God’s Love Endures With Thanksgiving And Praises Of Honor

VERSE OF THE DAY

Psalm 136:1,26 (New Living Translation)

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

All Praise and Thanksgiving are good to the lord for he is to be honored. His good honors, grace, faithfulness and love endure forever

PSALM 136 – GOD’S NEVER-ENDING MERCY

Video for Psalm 136:

Psalm 136 – God’s Never-Ending Mercy

Psalm 136 is a special psalm, with each one of its 26 verses repeating the sentence, His mercy endures forever. Psalm 118 repeated that affirmation five times. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the phrase has somewhat of a liturgical sense to it, as if the assembled people of Israel said or sung this in response to the direction of the Levites leading singing and worship. Ezra 3:11 indicates that this encouragement was part of a responsive singing among God’s people: And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”

The sentence is used several other times in the Old Testament, each time in the context of some kind of public praise or declaration. His mercy endures forever is found:

• In David’s psalm of praise recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36.

• In the assignments of the priests in David’s day (1 Chronicles 16:41).

• In Israel’s praise at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (2 Chronicles 5:13, 7:3, 7:6).

• In the record of the LORD’s victory over the Ammonites as they praised (2 Chronicles 20:21).

• In the future praise by Israel after the destruction suffered in the Babylonian conquest (Jeremiah 33:10-11).

• In the dedication of Ezra’s temple (Ezra 3:11).

We picture a great multitude of the people of God gathered in the temple courts. A priest or Levite would call out a reason to give God thanks, and His people would respond with, “For His mercy endures forever.”

“In Jewish tradition Psalm 136 has been called the Great Hallel (or Great Psalm of Praise). It does not use the words hallelu jah, but it is called the Great Hallel for the way it rehearses God’s goodness in regard to his people and encourages them to praise him for his merciful and steadfast love.” (James Montgomery Boice)

A. The enduring mercy of God from the beginning of time.

1. (1-4) The enduring mercy of God in His essential nature, who He is.

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;

a. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good: As in the previous psalm, Psalm 136 gives thanks and praise to God for His goodness. The fact that God is good is fundamental to all that He is and does. We know that God is love (1 John 4:8 and 4:16), and that love is an expression of His goodness. This is a wonderful reason to give Yahweh thanks.

i. “Give thanks is not the whole meaning of this word…and therefore calls us to thoughtful, grateful worship, spelling out what we know or have found of God’s glory and his deeds.” (Kidner)

ii. “He is good beyond all others; indeed, he alone is good in the highest sense; he is the source of good, the good of all good, the sustainer of good, the perfecter of good, and the rewarder of good. For this he deserves the constant gratitude of his people.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Because we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), we know something of what is good. However, we are fallen (Romans 5:19), and our knowledge of good is corrupted. Yet our entire concept of good is rooted in God and His goodness.

iv. Those who question God’s goodness do so according to some standard of what is good and what is evil. The very existence of that standard connects them to something beyond themselves – back to the Creator who made them in His image.

b. For His mercy endures forever: This is the first of 26 times this phrase is repeated in this psalm. It was probably the answer of the congregation of Israel to each first line spoken by the priests or Levites.

i. 1 Chronicles 16:37-41 suggests that His mercy endures forever was sung daily as part of the morning and evening sacrifices.

ii. “Most hymns with a solid, simple chorus become favourites with congregations, and this is sure to have been one of the best beloved.” (Spurgeon)

iii. The greatest demonstration of the always-enduring mercy of God was seen in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

c. His mercy endures forever: The declaration proclaims that God’s hesed (mercy) never ends and will always be given to His people.

i. Mercy is the translation of the great Hebrew word hesed, which may be understood as Yahweh’s grace, His loyal love, His covenant love unto His people. Some scholars have overemphasized its covenant aspect, taking too much feeling from the word. Hesed combines loyalty to a covenant with true love and mercy.

ii. For centuries it was translated with words like mercy, kindness, and love. In 1927, a scholar named Nelson Glueck (among others) argued that the real idea behind hesed was “covenant loyalty” and not so much love or mercy. However, many disagreed and there is no good reason for changing the long-held understanding of hesed and taking it as a word that mainly emphasizes covenant loyalty (see R. Laird Harris on hesed in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).

d. Give thanks to the God of gods…to the Lord of lords: Reasons are repeatedly found to thank and praise God. Here each reason is connected to who God is. He is greater than any of the supposed gods or lords of the nations. This idea may be drawn from Deuteronomy 10:17.

i. LORD…. God…. Lord: “The opening stanzas refer to the One to Whom reference is made throughout, by the three great names by which He as known: Jehovah, the title of grace (Psalm 136:1); Elohim, the name of might (Psalm 136:2); and Adonai, the title of sovereignty (Psalm 136:3).” (Morgan)

ii. The Lord of lords: “All lords in the plural are summed up in this Lord in the singular: he is more lordly than all emperors and kings condensed into one.” (Spurgeon)

e. To Him who alone does great wonders: God’s people were invited to praise Him as the God of true power and miraculous wonders. Most of the rest of this psalm describes many of these great wonders, that were and are an expression of His great mercy, His hesed to His people.

i. “The attributes here mentioned are those of ‘goodness’ and ‘power;’ the one renders him willing, the other able to save; and what can we desire more, but that he should continue to be so?” (Horne)

ii. “His works are all great in wonder even when they are not great in size; in fact, in the minute objects of the microscope we behold as great wonders as even the telescope can reveal.” (Spurgeon)

iii. It is true that God alone does great wonders, and the following lines tell us that creation is the beginning (not the end) of those wonders.

2. (5-9) The enduring mercy of God in His work as Creator.

To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever—
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.

a. To Him who by wisdom made the heavens: Here the singer refers back to Genesis 1 and points to God’s creative work as a demonstration of His never-ending mercy to His people.

i. “The psalm looks at the story of Creation from an original point of view, when it rolls out in chorus, after each stage of that work, that its motive lay in the eternal lovingkindness of Jehovah. Creation is an act of Divine love.” (Maclaren)

ii. “As far back as the creation his eye had travelled, and all through the stormy, troubled days he could detect the silver thread of mercy. Oh that we had his eyes to see always the love of God!” (Meyer)

iii. “There are no iron tracks, with bars and bolts, to hold the planets in their orbits. Freely in space they move, ever changing, but never changed; poised and balancing; swaying and swayed; disturbing and disturbed, onward they fly, fulfilling with unerring certainty their mighty cycles. The entire system forms one grand complicated piece of celestial machinery; circle within circle, wheel within wheel, cycle within cycle.” (The Orbs of Heaven, cited by Spurgeon)

b. Laid out the earth above the waters: In this section, the work of God as Creator is described with elements from the first four days of creation (Genesis 1:1-19). Because each of these is an expression of His never-ending mercy toward His people, we can say that God created the heavens and the earth with His people in mind.

i. “The heavens above and the earth beneath declare the wisdom of their great Maker, and proclaim aloud, to an intelligent ear, the divinity of the hand that formed them. The heavens display the love of God to man; the earth teaches the duty of man to God.” (Horne)

ii. “Paul echoed the same truths in Lystra when he taught the Gentiles there that God ‘has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy’ (Acts 14:17).” (Boice)

iii. The theme of creation in this psalm “…invites the Christian not to wrangle over cosmological theories but to delight in his environment, known to him as no mere mechanism but a work of ‘steadfast love’. No unbeliever has grounds for any such quality of joy.” (Kidner)

B. The enduring mercy of God to His people.

1. (10-15) The enduring mercy of God in the deliverance from Egypt.

To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
For His mercy endures forever;
And brought out Israel from among them,
For His mercy endures forever;
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
For His mercy endures forever;
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His mercy endures forever;
But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His mercy endures forever;

a. To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn: The previous psalm mentioned the deliverance from Egypt and the striking of the firstborn (Psalm 135:8-9). Here again God is praised as the One who rescued Israel from their slavery and degradation in Egypt – another expression of His never-ending mercy.

i. The singer recounted God’s great wonders flowing seamlessly from the work of creation described in Genesis 1 to the work of deliverance described in Exodus. We rightly regard (or should regard) the Exodus account as historical, describing what really happened. Therefore, the context and flow of this psalm demonstrates that what God described in Genesis 1 really happened. The psalmist does not treat them differently, as if one were a legend and the other actual history.

b. To Him who divided the Red Sea in two: God did not only bring the Israelites out of Egypt, but He also delivered them from Pharaoh’s attempt to re-capture them. In mercy to Israel, God overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea.

i. God’s use of history in this psalm is important. As in countless other places in the Scriptures, God used His work in the past to give hope, faith, and confidence to His people both for the moment and for the future.

ii. “The word for dividing the Red Sea is peculiar. It means to hew in pieces or in two, and is used for cutting in halves the child in Solomon’s judgment [1 Kings 3:25]; while the word ‘parts’ [two] is a noun from the same root, and is found in Genesis 15:17, to describe the two portions into which Abraham clave the carcasses. Thus, as with a sword, Jehovah hewed the sea in two, and His people passed between the parts, as between the halves of the covenant sacrifice.” (Maclaren)

iii. Overthrew Pharaoh and his army: “…as in Hebrew, shaked off. The word is applicable to a tree shaking off its foliage, Isaiah. 33:9. The same word is used in Exodus 14:27: ‘And the Lord overthrew (shook off) the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.’” (Barnes, cited in Spurgeon)

2. (16-22) The enduring mercy of God from the wilderness to the Promised Land.

To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who struck down great kings,
For His mercy endures forever;
And slew famous kings,
For His mercy endures forever—
Sihon king of the Amorites,
For His mercy endures forever;
And Og king of Bashan,
For His mercy endures forever—
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His mercy endures forever;
A heritage to Israel His servant,
For His mercy endures forever.

a. To Him who led His people through the wilderness: This short statement is a reminder of many mighty and loving acts of God. Yahweh provided guidance, food, water, structure, leadership, healing, victory, and many other things to Israel through the wilderness.

i. “It was an astonishing miracle of God to support so many hundreds of thousands of people in a wilderness totally deprived of all necessities for the life of man, and that for the space of forty years.” (Clarke)

ii. “…through that vast howling wilderness, where there was neither way nor provision; through which none but the Almighty God could have safely conducted them.” (Poole)

iii. This was a great demonstration of God’s never-failing mercy. “Their conduct in the wilderness tested his mercy most severely, but it bore the strain; many a time he forgave them; and though he smote them for their transgressions, yet he waited to be gracious and speedily turned to them in compassion.” (Spurgeon)

b. To Him who struck down great kings: The previous psalm described the defeat of Sihon king of the Amorites and Og king of Bashan, as well as the giving of Canaan to Israel as a heritage (Psalm 135:10-12). These were all demonstrations of the never-ending mercy of God.

i. Great kings: “Great, as those times accounted them, when almost every small city had their king; Canaan had thirty and more of them. Great also in regard of their stature and strength; for they were of the giant’s race, Deuteronomy 3:11-13, Amos 2:9.” (Trapp)

ii. “The Lord who smote Pharaoh at the beginning of the wilderness march, smote Sihon and Og at the close of it.” (Spurgeon)

iii. And slew famous kings: “What good was their fame to them? As they opposed God they became infamous rather than famous. Their deaths made the Lord’s fame to increase among the nations while their fame ended in disgraceful defeat.” (Spurgeon)

3. (23-25) The enduring mercy of God in ongoing deliverance and help.

Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.

a. Who remembered us in our lowly state: The song makes a sharp yet skillful transition from God’s great wonders of the past to His faithful help in the present. It is good for us to look to the past for evidence that His mercy endures forever, but even better for us to see the evidence in our own day.

i. “After all, ‘his steadfast love endures for ever’, and the refrain is designed to show the relevance of every act of God to every singer of the psalm.” (Kidner)

ii. Rescued us from our enemies: “Sin is our enemy, and we are redeemed from it by the atoning blood; Satan is our enemy and we are redeemed from him by the Redeemer’s power; the world is our enemy, and we are redeemed from it by the Holy Spirit.” (Spurgeon)

b. Who gives food to all flesh: The psalmist asked God’s people to praise and thank Him not only for His work as deliverer, but also as provider. This is more evidence of God’s never-ending mercy, which is extended to all flesh, not only to Israel.

i. Food to all flesh: “…by whose universal providence every intellectual and animal being is supported and preserved. The appointing every living thing food, and that sort of food which is suited to its nature, (and the nature and habits of animals are endlessly diversified,) is an overwhelming proof of the wondrous providence, wisdom, and goodness of God.” (Clarke)

ii. “He promised to Noah and to all ‘flesh’ to sustain it with his grace (cf. Genesis 9:8-17). Here the psalmist makes use of the word ‘flesh’…and thus makes an allusion to God’s promise (cf. Genesis 9:11, 15-17).” (VanGemeren)

4. (26) Gratitude to the God of enduring mercy.

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.

a. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven: In directing us to do this, the psalmist not only had in mind our appropriate gratitude, but also reminds us that the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is the God of heaven. He is the God who really exists and really reigns.

i. God of heaven: “Therefore the final call to praise, which rounds off the psalm by echoing its beginning, does not name Him by the Name which implied Israel’s special relation, but by that by which other peoples could and did address Him, “the God of heaven,” from whom all good comes down on all the earth.” (Maclaren)

ii. “His mercy in providing heaven for his people is more than all the rest.” (Trapp)

b. For His mercy endures forever: The singer has given us many reasons to respond to God with this statement, and we are persuaded. The never-ending mercy of God – His lovingkindness, His grace, His loyal love – will never stop finding a way to bless and help His people.

i. “And do you suppose that such mercy is going to fail you? It endureth forever! You fret and chafe like a restless little child; but you cannot fall out of the arms of God’s mercy.” (Meyer)

ii. Spurgeon suggested many things that Psalm 136 as a whole teaches:

· The past, present, or future will not end His mercy.

· The storms of life will not end His mercy.

· Distance from loved ones will not end His mercy.

· Death itself will not end His mercy.

· God’s never-ending mercy should make us merciful to others.

· God’s never-ending mercy should make us hopeful for others.

· God’s never-ending mercy should make us hopeful for ourselves.

iii. “One night in February 358 A.D. the church father Athanasius held an all-night service at his church in Alexandria, Egypt. He had been leading the fight for the eternal sonship and deity of Jesus Christ, knowing that the survival of Christianity depended on it. He had many enemies – for political even more than theological reasons – and they moved the power of the Roman government against him. That night the church was surrounded by soldiers with drawn swords. People were frightened. With calm presence of mind Athanasius announced the singing of Psalm 136. The vast congregation responded, thundering forth twenty-six times, ‘His love endures forever.’ When the soldiers burst through the doors they were staggered by the singing. Athanasius kept his place until the congregation was dispersed. Then he too disappeared in the darkness and found refuge with his friends.” (Boice)

iv. “Many citizens of Alexandria were killed that night, but the people of Athanasius’s congregation never forgot that although man is evil, God is good. He is superlatively good, and ‘his love endures forever.’” (Boice)

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Verse of the Day

for Thursday, November 29, 2018

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1 and 26

Related Topics: God, Heaven, Lord, Love, Praise, Worship, Thanksgiving, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Our thankgiving arises from the nature of God and his glory and goodness. The steadfast reason we give thanks is because God is good and his love is inexhaustible, beyond decay, and never ending.

My Prayer…

O great Lover of my soul, thank you for sending Jesus as the demonstration of your love. I love you Father. I love you for who you are and what you have done. I love you for what you have promised. I love you for the blessings you shower upon me. I love you for giving me hope. I love you because you first loved me. I love you because you are worthy of all love. But I confess that my love is not as strong as yours, so please, fill me with your love by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus, your Son and my Savior, I lift my heart to you. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

What Does Psalm 136:1 Mean? ►

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 136:1(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Gratefulness of heart to the Lord God almighty is like a golden stream that threads its way through this wonderful song of praise. We have a repetitive chorus that rehearses the truth of God’s goodness. It is the recurring reminder, that God’s love and grace touches every facet of our lives, “O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever.”

The repeating, melodious heartbeat, that caresses every part of the created universe, rejoices that His loving-kindness is everlasting, His steadfast mercies endure forever, His faithful love is never-ending, and His unwavering goodness, stretches into the furthest extremities of eternity.

“O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever,” is the insistent drumbeat that is designed to grab our attention in every verse of this glorious song of praise, which proclaims the never-ending truth that God is good, and the mercies of the Lord are everlasting, forever and ever, Amen.

As all the deeds and misdeeds of Israel are pronounced and publicised throughout this hymn of praise, the tender loving-kindness and great compassion of the Lord continues to be shed abroad. Mercy and grace, along with goodness and faithfulness, are some of the eternal attributes of our heavenly Father – and the regular rhythm and insistent beat of this joyful chorus, echoes the joyful refrain, “O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever. O give thanks to the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures forever.”

The wonderful certainty that the loving-kindness of our heavenly Lord is everlasting, and that His truth endures from one generation to another, should permeate every fibre of our being and thrill the heart of every believer with the fullness of His joy and a heart of gratitude.

The Lord rescues the perishing, pardons the guilty, protects the weak, and fills the hungry with good things. He comforts the sorrowing, heals the broken-hearted, gives His all-sufficient grace to help the needy, and fulfils all His precious promises. He is worthy of all praise and deserving of our grateful thanks. He alone is the God of all gods for His love is eternal, His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever, and He is faithful to fulfil all that He has said.

Should not we, who are His blood-bought children, rejoice to hear such worthy instructions on praise and thanksgiving? Indeed, worship and reverent homage is often the central ingredient adopted by God’s people in honouring the LORD – as directed by David, Solomon, and other great kings of Israel. Should we not take up the Palmists refrain and give our most grateful thanks to the LORD, for He is good, and His lovingkindness is everlasting.

The wisdom of Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, similarly reminds us that rejoicing in the Lord is our worthy calling, for His steadfast mercy truly does endure from generation to generation. His faithful love is never-ending, and His unwavering goodness stretches into the outer limits of the universe and the furthest extremities of eternity.

Let us endeavour to give thanks to the Lord and be glad in Him! Let all who are saved by grace and morally upright, shout for joy to the God of our salvation! Let us glory in the name of the LORD, for “praise is pleasant and lovely” and praise is “comely for the upright.” May we rejoice in the Lord and delight, day by day, in His gracious deliverance.

Let us give thanks to the LORD, in remembrance of his holiness. Let us give thanks for the LORD as we commemorate the glory in the Holy One of Israel. Let us give praise to His name together, for sending Jesus to be our kinsman-Redeemer and to die on the Cross for our sake, and may we never cease to give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-136-1

Be Thankful In Christ Jesus

VERSE OF THE DAY

1 Chronicles 16:8 (New Living Translation)

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Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.

VERSE OF THE DAY

1 Chronicles 16:8 (New International Version)

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Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Praise and give thanks to the Lord prioritizing his name and Greatness proclaiming him and what he has done make his name worthy and world wide let the whole world shine his name sharing his grace and glory

1 CHRONICLES 16 – DAVID’S PSALM OF THANKS

A. The ark is brought into the prepared tent.

1. (1-3) David gives the assembly a feast.

So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. Then he distributed to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins.

a. They brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle: After many years – since the ark was lost in battle – the ark is returned to the center of Israel’s national consciousness. The emblem of God’s presence and glory was set in its proper place in Israel.

b. When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and peace offerings: The burnt offerings spoke of consecration. The peace offerings spoke of fellowship. This was a day of great consecration and fellowship with God. It was also a great barbeque and meal for all the people.

i. These sacrifices were an important part of the ceremony, neglected in the first attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. “These pointed them to Christ, freeing them from their sins, both from the crime and from the curse; these taught them thankfulness for Christ, and all benefits in and by him.” (Trapp)

ii. “The second item of food (known only here and in 2 Samuel 6:19) was either a cake of dates or a ‘portion of meat’ (REB, NEB, NRSV; cf. GNB, AV) – if the latter is correct, it was an especially generous act since meat rarely appeared on domestic menus in ancient Israel.” (Selman)

iii. “Most flesh from the peace offerings was eaten by the people themselves, sitting down, as it were, as guests of God’s table, in a meal celebrating the restoration of their peace with him.” (Payne)

2. (4-6) Worship leaders are appointed to lead the congregation.

And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, and Obed-Edom: Jeiel with stringed instruments and harps, but Asaph made music with cymbals; Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests regularly blew the trumpets before the ark of the covenant of God.

a. And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark: At the end of this spectacular day of celebration, David established an enduring institution of worship and commemoration at the ark of the covenant. It wasn’t to be a one-day high, but an ongoing ministry to God.

i. “David’s appointment then of Levites to minister in music and praise to God marks a significant advance in the history of Israel’s worship. His previous arrangements for music had been devised for just one occasion; but now a continuing service is envisioned.” (Payne)

b. He appointed some of the Levites…to commemorate: In the Levitical appointments for that day and beyond, David selected some Levites to focus on commemorating what great things God had done. Simply remembering God’s great works is an important and often neglected part of the Christian life. Spurgeon (in his sermon The Recorders) noted several ways that we can help ourselves remember the great things of God:

· Make an actual record of what God has done, keeping a written journal.

· Be sure to praise God thoroughly at the time you receive His goodness.

· Set apart time for meditation on the good things God has done.

· Talk about His mercy often to other people.

· Use everything around you as reminders of the goodness of God.

c. Asaph the chief: Previously, the Levites had appointed Heman as the leader of worship (1 Chronicles 15:17). At this time David elevated Asaph to this position.

i. “No reason is given, though Asaph did represent the senior Levitical clan of Gershon (1 Chronicles 6:39-43). Personal ability may also have been a contributing factor, for Asaph and his descendants are listed as composers for twelve of the inspired Old Testament psalms.” (Payne)

B. David’s song of thanksgiving.

1. (7) The psalm written for the special occasion.

On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the LORD:

a. David first delivered this psalm: David was known as thesweet psalmist of Israel (2 Samuel 23:1), and he especially wrote the following psalm to thank the LORD on the day the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem.

i. “The Psalm is found in the Book of Psalms; its first movement (8-22) in Psalm 105:1-15; its second movement (23-33) in Psalm 96:1b-13a; its third movement (34-36) consisting of a quotation of the opening and closing sentences of Psalm 106:1-47 and 48.” (Morgan)

ii. “All three of the canonical psalms that he quoted are anonymous, ‘orphan psalms’ (without title) in the Old Testament Psalter; but on the basis of the king’s use of them here, they should indeed be classed as his.” (Payne)

2. (8-13) The call to praise.

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!

a. Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Like many psalms, this one begins with a call to praise, virtually in the form of a commandment. Yet the psalm breathes with too much excitement for this to be a true command; it is an exhortation to the community of God’s people to join in praise to their God.

i. “All the good that we enjoy comes from God. Recollect that! Alas, most men forget it. Rowland Hill used to say that worldlings were like the hogs under the oak, which eat the acorns, but never think of the oak from which they fell, nor lift up their heads to grunt out a thanksgiving. Yes, so it is. They munch the gift and murmur at the giver.” (Spurgeon)

b. Give thanks.… Call upon…Make known…. Sing…Talk…. Glory…. Seek…. Remember: In a few verses, David lists a remarkable number of ways (at least eight) one can praise and glorify God. Some of them speak directly to God (such as sing psalms to Him), some speak to others about God’s greatness (make known His deeds among the peoples), and some are a conversation with one’s self (remember His marvelous works).

i. Meyer on talk of all His wondrous works: “We do not talk sufficiently about God. Why it is so may not be easy to explain; but there seems to be too great reticence among Christian people about the best things…. We talk about sermons, details of worship and church organization, or the latest phase of Scripture criticism; we discuss men, methods, and churches; but our talk in the home, and in the gatherings of Christians for social purposes, is too seldom about the wonderful works of God. Better to speak less, and to talk more of Him.”

ii. “If we talked more of God’s wondrous works, we should be free from talking of other people’s works. It is easy to criticise those we could not rival, and carp at those we could not emulate. He who could not carve a statue, or make a single stroke of the chisel correctly, affects to point out where the handicraft of the greatest sculptor might have been improved. It is a poor, pitiful occupation, that of picking holes in other people’s coats, and yet some people seem so pleased when they can perceive a fault, that they roll it under their tongue as a sweet morsel.” (Spurgeon)

iii. “There is no gifted tongue requisite, there are no powers of eloquence invoked; neither laws of rhetoric nor rules of grammar are pronounced indispensable in the simple talk that my text inculcates, ‘Talk ye of all his wondrous works.’ I beg your pardon when you say you cannot do this. You cannot because you will not.” (Spurgeon)

c. O seed of Israel…His chosen ones: This call to praise is directed to the people of God. As will be noted later in the psalm, all creation has a responsibility to praise its Creator; but this is the special responsibility of God’s people.

