Tag Archive for 'Psalm'

Psalm 84-Scripture and Song

I’m in the process of studying and memorizing Psalm 84. (I’d like to do a post on new–to me–memorization techniques.) In The Treasury of David, I found a song, which reads as a poem, attributed only to German Choral Music. It’s very interesting because it doesn’t just rewrite each line, it puts some parts of the Psalm into other parts, including a recapitulation of sorts, which connects the context. I didn’t explain that very well, but maybe you’ll see. It helps with meaning and visualization. I’ll include the KJV below, with the song version below that. (Or Psalm 84 NIV here) I hope you’ll benefit from it.

How amiable are thy tabernacles,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:
they will be still praising thee. Selah.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee;
in whose heart are the ways of them.
Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well;
the rain also filleth the pools.
They go from strength to strength,
every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer:
give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

Behold, O God our shield,
and look upon the face of thine anointed.
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
the LORD will give grace and glory:
no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
Psalm 84 KJV

O Lord of hosts, how lovely in mine eyes
The tents where thou dost dwell!
For thine abode my spirit faints and sighs;
The courts I love so well.
My longing soul is weary
Within thy house to be;
This world is waste and dreary,
A desert land to me.

The sparrow, Lord, hath found a sheltered home,
The swallow hath her nest;
She layeth there her young, and though she roam,
Returneth there to rest.
I, to thine altar flying,
Would there for ever be;
My heart and flesh are crying,
O living God, for thee!

How blest are they who in thy house abide!
Thee evermore they praise.
How strong the man whom thou alone dost guide,
Whose heart doth keep thy ways.
A pilgrim and a stranger,
He leaneth on thine arm;
And thou, in time of danger,
Dost shield him from alarm.

From strength to strength through Baca’s vale of woe,
They pass along in prayer,
And gushing streams of living water flow,
Dug by their faithful care;
Thy rain is sent from heaven
To fertilise the land,
And wayside grace is given
Till they in Zion stand.

Lord God of hosts, attend unto my prayer!
O Jacob’s God, give ear!
Behold, O God, our shield, we through thy care,
Within thy courts appear!
Look thou upon the glory
Of thine Anointed’s face;
In him we stand before thee,
To witness of thy grace!

One day with thee excelleth over and over
A thousand days apart;
In thine abode, within thy temple door,
Would stand my watchful heart.
Men tell me of the treasure
Hid in their tents of sin;
I look not there for pleasure,
Nor choose to enter in.

Own then the Lord to be thy Sun, thy Shield —
No good will he withhold;
He giveth grace, and soon shall be revealed
His glory, yet untold.
His mighty name confessing,
Walk thou at peace and free;
O Lord, how rich the blessing
Of him who trusts in thee!

–German Choral Music.

treasury-of-david

The Privilege of Fearing the Lord

Recently, when reading Psalm 130, I found verse 4 fascinating.

Lord, if you were to record iniquities,
Lord, who could remain standing?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that you may be feared.
Psalm 130:3-4 ISV

Some translations use revered, honored, or respected. That may be more perspicuous (plainly understood), but I think the word fear is a much broader term. I say this at the risk of betraying what the original Hebrew means. Fear would include respect, honor, and revere, and it also may include a filial (as a son or daughter) fear of offending God our Father.

This means that unbelievers cannot fear the Lord, but when we are forgiven and our eyes are opened to who God is, we are then able to rightly fear, honor, revere, and respect him without being either afraid of eternal punishment, indifferent, or at least not be able to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

Spurgeon says it much better than I ever could:

None fear the Lord like those who have experienced his forgiving love. Gratitude for pardon produces far more fear and reverence of God than all the dread which is inspired by punishment. If the Lord were to execute justice upon all, there would be none left to fear him; if all were under apprehension of his deserved wrath, despair would harden them against fearing him: it is grace which leads the way to a holy regard of God, and a fear of grieving him.

–Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, on v. 4

The point is that God forgives people in order that they might fear, meaning, that they might become his faithful, obedient worshippers.

–Allen Ross, A Commentary on The Psalms

Ross says that the verb form translated as fear only occurs here, which is why I don’t want to make a strong case for using the word fear, although that’s how it has traditionally been translated.

This portion of a Puritan prayer reminds me of this. I’ve emphasized a phrase that’s especially relevant. If you’re reading this on Sunday morning (I know that many of you are), let this be a Lord’s day prayer.

