Sunday, May 31, 2020


PSALM 69 - Save Me!

Psalms 69 through 72 are the last psalms in the second book, or division, of the psalms. They are an abrupt change from Psalm 68, which was a praise of God’s mighty acts in creation and redemption. They are a return to the lament. Psalm 69 is a personal lament of David, with one section that is imprecatory, calling for the punishments of the wicked who oppose him. 

The psalm is also known as a messianic psalm, because several of its verses are applied to Jesus in the New Testament. 

Drowning in Despair

David’s plea is that God will save him from his circumstances. He describes his feelings: he is overwhelmed. He feels like water is rising to drown him and that he is stuck in slippery mud where he cannot get his footing. This is a person who feels like his troubles are about to defeat him and he can find nothing solid on which to take a stand. He is going to drown or be swept away. 

To make it worse, David has been crying out to God so long that he is wearing and has a sore throat. He has cried so much he cannot see well. 

Most of us can understand this, because we have been overwhelmed at times. Either we had more to do that we could get done, or everything in our lives seems to have gone bad. We have asked God for relief, but relief has not come yet. 

The Problem

The problem causing David despair is spelled out in verse 4. Many people hate him for no without cause. It is like they want him to restore something he did not steal. His enemies are many and they are mighty. 

David’s enemies did have reasons, but they did not have just reasons, so he could say they hated him without cause. He had done nothing wrong But, they may have hated him just because he was devoted to God, as the next section indicates. 

Jesus experienced the same thing. In fact, he applied this very verse to himself in John 15:25. That verse comes at the end of a passage where Jesus tells his disciples that they would experience the hate and persecution he experienced. And, he said, they hated him that the word might be fulfilled that “they hated me without a cause”. So, David, who was a man after God’s heart and God’s anointed king,  was hated without cause, and his descendant, the Greater David and ultimate Anointed One, was hated even more and killed. 

David’s Confession

Although David maintained he was hated without cause, he did not claim to be without sin. He knew that God saw his sins and his follies, or foolishness. It is a good reminder to us that God sees all. All that we do and say are before him. We cannot hide from him, so we should live in acknowledgment of that fact. 

The Reformers said we live “coram Deo”, which means before the face of God. It is good to remind ourselves of that when we are tempted to sin. To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.

A Prayer for Others

David asked that other who hoped in the Lord would not be put to shame or dishonor because of him. He was asking God to protect others even as he asked God to deliver him. 

You may have heard the term “guilt by association”. You can be judged guilty of something because of the way your friends act. That happens both with good and bad friends. The Pharisees impugned Jesus by saying he ate with sinners and tax collectors. They implication was he was a sinner, too. (Matthew 9:10-17)

Remember Peter  John becoming known to the Sanhedrin as those who had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

While David prayed that others would not suffer because of him, he pointed out to God that he suffered because of God. He said it was for God’s sake that he suffered reproach and dishonor. (7) He had even suffered alienation from his own brothers. 

Of course, Jesus suffered this also. His brothers did not believe in him until the resurrection, and even accused him of being crazy. (John 7:5; Mark 3:21) Following the Lord can mean you lose popularity even with your own family. 

David suffered reproach because of his zeal for the Lord’s house, the tabernacle at that time. He brought the ark back to Jerusalem and prepared a place for it. He organized extravagant worship there, paying singers and musicians to create worship music. David also desired to build the temple. Even though the Lord would not allow it, David gave lavish gifts of materials and money for its building. 

Jesus also had zeal for the Lord’s house, the temple. John 2:13-17 tells us the story of Jesus going to Jerusalem at Passover, going into the temple and driving out those who sold animals for sacrifice and changed money for payment of the temple tax. The Holy Spirit then cause the disciples to remember this psalm and the words “zeal for your house will consume me”.  

In David’s zeal, he fasted. He repented of sin wearing sackcloth and weeping. This brought him further reproach. Moving from good church attender to devoted disciple can alienate people you attend church with. You have moved from fan to fanatic and now make people uncomfortable. If you do not believe me, tell all of your friends and relatives you are preaching on a busy street corner every weekend night. Poor David, even drunks made up songs to sing about him with derision.

