I’ve really enjoyed spending time in the Psalms these last several days. I’ve never gone through them quite the same way as I’m working through them now: reading, meditating, and writing about them. They are so much more than mere “Praise the LORD” and “Help me, LORD, I’m in trouble” — if I may be allowed a gross over-simplification to make my point. I hope your enjoying the readings too and finding something in each one to lift you and inspire you. This one for example:
Are you being fruity? (Psalm 92:14) — I’ve known a number of Christians who were really dedicated and did a lot of good things between 20 and 60, but who upon reaching retirement appear to have decided to retire from service to the Lord, too. I’m pretty sure that’s not what the Scripture has in mind for God’s people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not entirely scolding retirees. If I were going to retire, I’d be fairly close to it myself, and I understand that the older one gets, the more quickly one seems to “run out of gas” for things that one might have be formerly able to do all day long. I’m also starting to realize that sometimes younger folks aren’t as interested in the thoughts and views of older brethren and it can be become discouraging. Such discouragements can make a person feel like they’ve been “kicked to the curb” both in one’s secular career and the church. But before you settle into spiritual retirement, read Psalm 92:14 again: “They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green.” Don’t let anyone try to stop you from producing good fruit! You may not be able to do all the things that you used to be able to do, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t good things you can do! Find them! Create new ways to use your opportunities, skills, talents, experience, love, and dedication to the LORD!
Your testimonies are “so Amen” (Psalm 93:5) — This great psalm of praise to God is full of wonderful images of God’s awesome nature, and they are great; but the thing that captured my attention is v. 5, “Your testimonies are fully confirmed” (NAS95). I wondered what that might mean, so I did a little word study. The word “fully” is one that emphasizes intensity and totality. The word “confirmed” is the word word “Amen”, a word which not only means “yes that’s true” or “so be it”, but also describes something that is trustworthy and secure. When Jesus is quoted in the KJV and says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you…”, He’s really saying “Amen, amen, I say unto you…” — in other words, “This is something really true and trustworthy that you can bank on that I’m about to tell you right now…” Likewise, when we read here that God’s testimonies (laws, commands, judgments, principles, and information about the spiritual realities) are “really (so) Amen”, we’re saying that they are true, trustworthy, and secure.
I think, therefore — not much (Psalm 94:11) — This psalm calls once again for God’s help, I wonder if God gets tired of being the world’s 911 call? No more than we get tired of being our children’s 911 call — but I digress. Part of the psalmist’s complaint here is that those who are oppressing him seem to have said, that the LORD will not answer the oppressed, because He doesn’t hear their see the oppressors evil deeds or hear the oppressed prayers. But the psalmist rebukes the thoughts of the wicked and concludes for them that the thoughts of man are a mere breath — nothing of consequence, nothing lasting, and weak as a man’s breath. So are all the foolish ideas of mankind about greatness, riches, prestige, power, beauty, accomplishment, intelligence, sin, happiness, and so much more. Such thoughts, even if articulated by an eloquent philosopher, are light-weight in the extreme in comparison with the LORD’s eternal, confirmed (see above) thoughts, prophecies, and commands. The words of the LORD are eternal and sound in wisdom; the wisdom of man is insubstantial and temporary.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.