3. (14-19) Remembering God’s covenant with His people.

He is the LORD our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac,
And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel for an everlasting covenant,
Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the allotment of your inheritance,”
When you were few in number,
Indeed very few, and strangers in it.

a. His judgments are in all the earth: David will soon begin to sing about the special relationship between the LORD and His covenant people. Yet he prefaced those ideas with the thought that God is the Lord of all the earth. His authority is not limited to His covenant people.

b. Remember His covenant forever: God wanted His people to never forget the covenant He made with them. God’s dealing with man through history has been based on the idea of covenant.

· God made a covenant with Abraham regarding a land, a nation, and a particular messianic blessing (Genesis 12:1-3).

· God made a covenant with Israel as a nation, regarding a law, sacrifice, and choice of blessing or cursing (Exodus 19:5-8).

· God made a covenant with David regarding the specific lineage of the Messiah (2 Samuel 7).

· God made a covenant with all who would believe on His Son, the New Covenant through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

i. It was entirely appropriate that this psalm focuses on the idea of His covenant because it was written for the arrival of the ark of the covenant into the place David prepared for it in Jerusalem.

ii. “In the restoration of the Ark after a period of neglect, the people found a sure token of that mercy.” (Morgan)

c. To you I will give the land of Canaan: David here highlighted the promise of land that God made to Abraham as part of His covenant with the patriarch (Genesis 12:1 and 13:14-17). The land belonged to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through this covenant.

i. In this, we see that this portion of the psalm is largely meant for teaching. This stanza was not primarily intended as a declaration of praise to God, but as informing the worship of God’s people.

4. (20-22) God’s protection upon His people.

When they went from one nation to another,
And from one kingdom to another people,
He permitted no man to do them wrong;
Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,
Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”

a. When they went from one nation to another: In the story of the arrival of the ark of the covenant recorded in 2 Samuel, this psalm of David is not included. Here we see why the Chronicler – writing shortly after the Babylonian exile – was anxious to include it. This line of David’s psalm praises God for His providential protection of His people when they were out of the Promised Land.

b. He permitted no man to do them wrong: One might say that this was inaccurate – after all, the oppressive Pharaohs seemed to do much wrong to Israel. Yet, in the longer view of seeing God’s good work even through such painful times, David can truthfully say “He permitted no man to do them wrong.”

c. Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm: This seems to refer to God’s people as a whole instead of particular anointed individuals or individual prophets.

5. (23-30) The command to praise the LORD.

Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.
For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;
He is also to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and gladness are in His place.
Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.
Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved.

a. Sing to the LORD, all the earth: God’s covenant people have a special responsibility to praise Him, but all the earth should also proclaim the good news of His salvation day to day.

i. It is only good news when it is His salvation. My salvation isn’t enough to save me. I need His salvation to save me. This is something worth proclaiming.

ii. “There is not one of us but has cause for song, and certainly not one saint but ought specially to praise the name of the Lord.” (Spurgeon)

b. Declare His glory among the nations: David is back to a particular address to the people of God, imploring them to tell everyone of the greatness of God, and His superiority above all gods.

i. The reason for His superiority is simple: all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. The covenant God of Israel is real and is the Creator of all things, in contrast to the mere statues of the nations.

c. Give to the LORD glory and strength: This is not in the sense of giving something to God that He does not already have. It is in the sense of crediting to God what He actually does possess, but what man is often blind to.

d. Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! God’s holiness – His “set-apart-ness” – has a wonderful and distinct beauty about it. It is beautiful that God is God and not man; that He is more than the greatest man or a super-man. His holy love, grace, justice, and majesty are beautiful.

6. (31-33) Creation praises God.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field rejoice, and all that is in it.
Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD,
For He is coming to judge the earth.

a. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad: David knew that creation itself praised God. He knew that the beauty and power and skill and majesty of creation was itself a testimony of praise to its Creator.

b. Let them say among the nations: Israel had the word of God to tell them of God’s reign and His coming judgment. The nations have the testimony of creation to tell them what they should know about God (Romans 1:19-23).

c. The LORD reigns: The creation itself tells us of a God of infinite wisdom, power, and order; it logically deduces that this God reigns and will judge the earth, understanding that His order and power and wisdom are expressed morally as well as materially.

i. Payne on for He is coming to judge the earth: “While earlier messianic prophecies had foretold our Lord’s universal, millennial reign (Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; 1 Samuel 2:10), these words – ‘he comes’ – may be the first in all of written Scripture (Job 19:25 may well have been spoken earlier) to set forth the doctrine of the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ.”

7. (34-36) Conclusion: Celebrating God’s faithfulness to His people.

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.”
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!

And all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.

a. Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles: This is yet another demonstration of why the Chronicler chose to include this psalm of David in the account of the ark’s coming into Jerusalem. These ancient words of David would have special relevance to the returned exiles. They would not only have confidence in God’s ability to gather and deliver, but they would also be motivated to give thanks and to triumph in Your praise.

i. “The words…do not presuppose that the people had been previously led away into the Chaldean exile, but only the dispersion of prisoners of war, led away captive into an enemy’s land after a defeat…. It was just such cases Solomon had in view in his prayer, 1 Kings 8:46-50.” (Payne citing Keil)

b. And all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD: This reminds us that David’s psalm was not sung as a solo. The hearts – and perhaps the voices – of the people were in complete agreement with him through the psalm.

8. (37-43) Postscript: Maintaining the worship of God.

So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required; and Obed-Edom with his sixty-eight brethren, including Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah, to be gatekeepers; and Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the Law of the LORD which He commanded Israel; and with them Heman and Jeduthun and the rest who were chosen, who were designated by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because His mercy endures forever; and with them Heman and Jeduthun, to sound aloud with trumpets and cymbals and the musical instruments of God. Now the sons of Jeduthun were gatekeepers. Then all the people departed, every man to his house; and David returned to bless his house.

a. So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant: This emphasizes the point made previously in 1 Chronicles 16:4-6, that David deliberately planned for this to be more than a one day spectacular. He instituted ongoing service and worship before the ark of the covenant at its new resting place in Jerusalem.

b. Before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings to the LORD: This reminds us that the center of sacrifice was still at the tabernacle’s altar at Gibeon.

i. “For the time being, Israel’s worship activities and personnel were to be divided between the ark at Jerusalem and the tended altar at Gibeon.” (Selman)

ii. “How long the service at Gibeon was continued we cannot tell; the principal functions were no doubt performed at Jerusalem.” (Clarke)

(c) 2021 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Verse of the Day

for Friday, November 28, 2014

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

1 Chronicles 16:8

Related Topics: Name, Lord, People, Thankful, Thanksgiving, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Giving thanks is more than being thankful to God, it is letting others know of his gracious works so they too can come to know him as Father, Redeemer, and Victorious Lord. Then others can join their voices with our own in a chorus of thanksgiving from the hearts those God’s love has redeemed.

My Prayer…

Holy God, Almighty King, bless all those who serve you in difficult places today. I especially am thankful for all the missionaries in other cultures sharing the grace of Jesus with people who need to know you as Abba Father. Empower their words, protect their lives and families, and bless their efforts with fruit. Please help me to understand that true thankfulness involves sharing your grace with others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16

Open Mine Eyes To See

VERSE OF THE DAY

Psalm 119:18 (New Living Translation)

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Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

Widen my perspective to see the truth in your laws that you may teach me instructions of your law

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. The scriptures in the bible, contain, wonderful, truths, about life. But by far, the most wonderful thing, contained in the bible, is God’s love for us.

What Does Psalm 119:18 Mean? ►

Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.

Psalm 119:18(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

This lengthy but beautifully written Psalm has its entire focus on the Word of God, which contains the instructions of our Heavenly Father. How we need the Word of God, for it is our daily food, and it is refreshment for our souls. How we should treasure the Word of God, for it is our guide and teacher, our strength, and our defence. How we should read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God, for it is life and health, it is peace and light, it is joy and hope.

And as the Psalmist trawls the depth of its treasures, his whispered prayer is: “Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your Law.”

We are not only servants and students of the Word, but we are sons and daughters of its Author, and so that should stir our hearts to search the Scriptures daily to discover the truths in which the Lord desires to teach and train us, as well as the areas in which He seeks to guard and correct us. As His children, we should treasure His Word in our heart that we might not sin against Him, and as we reach for our Bible, our prayer should mirror that of the Psalmist: “Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your Law.”

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We need to ensure that our eyes are wide open to all that is in the Word as we saturate ourselves in His wonderful ways and reflect on the beauty of His person. We should crave for the milk of the Word so that we may grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and we should meditate upon the meat of the Word so that we may walk in spirit and truth and live in submission to the guiding of the Spirit.

Day by day, our prayer should be: “Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your Law.”

When our eyes are open and earnestly looking to Jesus, they are not searching out the things of this world. When our heart is gasping for the Lord, it is not lusting after the things of the flesh. But when our eyes are closed in disinterest or discouragement, our own imagination can be funnelled in to a wrong direction.

Let us look to the Lord in excitement and open our eyes in prayerful expectation that we will see the wonderful things that are written in Scripture and contemplate on the glories that are contained in the Word of God.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-119-18

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Psalm 119:18

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

From our perspective of grace and having been liberated from law-keeping as a means of justification and righteousness, this is a very fitting prayer. We can look around our world and see the anarchy and brutality when there is no principle of law undergirding the soul of a society. God’s law provided so many wonderful blessings, and can still bless us today if we will let it. But the greatest blessing of the O.T. Law is Jesus, in whom all of God’s promises find their fulfillment.

My Prayer…

Holy Father, thank you for your righteousness. I know that you will dispense justice and settle all injustice when you judge the earth. This gives me comfort because I know that through Jesus, you see me as your righteous child. My prayer today is that I can live in a way that brings honor to you and reflects the character of your Son when he walked this earth. In his name, Jesus my Lord and Messiah, I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

What Makes the Difference? | Psalm 119:18

What Makes the Difference? | Psalm 119:18

Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.

Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders.  Psalms 119:18 (The Message)

The new year faces each of us. I ask myself, “how will this year be different? How am I going to bear the cross? Will it be the same old stuff, or will I experience a spiritual breakthrough?” Instead of telling myself, “Lord, I don’t know how I am going to do this year,” I need to say “Lord, I can‘t wait to see how YOU do this!”

Let’s look back over our year together. In 2018 we’ve reflected upon the seven churches in Revelation, the four days that changed the world, our ethos: living in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, being a good neighbor, the life of the prophet Elijah, and filling up Christmas. It’s not about what we do, but who we are. It’s being God’s people, in whatever he asks us to do and wherever he asks us to go. When we walk with the Holy Spirit, in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus, we do what God wants us to do. It’s he himself who fills our life with goodness.

Let’s imagine a miracle in your life, something that credit can only be given to God. What needs to happen to make your relationship with God deeper and stronger? Take a moment to be quiet and listen for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. Pray for it. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). “If we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Stay Alert We’re In This Together

VERSE OF THE DAY

1 Peter 5:8-9 (New Living Translation)

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Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Stay aware and alert watch. Out for you predator and great enemy the devil. He prowls like a cannibal on the rounds like a ready lion looking for meat to devour.Stand firm and tall against him strong in your faith. Remember that you are not alone that your family of believers all over the world suffer like you also.

1 Peter Chapter 5

1 Peter 5 – For Shepherds and Sheep

Video for 1 Peter 5:


1 Peter 5 – For Shepherds and Sheep

A. Elders should be faithful shepherds.

1. (1) A call to elders.

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:

a. The elders who are among you I exhort: Peter will give a word of exhortation to the elders who are among the Christians reading this letter. These elders had special responsibilities that Peter addressed.

i. The idea of the elder came into church life from Jewish culture (Exodus 3:16, 12:21, and 19:7). The word “elder” simply speaks of the maturity and wisdom that an older person should have, making them qualified for leadership. In its application, it is more about wisdom and maturity than a specific age.

ii. It was the practice of Paul and Barnabas to appoint elders in the churches they had founded (Acts 14:23). There was also the development of the office of pastor, who was essentially a teaching elder (1 Timothy 5:17) who appointed and guided elders and other leaders (1 Timothy 3:1-13, 2 Timothy 2:2, Titus 1:5-9).

b. I who am a fellow elder: Peter was qualified to speak because he is a fellow elder. Though Peter was clearly the prominent disciple among the twelve, he claimed no special privilege or position, such as being the pope of the early church. Instead, Peter saw himself only as one fellow elder among all the elders in the church.

i. “It will always be our wisdom, dear friends, to put ourselves as much as we can into the position of those whom we address. It is a pity for anyone ever to seem to preach down to people; it is always better to be as nearly as possible on the same level as they are.” (Spurgeon)

c. A witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Peter was qualified to speak because he was a witness of Jesus’ sufferings when he saw Jesus’ torture and perhaps the crucifixion. He was also a partaker of Jesus’ glory, probably referring to when he saw the transfiguration of Jesus.

i. “He was with Christ in the garden, he was with him when he was apprehended, and he was with him in the high priest’s hall. Whether he followed him to the cross we know not.” (Clarke)

ii. “The gospels do not state that Peter was personally present at the crucifixion; only John is specifically said to have been there. Peter (and other apostles) may well have been among ‘all his acquaintances’ who observed the event from afar (Luke 23:49).” (Hiebert)

iii. Considering that Peter may have – or likely did – witness the sufferings of Jesus on the cross, the remembrance of that would make his exhortation to fellow elders all the more powerful. It would be as if he said, “You are leaders of the people for whom Jesus Christ suffered and died, and I saw Him suffer.”

iv. Yet we also consider that many saw Jesus suffer, and it did not affect them the way it affected Peter and others who saw with faith. “There were thousands who were eyewitnesses of our Lord’s sufferings who, nevertheless, saw not the true meaning of them. They saw the Great Sufferer besmeared with his own blood; but into his wounds they never looked by faith. Thousands saw the Savior die, but they simply went their way back to Jerusalem, some of them beating on their breasts, but none of them believing in him, or really knowing the secret of that wondrous death.” (Spurgeon)

2. (2-3) What leaders in the church must do.

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

a. Shepherd the flock of God: This was the first aspect of leadership. Peter seemed to remember Jesus’ three-part commission to him in John 21:15-17. In that passage Jesus told Peter to show his love for Jesus by feeding and tending Jesus’ sheep.

i. A spiritual shepherd does his job in two main ways. The first job is to feed the sheep. Jesus emphasized this to Peter in John 21:15-17. Another aspect of the job is to tend the sheep, which means protecting, guiding, nurturing, and caring for the sheep.

ii. The most important “tool” to shepherd the flock of God is a heart like the heart of Jesus, one that is willing to give one’s life for the sheep, and who genuinely cares about and is interested in them (John 10:11-14).

b. Serving as overseers: For Peter the job of being a shepherd could also be understood as being an overseer. This word for leadership comes to the church from Greek culture, and it meant someone who watches over, a manager, or a supervisor (Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:1-2, Titus 1:7).

c. Not by compulsion but willingly: Shepherds should not do their job by compulsion, as if they were being forced into a task that they really hated. Instead they should serve God and His people willingly, from a heart that loves God’s people as a shepherd loves sheep and wants to serve them.

i. “None of God’s soldiers are mercenaries or pressed men: they are all volunteers. We must have a shepherd’s heart if we would do a shepherd’s work.” (Meyer)

d. Not for dishonest gain but eagerly: Spiritual shepherds should not do their job for dishonest gain. The gain is dishonest because it was their motive for serving as shepherds. Instead, they should serve eagerly, willing to serve apart from financial compensation.

i. “Could the office of a bishop, in those early days, and in the time of persecution, be a lucrative office? Does not the Spirit of God lead the apostle to speak these things rather for posterity than for that time?” (Clarke)

e. Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock: Shepherds should not do their job as lords, because the sheep do not belong to them. The sheep are entrusted to them. Therefore shepherds are to serve by being examples, not dictators.

i. Nor as being lords shows that in the mind of Peter, shepherds had significant authority in the early church. If the office of shepherd was so powerless that a shepherd didn’t rule and lead, then there was little potential for being lords. Yet because Peter gives this warning, it shows there was the potential for lording over.

ii. The sobering fact is that pastors are examples to the flock, whether they intend to be or not. It is interesting to see how a congregation takes on the personality of its pastor in both good ways and bad ways.

iii. Those entrusted to you: “That noun means ‘a lot,’ and then ‘that which is assigned by lot,’ a portion or a share of something… God has assigned the various portions of His precious possession to their personal care.” (Hiebert) The idea is that God has entrusted the responsibility of the spiritual care of certain individuals to particular shepherds.

3. (4) The reward for leaders in the church.

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

a. When the Chief Shepherd appears: Peter reminded shepherds in the church that they would answer one day to their Chief Shepherd, who will want to know what they did with His flock.

i. It is important for shepherds – pastors – to realize that they lead Jesus’ sheep. He is the Shepherd, He is the Overseer (1 Peter 2:25). In this sense, the Christian shepherd doesn’t work for the sheep, he works for the Chief Shepherd.

b. You will receive a crown of glory: Faithful shepherds are promised a crown of glory, but not like the crown of leaves given to ancient Olympic champions. This crown will not fade away.

i. Crowns are not only for shepherds, but also for everyone who was faithful to Jesus and who did what He called them to do (1 Corinthians 9:25, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12).

B. Everyone should be humble and watchful.

1. (5-7) A promise for the humble.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

a. Likewise you younger people: Peter began this word of humility to you younger people, in contrast to the elders he had just addressed. But he soon realized that it is of application to all of you. This word to be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility applies to everyone, but perhaps especially to the young.

b. Clothed with humility: Humility is demonstrated by submission. It is the ability to cheerfully put away our own agenda for God’s, even if God’s agenda is expressed through another person.

i. Yes, all of you means that this is for all, both elders and “youngers.” “Strive all to serve each other; let the pastors strive to serve the people, and the people the pastors; and let there be no contention, but who shall do most to oblige and profit all the rest.” (Clarke)

c. Be clothed with humility: The phrase “be clothed” translates a rare word that referred to a slave putting on an apron before serving, even as Jesus did before washing the disciple’s feet (John 13:4).

i. Some marks of humility:

· The willingness to perform the lowest and littlest services for Jesus’ sake.

· Consciousness of our own inability to do anything apart from God.

· The willingness to be ignored of men.

· Not so much self-hating or depreciation as self-forgetfulness, and being truly others-centered instead of self-centered.

d. For “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”: Peter quoted Proverbs 3:34 to show that humility is essential to our relationship with God. If we want to live in God’s grace (His unmerited favor) then we must lay aside our pride and be humble – not only to Him but also to one another.

i. Resists: “The verb vividly pictures God as one who places Himself in battle array against such individuals.” (Hiebert)

ii. Grace and pride are eternal enemies. Pride demands that God bless me in light of what I think I deserve. Grace deals with me on the basis what is in God, not on the basis of anything in me.

iii. “Pride is one of the most detestable of sins; yet does it find lodgment in earnest souls, though we often speak of it by some lighter name. We call it – independence, self-reliance. We do not always discern it in the hurt feeling, which retires into itself, and nurses its sorrows in a sulk… We are proud of our humility, vain of our meekness; and, putting on the saintliest look, we wonder whether all around are not admiring us for our lowliness.” (Meyer)

iv. “If you are willing to be nothing God will make something of you. The way to the top of the ladder is to begin at the lowest round. In fact in the church of God, the way up is to go down; but he that is ambitious to be at the top will find himself before long at the bottom.” (Spurgeon)

e. That He may exalt you in due time: If God has us in a humble place at the present time, we must submit to God’s plan. He knows the due time to exalt us, though we often think we know that time better than God does.

f. Casting all your care upon Him: True humility is shown by our ability to cast our care upon God. It is proud presumption to take things into our own worry and care about things that God has promised to take care of (Matthew 6:31-34).

i. If we would heed the command of 1 Peter 5:6 and truly humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we would have far fewer cares to cast upon Him as invited in 1 Peter 5:7. Worries about covetousness, ambition, popularity, all evaporate under the command to humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.

ii. Spurgeon used the illustration of a man who came to move your furniture, but he carried a huge and heavy backpack of his own. He complains that he finds it difficult to do the job of moving your furniture; would you not suggest that he would find it easier if he laid his own burden aside so that he could carry yours? In the same way, we cannot do God’s work when we are weighed down by our own burdens and worries. Cast them upon Him, and then take up the Lord’s burden – which is light burden, and a yoke that fits us perfectly.

iii. There are many anxieties that we cannot cast upon God, and Peter’s word here purifies us of these ungodly anxieties.

· “I am worried that I will never be rich.”

· “I am burdened that others enjoy sinful pleasures and I do not.”

· “I am worried that I am not famous or even popular.”

· “I am burdened that I cannot get revenge on those who wronged me.”

iv. “All cares of covetousness, anger, pride, ambition, and wilfulness must be cast to the winds; it would be criminal to dream of casting them upon God. Do not pray about them, except that God will redeem you from them. Let your desires be kept within a narrow circle, and your anxieties will be lessened at a stroke.” (Spurgeon)

v. Casting is a rather energetic word. He didn’t say, “Lay all your care upon Him,” because we have to do it more energetically than that. The idea is, “throw it away from you.” The pressures and the burdens of your life are so heavy and difficult that it takes great concentration of effort to put them on Jesus.

vi. This work of casting can be so difficult that we need to use two hands to do it: the hand of prayer and the hand of faith. “Prayer tells God what the care is, and asks God to help, while faith believes that God can and will do it. Prayer spreads the letter of trouble and grief before the Lord, and opens all its budget, and then faith cries, ‘I believe that God cares, and cares for me; I believe that he will bring me out of my distress, and make it promote his own glory.’” (Spurgeon)

g. For He cares for you: At their best moments the religions of ancient Greek culture could imagine a God who was good. Yet they never came to the place where they believed in a God who cared. The God of the Bible – the God who is really there – is a God who cares for you.

i. “It is the belief that God cares that marks off Christianity from all other religions, which under all varieties of form are occupied with the task of making God care, of awakening by sacrifice or prayer or act the slumbering interest of the Deity.” (Masterman, cited in Hiebert)

ii. We often judge the parents by the children. When a child of God is full of worry and fear, doesn’t the world have reason to believe that their Father in heaven doesn’t care for them? Our worry and fear reflects poorly – and unfairly – upon God.