The Patient Prayer

Remarkably, though he suffered reproach and hate, David was willing to wait patiently for the Lord, even as he cried for relief. He asked the Lord to act in “an acceptable time”. (13) In other words, David asked the Lord to act in the Lord’s timing. Even though he suffered greatly, he was willing to submit to the Lord’s timing in his deliverance.

David also acknowledged God’s steadfast love. This refers to his covenant keeping love. God had made a covenant with Israel, but also with David, and David asked God to act knowing he was the beneficiary of God’s love and God’s commitments to him. 

In verses, 14-15, David returned to the theme of the first two verses. He asked for deliverance from sinking in the mire and from the water sweeping over him. But he also added deliverance from the pit. The pit refers to death or the grave. David is asking God to preserve his life. 

Again in verse 16, David appealed to God’s steadfast love, as well as his abundant mercy. He acknowledges these traits of God and asks God to act according to his perfect traits in coming to David’s rescue. He says this in multiple ways for emphasis: turn to me, do not hide your face, make haste to answer, draw near, redeem and ransom me. (18) 

God Knows the Situation

David acknowledged the God knew the situation. He knew David’s reproach, his shame and his dishonor. He knew who David’s enemies were. (19) David had no one to give him comfort. He said, metaphorically, that he was given poison for food and sour wine for his thirst. 

For Jesus, on the cross, this verse became reality. When Jesus said he was thirsty, someone put a sponge in a jar of sour wine and offered it to him. (John 19:29) He then said “it is finished” and gave up his spirit. 

Jesus identified himself with these verses in the psalm, showing that he got no pity from men, but God knew his reproach and dishonor, because that was part of his atoning death for our sins. He who had no sin was made to be sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

69:22- 29

This passage gives the psalm it imprecatory nature, as David responds by asking God to punish his enemies. He is asking God for vindication by inflicting punishment on them, both physical and spiritual. He wants them to suffer in their bodies, their dwellings destroyed, and finally, that they they are blotted out of the book of life. He is saying, in effect, make them hurt, kill them, and sent them to hell. It is pretty graphic.

In contrast, Jesus, the Greater David, prays that God will forgive those who killed him. He prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. (Luke 23:34) He showed us in the Lord’s prayer to forgive those who trespass against us. He told us even to love our enemies and pray for them. (Matthew 5:44) In the New Covenant, we do not look for vindication until Jesus returns and judges the world. In the interim, we are to model the love of God and the forgiveness with which we have been forgiven our sins. 

David wanted his enemies put down, but in verse 29, he says he is down and asks God to set him on high, to lift him up. That would show that God is in control and that David is God’s man. It would vindicate him. 

Praise To God

David ended the psalm with a doxology, a praise. In verse 30, he offers both thanksgiving and praise. He reiterates a major theme of the Bible, that God is more pleased with an attitude of thankfulness than he is with animal sacrifices. 

David also encouraged the humble to be revived when they see David worship, knowing the Lord hears the prayers of the needy and the prisoners.

David’s confidence in God’s deliverance is set forth in the last two verses as he affirmed that God would save Zion and preserve it for those who love his name. 

God will do that, but in a greater way than David could have imagined or hoped, for God will give those who love him a new earth, a New Jerusalem, where there there is nothing detestable or false, where God’s people live by his light in a beautiful city, where the river of the water of life runs through it, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be.  

And that is the hope we live for.

Sunday, May 17, 2020



This psalm is a magnificent song of triumph. Although the psalm does not state an event for which it was written, it fits well with being written to commemorate the removal of the ark of the covenant from the house of Obed-edom. 

1 Samuel 4 tells us the Israelites took the ark into battle with the Philistines. They lost the battle and the ark was captured. The Philistines took to Ashdod and put it in the temple of their god, Dagon. But, the next day, the statue of Dagon was found to be knocked down and broken. So, the Philistines removed the ark from their temple and took it to various places, but the Lord struck the people of each place with tumors.

