Saturday, April 29, 2017

Psalm 119 - Loving God's Word

I could never do justice to Psalm 119 in a short blog post. There are 176 verses! So below you'll find just some random thoughts and ideas to get you digging deeper and further exploring Psalm 119 on your own.

But I would say that the first few verses kind of summarize - or give the premise behind this magnificent psalm.

1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 

3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 

It's not listed like this, but Psalm 119 is like a love poem. But it's not a poem of love between a man and woman or between a man and God. It's a love poem about the Word of God.

In the Hebrew there are 22 sections - one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Then in each section there are 8 verses that begin with that letter. 

Almost every verse has a synonym for God's Word: precepts, commands, law, etc.

Our pastor at Hilldale Baptist Church is doing a 22 part (Yes, you read that correctly - a 22 part) Bible study on Wednesday nights using a section of Psalm 119 as the scripture. You can go to our Facebook page and look through the Live Feed Videos and find these Bible studies.

I knew two of the musical settings listed below. How many do you know?

Musical settings[edit]

Here are the two I knew.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the LORD
His love endures forever.

The psalmist begins by calling on everyone to give thanks and  say "His love endures forever." Then he tells how he isn't afraid because he trusts in the LORD. He also tells how God brought him through some terrible times.
In the third section he talks about going to the house of the LORD to worship then concludes the psalm praising the LORD again.

This is a good way to share your faith.

  1. Give thanks saying "His love endures forever."
  2. Tell what God has done for you.
  3. Worship the LORD at church - telling more of what God has done - joining others.
  4. Praise the LORD some more.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Psalm 117

1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; 
extol him, all you peoples. 

2 For great is his love toward us, 
and the faithfulness of the LORD 
endures forever. 
Praise the LORD.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Psalm 116 - How to Repay the Lord

How could we ever repay the LORD for all He has done for us? What can we do to repay Him for salvation?

The writer of Psalm 116 asked the same thing.
12 What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me?

Here's how he answered (and it is good advice for us to follow as well.)

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the LORD ’s name for saving me.14 I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Then - perhaps for emphasis - he says it again this way.17 I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD .18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people—

So.... there you have it.Offer thanks and praise to the LORD in the presence of all His people. (Participate in worship at your church.)And...If you made promises to the LORD while asking for deliverance, do what you promised!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Psalm 115 - Not to Us

1 Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. 

This same thought is presented as a command to us in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. They knew that they had freedom in Christ - that they were no longer bound by the law. Paul wanted them to think past their freedom and to their responsibility to other believers.

1 Corinthians 10:23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 

24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 

If you don't know the entire background to this click here to read the entire passage. 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
In this passage you'll find these words (which I thought of when reading Psalm 115:1)

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 

So how are you living your life? Are you doing everything for the glory of God? If not, why not? 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Psalm 114 - The Creator Controls His Creation

Just eight verses... you can sum them up by saying that the Creator is still in control of His creation. And He uses creation for His purpose. The mountains and the sea tremble and run from Him and the rock became water. All of this because the LORD chose to dwell with Israel. He needed to provide for them so He suspended the "laws of nature" so nature would do what He wanted.


Speaking of awesome...if you have some time listen to this gorgeous setting of Psalm 114 by Felix Mendelssohn.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Psalm 113 - First Thoughts

I noticed as I was reading Psalm 113 that something immediately popped into my head as I read each verse. "Oh! I'll blog about that!" was my thought each time. But then I realized that my random thoughts on each verse didn't seem to go together into something that would flow together as a nice blog post. so I think I'm going to just right my first thought on each verse. You'll need to read the psalm to follow along.

Vs.1 As God's servants we are told to praise Him. It should be a daily - let's say hourly - thing.
Vs.2 The name of the LORD will be always praised. Our lives now are just preparing us for eternity.
Vs.3 This seems like a call to missions. How can the LORD be praised everywhere the sun shines if we don't share His praise around the world?
Vs.4 All the nations of the world think they are the best. It looks like there's going to be a big showdown between a number of these countries: USA, North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, etc. But God is greater than any of them and his praise higher than the heavens.
Vs.5-6 Here's how great and awesome God is. As unendingly (perhaps not a real word, but I need it here) enormous as the universe is, the LORD has to stoop down to look at the heavens and the earth. Another cool thought is that He does! He loves us so much that He stoops down to look at us. (as seen in the next verses)
Vs.7 He cares for the poor and needy and provides for them.
Vs.8 We don't see the poor take actual seats with the princes (rich leaders) of the land, so what does he mean? Perhaps the psalmist is talking about  how at the cross, we all stand on level ground. God isn't a respecter of people or position, but rather treats all of us the same - as children of the King.
Vs.9 Another verse that isn't always answered the way we would expect. Some happy mothers have adopted. Some happy mothers have many spiritual children that they raise to love and serve and praise the LORD. Some happy mothers take in foster children. Some happy mothers care for children that belong to a neighbor, family member, church member, etc. who for one reason or another is not receiving the care he/she deserves from his/her parents and she steps in and shows the child love and respect and points them to Jesus.

Well....I'm sure with a little more thought I could figure a clever way to connect all of my random thoughts, but maybe that isn't necessary. What did God say to YOU today as you read Psalm 113?