2. (8-9) Be watchful for the devil.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

a. Your adversary the devil walks about: Peter exhorts us to remain clear-headed (sober) and watchful (vigilant), because Satan has not yet been bound and restrained for 1,000 years as Revelation 20:1-2 says he will be. At the present time, the devil walks about.

i. “He walketh about-he has access to you everywhere; he knows your feelings and your propensities, and informs himself of all your circumstances; only God can know more and do more than he, therefore your care must be cast upon God.” (Clarke)

ii. The devil certainly walks about; he is a finite being and can only be in one place at one time, yet his effort, energy, and associates enable him to extend his influence all over the world and in every arena of life.

b. Like a roaring lion: For Christians, Satan is a lion who may roar but who has been de-fanged at the cross (Colossians 2:15). Yet the sound of his roar – his deceptive lies – are still potent and he has the power to devour souls and rob Christians of effectiveness.

i. Psalm 91:3 suggests that Satan may come against us like a fowler, one who captures birds. The fowler is always quiet and secretive, never wanting to reveal his presence. 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan can come as an angel of light, appearing glorious, good, and attractive. Yet other times, Peter tells us, Satan comes against us like a roaring lion, loud and full of intimidation.

· He roars through persecution.

· He roars through strong temptation.

· He roars through blasphemies and accusations against God.

ii. We note Satan’s goal: seeking whom he may devour. He isn’t just looking to lick or nibble on his prey; he wants to devour. “He can never be content till he sees the believer utterly devoured. He would rend him in pieces, and break his bones and utterly destroy him if he could. Do not, therefore, indulge the thought, that the main purpose of Satan is to make you miserable. He is pleased with that, but that is not his ultimate end. Sometimes he may even make you happy, for he hath dainty poisons sweet to the taste which he administers to God’s people. If he feels that our destruction can be more readily achieved by sweets than by bitters, he certainly would prefer that which would best effect his end.” (Spurgeon)

c. Resist him, steadfast in the faith: The secret of spiritual warfare is simple, steadfast resistance. As we are steadfast in the faith, we resist the devil lies and threats and intimidation.

i. “Scripture urges believers to flee from various evils (1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22), but nowhere are they advised to flee from the devil. That would be a futile effort.” (Hiebert)

ii. Resist comes from two ancient Greek words: stand and against. Peter tells us to stand against the devil. Satan can be set running by the resistance of the lowliest believer who comes in the authority of what Jesus did on the cross.

iii. “Resist. Be more prayerful every time he is more active. He will soon give it up, if he finds that his attacks drive you to Christ. Often has Satan been nothing but a big black dog to drive Christ’s sheep nearer to the Master.” (Spurgeon)

d. Knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world: We also take comfort in knowing that we are never alone in our spiritual warfare. Our brothers and sisters in Jesus have fought, and are fighting, the same battles.

i. “The outlook is on the whole conflict of the saints. It is seen as one. No soul is fighting alone. Each one is at once supporting, and supported by, all the rest.” (Morgan)

3. (10-11) A prayer for their spiritual strengthening.

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

a. May the God of all grace… perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you: Knowing the suffering and danger Christians face, Peter can only conclude with prayer. He asks God to do His work of perfecting, establishing, strengthening, and settling.

i. These things are God’s work in us and through us. Peter personally knew the futility of trying to face suffering and danger in one’s own strength. His own failure taught him the need for constant reliance on God’s work in our lives, so he prays for his dear Christian friends.

ii. After you have suffered a while: We almost want to ask Peter, “Why did you say that?” But the truth remains. We are only called… to His eternal glory… after you have suffered a while. We wish we were called to His eternal glory on the “no suffering” plan. But God uses suffering to perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us.

iii. We are called us to His eternal glory; but what does this glory entail?

· It is the glory of purified character.

· It is the glory of perfected humanity.

· It is the glory of complete victory.

· It is the glory of being honored by a King.

· It is the glory of reflecting the glory of God.

· It is the glory of the immediate, constant presence of God.

· It is the glory of the enjoyment of God Himself.

b. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever: The God who can do this great work in our lives is certainly worthy of our praise.

4. (12-14) Conclusion to the letter.

By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

a. By Silvanus… I have written to you: This portion was probably written by Peter’s own hand, after he (according to the custom of the day) had dictated the bulk of the letter to Silvanus. This man Silvanus was probably the same one known as Silas in many of Paul’s letters.

b. This is the true grace of God in which you stand: Peter summed up his message as an exhortation to understand and recognize the true grace of God in which you stand. We must understand not only what God’s grace is, but that grace is our place of present standing before Him.

c. She who is in Babylon… greets you: She probably refers to the church, which in the ancient Greek is in the feminine. Peter apparently wrote from Babylon. This may be the literal city of Babylon (which still existed in Peter’s day), or it may be a symbolic way of referring to either Rome or Jerusalem. These were two cities that in Peter’s day were famous for their wickedness and spiritual rebellion, just like ancient Babylon was. In any regard, this was one church greeting another.

i. There was of course the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates. There was also a place known as Babylon in Egypt, and it was a Roman military fortress near the present city of Cairo. Yet many think that Peter meant “Babylon” in a symbolic sense to represent the city of Rome. As a Biblical concept, “Babylon” as the city of this world stands in contrast to “Jerusalem” as the city of God. He may have meant Rome as Babylon as “the center of worldliness.”

d. So does Mark my son: This verse connects Mark with Peter, apparently the same Mark of Acts 12:12, 12:25, and 15:37-39. When the style and perspective of the Gospel of Mark are taken into account, many believe that Peter was Mark’s primary source of information for his gospel.

e. Greet one another with a kiss of love: Peter concludes with a command to greet and display God’s love to one another, and by pronouncing a blessing of peace. These two things – love for each other and peace – are especially necessary for those who suffer and live in dangerous times.

i. “It should be noted that the apostles did not originate that form of greeting; the custom already prevailed. They sanctioned its use as a sincere expression of Christian love.” (Hiebert)

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

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What Does 1 Peter 5:8 Mean? ►

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

We journey through our Christian life from grace to glory.. from justification to glorification – from the cross to the crown and as we travel through life there are many lessons that we all must learn and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. The Word of God provides all the instructions that we need for life and godliness for our faith rests on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself being the chief Cornerstone.

On our journey through life we are called to be humble and hopeful and to show a loving concern for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ – but we are also called to be on our guard.. and to be watchful in this increasingly godless society. We are called to be sober, serious-minded and to remain spiritually alert to the wiles of the evil one.. because our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Satan can dress himself up in many guises and disguises. He slithers into the lives of believers as the evil serpent, seducing those that are unprepared for his malicious advances.. and causing many to follow after worldly pursuits or fall into moral corruption. He sometimes disguises himself as an angel of light.. using doctrines of demons and a multiplicity of false gospel messages to cause many to fall into spiritual adultery.

He comes as the accuser of the saints and as the destroyer of nations – for he is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning – and he comes as a roaring lion seeking to ship-wreck the faith of many Christians through fear, anxiety, worry and depression – weakening our witness; rendering us useless as ambassadors for Christ and stunting our Christian growth.

No surprise that we receive such a stern and vital warning against worry and anxiety and such a strong admonition to be spiritually alert, sober-minded.. vigilant and watchful – knowing that the devil is an evil adversary, who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking an opportunity to devour us.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, keep me humble in spirit and help me to cast all my cares and worries upon You.. knowing that Satan is prowling around seeking to destroy my witness and cause me to stumble. I pray that I may take this warning seriously and rely on You in all things, so that I may not stumble and fall but stand fast in this evil day. AMEN.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/1-peter-5-8

QUESTION

Why are we supposed to be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8)?

ANSWER

First Peter 5:8 reminds us to “be sober, be vigilant” (NKJV). The verse explains why Christians must live this way: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Although the devil cannot take away our salvation, he attempts to damage our faith and ministry. His schemes seek to shake our trust in God, affect our submission to Him, and destroy our testimony. It is important to remain sober and focus on the truth as God makes us “strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).

Our salvation is secure. John 6:39 tells us that Jesus will not lose a single person whom God has entrusted to Him. Although Satan cannot separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39), he actively attempts to affect the rest of our lives. The Greek word for “devour” means to “destroy” or to “swallow.” The devil wants to shake our faith and make us ineffective followers of Christ, which is why it is important to be sober and vigilant.

Peter’s command for us to be sober and vigilant echoes Jesus’ command to him in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Jesus told the sleeping disciples just before His arrest (Mark 14:38). Satan desired to “sift” the disciples like wheat (Luke 22:31), prompting Jesus’ prayers on their behalf (verse 32) and the exhortation to watch and pray. Be sober. Be vigilant.

Being sober and being vigilant are closely connected. The call to be sober is found in multiple places (1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 2:2, 6; 1 Peter 4:7) as is the call to be vigilant or alert (Mark 13:33; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 1:13). The term sober literally means “free from intoxicating influences.” To be sober means to not allow ourselves to be influenced by anything that leads us away from God’s truth and sound judgment. Sobriety is a state of being. To be vigilant means “to keep careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.” Vigilance requires action. A vigilant person actively pays attention to what is vying for his attention and what affects his heart and mind. We must keep a clear mind as we vigilantly keep watch over our lives and the world around us.

Ephesians 6 also reminds us to be sober and to be vigilant, “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10–18). We must live aware that we have an enemy—yet we do not need to live in fear of him. Rather, the armor of God helps us stay alert and stand firm against the devil’s schemes. Our faith in the truth of the gospel protects us, and knowing and applying God’s Word give us what we need to combat our enemy.

God’s truth makes us stand firm in our faith and helps us carry on with a clear mind. Instead of allowing our thinking to be clouded with lies, foolishness, feelings, and empty pleasures, we should be sober and vigilant, keeping our mind on what is true and eternal. We can choose to abstain from practices that would lead into sin. Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable . . . excellent or praiseworthy.” These things edify and strengthen us.

We have a spiritual enemy, likened to a rampaging lion, who continually seeks our destruction, but we do not have to live in fear. Instead, we can be sober and vigilant. We can live godly lives and experience the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22; Romans 14:17). We do not need to be tossed to and fro by deceit (Ephesians 4:14) but can remain firm in the promise that He who is in us is greater than the one who seeks our demise (1 John 4:4).

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1 Peter: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament by Karen Jobes

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What does 1 Peter 5:8 mean?

Peter continues a list of instructions to Christians as he prepares to end his letter.

How should believers live, believing in a real devil: a spiritual enemy with an agenda to bring harm to Christians? Peter’s answer to that question begins this verse: Be sober-minded. Be alert. It’s the third time in this letter Peter has urged his readers to be clear minded (1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7). It matters that we are paying attention, with serious minds, to what’s going on in our lives and in the world around us.

Peter writes that there is danger beyond the physical persecution some of his readers were facing. There is a deep agenda, far beyond that of the powerful men who might inflict that persecution. The devil, not the men or women who might harm us, is the real enemy of a Christian believer.

Our enemy the devil desires to devour us, to cause real and lasting harm. The Greek word here is katapiein, literally meaning to “swallow,” or to “drown.” Peter has made it clear that our place in eternity with our Father is secure. The devil cannot take that from us, but he does seek to damage our faith. He wants fear to shake our submission to the Father, and lies to distort our understanding of God’s goodness. Since he cannot touch the believer’s soul, Satan seeks to leave us as weak and ineffective servants of our King.

In the next verse, Peter will describe how to fight that enemy. Notice, also, what he doesn’t tell Christians to do. He doesn’t say to live in fear. Nor does he say to live as if the reality of the devil is unimportant. We are not instructed to ignore the devil, nor to cower in the shadows.

Context Summary

1 Peter 5:1–11 gives specific instructions to elders about how to lead the flock of God willingly, eagerly, and by their own example. All of us must live in humility toward each other and toward God, who opposes the proud. In humility, we cast our anxieties on the Father who cares for us. In alertness, we are to remain clear-minded, looking out for our enemy the devil who seeks to destroy us. We resist him by focusing on staying firm in our faith and trusting God to keep His promises.

Chapter Context

Peter concludes his letter to the scattered Christians in Asia Minor with specific instructions. Primarily, these are targeted at those in the role of elder, about how to lead. He also provides counsel for all believers on living in humility toward each other and toward God. In humility, we wait and trust God to exalt us in His time. In humility, we cast our cares on Him. But we’re also called to remain alert, watching out for the devil and resisting him by focusing on staying firm in our faith. After this brief life of suffering, our God will bring our suffering to an end and make us strong forever.

Delight Yourself In God

VERSE OF THE DAY

Psalm 37:4 (New Living Translation)

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Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Take pride in knowing God and will treat and honor you like a queen giving you your hearts desires giving honor in you

PSALM 37 – WISDOM OVER WORRY

Videos for Psalm 37:

Psalm 37 – Wisdom Over Worry

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This psalm is simply titled A Psalm of David. Psalm 37:25 tells us that it is David in his older years, giving wisdom in the pattern of a song. This psalm is roughly acrostic in arrangement, with the lines arranged with Hebrew sentences that begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In style this is a wisdom psalm, directed not to God but to man, teaching after the manner of the Book of Proverbs.

A. Counsel for the afflicted people of God.

1. (1-2) Don’t worry about the ungodly.

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

a. Do not fret because of evildoers: It is a common thing for the righteous to fret or be envious of the wicked. Asaph was bothered by this problem in Psalm 73, wondering why the wicked often experienced so much prosperity.

i. “The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.’” (Boice)

ii. “To fret is to worry, to have the heart-burn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law-breakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Morgan wrote of this worry, this fret: “It is wrong; it is harmful; it is needless. Let the trusting wait. Events will justify the action.”

iv. “It is as foolish as it is wicked to repine or be envious at the prosperity of others. Whether they are godly or ungodly, it is God who is the dispenser of the bounty they enjoy; and, most assuredly, he has a right to do what he will with his own. To be envious in such a case, is to arraign the providence of God.” (Clarke)

b. They shall soon be cut down like the grass: David gives the same answer Asaph came to in Psalm 73, understanding that any prosperity experienced by the workers of iniquity was only temporary. Grass is green for a season, and so is the herb – but they both wither quickly.

i. “In the Middle East the lush spring vegetation may lose its beauty in a few days after a hot, dry desert wind (hamsin) has parched the land.” (VanGemeren)

ii. We think of a wicked man eating a magnificent dinner while a godly man goes hungry. The wicked man eats anything and everything he wants, and his table is loaded as he enjoys his meal. Then we see the bigger picture: he eats his last meal on death row and in a moment will face terrible judgment. Now, with larger perspective, the godly man doesn’t envy or worry about the wicked man. “Evil men instead of being envied, are to be viewed with horror and aversion; yet their loaded tables, and gilded trappings, are too apt to fascinate our poor half-opened eyes.” (Spurgeon)

iii. “The test is found in Time. All the apparent prosperity of the wicked is transient; it passes and perishes, as do the wicked themselves.” (Morgan)

2. (3-4) Put your trust and delight in the LORD.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

a. Trust in the LORD, and do good: Instead of worrying and envying, David counseled the man or woman of God to simply trust God and do good for His glory. It is remarkable how quickly we can get distracted from the simple work of trusting God and doing good. Looking at the seeming prosperity of the wicked is one way we are often distracted.

i. “Faith cures fretting. Sight is cross-eyed, and views things only as they seem, hence her envy; faith has clearer optics to behold things as they really are, hence her peace.” (Spurgeon)

b. Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness: David also counseled the man or woman of God to leave aside worry and envy by simply enjoying the blessings God gives. He provided Israel a land to enjoy, and His faithfulness was like food for them every day.

c. Delight yourself also in the LORD: David advised the man or woman of God to replace worry and envy with a conscious delight in the LORD. This means to cheer one’s heart and mind by considering and by faith receiving the multiple blessings of God.

i. Delight yourself: Several writers explain and apply this idea.

· “Expect all thy happiness from him, and seek it in him.” (Clarke)

· “It includes a deliberate redirection of one’s emotions…[such as] Paul and Silas in prison, singing as well as praying.” (Kidner)

· “We cannot delight thus without effort. We must withdraw our eager desires from the things of earth, fastening and fixing them on Him.” (Meyer)

· “In a certain sense imitate the wicked; they delight in their portion – take care to delight in yours, and so far from envying you will pity them.” (Spurgeon)

· “The reason many apparent Christians do not delight in God is that they do not know him very well, and the reason they do not know him very well is that they do not spend time with him.” (Boice)

ii. “Do not think first of the desires of thy heart, but think first of delighting thyself in thy God. If thou hast accepted him as thy Lord, he is thine; so delight in him, and then he will give thee the desires of thy heart.” (Spurgeon)

iii. We notice that David wrote delight yourself also in the LORD. The word also is important, reminding us that there are legitimate joys and pleasures in life outside the life of the spirit. The believer who truly trusts God has the capability to also find true delight in the LORD.

iv. “Again, he delights in you; I speak to such of whom this may be supposed. And it is indefinitely said, ‘His delights were with the sons of men,’ Proverbs 8:31. Think what he is, and what you are; and at once, both wonder and yield.” (Howe, cited in Spurgeon)

d. And He shall give you the desires of your heart: This is a wonderful and even safe promise. The one who truly delights in the LORD will find his heart and desires changed, steadily aligning with God’s own good desires for his life. Thus we see that finding delight in God is a key to a happy, satisfied life.

i. This shows that God intends to fulfill the heart desires of the redeemed man or woman of God. To be sure, it is possible for such desires to be clouded by sin or selfishness; yet even when so clouded there is almost always a godly root to the desire that is entirely in the will of God. The man or woman of God should find his or her rest in this, and leave aside worry and envy.

ii. “They said of Martin Luther as he walked the streets, ‘There comes a man that can have anything of God he likes.’ You ask the reason of it. Because Luther delighted himself in his God.” (Spurgeon)

iii. The principle of Psalm 37:4 is the foundation for a principle sometimes called Christian Hedonism. Normally, we think of hedonism as the idolatry of pleasure. The term Christian Hedonism has been used to describe a righteous pursuit of satisfaction and pleasure, one that is rooted in a delighted focus upon God.

iv. Most of all, it shows that when we delight ourselves in the LORD, He gives us our delight. If He is our delight, He gives us more of Himself. “Longings fixed on Him fulfill themselves.” (Maclaren)

3. (5-6) Trust God to protect and promote you.

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

a. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him: Here David explained what it means to delight one’s self in the LORD, as described in the previous verse. It means to commit one’s way to Him and to truly trust in the LORD. It means to find peace, protection, and satisfaction in a surrendered focus upon God.

i. Commit your way: “The Hebrew for commit is literally ‘roll’, as though getting rid of a burden (cf. Joshua 5:9). But it comes to be used simply as a synonym for ‘entrust’ (Proverbs 16:3) or ‘trust’; cf. Psalm 22:8.” (Kidner)

b. And He shall bring it to pass: The one who has this delighted focus upon God will see Him bring these promises to pass. Fame and fortune are not promised, but the true and deep desires of the heart find their fulfillment.

i. “The more we fret in this case, the worse for us. Our strength is to sit still. The Lord will clear the slandered. If we look to his honour, he will see to ours.” (Spurgeon)

c. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light: As God fulfills these desires of heart, the righteousness of the man or woman of God is revealed, shining forth in light like the noonday sun.

i. He shall bring forth your righteousness: “To the view of the world; from which it hath hitherto seemed to be hid or eclipsed by reproaches, and by grievous calamities.” (Poole)

ii. As the light: “It shall be as visible to men as the light of the sun, and that at noon-day.” (Poole)

iii. “As God said in the beginning, ‘Let there be light, and there was light;’ so he shall say, Let thy innocence appear, and it will appear as suddenly and as evident as the light was at the beginning.” (Clarke)

4. (7-8) Find rest in the God who deals with the wicked.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

a. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: Because God has promised to faithfully take care of those who put their trust in Him, we can rest in the LORD. We can wait patiently for Him instead of fretting and fearing that God has forgotten us or intends evil for us.

i. Rest in the LORD speaks of a particular kind of rest – the rest of silence, ceasing from words of self-defense. The idea is that we will not speak to vindicate ourselves; we will trust in God to protect us.

ii. “Do not murmur or repine at his dealings, but silently and quietly submit to his will, and adore his judgments, and, as follows, wait for his help.” (Poole)

iii. “If the spotless Lamb of God was silent, before those who were divesting him of his honours, and robbing him of his life, ‘silent’ resignation cannot but become one who suffers for his sins.” (Horne)

b. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret – it only causes harm: David wisely advised the man or woman of God to give up anger, wrath, and worry (fret). They accomplish nothing except harm. They are the opposite of delighting oneself in the LORD and patiently waiting upon Him.

i. Cease from anger: “Especially anger against the arrangements of Providence, and jealousies of the temporary pleasures of those who are so soon to be banished from all comfort. Anger anywhere is madness, here it is aggravated insanity.” (Spurgeon)

5. (9-11) Trust that God will punish evildoers and reward the meek.

For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

a. Those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth: This is another reason for our delight in and rest upon the LORD. We can trust His promise that He will take care of His own not only in this world, but in the world to come. In contrast, evildoers shall be cut off.

i. “I have frequently remarked to you that, although the wolf is very strong and fierce, and the sheep is very weak and timid, yet there are more sheep in the world than there are wolves; and the day will come when the last wolf will be dead, and then the sheep shall cover the plains and feed upon the hills. Weak as the righteous often are, they ‘shall inherit the land’ when the wicked shall have been cut off from the earth.” (Spurgeon)

b. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more: The evildoers have their day of prosperity, but it is short-lived. Soon the wicked who are the famous and praised in this world will be of no notice or standing at all (you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more).

i. “The shortness of life makes us see that the glitter of the wicked great [ones] is not true gold.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “The whole duration of the world itself is but ‘a little while’ in the sight of him whose hope is full of immortality.” (Horne)

c. But the meek shall inherit the earth: For emphasis, David repeated the idea of God’s care for and reward to the meek. They, not the evildoers of this world, shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

i. “The ‘meek’ are they who bear their own adversities, and the prosperity of their enemies, without envy, anger, or complaint.” (Horne)

ii. “The context gives the best possible definition of the meek: they are those who choose the way of patient faith instead of self-assertion.” (Kidner)

iii. The meek shall inherit the earth: Jesus quoted this line in the Sermon on the Mount, in the third beatitude (Matthew 5:5). “It is right to say that Psalm 37 is an exposition of the third beatitude, even though it was written a thousand years before Jesus began his public ministry. It unfolds the character of the meek or trusting person in the face of the apparent prosperity of the wicked.” (Boice)

B. The triumph of the godly and the passing of the wicked.

1. (12-15) With a laugh, God defeats the wicked.

The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.

a. The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth: Earlier in this psalm, David contrasted the fate of the righteous with the fate of the wicked. Now he considered the inevitable conflict between the righteous and the wicked – how, without reason, the wicked plots against the just. Their gnashing of teeth shows the depth of their anger and hatred.

i. “The wicked show by their gestures what they would do if they could; if they cannot gnaw they will gnash: if they may not bite they will at least bark.” (Spurgeon)

b. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming: For all the plotting and gnashing of teeth of the wicked, they accomplish nothing against the Lord and His people. God simply laughs at them, knowing their end.

i. “If God can laugh at the wicked, shouldn’t we be able at least to refrain from being agitated by them?” (Boice)

ii. For He sees that his day is coming: “The evil man does not see how close his destruction is upon his heels; he boasts of crushing others when the foot of justice is already uplifted to trample him as the mire of the streets.” (Spurgeon)

c. The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow: The wicked plot and gnash their teeth, but they do not stop there. They work to carry out their plots and their fierce anger against God’s people. Even so, God shall protect His own and their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

i. “Like Haman they shall be hanged upon the gallows built by themselves for Mordecai. Hundreds of times has this been the case. Saul, who sought to slay David, fell on his own sword.” (Spurgeon)

2. (16-17) God’s blessing upon the humble righteous.