So, the Philistines took the ark to Israel and it was kept in one of their towns, but not taken to Israel. This happened in the last days of Samuel the prophet. 

But, when David became king, he wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem and he prepared a place fo it. Then he went to get it with a huge crowd of people, singers and musicians, priests and levites. And he brought it to Jerusalem with great celebration. You can read that story in 2 Samuel 6. This psalm reflects that triumph.

As the story is told of the procession of the ark, there are also references and allusions to the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness, the Exodus, with the ark in their midst and being led by the pillar of fire and the cloud. 

Verses 1-18 are a reflection of the procession of the ark to Jerusalem

The Beginning

The first words of the psalm are “God shall arise”. These words reflect the words Moses said every morning when the ark set out in the wilderness. He said “Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” (Numbers 10:35) 

The Lord answered that prayer repeatedly, causing his enemies, and enemies of Israel to be defeated and to flee. 

The Psalmist acknowledges God’s answer to that prayer, saying “God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee from him!”. This shows us that the psalmist was knowledgeable of the passage in Numbers and its fulfillment at that time. Plus, it shows him apply this truth to the delivery of the ark from the Philistines to Jerusalem.

While the wicked are driven away and perish, the righteous shall be glad. They shall exult before the Load, and be jubilant with joy. (3) 2 Samuel 6 tells us all of Israel celebrated before the Lord with songs, lyres, harps,, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. David offered sacrifices every 6 steps along the way and danced before the Lord. 

So, we see that those who love the Lord and are committed to him rejoice in his victories. Worship must be reverent, but it should also be joyful. It is a great privilege to have a relationship with the Living God. 

The Procession Begins

As the procession begins, the Psalmist sings praise to God and tells others to do it along with him. His praise emphasizes God’s character. He tells others to sing to God. 

He calls God “the one who rides through the deserts”. (English Standard Version) There is a split in interpretations here among various Bible versions. The New American Standard says “wilderness”, in basic agreement with the ESV’s “deserts”. It is the picture of God leading his people from Egypt to Canaan through the desert, or wilderness. 

The New International Version and the New King James Version say “clouds” instead of “deserts”. Some connect this with later verses about rain and the heavens. Also, God also appeared in the clouds at Sinai and when he appeared to Ezekiel. Either way, it is picture of God leading his people in victory and power. 

The Psalmist extols God as the protector of the weak, helping the fatherless, the widows, those who are alone, and the prisoners. These may be those in prison because they are too poor to pay their debts, because God delivers them from prison to prosperity.

God created the family and he cares about it. He cares about those who do not have a family. That has not changed from the old covenant to the new. James 1:27 tells us: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…”. 

Jesus condemned those who took advantage of the weak. 

Verses 7-10 contain further references to the Exodus, when God led his people through the wilderness in power that made the earth quake and the heavens rain. With that rain, he restored Canaan, his inheritance, and made a dwelling for his people, Israel. (9-10) The Psalmist interpreted this as further evidence of God’s care for the weak and helpless, saying “in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy”. (10)

Approaching the City

This stanza captures the words of the great crowd that accompanied the ark to Jerusalem. There are many women in the crowd and they announce the news of the arrival of the ark. They think back to when the Israelites captured Jerusalem, a city on a mountain. 

They praised God for winning victory without the help of the men of the army, allowing the women to collect the spoils from the fallen enemy because God scattered them like snow on the mountain. (14) They give God the credit for the victory and do not take it for themselves.

Verses 15-18 refer to God’s choosing of Mt. Zion in Jerusalem as the place for the tabernacle, and later the temple, to reside. His presence was there. The Psalmists paints a picture of a majestic mountain, or range of mountains, named Bashan, which are more majestic and beautiful than Zion. Mt. Hermon, in that range, is tall and imposing. Zion, in comparison, is more like a hill.

But, God chose Zion. It is now beautiful because God chose it and God’s presence is there, not because of its physical beauty.  We are like that, too.

