Pages

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wait and Inherit


Don’t fret because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither like the green herb.


Trust in Yahweh, and do good. Dwell in the land, and enjoy safe pasture. Also delight yourself in Yahweh, and he will give you the desires of your heart.


Commit your way to Yahweh. Trust also in him, and he will do this: he will make your righteousness go out as the light, and your justice as the noon day sun.


Rest in Yahweh, and wait patiently for him. Don’t fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who makes wicked plots happen.


Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Don’t fret, it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for Yahweh shall inherit the land.


For yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more. Yes, though you look for his place, he isn’t there. But the humble shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.


The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord will laugh at him, for he sees that his day is coming.


The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, to kill those who are upright on the path. Their sword shall enter into their own heart. Their bows shall be broken.


Better is a little that the righteous has, than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but Yahweh upholds the righteous.


Yahweh knows the days of the perfect. Their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be disappointed in the time of evil. In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.


But the wicked shall perish. The enemies of Yahweh shall be like the beauty of the fields. They will vanish — vanish like smoke.


The wicked borrow, and don’t pay back, but the righteous give generously. For such as are blessed by him shall inherit the land. Those who are cursed by him shall be cut off.


A man’s goings are established by Yahweh. He delights in his way. Though he stumble, he shall not fall, for Yahweh holds him up with his hand.


I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children begging for bread. All day long he deals graciously, and lends. His offspring is blessed.


Depart from evil, and do good. Live securely forever. For Yahweh loves justice, and doesn’t forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever.


The mouth of the righteous talks of wisdom. His tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart. None of his steps shall slide.


The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to kill him. Yahweh will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.


Wait for Yahweh, and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.


I have seen the wicked in great power, spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil. But he passed away, and behold, he was not. Yes, I sought him, but he could not be found.


Mark the perfect man, and see the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace. As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together. The future of the wicked shall be cut off.


But the salvation of the righteous is from Yahweh. He is their stronghold in the time of trouble. Yahweh helps them, and rescues them. He rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, Because they have taken refuge in him.
—Psalm 37 WEB*

David wrote this song of wisdom to repeatedly encourage the listener to trust in God, who will cause them to receive His inheritance. David reminds them not to fret about the wicked because they will be rooted out, cut off, and receive nothing from God.

David wrote this psalm in his old age as a reminder to the  Israelites.David reminded them to uphold God's requirements for inheriting and keeping the land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants. These requirements were outlined roughly five hundred years earlier by Moses in Leviticus 26:1-13 and in a parallel passage in Deuteronomy 28:1-16. Failure on the part of the people to maintain God's requirements would eventually result in they and their future generations not inheriting "the land."

While keeping in mind the above points, it should be noted that many of the principals of this psalm can and have been applied to the New Testament faith. In fact, Jesus echoed the instructions of Moses and David in the principals He outlined in His Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7, and the parallel account in Luke 6:20-49.

This psalm is an alphabetic acrostic. Every other verse begins with a successive character of the Hebrew alphabet. Among other things, an acrostic can be used as a mnemonic device to aid memory retrieval. Perhaps by associating this psalm with the Hebrew alphabet, David thought his important instructions would be easier for them to remember and follow.

In verses 1 and 2, David tells the righteous to not "fret" — become incensed, angry, or indignant — because of evildoers. The wicked will be gone soon enough.

In verse 5, David says to “commit.” The Hebrew word is govl, meaning “to roll.” David is telling the righteous to “roll,” or transfer, their plans and desires from themselves to the God; to make a conscious decision to put God in charge of their lives.

In verse 22, David summarizes the entire psalm: The righteous will receive God’s inheritance, but the wicked will vanish and receive nothing from God.

In verse 30, David affirms that what comes out of the mouth gives evidence of one’s true character. Here David says that the righteous speak wisdom and justice. Contrast this verse with Psalm 36:3, in which David states that the ungodly speak wickedness and deceit.

In verses 35 and 36, David notes that the wicked will appear as indestructible as a luxuriant tree growing in its native soil. Even so, the existence of the wicked is temporary and they will be gone in the blink of an eye.

* WEB - The World English Bible, a Public Domain, Modern English translation of the Holy Bible developed by Rainbow Missions, Inc. URL: ebible.org


-

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wait and Take Courage



Yahweh is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?  Yahweh is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?


When evildoers came at me to eat up my flesh, even my adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war should rise against me, even then I will be confident.