A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the LORD upholds the righteous.

a. A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked: Since whatever the wicked has cannot last, the little that the righteous man has is better than all that the wicked possess. A God-trusting, righteous life is the best long-term investment strategy.

i. “His blessing can multiply a mite into a talent, but his curse will shrink a talent to a mite.” (Horne)

ii. “A little blest is better than a great deal curst; a little blest is better than a world enjoyed; a pound blest is better than a thousand curst; a black crust blest is better than a feast curst; the gleanings blest are better than the whole harvest curst; a drop of mercy blest is better than a sea of mercy curst.” (Brooks, cited in Spurgeon)

b. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous: The reward of the wicked is to have their own arms broken. The reward of the righteous is to be upheld by God’s own arms.

3. (18-20) The lasting good of the upright.

The LORD knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the LORD,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.

a. The LORD knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever: The apparent reward of the wicked is temporary and fleeting. The inheritance of the upright is eternal. All this is more reason to avoid worry or envy of the wicked in their seeming (yet temporary) prosperity.

i. For the LORD knows the days of the upright: “He is acquainted with all his circumstances, severings, and ability to bear them; and he will either shorten his trials or increase his power.” (Clarke)

b. In the days of famine they shall be satisfied: God can even find a way to provide for His own when others have nothing.

c. Into smoke they shall vanish away: The success, fame, and prosperity of the wicked is as temporary as smoke. It never has any real substance and soon vanishes completely.

i. Into smoke they shall vanish away: Adam Clarke noted that some ancient manuscripts render this line differently. “If we follow the Hebrew, it intimates that they shall consume as the fat of lambs. That is, as the fat is wholly consumed in sacrifices by the fire on the altar, so shall they consume away in the fire of God’s wrath.”

4. (21-22) Blessing and cursing.

The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,
But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

a. The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives: David knew that the difference between the wicked and the righteous was not only found in what they believed and in whom they trusted. The difference was also often seen in their conduct. The wicked are takers, borrowing and not repaying. The righteous are givers, full of mercy.

i. Does not repay: “May refuse to do it, because he is a wicked man; or be unable to do it, because he is reduced to beggary.” (Clarke)

b. Those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth: The promise of earth-inheritance is repeated a third time. This is a blessing for the righteous, while the wicked find themselves cursed by the LORD and cut off.

5. (23-24) God’s guidance and support for the good man.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

a. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: The reward for the righteous is not only in the age to come. In the present day, God guides the steps of a good man. As he seeks the LORD and delights in Him, he finds his life proves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

i. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: “There is nothing for good in the text. Geber is the original word, and it properly signifies a strong man, a conqueror or hero; and it appears to be used here to show, that even the most powerful must be supported by the Lord, otherwise their strength and courage will be of little avail.” (Clarke)

ii. “This was emphatically true of the man Christ, whose steps Jehovah established, and in whose way he delighted.” (Horne)

b. And He delights in his way: Another great and present benefit for the righteous man or woman is the knowledge that God delights in him. This is especially clear for the believer under the New Covenant who knows and experiences a standing in grace, having been justified by faith (Romans 5:1-2).

c. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand: David described a third great benefit for the righteous man or woman who trusts in the LORD. Though he may at times fall (in the sense of stumbling), he will not fall away – that is, shall not be utterly cast down. This is not because of his own internal strength or goodness, but because the LORD upholds him.

C. Wisdom from a man after God’s heart.

1. (25-26) A testimony of God’s blessing and care for the righteous.

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.

a. I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread: David gave a testimony from his own experience. He noted that God cared for those who trusted in Him and walked in His righteousness. They were not forsaken and their descendants were also blessed.

i. This was David’s testimony after many years (I have been young, and now am old). Seeing God’s faithfulness to His people, David wanted a younger generation to also trust in Him, learning from his wisdom.

ii. David knew that among his ancestors were some who left Israel, fearful in a time of famine (Ruth 1). When they returned after several disastrous years in Moab, they found the people of Bethlehem had been provided for. God knew how to take care of those who trusted in Him in times of famine, and has done so since then.

iii. One way that God provides for the righteous and their descendants is through the ethic of hard work that belongs to the redeemed, who know that all things should be done heartily, as unto the LORD – including working for a living.

b. I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread: This statement is troublesome to some, because they have seen or experienced instances where godly men or women – or their offspring – have been in famine, extreme poverty, or reduced to begging.

i. We first note that this psalm is a wisdom psalm, very much like Proverbs. In the Bible’s wisdom literature, general principles are often presented in the absolute when they are intended to be understood as general or even overwhelming principles – understanding that there can be exceptions.

ii. We also note that David simply wrote of his experience. He did not write that this was an absolute principle, but his own observation.

iii. Some, like Adam Clarke, had the same experience and observation: “I believe this to be literally true in all cases. I am now grey-headed myself; I have travelled in different countries, and have had many opportunities of seeing and conversing with religious people in all situations in life; and I have not, to my knowledge, seen one instance to the contrary. I have seen no righteous man forsaken, nor any children of the righteous begging their bread. God puts this honour upon all that fear him; and thus careful is he of them, and of their posterity.”

iv. Others, like Charles Spurgeon, did not have the same experience and observation: “It is not my observation just as it stands, for I have relieved the children of undoubtedly good men, who have appealed to me as common [beggars]. But this does not cast a doubt upon the observation of David.”

v. “And it has been my unhappy lot, within these very walls, to have to minister relief to the unworthy and reprobate sons of Christian ministers, about whose piety I could entertain no doubt, and some of whom, are now in heaven. These good men’s children have walked contrary to God, so God has walked contrary to them. I have often hoped that the poverty I saw might be the means of bringing them to seek the God of their fathers!” (Spurgeon)

vi. “With the more complex civilization in the midst of which we live, perhaps sometimes the righteous have been driven to beg, but even now such cases are surely rare, and after some varied experience I would want to subject him who begs to somewhat severe cross-examination before accepting his testimony against the psalmist.” (Morgan)

c. He is ever merciful, and lends: In times of scarcity, the righteous one not only receives God’s provision, but with a generous and merciful heart he lends to others in need.

i. “How stingy, covetous professors can hope for salvation is a marvel to those who read such verses as this in the Bible.” (Spurgeon)

2. (27-29) The promised reward for obedience.

Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
For the LORD loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.

a. Depart from evil, and do good: The righteous man or woman trusts in God, but also receives and values moral instruction. God’s care for him does not make him careless, but careful in pleasing Him.

i. This line also speaks to the righteous man or woman in the heat of difficulty. “A conflict with evil too often tempts one to fight the enemy with his own weapons.” (Kidner)

ii. “Having therefore these glorious promises and privileges, let no man do any evil or unjust thing to enrich or secure himself, nor abstain from pious and charitable actions for fear of undoing himself by them.” (Poole)

b. For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints: Since God loves justice, so should His people. He is faithful to them and does not forsake them, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

i. The descendants of the wicked shall be cut off: “The children who follow the wicked steps of wicked parents shall, like their parents, be cut off. God’s judgments descend to posterity, as well as his mercies.” (Clarke)

c. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever: Once again in this psalm, David described the blessing appointed to the righteous in the coming age. They would find a secure place and inheritance in the world to come.

i. The saints shall one day have power over all things; and meanwhile they are sure of a sufficiency, if not a superfluity.” (Trapp)

3. (30-31) The character of God’s righteous one.

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slide.

a. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom: David again turns to the conduct of God’s righteous man or woman, noted for their wise and just words.

b. The law of his God is in his heart: The righteous man (or woman) is also noted by his possession of and love for the word of God. In a way that would be truly fulfilled by the New Covenant, he has the word of God in his heart (Jeremiah 31:33). Because of this knowledge of and reliance upon God’s word, none of his steps shall slide.

i. “He hath a Bible in his head and another in his heart.” (Trapp)

4. (32-33) The character and the response of the wicked.

The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks to slay him.
The LORD will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.

a. The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him: In considering the remarkable blessings God has appointed to the righteous, David did not think it meant life would be easy. One danger continually faced was from the wicked who hated the righteous without cause.

i. “There want not those still that carry about Cain’s bloody club, hating to the death that goodness in another that they neglect in themselves.” (Trapp)

b. The LORD will not leave him in his hand: Thankfully, the righteous man or woman is not at the mercy of the wicked. God will protect him, particularly in the ultimate judgment (nor condemn him when he is judged).

i. “And the day is coming, when he who hath stood tamely at the bar of men, and hath suffered for truth and righteousness, shall be advanced to a throne among the saints and martyrs, to assist at the trial of his once-insulting judges.” (Horne)

5. (34-36) An exhortation to trust, based on testimony.

Wait on the LORD,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

a. Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land: For the fifth time in this psalm, David promised the people of God that they would inherit the land. As king of Israel, David had a concern for their territory, but he could also extend that thought to the age to come. God’s people have their place, even a land of some sort in the coming age.

I, Wait on the LORD: “Wait in obedience as a servant, in hope as an heir, in expectation as a believer.” (Spurgeon)

ii. Wait on the LORD, and keep His way: “While we are waiting let us take heed of wavering.” (Watson, cited in Spurgeon)

b. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it: For the fifth time in this psalm, David promised that the wicked would be cut off or cut down in some sense. Their coming doom was just as certain as the coming blessing and security of the righteous.

i. David used a green tree as a picture of the wicked in their prosperity. Psalm 1 uses a flourishing tree as a picture of the righteous. “Here it is used in reverse, the wicked being compared to a green tree which flourishes for a time but soon passes away and is seen no more.” (Boice)

c. I have seen the wicked in great power: David once again relied on his personal experience and testimony. He had seen wicked people rise to great security and success, only to have passed away and to have become no more.

i. Behold, he was no more: “What clean sweeps death makes! To the surprise of all men the great man was gone, his estates sold, his business bankrupt, his house alienated, his name forgotten, and all in a few months!” (Spurgeon)

6. (37-38) An invitation to gain the same testimony.

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

a. Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright: The righteous men and women of this world get little attention. The culture is more interested in the godless and the wicked. Yet David counseled us to notice the blameless and the upright of this world, because the future of that man is peace.

b. The future of the wicked shall be cut off: For the sixth and final time in this psalm, David reminds us that the future of the wicked is no future to be desired.

i. “There is nothing unworthy in solemn thankfulness when God’s judgments break the teeth of some devouring lion.” (Maclaren)

7. (39-40) The reliable help and deliverance of the LORD.

But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the LORD shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him.

a. The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD: This is a helpful thought at the end of this psalm. In David’s praise and encouragement of righteous men or women, it is possible that one might think those ones are saved by their own righteousness. David reminds us that their salvation is from the LORD, and that He is their strength in the time of trouble.

i. He is their strength in the time of trouble: “While trouble overthrows the wicked, it only drives the righteous to their strong Helper, who rejoices to uphold them.” (Spurgeon)

b. He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him: David brings the thought back to the fundamental trust that the righteous have in God. Their place in Him is secured in their trusting love of the LORD.

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

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What Does Psalm 37:4 Mean? ►

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Earlier in this Psalm, we are told not to fret about evil-doers nor to be envious of those that work iniquity, for when our mind is correctly focused on the Lord, then our hearts are not weighed down with the troublesome behaviour of the wicked, nor overwhelmed with the continuous influx of evil in the world.

Rather, we are instructed to keep the eyes of our heart upon Jesus Who has promised to carry all our burdens and to comfort us in all our affliction so that we may offer solace to others who are also weighed down by the cares of this world and oppressed by evil-doers.

As we change our focus onto the Lord, so our faith in Him is excited within our heart and we are encouraged, by David, to trust in the Lord and do good – to feed on His faithfulness so that we may become strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We are to believe His promises and hold fast to the Word of truth.

Just as fretting should be overtaken by trust when God is the focus of our attention, so faith expands into joy when we delight ourselves in the Lord and make Him the singular joy and rejoicing of our heart. Delight yourself in the Lord, we are told. Be captivated by His beauty and wonder. Make Him the cornerstone of your hope and linchpin of your life, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Lord Jesus is the perfect example of a Man Who delighted Himself in the Lord. His was not an easy path. Indeed, He learnt obedience by the things that He suffered. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus delighted Himself in His God and Father throughout His life, and even endured the Cross and despised its shame for the JOY that was set before Him. I seek not My will but the will of Him that sent Me, was His daily desire.

When the will of man is aligned with the will of God, as was intended in the beginning, then the things that delight our Heavenly Father will naturally become the joy of our own heart. When we delight ourselves in the Lord and take pleasure in the things that are uppermost on God’s own heart, we will discover that they become the joy of our heart – and we will be able to spiritually appraise all things and to say with Paul that we are one with Him and have the mind of Christ.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-37-4

QUESTION

What does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)?

ANSWER

Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Taking delight in the Lord means that our hearts truly find peace and fulfillment in Him. If we truly find satisfaction and worth in Christ, Scripture says He will give us the longings of our hearts. Does that mean, if we go to church every Sunday, God will give us a new Rolls Royce? No. The idea behind this verse and others like it is that, when we truly rejoice or “delight” in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to parallel His and we will never go unfulfilled. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be given to you as well.”

Many delight in wealth, status, material possessions, and other temporary things of this world, but they are never satisfied. They never truly get what they want, hence the reason they are always wanting more. This is the lesson King Solomon learned in his pursuit of earthly treasure: “Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). On the other hand, delighting in the Lord is true treasure indeed: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

First John 2:15–17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” We will never be deeply fulfilled or “happy” with the things this world has to offer. If we place our joy and hope in God first, He will meet all of our needs. He will even grant our wants, as our hearts’ desires begin to match up with His will. If we truly place priority on the Lord, chances are our heart’s greatest desire will not be a brand-new Rolls Royce, but eternal treasures in Christ.

This world can never satisfy our deepest longings, but if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

What Does it Mean for Christians to “Delight Yourself in the Lord” and How Do We Do It?

Work, phone, binge-watching, ministry—any of these should do. But they don’t. Why does the call to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’ seem so distant in times of trouble?

Annette Griffin

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When you’ve been a Christian for a long time, certain words and phrases have a tendency to settle into your vernacular, become commonplace, and lose their potency. Any well-versed believer is familiar with and has probably memorized, David’s beautiful invitation in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” But what does it mean to delight yourself in someone—especially ‘the Lord’?

We’ve all had those days. Circumstances go from bad to worse, creating an undercurrent of fear so strong that it tugs at your hope and threatens to pull you under. While you’re trying to stay afloat on God’s promises, guilt sets in. “Joy in the midst of trials is the mark of a true Christian,” you tell yourself. In enters doubt with all the what-ifs that make your burden heavier. You pray and put your trust in God. Now what? You need a distraction to ward off anxiety. Work, phone, binge-watching, ministry—any of these should do. But they don’t. Why does the call to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’ seem so distant in times of trouble?

What Does It Mean to ‘Delight Yourself in the Lord’?

Think back to a specific moment in time when you freely enjoyed the company of a loved one. What made that moment special and memorable? Did you laugh or cry together—like good friends often do. Did you bond through the thrill of a shared experience? Did you boisterously celebrate a long-awaited victory together? Or perhaps you sat with each other in loving silence, grateful to know you didn’t have to carry a burden alone.

To experience deep, satisfying fellowship is a gift like no other. But that kind of connection doesn’t happen overnight. It’s silly to think you could find heartfelt delight with a stranger. The same is true when it comes to delighting ourselves in the Lord.

To delight ourselves in the Lord, we must first know Him. “but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:24).

God calls us to know Him for several reasons. First, He wants us to discover His many attributes that are so worthy of delight. He also desires a relationship with us. “He made us relational beings and we are made in His image. He too desires the time, discussion, and journey as our Father and Friend,” says Emma Danzey in How Can Christians ‘Delight’ Themselves in the Lord?The third reason God calls us to press on to know Him (Hosea 6:3) is because the exercise of seeking Him is profoundly important to the nurture of our souls.

Our invitation to seek Him—to know Him—is one of a Christian’s most valuable privileges. And it’s also the secret to our delight in the Lord, especially during times of distress.

In another Psalm David declares, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

What state of mind do you think David is in when he declares his one desire? Does this verse seem like it’s portraying a moment of praise for a victory won? It’s not. The prior verse gives us a glimpse at the setting: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident” (Psalm 27:3).

David cries out to God for “one thing” while in the middle of a literal battle for life. He knows that this one thing, above all else, will help him overcome the agony of desperation. Why? What does David hope to gain from his request? The verses that follow reveal where David’s hope lies. “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD” (Psalm 27:5-6).

David knows that if He can be where God is, see Him in all His glory, and seek Him while He may be found that it will lead to safety, shelter, and the power to rise above the enemy’s schemes. In the refuge of God’s presence, David is given the ultimate weapon against hopelessness—the ability to delight himself in the Lord.

Christians have direct access into God’s presence, through the blood of Christ Jesus (John 14:6, John 19:9, Hebrews 10:19). But the cares of this world and complacency can blind us to that truth. That’s why it’s so important to seek Him. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

When we turn our eyes away from this world and fix them on Jesus, our delight in the Lord is assured. God promises that when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. And when we find Him, His divine qualities, especially those that are manifest through Christ, will sweep us off our feet.

No amount of self-determination can ever produce a sincere delight in the Lord; it’s a byproduct of knowing Him. Isaiah 58 is a prime example of a time when God’s people tried to operate out of a man-made delight in the Lord. They failed—hard. Not because they didn’t check off all the right boxes, but because those boxes weren’t God’s priority at the time. They had lost touch with the source of their true delight.

What Is the Context of Psalm 37:4 and Delight Yourself in the Lord?

When David wrote Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart,” he didn’t just invite us to “delight” ourselves in the Lord; he also revealed the benefit that occurs when we do.

“Since it is human nature to battle against self-worship, we are tempted to focus on the latter half of this verse which seems to promise that God will give us whatever our little heart’s desire,” says Rhonda Stoppe in What Does it Mean to Delight Yourself in the Lord?

To unlock the mystery behind this powerful yet often misinterpreted promise, we must set aside every preconceived, humanistic notion—and with fresh eyes, let the Bible say exactly what it says.

This verse, in context and according to the original language means: When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.

In other words, when we delight ourselves in the Lord, His desires become ours.

How amazing is that! The misinterpreted promise doesn’t hold a candle to the real one. What Christian in their right minds, knowing the inherent evil and deceptive nature of our own hearts, would ever want to gain the object of their own natural desires (Jeremiah 17:9, Mark 7:21-22), especially when we’re granted the opportunity to trade our worldly desires for His.

3 Practical Ways to Delight in the Lord on Bad Days

First, Seek Him—When believers face fiery trials, one silver lining usually appears right away. As the flames get hotter, the first objects to disintegrate are the everyday obstacles that undermine our time with God. In the thick of trouble, we tend to lose our appetite for trivial activities. And for good reason. On bad days God wants to connect with us just as much as we need to connect with Him. Our burdens and cares matter to God. That’s why Jesus prescribes the remedy for worry. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

In What Does It Mean to “Seek the Lord”? John Piper offers this insight: “Seeking involves calling and pleading. O Lord, open my eyes. O Lord, pull back the curtain of my own blindness. Lord, have mercy and reveal yourself. I long to see your face.” When you cry out to God it’s important to listen and have faith that He hears and will answer. What good does it do to seek if you don’t believe that He can be found? “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” Hebrews 11:6.

Rest assured, as you seek God the Holy Spirit will nourish and refresh your soul by revealing the truth of God’s word in fresh, poignant ways. As you draw nearer to Him, He’ll refine you, comfort you, instruct you and guide you. Fear will fade, and His perfect peace will prevail. (John 14:27, Philippians 4:6-7) Our delight in the Lord is perfected in His presence. 

Delight in past victories—In the Old Testament, the Israelites built altars and used stones of remembrance to commemorate significant God moments. These markers were used as a visible reminder of God’s goodness, deliverance, provision, and sovereignty—for the Israelites, their future generations, and their enemies. God has done great things in our lives too. Personal things. Miraculous things that could not have been accomplished by anyone else but Him.

One way we can express our delight in the Lord is by continually celebrating His past works. When we rehearse our God-given victories during trying times, it reminds our heart of God’s faithfulness, which ignites our delight in Him.

Delight through verbal thanksgiving—Thankfulness is a powerful tool to help combat sadness, anxiety, and depression. This fact is not only proven repeatedly in Scripture, but science has also finally caught up with God’s truth. Research shows that verbal expressions of gratitude produce a surge of feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. The hormones help connect the giver of thanks to the recipient, much like those same hormones create a bond between mother and child.

Thanksgiving is a form of worship that redirects our attention away from the temporal and bonds us to the eternal. Our delight in the Lord becomes inevitable when we “enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.” Chara Donahue puts it this way in 7 Powerful Spiritual Benefits of Thankfulness, “Thankfulness leads us to a dependency that draws us into the heart of God while at the same time turning our hearts towards Him. It is so easy for us to be led astray by the lusts of our flesh, but when we look with eyes of thankfulness, we see that our deepest desires are already being met.”

True delight in the Lord is a celebration of all His excellent qualities. When we’re in God’s presence, through Jesus, we can view those qualities in a person—not as a curious onlooker, but as a child enraptured by our Father’s glory. And as we celebrate Him, we can trust that “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24).

Further Reading

How Can Christians ‘Delight’ Themselves in the Lord?

What Does it Mean to Delight Yourself in the Lord? (Psalm 37:4)

Photo credit: ©Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

Annette Marie Griffin is an award-winning author and speaker who has managed and directed children’s and youth programs for more than 20 years. Her debut children’s book, What Is A Family? released through Familius Publishing in 2020. Annette has also written curriculum for character growth and development of elementary-age children and has developed parent training seminars to benefit the community. Her passion is to help wanderers find home. She and her husband have five children—three who have already flown the coop and two adopted teens still roosting at home—plus two adorable grands who add immeasurable joy and laughter to the whole flock.

This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture’s context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God’s Word in relation to your life today.

What does Psalm 37:4 mean? [ See verse text ]

This verse is easily misapplied, as are many such references to the promises of God. To “delight in the Lord” is to enjoy all the blessings found in Him, because they are from Him, not merely because they are to our benefit. It’s often said that the person who delights in the Lord values the Giver more highly than His gifts. The Hebrew word translated as “delight” here is from a root word that implies pleasure and enjoyment.

In context with the surrounding verses (Psalm 37:3, 5), this clearly refers to those whose desires are in harmony with those of God. A person who “delights in the Lord” has righteous desires. He will not desire anything that springs from selfish desires. No one can expect God to give something contrary to God’s will, or the Lord’s glory. So far as our wills are attuned to the will of God (John 14:15), our requests will be granted (John 14:14; Matthew 6:33). This idea is expressed often in the Psalms (Psalm 21:2; 145:19).

Some commentators suggest this statement could be interpreted to mean the Lord will place into our hearts those desires which are godly. In other words, when we delight in God, He makes us want what He wants (Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:16–24).

Psalm 16:11 assures us that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, and pleasures that last forever are at His right hand. A truly joyful life, one which extends through eternity, is based on our delighting ourselves in the Lord. The book of Ecclesiastes traces Solomon’s search for happiness and meaning in a variety of things, but his search led only to emptiness until he found happiness and meaning in a personal relationship with God. At the end of the book he counsels his readers: “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them'” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Context Summary

Psalm 37:1–11 encourages David’s audience to maintain a proper relationship with God by refusing to wallow in anxiety over their circumstances. Instead, they ought to trust in the Lord, find their joy in the Lord, and commit their future to the Lord. The tone of this passage resembles Proverbs chapter two, which explains the benefits of following godly wisdom. Matthew 5:5 holds a promise that parallels verses 9 and 11 of this psalm.