God ascended to the mountain in the sense that the ark was taken there. His sanctuary is now there and he dwells there in power, as if he had a 100,000 chariots in attendance. And when he ascended, he received gifts from men. Sacrifices were made and gifts given to construct the place for the ark and to celebrate its return.

The Procession Ends

As the procession ends in Jerusalem, the people recognize that the ark is the symbol for God’s presence. (19) Therefore, they bless the Lord as the one who is their salvation. He saved the faithful Israelites from death as he protected them from defeat in war. 

Those enemies included Bashan, whose King Og, tried to prevent Israel from reaching Canaan. (22) It included the Egyptian army, which rested at the bottom of the Red Sea after God collapsed it onto them as they pursued the people of Israel. (21)

Verses 24-27 picture the ark taken into the sanctuary with the singers in front of the ark and the musicians behind it, with virgins playing tambourines. 

With the ark resting now in its rightful place, the sanctuary, it is restored to Israel. So the Psalmists blesses God as the fountain of Israel’s blessings. (26) All of the nation are blessed, from the smallest tribe of Benjamin to the royal tribe of Judah. Benjamin basically resided in Judah at this point, and the two tribes were closest to the king. But also blessed were the tribes of Zebulun and Napthali, the northernmost tribes. This represents all of Israel, from South to North. 

Israel’s Prayer

These verses are a prayer which calls upon God to exert his power. In essence, it says “now the your presence is back in Jerusalem, use your power to conquer the nations for Israel”. Especially, the psalmist wants God to dominate Egypt, the beast that dwells among the reeds (v. 30), as well as Egypt’s ally, Cush, which is Ethiopia.  

In verses 32-35, the Psalmist broadens the scope of his prayer. He wanted all the nations of the earth to worship God, acknowledging his power and majesty. God is the one who rides in the heavens. That is a picture of God’s majesty and deity. It is the same as saying he rides on or comes with the clouds.

This is our prayer, too. Although Christ reigns in heaven, we long for him to return in glory and power, defeating all of his enemies, and ruling the nations. And while we wait, we obey his command to bring the gospel to the nations so that they will submit to him now in gladness rather than later in sorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2020



This psalm was written to be sung with a band of stringed instruments. It is a song that asks God to bless Israel, but not just bless, but to bless with a purpose.

Blessing With A Purpose

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us, Selah

that your way may be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

In verse 1, the psalmist asks God to bless Israel. He invoked the blessing God gave to Aaron, the first high priest, to bless the people. That blessing is found in Numbers 6:24-26.

The blessing goes like this:

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 

This blessing was given after the Israelites entered into a covenant with God on Mount Sinai and promised to obey his law. It was given as they began their journey through the wilderness to Canaan. The blessing invokes God’s provision, God’s favor, and God’s presence. 

In the wilderness, they would need God’s provision because the wilderness often did not provide food or water. They needed God’s favor because nations would attack them. And they needed God’s presence to guide them, as he did in the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day. These were all great, visible, and physical signs of their need for God and his blessing.  

The psalmist invoked this blessing, seeking God’s blessing at this later time. But the Psalmist does more than that. He asks God to bless them, but not just so they would prosper. He asked God to bless Israel to that God’s way may be known on earth, along with his saving power. 

By doing so, the Psalmist looks back past the Mosaic covenant with its law, to the Abrahamic covenant with its blessing. That blessing is recorded for us in Genesis 12:1-3, where God said to Abraham:

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 

It is the last clause of that covenantal statement to which the Psalmist refers: “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” The Psalmist realized that God wanted Israel to be special, and by living according to the covenant, show the world the way to God and the way to know his saving power. (2)

If and when that happens, all of the people, not just Israel, will praise God. (3)

Although the Psalmist asked for this, Israel did not accomplish it, and actually came to despise the nations, the Gentiles. There was even a prayer that blessed God for not making the Jewish man a woman, a slave, or a Gentile. 

But God accomplished the blessing on all people by sending his Son, an Israelite, or Jew, according to the flesh, and a son of Abraham, who brought salvation to the nations.