One thing I have asked of Yahweh, that I will seek after, that I may dwell in Yahweh's house all the days of my life, to see Yahweh's beauty, and to inquire in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion. In the covert of his tabernacle he will hide me. He will lift me up on a rock.


Now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me. I will offer sacrifices of joy in his tent. I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to Yahweh.


Here, Yahweh, when I cry with my voice. Have mercy also on me, and answer me. When you said, "Seek my face," my heart said to you, "I will seek your face, Yahweh." Don't hide your face from me. Don't put your servant away in anger. You have been my help. Don't abandon me, neither forsake me, God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then Yahweh will take me up. Teach me your way, Yahweh. Lead me in a straight path, because of my enemies. Don't deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me, such as breathe out cruelty.


I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living. Wait for Yahweh. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for Yahweh.
Psalm 27 WEB*


This psalm of David is a great anthem of praise. David expresses his confidence in the Lord, prays for continued victory, and rejoices in his waiting on the Lord.


In verse 1, David affirms that the Lord dispels all of David's darkness, guarantees David victory over his enemies, and defends David against all attacks. In verse 4 David shares that his one great desire is to dwell "in the house" of the Lord — to live in God's presence. Before David's son Solomon built the first temple for the Ark of the Covenant, the Ark was kept in a very elaborate tent — a tabernacle; in Hebrew, mishkan, meaning shelter or dwelling; a place in which one lives. The Ark represented the divine presence of God, so by providing a dwelling for the Ark, the Israelites by extension provided a dwelling for God. In verse 5, David trusts that in the day of trouble, God will protect David by hiding him within the tabernacle in the most secret place; where the Ark itself was kept, in the Holy of Holies — in God's very presence. In verse 6, David is sure that is head will be "lifted up," or that he will be victorious over his enemies.


In verse 10, David describes a hypothetical situation. David is certain that if things got so bad that even his father and mother deserted him, the Lord would adopt David as His own child.

In verses 13 through 14, David rejoices in his waiting on the Lord. David is sure he would not have survived if he had not been confident that the Lord would come to save him. David waits in hope and grows strong and courageous in the waiting.


* WEB - The World English Bible, a Public Domain, Modern English translation of the Holy Bible developed by Rainbow Missions, Inc. URL: ebible.org

-

Friday, June 1, 2012

Even Through the Bad, God is Faithful


It is because of Yahweh’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn’t fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
—Lamentations 3:22-23 WEB*

The most significant thing about this wonderful passage is where we find it in the Bible. The Book of Lamentations tells of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, which took place over 587 and 586 BC when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar overran the city. The surviving inhabitants either fled to other countries, were carried away to Babylon as slaves or remained under the brutal rule of an occupying force.

Lamentations does not name its author, but it is generally attributed to the prophet Jeremiah. For many years Jeremiah had warned the people and their leaders about their unfaithfulness to God. Jeremiah knew that being chosen by God did not translate to a free pass. He knew that actions had consequences. If God's people were not faithful to God's instructions, bad things would happen.

But even when surrounded by death and destruction, Jeremiah still had hope. He knew that even if the people were not faithful in their commitment to God, God would still be faithful in His promises to them.

In verse 22 Jeremiah speaks of God's "loving kindnesses" and "compassion." The first term is the Hebrew word transliterate as checed (pronounced "KHEH-sed"), meaning "favor," "good deed," "kindly," "loving-kindness," "merciful kindness," "mercy," or "pity." The second word is transliterated from the Hebrew as racham ("RAKH-am"), meaning "tender love," "tender mercy" or "pity." Both words tell of God's faithfulness to express His kindness, His love and His mercy toward His people even when they do not deserve it or return it.

Then, in verse 23 Jeremiah observes that God’s love, kindness and mercy are new every morning. Jeremiah uses the Hebrew chadash (“khaw_DAWSH”), which means “fresh” or “a new thing,” and he uses the Hebrew boqer (“BO-ker”), meaning “day,” “early,” “morning,” or “morrow.” Here Jeremiah recognizes that with each new day, God’s love, mercy and kindness are brand new; that God never tires in his faithfulness. God’s captive people were first-hand witnesses to His faithfulness a few decades later, with the overthrow of Babylon by Persia in 538 BC, the return of the people to Judah, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Beyond those events, God’s people would ultimately witness His faithfulness in the coming of His Messiah, Jesus.


* WEB - The World English Bible, a Public Domain, Modern English translation of the Holy Bible developed by Rainbow Missions, Inc. URL: ebible.org

-