).
Thus, what David saw in the LORD was not only his Defender but also his Judge, the One Who is sovereign over all the affairs of men. Since God sees everything, David can sleep in peace and awake in safety. Since David's confidence is completely in the LORD, and the LORD controls everything, he can be fearless in the face of any and every enemy, no matter how many or how strong. David Livingston, the famed missionary to interior Africa, once said, "There is one safe and happy place, and that is in the will of God." Others have interpreted this to mean, "I am immortal when I am in the center of God's will." As Paul wrote,
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31, 32, 37-39 NIV)
Friends, let us, therefore, make this the priority of our lives, that we would always choose God's side, God's way, and what will most glorify His Name. In doing so, we can live both purposefully and fearlesslessly.
|Passage: Psalms 1-8|
On Thursday, June 23, 2011 (Last Updated on 6/23/2013), Yujin wrote,
Friends, I encourage you to read the introduction to the Psalms that is under Resources > Bible Book Summaries on this website. It will give you a bird's eye perspective of the entire Psalter.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,