VERSE OF THE DAY.Ephesians 5:19-20 (New Living Translation).Share Audio.singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Singing of praises with psalms and hymns praises amongst yourselves desires of your heart fellowship felt amongst your heart and giving thanks for all that you have thanking God the Father in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ.Christian singing: Why and how? (Ephesians 5:19–20).Reading Time: 12 minutes.Lionel Windsor lectures in New Testament at Moore College, Sydney.Music is part of who we are as human beings. We all know that music stirs the soul and engages the heart. But music isn’t just something that happens to us. Music is something we do: human beings sing! Of course, not all of us are very good at keeping a tune (I’m certainly not). But most of us still sing—or at least we hum along under our breath to the tunes we hear others sing. Indeed, human beings often sing together. This has been true of societies down through the ages. Whether it’s folk tunes, anthems, or chants at sporting events, singing has brought people together, stirred hearts and souls, and enabled people to express together what they love and long for.In some ways, modern technology has changed how we in our Western society engage with music. We now have instant access to a huge range of music from around the world, recorded for our convenience so we can play it back at leisure and listen in private. As a result, we can each pick and choose and consume our music according to our individual tastes. This means that the phenomenon of singing together—using our voices to sing one song with others near to us—is becoming less common in our modern world. On one bus or on one street corner, you’re likely to find fifty people with ear pods listening to fifty different songs, rather than a group of people all singing the same song.This means that the age-old Christian practice of singing together is becoming a little strange and antiquated in our world. I play the piano, and I’ve been involved in church music for many years, serving as a musician and music leader in various contexts. One thing I’ve noticed is that when visitors who aren’t familiar with church come and join us, they can find the whole idea of people singing together a little bit foreign and uncomfortable. Yet despite its strangeness, we still do it. Why do we Christians resist the modern trend towards individualising music and keep singing together when we meet? Why does singing together matter to us so much?In these verses from Ephesians, the apostle Paul says some important things about Christian singing. What Paul says here helps us to see why Christians sing together. It also helps us to understand a little more about how we should sing together.Speak to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, constantly giving thanks for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to our God and Father.Ephesians 5:19–20.Spirit-fulfilled singing.First let’s look at why Christians sing. Christian singing is a result of what Paul has just spoken about in the previous verse: “be fulfilled by the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). In Ephesians, being “fulfilled by the Spirit” is about becoming who we were made to be, for the sake of God and his purposes. God has a great plan for his world “to sum up all things in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10). We believers play a key part in this plan as Christ’s “body”, the church. Although the final fulfilment of God’s plan won’t happen until the last day when Christ returns, nevertheless, even now, through his Holy Spirit, God is bringing us towards fulfilment, enabling us to live for him and his purposes (Ephesians 3:18–19). As this happens, we have some work to do, building one another up and growing together as Christ’s body (Ephesians 4:13). Yet this is not ultimately our own work; it’s God’s work. God’s Spirit brings us to believe in Christ and strengthens us in Christ. And in these verses, we see that one important result of being fulfilled by the Spirit is that we sing!This tells us something very significant about Christian singing. Our singing, by itself, doesn’t cause God’s Spirit to work in us. Rather, it’s the opposite: the Spirit’s work in us through the gospel causes us to sing! This is, unfortunately, one of the fundamental and serious errors of Bethel Music, a large and influential music publisher in the USA. They see it as their task to create “worship songs that carry God’s presence” to worshippers, and worship events “to host His [i. e. God’s] presence”. But our singing does not carry God’s presence—instead, Christ’s presence among us, by his Spirit, through faith in his word, “carries” us. God’s Spirit leads us to sing praises to the God who saved us. If we get it the wrong way around, our singing will end up replacing the role of God’s Holy Spirit. We will feel we need to work ourselves up into a certain emotional state through our singing, so that we can bring God’s presence down to earth. This is disastrous for our faith, because it makes our own emotional state, rather than the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the measure of God’s presence among us. In fact, the idea that our own activities can “carry” God and his presence is ultimately idolatrous: the true God carries us; we don’t carry him (see, for example, Isaiah 46:1–4)!.Why, then, do we sing? We don’t sing to cause God to work in us. We sing because God is at work in us, by his Spirit, bringing us to trust and know the Lord Jesus Christ through the message of the gospel. Singing is the result of this work of God in our lives.The horizontal dimension.The first few words Paul uses to describe singing might sound a little strange at first glance. He doesn’t start by saying “sing to God”, but “speak to one another”. In other words, our singing is a form of speech to one another. This means singing has an important horizontal dimension. Singing involves building one another up through the use of words (see also Colossians 3:16).By using the word “speak”, Paul is here deliberately connecting the idea of Christian singing with all the things he has already said in Ephesians about Christian speech. Our Christian life together involves “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to one another. This means speaking the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 1:13), speaking the implications of the gospel, and speaking in a gospel-shaped way within the network of loving relationships characterised by God’s love for us in Jesus. We’re to build one another up with the truth of the gospel, rather than get carried away by false teachings and “empty words”. We are to speak the truth rather than lies to one another (Ephesians 4:25). We are to speak words that point people to Jesus and build them up in him (Ephesians 4:29–30). Speaking to one another in this way is at the core of our lives together as Christians.So Paul describes singing as a form of speech to one another. This has important implications for how we understand and practice singing. Christian singing is not simply a private, individual experience. It’s not even a private, individual experience among others having their own private, individual experiences in the same room. It’s not just about building ourselves up as individuals; rather it’s about being built together as the body of Christ. That means our practice of singing should not involve shutting others off: for example, we should not spend our singing time at church closing ourselves off from others, only concentrating on our own individual experience. As we sing, we should be opening ourselves to one another, to build others up and to be in turn built up by others. Christian singing is not about each individual singing individual words to himself or herself. Rather, it’s about everybody singing the same, intelligible, gospel-focused words together, building one another up in God’s word.What are we to sing? Paul here mentions “psalms”, “hymns”, and “(spiritual) songs”. He’s not talking here about three different forms of song. All three terms are commonly used in the Old Testament to describe pretty much the same thing: Israel’s response of praise and worship to God. But the three different words help us to see that there are different aspects of the one activity of singing.The personal dimension.The word “psalm” helps us to focus on the musical aspect of singing (a “psalm” was originally a song accompanied by stringed instruments; it’s related to the phrase “making music”). That is, when it comes to singing, the musical aspect is important. Why? Well, there’s just something about music, isn’t there? Music has a power to affect us. It gets under our skin and stirs our souls. Music helps us to engage at a deep, emotional level with the truths of the gospel. It is particularly powerful when it’s used to help us to consciously engage our whole beings—our minds, wills, and affections—with the truth of the gospel. The emotional power of music is a wonderful gift from God!Now because music is so powerful, there are dangers associated with it. For example, music can be used to manipulate our emotions and bypass our minds and wills. This happens when the music itself, rather than the truth of the gospel, dominates the experience—when repetition or volume or other musical devices are used to overwhelm the experience, so that the words themselves become largely irrelevant. We need to resist this danger.Another danger associated with the deeply emotional power of music is that music can divide us. We all come to church with different past experiences and different emotional reactions to different kinds music. This is where we need to remember that singing is not just about ourselves, but about one another. As God’s people gathered together, we need to sing a variety of songs and song types, so that all of us, with our varied preferences and experiences, have a chance to engage our whole beings with the truths of the gospel. We need to keep bearing with each other and forgiving each other in this. It’s a profound act of love to sing a song that isn’t your style for the sake of a brother or sister who loves that style and will be built up by it.The vertical dimension.The word “hymns” helps us to see another very important dimension: the vertical dimension. A hymn is a song of praise to God: praising God for who he is and what he has done. That means theology really matters when it comes to singing. Singing is, in fact, one of the most powerful and effective ways to learn theology. Singing the truths about God and his actions helps to drive these truths deep into our hearts. That’s why Paul uses the phrase “spiritual songs”. The word “spiritual” isn’t referring to “spontaneous” songs, or to a certain kind of musical style. It means a song that comes about through the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s a song that points us to the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father—a song that speaks the truth about God and teaches us to learn and love that truth. This is a key way the Holy Spirit works in our lives (see Ephesians 1:17–18).This is why we must make sure that those involved in leading music and choosing songs in our churches have excellent theological training. Christian music is one of the most powerful and enduring ways to teach theology. Singing gets under our skin and into our souls. So the words really matter, at a detailed level. We repeat those words again and again and learn to love them. Have you found yourself singing or humming a song from church during the week, not knowing why it’s popped into your head? Or when you are struggling all you can call to mind are the words of a hymn? Music ministry, therefore, is profoundly theological. That means we need to look for music leaders who are theologically astute, and keep giving them all we can to help them grow in theological depth and insight.Paul says to sing “with your heart to the Lord”. Today, we often use the word “heart” to refer to our emotions. But in the Bible, the “heart” is much more than that: it’s a way of referring to our whole being—who we are inside. It encompasses our minds, our wills, our consciences, and our affections. When Paul talks about singing with our “heart”, he is saying that our singing is to come from who we are inside: the person God has made us in Christ. In his letter so far, Paul has already said some important things about what God does with the “hearts” of believers. Through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, believers have had “the eyes of [our] hearts enlightened”—that is, we have come to know God’s great purposes and plans (Ephesians 1:18). And as the Holy Spirit works in us, bringing us to believe in that gospel word and grow in hope and love, Christ is present among us: he “dwell[s] in [our] hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). As our hearts are renewed more and more, that should overflow in song to the God who saved us and loves us.Singing and grace.Finally, we should always remember that Christian singing flows from God’s grace. Straight after he talks about singing, Paul says we should be “constantly giving thanks for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to our God and Father”. Thanksgiving is about responding to God’s grace to us (see Ephesians 5:4). It’s about being thankful for his gift of salvation, and thankful for all the gifts that God has richly provided us with in this world. Singing is part of our whole life of thanksgiving. This is why we need to make sure our singing as Christians is not isolated from the rest of our lives. Singing praise to God is meant to lead us into whole lives of thanksgiving. If we sing praises to God and then straight afterwards grumble or complain, we’ve forgotten what we’ve sung and are denying the truths we sing.So what do these verses tell us about the why and how of Christian singing? Singing flows from being fulfilled by the Spirit. This helps us to see why we sing. It also helps us to see how we should sing. Singing has a horizonal dimension, as we speak to one another in song, building up and encouraging one another in God’s grace. It has a deeply personal dimension, as it engages our whole heart, including our emotions, responding to God’s grace. And it has a vertical, theological, dimension, as we sing about and to God himself, on the basis of his grace to us in Jesus Christ.For reflection.Christians sing together as a result of God’s work in our lives by his Holy Spirit. How does this encourage you as you gather in church to sing?Consider your own practice of Christian singing. Are you neglecting any of the dimensions that Paul describes here: the horizontal dimension, the personal dimension, the vertical dimension?Description.Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything — Ephesians 5:19-20.Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.What does Ephesians 5:19 mean?In verse 18 Paul taught believers to be controlled by the Spirit. How does this look? This verse offers three expressions.First, Paul mentions “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” This could include both reading passages of Scripture aloud, spoken poetry or the singing of music, whether in a small group or larger group of believers. Three types of songs are mentioned. Psalms refer to the Old Testament songs sung by Jews and shared among Christians. Hymns were likely more formal songs, meant to instruct, similar to the one quoted by Paul in verse 14. Spiritual songs may refer to more spontaneous, call and response music. These would be the equivalent to “contemporary” music, following cultural styles, yet focused on God-honoring lyrics. Paul notes all styles of music can be used to honor God as long as God is the focus.Singing is only occasionally mentioned in the New Testament, but does play an important role in the early church. Paul and Silas sang hymns in prison (Acts 16:25). Paul wrote about singing to the Roman believers (Romans 15:9) to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 14:15), and to the Colossians (Colossian 3:16). James commanded believers to sing praise to God (James 5:13). Revelation notes expressions of singing (14:3; 15:3–4). Finally, Paul adds “making melody to the Lord with your heart.”.Believers can both sing with the voice, and live with a “song” internally. God instills joy within those controlled by the Spirit.Context Summary.Ephesians 5:1–21 continues Paul’s invaluable instructions on how Christians should live out their faith. Rather than imitating the world, or being controlled by worldly things, Christians are to be filled with the Spirit. Specific flaws such as sexual immorality, crude speech, and wasting of time are discouraged. Instead, believers ought to submit to one another out of respect for Christ, providing a powerful witness to the world.Chapter Summary.Chapter 5 begins with an admonition to imitate Christ. In order to do so, Christians must avoid sexual immorality, vulgar language, foolishness, and other inappropriate attitudes. Paul warns that those who persist in these behaviors are not part of the kingdom of God. The passage then transitions to an explanation of mutual submission, including that between husbands and wives. Wives are to submit to their husbands, and respect them. Husbands are to love their wives in a Christ-like, sacrificial, and humble way.What does Ephesians 5:20 mean?In verse 18, Paul instructs believers to be controlled by the Spirit. He frames this in contrast with being controlled by alcohol, naming drunkenness as something Christians are to avoid. Verse 19 offers several expressions of being spiritually filled.This verse adds another expression, which is an attitude of universal thanksgiving. Being controlled by the Spirit includes gratitude. The Spirit-filled believer is a person who is regularly thankful for what God has done in his or her life.Notice who we are to thank as Spirit-filled believers: “God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We don’t simply thank ourselves or other people; we give thanks to God. Both the Father and the Son are recipients of our gratitude through the control of the Spirit. All three persons of the triune God are involved in the ongoing life of the obedient believer.Interestingly, Paul uses the exact phrase “Lord Jesus Christ” six times in this brief letter (Ephesians 1:2, 3, 17; 5:20; 6:23, 24), emphasizing Jesus as King, God, and Messiah. He both begins (Ephesians 1:2) and ends (Ephesians 6:24) this letter giving top priority to Jesus, as the One above all else.Context Summary.Ephesians 5:1–21 continues Paul’s invaluable instructions on how Christians should live out their faith. Rather than imitating the world, or being controlled by worldly things, Christians are to be filled with the Spirit. Specific flaws such as sexual immorality, crude speech, and wasting of time are discouraged. Instead, believers ought to submit to one another out of respect for Christ, providing a powerful witness to the world.Chapter Summary.Chapter 5 begins with an admonition to imitate Christ. In order to do so, Christians must avoid sexual immorality, vulgar language, foolishness, and other inappropriate attitudes. Paul warns that those who persist in these behaviors are not part of the kingdom of God. The passage then transitions to an explanation of mutual submission, including that between husbands and wives. Wives are to submit to their husbands, and respect them. Husbands are to love their wives in a Christ-like, sacrificial, and humble way
VERSE OF THE DAY
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
We all endure obstacles in our path of life some more than others burdens hinder us share each others burdens living the way of faithfulness to the law of Christ
Are We Supposed to Carry Each Other’s Burdens as Galatians 6:2 Says?
It’s clear by unpacking these words that Paul was addressing two different types of burdens. One we are to help one another with. One we are responsible for ourselves. Paul states that by bearing one another’s burdens we fulfill the law of Christ.
In the Book of Galatians, Paul writes that Christian brothers and sisters are supposed to carry one another’s burdens.
He states that in doing so we fulfill the law of Christ. But then he goes on to say that everyone needs to carry their own burden as well.
This can be quite confusing. What is Paul saying here?
Are we supposed to carry each other’s burdens or not? What are the burdens he’s talking about? Where does the law of Christ fit in?
The Context of Galatians 6:2
To get a better understanding of what Paul is trying to communicate, let’s start by looking at the passage for context.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden (Galatians 6:1-5, KJV, emphasis mine).
As you can see, it seems that Paul is contradicting himself. It’s interesting that he says burdens (plural), and burden (singular). This seems insignificant. But let’s look deeper.
‘Bear One Another’s Burdens’ in Detail
The original text was written in Greek, not English. So, we’ll look at both the original words, as well as their translations.
• Bear – Paul used the same word both times. The word in Greek is a verb that means to take up, bear, carry, to carry (take) away. It also means to endure, tolerate, or support.
This word has been translated as bear, carry, share, help carry, and assume.
• Burden(s) – Paul used two different words each time. This in and of itself separates Paul’s first instruction from the second.
In the Greek:
• Burdens – a weight, burden, trouble, heaviness. This type of burden has real substance with value, carries personal or eternal significance.
This word is found translated into the one word, burdens.
• Burden – a burden, the freight of a ship, cargo, load. This type of burden must be carried by the individual as something personal, not transferrable.
This word is translated into a variety of words: load, conduct, burden, responsibility, luggage, actions, shortcomings.
It’s clear by unpacking these words that Paul was addressing two different types of burdens.
• One we are to help one another with.
• One we are responsible for ourselves.
Still, this can be difficult to understand how to apply, so let Scripture interpret Scripture to find out what Paul meant.
The Meaning of ‘Bear One Another’s Burdens’
See how the bearing of burdens is carried out in these three different translations (emphasis mine).
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived (Galatians 6:1-3, MSG).
Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings. So if any one of you thinks you’re important when you’re really not, you’re only fooling yourself (Galatians 6:2-3, GWT).
Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love]. For if anyone thinks he is something [special] when [in fact] he is nothing [special except in his own eyes], he deceives himself (Galatians 6:2-3, AMP).
The Law of Christ in Other’s Burdens
Paul states that by bearing one another’s burdens we fulfill the law of Christ. He refers to it in 1 Corinthians as an example in his life.
To the Jews I became like a Jew so that I could help save Jews. I myself am not ruled by the law, but to those who are ruled by the law I became like someone who is ruled by the law. I did this to help save those who are ruled by the law. To those who are without the law I became like someone who is without the law. I did this to help save those who are without the law. (But really, I am not without God’s law — I am ruled by the law of Christ.) To those who are weak, I became weak so that I could help save them. I have become all things to all people. I did this so that I could save people in any way possible. (1 Corinthians 9:20-22, ERV, emphasis mine).
What is this law and where is it written? It isn’t defined in Scripture as such but is understood to be the law of love.
Jesus the Christ revealed this law when asked what the most important command was.
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
James speaks of the law of love, calling it royal.
Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (James 2:8).
Love One Another As Christ Loves Us
God is love and Paul admonishes us to imitate him as dear children.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Galatians 6:2 Meaning of Carry Each Other’s Burdens
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Explanation and Commentary of Galatians 6:2
There are many ways that we may be called upon to carry the burdens of a brother or sister in Christ, but it seems that in this context, Paul is referring to the burden of the sins of our fellow believers, particularly those in our local context of the church to which we belong.
The verse prior said to “gently restore” someone who has fallen into sin, “watching” ourselves in the process so that we won’t be tempted as well. It is a means of grace to the believer to be in community with other believers who are willing to lovingly confront them in their sin. The Spirit of Christ in my brother or sister is often more reliable and clear-headed than the Spirit of Christ in me, especially when I have created a blind spot by giving in to some temptation and perhaps rationalizing it to the point of callousness.
The command here to carry burdens for one another is about the willingness to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15), and carry out this truth-speaking with great understanding.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Galatians 6:2
#1 “Carry each other’s burdens,”
Starting with empathic concern for the pain and trial of a brother or sister, when we join Jesus’ Church, officially in membership in the local church, or unofficially in the universal brotherhood with all Christians in the family of God, we commit to a certain responsibility to one another. We love one another. We care for one another. And in this verse, we will consider that God wants to speak to our brother or sister through our confrontation of them in their sin and possibly through church discipline.
#2 “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
If the law of Christ is to love one another as he has loved us (Jn 13:34), then this is a neglected, but necessary way to fulfill that law. Gentle restoration of a dear brother or sister in sin is a most loving action. It requires us to first die to our people-pleasing, and then to our self-righteousness. We take on responsibility to one another in this way, but not for one another. Ultimately, God is the one who is responsible for them. We are not tasked to change the heart of another, only to be used by God in his plan to change their hearts. If we get confused on that issue, we will take on God’s burden instead of our own. This is too heavy for anyone but God to bear, and we will only attempt it out of our own self-importance, a trap that will harm both the brother in sin and bearer of the burden.
Bible Study on Galatians 6:2
What does Galatians 6:2 mean?
Paul is giving instructions to the Galatian Christians about how to live with each other as Spirit-powered people in Christ. In the previous verse, he told them that when one is caught by sin, others should step in to help restore that person to walking by the Spirit again.
Now he tells them, and by extension all Christians, to help carry each other’s burdens. Notice what this means: Being in Christ does not mean we won’t have burdens to carry in this earthly life. We will. One of those burdens is the weightiness of our temptation to give into sin, and the heaviness of trying to get out of it. Paul wanted us to share that burden and not battle sin and temptation on our own.
