Psalm 119:89-96; Psalm 52 – The Steadfast Love of God Endures

lamedhToday’s stanza of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the letter Lamedh, the twelfth letter of the Aleph-bet.  It’s pictographic representation is that of a shepherd’s staff.  This stanza praises God for his perfection that is without limits, and for His enduring faithfulness to His promises throughout all generations.

Psalm 52 is a song of David that, according to the superscript, was written when Doeg the Edomite had betrayed David, lied to Saul, and slaughtered the priests of Nob ( Psalm 22:6-20).  Verse one would seem to be a very sarcastic statement concerning Doeg being a mighty man, as the act certainly displayed extreme cowardice.  Verses 2-4 refer to Doeg’s false report to Saul.  Ahimelech had been led by David to believe that he was on the king’s business (1 Samuel 21:1-3), yet Doeg reported it as a conspiracy between the two (1 Samuel 22:9-10).

The remainder of the psalm praises God for His righteousness and justice, declaring that people like Doeg will get their just rewards for their works of destruction.  But David expresses his confidence in trusting in God – that the faithful, who wait on Him will be vindicated and cared for.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:81-88; Psalm 45

kafToday’s stanza of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the eleventh letter of the Aleph-bet, “kaph” or “kaf.”  In the first three verses the psalmist’s endurance is running low and he prays for God’s help and strength in his persecution.  A wineskin is a “bottle” made of leather or some other skin for holding wine.  The analogy of the wineskin being dried up in smoke is in relation to his distress and sorrow.

Psalm 45 has in its superscript a musical direction to sing the psalm to the tune of a song called “Lilies.”  The king in this psalm clearly points to the Messiah, and his princess bride is His church.  Verse 2 begins with a description of Him that is also referred to in Isaiah 33:17, and Paul refers to the second part of the verse (“God has blessed you forever”) concerning Jesus in Romans 9:5.  Verses 6-7, referring to His throne lasting forever, are cited by the Hebrew writer in Hebrews 1:8-9.  In verse 10, “Forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house” is just what Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 14:26, 33.  Verses 13-15 refer to the end of days when the saints will join the Savior in heaven, and is prophesied also in Isaiah 35:10.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:73-80; Psalm 39 – The measure of my days

yodhToday’s stanza of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the letter Yod (or Yodh).  The 10th letter of the Hebrew Aleph-bet is the equivalent of the Greek Iota, and is what is referred to in Matthew 5:18, where Jesus says “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”  In the King James version, it is a “jot” or a “tittle” – jot being the Anglicized word used for iota.  In either case, it is the smallest letter, and the tittle refers to a small stroke that is merely a part of a letter.  In verse 75 of this stanza, the psalmist recognizes that there is value to the soul to be had in the trials of life.

The superscript in Psalm 39 has the familiar “to the choirmaster” notation, but with “To Jeduthun” as the instruction.  While the exact meaning of this is not clear, we do know who Jeduthun was.  He is mentioned also in Psalm 62 and Psalm 72, and was one of David’s three Music leaders, the other two being Asaph and Heman (1 Chronicles 16:37-42). He was also the King’s Seer (2 Chronicles 35:15).

The exact occasion of this psalm is not known, but David does indicate his distress at the Lord’s rebuke of him for his sins (verses 10-11).  Verses 4-6 have him asking God for the measure of his days.  But notice as he makes general observances about man’s brevity of life, that the second part of verse 6 sounds an awful lot like Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes.  Compare “man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather” to Ecclesiastes 2:18,21, and 26 part of which says: (“I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me”).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:65-72; Psalm 36 – With You is the Fountain of Life

tethToday’s reading of the ninth strophe of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the letter “teth” or “tet.”   The psalmist continues to praise God’s word, but here he acknowledges his sins and  his tendency to be ensnared by wicked ways.

Of verse 66 (“Teach me good judgment and knowledge”), Spurgeon, who advocated David as the author, said: “Since God had dealt well with him, he is encouraged to pray for judgment to appreciate the Lord’s goodness. Good judgment is the form of goodness which the godly man most needs and most desires, and it is one which the Lord is most ready to bestow. David felt that he had frequently failed in judgment in the matter of the Lord’s dealings with him: from want of knowledge he had misjudged the chastening hand of the heavenly Father, and therefore he now asks to be better instructed, since he perceives the injustice which he had done to the Lord by his hasty conclusions.”