Chapter Summary

In this psalm, David contrasts the way God protects and saves His people, contrasted with the ruin which awaits the wicked. Much of this seems to be based on David’s own experiences (Psalm 37:25, 35). As with many other passages in Psalms and Proverbs, this passage encourages godly wisdom. Those who reject God and His ways can expect uncertainty on earth and disaster in eternity

May The Words I Speak Honor You and The Meditation Of My Silent Heart be Pleasing To You

VERSE OF THE DAY

Psalm 19:14 (New Living Translation)

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

May that what I speak of my mouth and the silent meditation of my heart be honored by you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

PSALM 19 – THE HEAVENS, THE WORD, AND THE GLORY OF GOD

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Psalm 19 – The Heavens, the Word, and the Glory of God

The title tells us both the author and the audience of the psalm: To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Some believe that the Chief Musician is the Lord GOD Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:5-7, and 25:6).

“This Psalm reflects, more than any other, the beauty and splendor of the Hebrew poetry found in the Psalter. C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.’” (Willem VanGemeren)

A. The message from the heavens.

1. (1-4a) The message from the heavens is broad.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

a. The heavens declare the glory of God: David looked to the heavens – not the spiritual heaven where God is enthroned, but the heavens of the blue sky and the night sky – and he clearly saw the glory of God declared.

i. He could see it in the blue sky, with the glory of the sun and clouds and the beauty of sunrises and sunsets.

ii. He could see it in the night sky, with the brightness of the moon, the awe of the starry sky and the cloudy spread of the distant galaxies.

iii. These together – with their size, their awe, their grandeur – shouted to David and all who would see, “The God who created all this is glorious, and this is evidence of His glory.”

· He is glorious in His size, having created something so big.

· He is glorious in His engineering, having created something that works together so well.

· He is glorious in His artistry, having created something so beautiful.

· He is glorious in His goodness and kindness, having created something for all humanity to see.

b. And the firmament shows His handiwork: David repeated the idea in the previous line. “Firmament” is a poetic way of referring to the heavens or the sky, and they show the handiwork of God.

c. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge: The day sky and the night sky speak to us, and reveal knowledge about the glory, wisdom, and creative greatness of God.

i. Utters speech: “This is stronger in the Hebrew text than it appears to be in English, for the image is literally of a gushing spring that copiously pours forth sweet, refreshing waters of revelation.” (Boice)

ii. Reveals knowledge: “Knowledge is well matched with night, since without the night skies man would have known, until recently, nothing but an empty universe.” (Kidner) If God had not placed the stars in the night sky, the blackness of night would have communicated powerfully to all humanity, ancient and modern, “There is nothing and no one out there.”

iii. “Though all preachers on earth should grow silent, and every human mouth cease from publishing the glory of God, the heavens above will never cease to declare and proclaim his majesty and glory. They are for ever preaching; for, like an unbroken chain, their message is delivered from day to day and from night to night.” (Tholuck, cited in Spurgeon)

iv. “Day bids us labour, night reminds us to prepare for our last home; day bids us work for God, and night invites us to rest in him; day bids us look for endless day, and night warns us to escape from everlasting night.” (Spurgeon)

d. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard: The glory of God in the visible heavens is for all to see; it is communicated to all mankind, no matter what their language. It is a message that has gone out through all the earth.

i. The Apostle Paul expanded this idea in Romans 1. He explained that God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). Paul told us that because this testimony had gone out through all creation, all men are without excuse for rejecting the God who gave us such clear (and beautiful) evidence of His power and wisdom.

ii. “Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a Being as we define God to be.” (Aristotle, cited in Spurgeon)

iii. “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (Astronomer and physicist Robert Jastrow, cited in Boice)

2. (4b-6) The message from the heavens is strong and glorious.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

a. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun: David poetically described the nighttime sky as a dwelling place – a tent, a tabernacle – for the sun. The sun comes out of its “tent” every day to cross the heavens, and returns to its tabernacle at night.

i. “God has assigned it its place to occupy and its course to run; the whole sky its mere tent and track.” (Kidner)

b. Like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race: The sun makes its course through the sky with strength and joy, like a man in his prime or an athlete running a race.

i. “All would agree that the psalm, if it glances at mythology, repudiates it. The sun may be ‘like’ a bridegroom or a runner; it is in fact no more than a glorious part of God’s ‘handiwork.’” (Kidner)

c. Its rising is from one end of heaven…there is nothing hidden from its heat: The sun covers the whole sky, and its strength extends everywhere. It is a wonderful example of the glory of God declared in the heavens.

B. The message from the word of God.

1. (7-9) The glorious character of God’s word, described seven ways.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

a. The law of the LORD: Here David abruptly shifted from praising the God who reveals Himself in creation to praising the same God for revealing Himself in His word. It is as if David said, “Creation tells us much about God, but His word tells us much more.”

i. “‘Two things’, according to Kant, ‘fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe…the starry heavens above and the moral law within.’ The psalm transcends the second of these themes by looking to the divine law revealed.” (Kidner)

ii. One reason the word is a greater revelation than creation is that it tells us much more about God. It reveals Him as the covenant God of love, as reflected in the structure of this psalm. In Psalm 19:1-6, God is referred to as El – the most generic word for God in the Hebrew language (even more generic than the commonly used Elohim). Yet here at Psalm 19:7-9, God is referred to as Yahweh (the LORD), the God of covenant love and faithfulness to His people.

iii. “He is wisest who reads both the world-book and the Word-book as two volumes of the same work, and feels concerning them, ‘My Father wrote them both.’” (Spurgeon)

iv. David then explains seven glorious statements about the word of God: how wonderful and effective it is. As is common in other places – especially the great Psalm 119 – David used a variety of expressions to refer to the word of God (law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, judgments). It is best to see these as poetic terms describing God’s written revelation in general, rather than one specific type of revelation (such as only the laws given in the Mosaic law).

b. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: The word of God is perfect. It gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). While it does not give us all knowledge, all the knowledge it gives is true and perfect. Understood in its literary context, God’s word is never wrong in science or history or the understanding of either divine or human nature.

i. Part of the perfection of God’s word is that it is effective; it does the work of converting the soul. There is power in the reading and hearing and studying of the word of God that goes beyond intellectual benefit; it actually changes for the better – converts – the soul.

ii. The Hebrew word translated here as converting is perhaps better understood as reviving – that is, bringing new life to the soul. “First, God’s word ‘revives.’ Its restorative quality gives healing to the whole person by assuring forgiveness and cleansing and by giving life to the godly.” (VanGemeren)

c. The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: The word of God is sure, being reliable and certain. As the psalmist would write in Psalm 119:89, Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.

i. “Sure, by its passive form, can mean not only what is firm but what is confirmed: cf. ‘verified’ in Genesis 42:20.” (Kidner)

ii. Because it is so sure and certain, it does the work of making wise the simple. Many people of simple education or upbringing have tremendous wisdom unto life and godliness because they study and trust the sure word of the LORD.

d. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: God’s word and the commands contained within are right. They are morally right, they are practically right, and they are universally right. They are right because it is the revelation of a God who is holy, true, and always right.

i. Are right: “To make straight, smooth, right, upright, opposed to crookedness in mind or conduct; showing what the man should be, both within and without.” (Clarke)

ii. The one who knows the word of God and the God of the word rejoices in this. He finds joy, actual pleasure in the truth of God and relationship with God revealed in His word.

e. The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes: Because God’s word comes from a God who is Himself pure and holy, the word itself is pure. A pure God can communicate no other way. We never have to worry about the word of God leading people into sin or impurity; if it seems to have happened, it is evidence that the Scriptures have been twisted (2 Peter 3:16).

i. This pure word will enlighten the eyes. It will bring the cheer and comfort and knowledge and confidence that a light in the midst of darkness brings.

f. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: The word of God is clean, and therefore is enduring forever. It will never fade or corrode, diminishing because of impurity. It is clean and it makes clean.

i. Here David called the word of God the “fear of the LORD.” It is deeply connected to the awe and majesty of God Himself. One who reads and hears and studies the word of God, meeting Him in His word, will have an appropriate appreciation of God’s awe and majesty – the fear of the LORD.

g. The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether: David summarized this beautiful chain of seven pearls, each describing some aspect of the word of God. Here he declared that the words of God are true and righteous altogether; there is nothing false or unrighteous in His word.

i. There is no applied aspect to this statement as in the previous five. For David, it was enough to simply say it: “true and righteous altogether.” Perhaps David assumed we would be wise and logical enough to apply it ourselves: “Therefore read it, study it, meditate on it, love it, live it.”

ii. Remember that King David wrote this with only a fraction of what we have today as the word of God; his portion was not as glorious as the complete revelation of God. David would have had the first five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy); Joshua, Judges, a few psalms; and perhaps Job and Ruth. We can only imagine what King David would have written about Isaiah or Hosea or the entire Psalter, much less any of the books of the New Testament. We can say with confidence that God’s word is far more glorious than King David knew!

2. (10-11) The great value of God’s word.

More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

a. More to be desired are they than gold: King David insisted that the value of God’s word – His written revelation to man – was more valuable and desirable than gold itself. David wanted no amount of money or wealth to command his attention and affection more than the word of God.

i. King David was a massively wealthy man, yet he is rarely known for his riches. He is much more known for his great heart toward God. His son Solomon was even more wealthy than David, and was known for his riches – yet not nearly as much for his heart toward God and his love of God’s word.

ii. If it weren’t enough to say that God’s word should be more desirable than gold, King David amplified the point by saying, “Yea, than much fine gold.”

iii. “This is strictly true; but who believes it? By most men gold is preferred both to God and his judgments; and they will barter every heavenly portion for gold and silver!” (Clarke)

b. Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb: For King David, God’s word was not only to be held in greater esteem than material wealth, but also greater than experiences of the senses. Honey is sweet and pleasant to eat, but God’s word is sweeter still.

c. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward: David here gave two reasons why the word of God was greater than material wealth or sensual pleasures.

i. God’s word gives instruction – warning – that wealth or pleasures do not give (is warned).

· Warning is needed for sins we are susceptible to.

· Warning is needed for dangers we cannot see.

· Warning is needed for dangers we cannot appreciate.

· Warning is needed for dangers far off in the future.

· Warnings are often rejected.

ii. God’s word gives benefit – reward – greater than wealth or pleasures (great reward).

d. In keeping them there is great reward: It is also true that there is great reward for keeping the word of God; but that is not what the psalmist said here. Here David noted the reward in keeping them. There is a sense in which obedience becomes its own reward, because we live the way God wants us and designed us to live.

i. One of the great rewards of keeping the word of God is peace of mind. “A quiet conscience is a little heaven. A martyr was fastened to the stake, and the sheriff who was to execute him expressed his sorrow that he should persevere in his opinions, and compel him to set fire to the pile. The martyr answered, ‘Do not trouble yourself, for I am not troubling myself. Come and lay your hand upon my heart, and see if it does not beat quietly.’ His request was complied with, and he was found to be quite calm. ‘Now,’ said he, ‘lay your hand on your own heart, and see if you are not more troubled than I am; and then go your way, and, instead of pitying me, pity yourself.’” (Spurgeon)

3. (12-13) The desire for inward cleansing.

Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

a. Who can understand his errors? In the previous verse David reflected on the warnings found in the word of God, and in the great reward found in obeying God’s word. This made him reflect on the times and ways he had ignored the warnings and not kept the word.

i. In asking “Who can understand his errors?” David understood that he had ignored and disobeyed God’s word even more than he was aware of. What he knew was enough to make him concerned; his actual errors before God were still worse.

ii. Notably, the fact that we cannot understand our errors does not excuse us from them. We are still accountable for such errors and faults before God and must trust in His atonement to cleanse us from these errors and secret faults.

b. Cleanse me from secret faults: David wisely prayed this prayer, knowing that he could not know just how many his errors were before God. He needed cleansing even from the sins and faults that were secret to him.

i. “We desire the inner purity of heart. But this is peculiarly God’s prerogative. It is his work to cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit. ‘Cleanse THOU me.’” (Meyer)

ii. Secret faults: “From those which I have committed, and have forgotten; from those for which I have not repented; from those which have been committed in my heart, but have not been brought to act in my life; from those which I have committed without knowing that they were sins, sins of ignorance; and from those which I have committed in private, for which I should blush and be confounded were they to be made public.” (Clarke)

c. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins: David added this because he knew that his problem was greater than secret faults and unknown errors. Without God’s help (which he here prayed for), he was also perfectly capable of committing presumptuous sins, sins done in a proud and knowing way.

i. Things that make sin presumptuous:

· When we know better.

· When friends have warned us.

· When God Himself has warned us.

· When we have warned others against the same sins.

· When we plan and relish our sin.

ii. The description of errors and secret faults and presumptuous sins reminds us that sin has a progression.

· It goes from passing temptation to chosen thought (errors).

· It goes from chosen thought to object of meditation.

· It goes from object of meditation to wished-for fulfillment.

· It goes from wished-for fulfillment to planned action (secret faults).

· It goes from planned action to opportunity sought.

· It goes from opportunity sought to performed act.

· It goes from performed act to repeated action.

· It goes from repeated action to delight (presumptuous sins).

· It goes from delight to new and various ways.

· It goes from new and various ways to habit.

· It goes from habit to idolatry, demanding to be served.

· It goes from idolatry to sacrifice.

· It goes from sacrifice to slavery.

iii. All along this continuum the Holy Spirit – and hopefully our conscience – say, “No – stop!” All along this continuum, we are given the way of escape by God (1 Corinthians 10:13), if we will only take it. Yet if we do not, and we end up in slavery to sin, it legitimately questions the state of our soul (1 John 3:6-9).

iv. Because of this great danger, David prayed keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins. “Will you just note, that this prayer was the prayer of a saint, the prayer of a holy man of God? Did David need to pray thus? Did the ‘man after God’s own heart’ need to cry, ‘Keep back thy servant?’ Yes, he did.” (Spurgeon)

d. Let them not have dominion over me: Indeed, King David not only knew that he was capable of such sins, but that they could potentially have dominion over him. His prayer was rightly placed; his love of God’s word and his dependence upon God in prayer would help him stay free from the dominion of enslaving sin.

i. This prayer is even more fitting for one who relates to God on the basis of the New Covenant. As Paul wrote, For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).

e. Then I shall be blameless: David knew that when sin was addressed in his life – dealing both with inward, secret sin and outward, presumptuous, enslaving sin – then he could be blameless and innocent of great transgression.

i. This was not a claim of sinless perfection, either achieved or to attain to before resurrection. David knew well that he needed to be cleansed, and trusted in God’s perfect sacrifice – prefigured by the animal sacrifices he practiced in the Mosaic system. David understood blamelessness and innocence on a human, relative level and not in an absolute sense according to the Divine measure.

4. (14) A prayer of surrender and purity.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

a. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight: David closed this glorious psalm with a humble surrender of his mouth and heart to God. He knew that real godliness was not only a matter of what a man did, but also of what he said and thought in his heart.

i. This was not a proud proclamation that David knew he was innocent and blameless; it was a plea to be made so by the transforming power of God.

ii. Acceptable in Your sight: “The psalm ends, not on the note of avoiding sin, but on that of offering back to God the mind’s fitting response to His own words, as a pure sacrifice (cf. Hosea 14:2). This is the probable implication of acceptable, a term often found in sacrificial contexts.” (Kidner)

b. O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer: King David looked to the Lord GOD to be his strength and redemption. He knew that he needed a Redeemer, and that the faithful God would rescue him.

i. Strength can also be translated as Rock. God’s strength is like a mighty rock that rescues us and gives us a firm standing place.

ii. Redeemer is that great Hebrew word goel, the kinsman-redeemer. It was the goel who bought his relative out of slavery, who rescued him in bankruptcy and total loss. King David looked to God Himself as his kinsman-redeemer.

iii. “If our Rock were not our Redeemer, we should be without hope. If our Redeemer were not our Rock, still might we be afraid. It is good that we never forget the mutual interpretation of these two revelations of God.” (Morgan)

iv. This psalm has run a glorious course. It begins with recognizing the glory of God in creation, and then the glory of His written revelation. Next to this great God and His great works, David knew himself to be small and sinful. Yet this great God would also be David’s strength and Redeemer as David put his trust in Him.

v. The glorious God of creation and revelation was also the glorious God of personal relationship and redemption for His people. King David knew this; so should we.

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

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God Honoring Words and Thoughts – Psalms 19:14

October 5, 2021

January 4, 2019

by Ed Jarrett

David offered up a psalm of praise to God and then concluded with these words about his words and thoughts. And they are my prayer as well.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 NIV

My prayer is that the words that come out of my mouth would be pleasing to God. Not just the words I speak when I am gathered with the church. But also when I am socializing with friends. When I am talking about politics or other social issues. And when I am in debate, or dispute, with another person. May my words be filled with grace and honoring to God.

And may my thoughts also be pleasing to God. Not just when I am meditating on the words of the Bible. But also when I am fighting traffic. When I am stewing over some wrong done to me, or someone close to me. Or when the attractive and scantily clad young woman wanders by and catches my eye. May my thoughts always be God honoring and pure.

The earlier part of the Psalm gives us instruction in how to accomplish this. Immerse yourself in God’s word. Let it fill you and root out the sin and error in your life. The Bible has great value for those who will dwell in it. Allow it to fill you. And then you will find that your words and thoughts will more and more be pleasing to the Lord.

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The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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The Gospel: the Power of God – Romans 1:16-17

What Does Psalm 19:14 Mean? ►

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

So many of the psalms of David rejoice our hearts, as he pours forth a harmony of poetic praise to God for His merciful forgiveness and extraordinary favour. Perhaps more than any other worship song from Israel’s great psalmist, Psalm 19 reminds us of the never-ending wonders of God’s mighty works and ways, the glories of His creative wisdom, and His gracious acts towards the rebellious children of Israel.

The heavens above do indeed declare the beauty and splendour of our Heavenly Lord, and His magnificent handiwork is most certainly reflected in the glorious works that He has performed by the might of His power. The language of nature and the poetry of the heavens above and the earth beneath, pour forth a never-ending message of worship and praise, as it proclaims the wonderful works of God.

So many of the sacred words that have been penned by Israel’s shepherd-king are prayers that have been rehearsed on the lips of many saints over centuries of time, who have found comfort and grace in his pleadings to the Lord. For the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; and the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

David was a man after God’s own heart, for he realised that it is not only the outside of a cup that needs to be clean and unsullied, but God desires an inner purity, which stems from a heart that is humble before the Lord and from whom will stream rivers of living water.

Words of worship that flow from a proud, rebellious, or unrepentant heart, are like an open sewer to the Lord, but worshipful words that flow from a life that is pure in thought and motive, word and deed, ascend to the Father as a sweet perfume.

And so, as David’s exuberant praise for the Lord climbs into an ever-increasing crescendo of worship and exaltation, his heart is suddenly moved into a hushed prayer of submissive surrender and deep devotion, as he recognises his own human limitations in contrast to the magnificent glory of God and cries out to the Lord, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”

A heart that meditates on the glory of the Lord and lifts up the person of the Lord Jesus, is the one that exhibits an inner grace and beauty, for such a one is willingly being transformed into the likeness of the Christ, for out of the mouth come thoughts that are conceived in the heart.

David not only understood the need for an inner cleansing and purity on a day by day basis, where God Himself governs and sanctifies the thoughts of the heart and the words of the mouth, but he had come to an understanding that the Lord Jesus – the coming Messiah – the divine days-man of Job – and the coming Seed of the woman, was the strength of his life and the only Kinsman-Redeemer for his soul. 

May we, like David, in humility of heart, sanctify the words of our mouth, the meditation of our heart, the thoughts of our minds, and the motives of our inner being so that all we say and all we do, will be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of our precious Lord and Saviour.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-19-14

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-19-14

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

God does so much for us. He is the Strength and Promise that undergirds our lives. He is the One who has saved us from sin and death. Our worship comes from our gratitude for what he has done, recognition of who he is, and anticipation of what he is going to do. But worship can never be compartmentalized to just fit into church places or quiet times. Worship involves every aspect of life. That is why it is so important for us to tune the words of our mouths and the motives of our hearts to God’s will and work. Then private worship, whether alone in quiet or in a group with Christians, becomes the tuning time for our hearts and lives so that our public worship, our lives lived out in the world, will play the song of God to a world who has not yet heard his tune.

My Prayer…

O Holy and Almighty God, I want this day to be a day of worship and honor to you. May my life praise you: not just in thought, not just in words, but also in action. In the name Jesus I pray. Amen.

What does Psalm 19:14 mean? [ See verse text ]

David wanted his words and the thoughts of his heart to be acceptable to the Lord. When a worshiper brought an animal to the sanctuary to be sacrificed to the Lord, a priest would examine it to see if it was free of blemishes. If a blemish was found, neither the animal nor the worshiper was accepted by the Lord (see Leviticus 1:3–10; 22:17–25).

Taking that concept of being “blemish-free” to heart, our words should comfort or edify those who hear them. Colossians 4:6 exhorts us to use speech that is “gracious, seasoned with salt, so that [we] may know how [we] ought to answer each person.” Hebrews 10:25 summons us to encourage one another. Ephesians 4:15 directs us to speak the truth in love, and Ephesians 5:19 tells us to “[address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”

Jesus taught that the heart is the source of our words. He declared, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). It is important, therefore, to fill the heart with Scripture (Psalm 119:11).

In this Psalm, David addresses the Lord as his rock and his redeemer. He recognized that the Lord was the provider of his security and his salvation. By shedding His blood on the cross, Jesus is our Redeemer (1 Peter 1:18–19), and as our living Lord He keeps us safe (1 Peter 1:3–5).

Context Summary

Psalm 19:7–14 introduces the law of the Lord—meaning Scripture—as God’s perfect revelation of Himself and His will. The prior passage identified nature as a revelation of God. Psalm 119, as well, extols God’s Word as His perfect revelation and cites the blessings which come to those who love and obey it.

Chapter Summary

David refers to the details of creation as evidence for God’s power and design. The appearance and function of nature are evidence of God’s majesty. The second half of this psalm also celebrates God’s revelation, but in the form of His Word. The law, precepts, and commandments of God are hailed for their perfection and benefit.

Seek The Lord Now While He Is Near

VERSE OF THE DAY

Isaiah 55:6 (New Living Translation)

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Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.

So you should look for the Lord before it is too late. You should call to him now, while he is near. Lord comes at his time and gives no second chances

Isaiah Chapter 55

Isaiah 55 – An Invitation to Receive the Glory of the LORD’s Restoration

A. An invitation to receive blessing.

1. (1-2) An invitation to be richly fed.

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

a. Ho: The prophet calls out, loud and clear, to all that can hear. This is an important announcement and is therefore prefaced with this unique call.

i. “Ho! – this is the gospel note; a short, significant appeal, urging you to be wise enough to attend to your own interests. Oh, the condescension of God! That he should, as it were, become a beggar to his own creature, and stoop from the magnificence of his glory to cry, ‘Ho!’ to foolish and ungrateful men!” (Spurgeon)

b. Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters: It is an invitation to everyone – specifically, to everyone who thirsts. Only those who thirst will come to the waters. If we aren’t thirsty for what the LORD can give us, then we will never come to His waters.

i. Jesus may have had this passage from Isaiah in mind when He cried out, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37)

c. You who have no money, come, buy, and eat: Those who do thirst, and answer the LORD’s invitation, don’t need to bring money. Their money won’t really do them any good. They can simply bring their trust and faith and receive what God has to give them.

d. Waters…. wine…milk: It’s all free. It isn’t that the entrance into the Christian life is free, and then we must be charged to advance in the Christian life. It’s all free; our growth is just as much a gift of grace as our salvation.

i. “You are not permitted to drink freely of water, and then to purchase wine. You are not invited to come and eat freely that which is good, and then to spend your labour for that which is fat. No, the richest dainties of God’s house are as free as the bread he gives to hungry souls.” (Spurgeon)

e. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? In His invitation, God asked His people to ask themselves – “Why do I spend money for what can’t satisfy?” This is a remarkably relevant question, in light of all the things we can pour our time and money and effort into – things which will never satisfy the way the LORD can satisfy.

f. Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance: The invitation is clear. The offer is made, the provision is made, and everything is available – but we must still do some things.

i. First, we must listen carefully. The satisfaction God promises eludes those who will not both listen and listen carefully. It takes time, attention, and effort to listen carefully, and some aren’t willing to do this.

ii. Second, we must eat what is good. This requires some discernment. We must choose what is good, and then eat that. Many just simply eat whatever spiritual meal is set before them, without taking care to see that it is good.

iii. Third, we must let your soul delight itself in abundance. Even when we listen, even when we eat what is good, we still must let our soul delight itself in abundance. You can sit down at a great spiritual meal, but by your stubborn or bad attitude, simply not let your soul delight itself in abundance.