O how desirable, how profitable to the Christian life
is a spirit of holy watchfulness
and godly jealousy over myself,
when my soul is afraid of nothing
except grieving and offending thee,

the blessed God, my Father and friend,
whom I then love and long to please,
rather than be happy in myself!

Knowing, as I do, that this is the pious temper,
worthy of the highest ambition, and closest
pursuit of intelligent creatures
and holy Christians,
may my joy derive from glorifying and
delighting thee.

–Devotion, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (emphasis added)

The Fear of God and A Sense of Sin (1:30) from NCFIC on Vimeo.

Also see:
Fear of the Lord posts on this blog

Whoever delights in the Lord prospers

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

I’ve often wondered about “whatever he does prospers”. I always thought it to be a general truth like a Proverb and not a hard and fast rule or promise that comes about 100% of the time.

For friends who may be interested in one thing I’ve been doing lately–As part of my concentration on the Old Testament, I’m going through all of the OT verses and passages I have memorized (too many single verses!) and reading them in context again. I also look things up in a commentary if I feel a need. Since I don’t have a lot of newer (which isn’t necessarily better of course) OT commentaries in book form, I often go to e-Sword, where there are plenty of commentary modules of dead people that are out of copyright. One of the ones I especially like is Spurgeon’s Treasury of David which is on the Psalms. (The one in e-Sword doesn’t contain additional quotes that Spurgeon compiled for each verse in addition to his own commentary.)

So after my update on what I’ve been doing, here is an interesting quote from Spurgeon on the last part of Psalm 1:3 :

“And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Blessed is the man who hath such a promise as this. But we must not always estimate the fulfilment of a promise by our own eye-sight. How often, my brethren, if we judge by feeble sense, may we come to the mournful conclusion of Jacob, “All these things are against me!” For though we know our interest in the promise, yet are we so tried and troubled, that sight sees the very reverse of what that promise foretells. But to the eye of faith this word is sure, and by it we perceive that our works are prospered, even when everything seems to go against us. It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for. We often, like Jehoshaphat, make ships to go to Tarshish for gold, but they are broken at Ezion-geber; but even here there is a true prospering, for it is often for the soul’s health that we should be poor, bereaved, and persecuted. Our worst things are often our best things. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the righteous man’s crosses, losses, and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.

Even though the word prosper may have changed somewhat in meaning over time, we westerners still think dangerously temporal and materialistic. Too dangerous for our spiritual health.

Free Photo: Lily With Psalm 92:4

Here is a photo I took and collaborated with Alondra, a friend on Facebook who added the text. I will be doing these in the future but sometimes have trouble knowing what Scripture to put with what picture for some reason. Click on it for a larger one. See all of the Free Photos under the Categories in the right sidebar.

These images may be used for the web for non-profit use. If you use an image directly to sell a product, it would be nice to be compensated in a small way. If so, contact me using the address listed in the sidebar to the right. If you have banner ads on your blog or affiliate programs, that doesn’t matter. If in doubt, don’t worry about it.

Psalm 102 For Us

Psalms 102:18-22 TNIV
Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
“The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high,
from heaven he viewed the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners
and release those condemned to death.”
So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion
and his praise in Jerusalem
when the peoples
and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.

The Psalmist here intends to say that the rebuilding of Jerusalem would be a fact in history for which the Lord would be praised from age to age. Revivals of religion not only cause great joy to those who are immediately concerned in them, but they give encouragement and delight to the people of God long after, and are indeed perpetual incentives to adoration throughout the church of God. This verse teaches us that we ought to have an eye to posterity, and especially should we endeavour to perpetuate the memory of God’s love to his church and to his poor people, so that young people as they grow up may know that the Lord God of their fathers is good and full of compassion. Sad as the Psalmist was when he wrote the dreary portions of this complaint, he was not so absorbed in his own sorrow, or so distracted by the national calamity, as to forget the claims of coming generations; this, indeed, is a clear proof that he was not without hope for his people, for he who is making arrangements for the good of a future generation has not yet despaired of his nation. The praise of God should be the great object of all that we do, and to secure him a revenue of glory both from the present and the future is the noblest aim of intelligent beings.

–Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David

Verse of the Day: Psalm 37:23

Psalm 37:23
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.