The term used here by Paul is instructive. He describes these weights using the Greek term barē, which in New Testament use applies to something excessive or extreme in its weight (Revelation 2:24; Matthew 20:12). Later, Paul will use a different term, phortion, which is used for more-manageable burdens (Matthew 11:30; Acts 27:10).
We carry other burdens, as well, and sometimes we go through seasons where those burdens are too much for us to haul around. Such burdens might include relationship issues, financial problems, illness, indecision, or emotional difficulties. God’s Spirit certainly gives us the power to deal with these issues, but another way God intends to provide for those in Christ is by giving us the ability to help each other.
One way we can fail in this area is by refusing to allow anyone to see the burdens we are carrying. We can mistakenly think that being a Christian means we should be self-reliant in every way, all the time. In a few verses, Paul will write that we do need to carry the weight of our responsibilities in Christ. But Christians are also meant to help each other with the loads we carry when they become overwhelming.
How does helping to carry each other’s loads fulfill the law of Christ? Paul earlier quoted Jesus in saying that the entire law is fulfilled in one word: love (Galatians 5:14). Love is the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:1–10 focuses on how those in Christ should treat each other, through the power of God’s Spirit. We should restore those caught in sin with gentleness and humility, and we should help to carry each other’s burdens. Having said that, Christians should be honest with ourselves about what God is doing through us. We need to take responsibility for what He has asked us to carry. Because eternal life comes from planting God’s Spirit by faith in Christ, and not by works of the flesh, we must keep doing good. The harvest will show that we planted well.
Galatians 6 includes instructions for how people who are free in Christ and walking by God’s Spirit, should treat each other. Christians should restore those who are caught by sin, and we should bear each other’s burdens. Only those who plant the fruit of God’s Spirit, by faith in Christ, will harvest eternal life. Believers should not get tired of doing good for each other! The harvest is coming. Paul concludes the letter, writing in large letters that circumcision means nothing. Only becoming a new creation through faith in Christ matters
What Does Galatians 6:2 Mean? ►
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
Believers in Christ are fellow-members of His Body, which is the Church. All are children of God and all have been born of the Spirit. All have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. All have received eternal life as a free gift of God’s grace, and all have been granted an inheritance that is kept for us in heaven.
Each member of Christ’s Body is accountable to the Lord for the way we live, but we also are responsible for the attitudes we adopt, and the actions we take towards our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We each have a responsibility to support and encourage fellow believers and are called to “bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfil the law of Christ.”
In the previous verse, the spiritual believer is instructed to help to restore a brother or sister who has fallen into sin – but to do it with gentleness and Christ-like consideration. Indeed, the spiritual one is warned against being adversely influenced by the carnal behaviours of others, or led astray by a misguided brother, lest they also are tempted into similar, ungodly ways, or fall into carnality themselves. Paul instructs those that are spiritual to restore those who are not walking by means of the Spirit – or who have been overtaken by worldly sin, the wiles of Satan, or fleshly carnality.
However, in this verse it is having a caring concern for a brother in Christ who has become heavily burdened or deeply distressed, with whom the spiritual Christian should be concerned. Every one of us has areas of life in which we are weighed down, discouraged, and deeply burdened, and the instruction to ‘come alongside and help one another’ is identified as fulfilling the law of Christ.
The Lord Jesus, Himself explained the distinguishing qualities of this ‘law of the spirit of life’ which is found in John 13:34 where we read: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.” Love for God and love for our brothers and sisters in Christ is the fulfilling of the law – but it can only be carried out by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of a spiritual believer i.e. a Christian, who is walking in spirit and truth.
There is much misunderstanding concerning the difference between spirituality and maturity in our Christian walk. Maturity is a life-long process, which takes place over time as we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, study His Word, and apply its principles in our life. The spiritual believer is one who abides in Christ, obeys His commands, honours His name, is growing in grace, and is becoming more Christ-like with every passing day. The more we die to our self-life, and live for Christ, the more we mature in our Christian walk, and the more Christ-like we become.
Spiritual maturity is not the same as spirituality. Spiritual maturity develops as we are conformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus through the wise choices we make. Spirituality however, is not a process but a state. At any given point, we are spiritual OR we are not spiritual! At any given time in a believer’s life we are EITHER walking in the spirit and truth OR we are living in fleshly carnality. At any moment in time we are either honouring the Lord or dishonouring Him.
We are either spiritual or we are fleshly. We are either walking in spirit and truth or walking in the flesh. We are either living for God or living for Self. We are either in fellowship with our Heavenly Father or we are out of fellowship with Him – because the antithesis of spirituality is carnality. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters,” while Peter, who was prompted by the Holy Spirit to confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, became a fleshly tool in the hands of Satan immediately after his great spiritual revelation from God.
Christians do not progress towards spirituality in the same way that they progress towards spiritual maturity. Just as one is either saved or not saved at a given point in time, a believer is either spiritual or not spiritual at a given point and there is no middle ground. When we sin in our Christian walk, we are unspiritual and lose fellowship with our Heavenly Father – we are not fulfilling the ‘law of Christ’. However, as soon as sin is confessed, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and return us into fellowship with Himself, and spirituality is once again restored – and we thereby fulfil the law of Christ.
Let us seek to be those that are spiritual and to bear one another’s burdens in humility and gentleness. Let us die to self and live our life to the glory of God so that we may mature in the faith, grow in grace, live a spiritual, God-honouring life, and become a living testimony to the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the many lessons I am learning and the importance of becoming a spiritual Christian and fulfilling the law of Christ by abiding in Him and submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May I grow in grace and wisdom, humility and gentleness, so that in the power of the Holy Spirit I may be spiritually enabled to support the weak, help the afflicted, bear the burdens of my brothers and sisters in Christ, restore those that have been tempted into sin, and thus fulfil the Christ-like law of godly
VERSE OF THE DAY.Psalm 40:8 (New Living Translation).Share Audio.I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”.I take honor in my god fearing fervent living will in you my Lord for your law is always and forever upon my heart for you know all as I was created by you you are my highest, deepest, desire.What Does Psalm 40:8 Mean? ►.I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”.Psalm 40:8(NASB).Verse Thoughts.When David penned these words, they were in every respect a song of thankful worship to the Father that pointed to the coming Messiah, Who would be sent from heaven to become our sacrifice for sin. It spoke of the eternal Son of God Who humbled Himself to become a servant – Who did only those things that He heard from the Father. His life was a testimony that delighted to do the will of the Father, for God’s Law was treasured in His heart.As redeemed children we have been bought with a price and saved by grace through faith. We are ambassadors of Christ and servants of God who are called to be His witnesses to a world in need. But however glorious our salvation and privileged our service, our calling first and foremost is to worship at His feet, to delight to do His will, to treasure His Word in our hearts and to remain in the center of His will for the rest of our life.May our highest joy and greatest delight be to live in the centre of God’s will and to treasure His word in our heart.May our lives be a sweet-smelling savour of thankful worship and reverential praise, so that we may live and move and have our being in the centre of His will – so that we may become true witness to our Father in heaven, and a true reflection of Christ within – so that through us, God will be glorified in the world.My Prayer.Loving heavenly Father I delight to do Your will and meditate on Your word. Multiply my desire for You I pray, so that my life may be a testimony to Your love and grace, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.Source: https://dailyverse. knowing-jesus. com/psalm-40-8.What does Psalm 40:8 mean?This is connected to the verses cited in Hebrews 10:5–7, which applied this passage to Jesus the Messiah. As do many New Testament citations, this uses the Septuagint translation, in Greek. Phrasings between that and the Old Testament Hebrew are often different. The Hebrews reference shows that God’s ultimate intent for our salvation involved a physical body, fulfilled in that of Jesus Christ (Psalm 40:6).David was thrilled to do God’s will, whom he knew personally as “my God.” He also held God’s Word in his heart. His devotion to God’s will and God’s Word pictures Jesus’ relationship to God and His Word. When the Devil tempted Jesus for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, Jesus refused to abandon His worship of the Father by falling down to worship the Devil. The Devil took Jesus to an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He promised to give Jesus all the kingdoms and their glory if Jesus would down and worship him (Matthew 4:8–9). But Jesus resolutely refused the offer. He rebuked the Devil and appealed to the biblical command: “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10). Jesus continued that pattern throughout His earthly ministry (John 4:34; 5:19; 17:4–6).Context Summary.Psalm 40:1–10 delivers a steady stream of thanksgiving, as David recounts the Lord’s deliverance of him from his enemies. He is grateful for giving him a new lease on life. He commits himself to doing the Lord’s will and to telling others about how the Lord delivered him from his enemies. Psalm 37:1–7 emphasizes the fact that the Lord delivers those who wait on Him and commit themselves to His will. Hebrews 10:5–9 quotes the Greek version of Psalm 40:6–8 and applies the passage to Jesus the Messiah.Chapter Summary.David waited on the Lord for quite some time to be delivered from his foes, and the Lord heard him. This remarkable deliverance would persuade many to trust in the Lord. David insists that no one can compare with the Lord. Verses 6–8 are messianic; Hebrews 10:5–9 applies them to Jesus. David shared this story with his fellow worshipers in the sanctuary. He was confident that the Lord would continue to show him His mercy, His steadfast love, and His faithfulness. David needed the Lord’s help because he was conscious of his many sins, and he knew his enemies wanted to kill him. He concludes this psalm by humble acknowledging that the Lord thought about him and was his help and deliverer. He asks the Lord to come quickly to his defense.MORNING MEDITATIONS: DELIGHTING TO DO GOD’S WILL – PSALM 40:8 Oct 31 2016 Devotionals “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.” -Psalm 40:8 The Will of the Father What is the will of the Father? But to walk with Him, to obey, to be faithful to respond to Him each moment of each day. As we know Him more deeply, it’s in our growing delight in Him that our heart grows to delight in doing His will. How do we know the will of the one we love? We get to know them, we try new ways to serve them and so discover what they desire and what they do not. It is the same with God. And though we may not hear an audible voice, we can hear His voice in His words to us through the Bible. We can see His law written on our hearts through His Spirit at work within us, reminding us of His words, prompting us with His ways. And we can walk open handed before Him saying “Lord here is my day, each moment, let me respond to you as you lead today.” Is He prompting you to take your neighbor cookies? Then do it. To seek forgiveness from your husband, your children, your friend, your co-worker… then go. To ask that next question of the women at the register at the grocery story… tell me your story.. then speak. To take the next step in that conversation with a friend “Can I tell you how Jesus has changed my life”… open your mouth. To begin to write that book, pick up your pen and paper. To apply for that job, to quit, to spend less here, give more there. To open your home to those less fortunate, to add an extra plate at your dinner table, invite the single neighbor over. GO. Helen Keller once said; “I long to accomplish a great and noble task but my chief end is to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” Faithfulness When Only God Sees It is one thing to be faithful when your life is on display, your reputation at stake… though I hesitate to call that motivation faithfulness. Rather, more like fear driven faithfulness ever mixed with fear of man over fear of God. A conversation for another time. It is quite another thing to be faithful when all who will see you is God. But it is in these small moments where true delight to do His will begins. Is He saying put the phone down and engage with your son? Only He knows if you’ve walked obediently. Is He saying sacrifice that precious single hour of time you get by yourself to invite a friend over, engage with a new person? Every day we are given the privilege of responding to a Holy God and Father, learning and seeking His way above our own. And slowly, in those little moments of surrender each day, they somehow become grand moments. For walking with Him, delighting to do His will will lead us to places we both never wanted to go but could also never dream we would go. “A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing.” -Helen Keller My Prayer “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much…” -Luke 16:10 So, today Lord, help me delight to do your will. Is it sharing the gospel with someone? Let me have courage. Is it putting down what I want to do to meet the needs of my husband, child, a friend? Let me be selfless. Is it choosing to lean into you and not my temper when things don’t go my way? Let me have patience. Is it being quick to confess when I have sinned? Let me be quick to keep short accounts with you and with others Lord. Is it choosing to rest, to open your word and meet with you when I’m overwhelmed by what needs to get done? Then let me find my life in you and not a completed checklist. Lord, I too often think your will, faithfulness, obedience to you is in the big things, and forget that it is obedience in the small things that enables me to be faithful in the big. I’m not sure what you will call me into or out of today but Lord teach me to be faithful in those moments to respond to you when you call and to experience a growing delight in doing Your will! Lindsey Dennis Lindsey Dennis Lindsey lives in Orlando, Florida where she currently works with a non-profit Christian organization investing her life in college students, helping them to know and walk with Jesus. She is married to Kevin, and the mother of 4 children, 2 who are now with Jesus and 2 who are in her arms today. She writes, teaches and speaks to others on what it looks like to walk with God in the midst of suffering, and how to trust Him with our lives.
