Monday, November 18, 2013

... A Commentary on Psalm 32:10-11

“Mercy Surrounds Those Who Trust in the LORD” 
Psalm 32:10-11
10. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
11. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

The “sorrows of the wicked” is contrasted with “those who trust in the Lord” and the mercy of the Lord that surrounds them. Walking outside of God’s way brings sorrow (see verse 3). But, mercy and deliverance is available for all those that trust in and walk with the Lord. 

Mercy is God’s unfailing lovingkindness. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13) and God has shown just how much He loves the world through Jesus Christ. His unfailing love surrounds those who trust in Him. 

Trust is faith and obedience in His word and His Spirit. “He who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.”

The trust spoken of here in Psalm 32:10 is equivalent to our reliance on God in verse seven. Believing in Christ and keeping His commandments are inseparable (see John 13:31-16:33).

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34).”

“If you love Me, keep My commandments (14:15).”

“…the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him (John 4:23).”

“Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent (John 6:28-29).’"

“At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him (14:20-21).”

“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me (14:23-24).”

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (15:4-5).”

Intellectual belief in Christ is not faith. Jesus said, “not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (see Matthew 7:21-23).” The Lord is gracious and patient with our short comings. Branches that remain connected to vines do not produce perfect fruit, but they do produce fruit. God will perfect us in His time. But we must be abiding in Christ, moving ever closer to Him and His perfect will for our lives. If we are truly trusting in Him we will produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:19-26). By God’s grace, through faith, the Spirit Himself is changing us from the inside out. We must cooperate with the Lord by seeking Him daily, yielding to His will and walking in the power and love of the Spirit. The result will be a beautiful and miraculous production of the fruit of God in our life.

“Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart (Psalm 32:11)!”

“You righteous” and “you upright in heart” speaks of the righteousness of Christ that is now ours through faith in Jesus Christ, imputed to us because of God’s amazing grace. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, shout for joy! “Rejoice” could be described as “spinning around in violent emotion, beaming in joy.” “Shout for joy” triumphantly, because of all the Lord has done for us (see Psalm 107).

Rejoicing in forgiveness comes from the assurances of God’s love, protection, guidance and forgiveness, even if we sin.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).”

“Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
(1 Thess. 5:16-18)

“Of all people, Christians have reason to be most joyous. God has forgiven us of our sins, and we have the hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ. Our relationship with God has been restored through Jesus Christ, so we may now pray without ceasing. Prayer is the constant awareness of and communion with God and the awe that we have as we worship Him. So, in everything, we give thanks. We know our life is in God’s hands and His purpose. Nothing can happen to me except God allows it. And if God allows it to happen to me, He has a purpose for it. We are to be a joyful church, a praying church and a thankful church. ‘This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’” (the proceeding paragraph was taken from The Word for Today Bible, page 1579, “The Will of God”, by Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa)

Trust in the Lord. Call on His name. Seek Him, and you will find Him. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you. God’s unfailing love surrounds those who trust in Him.

For the full commentary on Psalm 32, visit 

Monday, November 4, 2013

... A Commentary on Psalm 32:8-9

“God is Speaking. Are You Listening?” 
Psalm 32:8-9
8. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
9. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.

Prayer is not meant to always be a monologue, a one-sided conversation. It would be silly if we ran into someone at the store and just talked straight for five minutes without letting them speak, and then just walked away, “okay, bye.” Isn’t that what we do to the Lord sometimes? Prayer should often be a dialogue, a two way conversation. Prayer is the most amazing aspect of our relationship to God. We have the opportunity, 24 hours a day, to come boldly to His throne of grace and commune with the Living God.

To all those that have called on the Lord and put their faith in Jesus Christ, God has promised to instruct us and teach us, to counsel and watch over us. He promised this through David in our text, but Jesus also spoke in detail about it. How does He comfort? How does He counsel us? I submit that, by the Holy Spirit in us, He will do it in three primary ways: through His Word, through prayer/worship and through our brothers and sisters in Christ that He is using to speak to us. 

