He Knows Our Humanity

He Knows Our Humanity

Today’s Reading – Psalms 78 – 79 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

Second Milers also read – Proverbs 1; Psalms 1 – 5; Mathew 1 – 2)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Deuteronomy 32:4

Read the “0701 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from today’s reading passage – “Where Is Their God?”

“But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.” (Psalms 78:38-39)

“For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” (Psalms 103:14)

Isn’t it comforting to know that we do not have to pretend to be anything other than human when dealing with God. Think about it. In every other relationship we have, we are always putting on our masks, and placing defensive barriers around us so that people will not see the real us. We want to portray an image of ourselves to the people we meet that is far better than the reality. But we know that it is futile to even attempt such a thing with God, because He can see right through any veil that covers us. He knows everything about us; every dirty detail; every hidden thought. He knows some things about us that perhaps we have pushed so far back in the recesses of our minds that even we don’t remember. He knows that we are merely “flesh”, and He knows that we are “dust”. To me that is comforting, because I know that God is the only one that I can truly be myself around. And the strange thing is that He loves me, even though He knows all of the dirt.

In our passage today, in Psalm 78, we read about the history of Israel from the perspective of God. God gave Israel everything that they have. He delivered them from Egypt, fed them and protected them as they wandered through the desert, brought them into the land of promise; but what did Israel do in return for God? They rebelled against Him, complained about Him, and turned to worship other gods. God had to send judgment in order to get them to turn back to Him, but their repentance was never permanent, they would always resort back to “being human”. Our humanity, our flesh, causes us to keep leaning unto our own understanding; doing our own thing. Most of the time our thing is in direct opposition to what God wants. But we have this flesh that is continually seeking to satisfy its own lusts, and is constantly pulling us out of the will of God. To make matters worse, we also have the world and the devil cheering our flesh on in its battle with the will of God. No wonder Paul said, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) I say “AMEN” to that, but I also, like Paul, thank the Lord that God sent a Saviour who died for my sins, and sent the Holy Spirit to live in and work on this old sinful flesh, conforming me into the image of Christ.  That means every once in a while I am going to get it right down here on the earth, and someday, praise God, I will be delivered completely from this body of flesh.

God didn’t utterly destroy us and wipe us out. He loved us, He died for us, and He is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. And someday soon, He will transport us up out of this world, and take us to be with Him (without our sinful flesh) forever.


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Slippery Places

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Today’s Reading – Psalms 73 – 77 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 17 – 22; Psalms 146 – 150; Proverbs 30 – 31)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read the “0630 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.” – (Psalm 73:2)

“Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.” – (Psalm 73:18)

I remember one day years ago when I was working as a youth director at the Christian Bible Baptist Church in South Toms River, I was picking up one of the guys from the youth group during an ice storm. Everything was covered with ice. I watched as this young man very carefully left his house and walked toward my truck. I turned my head for a minute, and when I looked back he was nowhere in sight. I assumed that he went back inside for a moment because he had forgotten something. That’s when I saw a hand stretching up to grab the mirror on the pasenger door of the vehicle. He was holding on to that mirror for dear life. With all of his strength he pulled himself up, and steadied himself to get in the cab. I don’t think that I have ever laughed so hard in all of my life. The young man could not even stand on his own simply because the ground underneath him was too slippery.

I may be taking too much liberty with this passage, but I can not help but notice that twice in Psalm 73 there is a reference made to slipping. In verse 2 the psalmist says that he had almost slipped because of his envy of the prosperity of wicked people. Then again in verse 18 we see another reference to a slippery place. I got to thinking that God’s people often fall because they tread 0n slippery places. You can make the application here wherever it fits in your life, but a slippery place is a place, person or thing that presents to us a great temptation to sin. Maybe for you it’s the wrong crowd, or it could be sitting home alone on the internet; but it is a place where you can easily fall into sin. If you don’t want to fall, stay away from slippery places.

By the way, did you ever notice that when you fall off your feet, you often have a difficult time getting back up on your own. It is the same when you fall into sin. Don’t be too prideful to call out to someone and ask them for help.