VERSE OF THE DAY
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Take Pride in the joy of the Lord and honor in your faith in honor in him and he shall give you the desires of your heart ❤️
Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
What does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)?
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 to delight yourself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)?
What Does Psalm 37:3 Mean? ►
Trust in the LORD and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness.
Have you noticed how often the Word of God calls us to trust in the Lord, to believe what He says in Scripture – to have faith in Him and in all that He says? He knows that trusting in the Lord is the only secure place we have in a world that lies in the evil one.
He knows that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways and trust Him in all the ups and downs of life, He will direct our goings out and our comings in and He will govern our lives in a way that is best for us, and those around us.
We are to trust Him in the temporal as well as the spiritual, to trust Him for things of the body as well as the soul; to trust Him in time and into eternity; to trust Him in all the ages and stages of our lives; to trust Him in the insignificant menial tasks of the day as well the grander decisions that face us in life, and to trust Him in every aspect of His great plan of salvation – for He knows the plans He has for us, but He wants us to trust in Him, to believe His word, to have faith in Him – even when we don’t understand.
Have you noticed how often that we are called upon to do good, to love mercy, to forgive and consider others as better than ourselves – to follow His paths and listen to His guidance? There is none good, no not one and the only good that we can perform is when we are in Christ – when we are in union with Christ through faith in Him and when we live and move and have our being in submission to the Spirit, and when we are in sweet communion with the Father. All good flows from the Lord and the only good of which we are capable is that which is done in His power and strength – and God has prepared all these good works in advance for us to do – but remember that all that we do should be to His praise and His glory.
It is through faith in the Lord and submission to the Spirit that we can feed on His Word by faith with thanksgiving; be nourished with the gospel of His great salvation and rest in His love. And we are to do this in the knowledge that He is with us in the insignificant menial tasks of the day as well as being our guide in the grander decisions of life that face us.
No matter what happens in life, our times are in His hands and we are called-on to trust all into His hands – for this is good and honouring to Him. We are to do the good things that He has prepared for us to do in His strength and power, knowing that He is
What does Psalm 37:4 mean?
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).
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.
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
VERSE OF THE DAY
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Wait in peace and patience for the Lord. Be brave and have courage. Yea wait patiently for the Lord. In honor and respect of he who is to come
What Does Psalm 27:14 Mean? ►
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Patient endurance as we wait for the Lord to work in the difficult circumstances of life, encourages our faith in God to be strengthened. Conversely.. faith is often tested in those long and painful seasons of life when patient endurance is called upon – as we trustingly wait for the Lord to act.. and as we submissively wait on the Lord’s promises to be fulfilled, in prayer and praise and thanksgiving.
We need to confidently wait for the Lord to act on our behalf, knowing that His promises are ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ Jesus, and we need to faithfully wait on the Lord with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music to the Lord – in our hearts with thanksgiving and praise.
When we are abiding in Christ our inner heart is empowered, and our courage is enlarged. When we are resting in His love our soul is strengthened by the Spirit of the Lord, for His strength is made perfect in our restful weakness.
When we take God at His Word and trust Him unquestioningly.. despite our inner fleshly nature and outer distressing circumstances, which scream at us to do something.. we will be enabled, from within, to wait on the LORD and be of good courage, for we have been promised that He shall strengthen our heart – WAIT, I say, on the LORD.
Heavenly Father, too often my old sin nature calls on me to take hold of the reins of my life instead of abiding in You and resting in Your promises. Help me to learn to wait on You and to be of good courage, knowing that You are in perfect control of my life – and that all I am called upon to do is to quietly wait FOR You to act on my behalf and to confidently wait ON You with prayer and worships and a heart of thanksgiving and praise, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
What does Psalm 27:14 mean?
David concludes this psalm with an admonition to wait on the Lord. He gives the admonition at the beginning of the verse and repeats it at the end of the verse. Perhaps, David was addressing himself. The structure of this psalm begins with statements of confidence, followed by pleas for rescue, as if David was reminding himself of God’s protection. It’s also possible that in this part of the psalm, David is addressing his soldiers, or the assembly of Israel.
Regardless of the exact aim of this phrase, the admonition is good for everyone who wants to do the Lord’s will. God’s timetable may differ from ours. We tend to want an immediate answer to our prayers, but the Lord is never in a rush. He may not answer us immediately, but He has promised to answer, “in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Waiting on the Lord draws us close to Him and teaches us to be patient.
David also provides another admonition in this closing verse of Psalm 27. He counsels in favor of strength and bravery, grounded in one’s trust of God. Moses imparted this admonition to Joshua when he commissioned him to lead the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 31:7–8). Also, the Lord gave Joshua this advice (Deuteronomy 31:23; Joshua 1:6–7, 9), and Joshua gave it to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 1:12–18).
The Christian life is not easy. There are many adversaries, trials, and temptations. We need to be strong and courageous in the power of the Lord (John 16:33).
Psalm 27:7–14 reveals that David, while he commits his faith to God, is not immune from fear. In the prior section of this psalm, David stated his reasons to be confident in the Lord. Here, however, David seems to be pleading for those exact protections. Like anyone else, David experienced anxiety. Rather than succumbing to fear, however, David chose to trust God, remind himself of God’s protection, and come to the Lord in prayer. This is concluded with another expression of trust in God.
David lays out the reasons he should be confident in God’s protection. David then transitions, almost abruptly, into heartfelt pleas for God to rescue him from his enemies. The impression is that David is experiencing natural human anxiety and responding by reminding himself of God’s goodness. The psalm ends with the same assurance expressed when it began
May The Words I Speak Be Pleasing To You In Silence And Honor
What You Learn From Your Parents Shows Honor
VERSE OF THE DAY
For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.
Psalm 62 1
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
My soul finds peace in God alone; for by him I am and have been saved by his death upon the cross and his risen into life. He alone is my strong tower rock and salvation I will not be moved
What Does Psalm 62:1 Mean? ►
My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.
David, the man after God’s own heart was beset by difficulties and dangers and encompassed about by many enemies and those that would seek his life to destroy him, but David’s confidence was in the Lord, Who was his Rock and his Salvation, his Defender and his mighty Fortress.
Like so many of David’s psalms, the clarion call of this canticle is that God alone is the source and sphere of David’s need.. and God alone has the right to demand our own undivided trust and worship.. for God alone is our salvation and strength.. He alone is our rock of defense.. our Shepherd and King; our Lord and our Life – our Way, our End and our God.
Like David we must secure our undivided confidence in the Lord our God, for He alone is the foundation upon which our hope is established, our source of supply, our fountain of grace and from Him alone flow rivers of living water. God alone is the only One in Whom our trust must be continuously founded – for He alone is worthy.
And so despite the difficulties and dangers that encompassed king David and in spite of the enemies that would seek his life to destroy him, David.. the man after God’s own heart waited in silence for God – for he knew that in quietness and in confidence is our strength, for Salvation is from the Lord and He alone is the one upon whom we must depend.
What a testimony of David’s dependence on the Lord.. that according to Jedudthun, one of the king’s chief musical directors in Israel – David in the midst of profound difficulty and distress waited in quiet confidence, on the Lord his God.
May our soul also wait in silence for God – for from
Psalm 62 – My Only Rock, My Only Salvation
The title of this psalm is To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
The Chief Musician is thought by some to be 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).
Jeduthun (mentioned also in the titles of Psalms 39 and 77) was one of the musicians appointed by David to lead Israel’s public worship (1 Chronicles 16:41; 25:1-3). Charles Spurgeon wrote regarding Jeduthun: “The sons of Jeduthun were porters or doorkeepers, according to 1 Chronicles 16:42. Those who serve well make the best of singers, and those who occupy the highest posts in the choir must not be ashamed to wait at the posts of the doors of the Lord’s house.”
A. Waiting upon God, who is my rock and defense.
1. (1-2) David’s soul silently waits for God.
Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.
a. Truly my soul silently waits for God: The emphasis in this line is of surrendered silence before God and God alone. The word truly is often translated alone or only and seems to have that sense here.
i. “It is hard to see this in the English text, because the Hebrew is almost untranslatable, but in the Hebrew text the word only or alone occurs five times in the first eight verses (in verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6), and once in verse 9.” (Boice) Kidner said of this Hebrew word ak, “It is an emphasizer, to underline a statement or to point to a contrast; its insistent repetition gives the psalm a tone of special earnestness.”
ii. “The words have all been said – or perhaps no words will come – and the issue rests with Him alone.” (Kidner)
iii. “The natural mind is ever prone to reason, when we ought to believe; to be at work, when we ought to be quiet; to go our own way, when we ought steadily to walk on in God’s ways.” (Müller, cited in Spurgeon)
iv. “This is why God keeps you waiting. All that is of self and nature must be silence; one voice after another cease to boast; one light after another be put out; until the soul is shut up to God alone.” (Meyer)
b. From Him comes my salvation: In many psalms David began by telling his great need or describing his present crisis. Here, David began by declaring his great confidence in and trust upon God.
i. Psalm 62 seems to come from a time of trouble, yet it asks God for nothing. It is full of faith and trust, but has no fear, no despair, and no petition.
ii. “There is in it throughout not one single word (and this is a rare occurrence), in which the prophet expresses fear or dejection; and there is also no prayer in it, although, on other occasions, when in danger, he never omits to pray.” (Amyraut, cited in Spurgeon)
c. He only is my rock and my salvation: David trusted in God alone for his strength and stability. The description is of a man completely focused upon God for His help, firmly resolved to look nowhere else.
i. “Because God only is our Rock, let us ever be silent only for God.” (Morgan)
ii. He is my defense: Or, fortress. “The tried believer not only abides in God as in a cavernous rock; but dwells in him as Warrior in some bravely defiant tower or lordly castle.” (Spurgeon)
2. (3-4) David complains to his enemies and of his enemies.
How long will you attack a man?
You shall be slain, all of you,
Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.
They only consult to cast him down from his high position;
They delight in lies;
They bless with their mouth,
But they curse inwardly. Selah
a. How long will you attack a man: David’s faith was in God alone, but he had words for his enemies. He rebuked them for their crazy persistence in attacking him, and warned them of judgment to come (you shall be slain).
b. Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence: David’s image is clear enough, but there is disagreement among translators and commentators as to whom this applies. The New King James Version presents the opponents of David as the leaning wall and a tottering fence. Others think that David himself was the leaning wall, in his weakness unfairly set upon by his enemies.
i. Spurgeon gave the sense of the first: “Boastful persecutors bulge and swell with pride, but they are only as a bulging wall ready to fall in a heap; they lean forward to seize their prey, but it is only as a tottering fence inclines to the earth upon which it will soon lie at length.” (Spurgeon)
ii. The English Standard Version gives the second sense: How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence.
c. They only consult to cast him down: David described his enemies as those who only think through a matter if it involves bringing down a man of God. They were liars, especially in the sense of being two-faced (they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly).
3. (5-7) David’s calm confidence in God alone.
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.
a. My soul, wait silently for God alone: In the opening lines of the psalm, David said that this was the state of his soul. Here he spoke to his soul, telling it to remain in that place of trust in and surrender to God. David’s complete expectation was upon God.
i. “David now urges on himself the silence which he simply stated in verse 1.” (Kidner)
ii. For God alone: “They trust not God at all who trust him not alone. He that stands with one foot on a rock, and another foot upon a quicksand, will sink and perish, as certainly as he that standeth with both feet upon a quicksand. David knew this, and therefore calleth earnestly upon his soul (for his business lay most within doors) to trust only upon God.” (Trapp)
b. He only is my rock and my salvation: David assured himself by repeating the lines from Psalm 62:2. It was true for David and he wanted it to remain true.
i. He is my defense: “Not my defender only, but my actual protection.” (Spurgeon)
c. I shall not be moved: David repeated the idea from Psalm 62:2, but with this small variation. In verse 2 he wrote, I shall not be greatly moved. In this verse he seems to come to an even stronger position: I shall not be moved.
i. “There may be deep meaning in the slight omission of ‘greatly’ in the second refrain. Confidence has grown.” (Maclaren)
d. My refuge is in God: The emphasis again reflects David’s decision to trust in nothing or no one else. God alone is his salvation, his glory, his rock, his strength, and his refuge. We sense David was tempted to trust many different things, but he refused and kept his expectation in God alone.
i. “Observe how the Psalmist brands his own initials upon every name which he rejoicingly gives to his God – my expectation, my rock, my salvation, my glory, my strength, my refuge; he is not content to know that the Lord is all these things; he acts in faith towards him, and lays claim to him under every character.” (Spurgeon)
B. David teaches others and teaches himself.
1. (8) Teaching the people to trust in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
a. Trust in Him at all times, you people: David felt what was good for him was good for others, also. As a leader of God’s people he spoke wisdom to them, reminding them that God was worthy at all times of their trust in Him.
i. “The comforts which David had found, he exhorteth others to seek, in faith and prayer.” (Spurgeon)
b. Pour out your heart before Him: God’s strength and stability made David rightly think of Him as a rock. Yet God was not insensitive or unfeeling like a rock. God invites His people to pour out their heart – their sorrows, their joys, their trust, and their doubt, all of it – before Him.
i. “Pour it out as water. Not as milk, whose colour remains. Not as wine, whose savour remains. Not as honey, whose taste remains. But as water, of which, when it is poured out, nothing remains.” (Le Blanc, cited in Spurgeon)
c. God is a refuge for us: He welcomes the poured-out heart as the cities of refuge welcomed the hunted man in ancient Israel.
2. (9-10) Teaching the people what not to trust in.
Surely men of low degree are a vapor,
Men of high degree are a lie;
If they are weighed on the scales,
They are altogether lighter than vapor.
Do not trust in oppression,
Nor vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase,
Do not set your heart on them.
a. Surely men of low degree are a vapor, men of high degree are a lie: This psalm speaks much of trusting in God alone. Now David explained why it was important to not set trust in man. David understood that whether they are men of low degree or high degree, they are altogether lighter than vapor. There is no substance there worthy of trust.
i. “Common men can give no help. They are vanity, and it is folly to trust in them; for although they may be willing, yet they have no ability to help you: ‘Rich men are a lie.’ They promise much, but perform nothing; they cause you to hope, but mock your expectation.” (Clarke)
ii. However, it is possible that David did not intend the reader to understand a distinction between men of low degree and men of high degree; it may simply be an expression of Hebrew poetic repetition and parallelism. “The distinction of ‘lowborn men’ and ‘the highborn’ is based on the different words for ‘man’ in the MT [Masoretic Text]: adam and ish (62:9; cf. 49:2). But it is equally possible to treat both [parts] of 62:9 as a general reference to mankind: ‘mankind is but a breath; mankind is but a lie.’” (VanGemeren)
iii. “The point, then, is not so much that we have nothing to fear from man (as in Psalm 27:1ff.), as that we have nothing to hope from him.” (Kidner)
b. Do not trust in oppression, nor vainly hope in robbery: David had seen men advance through cruel or dishonest ways. He warned the people against this, understanding that the results never justify the evil used to get the results.
c. If riches increase, do not set your heart on them: As a king, David ended up being a very wealthy man, though most of his earlier years were lived in deep poverty. David knew what it was to see riches increase, and he knew the foolishness of setting one’s heart on them. It’s possible to hold great wealth without trusting in those riches, but it isn’t easy.
i. “If they grow in an honest, providential manner, as the result of industry or commercial success, do not make much account of the circumstance; be not unduly elated, do not fix your love upon your money-bags.” (Spurgeon)
ii. There are at least three ways in which one may set the heart on riches.
· To take excessive pleasure in riches, making them the source of joy for life.
· To place one’s hope and security in riches.
· To grow proud and arrogant because of riches.
iii. “Whether rightly or wrongly won, they are wrongly used if they are trusted in.” (Maclaren)
iv. “Riches are themselves transient things; therefore they should have but our transient thoughts.” (Caryl, cited in Spurgeon)
v. “As we must not rest in men, so neither must we repose in money. Gain and fame are only so much foam of the sea.” (Spurgeon)
vi. “1 Timothy 6:17ff. may be alluding to this verse in its own careful treatment of the subject.” (Kidner)
3. (11-12) Teaching himself about God’s power and mercy.
God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;
For You render to each one according to his work.
a. God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God: This truth was deeply ingrained in David’s soul. Through repetition he understood that power belongs to God and to none other. This is why David was so determined to trust in God and God alone.
i. Since power belongs to God, David refused to look for strength anywhere else. Since power belongs to God, David did not long for power unto himself. Since power belongs to God, David did not become arrogant as a ruler, knowing any power he held was as God’s representative.
b. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy: Gratefully, David understood that God’s nature was much more than power. He also is rich in mercy. Just as men could and should look to God for power, so they should look to Him for mercy.
i. Mercy translates one of the great words of the Old Testament, hesed. It may perhaps be better translated as love, lovingkindness, or loyal love. David knew power belongs to God, but that God is a God of love who is loyal and good to His people.
ii. “The second attribute used to be translated ‘mercy’, but verse 12 makes it particularly clear that this word (hesed) has its basis in what is true and dependable. It is closely linked with covenant-keeping, hence the modern translations, steadfast love or ‘true love.’” (Kidner)
iii. “David says that he has learned two lessons: that God is strong and that God is loving.” (Boice)
iv. This meant that David had no expectation of mercy from man. If it came he was pleased, but he knew that ultimately this great covenant love [mercy] belonged to God.
v. “This tender attribute sweetens the grand thought of his power: the divine strength will not crush us, but will be used for our good; God is so full of mercy that it belongs to him, as if all the mercy in the universe came from God, and still was claimed by him as his possession.” (Spurgeon)
vi. “This is the only truly worthy representation of God. Power without love is brutality, and love without power is weakness. Power is the strong foundation of love, and love is the beauty and the crown of power.” (Perowne, cited in Boice)
vii. “The power of God is more than the strength of the adversaries; the mercy of God is equal to dealing with all the need of the failing soul.” (Morgan)
c. For You render to each one according to his work: We don’t normally think of this as an expression of God’s mercy. In some ways it sounds more like God’s judgment. Yet David had in mind the good man or woman whose goodness is despised by this world. The God of mercy would reward their goodness (even on a relative measure) as the world ignored or rejected it.
i. “Man neither helps us nor rewards us; God will do both.” (Spurgeon)
ii. “To all mankind, therefore, the prophet here recommendeth meditation on these two most interesting subjects; the ‘power’ of God to punish sin, and his ‘mercy’ to pardon it. Fear of the former will beget desire of the later.” (Horne)
(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – email@example.com
Psalm 63 1
✓ O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
To seek God mean to orient themselves to God and to pursue God rather than other goals. … Love for God means not only obedience but desire for God—a yearning to know God, a longing to see God.Aug 31, 2011
I yearn for you faithfully in a desolate land I have trusted you.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you fervently.