2. (3-5) An invitation to be wonderfully led.

Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the LORD your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

a. Incline your ear: The thought carries over from the idea of let your soul delight itself in abundance. Whoever will genuinely “feast” upon the word must consciously incline their ear towards what God will say. This explains why two people can listen to the same message, and one benefit and the other not. Often, the one who did not benefit simply did not incline their ear to the LORD.

b. Hear, and your soul shall live: The benefit from inclining your ear to God is impressive. When we do it, we have life for our soul.

c. And I will make an everlasting covenant with you – the sure mercies of David: For the one who will listen to the LORD, God promises a covenant. From Isaiah’s perspective, this covenant is still in the future (I will make). The covenant is also characterized by the sure mercies of David.

i. God showed His great mercy to David; not only by sparing David’s life when he was guilty of murder and adultery, but also in blessings and preserving and guiding David every day of his life. If God promises us the same mercy He showed to David, we are blessed indeed.

ii. As well, the mercies of David are sure. They are certain. God never gave up on David, never stopped showing him mercy. We can count on God when He promises to us the sure mercies of David.

d. I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and a commander for the people: God promised the blessing of good and wise leadership as a part of His sure mercies. God gave David and his remarkable leadership as a gift to Israel; here God promised that He would keep giving this gift according to the pattern shown in David.

i. David was a witness in the sense that he had a real relationship, a real experience with God, and could speak to Israel as a witness of what he had seen and heard in that relationship with God. Notice that David was a witness to the people. A witness to, not of the people. David did not lead through popularity polls or just giving the people what they wanted. He witnessed something from God, and he gave testimony of it to the people.

ii. David was a leader for Israel, leading them spiritually, politically, and militarily. He led both by his godly example and his shepherd’s heart. Notice that David was a leader and a commander for the people. Not a leader and a commander of the people, but for the people. He led with a shepherd’s heart that genuinely desired God’s best for the people.

iii. It’s curious that David is used here as God’s prototype for a leader. Curious in many ways, because David’s reign can be seen as quite troubled. He came to the throne of Israel through much struggle and difficulty. He slipped into terrible scandal, marked by murder and adultery. There was incest, rape, and murder among his own children. His reign was marred by an ugly civil war, in which his own son almost deposed him. Yet David is here lifted up as a wonderful leader of God’s people! This shows that David’s heart after God meant more than outward success, comfort, and ease. It also shows that God’s best and most effective leaders don’t necessarily have it easy.

iv. David was a commander for Israel. Even with his tender shepherd’s heart, his leadership was bold and out-front. Because he had a sense of the heart of God, being a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), he could boldly lead God’s people.

v. These prophecies are fulfilled spiritually when God gives wonderful, David-like leadership to His people. They will be fulfilled ultimately when David – literal King David in his resurrection body – reigns over Israel in the millennium, the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ over this earth.

·Of that time, Jeremiah 30:9 says, But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

·In Ezekiel 34:23-24 the LORD promises, I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them; My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

·Ezekiel 37:25 continues, Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.

vi. We have indications that as God’s people rule with Jesus over the millennial earth, people will be entrusted with geographical regions according to their faithfulness (Luke 19:12-19). It seems that David’s glorious portion will be to rule over Israel.

e. Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you: Was this addressed to Israel, or to David as the leader and commander of God’s people? Possibly both. Certainly, its ultimate fulfillment is in the millennium, when the nations will flock to Israel (Isaiah 60:5, 60:9).

f. Because of the LORD your God, and the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you: Why do the nations flock to David and/or Israel? Because the LORD has lifted them up, in accordance with His blessings of restoration.

3. (6-7) An invitation to be forgiven.

Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

a. Seek the LORD while He may be found: The prophet impresses a sense of urgency on God’s people. “This is the time. God can be found now. Seek Him now.” It isn’t that God is hidden and can only be found now. It is that He can only be found when our hearts are inclined to look for Him, and that inclination itself is a gift from God! We must receive the gift and make the most of it while we have it. Not seeking and failing to call upon Him while He is near, means we will not receive the blessings He promises.

b. Let the wicked forsake his way: The prophet impresses the need for repentance among God’s people. Repentance is simply turning around our way – turning from our own way, turning to God’s way. Simply, this is what it means to return to the LORD, and we can never walk on God’s way until we forsake our own way. The LORD’s glorious restoration works in and through our repentance.

i. Isaiah made an important point when he wrote, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Wickedness may be demonstrated by our actions (our way), but unrighteousness can be found in our very thoughts. The battleground for a righteous walk with the LORD is often found in our minds, in our thoughts.

ii. The Apostle Paul knew this also when he wrote of bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), and how we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

c. And He will have mercy on him: What a glorious promise! When we turn to the LORD, He will have mercy on us! In fact, He will abundantly pardon! The problem is never that we turn to the LORD and find that He rejects us. The problem is that we fail to return to the LORD.

B. The glorious ways of the LORD.

1. (8-9) A reminder of the difference and distance between God and man.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

a. For My thoughts are not your thoughts: God doesn’t think the way we do. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that He should think as we do. Because we are made in the image of God, we can relate to God’s thoughts, but we cannot master them.

b. Nor are your ways My ways: God doesn’t act the way we do. He does things His way, and His ways are often not our ways. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that God should act the way we do.

c. For as the heavens are higher than the earth: How far is the distance between God’s thoughts and ours? How far is the distance between His ways and ours? The distance is as great as the heavens are higher than the earth.

i. Gloriously, in Jesus Christ, heaven has come down to earth, and we can have our thoughts and ways transformed to be more like God’s thoughts and ways. This is what it means to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). The distance will never be closed; God will always be God, and we will always be human. But when our salvation is complete, and we are united with the LORD in glory, the distance will be as close as is possible.

ii. The difference and distance between God and man is revealed, not to discourage us from seeking Him, but to keep us humble as we seek. “You may conclude that it is not intended that you should understand the infinite, for you are told that his thoughts and ways are far above you; but you are required to seek him while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.” (Spurgeon)

2. (10-11) The glorious operation of the word of God.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

a. For as the rain comes down: Using the figure of the water cycle, the LORD illustrates the essential principle that His word shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please. Rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return before serving their purpose on earth (they water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud). The rain and snow eventually do return to heaven, but not before accomplishing their purpose on earth. Even so, God’s word, when He sends it down from heaven, does not return to Him void. Instead, it always fulfills His purpose on earth.

i. This means that God is not just “talk.” When He talks, His words accomplish His intended purpose. The word of the LORD has power, and it never fails in His intended purpose.

ii. “It is an irrevocable word. Man has to eat his words, sometimes, and unsay his say. He would perform his engagement, but he cannot. It is not that he is unfaithful, but that he is unable. Now this is never so with God. His word never returns to him void. Go, find ye the snowflakes winging their way like white doves back to heaven! Go, find the drops of rain rising upward like diamonds flung up from the hand of a mighty man to find a lodging-place in the cloud from which they fell! Until the snow and the rain return to heaven, and mock the ground which they promised to bless, the word of God shall never return to him void.” (Spurgeon)

b. Make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: The use of these pictures to illustrate the operation of God’s word shows that God’s word brings forth fruit. It also shows that the fruit has many different applications. The same grain that gives seed to the sower also gives bread to the eater.

c. It shall accomplish what I please: God’s word has something to accomplish. God doesn’t just speak to hear Himself talk. His word is not empty or lacking in power. This also means that God’s word has a purpose. He didn’t speak in unfathomable mysteries just to blow our minds, or confuse us, or leave things up to any possible interpretation. When God speaks, He speaks to accomplish a purpose.

d. It shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it: God’s word doesn’t barely get the job done. It shall prosper in the purpose God has for it. It is rich and full of life. God’s word always succeeds, and always fulfills God’s purpose.

i. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter how God’s word is presented. Sometimes a terrible sermon has been excused by saying, “God’s word doesn’t return void.” The principle is clear and true from this passage of Isaiah, but because of the preacher’s poor preparation or preaching, there has been little of God’s word set before the people. The preacher can ignore, dilute, or obscure God’s word so that little goes forth. When little goes forth, that little will succeed – but how much better if more of the whole counsel of God went forth to succeed.

3. (12-13) The joy and blessing of restoration.

“For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the LORD for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

a. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace: When God’s people turn to Him, listen to Him, and His Word does His work in them, joy and peace are always the result. The joy is so great, that even the mountains and the hills, and the trees of the field join in.

b. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree: Where before there was barrenness and reminders of the curse (the thorn), now there will be beautiful and useful trees. The picture is clear; in His glorious work of restoration, God takes away the barren and the cursed, and brings forth beauty and fruit.

c. It shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off: When the LORD restores, all the work is done for His name, and for His glory. When the LORD restores, the work is secure; it is an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

(c) 2021 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

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What Does it Mean to ‘Seek the Lord While He May Be Found’?

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (NIV)

Seeking the LORD while he may be found means coming to Him fully through the way Jesus made on the cross, and being filled by the Holy Spirit, which allows us the capability to experience and understand God on a supernatural level. A more recognizable verse in this chapter of Isaiah lies just a few verses past the one above. It proclaims, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” (Is. 55:8 NIV). Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah, the rescue of God’s people from an exile that hadn’t happened yet, and the eventual restoration of God’s Kingdom on earth.

What Does the Bible Mean by ‘Seek the Lord While He May Be Found’?

“Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (NLT)

The New International Version of Isaiah chapter 55 is titled, “Invitation to the Thirsty.” The New Living Translation titles it “Invitation to the LORD’s Salvation.” The English Standard Version, “The Compassion of the LORD.”  The Passion Translation, “Invitation to an Abundant Life.” The Message Paraphrase, “But Without Money.” And the Amplified Bible, “The Free Offer of Mercy.” These chapter headings aid us in understanding the meaning of verse 6. Found, in this context, has 26 different definitions according to Strongs, some meaning to find or attain, to encounter, learn, meet, to be found. We are no longer separated from God as His people were at the time Isaiah was writing. He is accessible to us through Christ Jesus and wants us to turn to Him through His Son so He can fill us with His Holy Spirit! 

Isaiah’s name means “The Lord Saves.” (NIV) The great prophet spent most of his life in Jerusalem and was married with children. In his divinely inspired message, he was projected into the future, much like the apostle John was in writing the book of Revelation. He warned Judah of their exile and spoke of their restoration by God, the Messiah to come, and God’s Kingdom on earth. “Through the work of God’s Messiah, people who do not know the Lord will come to know him,” the NIV Study Bible explains. “We need forgiveness, and we cannot pay for it. The good news of the suffering servant, however, is that God has paid the price for it. Justice has been satisfied through a sufficient substitute.” 

The Book of Isaiah highlights God’s sovereignty, judgement, compassion, and salvation. His heart for His people (and us) not to perish without hope is evident in His promise to restore them continually, though they are constantly falling by the wayside. We pick up with Isaiah in chapter 55, when he is speaking of the predicted restoration from exile. Spiritual thirst describes a deep need for God. Isaiah 41:17 says, “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” (NIV)

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Isaiah begins chapter 55 by stating: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no many, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Is. 55:1 (NIV)

Jesus proclaims He is the Living Water in the New Testament, but at the time Isaiah is writing, He has yet to come. Through Jesus, we experience a quenching of thirst in our souls, which was impossible to achieve before He defeated death on the cross.

Why Would Isaiah Say ‘Seek the Lord’ to the Israelites?

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 ESV)

Isaiah had connected with God and been given a peek into what is to come. The closeness he has experienced with God undoubtably caused him to want others to experience Him intimately, too! Through Isaiah, the Lord told His people- and encourages us today- to seek Him with our whole hearts so He can unlock what we don’t even know we don’t know! To seek the Lord in the context of Isaiah 55:6 is to seek Him wholeheartedly, not hypocritically. 

Seeking the Lord benefits our souls. It leads us to a rich and satisfying life by God’s terms, not the shallow and fleeting ways of the world. Though the temple curtain was torn at Jesus’ crucifixion, many still live their lives behind a curtain that no longer separates them from God. It’s a guard we put up and a barricade we can break through, but don’t always choose to. We have to come to Him freely, seeking Him wholeheartedly. Christ made a way, but we must walk through it.

Jeremiah 29:13-14 reads: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” (NIV)

Amos 5:4 pleads, “Seek me and live!” Again in verse 6 the prophet wrote, “Seek the LORD and live…” And once again in verse 14, “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.” (NIV)

Jesus came so we would live our lives to the full (John 10:10)! God has a purpose for everyone on this earth, and He desires each of us to travel the path of His will for our lives in a fulfilling, joy-filled journey of faithfulness. 

Why Should You Seek the Lord Today?

“Seek the Lord Yahweh when he makes himself approachable; call upon him when you sense he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (TPT)

In order to live life to the fullest, we must seek the Lord with our whole hearts. Who wants to live half a life?! No one wants to be left in the dark as their friends laugh joyfully over a joke they share or an experience which brought them joy. Nor does God want us to miss out on experiencing Him, to the full, through Christ. 

Jesus spoke of the same thirst for water Isaiah prophesied about. John recorded Jesus’ words about living water on two occasions. The first was in conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well: “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:13-14 (NIV)

He spoke again of living water at the Festival of Tabernacles: “On the last and greater day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.’” John 7:37 (NIV)

Instead of drinking from the well of the world, which will never satisfy our spiritual thirst, Jesus provides a way for us to connect completely to the Father in Heaven by the Holy Spirit living in us. The Passion Translation of John 4:14 says, “For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, flooding you with endless life!” 

The gift of the Holy Spirit is available to all of us, yet so often we choose to pass. There are many in this world who do not know of the quenching available through Christ. They are wandering in thirst. We are part of God’s plan to make Him known throughout the earth! But some of us, though we drink from the well of Living Water, sit idle in our calling to “Go”. James wrote: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:19-21 (NIV)

 The Passion Translation reads: “My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose. So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the Word of Life has power to continually deliver us.”

We are set in our generations, purposefully, to listen to the LORD. As we seek Him wholeheartedly, the light of the Lord in us shines onto everyone around us. 

Prayer to Seek the Lord 

“So turn your attention and seek the Eternal One while it is still possible; call on Him while he is nearby.” Isaiah 55:6 (VOICE)

Father, 

Just a few verses past the one we have studied today, You spoke through Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8 NIV) 

We come close to You, God, because we need You to show us, guide us, and fill us with the wisdom we need to walk inYour ways, which we are not fully capable of understanding as human beings on this earth. As we learn to yield to the Spirit of God in us, which connects us to You intimately, let us grow in discernment, able to hear, listen, obey, and learn from our close connectedness to You. In Christ, we are able to draw near to You, Father. You take up residence in us, and we are amazed. It’s too much for us to comprehend, let alone know what to do with on a daily basis! Help us to humbly submit to and seek You with all of our hearts, fully and genuinely, all the days of our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, 

Amen. 

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; Call on Him [for salvation] while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (AMP)

The Lord is near to us, every day and all of the time. We only need to turn to Him in order to experience life to the full, as we look forward to eternity with Him. No matter how many times we mess up the same things, He opens His arms and welcomes us home. God will always forgive us and never love us less. When we truly understand how long, wide, and deep His love is for us, we come to Him with repentant hearts, listening… allowing Him to change us and become more like Christ each day through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit living in us. Seek the Lord while He may be found.

Additional Resources:

The NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible. Copyright © 2021 by Zondervan. All rights reserved.

NIV Study Bible Notes, Fully Revised Edition. NIV Study Bible, Copyright © 1985, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2011 by Zondervan.

Today’s Verse: Isaiah 55:6

Friday, October 5, 2018

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Isaiah 55:6

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

In truth, God is always close to those who genuinely seek after him. The real problem is that we drift away from him, lose interest, and leave his presence. So let’s seek him and receive his grace and his help while we recognize that he alone is the one who truly saves.

My Prayer…

Father, I seek you with all my heart. While I seek to know about you through your Word, I long to know you and be known by you as a tender father knows his child and as a child feels complete trust toward his tender father. Father, not only be my God, but also be real to me in ways that transcend explanation. Help me to sense your nearness and to know your presence. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Food For Thought Serve The Lord Your God And Obey Him Only

VERSE OF THE DAY

Deuteronomy 13:4 (New Living Translation)

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Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

You must follow the Lord your God. Respect him. Obey his commands and do what he tells you. Serve the Lord your God, and never leave him. By following the laws of the lord you always have a stronghold by your side for he won’t leave you.

It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

Deuteronomy 13:4

David Guzik

On December 18, 2015, 12:30 am

Deuteronomy Chapter 13

Deuteronomy 13 – Keeping the Worship of God Pure

A. Protecting against those who would entice Israel to serve other gods.

1. (1-3) Protecting against the deceiver who comes with miraculous signs.

If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods”; which you have not known; “and let us serve them,” you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

a. A dreamer of dreams: Dreams can be from God (as in Numbers 12:6, or in Genesis 37:5-11), or they can be false prophesies (as in Jeremiah 23:25-26). We must be careful to not put too much stock in dreams, and instead allow God to bring confirmation to any dream we believe brings a message from Him. It would be very unusual for God to speak alone through a dream, without other confirmation.

b. And the sign or the wonder comes to pass: Moses warned the people that there may arise from among them prophets or workers of signs who could also produce a sign or a wonder.

i. Deuteronomy 18:22 tells what to do with a prophet who speaks a word and it does not come to pass. But this passage tells what to do with a prophet who speaks a word and it comes to pass, but they then speak against what God has already revealed in His word.

c. And the sign or the wonder comes to pass: This sobering fact is ignored by many Christians in our age which neglects discernment. The fact is that signs and wonders can never be the evidence of truth or God’s hand.

i. Those who are immediately convinced at the sight of supernatural power or reality are in danger of great deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 reminds us that the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.

ii. This is why Jesus said and these signs will follow those who believe (Mark 16:17). Signs are to follow believers, instead of believers following signs.

d. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams: Godly discernment will always carefully examine the message of a spiritual leader, instead of the spiritual experiences which may surround him or her.

e. The LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart: This explains one of God’s reasons in allowing such deceivers to exist among His people – to allow the hearts of His people to be tested and proven, to see if they really love the God of truth or are merely seeking a spiritual sign or experience.

i. “And particularly there are many signs, yea, such as men may think to be wonders, which may be wrought by evil spirits, God so permitting it for divers wise and just reasons, not only for the trial of the good, as it here follows, but also for the punishment of ungodly men, who would not receive Divine truths, though attested by many evident and unquestionable miracles, and therefore are most justly exposed to these temptations to believe lies.” (Poole)

2. (4-5) The penalty for the deceiver who comes with miraculous signs.

You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

a. You shall walk after the LORD: Israel was first instructed to not let a deceiver succeed in leading them astray. No matter how attractive the deception, they were to keep focused on a faithful walk with God according to His truth.

b. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death: Ancient Israel was a unique situation, where the civil government was also directly appointed by God and charged with maintaining spiritual order as well as civil order. Therefore, such heresy and deception were capital crimes – punishable by execution.

i. For many centuries, when the church held political power, it often exercised this penalty also. Heretics were often given over to the civil government for execution. Trapp writes in the mid seventeenth century, “This power is still in the Christian magistrate, to inflict capital punishment on gross heretics.”

ii. While we admire their priorities (they judged it much more serious for a heretic to kill men’s eternal souls than to kill their temporal bodies), they were ignorant of an important principle of Jesus’ kingdom in contrast to the ancient kingdom of Israel: Jesus declared that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), while the kingdom of Israel was very much of this world. Never before or since has God appointed such a kingdom as Israel to be His nation in this world as He appointed ancient Israel, so it would be wrong for us to execute heretics today.

iii. Still, the church as a community and Christians as individuals should reject and refuse to support such heretics among them. They should use discernment to set aside those who promote themselves as miracle working men and women of anointing and faith, yet who teach heresy in essential doctrines.

3. (6-11) The penalty for a relative who would lead an Israelite to worship other gods.

If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you.

a. Brother… your son or daughter… the wife… your friend: If any of these close human relationships would lead one to the worship of other gods, they were not only to be rejected (you shall not consent to him or listen to him), they were to be executed (you shall surely kill him).

i. In fact, the relative should be one of the main witnesses against the guilty party: your hand shall be first against him to put him to death. This was the “casting of the first stone,” the initiation of execution by one of the witnesses to the capital crime.

ii. This also demonstrates that God never puts highest priority on family relationships; if a family member forsakes the LORD, we are never to follow them away from the LORD. Jesus always comes first, as He said in Matthew 10:37: He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

b. Secretly entices you: This demonstrates how seriously God regards leading someone else into idolatry. Even if a sympathetic person entices you, and even if they do it in private, enticement to idolatry is not to be tolerated.

i. This brings to mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:6: But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Anyone who leads one of God’s people astray is greatly offending the heart of God.

c. So all Israel shall hear and fear: Many modern researchers and pundits say that capital punishment is no deterrent to crime. God says it is a deterrent (properly practiced, of course).

B. Protecting the nation as a whole against those who would lead them into idolatry.

1. (12-14a) How to deal with reports of a city given over to idolatry.

If you hear someone in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell in, saying, “Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’” which you have not known; then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently.

a. Then you shall inquire: If reports arose regarding an Israelite city given over to idolatry, there was first to be a careful investigation.

b. Search out, and ask diligently: This guarded against a harsh judgment; perhaps there were a few idolaters in the city who needed to be punished, but perhaps the city was not given over to idolatry. God commanded a careful investigation.

2. (14b-18) The penalty for a city given over to idolatry.

And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword; utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its livestock, with the edge of the sword. And you shall gather all its plunder into the middle of the street, and completely burn with fire the city and all its plunder, for the LORD your God. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again. So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand, that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, have compassion on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers, because you have listened to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God.

a. Such an abomination: The word abomination here refers to a gross, offensive idolatry. Later in Daniel and in the New Testament, the word is used in the phrase abomination of desolation, which refers to the ultimate idolatry of the Antichrist – the establishing of an idolatrous image of himself in the most holy place (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

i. “The term abominable thing is used in the Old Testament for something that is totally displeasing to God and denotes something impure, unclean, and totally devoid of holiness.” (Thompson)

b. You shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword; utterly destroying it: If the investigation finds that the city is indeed given over to idolatry, it is then to be treated as a Canaanite city. They were to utterly destroy the city, including its property. The property was to be given to the LORD by destroying it, a form of “sacred destruction.”

i. This made certain that no one could profit materially by declaring a city given over to idolatry. If this provision were not in the Law of Moses one could imagine a city being plundered under this pretense.

ii. “The very same punishment which was inflicted upon the cities of the cursed Canaanites, to whom having made themselves equal in sin, it is but fit and just that God should equal them in punishment.” (Poole)

c. It shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again: The destroyed town was to be left as a heap forever. The word heap is literally tel, and the word tel is used in Arabic for any ruined sight. Throughout Israel today, one will see curious mounds rising from a plain. These tels are the heaped up remains of ancient destroyed cities, covered over with centuries of dust and accumulated dirt.

d. To do what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God: This demonstrates that Israelites were never to regard ethnic or national bonds greater than the bonds that tied them to the LORD God; if their fellow countrymen were given over to idolatry, they were not to be spared.

i. This chapter asks an important question: What would it take to lead you away from God? Would signs and wonders do it? What if your mate forsook God, or all of your friends? What if culture, or nationalism, or ethnic ties called you away from Jesus? We must never allow such ties to come before our bond to Jesus. We must decide, as the song says, “Though none go with me, still I will follow.”

