Tag Archives: Psalm

APRIL 4 – Solemn Sound


APRIL 4 – Solemn Sound

Psalm 92:1  A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: 

2  To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, 

3  Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. 

Solemn –Religiously serious; piously grave; devout; marked by reverence to God; as solemn prayer; the solemn duties of the sanctuary

Sacred; enjoined by religion; or attended with a serious appeal to God; as a solemn oath.

I Corinthians 14:15 Paul’s instruction to the Church at Corinth is: “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also? I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”

The passage in Psalms seems to refer to our public day of worship. A time when we gather together on the first day of the week to sing to God and share a word of exhortation and instruction. The solemn part of singing is brought to us as we sing of a God who gives His son that I might live. It reminds me of a man and his son and his sons’ friend in a small boat. Suddenly a great storm came up and the boat was capsized and all three were thrown into the raging waters. The father, coming up to the top of the water searching for the two boys. Neither could swim and would need rescuing. As this father searched, he saw the two boys. The distance was too great to rescue both boys. A decision had to be made. The father had raised his son in church and the boy was saved. His friend was not saved. The father made the decision to rescue the friend because he was not saved. As he swam to the friend, he could see his son going down. How his heart was broken, yet he knew he had to rescue the friend so that he might have the opportunity to hear about Christ and be saved. He was comforted by the thought that he would see his son again one day. That friend did find salvation.

As I think of that story and think of my own son and daughter, I realize how difficult this must be. With tears, I think of what God has done for me. How solemn it is to think that anyone would give their life for mine. What a serious consideration. How this touches my inward most soul. How solemn my reflections. I come to God in solemn songs of praise. Songs that tell of Him and His majesty and greatness. Songs that are not about me but are about God and His Son Jesus Christ.

This brings some hymns to mind: “O How I Love Jesus.” “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene.

These solemn songs of my God and my Savior usher me into the throne room of heaven.

How about you?

 

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Day 1 – Psalm 73:28 – Draw near, Trust Him and Declare His Works.


PSALMS OF COMFORT

Day 1 – Psalm 73:28 – Draw near, Trust Him and Declare His Works.

Here is the bold implication that we as a people wander away from God. This may not be our intention but yet the attractions of the world, the insistence of problems, distractions, work and family turn us to the beggarly things of this world and draw our attention away from God. A result of this separation are a growing dis-satisfaction with life. We encounter more afflictions and trials. We become engrossed in the art of fire fighting instead of seeking the nearness of the Lord. Stress, worry and indecision brings defeat, discouragement and dread. Our lives become a battle ground of drama, hurt feelings, loss of friendships, and broken heartedness. We are looking for acceptance of those that are infused with worldly wisdom. Anger and angst overtake our once happy peaceful lives. We have lost our joy of salvation, our joy of living and our thought process has turned from Godliness to self. When we draw near to the Lord rely and depend upon Him for the answers of life.

Our greatest need after salvation is to put our trust completely in Jesus. How often do we trust Him with our soul and not with our life? As we turn our sight more upon the Lord for our daily living, we find the help in the pitfalls of living. We rise up from our pity pot of sorriness and confer with the Lord about our attitudes. We rise above the pettiness of the world and strengthen our daily living with daily conversations with our Lord and Savior. When our bonds are strengthened spiritually, the critics of the world become irrelevant. Our desire is to please our Lord by trusting implicitly in Him.

Many are the people that have drawn closer to the Lord and thereby in obedience declared to a lost and dying world the great works of God. Those that are lost see the work of salvation that Christ accomplished on the cross. They see the myriad lives that have changed because of the inner work of the Savior. Our testimony is not just a verbal one but is one that is displayed by the life we live. We declare the mighty works of God. We affirm His spoken creation, His spoken decoration, and marvelous preservation of this world. Our greatest declaration and demonstration is of a greater work than creation of the world. Our greatest declaration and demonstration of the work of God and the Holy Spirit and the Son of God is the work they do in the cleansing of a wretched sin encrusted heart that is made pure by the work of Christ on the Cross.

Let us draw near and declare the work of Christ in man.

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Hope in Him  


Psalm 39:4-7

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee,” Psalm 39:7.


 

One of my favorite passages is 1 Corinthians 15:19. This verse tells us that if our hope in Christ is just for this life then we are “miserable.” I am so grateful that my hope rests beyond this life. My hope does not end with my time here on this earth.

We can have an eternal confidence. We can know the type of hope that brings true satisfaction, but that hope can only be found in Jesus Christ. It is a hope that extends beyond today and into an eternal Heaven where our Savior sits at the right hand of the Father. Our hope is found in Him and secured in Him.

