Tuesday, October 22, 2013

...A Commentary on Psalm 32:6-7


“Turning To God In Trouble” 

Psalm 32:6-7

6. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.
7. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

The Holy Spirit, speaking through David, promises us here that when the Lord’s children call upon Him, He will be found, and He will protect and deliver us from our trials and troubles. He will give us deliverance and fill our hearts with songs of joy and thanksgiving for His deliverance. We all have troublesome times in our life. That part I do not like so much! But, this is a fallen world that we live in. It is a violent, God-hating world that is in reality, ruled by Satan. Trouble and hardship will come. But rejoice in God’s promise of deliverance. He will surround you, and will be found when you call on Him.

“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You (Psalm 9:9-10).”

The “therefore” in verse six looks back to the forgiveness that David found when he confessed his sin. Because of God’s grace, everyone who is godly (worshippers of/believers in God) should pray to Him while He may be found. We have seen in verses 3-5 that forgiveness and restoration with God are as close to us as our own hearts. James said, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

“Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:6-7).”

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).”

“Surely the mighty waters” seems to harken back to the flood waters of Noah’s day. But, like Noah and his family, the waters will not reach those that call on the Lord. God’s wrath and judgment is being poured out on a wicked and rebellious world (Rom. 1:18). His wrath against wickedness does not reach those in Christ, though. God has accounted our sin to His Son Jesus Christ, on the cross, for all who believe in Him. Those that call on the name of the Lord are accounted the righteousness of Christ, and are therefore no longer the recipients of God’s wrath.

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved (Romans 10:13).”

“The mighty waters” may also speak of a flood of adversity and trial. Though God does allow trials in our lives, everything that happens to us is allowed by Him and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Notice in verse six that prayer/relationship with God, through the mediator Jesus Christ, keeps us safe in His will, under His wings, safe in His ship, riding the flood waters instead of drowning in them!

He Himself is our hiding place, our refuge and our strong wall of protection from trouble. He has surrounded us with songs of deliverance. We sing out to Him joyfully because of His intercession in the midst of our trials and troubles. He is our deliverer. He reaches into our lives and is the worker of miracles.

When God allows trial and hardship to infringe on my life, many times I just do not understand what is happening or why it is happening. I have to remind myself that God is sovereign over all. He is on His throne. Nothing happens that doesn’t first pass through His counsel. I am a child of God and He has a plan for me. He works all things out for His people according to His perfect plan.

In Exodus, chapter 15, Moses and the children of Israel sing to God a song of deliverance because of the mighty workings of God to free them from the Egyptians. Here are a few verses:

“The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him (Exodus 15:2).”

“Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders (Exodus 15:11)?”

“You in Your mercy have led forth The people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation (Exodus 15:13).”

“You will bring them in and plant them In the mountain of Your inheritance, In the place, O LORD, which You have made For Your own dwelling, The sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established. The LORD shall reign forever and ever (Exodus 15:17-18).”

Think of all that God has brought us through to this point. Will He bring us this far to forsake us now? No! He will see us through the wilderness. He has already delivered us from our slavery to sin and brought us into the glorious kingdom of His Son. He will see us through our adversities in this life. We will enter into His promised Kingdom.

In Mark, chapter 4, Jesus and His disciples were crossing the lake to the country of the Gadarenes.

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith (4:36-41)?’”

At another time, before Jesus raised a little girl from the dead, He said, “do not be afraid, only believe (Luke 8:50).”

And, in Psalm 27, David expresses His trust in God,

“The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.”

Lord, stand with me in my trial. Be present. Work out Your perfect will for my life. I ask for Your peace and joy. See me through this, Lord. Be my strength. I give my heart and life to you Lord, and pray that in all that is happening, Jesus Christ may be glorified in me. Amen.

For the full commentary on Psalm 32, visit http://walkingwithjesus.net/vbv.html


Monday, October 7, 2013

...A Commentary on Psalm 32:3-5

“The Drought of Summer Replaced With Torrents Of Living Water”
Psalm 32:3-5
3. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.
4. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Oh, the misery of denial in the heart of a child of God. David attempted to keep his sin from his friends and all of Israel for somewhere around 9 to 12 months, but he was miserable. The conscience of this “man after God’s own heart” was taking its toll on him. J. Vernon McGee suggests that David may have lost weight during this period. So overcome with guilt and the hand of God heavy on him, he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat and he just groaned throughout the days. The NLT translates verse three as follows: “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long.” The KJV says “roaring” instead of “groaning”. David was living a lie and was not right with God. He was silent in confession, but roaring throughout the day with the heavy burden and horror of his guilt. Psalm 38 further illustrates how David felt during 
this time. Like Psalm 32, it is one of the penitential (repentant) Psalms.

In verse four, David then says (NLT), “Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” In First Corinthians 11:31-32 and in Hebrews 12:5-13, the Lord reminds us that He does chasten and correct His children, when the need arises. One reason He does this is that “we will not be condemned with the world.” In Hebrews, the writer tells us, “For whom the LORD loves He chastens.” He goes on, “But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness and afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Like a good father on earth, our Heavenly Father does not hesitate to teach us His way when we ourselves are obstinate and unchanging. If we are not corrected, we are not His. If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged (1 Cor. 11:31).

The hand of the Lord was heavy upon David, and like a drought stricken land at the height of summer, his soul was dry. In First John 1:5-2:2, the beloved disciple says that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

Now, as we transition from verse four to verse five, we remember that this Psalm was set to music. At the end of verse four, we have the musical term “Selah”, which is a rest or pause in the song to contemplate what has been spoken and to wait on the Lord. Spurgeon speculates that moving from verse four to five may have also brought a change to a higher key in the song. With the forgiveness of his iniquity, David advances from the drought of summer to God’s grace poured out on him like the torrents of a monsoon.

In verse five, David says that he will confess his transgressions to the Lord and will acknowledge his sin to Him, that he will no longer attempt to hide it. The last part of verse five is the result: “and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” or, in the NLT, “and you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” As soon as David confessed his sin, God forgave him. In the Hebrew, the language implies that God forgave him instantly. I believe the forgiveness came to David as soon as his heart was set on confession, even before the words got out, and as he was saying it, the love and mercy of God overflowed his drought stricken soul with torrents of living water.

Now, it is important to point out that admitting our sin to God is not the same as confession. Confessing is saying the same thing about our sin as God, seeing it the same way He does. Confession is a true repentance of the heart, and includes a turning away from our sin and giving it to the Lord. Confession softens the heart to receive God’s leading and guidance in our lives, which we will see in verse eight of this Psalm.

This portion of Scripture reminds me of the story of the prodigal son, recorded in Luke 15:11-32. It says that when the prodigal came to himself, he said, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Our nature is such that it is always fighting against God’s Spirit within us. The flesh lusts against the spirit. So, daily renewal is essential in our walk with Jesus. Many times we fall short of taking hold of the invitation for renewal in His presence. But as soon as we are still and seeking Him, waves of mercy and love pour forth over us, and we are renewed in His love once again.

Bring me to the cross, Lord. Search my heart and show me where I am off. Renew my soul with your presence, the peace and joy that comes only from you. Thank you for the free gift of forgiveness and your love in Jesus Christ. Move me, lead me and guide me into your perfect plan for the life you’ve given me. In Jesus name, Amen

For the full commentary on Psalm 32, visit http://walkingwithjesus.net/vbv.html