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David’s Prayer in a Seemingly Hopeless Situation

Today’s Reading – Psalms 69 – 72 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 13 – 16Psalms 141 – 145Proverbs 29)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 3:1

Read the “0629 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a another post from this morning’s reading passage – “Who Are You Magnifying?”

Psalm 69

“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. 2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.” (Psalm 69:1 – 3)

This psalm is quoted more in the New Testament than any other save Psalm 22 and Psalm 119.

Notice in the introductory material that this psalm is a psalm of David, and it is upon Shoshannim. We have seen this word once before in the introduction to Psalm 45. The word means “Lily”. It is translated “Lily” in 13 other places in the Old Testament, 8 of which are in the Song of Solomon:

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” (Song of Songs 2:1)

This psalm is messianic in that it speaks of Christ (vs. 4, 21), and it is imprecatory, in that it calls for judgment upon David’s enemies.

I          David’s Problem (vs. 1 – 12)

The historical context of this psalm is not revealed.

In v. 1, David cries out to God to save him. 

David uses the metaphor of a drowning man, which he has done before in Psalm 18:4 – 6, and in other places:

“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” (Psalms 18:4-6)

Sometimes the problems of life overwhelm us and suffocate us. The language used here vividly describes David’s hopelessness as well as his despair (v. 3). 

Notice in v. 4 that David was hated “without a cause”, but in vs. 7 & 9 David reveals that their hatred of him was due to his love for God.

People that hate God will hate God’s children:

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV)

David’s problems lead him to pray. 

II         David’s Petition (v. 6; vs. 13 – 28)

            David prays for his own deliverance. (vs. 13 – 21)

            David prays for his enemies’ demise. (vs. 22 – 28)

Our Lord told us to love our enemies; to pray for our enemies; and to even do good to them:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

Our petition should lead us to praise.

III       David’s Praise (vs. 29 – 36)

This is a familiar pattern in the Psalms. David praises God before the deliverance came, because he knew that deliverance would come. He trusted that God would ultimately deliver him, no matter how bad the situation looked.


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Make His Praise Glorious

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Today’s Reading – Psalms 65 – 68 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 10 – 12; Psalms 136 – 140; Proverbs 28)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10

Read the  “0628 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read an earlier post from this passage – “What Are You Thinking About?”

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.” – (Psalm 66:1-2)

Our God is an awesome, and wonderful, and great, and powerful God. The English language really does not contain enough adjectives to describe how glorious our God is. Yet, we who have been saved through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ are encouraged to learn about the greatness of God from His Word, and then communicate our appreciation and admiration to Him first, and then to the people around us. In order to do this, we must first study God. One of the reasons why many Christians hava a tough time praising Him is because they don’t know Him; and there are others who are praising Him, but not according to knowledge. We are commanded to study God through the Scriptures. If the God you serve seems vague or small to you, it is because you do not know Him very well. Open the Bible and read about His awesome power, as well as His infinite wisdom, and loving compassion. He is wonderful. Get to know Him.

Once we know some things about God, we are to sing about Him. These Psalms were all originally songs, and many of them are songs of praise. I sometimes get a kick out of watching the song service at our church. I often see people going through the motions, thoughtlessly and half-heartedly mouthing the words of the hymns. Every once in a while I have to shake myself, and remember what I am singing, and to whom I am doing it. Singing is a form of praise and worship. When we sing the songs of God, we are worshipping Him, and praising Him. If there is one part of our church service that I have really been trying to work on, it is the song service.

Notice also Psalm 66:3:

“Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.”

Finally, we are to speak our praise to God, and for God continuously. The Scripture says that the redeemed of the Lord are supposed to “say so” (Psam 107:2). We have an awful lot to be thankful for; and an awful lot to praise Him for. My preacher in Texas used to say, “if you’re not going to Hell, you ain’t got no problems; and you ought to be shouting.” He is right. I once heard Pastor Charlie Clark say, “Open your big, fat mouth, and praise God.” Perhaps if we started praising the Lord as we ought to, more people would be attracted to our God. Just a thought.


