Commenting on Psalm 137:9 and the Imprecatory Psalms in general:
The language is exactly suited to souls under the law; but now are we under grace, and no longer under law, and we pray for persons that despitefully use us and persecute us; whereas the whole tone of the Psalms, where they speak of the happiness of dashing the children of Babylon against the stone, is anything but returning good for evil: it is evil meeting with its just doom. I maintain that every word in the Psalms is of God — that all these imprecations are divine. Each curse, threat, and warning, all this sympathy with divine retribution, is as much from God as the Christian’s now interceding for his enemies; but they are not suited to the same time nor the same persons, nor is God accomplishing the same end. As long as God carries on the day of grace, all these things are entirely inapplicable. They are not what God is bringing out now. They remain true for ever, each always in itself a right thing. But the fact is, that God has now, in Christ, brought in full, sovereign grace; and therefore God puts those who belong to Christ in a position to show forth, not earthly righteousness, but heavenly grace.
Kelly, William. “Galatians.” Lectures on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians. Galatians. Web. 27 June 2016.
Rend your hearts and not your garments. Joel 2:13 ESV
In the ancient world the intentional tearing apart of one’s clothing signified their soul was in great distress. Joshua tore his clothing after the defeat at Ai (Joshua 7:6), Jacob tore his clothing when he heard the report that his son Joseph had been killed by a wild beast (Genesis 37:34), and King Josiah tore his clothing in repentance when the rediscovered Book of the Law was read to him (2 Chronicles 34:19).
When God sent Joel to warn Israel of His imminent judgement, God told the people to rend their hearts but NOT their clothing. Why? Because God is not interested in a performance, rather He desires genuine, heart felt repentance.
Are you simply going through the motions? Do you simply dress up your outward appearance and give a performance to make yourself look like a fine Christian? This may fool your family and friends but it will never fool God. He is looking for sincerity, not a charade. He is looking for your heart!
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 ESV
Editorial note: Originally published November 2, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12 ESV
Have you lost the joy of your salvation?
There are countless reasons why one might lose the joy of their salvation. Sickness, personal loss, death of a loved one, disagreements with other believers are just a few examples of joy killers. David, who wrote Psalm 51, lost the joy of his salvation because of his sinful behavior.
If you have lost the joy of your salvation call out to God as David did! If sin or unbelief has assassinated your joy cry out to God in confession for He will forgive! 1 John 1:9. Has someone stolen your joy because they have wronged you? Then forgive them just as God has forgiven you! Ephesians 4:32. Has loss or sickness drained you of your joy? Then cling to His promises for “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 ESV
Editorial note: Originally published October 15, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
You are a hiding place for me. Psalm 32:7a ESV
The key to winning a game of Hide & Seek is obvious: find the best hiding place! Of course, it helps to be small and limber enough to squeeze into tight hiding places and have the patience and self-control to remain quiet until everyone else is found.
When I was a child I excelled at Hide & Seek. Like a contortionist I could shoehorn myself into the best of hiding spaces– I even had the patience and self-control to silently remain frozen in time and space until everyone else was found.
Now that I’m older Hide & Seek has become much more of a challenge! Why? Well, I keep getting in my own way. I’m no longer small or limber enough to squeeze into most hiding spots. Nor do I have the patience or self-control to quietly hide for any length of time when I could be doing something much more interesting!
The key to living a victorious life is no different than the key to winning at Hide & Seek! You need a hiding place and there is no better hiding place than the Lord. Just, don’t let yourself get in the way!
Editorial note: Originally published October 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! Psalm 34:3 ESV
When it comes to worship we enjoy a tremendous amount of freedom.
The New Testament Christian is not limited to a particular geographic location– we are free to worship Him regardless of where we are. The Christian is not limited by the calendar– we are free to worship Him regardless of the time or day of the week. Nor is the believer’s worship restricted by their surroundings– we are free to worship Him indoors or outdoors, in a city or a desert, in a cathedral or a shack, alone or with thousands of believers.
While we can (should!) worship anytime and anywhere there is something special when God’s people join together in corporate worship. David invited all who were willing to come and magnify the Lord with him. He desired to join in unison with others to exalt God’s name.
Today is the first day of the week– it is our opportunity to gather together and worship Him corporately. Yes! we can worship Him anytime, anywhere– but we should never abuse this wonderful truth by using it as an excuse not to meet with other believers.
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
Psalm 34:1-3 ESV
Editorial note: Originally published September 27, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Psalm 107:9 ESV
The December 9, 2004 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine published a listing of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as compiled by leading music industry insiders and experts.
The #2 song of all time? ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
Wow! What an admission… what a commentary regarding the world we live in… it offers NO satisfaction. Many years after its release Mick Jagger confessed the song was his “view of the world” and expressed his “frustration with everything.” (source) Truly this world has nothing of enduring value to offer your hungry soul.
Can’t get no satisfaction? Then stop looking in this world! Look to God alone, for only He can satisfy your longing soul.
Satisfied with Thee, Lord Jesus, I am blest;
Peace which passeth understanding, On Thy breast;
No more doubting, no more trembling,
Oh, what rest! Oh, what rest!
Taken up with Thee, Lord Jesus, I would be;
Finding joy and satisfaction All in Thee;
Thou the nearest and the dearest
Unto me, unto me.
Editorial note: Originally published June 23, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Commenting on Matthew 26:56:
Let us learn from the passage lessons of humiliation and self-abasement. Let us resolve by God’s grace to cultivate a spirit of lowliness, and self-distrust. Let us settle it in our minds, that there is nothing so bad that the best of us may not do it, unless he watches, prays, and is held up by the grace of God. And let it be one of our daily prayers, ‘Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.’ (Psalm 119:17.)
J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew. (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1860), p. 370.
The knowledge of forgiveness never has the effect of making a man careless about sin. ‘There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared’ (Psalm 130:4)
Coates, C. A. Spiritual Blessings. Chessington, Surrey, England: Bible and Gospel Trust, 2008. page 13. Print.
Commenting on Psalm 32:6 ~~
A godly man is a praying man. ‘Every one that is godly shall pray unto thee .’ As soon as grace is poured in, prayer is poured out.
Thomas Watson, The Godly Man’s Picture; accessed on 8/11/13 here: http://www.gracegems.org/Watson/godly_mans_picture3.htm
Christ did not simply die for us; He rose again and lives for us.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Psalm 22–24). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. Logos Edition.