For His Glory!
A Song of Assurance
There is much to be said about the portion of Scripture called the Psalms. Looking for instruction, blessings and comfort? Try the Psalms.
Why study the Psalms?
There is no one book of scripture that is more helpful to the devotions of the saints than this…(MHC)
Below are some edited commentaries about the Psalms.(underlining for emphasis)
Matthew Henry Commentary:
INTRODUCTION TO PSALMS
We have now before us one of the choicest and most excellent parts of all the Old Testament; nay, so much is there in it of CHRIST and his gospel, as well as of God and his law, that it had been called the abstract, or summary, of both Testaments. … But this book brings us into the sanctuary, draws us off from converse with men, with the politicians, philosophers, or disputers of this world, and directs us into communion with God… Let us consider,
1. The Psalms; under that title it is referred to, Lu 24:44. The Hebrew calls it Tehillim, which properly signifies Psalms of praise, because many of them are such; … fitted to be sung, which may as well be historical, doctrinal, or supplicatory, as laudatory. …the divine institution of singing psalms is thus largely intended; for we are directed not only to praise God, but to teach and admonish ourselves and one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, Col 3:16.
2. … of all the psalms that were divinely inspired, which, though composed at several times and upon several occasions, … thus they were preserved from being scattered and lost, and were in so much greater readiness for the service of the church. See what a good master we serve…
The author of this book.
It is, no doubt, derived originally from the blessed Spirit. The penman of most of them was David … for the establishing of the ordinance of singing psalms in the church of God…
The main scope of it.
1. To assist the exercises of natural religion, and to kindle in the souls of men those devout affections which we owe to God as our Creator, owner, ruler, and benefactor. …
2. To advance the excellencies of revealed religion, and in the most pleasing powerful manner to recommend it to the world. And Christ, the crown and centre of revealed religion, the foundation, corner, and top-stone, of that blessed building, is here clearly spoken of in type and prophecy, …and the kingdom that he should set up in the world…
The use of it.
All scripture, being given by inspiration of God, is profitable to convey divine light into our understandings… There is no one book of scripture that is more helpful to the devotions of the saints than this…
1. It is of use to be sung. …for the edification of the church.
2. It is of use to be read and opened by the ministers of Christ, as containing great and excellent truths, and rules concerning good and evil. Our Lord Jesus expounded the psalms to his disciples, the gospel psalms, and opened their understandings … to understand them, Lu 24:44.
3. It is of use to be read and meditated upon by all good people. …it is also a directory to the actions of our lives, and teaches us how to order our conversation aright, so as that, in the end, we may see the salvation of God, Ps 50:23.
Geneva Bible Notes:
The Argument-This book of psalms is given to us by the Holy Spirit, to be esteemed as a precious treasure in which all things are contained that bring to true happiness in this present life as well as in the life to come. For the riches of true knowledge and heavenly wisdom, are here set open for us… here is Christ our Redeemer, and Mediator most evidently described. They who are afflicted and oppressed will see what their comfort exists in, and how they should praise God when he sends them deliverance. Briefly here we have most present remedies against all temptations and troubles of mind and conscience, so that being well practised in this, we may be assured against all dangers in this life, live in the true fear and love of God, and at length attain the incorruptible crown of glory, which is laid up for all who love the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Commentary by Gill:
The title of this book may be rendered "the Book of Praises," or "Hymns"; the psalm which our Lord sung at the passover is called an "hymn," Mt 26:30; and the one hundred forty fifth Psalm is entitled hlht, "an Hymn of David"; and the psalms in general are called "hymns" by Philo the Jew, and songs and hymns by Josephus; and to these several names of this book the apostle manifestly refers in Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.
Jameson, Fausset, Brown:
The Hebrew title of this book is Tehilim ("praises" or "hymns"), for a leading feature in its contents is praise… The Greek title is psalmoi, whence our word "Psalms." This corresponds to the Hebrew word mizmoi… It means, as does also the Greek name, an ode, or song, whose singing is accompanied by an instrument… To some Psalms, the Hebrew word (shir) "a song," is prefixed. Paul seems to allude to all these terms in Eph 5:19, "singing...in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs."
We want you to be encouraged by the Psalms; beginning in this issue we are including a section about the ‘Psalm Promises’.
A "Do not fret" Psalm:
Psalm 37:1A Psalm of David. Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. (Why?)
2For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb.
3Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
7Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
9For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
The reward of the humble:
11But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
16Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked.
17For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the LORD sustains the righteous.
18The LORD knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever.
19They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance.
22For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
24When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
25I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.
26All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing.
So what should we do?
27Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever.
28For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever.
30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice.
31The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip.
Keep His Way and wait:
34Wait for the LORD and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
37Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity.