Psalm 63 – Love Better than Life
The title of this psalm is, A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. Most commentators believe it to belong either to David’s wilderness years before he came to the throne of Israel, or to his brief exile from the throne in the rebellion of Absalom. The wilderness years when hunted by King Saul are preferred, but not held with absolute certainty.
Charles Spurgeon added a note of interest: “Chrysostom tells us that among the primitive Christians it was decreed and ordained that no day should pass without the public singing of this psalm.”
A. Praise from the wilderness.
1. (1-2) David’s thirst for God.
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
a. O God, You are my God: This may seem like senseless repetition, a tautology. It is not; David declared to Elohim that He was David’s El, David’s God in the most fundamental sense. In a day when pagans thought there were many gods and each nation had their own gods, David sweeps such ideas aside and proclaimed his allegiance to Elohim.
i. “The simplicity and boldness of Thou art my God is the secret of all that follows, since this relationship is the heart of the covenant, from the patriarchs to the present day (Genesis 17:8c; Hebrews 8:10c).” (Kidner)
b. Early will I seek You: Appreciating God as God, it is entirely reasonable to seek Him, and to seek Him as a priority of the day. The thirst of David’s soul demanded to be satisfied early in the day.
i. “What first lays hold of the heart in the morning is likely to occupy the place all the day. First impressions are the most durable, because there is not a multitude of ideas to drive them out, or prevent them from being deeply fixed in the moral feeling.” (Clarke)
ii. “The word ‘early’ has not only the sense of early in the morning, but that of eagerness, immediateness. He who truly longs for God longs for him now.” (Spurgeon)
iii. My flesh longs for You: “Longeth; or, languisheth, or pineth away. The desire of my soul after thee is so vehement and insatiable, that my very body feels the effects of it, as it commonly doth of all great passions.” (Poole)
iv. “Most people do not even know that it is God their souls truly desire. They are seeking satisfaction in other things.” (Boice)
c. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary: David sought God at the tabernacle as earnestly as a thirsty man looks for water in a dry and thirsty land. The Wilderness of Judah is largely desert, so this was a picture of longing that came easily to David’s mind.
i. “There was no desert in his heart, though there was a desert around him.” (Spurgeon)
ii. In a dry and thirsty land: “Learn from this, and do not say, ‘I will get into communion with God when I feel better,’ but long for communion now. It is one of the temptations of the devil to tell you not to pray when you do not feel like praying. Pray twice as much then.” (Spurgeon)
d. To see Your power and Your glory: David sought God at the tabernacle to connect in some way with God’s power and glory. Significantly, David was not at the tabernacle when he sang this song; he was in the Wilderness of Judah. Yet he knew that’s God’s sanctuary was not only a place, but also a spiritual concept that could be entered by faith no matter where a person was.
i. “Our misery is that we thirst so little for these sublime things, and so much for the mocking trifles of time and sense.” (Spurgeon)
2. (3-6) The greatness of God’s love stirs praise.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
a. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life: This is the reason why David was so motivated to pursue God. The lovingkindness (hesed) of God was better, more meaningful to David, than life itself. This means that David both knew and experienced something of God’s lovingkindness that many believers today do not know and experience.
· People regard life as natural; David regarded God’s great love as natural.
· People enjoy life; David enjoyed God’s great love.
· People value life; David valued God’s great love.
· People will sacrifice to live; David would sacrifice for God’s great love.
· People want to give life to others; David wanted to give God’s great love.
· People despair without the sense of life; David despaired without the sense of God’s great love.
i. Life and literature are filled with people who loved someone or something more than their own life, and it could be said of them that they held love better than life. Yet that is not what David sang of here. David meant that the love of God to him was more precious than his own life.
ii. “Now you know at what a high rate men value their lives; they will bleed, sweat, vomit, purge, part with an estate, yea, with a limb, yea, limbs, to preserve their lives…. Now, though life be so dear and precious to a man, yet a deserted soul prizes the returnings of divine favour upon him above life, yea, above many lives.” (Brooks, cited in Spurgeon)
iii. “To dwell with God is better than life at its best; life at ease, in a palace, in health, in honour, in wealth, in pleasure; yea, a thousand lives are not equal to the eternal life which abides in Jehovah’s smile.” (Spurgeon)
iv. “He knew a pearl of far greater price, namely, the ‘loving-kindness’ of Jehovah, on which is suspended not only the life which now is, but that which is to come.” (Horne)
v. Better than life: “Many men have been weary of their lives, as is evident in Scripture and history; but no man was ever yet found that was weary of the love and favour of God.” (Brooks, cited in Spurgeon)
b. My lips shall praise You: In light of David’s experience of God’s great love, he determined to vocally praise God. David thought that he would be ungrateful and rude to not praise and thank the God who loved him so greatly.
i. “If we have nothing to say about God’s goodness, the probable cause is our want of experience of it.” (Maclaren)
ii. “May I ask a question of every professed Christian? Have you spoken with God this morning? Do you allow a day to pass without converse with God? Can it be right for us to treat the Lord with mute indifference?” (Spurgeon)
iii. Psalm 63 speaks of praise and devotion given to God in gratitude, out of a rich sense of being blessed. Spurgeon noted that we should not limit our thanks and praise to such seasons: “Even when our heart is rather desiring than enjoying we should still continue to magnify the Most High, for his love is truly precious; even if we do not personally, for the time being, happen to be rejoicing in it. We ought not to make our praises of God to depend upon our own personal and present reception of benefits; this would be mere selfishness: even publicans and sinners have a good word for those whose hands are enriching them with gifts; it is the true believer only who will bless the Lord when he takes away his gifts or hides his face.” (Spurgeon)
c. Thus I will bless You: David did not mean this in the sense that a greater person bestows a blessing on a lesser. David meant this in the sense that it blessed and honored God when His creatures praised Him and thanked Him appropriately.
d. I will lift up my hands in Your name: The lifting of the hands was not only the common posture of prayer among the ancient Hebrews, it was especially appropriate for praise. It displayed the anticipation of gratefully receiving from God, and the sense of surrender to Him.
e. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness: David spoke of a satisfaction that too few people know, even among believers. He spoke of the deep satisfaction that comes in a surrendered seeking of God, of receiving His great love, of praising God without reservation.
i. “There is in the love of God a richness, a sumptuousness, a fulness of soul-filling joy, comparable to the richest food with which the body can be nourished.” (Spurgeon)
f. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches: David thought that there were not enough hours in the day to think upon God’s greatness and goodness. Therefore he also used the night watches to meditate upon God.
i. Night watches: “An expression which stresses the slow progress of the hours.” (Kidner)
ii. “Solitude and stillness render the ‘night watches’ a fit season for meditation on the so often experienced mercies of God; which, when thus called to remembrance, become a delicious repast to the spirit, filling it with all joy, and peace, and consolation.” (Horne)
B. Thankful confidence in God.
1. (7-8) Thanks for help already given.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
a. Because You have been my help: Many of David’s psalms are simple cries for help. Since this psalm was composed from the Wilderness of Judah, there was certainly help David could ask for. Yet, Psalm 63 has no cry for help but gives thanks and praise for God’s faithfulness in many times when God had been my help for David.
b. Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice: The idea of the shelter of shadow of God’s wings is repeated many times in the psalms. Sometimes it has the idea of protection, as a mother bird shelters her young chicks. Other times it has the idea of presence, as in the wings of the cherubim that surround the throne of God. Here the idea of presence seems to best fit the context.
c. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me: This speaks of the partnership and connection the believer experiences with God. David’s soul was close to God, following Him as one followed a Master or Teacher. God responded with care and strength for David, upholding him with His mighty right hand (the hand of skill and strength).
i. My soul follows close: “Press toward the mark. Let there be no needless space between the Master and thee.” (Meyer)
ii. The connection expressed by my soul follows close is truly close. The words translated follows close have the sense of joining or gluing together, as in Genesis 2:24.
iii. “The primary sense of [the Hebrew word is] to glue together; from thence it signifies figuratively to associate, to adhere to, to be united with; and particularly to be firmly united with strong affection.” (Chandler, cited in Spurgeon)
2. (9-10) Trust despite the trouble.
But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.
a. But those who seek my life, to destroy it: David’s deep communion with God did not take away his problems. There were still those who wanted to kill him. According to its title, Psalm 63 was written from the Wilderness of Judah and David was in the wilderness hiding from a conspiracy to kill him.
b. They shall fall by the sword: David trusted God to deal with his enemies, especially with King Saul. In God’s time and in God’s way, David’s enemies did fall by the sword, which has the sense of being killed in battle.
i. “He knows that the ‘steadfast love’ of God which he praised in verse 3, is strong with justice (cf. 62:12).” (Kidner)
ii. A portion for jackals: “If the body of a human being were to be left on the ground, the jackals would certainly leave but little traces of it; and in the olden times of warfare, they must have held high revelry in the battle-fields after the armies had retired. It is to this propensity of the jackal that David refers – himself a man of war, who had fought on many a battle-field, and must have seen the carcasses of the slain mangled by these nocturnal prowlers.” (Wood, cited in Spurgeon)
iii. “Jackals make sense here, rather than the ‘foxes’ of some older translations (one Hebrew word serves for both). They are the final scavengers, consuming the remains of the kill rejected by the larger beasts.” (Kidner)
3. (11) The king’s confidence.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.
a. But the king shall rejoice in God: David was not yet on Israel’s throne and that promise still waited many years for fulfillment. Yet it was a promise of God (first expressed in 1 Samuel 16), so by faith David could dare to think of himself as the king, and in that daring faith rejoice in God.
i. “The king; I, who am already anointed king, and who shall be actually king, when these mine enemies are fallen by the sword. He speaks of himself in the third person, either out of modesty or out of prudence.” (Poole)
b. Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped: The sense of swears by Him is to trust in God and place one’s confident love in Him; men normally take oaths upon what they hold dear. The contrast to trusting God is to speak lies; we resort to lies when we don’t trust God. One of these paths has a future of glory and the other path will be stopped.
i. “Two things are necessary for such triumph as this. These are indicated in the opening words of the psalm. First, there must be the consciousness of personal relationship, ‘O God, Thou art my God’; and, second, there must be earnest seeking after God: ‘Early will I seek Thee.’ Relationship must be established. Fellowship must be cultivated.” (Morgan)
(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you had to pick a single word to describe our society, perhaps the most accurate word would be pressure. We live in a day marked by pressure in almost every area of life. At five years old we are thrust into school where there is pressure to perform and to compete for grades. We join athletic teams where there is more pressure to excel. We face the pressure of getting into college and once we’re there, of making it through. Then there is the pressure of getting a good job and, once we get it, of doing well enough to keep it and be promoted.
