August 12

August 12

 

Psalms 93-95

 

Book #4: 90-106, cont’d.

 

Psalm 93

 

Psalm 93:1-5-The theme of this short Psalm is the reign of God.  His reign is characterized by:

  • its royal dignity…as seen in its attire (:1)
  • its eternal nature (:2)
  • its unparalleled strength…there is nothing stronger than the might of the sea (:3-4)
  • its supreme law…”holiness” refers to perfection, never changing (:5).

 

Psalm 94

 

Psalm 94:1-7-The Psalmist calls upon God to begin judgment of the wicked.  He mentions several things that they have done.  They…

  • “exult” (:3-to gloat, boast)
  • “pour forth words” (:4-they just keep on and on talking about what they have done)
  • “speak arrogantly” (:4)
  • “vaunt themselves” (:4-to brag)
  • “crush Your people” (:5)
  • “afflict Your heritage” (:5)
  • “slay the widow and stranger (:6)
  • “murder the orphans (:6)
  • “They have said, ‘The LORD does not see” (:7-God doesn’t know what they are doing)
  • “nor does the God of Jacob pay heed” (:7-God doesn’t care enough about Israel to do anything about what the wicked are doing to them).

Psalm 94:8-11-He warns the wicked that they are not getting away with their sin without God's knowledge.  He directs their attention to the fact that if God made them with certain capabilities, do they think that He has any less?

  • The One who made your ears…can hear, Himself
  • The One who made your eyes…can see, Himself.

He then directs their attention to the fact that if God can do things on a massive scale, do they think He cannot do so on a small scale?

  • The One who can punish entire nations…can punish you
  • The One who teaches you knowledge…has that knowledge Himself

Psalm 94:12-15-The word “chasten” (:12-NASV) is translated elsewhere as “discipline” (NIV, NLT), and “train” (Message).  The thought is that God trains us in such a way that we will be able to stand strong when “adversity” that is brought on by the wicked comes (:13).  This training is based on His word, the “law” (:12).  The Psalmist affirms that the Lord will not forsake His people.  His judgment will be based on righteousness and those follow it who will live righteously (:14-15).

Psalm 94:16-19-The Psalmist now asks a rhetorical question and will answer himself in verses 17-23: “Who will stand up for me against the wickedness which I face?”

  • When his “soul” (life) was at stake…the Lord was his help (:17)
  • When his “foot has slipped” (his faith became weak)…the Lord’s lovingkindness held him up (:18)
  • When he had “anxious thoughts” (stressed and worried)…God’s comfort cheered him up (:19).

Psalm 94:20-21-The Psalmist says that wickedness has no place in God’s rule.  He asks the question: “Why does God allow evil rulers to use laws to make wrong appear to be right?”  It is a question that haunts the minds of believers today, as well.  He answers by saying…

  • That evil exists (:21).  It is not just a matter of differing morals, or deception of reality.  This is an evil, sinful, fallen world that we live in.  We should not try to ignore it, or explain it away.
  • God will care for His own (:22).  While evil is a reality of this life and the righteous suffer because of it, God will protect them.  And, in His time and by His decision, He will not only protect them from the power of evil, but He will save them from the presence of evil.
  • The wicked will be judged (:23).  It may appear that the wicked are getting away with what they do…but God will hold them accountable for their wickedness and they will receive punishment commensurate with what they have done.

Psalm 94:22-23-With this in mind, the Psalmist says that even as God has protected him in the past, He will protect him in the future, and will ultimately judge the wicked.

 

Psalm 95

 

While there is no name attached to this Psalm, it is attributed to David in Hebrews 4:7.  It is partially quoted 5 times by the author of Hebrews (3:7-11,15; 4:3,5,7).  Hebrews says that the reason why the Jews who left Egypt never reached the Promised Land was their lack of faith.

 

Psalm 95:1-2-The writer begins by calling on Israel to join him in giving praise to God…”let us sing…shout joyfully…thanksgiving…shout joyfully with psalms”.

Psalm 95:3-5-He then gives reasons for Him to be praised...

  • He is a great God who rules over all others (:3)
  • He controls everything…from the center of the earth to its highest peaks (:4)
  • He made everything from the oceans to the deserts (:5).

Psalm 95:6-7-Again the Psalmist calls on the people to worship God.

Psalm 95:8-11-The people are warned to not harden their hearts as their forefathers did...because that will lead to judgment.

 

17:1-7 The children of Israel journeyed according to the commandment of the Lord, led by the pillar of cloud and fire, yet they came to a place where there was no water for them to drink. We may be in the way of duty, yet may meet with troubles, which Providence brings us into, for the trial of our faith, and that God may be glorified in our relief. They began to question whether God was with them or not. This is called their tempting God, which signifies distrust of him after they had received such proofs of his power and goodness. Moses mildly answered them. It is folly to answer passion with passion; that makes bad worse. God graciously appeared to help them. How wonderful the patience and forbearance of God toward provoking sinners! That he might show his power as well as his pity, and make it a miracle of mercy, he gave them water out of a rock. God can open fountains for us where we least expect them. Those who, in this wilderness, keep to God's way, may trust him to provide for them. Also, let this direct us to depend on Christ's grace. The apostle says, that Rock was Christ, 1Co 10:4, it was a type of him. While the curse of God might justly have been executed upon our guilty souls, behold the Son of God is smitten for us. Let us ask and receive. There was a constant, abundant supply of this water. Numerous as believers are, the supply of the Spirit of Christ is enough for all. The water flowed from the rock in streams to refresh the wilderness, and attended them on their way towards Canaan; and this water flows from Christ, through the ordinances, in the barren wilderness of this world, to refresh our souls, until we come to glory. A new name was given to the place, in remembrance, not of the mercy of their supply, but of the sin of their murmuring: Massah, Temptation, because they tempted God; Meribah, Strife, because they did with Moses. Sin leaves a blot upon the name.

Matthew Henry Commentary, http://biblehub.com/exodus/17-7.htm

 

Prayer: Lord, once again I am amazed at the honesty of Your Word.  The Psalmist doesn’t try to hide his troubles…but puts them on public display.  He talks about his fear that he would lose his life, his worry that his faith in You is slipping, and that he sometimes allows his emotions to run wild.  Some people might read this and begin to worry...”If one of the writers of the Bible felt this way, what good will it do me?”  But I need to read on.  I need to realize that the Psalmist didn’t stop there.  He went on to say that when he experienced these very real life struggles…You were there!  You strengthened him.  You guided him.  You protected him.  The story really is not about his struggles…but Your sufficiency.  And when I read that part of the story…then my own faith in You becomes greater than ever.

 

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