Psalm 39 is a song about the brevity of human life. We see in this psalm that our lives are short when compared to eternity. In verse 4 the psalmist actually asks to know the amount of time he has left on this earth and the means by which he will leave this earth. Yet, he retreats back to the question and answer found in verse 7. The psalmist shows that even in the uncertainty of this life our hope can only be found in the Lord.

Would you want to know when you would die and by what means? The Bible is clear that you will never know the answer to that question, you can only know that “it is appointed unto men once to die” according to Hebrews 9:27. But you can have hope that goes beyond this life. In Christ, you can find an eternal hope that brings peace during uncertainty.

 

JUST ASKING

Are you able to find peace in this life knowing your hope is in Him?

Nathan Rogers

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Sorry for Sin  


Psalm 38:12-22

For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin,” Psalm 38:18.

When I start laying my troubles out before God, I quickly realize that most of the problems that come to my life are the result of my own sin. I mourn before God and beg Him to free me from the consequences of these sins, but I know that I deserve all that I have coming. When these moments come, all I can do is speak truthfully to God about my sins and repent.

We all have moments when the consequences of our iniquities catch up with us, and all we can do is return to God. In these moments we must do as David did in Psalm 38 and just get real with God about our sins.

Psalm 38 is what is known as a penitential psalm. It is a psalm that is written by an author who realizes his own sins and troubles and is sorrowful before God. Here in this passage the psalmist David declares that he will “declare my iniquity” and “be sorry for my sin.” We can see David’s honest and repentant heart in the words of verse 18.

To be sorry for your sins requires a lot of humility. It requires you to declare your sins to God as we see David do in this psalm. To truly declare your sins to God means that you must be in agreement with Him about what sin is. When you have a heart like God’s concerning sin, you cannot help but weep when you miss God’s mark.

God longs for a people like David. Not a perfect people, not a sinless people, but a people who will sorrow over their sins.

 

JUST ASKING

Are you heartbroken over your own sins?

Nathan Rogers

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He Is a Refuge


Psalm 46:1-7

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” Psalm 46:1.
In this powerful Psalm, David uses the forces of nature in turmoil at the end of time to express our confidence in the One who created nature for His own pleasure and created mankind as His children.
The message is outrageous. Can we imagine the terror in the heart of man when God casts the last stone, our Rock of salvation, and the earth falls apart under man’s feet: waters roar, mountains fall into the sea? Therefore, we will not fear when the earth changes because we will go to the Father’s house, and He will protect us. He is always home.
When I was a child, our family made a long trip to my Irish grandfather’s house. I was all excited about the trip. We got there, and he was gone. I could not imagine grandpa’s house without grandpa. I put a wheelbarrow in front of the door to let him know I had been there.
Our Heavenly Father is always home, and when the earth melts away in turmoil under the feet of the ungodly, we will be at home with Him, safe and sound, a refuge from the battles of life. We can relax in peace, and the fears of this world will be far behind. “In my Father’s house are many mansions: . . . I go to prepare a place for you. . . . I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2, 3).

JUST SAYING
Elijah told the prophets of Baal their god must be gone on vacation. Our Heavenly Father is always home.
Robert Brock

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HEBREW – Mercy


cheseḏ
Mercy is a translation of the Hebrew cheseḏ (H2617), which is “one of the most important [words] in the vocabulary of OT theology and ethics,” appearing some 240 times, most frequently in the Psalms. It speaks of kindness, loving-kindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, loyal love, and acts of kindness. While the word is used for kindness one person might show another, such as David’s kindness to Mephibosheth, the son of David’s dear friend Jonathan (2Sa_9:7), it is God’s mercy to man that stands out.
If there is a single word, in fact, that could summarize God’s dealing with His people, it would be the word mercy. One example, and by far the most notable appearance of cheseḏ, is in Psalms 136, where the psalmist declares twenty-six times of God, “His mercy endureth for ever.” This psalm is a study in worship, with God’s mercy at the forefront, displaying what wondrous works He has done. Mercy is at the foundation of His character (Psa_136:1-3), the function of His creative work (Psa_136:4-9), the fountain from which all His blessings flow to His people (Psa_136:10-25), and the force behind His Rulership in heaven (Psa_136:26).
The greatest manifestation of God’s mercy, of course, is that of redemption, His saving men from sin (Psa_51:1, “lovingkindness”, Psa_86:13). We are always struck by Jonah’s opposition to going to the unimaginably wicked Assyrians at Nineveh. Because he knew that God was a God of “kindness” (loyal love, committed to the objects of His love) and would save those pagans when they didn’t (in Jonah’s thinking) deserve it (Jon_4:2).
It is also noteworthy that with few exceptions, the Septuagint translates cheseḏ with the common Greek word eleos (G1656), which speaks of “kindness or good will towards the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them.” The whole point of mercy, therefore, is to relieve the affliction that man suffers because he cannot relieve it himself. Mercy is always to the helpless.
With God’s mercy as our model, we are to show mercy to others. “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy [i.e., covenant loyalty manifested in love] and compassions every man to his brother” (Zec_7:9; Jas_2:13-17). Judgment, in fact, is reserved for those who do not show mercy and kindness (Psa_109:16).
Scriptures for Study: What does Psa_103:8 say about God and mercy? What is the prerequisite for God’s mercy in Psa_32:10?