There are family pressures: finding the right mate and building a solid marriage in a culture where divorce is easy and accepted. There are the pressures of raising godly children in our pagan society. World problems, economic problems, personal problems, and the problems of friends and loved ones all press upon us.
In the midst of such pressures, there is one thing that will determine the course of your life: your priorities. Everyone has a set of priorities. If your priorities are not clearly defined, you will be swept downstream in life by various pressures, the seeming victim of your circumstances. But if your priorities are clear, then you can respond to your pressures by making choices in line with your priorities, and thereby give direction to your life.
Roll over for legal
Thus it is crucial that you have the right priorities. Your priorities determine how you spend your time, with whom you spend your time, and how you make decisions. Your priorities keep you from being battered around by the waves of pressure and help you to steer a clear course toward the proper destination. Priorities—godly priorities—are crucial!
King David was a man who knew what it meant to live under pressure. As the king of Israel, he knew the pressures of leadership. The higher and more responsible the leadership position, the greater are the pressures. And David knew the pressure of problems. During his reign, his son, Absalom, led a rebellion against him. David and his loyal followers had to flee for their lives. During that time David spent a short while in the northeastern portion of the wilderness of Judah before he crossed over the Jordan River. In that barren land, fleeing for his life from his own son, feeling disgraced and rejected, with an uncertain future, David penned Psalm 63.
It is one of the most well-loved psalms. John Chrysostom (347-407) wrote “that it was decreed and ordained by the primitive [church] fathers, that no day should pass without the public singing of this Psalm.” He also observed that “the spirit and soul of the whole Book of Psalms is contracted into this Psalm” (cited by J. J. Stewart Perowne, The Book of Psalms, [Zondervan], p. 486). In fact, the ancient church had the practice of beginning the singing of the Psalms at each Sunday service with Psalm 63, called “the morning hymn” (Commentary on the Old Testament, C. F. Keil & Franz Delitzsch, [Eerdmans], p. 212).
Psalm 63 shows us the priority of this man of God under pressure. If you or I were under the kinds of pressure David faced at this point in his life, I doubt if we would be writing songs. If we did, the song would probably contain a lot of urgent requests: “Help, God! Get me out of here!” David did write a song like that (Psalm 3). But it is interesting that Psalm 63 contains no petition (Perowne, p. 487). David expresses longing for God’s presence, praise, joy, fellowship with God, confidence in God’s salvation. But there is not one word of asking for temporal or even spiritual blessings. Derek Kidner (Psalms 1-72 [IVP], pp. 224-226) nicely outlines it as “God my desire” (1-4); “God my delight” (5-8); and, “God my defense” (9-11). The psalm shows us that David’s priority was to seek the Lord.
Seeking after God should be our most important priority.
No matter what pressures come into your life, you will be able to handle them properly if you maintain this one priority above all else: Earnestly seek after God! I want to answer from Psalm 63 three questions about seeking after God:
1. What does it mean to seek after God?
2. What does the person look like who seeks after God?
3. How does a person seek after God?
1. What does it mean to seek after God?
Psalm 63 allows us to peer into the heart of this man after God’s own heart. It’s an emotional psalm, coming out of the depths of David’s life, and it would be an injustice to pick the psalm apart while missing the feeling that it conveys. But while keeping the depth of feeling in mind, it is helpful to separate out three strands of what it means to seek after God:
A. TO SEEK AFTER GOD MEANS TO HAVE AN INTIMATE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (63:1).
“O God, You are my God.” David knew God in an intimate, personal way. There is a vast difference between knowing about a person and actually knowing that person. You can learn a lot about President Obama. You can read news articles and books on his life. You can learn all about his personality, his personal habits, and his family life. But it is still not the same as knowing him personally.
To know the President personally would require an introduction or occasion to meet, and then spending hours with him over a long period of time in many situations. As the relationship developed you would begin to discover more and more about the man, not from an academic standpoint, but as a close friend.
That’s how it must be with God, if you want to seek Him. There must have been a time when you met Him personally through Jesus Christ. Jesus said (John 17:3), “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” Your introduction to God comes when you turn from your sin to God and trust in Jesus Christ and His death on your behalf. He gives you eternal life as His free gift.
And then you must develop your relationship by spending time with your new Friend through the weeks and months and years in a variety of situations. “Seeking after God” means that you are seeking to develop an intimate relationship with the God whom you have met personally through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. TO SEEK AFTER GOD MEANS ALWAYS TO DESIRE MORE OF HIM (63:1).
David said, “I shall seek you earnestly; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh yearns for You….” Didn’t David have the Lord? Yes, because he calls Him “my God.” But he wanted more. He wanted to go deeper. He was satisfied (63:5), but he wasn’t satisfied. He knew that there was more and his whole being craved it as a thirsty man in the desert craves for water.
The word translated “seek earnestly” is related etymologically to the word for “dawn,” and thus some translations have “seek early.” But most commentators agree that the word means earnestly, ardently, or diligently. It was used of wild donkeys looking eagerly for food. The point is, to seek after God means to go after God with an intense desire.
A young man ran after Socrates, calling, “Socrates, Socrates, can I be your disciple?” Socrates ignored him and walked out into the water. The man followed him and repeated the question. Socrates turned and without a word grabbed the young man and dunked him under the water and held him down until he knew that he couldn’t take it any longer. The man came up gasping for air. Socrates replied, “When you desire the truth as much as you seek air, you can be my disciple.”
How much do you desire to know God? A. W. Tozer, in his devotional classic, The Pursuit of God ([Christian Publications], pp. 15, 17), wrote,
Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him, the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking…. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.
To seek after God means that there is always more, because God is an infinite person. If you figure that you’ve reached a level of maturity in your Christian life where you can put it in neutral and coast, you’re in trouble! David had walked with God for years, but he thirsted for more.
C. TO SEEK AFTER GOD MEANS TO PURSUE GOD ALONE TO FILL THE VACUUM IN YOUR LIFE.
Many of us remember the day President Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal. One day he was the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. The next day, he flew off into oblivion and disgrace. Even if we thought he deserved what happened to him, we could still identify with the emptiness, the shame, the wave of depression which must have enveloped Mr. Nixon.
David was there. He has fled from the throne. He left his possessions and his wives behind him. His own son whom he loved was attempting to kill him. And yet in all of this, David wasn’t seeking for any of those things to fill the vacuum in his life. He wasn’t praying, “O God, give me my wives back. Give me my palace back. Give me my kingdom back.” But rather, he prayed, “I shall seek You”; “my soul thirsts for You”; “my flesh yearns for You”; “Your love is better than life.” What amazing statements!
The fact is, it’s easy to fill your life with things other than God. They may be good things, but they are not God, and God alone can satisfy your soul. For example, many people fill their lives with family and friends. On Sunday, they usually give God an hour, but He isn’t the center of their lives; people are. People are good, and human relationships are a blessing from God. But we should not try to fill the vacuum in our lives with people, but with God.
Others try to fill their lives with possessions or with a successful and satisfying career. Again, those things have their place, but they are not meant to satisfy your soul. God alone can do that. To seek Him means to pursue Him alone to fill that God-shaped vacuum in your life.
Thus seeking after God means to have an intimate personal relationship with Him; always to desire more of Him; and, to pursue God alone to fill the vacuum in your life.
2. What does the person look like who seeks after God?
I only want to touch lightly on this question so that I can concentrate on the third question. But I want you to see that a person who seeks after God is not a religious mystic who is out of touch with reality. Putting God in the center of your life gives you balance and perspective in the crises of life. Notice, briefly four things which characterize the person who seeks the Lord:
A. THE PERSON WHO SEEKS AFTER GOD HAS INNER SATISFACTION (63:5).
“My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness….” He is never complacent, but satisfied. David’s soul was at rest. Even in the middle of a calamity such as this rebellion, which would push many to fall apart emotionally, David had inner peace and calm. Just as you feel physically after eating a delicious prime rib dinner, so David felt spiritually after feasting on the Lord. He was satisfied in God.
B. THE PERSON WHO SEEKS AFTER GOD HAS INNER JOY (63:5, 7, 11).
“My mouth offers praises with joyful lips” (63:5b). “In the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy” (63:7b). “But the king will rejoice in God… (63:11). David had a joy not based on circumstances. His whole world was falling apart, but he had the Lord and His loyal love, and so he could sing and rejoice in God. You can’t explain that apart from God!
C. THE PERSON WHO SEEKS AFTER GOD HAS INNER STABILITY AND STRENGTH IN CRISIS (63:7-8).
“For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” God was David’s help. David hid under God’s wing as a baby chick hides for protection under the mother hen’s wing. God’s powerful hand upheld and sustained David. He stayed steady in the storm because he had the inner resource of God’s strength.
D. THE PERSON WHO SEEKS AFTER GOD HAS INNER PERSPECTIVE AND BALANCE (63:9-11).
“But those who seek my life to destroy it, will go into the depths of the earth. They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; they will be a prey for jackals [lit.]. But the king will rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him will glory, for the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.”
David wasn’t consumed with thoughts of getting even. As he considered his circumstances, he realized that God is just; God would judge fairly. The wicked would not prevail in the long run. Thus David could commit the situation to the Lord and act with the right perspective and balance: He would make it his business to rejoice in God, and let God deal with his enemies and vindicate him. He knew his calling (“king,” 63:11) and that God would not fail to accomplish all that concerned him (Ps. 57:2).
The point is, the person who seeks after God will be a person of strength and stability, a person with inner resources to meet every crisis in life. Now for the crucial question:
3. How does a person seek after God?
I’m assuming that you already know God personally through Christ. As I already mentioned, you begin a relationship with God when you realize that you have sinned against the holy God and when you flee for refuge to the provision God has made for your sin, the cross of Christ. No one seeks for God unless God first seeks after them (John 6:44; Rom. 3:11). Thus no one can boast; we have only received God’s undeserved gift. But once you’ve received it, how do you go on seeking after God? Three things:
A. YOU SEEK GOD BY PUTTING LOVE FOR GOD AT THE CENTER OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
God’s lovingkindness (63:3) was better to David than life itself. Therefore, David says, “My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me” (63:8). What a beautiful balance! David clings to God, but underneath it all, God’s powerful hand is under David.