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The Rock That Is Higher Than I

 

Kohala Mountain Road

Today’s Reading – Psalms 58 – 64 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 7 – 9; Psalms 131 – 135; Proverbs 27)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10

Read the “0627 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” – (Psalm 61:2)

I love this verse from Psalm 61. David was a man who had many enemies and spent much of his life fighting them. He valiantly strove against the enemies of God’s people throughout his life, and he also spent a good portion of his life defending himself from some of his own people that had turned against him. He lived much of his life at war. I can certainly understand why there were many times that his heart was overwhelmed. Imagine how it must have felt for David when King Saul pursued him for all of those years; or when his own son Absolam led a rebellion against him, forcing him out of his own city temporarily. David’s life was not easy. He experienced much heartache along the way.

Though I have never experienced the horrors of military battle, I have experienced my share of trials and difficulties in life. There have been many times when life got a bit overwhelming. There have been many times when I just did not know what to do. These are the times in life when we should go to God, who is the Rock that is high above all of the circumstances of life.

I have given some thought to David’s use of the illustration of a mountaintop to express his going to the Lord during the difficult days (and nights) of his life. In a battle, there are many advantages to having the higher ground. The mountaintop was a place of safety. It is much harder to attack someone when you have to climb up to fight them. It is easier to defend a higher position than it is a lower one. God is our place of safety. Nothing can happen to the child of God, who is living in His will, unless God wants it to happen. It is very comforting to know that God has got my back.

The mountaintop is also a place where our sight is increased. Have you ever gone up to the top of a mountain? The views are sometimes absolutely breathtaking. A few years ago my wife and I were blessed with a once in a lifetime trip to to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. We took a drive on the Big Island up the side of an old volcano on the Kohala Mountain Road. I don’t know how high up we drove, but when we got to the top, we could see everything. It was an absolutely gorgeous view. It was a rather strange experience being on top of a mountain, and looking down at miles and miles of shoreline, as well as the vast Pacific Ocean. We could even see one of the other islands from where we were. God wants us to understand that when we are overwhelmed with life, He can see much better than we can; and through the eyes of faith, we can see a little better too. We may not be able to fully understand what we are going through, but we know that God does; and we can trust that He has a purpose for it all.

It is wonderful to know that though life gets a little overwhelming for us, it never is that way for God. He always has things under control.

 


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Betrayed By A Friend

friend-betrayed

Today’s Reading – Psalms 51 – 57 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 4 – 6; Psalms 126 – 130; Proverbs 26)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read the “0626 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” (Psalms 55:12-14)

It is not clear exactly what the context is surrounding Psalm 55. Some have claimed that David was referring to Saul; others have suggested that it was his son, Absalom; and still others believe that it could have been Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15) who was David’s counsellor but had turned against him. A man as great as David was, no doubt, had a lot of friends, along with a lot of enemies; and I am sure that he had several friends (and even family members) that turned on him. Nothing is quite as painful as the betrayal of a friend. It hurts deeply. You expect your enemies to treat you badly, but when a friend turns on you, it often takes you completely by surprise.

What can you do today when you are betrayed by a friend:

Pray –  This whole Psalm is really a prayer from David regarding the situation. He gave the problem to the Lord. Resist the temptation to talk to people about the betrayers, and instead talk to the Lord. It is OK to “gossip” to the Lord.

“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalms 55:16-17)

By the way, don’t just pray for the Lord to punish your enemy; pray that God will restore your friendship. Jesus commands us to love our enemies, which includes those enemies who used to be our friends. Pray also for God to show you where you might have failed as a friend yourself. It is very interesting that the person that betrays us often feels justified in their betrayal, and perhaps sometimes they are; not that their betrayal was necessarily right, but perhaps there may have been some underlying reasons, or hurt feelings that may have motivated the betrayal.

Love – You can continue to love and “do good to them which hate you”. This is certainly not easy, but it is the best way to demonstrate the love and grace of our Lord. He loves us, even though we fail Him continually, and even betray Him at times. We may never win back our friends, but we can make it easy for a restoration to take place. Continue to be a friend to those who no longer see you as a friend.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44)

I think we all have been on both sides of this equation. I have had people that in my view have betrayed me; but I am also sure that there are people out there that would say that I have betrayed them; and I suppose there is some truth to that. We don’t always get it right, do we? But, we can strive to make things right with the people who are at odds with us.