 

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HEBREW – Know [and] Praise (4)


yāḏa‘ [and] hālal
The old Scottish (Genevan) Psalter of 1551 affectionately and respectfully refers to Psalms 100 as “Old Hundredth.” The first stanza declares:
All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
Here “is one of the every-day expressions of the Christian church,” writes Charles Spurgeon in The Treasury of David, “and [it] will be so while men exist whose hearts are loyal to the Great King. Nothing can be more sublime this side of heaven than the singing of this noble psalm by a vast congregation.” Today we consider a fourth way to praise God according to “Old Hundredth.”
The words “Know . . . that the LORD he is God” (Psa_100:3), show us that we praise God by increasing our knowledge of Him. Know is yāḏa‘ (H3045), which appears more than 900 times and has a wide range of meanings concerning knowledge acquired by the senses, “to know relationally and experientially.” It is similar to the Greek ginōskō (G1097), “to know by experience,” and often is practically synonymous with love and intimacy (Mat_1:25), as well as the personal relationship the believer has with Christ (Php_3:10; 1Jn_2:3; 1Jn_2:5; cf. Mat_7:23).
Yāḏa‘, then, first appears in Gen_3:5, where Satan tells Eve that eating of the forbidden tree would enable her to know good and evil. Gen_3:7 goes on to say that Adam and Eve knew they were naked. It also speaks of sexual intimacy (Gen_4:1) and even its perversion, such as homosexuality (Gen_19:5). Spiritually, not only does yāḏa‘ speak of God knowing us (Gen_18:19; Deu_34:10), but also of our knowing Him. While the lost do not know God (Jer_10:25; Job_18:21; Joh_17:25), the believer does, and that knowledge is to increase and grow. The psalmist desired to understand and know God’s Word (Psa_119:125). Solomon wanted “to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding” (Pro_1:2) and then added, “Teach [yāḏa‘] a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Pro_9:9). Peter likewise declares, “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Pe_3:18).
Scriptures for Study: In what does true knowledge result (Psa_9:10)? What does Psa_44:21 declare about God?

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Hebrew – Testimonies


 

ēḏāh [and] ‘ēḏût

 

The second name we note for God’s Word is testimonies (or “testimony”). The Hebrew is ‘ēdāh (H5713; or ‘ēḏûṯ, H5715), another feminine noun originally meaning a “testimony, witness, or even a warning sign.” Of its twenty-five appearances, fourteen are in Psalms 119 (‘ēḏût appears sixty times, with nine of those in Psalms 119). We should also interject here that all eight of the synonyms we are examining appear in the first eleven verses of that wondrous psalm, which is devoted to praising the virtues, merits, and sufficiency of the Word of God and demonstrates the psalmist’s total commitment to it.

 

This word, therefore, refers to “testifying to a fact or event.” It first appears, for example, in Gen_21:30, where Abraham’s gift of lambs to Abimelech bore witness to Abraham’s statement concerning the ownership of the well at Beersheba. Even more graphic is Gen_31:52, where Jacob used a pile of stones to bear witness to the agreement between him and Laban concerning land boundaries.

 

It eventually came to be used, then, for a solemn testimony of the will of God, a sober and serious expression of God’s standards for human behavior. In other words, God’s testimonies are not suggestions or optional proposals, rather His absolute standards. It is tremendously significant, in fact, that the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments are called God’s “testimony,” ‘ēḏût (Exo_25:16; Exo_31:18; Exo_32:15), God’s “solemn divine charge or duty.” It was also frequently used of the tabernacle (“tabernacle of testimony”, Exo_38:21; Num_1:50; Num_1:53) and even the Ark of the Covenant (“ark of the testimony,” Exo_25:22; Exo_26:33-34; Exo_30:6; Exo_30:26). Further, it is also used at times to refer to the entire law (February 13–16) of God (Psa_19:7; Psa_119:14; Psa_119:31; Psa_119:36; Psa_119:88; Psa_119:99; Psa_119:111; Psa_119:129; Psa_119:144; Psa_119:157).

