i recently asked a bunch of my friends if they would consider guest posting a ‘psalmthing to chew on’ and some of them have taken up the challenge/offer and the first of them is my buddy Liam who really got into the psalm… [good thing we kept him away from 119] – so read his thoughts and feel free to add some of your own:
Verse 1: How scary is it that we are actually blessed BECAUSE our sins are forgiven? Our blessings would count for nothing, or rather, they would not have any eternal meaning (for us), if we have not given our lives to Christ. We would just be blessed here on earth (and other people in the past, present and future would be able to see these blessings, whether or not they recognise them as coming from the Lord), but when our days are done, it’s the end of the line. Something I need to meditate on MUCH more.
Verse 2: Again, BLESSING. Not something that I have fully taken in to heart understanding. But it comes with a warning. Two, actually. Firstly, we are only to be seen as having no iniquity against God when we have given our lives to Christ. Then our slates are wiped clean. A simple requirement, but hard to deal with for many of us, not all people do eventually get past this. Secondly, we are also warned that God sees into our true motives: “…in whose spirit there is no deceit.” tells us that we cannot fool God and that words are not enough. He knows, even if we can fake things in front of people.
Verse 3: So much to take in here. For each of us, there are likely to be many questions along the lines of: ‘What is keeping silent?’, ‘What kind of wasting away?’ and ‘What kind of groaning?’. No doubt we can all answer these in our own ways and these may change according to time/place circumstance, but they are still good questions.
Verse 4: Not entirely sure, though at first glance, perhaps David is just trying to say that through it all, no matter how much he held out against God and even tried to resist engaging with God, he still felt God’s presence in an undeniable fashion. It may be this fact that tortured him so much. So the question here is: ‘Why do we resist God, or try to turn our backs on Him?’ We cannot fully do so and if we have a nagging feeling, it is probably guilt. Guilt however, is not a Godly thing, as far as I am aware. God desires to know us intimately, fully, openly and without condemnation. So by avoiding God we are really spiting ourselves and actually making ourselves more vulnerable to satan’s lies and his ability to isolate us and our thoughts.
Verse 5: So, in a roundabout way, we see that the points made in verse 1 and 2 are tied up. If 3 and 4 are seen to be David’s sin (which it is, if the simple definition of us not doing God’s will is used for ‘sin’), then these are all tied together.
Verse 6: It is hard to tell if ‘everyone who is godly’ refers to worshippers of God, or of anyone claiming spiritual beliefs. It is further confusing for me which ‘him’ is unable to be reached. However, I take great joy in this: ‘at a time when you may be found’. Well, God is ALWAYS available, accessible and listening to us, knowing even before we ask Him for anything. He is never late, nor does He get anything wrong in His great plans. God is found ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!
Verse 7: When you break down and need to curl up into a ball and hide; when you feel at the end of your strength and that no counsel can help or save you; you are protected. God surrounds you, He truly ‘hems you in on all sides’, more so than any enemy could. He has angels shouting your deliverance over you, even if you can’t see or hear them.
Verse 8: Wow! Seriously, this verse needs no explanation, but should just be something that we quote when we get up and when we go to bed; before every meeting, exam, sports match, talk, performance, challenge, trial, whatever. Just write it into our hearts. I need to and am going to do so now!!!
Verse 9: A caution. Seek understanding, it is for your own good, as well as others. Further, it speaks to James’ instructions regarding the tongue; but also his reminder that God joyously gives wisdom to any asking for it. Ask for wisdom and then the risk of not understanding and being reduced to a sort of pack/labouring animal is drastically reduced!
Verse 10: This is better understood if one has an eternal mindset. Eternity is a LONG time to be sorrowful. So, the wicked who do not turn from evil ways are only able to capitalise on their time on earth before the weeping and gnashing of teeth, which is really the pain and sorrow of missing out on eternity in Heaven. Further, the reminder here is the same as in verse 7. We are loved, protected and surrounded by love. This love may not be felt, but if the greatest act of love is to lay down one’s life for one’s enemy, then Jesus really is love. We believe, repent and confess Him as Lord and saviour. Once this is done, we are continually living in the love of going to join Him in Heaven when our earthly ticket is up and we really should EMBRACE THIS FACT as we live lives of freedom.
Verse 11: Be JOYOUS!!! If you think that you are not righteous or upright, this thinking is easily corrected. Once your identity is in Jesus, God sees that identity only. So if you see that you are not living in accordance with that identity, call on Jesus, invite the close presence and work of the Holy Spirit and get living in JOY! AMEN!