The hope of the righteous:
39But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.
40The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.
Did you count the promises? Not only are these wonderful promises we have a huge part to play in this relationship as well.
Be blessed by YHVH’s promises.
Proverbs 29:6 … But the righteous sings and rejoices.
When we understand what YHVH has in store for us, both now and in the future, we indeed should sing and rejoice. The Psalms were intended to be sung; so many of them contain promises we can joyfully sing back to YHVH and sing out to others.
"We cannot direct the wind --- but we can adjust the sails."
When the wind is not as we expected, if we seek our Savior, He will help us to tactfully adjust our life so we can keep moving forward. No better place to start than in the Psalms.
Psalm 36:39But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.
40The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.
In our pursuit of humility: (Lesson from the lives of His disciples.)
"To whatever class you belong (in our understanding of humility), may I urge the pressing need to seek a deeper conviction of the unique place that humility holds in the life of every believer. Let us consider how far the disciple were advance while this grace was still lacking, and let us pray that other gifts may not so satisfy us that we never grasp the fact that the absence of humility is no doubt the reason why the power of God cannot do its mighty work. It is only where we, like the Son, truly know and show that we can do nothing of ourselves God will do everything." Andrew Murray
When we understand how Messiah totally yielded His will to the Father we will understand how we must also yield to allow God to do His work in us.
Luke 23:46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last.
Following our theme; Messiah quoted from a prophetic Psalm:
Psalm 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.
Founding President Of Pacific College Of Graduate Studies
Melbourne Victoria Australia
Copyright (c) 1995, Dr. Clifford Wilson.
Used by permission for the Online Bible.
AN INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
WHAT ARCHAEOLOGY IS ALL ABOUT
1. Archaeology is one of the relatively new sciences. Many aspects of civilizations left by men who lived thousands of years ago have been recovered carefully and laboriously as archaeologists have delved beneath the surface of the earth. They have excavated at hundreds of sites that through the ages seemed to be nothing more than barren hills, but modern man has found that often these "tells," as they are called, are actually the ruins of past civilizations.
2. The Arab word "tell" literally means "hill". Men have discovered that many of those hills scattered across the countryside are man-made. They have been built up, layer by layer, level upon level, stratum upon stratum, as a civilization has been commenced, destroyed, abandoned, and then commenced again.
3. The popular idea of an archaeologist digging for lost treasure is not accurate. In fact, "archaeology" touches on various disciplines, and some of those whose work is most important never handle a trowel or a pick. That applies especially to linguists whose role is to translate what others have recovered. But archaeology stretches over into various fields, including chemistry, physics, anthropology, paleontology, zoology, geology-and even photography and history.
4. The word "archaeology" itself comes from two Greek words: "arche," old; and "logos," word. So archaeology is concerned with the study of beginnings. Strictly speaking, although they overlap, history and archaeology are not the same. History is the study of man’s past, utilizing all available source materials, whereas archaeology is limited to the results of excavations. Yet many remains of past civilizations (e.g. the Parthenon at Athens) have never been lost, and history and archaeology come together.
5. Excavations proceed methodically and eventually technical reports are published, while the dust of thousands of years is again allowed to settle at the excavated site. The excavators-and often other scholars-then study those reports, and some of them proceed with the slow business of translating the recovered documents that were written on clay, papyrus, leather, or some other medium.
6. Quite often they find that these recovered records have a remarkable relevance to the Scriptures, and over the years a substantial case has been built up to show that the Bible is an excellent source book for the historian.
The Tells Tell Their Tale
7. Archaeology sets out to add to written records, and to throw further light on customs and culture, on architecture and engineering, on weapons of war and machinery of peace, and on religion and religious practices. By studying the actual material remains of a culture, archaeologists are able to reconstruct the times and to recapture the atmosphere against which the heroes, the enemies, and the ordinary people of old lived and died.
8. Palaces and temples, libraries and workshops, ornaments and bas reliefs, pottery and tools, and written materials, are all important for the archaeologist as he penetrates with his pick, his pateche (a hand-pick), and his trowel. Colloquially, we hear a lot about the Bible and the spade, but actually a pick or a hoe is used much more than a spade. Even smaller implements (for scraping and probing) are used at times. The recovering, and the conservation, of artifacts are taken very seriously.
9. Findings take place in expected places and in unexpected places as well. If a cemetery is found near an ancient site, it is likely that some of the buried objects will be very relevant in reconstructing the life of the times-as will the broken fragments in many ruined houses. Jewelry, weapons, clothing and food are also important in telling about previous civilizations.
10. Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, and the royal death pits at Ur, are examples of the wealth buried with the royal dead, but even in the modest tombs of everyday people much is found that throws light on the manners and way of life of people of long ago.