Paul explained this in Galatians 3:7-9, when he wrote “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying “In you shall all the nations be blessed. So, then, whose who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”  

God fulfilled his covenant promise to bless the nations through Abraham, by sending his Son as the seed of Abraham to bring salvation to the nations. That means he also answered the prayer of this Psalmist to make himself known over all the earth.

Let The Nations Be Glad

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

Here the Psalmist envisions the world submitted to the rule of God. They would be glad and sing for joy when they saw God judge with equity and guide the nations. 

The word “Judge” here is more than a judge in the courtroom. It is like the Old Testament judges who led the people to repent of idolatry, throw off their oppressors and live for God. They were leaders of the people. 

The Psalmist wanted that to happen, so he cries out “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you”. (5) That is the cry of every believer who sees the world full of rebellion against God and sinking into depravity. At the end of the book of Revelation, John the Apostle wrote “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”. (Revelation 22:20) He wanted to see it, too. 

And, in fact, God gave John a vision of the world under the rule of God. It is in Revelation 22:3:-5, which says

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of god and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

This desire for the nations to worship God is also the reason for missions. We want God to be glorified by all, to be worshipped by all, for his glory and their benefit.

Acknowledging the Blessing

The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

The Psalmist acknowledged the blessing of God, specifically a bountiful crop. He said “the earth has yielded its increase”. That is a sign that, as the Lord blessed in the past, the Lord will bless in the future. So, the nations should fear him, or hold him in reverence because they believe in him. 

Sadly, many to do acknowledge God as the one who provides. They are the ones Romans 1:21 refers to as those who did not honor God or give thanks to him. The only cure for that is belief in the gospel. As Paul wrote in the same chapter, the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.  (Romans 1:16)

Since the coming of Christ, the role of the Jews and Gentiles have been reversed. The Church is largely a Gentile church. It is composed of Gentiles who have indeed come to know God’s ways through salvation in Christ, who have come into Christ’s kingdom, and recognize God’s sovereign rule in the affairs of this world. 

We are now the ones who sing for joy as God blesses us by providing for our needs. Jesus said our heavenly Father knows all our needs. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of our needs will be met. (Matthew 6:32-33) 

Now, in turn, we should pray that the Father will bring the Jews to the fear of the Lord by believing in Jesus as savior and lord so that indeed all the ends of the earth will fear him. 

Rejoice this week that God knows your needs and meets them. Pray for those who do not know him, that they would be saved and the fear and worship of the Lord would spread over all the earth. 

Thursday, May 07, 2020

 It is for the honor of Jesus that we endure the trial of our faith with sacred joy. Let each man surrender his own longings to the glory of Jesus and declare: "If my lying in the dust would elevate my Lord by so much as an inch, let me still lie among the pots of earth.


Monday, May 04, 2020

There is another that has made you, and preserves you, and provides for you, and on whom you are dependent: and He has made you for himself and for the good of your fellow creatures, and not only for yourself.

Jonathan Edwards

Sunday, May 03, 2020



Call to Worship

You can easily image the choirmaster standing in front of the congregation signing these words as he calls them to worship. He calls for everyone to shout for joy. Worship should bring joy because, in worship, we put God and ourselves in the proper place. We exalt God as we recall his mighty deeds. We humble ourselves and appreciate his grace that allows us to have a relationship with him.

So, in joy, we sing the glory of his named give him glorious praise. Praising God and giving him glory are the same thing. It is recognizing and verbalizing God’s greatness. We do not add anything to him, for he lacks nothing, but we acknowledge and rejoice in who he is.

God’s power is so great that his enemies cringe before him. They fear being destroyed. The Old Testament gives us many examples of God defeating his and Israel’s enemies. As they crossed the wilderness and entered Jordan, the Israelites defeated all of their foes, even those who were more numerous and better equipped.

When the Israelites got to Jericho, the fear of the Lord had fallen upon the inhabitants of the land because they had heard of the Lord parting the Red Sea and defeating the Amorite kings. (Joshua 2)

We also know that all of God’s enemies will cringe before him at the end. In Revelation 6, when the sixth seal is opened and there was a great conflagration, the people of earth, rich and poor alike, called to the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from the face of him who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb because it was the day of the Lord’s wrath.

