1st July: Psalms 36-39

Psalms

36:1-12– Read about God’s ‘steadfast love’ and rejoice in Him: ‘Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens…How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!…O continue Your steadfast love to those who know You…’(5,7,10). Rejoicing in the Lord’s ‘steadfast love’ is quite different from taking His love for granted. We dare not say, “God loves me. I can do what I like”. We must not become like the wicked – ‘there is no fear of God before his eyes’(1). Where there is true rejoicing in God’s ‘steadfast love’, there will also be ‘the fear of the Lord’ which ‘is the beginning of wisdom’(111:10). A real appreciation of God’s ‘steadfast love’ brings with it a real awareness of our own sinfulness. Knowing how much God loves us leads us to pray, ‘Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away’(11).

37:1-40– Those who ‘trust in the Lord…will dwell in the land’. Those who turn from Him will ‘perish’(3,20). Through faith in Christ, we look ahead to ‘a heavenly country’, ‘better’ than anything we will know on earth (Hebrews 11:16; Philippians 3:20). We have caught sight of ‘a happy land, far, far away, where saints in glory stand, bright, bright as day’. We have heard the sound of their song – ‘O how they sweetly sing, “Worthy is our Saviour King!”’. We lift our voices to the Lord – ‘Loud let His praises ring, praise, praise for aye’. Still, some are perishing. They have not come to Christ for salvation. To them, we say, ‘Come to this happy land, come, come away; Why will ye doubting stand? Why, still delay?’(Revised Church Hymnary, 587). Trust in the Lord now and look forward to being with Him in heaven.

38:1-22– What a sorry state of affairs we have here! – ‘My guilt has overwhelmed me. Like a heavy load, it is more than I can bear’(4). What are we to do when things are going from bad to worse? What are we to do when everything seems to be falling apart? We must do what the Psalmist does – ‘I wait with hope for You, O Lord’(15). The Psalmist was ‘completely devastated’. His ‘heart was in turmoil’. He looked to his friends for help, but they were not there – ‘My loved ones and friends keep their distance’(8,11). Despised and forsaken by his friends, there was only one thing for it – ‘Take it to the Lord in prayer’. There is ‘a Friend so faithful’. He ‘knows our every weakness’. He ‘will share all our sorrows’. This Friend is Jesus. He will be there for us when there’s nowhere else to go (Mission Praise, 746).

39:1-13– Some live to a ripe old age. Some die young. How does God view our time on this earth? – This is what the Psalmist says, ‘My life span is nothing compared with Yours’(5). The quality of our living is more important than the quantity of our years. “How am I living?’- This is the question of quality. It is more important than the question of quantity – “How long have I lived?”. “What am I doing with my life?”- This is the question each of us must answer. Life is not only about survival – living for a long time. It is about revival – living in the light of eternity. The Psalmist asks the question – ‘Lord, what am I waiting for?’. He gives his answer – ‘My hope is in You’(7). Let us live as ‘citizens of heaven’- ‘We look forward to the Lord Jesus Christ coming from heaven as our Saviour’(Philippians 3:20).

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