Jesus promised the disciples that He would not leave them alone after His physical departure from the world.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever– the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).”

“At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him (14:20-21).”

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (14:26).”

“When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you (16:13-15).”

When we pray, we should make sure to get into a nice quiet space, set aside enough time to bring our worship, petitions and intercession to the Lord, but also make enough time to just wait on the Lord. Wait? Yes, wait.

“Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).”

“Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah (pause/wait/meditate on) (Psalm 4:4).”

Have your Bible with you. The Lord may want to speak to you through His “living and active” Word (Heb. 4:12). If you wait on Him, He may also want to speak directly to your heart. You will just know that God is speaking to you in your spirit. And, you can compare what you think He is speaking to your heart with the revealed word of God in the Bible. He will never contradict Himself, and the Bible is the standard we use to judge whether something is of God or not. He will teach, He will comfort. There won’t be condemnation (condemnation is from Satan). “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).” There is loving direction, wisdom, insight and leading. Isn’t that what the Lord says in our text? God instructs His children, teaches and counsels. The Holy Spirit is called “the Counselor.” God does do these things! He is so good! We say we ask Jesus “into our heart.” But Jesus Himself makes it much more explicit when He prays for all believers in John 17.

“I do not pray for these (the apostles) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word (that’s you and me!); that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (17:20-23).”

Jesus prayed that He would be in us, that we would be one with Him as He is one with the Father.

God is speaking, but are we taking the time to listen? Listen for the Lord’s voice speaking to you through His word, through prayer and worship, through your brothers and sisters in Christ, and directly to your heart as you wait on Him. He is faithful and He is good. So good! The more you wait on God and hear from Him, the easier it will become to discern His “voice” in your spirit. Pray for discernment.

Notice that in our text David hears from God while he is praying and waiting (Selah) on the Lord. The voice speaking to David is God’s. “I will instruct you and teach you and counsel you…” God is telling David that He will instruct him... as He is instructing him! This is an example of a believer in God waiting on Him (Selah at the end of verse 7) and hearing from Him (in verse 8). Just to clarify, I say God “speaks to our heart” because I do not think that we can hear the voice of God audibly. There are cases in both the Old and New Testaments of God doing just that. But, if it happens today, it is extremely rare. If God wants to speak to me audibly, I would have no problem with that, and He certainly could if He wanted to. I’ve just never experienced it myself and personally know of no one who has.

Let us not be stubborn like a mule or wild like a horse (verse 9) and not hear our Heavenly Father speaking to us individually and personally.

“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).”

Jesus is the King of kings, but like King David was to Israel, Jesus is our friend and brother, as well. Do not be like an animal that needs to be controlled by bit and bridle. This statement in verse nine is set in direct opposition to the intelligent cooperation described in verse eight. Our spirit should be yielded to His Spirit. Come to the Lord willingly. Let His Holy Spirit work in you. Do not be forced into cooperation. For believers, God’s purpose for you will be done, but it isn’t usually very enjoyable when we are not cooperating.

The greatest joy in being a Christian is spending time with Jesus. He gives to us His peace, not as the world gives. His joy is made complete in us as we bask in His presence, sitting at the Master’s feet and listening (like Mary, Martha’s sister). Don’t be afraid and don’t make excuses as to why you can’t or don’t have time to pray that long or that way. Just humbly call upon the name of your Lord and Savior and ask Him to come and be with you... and wait. It usually takes some time as our heart and mind quiets. Read some verses, be waiting expectantly (in faith) and receive all that the Lord has for you, His lovely child, set apart for Him in Jesus Christ.

For the full commentary on Psalm 32, visit

Brian Farrell is a follower of Jesus, saved by God's amazing grace through faith in Christ. Brian is a Bible teacher and the founder of Walking With Jesus Ministries. He lives with his wife Dana in Temecula, California.