Archive | June 2015

Psalm 26

Judge me. Look at what I’ve done and what I am. Decide whether I’m right or wrong, good or bad.

Vindicate me. Prove to everyone that I’m right.

Dismiss all the charges against me. Stop the criticism.

For I have walked in my integrity. I did what I thought was right.

For I have led a blameless life. I have tried to do right and not harem anyone.

For I have tried to keep Your laws. I have tried to obey You.

I have also trusted in the Lord. I have let God lead.

Therefore I shall not slide. I stand firm.

Without wavering. I stand firm.

Examine me. Test me. Cross-examine me. Prove me. Try me. Look closely.

Try my reins. Examine my mind. Test my motives. Test my mind. Who do I think of first and most?

Try my heart. Examine my heart. Test my affections. Test my heart. Who do I love best and most?

Your lovingkindness is before my eyes. Your love is ever before me. I have taken Your lovingkindness as my ideal. Your steadfast love is before my eyes. All I have to do to see Your love is open my eyes – your love is all around. I try to love others as You love me.

I have walked in Your truth. I walk continually in Your truth. I have taken Your truth as my ideal. I walk in faithfulness to You. I spend time in Your word. When I’m not reading or studying it, I’m thinking about it.

I do not sit with vain persons, go with dissemblers, sit with deceitful men, consort with hypocrites, have fellowship with tricky, two-faced men, sit with false men. I keep company with fellow believers. Except I myself am a vain person. I am a dissembler by staying away from church. I am deceitful. I am a hypocrite.

I abhor the assembly of evil-doers and refuse to sit with the wicked. We let the church know what we felt was wrong and refused to go along with it.

I wash my hands in innocence and go about Your altar O Lord. I need to make sure that what I’m doing is right and that I still worship and serve God. I need to proclaim God’s praise. I need to tell others about God and what He’s done for me. I need to love God’s house more than I dislike the imperfect people who worship there. The more level my feet, the firmer I stand and the more I praise Him.

Advertisements

Psalm 25

I pray to God. I don’t just pray. I lift up my soul. I take the essence of my being and move it away from myself, closer to God. I lift it up so that it’s harder for me to manipulate and easier for God to work with.

I have to hope in God. Not in people, or things or events, but in the God who controls all those. I shouldn’t hope in a particular outcome, but rather I should hope and trust that God will guide me to and through the process of obtaining the outcome He has already planned and laid out for me.

Show me Your ways. Show me how You love. Show me how You show concern. Shoe me how You correct. Show me how You discipline. Just as a parent teaches by example. Teach me Your paths. Teach me the path to peace. Teach me the path to joy. Teach me the path to rest. Teach me the path to follow to get to Your destinations for me. Remind me that everything is already mapped out for me.

All I need to do for God to show me His ways and teach me His paths is to be humble. I have to be willing to admit that I can’t find the way myself, but need help. Humility also makes it easier to keep God’s covenant demands. Less of me and more of God. Fearing the Lord goes right along with humility. When I’m respecting God, I’m not in awe of myself and I’m paying more attention to God. The more attention I pay to God, the more He confides in me and shows me His covenant.

I have to always keep my eyes on the Lord. He is He is the only one who can release my feet from the snare. God is the only one who can spring me from the traps Satan sets for me. Other people cannot help me for they only become entrapped themselves, or tangle my lines even worse.

Integrity and uprightness protect me. The closer I live to Your commands, the closer I am to You, and the more protected I am. The more I hope in You and the less I hope in people, things and events around me, the more stable my life becomes.

Psalm 24

The earth belongs to God.

Everything in and on the earth belongs to God.

The world belongs to God.

All who live in the world belong to God.

Everything around me belongs to God.

Everything I “have” belongs to God. I belong to God.

All the people I meet belong to God.

My job is to be a good steward. To use my talents. To help develop the talents of others.

Those who follow God’s commands, who live in His will, who love Him with all their heart have fellowship with God. They will receive God’s blessings, experience God’s goodness. Someday the world will know that we were right when we made the choice to follow Him.

Confession and Restitution

“Then he shall confess his sins which he has committed and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong, and add to it one-fifth, and give it to him whom he has wronged.” Numbers 5:7 (NASB)

Confess – the Hebrew word is yadah. Literally, yadah means to use the hand, especially in worship (with extended hands). In the intensive form, as it is here, it means to bemoan (by wringing the hands). The essential meaning is an act of acknowledging what is right about God in praise and thanksgiving. It can also mean right acknowledgment of self before God in confessing sin. God wants us to be more expressive in our relationship with Him. More expressive and more demonstrative. If we pray using ACTS (Adoration Confession Thanksgiving Supplication) then adoration would be hands up and outstretched wide with joy and gladness, even ecstasy. Confession would be wringing the hands. I see thanksgiving hands in many expressions – sometimes uplifted, sometime clasped close to the heart. Supplication would be hands folded and moving around as the depth of our plea changes. If human parents are touched and encouraged by their children’s expressions and demonstrations of love, how much more so must God be! Just as we and our children need to experience expressions and demonstrations of love, so does our God.

Committed – the Hebrew word is asah, meaning to do or make, ion the broadest sense and widest application; to do, make, accomplish, complete. It conveys the central notion of performing an activity with a distinct purpose, a moral obligation, or a goal in view. Sins are committed with a distinct purpose and a goal in view – pleasing ourselves, getting what we want. Sin doesn’t usually “just happen”. We frequently have that deer in the headlight look on our faces when we’re confronted with our sin, but if the truth be told, subconsciously, we’ve thought about what we wanted for quite a while and may have even planned and plotted different ways to get it.

Make restitution – the Hebrew word is shuwb, to turn back (hence away). To turn, return, go back, do again, change, withdraw, bring back, reestablish, be returned, bring back, restore, recompense, answer, hinder. In its simplest sense, the word means to return, restore, go back. There are three parts to making restitution. The first part is to turn away from the sins(s). The second part is to return to God. Just as a contrite child accepts their parents’ discipline, we must accept God’s for He disciplines the children He loves so much. The third part is to make amends to the people we’ve hurt, restore to them what they lost because of our sin(s) if that’s possible. Stolen property can easily be replaced, but hurt feelings and damaged faith and trust require God’s healing and our obediently following God’s leading in how to help in that healing process.

In full – ro’sh – from an unused root apparently meaning to shake. It’s a masculine noun meaning a head, hair, person, point, the top, the beginning the best, a chief, a leader. It has many metaphorical meanings. The Interlinear Bible translation is “in its principal”. I think it means God is going to shake us up when we confess. Our pride gets shook the most. In fact, true confession shatters our pride like a glass dropped on concrete. In its principal – we recompense what we can and leave the interest to God. Several Hebrew idioms use the word. To bring something down on one’s head means to get vengeance, therefore making restitution in full showers one with grace. The word also means beginning and the process of making amends needs to start at the beginning.

Wrong/wronged – ‘asham – meaning to be guilty or to do wrong. It’s most often used to describe the product of sin – that is, guilt before God. We have guilt before God and we have guilt before the person we’ve wronged. We must ask forgiveness of both. If we’re sincere in seeking forgiveness, God always forgives immediately. People however, sometimes hold a grudge for a while. Some never forgive and that is not our fault, but theirs. The unforgiving person will have to answer to God for their unforgiveness – they do not have to answer to us. We can’t allow their unforgiveness to keep us mired in guilt. God frees us as soon as we confess and repent.

So let us be more expressive in our relationships, quick to confess, and truly repentant when we sin.