 

The definition of right behavior, therefore, is not “up for grabs,” as relativism maintains in our day. It is rather a marked-out standard from God. This standard is also what we should be proclaiming without apology to the world, just as David did “before kings” (Psa_119:46); as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did before the king of Babylon (Dan_3:1-16); as Peter did before the religious leaders (Acts 4); as Stephen did before the council (Act_6:15 to Act_7:54); and as Paul did before Felix (Acts 24), Festus (Acts 25), and Agrippa (Acts 26).

 

Scriptures for Study: What do the verses above in Psalms 19, 119 say about the testimonies of God and our response to them?

 

 

 

 

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God of Truth


 

Ēl-’Emûnâ

 

Few words captivate and consume this writer more than the word truth (grace is another). Sadly, however, few words are under more attack than this one. We live in an age of unprecedented relativism, where truth is “up for grabs,” is different for each person, and changes according to circumstances.

 

In stark contrast, God is the God of truth. As Moses sings, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deu_32:4). The psalmist echoes in a messianic prophecy, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth” (Psa_31:5; cf. Luk_23:46). And the prophet Isaiah repeats, “That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth” (Isa_65:16).

 

Truth is a translation of ’emeṯ (H571, or ’emûnāh, H530, ), which has at its root the ideas of firmness and certainty and includes such concepts as truth, rightness, and faithfulness. Also inherent in the word is the idea of faith, which in biblical usage “is an assurance, a certainty, in contrast with modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain.”

 

It is extremely significant that the Septuagint translates this Hebrew word with the Greek alētheia in some 100 instances. As one Greek authority defines it: “Etymologically alētheia means nonconcealment. It thus denotes what is seen, indicated, expressed, or disclosed, i.e., a thing as it really is, not as it is concealed or falsified. Alētheia is the real state of affairs.” The fundamental concept of truth is that it is absolute and certain, is incontrovertible, irrefutable, unarguable, and unchanging. If something is true, it is always true and can never be untrue, no matter what the circumstances.

 

This name greatly helps us understand who God is. He is the God of certainty, firmness, and assurance. He never changes and is absolutely dependable. Again, Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb_13:8, ). As we rejoice in the certainties of the God of truth, let our desire in turn be the pursuit of absolute truth in all things and in every area of life.

 

Scriptures for Study: What does Joh_14:6 declare? In Joh_16:13, what is one ministry of the Holy Spirit? In Joh_17:17; Joh_17:19, what is a result of truth?

 

 

 

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Hebrew Word – Psalm


 

Psalm

 

mizmôr

 

In light of yesterday’s meditation on song (šiyr, H7892), another blessed OT word concerning music is psalm. The Hebrew is mizmôr (H4210), which appears fifty-nine times in the OT, only in the Psalms, and always in the title (e.g., 3–6; 8–9; 11–15; 18–41). It is derived from the verb zamar, “to make music primarily on stringed instruments,” and oh, what music we find in the Psalms! We discover in the Psalms the very depths of theology and spiritual truth. Mizmôr, then, is a praise song accompanied by a stringed musical instrument (as David sang a psalm while playing his lyre). This is all the more significant since in fifty psalms the words “To the chief Musician” also appear.

 

It is instructive to compare mizmôr with šiyr. While mizmôr appears only in the Psalms and only in a title, šiyr “is not confined to the Psalter and within the Psalter itself is used both as a title and in the psalm proper.” Perhaps even more significantly, while šiyr can also refer to a secular song (e.g., Isa_23:16), mizmôr always refers to a religious song, which we could define as “a sacred, inspired poem of praise.” It is also significant that both words occur together in Psa_30:1; Psa_65:1 (literally, “A Psalm-Song”), emphasizing both the voices (šiyr) and the accompanying musical instruments (mizmôr).

 

Music is truly a wonderful gift. For millennia, music has fascinated and captivated mankind, who have invented an enormous number of instruments, from the complex to the simple. Far more important, however, are “songs,” because they are composed of words.

 

We would do well to remind ourselves that the book of Psalms (Sēper Tehillim, “Book of Praises”) was the hymnbook of Israel, a book of sacred, sound, and solemn poems of theological depth. Oh, that we would desire such depth in our churches! Let us abandon the trite and trivial and embrace what is true and tasteful.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read Psalms 30, meditating on both ideas of psalm and song.

 

 

 

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