11. Remains are found in many other places besides graves. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves alongside the Dead Sea; the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were both destroyed when Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Herculaneum was covered by mud caused by the ash mixing with rain, while Pompeii was covered by the ash itself. Dried-up lakes often yield information about people who lived in nearby houses. Wells are also important, especially because people drop things into them and so they are rich sources of ancient culture. Often they are very deep-one at Beer-sheba was over 100 feet deep.
12. We said that tells are often very important for the archaeologist. A tell is an artificial hill that has been built up as the debris of the centuries has accumulated. Sometimes the site chosen was originally a hill, partly for defense purposes. A site might be occupied for a brief period or for longer periods, and then for good reason be deserted. The cause might be war, fire, infectious disease, or some simple explanation such as the discovery of and then the working out of mineral deposits, or a trade route changing, or a natural disaster. Then circumstances again change, and newcomers notice the benefits to be gained by building again on that site-they see there is good grassland, with a water supply nearby, and a trade route not far away. So they use whatever remains can be adapted, then they level off and rebuild what is left. Sometimes there might be as many as 30 different levels of culture. Thus foundations, lower parts of walls, and even broken pottery will be covered up.
13. As this process is repeated at irregular intervals the tell grows, often becoming a great mound, with many strata of occupation as level succeeds level. It is by no means uncommon for excavators in Israel and other "Bible lands" to go down through levels that might include such cultures as Arab, Byzantine, Roman, Greek, Persian, Israelite and then Canaanite. There are many such tells in Israel and neighboring Bible lands, some of the best-known being Jericho, Samaria, Megiddo, and Lachish.
14. Another reason for a settlement is that the area is needed as a fortification, and so the lookouts will be built and the enemy will not find it easy to pass that way. Yet another reason is the re-establishment of temples and shrines at a particular site and on trade routes.
15. Strictly speaking, Biblical archaeology is not always concerned with many of those levels on a tell, except indirectly. Arab and Byzantine history is later than New Testament times, and even Roman, Greek, and Persian cultures are of specific interest to the Bible student as such only in those periods of Bible history when the Covenant people were in touch with those other peoples. Nevertheless, over and over again knowledge of the surrounding cultures is of real value in throwing light on Bible culture and customs. There are many examples where factual material in the Bible is better understood because of similar materials found in the settlements of Israel’s neighbors.
16. One great difference between the history of Israel and her neighbors is that much of Israel’s history has been in writing right through the centuries, not needing to be "dug up". While archaeology has confirmed much of Bible history, it is a remarkable fact that a great deal of history was extremely well recorded and understood, without the necessity of archaeological confirmation. This is not true to the same extent of any other people of ancient times.
Play on Words
1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was …(answers below)
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it …
3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her …
5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little …
8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in …
Having the Basics Covered
I was wandering around in the garden shop, drooling over the plants as usual when I realized something…I already had a good number of them. Many of those perennials are the anchors of my flowerbeds. Of course I didn’t have every cultivar and it was a small garden center, but I had the majority of them. Looking around, I realized that I should go home and take care of what I have. I shouldn’t be looking at new plants if I have weeds and a rampaging mint plant taking over my current beds. Once I get the framework of my garden in shape, then I can go out searching for something fun to add in.
I was reminded of this concept as I was listening to another new controversial topic about some aspect of someone’s opinion about walking out a minute nuance of the Talmud which was in no way related to strengthening my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I was convicted with the thought that perhaps I should "go home" and work on what I already know is vital to my salvation, the nuts and bolts of my walk with Yeshua. My relationship has some "weeds" in it and isn’t as committed to bringing Him glory as it should be. Instead of chasing the newest topic, like having to have to latest tri-color buddleia when I already have five purple ones, I am going to try to make sure that the framework of my relationship is rock solid: my Bible reading and my prayer and worship time. Once that is fully devoted then I can explore adding to my understanding and acting out of the doing…and maybe go get that buddleia.
There is much to sadden us in the view of the ruins of our race. What we once were, and what we have become is beyond tragic, and truly lamentable.
You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.
Stability is not immobility.
Great mountains of happiness grow out off little hills of kindness.
The less of routine, the more of life.
As one looks at the promises found in the Psalms we see it is a relationship. We must seek Him, cry out to Him, fear Him and trust Him (with our whole heart) and He promises …
- I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
- They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.
- This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
- The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
- O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
- O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.
- The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
Blessed be YHVH and you; as you seek Him.
1. They left everything and followed Him - Luke 5:11
2 The Golden Rule
3. Samaria - John 4:3-4
4. Tent making - Acts 18:1-3
5. Israel - Genesis 32:28
6. Benjamin - Genesis 42:4
7. Yeshua - Mark 2:27
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