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Categories: Deuteronomy Old Testament

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Deuteronomy 13:4 Serving God
Food for Thought
An all-creatures.org Guide to Kingdom Living

By Marni Montenez

Deuteronomy 13:4 New Living Translation

Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

There is wisdom in living as the Lord requires.  So much harm can be avoided by taking heed to this counsel.  

Serving God is our privilege as Christians.  There is no greater honor than to serve a mighty and powerful God who loves and adores us.

1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV)

Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

In serving Him well, we are being intentional about our love for Him.

We must have a reverence for God and address Him with honesty and respect.  He is God above all other gods and deserves our excellence.  

God’s commands are not a demanding force to make us obey.    He wants willing hearts who listen for His voice and are delighted to live obedient to Him.  As we are quick to do His will we see that in obeying Him we are put in a place for us to be blessed beyond measure.   He delights in us as His children and anything He commands will eventually lead us into the abundant life.   

Most of us go to God and tell Him what we want, what we think and what we feel, but since He already knows these things,  We will benefit so much when we spend time in His presence  listening well and soaking in His wisdom.   In His holy light we are able to feel the soothing warmth of His healing power.

God wishes to speak things to us that will keep us in the moment.  It is when we are present in the moment that we can walk in the fullness of His peace and grace.

God will get us to the point that we are hanging onto Him for dear life. Clinging to God is a necessity.  It is what we were created to do.  We must understand that we can do nothing on our own.  

John 15:5 New King James Version

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

When we learn how to cling to God as our life support, we recognize that we cannot breath without Him.  The fears we face daily will transform into the fear of not being near Him.  We must keep our eyes steadily gazing upon His Majesty;  ready to follow Him at a moment’s notice and living our life that manifests complete surrender to Him.   

Challenge:  Meditate on this verse and let it become part of you so that you live it day by day and moment by moment.  Let it take hold of your heart and move you through life.  Allow God to teach you what it means to cling to Him.

God bless

Marni

Go on to: Deuteronomy 28:2 Blessings
Return to: Food for Thought
Return to: Christian Living Articles

The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.” And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.

Related Topics: God, Lord, Reverence, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

So many people want us to follow their lead and obey their voice. Only God alone has proved himself faithful and loving through the ages. In his might he is to be revered. But rather than seeing reverence as a “church thing,” we are reminded by Moses it is a “life thing.” We are to obey and keep his commandments, we are to serve him and depend upon him in our daily lives. Rather than silence in the assembly, reverence is action to his glory!

My Prayer…

Holy and Righteous Father, help me take my worship outside the church building into my day to day life as I try to live what I sing, practice what I say, and pursue what I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Hear God’s Voice And Listen When He Speaks

VERSE OF THE DAY

Proverbs 19:20-21 (New Living Translation)

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Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

Listen to advice and accept discipline; then you, too, will become wise. People might make many plans, but what the Lord says is what will happen.

Listen and hear God speak accepting to his law and then you will grow wise in his knowledge even in discipline people may make plans but everything falls in to God’s plans for he knows the plans he has for you

Proverbs 19:21 Meaning of Many Are the Plans in a Man’s Heart

May 20, 2020 by Editor in Chief

Proverbs 19:21
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Explanation and Commentary of Proverbs 19:21

God is sovereign and rules the universe, which he created for his own good purposes and his own glory. He has made man in his image and delegated authority to him to rule the earth and subdue it in the name of the Lord (Gen 1:26-28). If the world had not fallen when the first man rebelled, then “the plans in a person’s heart,” and the purposes of the Lord would be in perfect alignment.

But the world is fallen, and even Christians have the treasure of the Holy Spirit and a regenerated heart housed in a “jars of clay” (2 Cor 4:7), the flesh. Because of this, even Christians must submit their plans to God and trust him for direction. James 4:13-14 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…” James goes on to say that we should say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (15).

It is not wrong to plan, but to be open to God correcting your course is the way to go about it. While it is right to make plans as one who has been empowered for decision-making, we must remember that God is ultimately in charge and may change our course whenever he sees fit. In this way, we can live a wonderful life of working hard and doing the right things as we see what those things are, but then trusting him for all the outcomes.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 19:21

#1 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart,”
People make plans for various reasons and with all kinds of motives. Try as we might to hear the voice of God for the present and even the future, sometimes our egos, lusts, or pride can cause us to start a course for a destination God is not leading us to. As fallen humans in a world ruled by satan, we are motivated by evil much of the time. Pride, envy, greed, lust, and the pursuit of all sorts of idols makes the world go round in the dominion of darkness.

#2 “but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
How good it is that even though the most mature Christians can follow false plans, God will ultimately get his way. This should be a great source of comfort to anyone who ultimately wants to see God have his way in their life. Even when the heart bears a deceptive false motive, the Holy Spirit in the Christian will long to see the person obey God. If you have plans, good, but always hold them out to God with an open hand.

Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:20-21

Related Topics: Purpose, Plans, Lord, Heart, Listening, Wisdom, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

“Man proposes, heaven disposes.” Most of us rush to give advice and make grandiose plans. The Wiseman reminds us that wisdom comes from submitting to instruction for a significant period of time and then, only at the end of long listening does it come. If you are like me, you would do much better to let your plans ripen a bit more in the light of the Lord before you launch into them. I am comforted that James, the wisdom writer of the New Testament, reminds us that God will give that wisdom if we seek it and not doubt. But while we pray for wisdom, let’s pray also for patience to listen to the Lord’s truth in Scripture so we may recognize wisdom when it comes!

My Prayer…

Almighty God, teach me your ways and help me discern your paths for my life. I have so many plans and schemes, but I know if they are not from you, they will not stand. Lead me to your wisdom and I will not only seek to know it, but also seek to live it by the power supplied by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

David Guzik

On August 7, 2017, 7:20 pm

Proverbs 19

Proverbs 19 – Fools and Family Life

Proverbs 19:1

Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

a. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity: Previous proverbs have been critical of the poor, but here Solomon recognized that not all poverty is caused by moral failure or weakness. There are definitely poor people who walk in their integrity.

i. “Often men put under their feet those whom God carries in his heart. Man honors the perverse for their riches and despises the poor because of their poverty.” (Bridges)

b. Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool: The Book of Proverbs is honest about the disadvantages of poverty. Yet it also recognizes that being poor is in no way the worst thing a person can be. It is far worse to be a fool who speaks twisted, perverse things.

i. “Once again a proverb correlates poverty with piety and wealth with impiety. The poor may be miserable for the moment, but the unethical rich are miserable for eternity. Thus the proverb teaches the pilgrim to walk by faith, not by sight.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 19:2

Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
And he sins who hastens with his feet.

a. It is not good for a soul to be without knowledge: When a person (a soul) has no wisdom (is without knowledge), it is never good. It may be common, but it is not good.

b. And he who sins hastens with his feet: Solomon listed a second thing that was not good – the one who rushes toward sin (hastens with his feet). On this side of eternity, we will also struggle with sin, but we don’t have to run towards it. We should be those who battle against sin, not run towards it.

Proverbs 19:3

The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the LORD.

a. The foolishness of a man twists his way: it is true that a fool is foolish because they are twisted, crooked. Yet it also true that the foolish man finds his way more and more twisted. Foolishness leads to more twistedness.

b. His heart frets against the LORD: God intended us to be at peace with Him, but because of rebellion (both inherited and chosen), we are in many ways against the LORD. The foolish man or woman has no peace in God; their heart frets against the LORD. They are angry and perhaps bitter against God for their twisted way.

i. “Fools will try to blame God when they ruin their lives…The fool is not willing to accept failure as his own. Of course, to blame God is also folly.” (Ross)

ii. “Such is the pride and blasphemy of a proud spirit. The criminal blames the judge for his righteous sentence.” (Bridges)

Proverbs 19:4

Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend.

a. Wealth makes many friends: When a person is wealthy, it draws many people to them in friendship. Yet these friendships may not be sincere or meaningful.

i. “Although a crowd, each one forms the friendship out of what he can gain, not for what he can give. The proverb anticipates the Lord’s teaching to use of money to win friends and an eternal reward in the kingdom of God (Luke 18:1-9).” (Waltke)

b. The poor is separated from his friend: The wealthy man has advantages and draws many friends, but the poor man does not have these advantages. Their would-be friends find it easy to separate from them.

Proverbs 19:5

A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies will not escape.

a. A false witness will not go unpunished: The first idea in this proverb is probably that of the law court, and in the court, it is essential that the false witness be punished. Justice depends upon it. This principle extends beyond the court of law into our daily life. God loves the truth and wants us to speak the truth.

b. He who speaks lies will not escape: Among men, sometimes the falsewitness and liars escape the discovery and penalty of their sin. With God, he who speaks lies will not escape. Jesus said our every word would be held to account (Matthew 12:36).

i. “This is a statement made in faith, for perjurers may escape human justice. Even the stern law of Deuteronomy 19:18-21 availed nothing for Naboth—or for Jesus.” (Kidner)

Proverbs 19:6

Many entreat the favor of the nobility,
And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.

a. Many entreat the favor of the nobility: When someone is of high status and importance (of the nobility), many people want their favor. There are advantages in having the favor of influential people.

b. Every man is a friend to the one who gives gifts: Many people who offer friendship do so out of selfish motives. They want the benefit of the favor of the nobility and the gifts that others may offer.

Proverbs 19:7

All the brothers of the poor hate him;
How much more do his friends go far from him!
He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him.

a. All the brothers of the poor hate him: To be poor is often to be rejected by men, even by brothers and friends. What a contrast to Jesus, who Himself became poor (2 Corinthians 8:9) to draw near to us in our poverty and need.

b. He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him: By nature, people run from the poor person, even when he tries to persuade and pursue them with words. In contrast, God pursues the poor and needy.

Proverbs 19:8

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.

a. He who gets wisdom loves his own soul: The possession and pursuit of wisdom is so good and helpful to us that we can and should get wisdom simply out of self-interest. In so doing we love our own soul, our own life.

i. Loves his own soul:“Or loveth himself, because he procures great good to his soul, or to himself, as it follows; as sinners, on the contrary, are said to hate their souls, Proverbs 29:24, because they bring mischief upon them.” (Poole)

b. He who keeps understanding will find good: Wisdom isn’t just something to get; it is also something to keep. We find good when we keep understanding.

Proverbs 19:9

A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies shall perish.

a. A false witness will not go unpunished: The words and sense of this proverb were previously presented in Proverbs 19:5. The repetition reminds us that this is an important principle. In the law court and in daily life, God wants us to be people of the truth and so He promised that a false witness will not go unpunished.

b. He who speaks lies shall perish: This speaks to the certainty of God’s justice towards those who lie. Revelation 21:8 warns that liars are among those who will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Proverbs 19:10

Luxury is not fitting for a fool,
Much less for a servant to rule over princes.

a. Luxury is not fitting for a fool: The sense is that there are some wisdom-rejecting fools who enjoy luxury, but it doesn’t seem right. It isn’t fitting for a fool to live in luxury.

b. Much less for a servant to rule over princes: Solomon spoke according to the wisdom of the natural man, which places great trust in nobility and family lineage. This is one of the proverbs that the gospel and the new covenant turn on its head, where those who would be great should be as servants and not as princes (Matthew 20:26 and 23:11).

i. “The slave, who is incompetent both by disposition and training, will be drunk from the feeling of power and his rulership will develop into unbearable despotism. The consequences for the community are only incompetence, mismanagement, abuse of power, corruption, injustice; in brief, social chaos (cf. Ecclesiastes 10:5-7).” (Waltke)

ii. “The slave has the same rational power as his sovereign. But lesser habits of mind make him unfit to rule. There are, however, exceptions to this, as in the case of Joseph.” (Bridges)

Proverbs 19:11

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

a. The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger: It isn’t necessarily weakness or lack of courage that makes a man slow to anger. It may be wisdom, here described as discretion.

b. His glory is to overlook a transgression: A wise man or woman knows that they have been forgiven much, and this shapes how they deal with others. They don’t act as if they must hold everyone accountable for every transgression but know when to overlook a transgression.

i. “The virtue which is indicated here is more than a forgiving temper; it includes also the ability to shrug off insults and the absence of a brooding hypersensitivity.” (McKane, cited in Ross)

ii. “The manlier any man is, the milder and readier to pass by an offence. This shows that he hath much of God in him (if he do it from a right principle), who bears with our evil manners, and forgives our trespasses, beseeching us to be reconciled.” (Trapp)

Proverbs 19:12

The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.

a. The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion: The roar of a lion is terrifying in itself, even without the understanding that destruction will swiftly follow. The same is true for the wrath of a king or any other influential person. It is much truer regarding the wrath of God or the wrath of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).

i. “Hebrew, Of a young lion, which, being in his prime, roars more terribly; sets up his roar with such a force that he amazeth the other creatures whom he hunteth, so that, though far swifter of foot than the lion, they have no power to fly from him.” (Trapp)

ii. “There is nothing more dreadful than the roaring of this tyrant of the forest. At the sound of it all other animals tremble, flee away, and hide themselves. The king who is above law, and rules without law, and whose will is his own law, is like the lion.” (Clarke)

b. His favor is like the dew on the grass: This means the king’s favor is refreshing and life-giving; it also means that it is fleeting, as the dew on the grass. The favor of God is certainly refreshing and life-giving, but it is not fleeting, as if God were an impossible-to-please tyrant.

i. “Dew, which in the climatic conditions of Palestine was essential to the survival of vegetation in the hot, dry summer, is a gift from God.” (Waltke)

ii. “This proverb would advise the king’s subjects to use tact and the king to cultivate kindness.” (Ross)

Proverbs 19:13

A foolish son is the ruin of his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping.

a. A foolish son is the ruin of his father: It is grieving to any parent to have a foolish son or daughter. This may run from grief to ruin as the grief destroys the father’s health and life, or as the father ruins himself to rescue the foolish son.

b. The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping: This proverb of sympathy for a man’s problems as a father now looks at a man’s potential problem as a husband. A wife who often contends (fights, argues) with her husband is like a continual dripping in at least three ways.

· It is an always-present annoyance and trouble.

· It wastes and destroys, eroding good and valuable things.

· It points to some underlying, more basic problem.

i. “The man who has got such a wife is like a tenant who has got a cottage with a bad roof, through every part of which the rain either drops or pours. He can neither sit, stand, work, nor sleep, without being exposed to these droppings. God help the man who is in such a case, with house or wife!” (Clarke)

ii. “Like as a man that hath met with hard usage abroad thinks to mend himself at home, but is no sooner sat down there but the rain, dropping through the roof upon his head, drives him out of doors again. Such is the case of him that hath a contentious wife – a far greater cross than that of ungracious children, which yet are the father’s calamities and heart breaks.” (Trapp)

iii. “Delitzsch passes on an Arab proverb told him…‘Three things make a house intolerable: tak (the leaking through of rain), nak (a wife’s nagging) and bak (bugs).’” (Kidner)

Proverbs 19:14

Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

a. Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers: There are good things a man may receive as an inheritance, including material things such as houses and riches. A man is blessed to have such things.

b. A prudent wife is from the LORD: A gift beyond the inheritance one may receive from fathers is this gift from God – a prudent wife. A wife of wisdom, self-control, and appropriate living is a greater gift than houses and riches. A wife who is not prudent may waste whatever wealth a man has. Every man with a prudent, wise wife should give thanks to the LORD.

i. From the LORD: “Nature makes a woman, election a wife; but to be prudent, wise, and virtuous is of the Lord. A good wife was one of the first real and royal gifts bestowed on Adam.” (Trapp)

ii. “Thus the proverb instructs the disciple to look to God (Proverbs 15:8, 29; 16:3; cf. Genesis 24:14) and find his favor through wisdom to obtain from him a competent wife (Proverbs 8:35; 18:22)…. As a result, when a man has a competent wife, he praises God, not himself.” (Waltke)

iii. “The verse does not answer questions about unhappy marriages or bad wives; rather, it simply affirms that when a marriage turns out well, one should credit God.” (Ross)

Proverbs 19:15

Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And an idle person will suffer hunger.

a. Laziness casts one into a deep sleep: There are many problems with laziness, and one of them is that it leads to more laziness, sending the lazy man into a deep sleep. There is no work to be done from a deep sleep.

i. “Laziness plunges him into a state of being so deep in sleep that he is totally unconscious of his situation. Unaware of his tragic situation and unable to arouse himself, the sluggard neglects his source of income and so hungers. His fate is similar to that of drunkards and the gluttons (Proverbs 23:21).” (Waltke)

b. An idle person will suffer hunger: There is a great price to be paid from laziness, one of those prices is the hunger one suffers as one’s needs are not met through hard work. The lazy man or woman puts themselves in a trap of sleep and hunger.

Proverbs 19:16

He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of his ways will die.

a. He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul: Obedience to the word and commandment of God is of real, practical benefit. Obedience guards and keeps the life, the soul of the wise man or woman who lives according to God’s word.

b. He who is careless of his ways will die: To abandon wisdom and live careless in our ways is to invite death. God gave His commandment to give us life and to keep us from death.

Proverbs 19:17

He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD,
And He will pay back what he has given.

a. He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD: When we give to the poor (expressing our love and pity towards them), we aren’t wasting our money. It is like lending money to the LORD Himself.

i. “Their just and gracious Creator takes it upon himself to assume their indebtedness and so he will repay the lender in full.” (Waltke)

b. He will pay back what he has given: God will never be in debt to any man. He will never be in a position where He owes anything as a matter of debt. Therefore, to lend to the LORD is to ensure blessing in return. God will certainly pay back what we give in compassion to the poor. God promises that we will never be the loser for generous and compassionate giving.

i. “God will never be in your debt. He is exact and punctilious in His repayment. No man ever dared to do His bidding in respect to any case of need, and found himself the poorer…. Was not Ruth’s love to Naomi well compensated?” (Meyer)

ii. “O what a word is this! God makes himself debtor for every thing that is given to the poor! Who would not advance much upon such credit? God will pay it again. And in no case has he ever forfeited his word.” (Clarke)

iii. “This promise of reward does not necessarily signify that he will get his money back; the rewards in Proverbs involve life and prosperity in general.” (Ross)

Proverbs 19:18

Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart on his destruction.

a. Chasten your son while there is hope: There is not an endless window of opportunity to chasten and wisely discipline our children. Age and circumstances limit the opportunity for effective training, so it must be done while there is hope. There may come the time when you wish you had done much more to chasten your son or daughter.

i. “It is far better that the child should cry under healthy correction than that parents should later cry under the bitter fruit to themselves and their children of neglected discipline.” (Bridges)

b. Do not set your heart on his destruction: To fail to chasten your son in the opportune season is to actually work for his destruction. Many parents bring much destruction to their children through neglect, not outright abuse.

i. “Psychologically healthy parents do not consciously desire to kill their children. But if they do not employ the God-given means of verbal reproof to prevent acts of folly and corporal punishment to prevent their repetition, they are in fact unwittingly party to the worst punishment, his death.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 19:19

A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.

a. A man of great wrath will suffer punishment: Out of control anger brings many problems and costs. Among the fruit of the spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23), and wisdom does not lead a person to be of great wrath.

i. “He punishes himself. Wounded pride and resentment leave the wretched criminal brooding in his room. He suffers an intolerable burden of self-inflicted punishment.” (Bridges)

b. For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again: The person who can’t control their anger will run into trouble again and again. To rescue them once isn’t enough, because the problem is more in them than in the circumstances that they blame for their anger. It is better for them to face the consequences of their action and hope they learn something from it.

i. “An ungovernable temper will repeatedly land its owner in fresh trouble.” (Kidner)

Proverbs 19:20

Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

a. Listen to counsel and receive instruction: One of the first marks of wisdom is the readiness to receive more wisdom. A teachable person, one who will listen to counsel and receive instruction, has already made much progress on the path of wisdom.

b. That you may be wise in your latter days: The bad effects of the foolish rejection of wisdom may not be seen for many years. Yet in the latter days of a man or woman’s life, it will be clear whether or not they learned wisdom’s lessons and if they did listen to counsel. If you want to be wise later in life, start now.

Proverbs 19:21

There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.

a. There are many plans in a man’s heart: It is in the nature of men (and women) to plan and prepare for the future. Some of the plans may be wise and some may be foolish, but there are many plans in a man’s heart.

b. Nevertheless, the LORD’s counsel – that will stand: Man makes his plans, and he should. Yet every plan should be made with an appreciation of God’s overall wisdom, work, and will.

i. James would later explain this principle this way: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

ii. “This is a perfectly self evident assertion, but, as such, important as to warrant a pause in reading it. The one thing in the heart that may be depended upon is the counsel or guidance of Jehovah.” (Morgan)

Proverbs 19:22

What is desired in a man is kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.

a. What is desired in a man is kindness: It is not that kindness is the highest or only virtue for the people of God. Yet, in many ways, it is the one most desired by others, especially in a modern world.

b. A poor man is better than a liar: This proverb shows that kindness, though valuable, is not the only virtue. To be a man or woman of truth – to not be a liar – is also of great value. This proverb reminds us that though we should pursue and value kindness, we should not treat it as the only valued virtue among God’s people.

Proverbs 19:23

The fear of the LORD leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.

a. The fear of the LORD leads to life: Since the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, it wonderfully leads to life. If we want life, we should begin with this honor, reverent awe and submission to God.

b. He who has it will abide in satisfaction: When we have, and walk in, the fear of the LORD, it leads to a life of satisfaction. The world, the flesh, and the devil want to convince us that a life founded on fear of the LORD leads to misery, but the opposite is true. It brings satisfaction and keeps us from a future of evil.

i. Will not be visited with evil: “When one lives a life of piety, the Lord provides a quality of life that cannot be disrupted by such evil.” (Ross)

Proverbs 19:24

A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl,
And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

a. A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl: Solomon pictured a lazy man sitting at his food, with his hand buried in his bowl of food.

i. “This humorous portrayal is certainly an exaggeration. It probably was meant more widely for anyone who starts a project but lacks the energy to complete it.” (Ross)

ii. In the bowl: “The same word in 2 Kings 21:13 leaves no doubt of its meaning. The scene is thus a meal, and the example comically extreme.” (Kidner)

b. And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again: In this humorous, exaggerated picture, the lazy man has so little energy and initiative that he won’t even bring his hand from the bowl to his mouth. This exaggerated picture establishes a principle made elsewhere in proverbs: the lazy man will go hungry.

i. Will not so much as bring it to his mouth again: “To wit, to feed himself; he expects that the meat should drop into his mouth.” (Poole)

ii. “Is it possible to find anywhere a more graphic or sarcastic description of absolute laziness?” (Morgan)

Proverbs 19:25

Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary;
Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.

a. Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary: When a determined fool and opponent of wisdom (a scoffer) is punished, others will learn. The more innocent fool (the simple) may learn from this.

i. “Smite him never so much, there is no beating any wit into him. Pharaoh was not a button the better for all that he suffered; but Jethro, taking notice of God’s heavy hand upon Pharaoh, and likewise upon the Amalekites, was thereby converted, and became a proselyte, as Rabbi Solomon noteth upon this text.” (Trapp)

b. Rebuke one who has understanding: The rebuke of the scoffer seems to do the scoffer no good, though it may benefit the simple. Yet when someone who values wisdom (one who has understanding) is corrected, he learns. He grows in his ability to discern knowledge.

i. “Here are three varieties of mind: closed [scoffer]…empty (the simple—he must be startled into attention), and open [understanding] (…he accepts even a painful truth).” (Kidner)

Proverbs 19:26

He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother
Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.

a. He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother: The Bible commands honor your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12). This proverb considers the person who does the opposite of Exodus 20:12.

i. “When the father and his household lies in ruin, the mother (see Proverbs 1:8) is left in a tragic situation without the provision and protection and of her husband. By ruining his father, the imbecile (cf. Proverbs 17:2) leaves his mother as good as a defenseless widow.” (Waltke)

b. Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach: One cannot disobey God and the standards of human society without paying a price. One price to be paid from the mistreatment of parents is to bring shame and reproach upon one’s self.