The Hebrew word translated “clings” points to loyalty related to affection. It’s the same word used in Genesis 2:24, where it says that a man will “cleave” to his wife. It is used to describe Ruth clinging to her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:14). She didn’t want to part from her (see also, 1 Kings 11:2; Gen. 34:3; 2 Sam. 20:2). The idea is loyalty related to strong feelings of affection.
Your relationship with the Lord is comparable to a marriage relationship. Marriage is a relationship where intense feelings of passion and a lifelong commitment are intertwined. When a couple falls in love, there are strong feelings, and there is nothing wrong with that. But a marriage cannot be built on feelings alone, but on commitment. The commitment carries you through the hard times when the feelings may fade. Sometimes you have to work at the romance (which sounds contradictory, but it’s not). But if there are never any feelings of love, your marriage is in trouble.
Seeking after God means keeping your passion for God alive. Christianity is not just a matter of the head, but of the heart. As you think on what God has done for you in Christ, it ought to move you emotionally. As you reflect on His great love and faithfulness toward you over the years, in spite of your failures, you ought to feel love for Him.
In your marriage, keeping your passion alive means saying no to some things in order to say yes to your wife. Your job, outside interests, time with other friends, and even your church involvement—these are all good things in their place. But they shouldn’t come before your marriage. In the same way, nothing, not even your marriage and family life, should come before your love relationship with God. That leads to the second thing:
B. YOU SEEK GOD BY SPENDING CONSISTENT TIME ALONE WITH HIM.
David was under intense pressure as he fled from Absalom. He had to think about how all of his loyal followers who fled with him were going to get food and water in this barren wilderness. He had to be thinking constantly about their safety. And yet he did not neglect earnestly seeking God in this trying situation. There is a determination here: “I shall seek you earnestly” (63:1b). “My lips will praise You” (63:3b). “So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name” (63:4). “My soul clings to You” (63:8a). David made it a priority to spend time alone with God.
We all make time to do what we really want to do. Exhibit A: A young man in college who is working and carrying a full load of classes. His schedule seems packed. Then he meets the woman of his dreams. Suddenly he finds time to spend with her! It’s not a duty; it’s a delight! He will cut corners elsewhere if he has to, but he will not miss his time with this beautiful creature.
If you love God, you’ll make time to spend with Him because you delight to do so. This includes time in His Word, renewing your mind so that you can please Him. It includes time in prayer, bringing your needs and others’ needs before Him. It includes time in praise and worship, expressing your love for Him.
C. YOU SEEK GOD BY INTEGRATING HIM INTO EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE.
God isn’t just a spoke in the wheel; He’s the hub. God isn’t just a slice of life, who rounds out your other pursuits. Rather, God permeates every area of your life. He’s at the center of every decision you make. He’s the Lord of every relationship you have. You manage your money by considering what His Word says about it. There is no area of your life, be it your business, your family, your education, or whatever, where God is not an integral part. There is no division between sacred and secular; all of life is related to God.
Here is David, his kingdom in disarray, running for his life, seeking to protect his men. It would be understandable if God were temporarily squeezed out of the picture. But David is “following hard after God,” as the old King James Version puts verse 8. God was at the center of David’s present and his future. No area was off limits to God.
How is it with you and God? Perhaps you say, “I’m actively involved in serving Him!” That’s fine, but that’s not what I’m asking. You can be in full time ministry and lose sight of seeking God Himself. I once heard the late godly pastor and author, Alan Redpath, speak. He told how he faced a time in his life when the opportunities for ministry were the greatest he had ever seen. God seemed to be blessing his preaching. It was the kind of thing every pastor prays and longs for.
And then, right in the middle of it, Redpath was laid up with a stroke. As he lay in his hospital bed, he asked, “Lord, why? Why now, when the opportunities to serve You are so great?” I’ll never forget what he said next. He said that the Lord quietly impressed upon him, “Alan, you’ve gotten your work ahead of your worship.” Ouch!
Review your past week or month and ask yourself, “Did my schedule reflect that seeking God was my number one priority?” You say, “Well, that’s my priority, but I’ve been under a lot of pressure!” Pressure is what reveals your true priorities. When the pressure is on, everything but the essential gets set aside. The Holy Spirit is telling us through David, “Seeking God is essential!” If it’s not essential for you, then you’ve got to join David, the man after God’s heart, in making it so.
1. How can we make time alone with God a priority and yet avoid a legalistic approach to it?
2. How can a Christian who has lost the passion for God regain it?
3. How does a person who lacks self-discipline go about getting it?
4. What is the difference between having God as a slice of life versus having God permeate every part of life? How does one go about making the change?
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation
New Living Translation
Jesus, the Light of the World
12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Jesus confronted the people once again saying I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in the world of sin and darkness, because you will live in light and have the light that leads to everlasting life
VERSE OF THE DAY
Follow the Lord and honor him; obey him and keep his commands; worship him and be faithful to him.
VERSE OF THE DAY
Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.
What Does John 8:12 Mean? ►
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
Christ is the image of the invisible God. He is the Son of God, Who is God the Son, and He came to earth to shed the light of the Father to the far-flung corners of the universe. That light shines in the darkness, but darkness and evil cannot quench the light of His love. He is the shining Light, that alone enlightens the darkened soul of man. He is that gentle Light, that pours warmth into the chilled human breast.
He is that gracious Light, that streams eternal love into the broken lives of Adam’s fallen race, and He is the pure Light – the redeeming Light, Who speaks new-life into the one who is dead in trespasses and sins. He breathes His sanctifying-life into the one that trusts Him as their Saviour, their Jesus, their Lord, and their God. For God is the Light of lights, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
Christ is the Word of the invisible God, Who created light and life when the earth was spoken into being. And He is the incarnate Word – the Light and the Life of God, Who clothed Himself in human flesh, so that mankind could be redeemed, by faith in Him. He is the One Who gives light to all men coming into the world, and He is the One Who speaks the light of life into whosoever will believe in Him for salvation.
When a woman caught in adultery was brought to the Lord Jesus, He exposed the darkness lurking in the sinful hearts of all the men, elders, Scribes, and Pharisees who were accusing her. A little later that day we read that, “Jesus spoke to the Scribes and Pharisees… and said to them, ‘I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'”
Jesus is able to shine that pure light of truth into the hearts and consciences of everyman who believes on Him. Jesus was able to expose the hypocritical sin that was lurking within every man, elder, Scribe, and Pharisee that stood before Him that day. He had come to open their eyes to the truth. He had come to enlighten them, and show them the way of salvation, but their hearts were hardened to the incarnate Word of God. Jesus was offering these hard-hearted men the light that comes from God’s presence – the light that produces eternal life – but they resisted His invitation, and remained dead in their sins.
The Lord Jesus was the Light about Whom David wrote, for He is our Lord, our Light, and our Salvation. “Let there be light”, was the first Word God spoke at creation and light played a vital role in the Temple rites and rituals of the Mosaic Law. Light was very prominent in all of Israel’s feast days and festivals, and Jesus revealed Himself as the “Light of the World”, during the Feast of Tabernacles. The Light of the World had come into the world to tabernacle with His people – and they refused to believe.
Christ is the true Light of the World, but we who have received His new-life have been entrusted to carry the testimony of His light, His life and His love into a darkened world, and He has commanded us to live out our lives in a manner that is well-pleasing to Him. We are to walk in the light as He is in the light and we are to point lost souls to the One Who lightens our darkness and breathes life into the lifeless soul.
Today, the world is in deep darkness, and submerged in sickness, sin, evil, and ignorance… yet in His goodness and grace, Christ stripped Himself of His glory and clothed Himself in human flesh. He was born into this fallen race so that the saving light of His truth and love could shine into the recesses of man’s blackened heart and rekindle a spark of hope in the soul of men – so that whosoever believes on Him by grace through faith, would be removed from the kingdom of darkness, and placed into the brightness of God’s eternal kingdom of light.
Man has been given a free will to accept the light of the glorious gospel of grace, and all who trust in Him for salvation will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life as an abiding presence within. Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth, the only Life, and He is also the only Light. Jesus is the one and only true Light from
John 8:12 Meaning of I Am the Light of the World
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
Explanation and Commentary of John 8:12
Anyone who struggles to understand the world needs only look to Christ in and by whom all things are illuminated. In Christ all the questions are answered: How did we get here; what’s wrong with the world; how can it be fixed; what is the meaning of life; how should we live? Jesus tells us still today that to look to him is to find answers to all these questions and more.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the Word by whom the whole world was made (Jn 1:3) and that he is the way, the truth, and the life. To refuse to follow him is to continue to walk in some kind of darkness, groping for answers, even if the questions are unexpressed. To follow him is to see what is ahead, immediately, and eternally into the future. Christ shows us that the world was fallen and that God has a plan to save it. He shows us that we ourselves are in need of salvation and that he died on the cross to redeem us and forgive us, reconciling us to the Father. Christ shows us the nature of the holiness and love of God, the wrath for sin combined with the mercy of forgiveness, and justice of God with the forgiveness of God for us.
And this light of life shows how to walk in him until he returns, loving God with all our heart, soul, and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, even loving our enemies. The light shows us how to die to ourselves that we might live true life abundantly in him forever and ever.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 8:12
#1 “When Jesus spoke again to the people,”
The preceding chapters of John show much of the common conversation and teaching between Jesus, his disciples, the crowds who were curious about him, and his usual enemies, the religious establishment who envied his following and rejected his claims. Here he is again discoursing on eternal truths.
#2 “he said, ‘I am the light of the world.”
John began his gospel with this theme and continues to develop it. John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” And then in John 1:9 says, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” There is a distinct relationship between light and truth. Jesus would show the reality of what is. He would bring understanding of the Father, his ways, and of the future to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear.
#3 “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
It follows that if one recognizes Jesus as the light of the world and follows him, he or she will always have the light. He promised that he and his salvation would not be taken away from those who come to him. He will not lose any that the Father gives to him (Jn 6:39).
Bible Gateway Deuteronomy 28 :: NIV. If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. … The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you.
English Standard Version
1 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 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. 4 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.