Read thru Old Testament Devotional – July 12, 2017

July 12

 

Psalms 7-9

 

Book #1: 1-41, cont’d.

 

Psalm 7

 

This Psalm is called a…

 

Shiggaion is a song or psalm (the word is used so only here and Hab. 3:1)-a wandering song (so some), the matter and composition of the several parts being different, but artificially put together-a charming song (so others), very delightful. David not only penned it, but sang it himself in a devout religious manner unto the Lord, concerning the words or affairs of Cush the Benjamite, that is, of Saul himself, whose barbarous usage of David bespoke him rather a Cushite, or Ethiopian, than a true-born Israelite. Or, more likely, it was some kinsman of Saul named Cush, who was an inveterate enemy to David, misrepresented him to Saul as a traitor, and (which was very needless) exasperated Saul against him, one of those children of men, children of Belial indeed, whom David complains of (1 Sa. 26:19), that made mischief between him and Saul. David, thus basely abused, has recourse to the Lord. The injuries men do us should drive us to God, for to him we may commit our cause. Nay, he sings to the Lord; his spirit was not ruffled by it, nor cast down, but so composed and cheerful that he was still in tune for sacred songs and it did not occasion one jarring string in his harp. Thus let the injuries we receive from men, instead of provoking our passions, kindle and excite our devotions.

Matthew Henry, Commentary on Psalms 7, https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Psa/Psa_007.cfm?a=485001

 

Hebrew Title: A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush a Benjaminite.

The Hebrew word shiGGaion occurs here and in Habakkuk 3:1, where the plural form is used in the title of Habakkuk’s prayer, “according to the Shigionoth” (rsv). The Septuagint and the Vulgate translate “psalm.” Some scholars explain the word as derived from a verb meaning “to wander,” meaning that the psalm is described as having an uneven character; so at “A dithyramb,” which is a poem in a wild, irregular strain. But this hardly fits the nature of the psalm itself. Or else the music was “a fast-paced melody” (Toombs). No one knows exactly what the Hebrew term means.

Bratcher, R. G., & Reyburn, W. D. (1991). A translator’s handbook on the book of Psalms (p. 65). New York: United Bible Societies, Logos Bible Software

 

Psalm 7:1-2-David is under attack and fears for his life.  He calls out to God to save him.

Psalm 7:3-5-He says that if he is guilty of having sinned against his friend, or enemy alike, then he is deserving of being punished.

Psalm 7:6-11-David says that God is righteous and will vindicate those that are righteous from the wicked.  While men falsely accuse him because they are his adversaries…He calls upon God to judge him righteously (according to His knowledge and His standard) and to “vindicate” him…meaning to judge him based on what is true and not on what is fabricated by others.

Psalm 7:12-16-He gives a description of the actions of a wicked man.  He appears to have the upper hand.  But, ultimately his wickedness will return to him and he will suffer the consequences of his actions.

Psalm 7:17-David says he will give thanks and sing praise to the LORD for His righteousness because it is the standard by which all men will be judged.  This is a comfort to him in the midst of the attack on him by evil men.

 

Psalm 8

 

Ps 8:1–9. Upon [or according to the] Gittith, probably means that the musical performance was directed to be according to a tune of that name; which, derived from Gath, a “wine-press,” denotes a tune (used in connection with gathering the vintage) of a joyous character. All the Psalms to which this term is prefixed [Ps 8:1; 81:1; 84:1] are of such a character. The Psalmist gives vent to his admiration of God’s manifested perfections, by celebrating His condescending and beneficent providence to man as evinced by the position of the race, as originally created and assigned a dominion over the works of His hands.

Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, pp. 348–349). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., Logos Bible Software

 

Psalm 8:1-2-In this song of praise, David says that God is majestic...and that compared to Him, though man rules over the earth, He is still just another of God's creations.  God has displayed His majesty in the splendor “above the heavens” and in the strength of “mouths of infants and nursing babes”.  The heavens reveal the omnipotent extent of God’s majesty.  Children reveal the omniscient extent of God’s majesty because He knows when they are born the role He intends for them to play many, many years later in the grand scheme of His creation.

Psalm 8:3-9-David says that when he looks at the grandeur of the celestial heavens…he feels small and insignificant.  And yet, he is keenly aware that God has given man the responsibility to rule over His creation.  It is an inspiring thought that leads him to once again proclaim the majesty of God.

 

Psalm 9

 

Together with Psalm 10, this forms a partially alphabetic acrostic in the Hebrew text, every alternate verse (for the most part) beginning with the next successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Muth-labben.  Means “death for (or of) the son,” but what it refers to is uncertain.

Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Psalm 9, p. 804

 

Psalm 9:1-2-David begins this Psalm with a statement of faith in God by saying, “I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders.  I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.”

Psalm 9:3-6-He attributes his success over his enemies to the fact that God has "maintained my just cause".

Psalm 9:7-10-God’s righteous standard is established and lasts forever.  By it He will judge all men.  The fact that God will ultimately hold the wicked accountable for their deeds gives hope to the very ones that they oppress.  David says, "those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee".  This means that those who know God’s true nature and character trust Him to do the right thing.

Psalm 9:11-20-This confidence in the sovereign rule of God over all men leads David to call the people of God to sing praises to Him.  The oppression of the wicked will not last forever.  While we see things from the temporal, earthly perspective…God sees them from the eternal, heavenly perspective.  He knows how the story ends…”the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever”.  David calls upon God to quickly bring this to pass.  The term “Higgaion” (:16) may be a musical notation (remember, the Psalms were meant to be sung)…that means to slow things down and think about what is being sung, or to stop and meditate on what has just been said.

 

Prayer: Lord, I need to stop and think about what I already know about You (higgaion).  So many times I pray for understanding and wisdom about something that is going on in my life.  And that’s okay.  I don’t think that You want us to just live in the dark.  But, Lord…sometimes I get so caught up in looking for the reason, or the answer, that I forget about You.  I focus on finding the answer.  I forget, that whatever may be going on, no matter what it may be, You are the answer.  In fact, at times, their very purpose is not for them to be figured out…but for me to be turned to You.  More than anything I need to focus on You (higgaion).  Knowing the answers and the reasons are a byproduct of knowing You.  Don’t let me find those things…by going around You…but, by coming to You.  In knowing You…I will find everything that I need to know.  Higgaion.

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