Psalm 36 – This psalm is most often labelled a lament, but it is more importantly a prayer and song of praise.  It starts in verses 1-4 with the description of deeply sinful people who know better.  They flatter themselves that they will not be found out, have stopped trying to act wisely or to do good, for sin has penetrated their hearts.  In verses 5-10, David thanks God for His steadfast love, the refuge of His loving wings, and the abundance of His love and mercy.

“For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light”

This fountain of life makes us think of Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman in John 4:10, and his light of John 8:12: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:57-64; Psalm 32 – The Earth is Full of Thy Mercy

hethToday’s reading of the eighth strophe of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the letter “heth” or “het.”   regarding verse 64, Spurgeon summons this poem

“Why bursts such melody from tree and bush,
The overflowing of each songster’s heart,
So filling mine that it can scarcely hush
Awhile to listen, but would take its part?
It is but one song I hear where ever I rove,
Though countless be the notes, that God is Love.
“Why leaps the streamlet down the mountainside?
Hasting so swiftly to the vale beneath,
To cheer the shepherd’s thirsty flock, or glide
Where the hot sun has left a faded wreath,
Or, rippling, aid the music of a grove?
Its own glad voice replies, that God is Love!”
“Is it a fallen world on which I gaze?
Am I as deeply fallen as the rest,
Yet joys partaking, past my utmost praise,
Instead of wandering forlorn, unblessed?
It is as if an unseen spirit strove
To grave upon my heart, that God is Love!” Thomas Davis, 1864

Psalm 32 is a psalm of thanksgiving for God’s forgiving grace. David speaks in verses 3-4 of how heavily the burden of guilt weighed upon him before he acknowledged his sins to the Lord (verse 5), and he praises God’s steadfast love and forgiveness.  He then turns in verse 8 to those he would instruct, to rejoice and trust in the Lord.  Spurgeon wrote of the forgiveness which David refers to here:

“We may lull the soul asleep with carnal delights, but the virtue of that opium will be soon spent. All those joys are but stolen waters, and bread eaten in secret—a poor sorry peace that dares not come to the light and endure the trial; a sorry peace that is soon disturbed by a few serious and sober thoughts of God and the world to come; but when once sin is pardoned, then you have true joy indeed. ‘Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee (Matthew 9:2).'”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:49-56; Psalm 26 – Your Promise Gives Me Life

ZayinToday’s stanza of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the seventh letter of the Aleph-Bet, Zayin.  The pictograph is sometimes represented as a sword with a crown or sometimes as a plow or a sickle .   It is interesting that in light of the fact that most commentators disagree on the time frame for authorship of this psalm, some cannot even agree with their own assessment.  Adam Clarke, for example, was convinced at one point that it was written during Babylonian captivity, yet at other times thought that it may well have come from David’s hand after all.  Both views have merit especially in this stanza, or strophe.  Verses 49-50 certainly hint at one who is eagerly looking forward to the promised return from captivity, which is his comfort in this time of affliction.

It is better in our case to apply it to ourselves as was no doubt the intent in the first place.  We take comfort in the promises that God has made to us all in His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is His victory over death that should make the promise of eternal life a burning fire within our souls.    And our love for the Lord should give us righteous indignation at a wicked world that ignores His commandments and glorifies sin as if it were something to be admired.

Psalm 26 is sometimes thought to be written by David when he was accused of treachery against then king, Saul.  He prays to the Lord for vindication against his accusers, and declares his adherence to God’s rule and to his own integrity, which he refers to again in verse 11.  He humbly pleads with the Lord to “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind.”  Integrity is a watchword for David in many of his psalms, and it comes through loud and clear in this one, as he expresses his confidence in his commitment to it, all made possible by the faithfulness of the Lord and His graciousness to his servant.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:41-48; Psalm 29 – The Glory Due His Name

vavThe sixth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Beth is Waw or Vav.  The pictograph looks like a tent-peg, whereas meaning of the word Vav is “hook,” and is associated with the hooks used for the curtains of the tabernacle in Exodus 27:9-18.  The key memory verse here appears to be in 41-42, where the psalmist remembers that the promise of the Lord’s salvation will give him the answer when he is taunted by the wicked.  as ever, trusting in God’s word is foremost.

