Reflection on Psalms 3-7
Psalms, indeed, for a time of trouble—and full of lessons for any and every troubled soul. A very fundamental lesson emerges from a simple observation. Of the fifty-five verses in these psalms, about fifteen are devoted to enemies and their threat, but about thirty to truths, thoughts of God and descriptions of prayer and praise. In whatever form trouble comes—the hostility of others, circumstantial problems and tragedies, personal sorrows—its tendency is to drive us inward, to make us ‘retire hurt,’ urge us to find some corner in which to moan over our lot, marvel how unfair life is, ‘chew the fat’ of our own misery! David is too practical to say ‘forget your problems.’ Neither his nor our difficulties are negligible or inconsequential. No, don’t try to forget them, bur rather face and describe them—as these psalms do. The vague is so often more alarming than what is candidly and specifically faced. But always outweigh the problems, hurts, sorrows—whatever—by the great truths about the Lord, and by the practice of prayer and praise. See how our psalms begin: “LORD” (Ps. 3); “God of my righteousness” (Ps. 4); “Hear… LORD” (Ps. 5); “LORD” (Ps. 6); “LORD my God” (Ps. 7). Look again at the truths shared in Psalm 4: the God who answers prayer (verse 1); who sets apart those he loves, protectingly (verse 3); gives a greater joy than earth affords (verse 7); and who keeps us in security and peace (verse 8). The mind stocked with truth is the mind fortified.
Reflection on Psalms 8-10
Think of the contrast between a quiet night-time stroll in your garden and the bustle and demands of a busy, stressful day in your office or home, and you have exactly the contrast between Psalm 8 and Psalms 9-10! Psalm 8 is a worshipful meditation on the night sky; Psalms 9-10 is alive with the pressures, acrimonious words and hostile deeds of an unsympathetic world. There you are! Take them together, and we all say, Yes, life’s like that! But what are Psalms 8 and Psalms 9-10 saying to us in our mixed up existence?
Like all prayer, worship involves talking to God. Psalm 8 is not sitting in the silent contemplation of wordless adoration; it is telling God about God! The emphasis (in verses 1 and 9) tells him that he is God our deliverer and redeemer—LORD, the God of Exodus 3:15 and 6:7. He is also the sovereign God—the active, executive, managing director, and detailed planner of his world in all its aspects and activities. he is God who is truly God. Another component of worship in Psalm 8 is a properly lowly estimate of ourselves, and a stunning reality that such a God concerns himself with such as me.
By contrast, Psalms 9-10 teaches us about the sort of prayer that arms us to face the pressures of life with calm assurance. It is God-conscious prayer (9:1-2; 10:16-18), with a clear awareness of him to whom we are praying (9:9-10), and sounding a note of praise (9:11). It is “count-your-blessings” praying, taking in God’s ‘wonderful works” (9:11-12) and past mercies. Prayer is need expressed in detail (10:3-11), and can be couched in vigorous words both to God (9:19; 10:12) and regarding man (10:14-15). The reverence of true worship guards our freedom of speech in prayer from unseemly familiarity; the activity of praise and intercession guards our worship from impractical pietism.
* Adapted from Psalms by the Day by Alec Motyer
This Week’s Bible Reading Schedule:
|Monday: Psalms 10||☐||Thursday: Psalms 13||☐|
|Tuesday: Psalms 11||☐||Friday: Psalms 14||☐|
|Wednesday: Psalms 12||☐||Saturday: Psalms 15||☐|
Bible Column & Reading Plan by Rev. Chang Soo Lee
Mississauga Camps Lead Pastor