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Happy Anniversary! – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 46 – 50 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 1 – 3; Psalms 121 – 125; Proverbs 25)

Read the “0625 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Good morning, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Anniversary? That’s right. On June 25, 1962, congress removed prayer from the public schools. Sixty years later, you can see the mess that became. Kids don’t know what they are: boy, girl, or animal species. If you live without God, bad things can happen. One of those people pushing for the removal of prayer was a woman named: Madalyn Murry O’Hair. So what happens to someone who goes against God? In 1995 O’Hair, her son, and her granddaughter were kidnapped, murdered, their bodies dismembered, thrown into a grave on a Texas ranch, burned, and buried. A sad ending indeed. What does God say in our reading today?

“But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:16-23)

There are two ironies that come out of O’Hair’s life. Her son Bill became a Christian. And the second one is that one day, she will bow the knee and proclaim that Jesus Christ is LORD.

“Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?” (Psalm 49:5)

Should we fear these days of evil?

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1John 4:4)

Our God is still in control. We win in the end. Happy Anniversary.

Peace!


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God Wants To Hear You Sing

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Today’s Reading – Psalms 40 – 45 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 2 John, 3 John, Jude; Psalms 116 – 120; Proverbs 24)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32

Read the  “0624 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this morning’s reading – “Thirsty?”

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalms 40:1-3)

“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalms 100:2)

“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” (Psalms 126:2)

Christians ought to be a singing people. We are really the only people on this planet that have a reason to sing. David, the writer of Psalm 40 lists the reasons for his song in vs. 1 – 3. He tells us, first of all,  that the Lord inclined unto him, and heard his cry. The word, “incline”, has the idea of bowing down. David was saying that God bowed down, or leaned over, to hear David’s cry. I do not know the reason that David was crying, though I do know that in his lifetime there were many events that would have brought him to tears. This world has a way of beating you down, but isn’t it a great joy to know that God can “incline” to us, give us his full attention, and hear our cries.

God didn’t just listen to David’s problem, however; He fixed it. Notice v. 2 again:

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Psalms 40:2)

In the context of this psalm, I believe David was probably referring to one of the many earthly problems he faced. Perhaps, it was when God delivered him from the hands of Saul. We can’t be sure. However, I believe that we can apply the principles of this psalm on a deeper level. When the Lord saved me, He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, and he secured my salvation on the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ; and now He has given me a new direction in life, a new purpose. I get to live for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He established my goings within His perfect will for my life.

Because of all of this, I, like David, have a reason to sing. If you are saved, so do you. God wants to hear us sing. He tells in Psalm 100 that we are to enter into His presence with singing, and we are supposed to be in His presence all of the time, which means that we should be singing all of the time. So go ahead: let loose with a few verses of “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” David tells us that when this world hears us sing, many of them will “see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” Isn’t it interesting that it says here that people will be drawn to God through our singing. I believe that we should preach the Word, and live the Word; but if I am going to really be effective as a soul winner, I will also have to learn to sing the praises of God.


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Fret Not Thyself

Today’s Reading – Psalms 36 – 39 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 John 1 – 5Psalms 111 – 115Proverbs 23)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33

Read the “0623 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“(3) Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (4) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (5) Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (6) And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. (7) Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” (Psalm 37:3-7)

Psalm 37 is a beautiful psalm, filled with promises and encouragement for all believers. This psalm is an acrostic psalm, and was written in David’s later years (verse 25). It begins with a warning for us not to be envious against those in the lost world who seem to be prospering greatly. It is a common frustration that is felt by God’s people regarding the prosperity of lost people, and the seeming lack of judgment leveled by God against the wicked. Why do bad people not get what’s coming? God reminds us here through the psalmist that the success and wealth experienced here on this earth by the lost is only temporary. The word “wicked” is found fourteen times in this psalm.

Similar verses:

“Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” (Proverbs 23:17-18)

“Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.” (Proverbs 24:19-20)

See also Psalm 73

Jeremiah asked God the same thing:

“Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1)

The people of God in the Old Testament were looking for earthly, material blessings as a sign of the blessing of God. Today, we do not look for those things, We are looking for spiritual, and eternal blessings – we live by faith in what will be. The Israelites were expecting their reward in the earth. They are still looking forward to an earthly kingdom, which we know as the Millennial Kingdom, where God will bless them abundantly.