And so the psalmist says all the earth worships and sings praises to his name.

Praise For Redemption
So, we think of God’s awesome deeds in worship in addition to his awesome nature. In Psalm 65, we saw praise for God in creation and in provision of water. In this psalm, we will see praise for God’s redemption of his people.

All through the Old Testament, God’s redemption of Israel is referred to repeatedly. The Lord himself referred to it when he gave instruction or correction to his people. He would say “I am the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt”, then give his instruction.

We all know about the parting of the Red Sea, which God did to allow the Israelites to escape the Egyptians and then to bring judgment on the Egyptians as they drowned in the sea. The psalmist referred to that in verse 6. Most of us have seen a graphic representation of that in the movie The Ten Commandments.

But, God parted the waters again when the Israelites entered Canaan. The psalmist refers to it here when he says “they passed through the river on foot”. He told the congregation to reflect on God’s awesome deeds in the redemption of Israel, focusing on God parting the waters to allow Israel to go from the land of slavery to the land of redemption.

Joshua 2 tells us the story. As Israel finally arrived to enter Canaan, they had to cross the Jordan River. At the Lord’s instruction, Joshua and the priests carrying the ark, and one man from each tribe walked into the water and God parted it so that the Israelites could walk across on dry ground. Just as leaving Egypt required a work of God’s power, so did entry into the promised land require a work of his power. The Psalmist recalled that event and said they rejoiced when God did it, implying they should continue to rejoice now because it shows God’s might and sovereignty over the nations to save his people.

Christians still use the imagery. For example, we sing a song about Jordan’s stormy banks, written by Samuel Stinnett, a Baptist pastor in the late 1700s. It says:

On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
and cast a wishful eye
to Canaan's fair and happy land,
where my possessions lie.

Worshipping in Times of Correction

God redeems his people. He redeemed the Israelites. He redeems the church. He also sanctifies his people by correcting them when they stray.

The psalmist said God kept their souls and did not let their feet slip. He tested them and tried them and at times it was very difficult. He referred to refining silver, which requires great heat. He referred to the Lord leading them to be caught in a net and being crushed by burdens. All of these are images and symbols of difficult times, which the Lord used for their correction.

For the Israelites, this often came in the form of invaders. When they strayed, God would let marauders come and raid their towns and villages. If they continued, they would be invaded by armies of foreign powers. If they still continued to stray, God would let them be overrun and defeated. But, when they repented and got back on the righteous path, God brought them back to the place of abundance.

The times of blessing and the times of difficulty were part of the blessings and curses of the old covenant. We do not live under that system today. But, God still desires our sanctification and leads us to grow in that direction. If we stray from that path into disobedience and sin, he will correct us for our benefit.

That correction may come from the reading of his word. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.  

Sometimes it comes in the form of discipline. The writer of Hebrews said:

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:4-11)

I truly believe God cares more about your sanctification than your comfort. I have been corrected by reading the Word. I have been corrected by discipline. I recommend the former. It is much less painful.

Performing Vows

We see again the psalmist performing the vows he made when he sought God’s help. He said “that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble”. (14) He vowed to make extra offerings of animals if God would help him. Now he will keep that vow.

Whatever you have promised to God, you should do. Whether it is giving, or attending, or witnessing. Do what you have promised in gratitude for what God has done for you.

This psalm shows us something about our gathering to worship. It is first corporate. The congregation gathers and praises God together. But it is also individual, the keeping of vows and the giving of gifts.

The Invitation

In this section, the psalmist invites all who fear God to come and hear the testimony of the psalmist. He asked God for help and God gave it to him. He did not sink into sin, but raised his prayer to God and God listened and acted in steadfast love.

For a while, our church had testimony time on some Sunday nights. And you found yourself built up as you rejoiced with someone who shared God’s deliverance.

Whatever you struggle with today, lift it up to God in a prayer for help. He will answer and he will help. Pray for others who struggle. Those who share the struggle, share the victory.