Psalm 29 is a hymn of praise to the power and glory of the Lord.  The descriptions of his awesome power throughout these verses have suggested to some that it describes not only a storm that included lightning, but also possibly an earthquake event in the region.  It shakes the wilderness of Kadesh (a key place in Numbers where Moses struck the rock – Numbers 20:2-13).  (“He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,and Sirion like a young wild ox”)  – Sirion is another name for Mount Lebanon.  the psalmist concludes the hymn in verses 10-11 with a description of the Lord in His place enthroned above the majesty of his creation.

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;Kadesh
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:33-40; Psalm 14 – The Fool Says, There Is No God

heiToday’s reading of Psalm 119 is brought to you by the 5th letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, “He” or “Hei.”   The numeric value is of course, five. The pictograph for Hey looks like a man with his arms raised ().  The meaning of the name “Hey” is “look,” or “behold!”

This stanza, or strophe, brings to us a thought which stands apart from the other eight verses – verse 37 “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things,” which points to the lust of the eyes that has been the ruin of men (and women) for all time.  Proverbs 23:31 warns of looking at wine “when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.”  Isaiah 33:15 reminds that a righteous man “shuts his eyes from looking on evil.”

Verse 36 is cited in  1 Kings 8:58, where Solomon gives his benediction prior to sacrifice before the new temple, and verse 38 may well be pointing to the Davidic promise of 2 Samuel 7:25.

Psalm 14 is almost identical to Psalm 53, and is a “wisdom” psalm in every sense of the word.  The way of the fool, who today would term himself an atheist, is what Coffman referred to when he wrote of the “judicial hardening of man.” What happens when men are hardened? (1) They are blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4), meaning that they are incapable of seeing or understanding the plainest truth. (2) ‘Their foolish heart (the scriptural heart is the mind) is darkened (Romans 1:21), with the meaning that an essential element of human intelligence has been judiciously removed by God Himself. (3) They become vain in their reasonings (Romans 1:21). (4) They become fools (Romans 1:22), and (5) God gives them up (Romans 1:22,26,28).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:25-32; Psalm 12 – Among the Children of Man

hebrew alphabet stencil

hebrew alphabet stencil (Photo credit: Shira Golding)

Verses 25-32 of Psalm 119 are brought to you by the fourth letter of the letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Daleth.  The psalmist admits that his soul – who he is – clings to the dust from which he was made (verse 25) ; but he implores God to teach him the truth of His righteous commandments, so that he will cling to Him, enlarging our hearts is akin to enlarging breadth of hour minds (1 Kings 4:29, 2 Corinthians 6:11, 13).

Psalm 12 is a chiasmus, as the first and last verses contain the phrase “the sons of man” (or in some versions, “the children of man”) in a parallel structure. In the former, the faithful have vanished from among them.  In the latter, vile wickedness is exalted among them.  This A-B-B-A  structure can be observed in Psalm 2, 10, and 11 as well.  The call for the cutting off of lying and boastful lips is a reference to those who believe they are lord over the needy and the poor.  But God is the great almighty and as Isaiah in 33:10 foretells, (because of their groaning) “Now I will arise,” says the Lord, now I will lift myself up; now I will be exalted.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 119:17-24, Psalm 11 – A Sojourner on the Earth

Today’s reading of Psalm 119 begins with verse 17 and begins each line with the letter gimel.   The psalmist calls upon the lord to “deal bountifully” with him – knowing that he is undeserving and asks for his grace and mercy.  He acknowledges that this world is not his home (John 15:19).  He is just passing through. He says the Lord rebukes the insolent accursed ones, these would be the unfaithful.  The princes that plot against him are rulers among God’s people that might plot against him Though we do not know the author, one could apply this to many as in Daniel 6:4.  They tried to find something to charge him with, but could not.

Saul anointed king by Samuel.

Saul anointed king by Samuel.

Some have seen Psalm 11 as the advice to David  to flee, probably from Saul to the mountains.  He may have been advised to do so by those surrounding him, which is where the question comes.  That is about as good of a guess as any, but it has also been suggested that this was from David’s plight in 1 Samuel 23:9-14, when he had asked the Lord if the men of Keilah would surrender him to Saul.  When he was told of this, he prayed to God , and God told him they indeed would surrender him.

His friends had advised him of the impending attack, and were moved for him to hide himself in the hills.  But he had done so, he could have been guilty of not trusting the Lord following his prayer.  We can guess that under the lawless rule of Saul, the very foundations of society and of moral order were viewed as swept away. Then he recognizes that the Lord is in his holy temple (Habakuk 2:20).  He sees the righteous and will deal with the wicked.  The “upright shall behold his face” should be understood as to see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.