It seemed completely inconsistent with what they knew about God to witness the unrighteous seemingly receiving the blessings that were reserved for God’s people. God’s great reminder to these folks in David’s day, and to us today as well, is to just wait. God will take care of it in His time. God will reward the righteous, and also condemn the wicked on His timetable, not ours. The prosperity of the wicked can only be seen in the short term, because in the long run it can be seen that they do not prosper at all.

The phrase “fret not thyself” is found 3 times in this psalm. The phrase means don’t get angry, or stressed out about something. It literally means to not get agitated, or heated. God is telling His people to “chill out”. This phrase is found in only one other passage in the Bible, which was in the passage that we just read in Proverbs 24.

I          Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers (v. 1)

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” (Psalms 37:1)

Notice that fretting, or getting angry with the bad people is associated here with envy. (see also Proverbs 24:19 above)

“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” (Proverbs 24:1-2)

We shouldn’t envy them because their time is short. Their happiness is only temporary; ours is eternal. God says five times in this psalm that the wicked will be “cut off” (vs. 9, 22, 28, 34, 38)

“Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” (James 1:9-11)

Notice instead what we are commanded to do:

            A         Trust (v. 3)

            B         Delight (v. 4)

            C         Commit (vs. 5 – 6)

            D         Rest (v. 7)

 II         Fret Not Thyself Because of the Prosperity of the Wicked (v. 7)

The prosperity of the wicked can only, at best, last through this life; and even though they may be prospering materially, they are probably not prospering in other areas: they may be very miserable people.

III       Fret Not Thyself To Do Evil (v. 8)

Sometimes our anger at and envy of wicked people can cause us to decide to join them. God says, “don’t do it!”

The remainder of the psalm contains many comparisons between the godly and the wicked; and it also foretells of the consequences that face the ungodly. It may seem like they are on top of the world now, but just wait a while. There are also many promises given here to the godly.

The great encouragement to the people of God in this passage is found in v. 34:

“Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” (Psalms 37:34)

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalms 27:14)

“Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.” (Proverbs 20:22)

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)


Posted in Devotions by with 2 comments.

Forgiven

Forgiven

Today’s Reading – Psalms 32 – 35 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 2 Peter 1 – 3; Psalms 106 – 110; Proverbs 22)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

Read the “0622 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1

The Book of Hebrews admonishes us to grow up in our faith and move beyond the foundational truths of the Christian life. That’s good advice: we cannot stay babies forever. However, it is wonderful to be reminded often about the simple truths of the forgiveness that God offers to all those who are willing to put their faith in Him. In this passage, there is a reminder to all of us who are saved. The verse above simply reminds us of the fact those who have their sins forgiven are a blessed people. To think that an omniscient God, who knows every sinful act of my past as well as every evil thought, would be willing to forgive me, and even look at me and treat as if I had never done or thought any of those horrible things.

It gets even better. Notice verse 2:

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psalm 32:2)

It is one thing to choose to forgive the acts of the past; but to also forgive ahead of time all of our future transgressions is beyond comprehension. God loves us unconditionally. He says he will not “impute” our sin. The word impute means to assign to or credit to. God says that he will not assign or credit our debts or sins to our account. Why? Because 2000 years ago he laid all of the debt of my sin upon the His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus paid my sin debt for me. What a wonderful thought. Notice how that happened to David:

“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

He acknowledged his sin. He did not deny them or hide them. He then confessed them to God and asked the Lord for forgiveness. God could only forgive him because the debt would be paid by Christ. Have you confessed your sin to God, and asked Him for forgiveness? Have you come to the foot of the cross and called upon the name of the Lord for salvation. If you haven’t done so yet, please call upon Him today.

To those of us who have received the forgiveness of God through the remission of our sins, how are we at forgiving each other? God has forgiven everything that I have ever done or will do. What right do I have to withhold forgiveness from others? Just a thought.


Posted in Thoughts from Psalms by with 4 comments.
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