Proverbs 19:27

Cease listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

a. Cease listening to instruction, my son: Solomon continued to give wisdom to his children, and here warned of the danger of ceasing to listen to instruction, to wisdom.

b. And you will stray from the words of knowledge: This shows us that attention and effort must be given to remain on the path of wisdom. If one does cease listening to instruction, then they will stray from the words of knowledge. One must set themselves on the path of wisdom and, with God’s help, determine that they will stay upon in.

i. “The meaning here is that it is better not to learn than to learn to refuse to obey.” (Morgan)

ii. “Without constant attention to wisdom depraved human beings unconsciously stray from it. Even Solomon, ancient Israel’s paragon of wisdom, strayed when he ceased listening to his own proverbs.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 19:28

A disreputable witness scorns justice,
And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.

a. A disreputable witness scorns justice: The witness who is not committed to truth doesn’t care about the workings of justice. Great harm comes upon society and its legal system when there is not care and promotion of the truth and the disreputable witness is not punished.

i. “The perjurers in the lawsuit against Naboth are called beliyyaal (1 Kings. 21:10, 13), a story that illustrates the lying witnesses’ lethal power.” (Waltke)

b. The mouth of the wicked devours iniquity: The words of the wicked (coming from the mouth) love iniquity so much that they devour it, as a hungry man devours food. This is the kind of person who scorns justice and tears down society.

Proverbs 19:29

Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And beatings for the backs of fools.

a. Judgments are prepared for scoffers: Those who reject wisdom with hostility (scoffers) will not escape penalty. Judgments are prepared for them.

i. Are prepared for: “For these scorners (that promise themselves impunity) are judgments, not one, but many, not appointed only, but prepared long since, and now ready to be executed.” (Trapp)

b. Beatings for the backs of fools: Those who disregard wisdom, bound in their folly (fools) will also have their penalty. Correction will come to them in its appointed way, and sadly – the correction will do little good for them.

i. “Profane and wicked men expose themselves to the punishments denounced against such by just laws. Avoid, therefore, both their company and their end.” (Clarke)

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Categories: Old Testament Proverbs

Enduring Word

What does Proverbs 19:20 mean?

By divine design, the natural human body has one mouth but two ears. That correlates to practical, physical needs as part of biology. Yet it also provides a living parable: poetically suggesting that listening is twice as important as speaking. Solomon notes how paying attention to good advice (Proverbs 1:7–8; 8:32–36) leads to a wiser future. The allusion here is to moral correction and discipline (Proverbs 19:18–19).

This proverb also notes that it’s important to “accept” learning from others. Simply hearing advice without acting on it is as useless as buying medicine and letting it sit unopened. Carefully considering correction and discipline and following through with actions prepares a person for the future. How one responds to adverse circumstances in later years of life shows whether they acquired wisdom during younger years. In his younger days, the apostle John leaned on Jesus’ chest. He was a member of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples (John 13:23; Luke 8:51; Mark 9:2). In John’s old age, God used him to write five New Testament books: the gospel of John, First, Second, and Third John, and Revelation, in which his wisdom shines. He met persecution wisely when he was an old man, showing he had carefully listened to and heeded Jesus’ teachings.

Context Summary

Proverbs 19:8–21 continues Solomon’s observations about wisdom and foolishness, a king’s wrath, household turmoil, and human plans as compared to divine sovereignty. A theme of these proverbs is the danger of ignoring godly wisdom, while placing too much reliance on one’s own ability. A wise person is prudent, diligent, and honest. At the same time, wisdom means realizing that not all plans work out.

Chapter Summary

Several themes are associated with these statements. Among them are the idea that personal integrity is worth much more than earthly wealth or success. Solomon discusses the unfortunate habit of favoring the rich and dismissing the poor, while commending those who care for the unfortunate. Many references are made to the consequences of foolish behavior, including the shame and punishment such things can bring.

What does Proverbs 19:21 mean?

Solomon (Proverbs 10:1) understood the importance of sensible planning. He worked out a design to build a temple for the Lord. He arranged the building of an impressive house for himself. And he laid out gardens and infrastructures (1 Kings 3:1). He recognized the wisdom of consulting with others to make the best decisions (Proverbs 11:14; 12:15; 20:18). He knew the value of diligence when making plans (Proverbs 14:15; 18:13, 15, 17). That starts with seeking God’s will and His direction (Proverbs 3:5–6).

However, Solomon was wise enough to know that human plans are never guaranteed to work out. He observes here that only God’s intents are destined to succeed. Likewise, the apostle James tells his readers not to be arrogant about their future designs. He doesn’t condemn planning, but instead notes that it should be done in God-honoring humility. He counsels, “You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that'” (James 4:15).

Proverbs 27:1 sounds a similar warning: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Psalm 37:3–5 provides pieces of a formula for successful planning: “Trust in the LORD,” “Do good,” “Delight yourself in the LORD,” and “Commit your way to the LORD.”

Context Summary

Proverbs 19:8–21 continues Solomon’s observations about wisdom and foolishness, a king’s wrath, household turmoil, and human plans as compared to divine sovereignty. A theme of these proverbs is the danger of ignoring godly wisdom, while placing too much reliance on one’s own ability. A wise person is prudent, diligent, and honest. At the same time, wisdom means realizing that not all plans work out.

Chapter Summary

I Several themes are associated with these statements. Among them are the idea that personal integrity is worth much more than earthly wealth or success. Solomon discusses the unfortunate habit of favoring the rich and dismissing the poor, while commending those who care for the unfortunate. Many references are made to the consequences of foolish behavior, including the shame and punishment such things can bring.

He Is Our Rock Everlasting

VERSE OF THE DAY

Isaiah 26:4 (New International Version)

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Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Forever shall you trust in the Lord,for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal everlasting the only one true God none other for he is the savior

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust.

Isaiah Chapter 26

Isaiah 26 – Judah’s Kingdom of God Song

A. The city of God and the city of Man.

1. (1-2) The strength of God’s city.

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city;
God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.

a. In that day: The context from Isaiah 24-25 points to the day of the Messiah’s ultimate triumph, the day when the Messiah reigns over Israel, and over all the world. In that day, there will be a lot of joyful singing, such as this song that will be sung in the land of Judah.

b. We have a strong city: Since cities came into being after the fall of man in Genesis 3, mankind has never known a truly godly city, the City of God on earth. In that day, all will know the strength and glory of the city of God.

i. In the fifth century, the city of Rome was conquered by less civilized tribes from the north in Europe. In the west, the mighty Roman Empire was no more, and many blamed the fall of Rome on Christianity, the new religion she had officially embraced in the last 100 years. In this time of confusion, the greatest Christian theologian of the day wrote a book titled The City of God. In it, he tried to explain how the fall of the western Roman Empire related to the kingdom of God, and he made the contrast between the city of man (ultimately represented by Rome and the mighty Roman Empire) and the City of God (the kingdom of God). Augustine pointed out that though the fall of Rome was tragic for the city of man, it really only advanced the coming of the City of God. Speaking in Augustine’s terms, Isaiah wrote about the City of God when he said, we have a strong city. The strong city is the Kingdom of God, the city of man is the world system.

ii. This is an important and often neglected idea. We often disapprove of the idea of the city, and romanticize the idea of man in isolation, in a rural or primitive setting. But in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on this earth, there will be cities – but redeemed cities, glorious communities organized under the strength and salvation and righteousness and truth of the LORD. God’s supreme ideal is not an escape from all community and a private communion with nature; the Kingdom of God will be realized in a strong city.

c. God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks: The city of God, from beginning to end, is all about salvation. Even the walls and the bulwarks of the city are saved.

d. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter it: The city of God, with all its strength and salvation, is only for the righteous, and those who keep the truth. In the same principle, the New Jerusalem is a city filled with glory, which excludes the unrighteous (Revelation 21:22-27).

i. We should make a distinction between the Kingdom of the Messiah, the millennial reign of Jesus (described here in Isaiah 26), and the coming of the New Jerusalem (which comes when this earth passes away, Revelation 21:1-2). The cities are similar, because they are both from the LORD, but they come at different times in God’s plan of the ages.

2. (3-4) The LORD is our source of strength.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

a. You will keep him in perfect peace: This is a wonderful promise: perfect peace. God promises that we can have perfect peace, and even be kept in a place of perfect peace.

i. In Hebrew, the term perfect peace is actually shalom shalom. This shows how in Hebrew, repetition communicates intensity. It isn’t just shalom; it is shalom shalom, perfect peace.

ii. “Understand, dear soul, that it is thy privilege to live inside the double doors of God’s loving care. He says to thee, ‘Peace, peace.’ If one assurance is not enough, He will follow it with a second and a third.” (Meyer)

iii. Some can have this perfect peace, but it is fleeting, and they are never kept there. Others can be kept in peace, but it is not a perfect peace, it is the peace of the wicked, the peace of spiritual sleep and ultimate destruction. But there is a perfect peace that the LORD will keep us in.

b. Whose mind is stayed on You: This is the place of perfect peace and the source of it. When we keep our minds stayed – settled upon, established upon – the LORD Himself, then we can be kept in this perfect peace.

i. To be kept in this perfect peace is a matter of our mind. This isn’t so much a matter of our spirit or of our soul or of our heart. It is a matter of our mind. We are to love the LORD our God with all of our mind (Matthew 22:37). We are transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). We can have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16, Philippians 2:5). We are not to set our mind on earthly things (Philippians 3:19), but to set our mind on things above (Colossians 3:2). The Christian life is not an unthinking life of just doing, or experiencing, but it is also about thinking, and where we set our mind is essential in our walk before the LORD.

ii. To be kept in this perfect peace, our mind must be stayed. According to Strong’s Dictionary, the Hebrew word sawmak comes from the root “to prop,” and has the idea “to lean upon or take hold of…bear up, establish, uphold, lay, lean, lie hard, put, rest self, set self, stand fast, stay (self), sustain.” In other places the same word is translated sustained (Genesis 27:37, Psalm 3:5), or when the priest would put their hands on the head of a sacrificial animal (Exodus 29:10, 15, 19), or of the laying on of hands in other circumstances (Numbers 27:18), of being upheld (Psalm 71:6), to stand fast upon (Psalm 111:8), of being established (Psalm 112:8), of leaning upon (Isaiah 36:6, 48:2). It is fair to ask the disciples of Jesus Christ: What sustains your mind? What do you lay your mind upon? What upholds your mind? What does your mind stand fast upon? What is your mind established upon? What does your mind lean upon? To have this perfect peace, your mind cannot occasionally come to and lean upon the LORD; it has to be stayed on Him.

iii. To be kept in this perfect peace, our mind must be stayed on the LORD. If our mind is stayed on ourselves, or our problems, or the problem people in our lives, or on anything else, we can’t have this perfect peace. This is the heart that says with the Apostle Paul, that I may know Him (Philippians 3:10). In his spiritual attacks against us, Satan loves to get our minds set on anything except the LORD.

c. Because he trusts in You: This is another way of expressing the idea of keeping our minds stayed on Him. Almost always, you keep your mind stayed on whatever you are trusting. When we trust the LORD, we keep our mind stayed on Him.

i. Proverbs 3:5 expresses this same idea: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. The word for lean in Proverbs 3:5 comes from the same root as the word stayed in Isaiah 26:3. When we trust in the LORD, we do not lean on our own understanding. To lean on the LORD is to trust Him. To be sustained by the LORD is to trust Him. To be established by the LORD is to trust Him. To be upheld by the LORD is to trust Him.

ii. The battle for trust in our lives begins in our minds. If we trust the LORD, it will show in our actions, but it will begin in our mind.

d. Trust in the LORD forever: Because of the promise of Isaiah 26:3, we are encouraged to trust in the LORD forever – and therefore to receive the blessing of the promise, perfect peace.

e. For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength: If the LORD calls us to rely on Him completely with our mind, He appeals to our mind with a rational reason why we should trust the LORD – because He is everlasting strength. It isn’t that the LORD has everlasting strength, He is everlasting strength.

i. Clarke’s comment on Isaiah 12:2 applies here also: “The word Yah read here is probably a mistake; and arose originally from the custom of the Jewish scribes, who, when they found a line too short for the word, wrote as many letters as filled it, and then began the next line with the whole word.”

3. (5-6) The destiny of the city of man.

For He brings down those who dwell on high,
The lofty city;
He lays it low,
He lays it low to the ground,
He brings it down to the dust.
The foot shall tread it down—
The feet of the poor
And the steps of the needy.”

a. He brings down those who dwell on high, the lofty city: The city of man is lofty, and the exalted ones of the city dwell on high. But the LORD will bring them down nonetheless. The city of man, the world system, is nothing to the LORD; He lays it low.

b. He brings it down to the dust: The city of man, the world system, is all about power and prestige, built on the backs of the weak and the poor. But when God brings the city of man down to the dust, He will turn all that around, and the feet of the poor shall tread it down.

i. Jesus expressed the same principle in Matthew 5:5: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Jesus told us to oppose the power and prestige thinking of this world and to live with the thinking of His Kingdom right now (Matthew 20:25-28).

4. (7-9) The way of the upright.

The way of the just is uprightness;
O Most Upright,
You weigh the path of the just.
Yes, in the way of Your judgments,
O LORD, we have waited for You;
The desire of our soul is for Your name
And for the remembrance of You.
With my soul I have desired You in the night,
Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
For when Your judgments are in the earth,
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

a. The way of the just is uprightness: In the Kingdom of God, His righteous people walk in a way – the way of uprightness. Isaiah accurately gives the sense of order in this; the LORD makes His people just by a relationship of faith and trust in Him, then they walk in the way of…uprightness.

i. They walk in uprightness because they serve the LORD God, who is Most Upright Himself. As they trust the LORD, and are declared just by the LORD, they walk in His own way.

ii. You weigh the path of the just: The LORD looks at His righteous ones (the just) and He evaluates their path. The LORD cares about the walk of His just ones.

b. The desire of our soul is for Your name: In the Kingdom of God, His just people love Him and desire Him.

i. The desire is displayed in waiting: O LORD, we have waited for You. When you desire something, or someone, you will wait for them, and do it gladly because of your desire.

ii. The desire is displayed in seeking: With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early. When you desire something, or someone, you seek them all the time, both early and at night.

c. The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness: The way of the upright will be one day vindicated.

5. (10-11) The way of the wicked.

Let grace be shown to the wicked,
Yet he will not learn righteousness;
In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly,
And will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
LORD, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see.
But they will see and be ashamed
For their envy of people;
Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.

a. Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness: The wicked are ungrateful for God’s goodness.

b. And will not behold the majesty of the LORD…. they will see and be ashamed…the fire of Your enemies shall devour them: The wicked end in disaster.

B. Promises made to a humble heart.

1. (12-18) The prayer of a humble heart.

LORD, You will establish peace for us,
For You have also done all our works in us.
O LORD our God, masters besides You
Have had dominion over us;
But by You only we make mention of Your name.
They are dead, they will not live;
They are deceased, they will not rise.
Therefore You have punished and destroyed them,
And made all their memory to perish.
You have increased the nation, O LORD,
You have increased the nation;
You are glorified;
You have expanded all the borders of the land.
LORD, in trouble they have visited You,
They poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.
As a woman with child
Is in pain and cries out in her pangs,
When she draws near the time of her delivery,
So have we been in Your sight, O LORD.
We have been with child, we have been in pain;
We have, as it were, brought forth wind;
We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth,
Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

a. You have also done all our works in us: Even though the Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostle Paul more than 500 years after Isaiah’s time, one might feel that Isaiah must have read Ephesians 2:8-10: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Even our good works are works that He has done…in us.

b. Masters besides You have had dominion over us; but by You only we make mention of Your name: The humble heart repents of past idolatry, and rejoices in the present freedom in the LORD.

i. The humble heart sees the folly of their past idolatry: They are dead, they will not live. The humble heart sees the victory of the LORD over all idols: You have punished and destroyed them. “Obviously this verse does not suggest that the ‘other lords’ had real existence as deities but simply that they were believed to have and that their rule was sinfully acknowledged by the people in past times.” (Grogan)

ii. The Hebrew word for dominion is baal, which can mean master or husband. Of course, Baal was also the chief god of the native Canaanites, and a seductive idol for Israel. In this prayer, Judah essentially said, O LORD our God, masters besides you have mastered us.

c. We have been with child, we have been in pain; we have, as it were, brought forth wind: The humble heart knows the futility of working apart from the direction and blessing of God.

i. “We have had the torment of a woman in child-bearing, but not the comfort of a living child…for we have brought forth nothing but the wind; all our labours and hopes were vain and unsuccessful.” (Poole)

d. You have increased the nation: The humble heart knows the LORD is responsible for increase and blessing.

e. LORD, in trouble they have visited You: The humble heart relies on the LORD in times of distress and futility.

2. (19) The promise of resurrection.

Your dead shall live;
Together with my dead body they shall arise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;
For your dew is like the dew of herbs,
And the earth shall cast out the dead.

a. Your dead shall live: The Old Testament gave a shadowy understanding of the life to come, because the secrets of the life to come have now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). But here is one Old Testament example of a confident expectation of resurrection and glory for the LORD’s righteous ones.

3. (20-21) The promise of refuge in the time of great indignation.

Come, my people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
For behold, the LORD comes out of His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
The earth will also disclose her blood
And will no more cover her slain.

a. Come, my people, enter your chambers: Isaiah, speaking for the LORD, prophesies a time when God’s people are invited to come and find refuge until the indignation is past.

i. The refuge is secure. God’s people are secure in chambers, with the doors shut behind them. They are hidden securely (Hide yourself).

b. The LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: The indignation God’s people are hidden from is from the LORD Himself. This is not persecution from the wicked, but judgment from the LORD. This is not a local judgment, but something the LORD brings upon the inhabitants of the earth in general.

i. The devastation of the indignation of the LORD is seen all over the earth: The earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.

c. Hide yourself, as it were: When is this time when God’s people are carried away, securely hidden, from a time of great indignation the LORD brings upon the earth? It could refer to the deliverance of the Jewish people from the fury of the Antichrist described in Revelation 12:6 and 12:13-16. But it is more likely that it speaks of the refuge, the safety, the security of God’s people when they are caught up together with the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) and escape the horrific indignation of the Lord that He pours out upon the world in the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22, Revelation 9:15-21), which will immediately precede the second coming of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:29-30).

i. Seen this way, this is a powerful passage supporting the teaching of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, which says that Jesus Christ will remove His people from this earth before the time of Great Tribulation coming upon the earth immediately before His ultimate return.

(c) 2021 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Categories: Isaiah Old Testament

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Isaiah 26:3 Meaning of Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace

 by Editor in Chief

Isaiah 26:3
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”

Explanation and Commentary on Isaiah 26:3

Here is a series of causes and effects, along with some unspoken ones that undergird the whole verse. Those who trust in the Lord will have a steadfast mind as a result. Those who have a steadfast mind will be kept by God in perfect peace.

Verse 4, which directly follows says, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” God is not only our Rock but he is our eternal Rock, which means that we are not only to trust him for this life but forever. It also stands that his perfect peace is eternal.

Humans seek the world’s peace as a great achievement. For the Christian, perfect peace is a byproduct of the simple command to “trust in” the Lord. This is what Adam and Eve failed to do (Gen 3:6), but what Jesus did to perfection (Lk 22:42). And because he did, we can.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Isaiah 26:3

#1 “You will keep…”
God keeps us. He created us. He blesses us, and he keeps us in the palm of his hand.

#2 “…in perfect peace…”
Perfect peace is the goal of humanity, though there are few who understand this, they are aiming for it in all their idolatry. Perfect peace starts with peace with God through Jesus Christ (Eph 2:14). We first have enmity with God because of our sin. Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Ro 5:8) and brought us peace with the Father.

#3 “those whose minds are steadfast,”
Steadfast minds are firm and do not waiver. When Moses killed the Egyptian for abusing his kinsman, it says that he first looked to the right and the left (Ex 2:12). But those who are steadfast look straight ahead like Christ, who resolutely “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51) and who said through the prophet Isaiah, “I have set my face like flint” (Isa 50:7). Steadfast action comes from a steadfast mind.

#4 “because they trust in you.”
The only way to achieve a steadfast mind that lasts into eternity is through total trust in God. Is God still on his throne, blessing and keeping his children? Then be steadfast. Has God sent his one and only Son to save you by his death on the cross? Then trust in him. He will never fail you. Trust in him by completely surrendering all to him. There is no other way. Then will come a steadfast mind, and perfect peace.

Hit the play button below to watch the full commentary on Isaiah 26.

Isaiah 26:4

Published by ADMIN at August 20, 2021

20 August, 2021

Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. –  Isaiah 26:4

Heavenly God, you are the everlasting Fountain of Life, the perennial Source of Strength, the eternal Spring of Mercy. We draw from you, and live. In your Triune Godhead, rests the love of a Father Who is Strength and Refuge for your earthly children, the sacrifice of a Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, the rock of faith and hope in salvation. And the Holy Spirit of God, indwelling in us, the source of guidance and counsel.

Lord, you are immutable and in you is righteousness for your faithful people, who are believers by and Christians by our abiding in Jesus, by our discipleship and by our belonging in solidarity to Christ and to you Father, as co-heirs to your Kingdom. By your unchanging promises to us, we are enabled, by your grace, to bear up under temptations and afflictions, to withstand spiritual foes, and to discharge our duty as evangelists of the mission we have to fulfill.

Christ, our Lord is the Rock on which the church and every believer of the church is built, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. He has been the rock and refuge of his people in ages past, and will be in ages to come. We trust in the Lord, for it is he Who came in this world, and won salvation and eternal freedom for all those that trust in him, through all generations. Lord, we safely repose in Jesus, in a trust that surpasses all human comprehension and make every prayer to you, in Jesus’ Name. Amen

What Does Isaiah 26:4 Mean? ►

“Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.

Isaiah 26:4(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Peace is what people have yearned for down through the ages, and in this passage of scripture, the nation of Israel has just been given a glorious promise from God of His perfect peace – if only their minds are stayed on Him.

A little earlier in his prophecies to Israel, Isaiah called to their remembrance that God is their refuge and strength in every trial they face, and their everlasting Rock in the storms of life. He also reminded them that God will judge their enemies and preserve His people in the land that He promised to their forefather – to Abraham and his seed forever.

Like Israel, we too are reminded that righteousness and peace embrace each other and that the fruit of righteousness is God’s perfect peace; peace with God and the peace of God. And it was at Calvary that righteousness and peace kissed each other in Christ – for without righteousness there can be no peace, and without peace there is no righteousness.

And so like Israel, we are called to trust in the Lord, our Righteousness, forever and ever, and the Son of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. We are called to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not to lean upon our own understanding, because the Lord our God is our everlasting Rock. He is our Fortress in times of trouble and He is our exceedingly great reward.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your never-failing goodness and Your promise of peace and righteousness in Christ Jesus my Lord. Keep me looking to You, depending upon You, and trusting in You every day of my life. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/isaiah-26-4

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