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|Posted on September 20, 2016 at 5:15 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 103:13-18 (KJV) - Just Dust
Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
The word “pitieth” used in the King James Version can be translated “has compassion.” An earthly father may seem to feel the pain of his child, but our Heavenly Father has complete and perfect knowledge and empathy for us. Jesus put Himself in our place by being born on earth as a helpless baby under the authority of a human couple. Since He was completely man as well as completely God, He even experienced pain and betrayal as a man to the point of death on the cross. Since He created us, He did not need to become one of us to feel as we feel, but we needed Him to do that so we would be more capable of believing He truly understands us. He also suffered temptation as we do but remained without sin.
Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
We are dust? God made us from dirt. When God breathed life into Adam who was made from the dust of the earth, he became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
God’s breath gave vitality and beauty to a man formed of clay. Oxygen is the most prominent element in the human body, and the second is carbon. Believers are basically carbon that the Lord is transforming into jewels. Transforming carbon into jewels takes pressure, so it is sometimes quite uncomfortable, even painful. Since we are God’s creation, He certainly knows all our frailties and shortcomings; so He understands our inability to perfectly keep His commands and has provided the way for us to be redeemed from our sin.
Psalm 103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
As with every other living thing on this earth, man’s life here is temporal. The words of this psalm sound familiar because they are echoed in our recent study of 1 Peter:
1 Peter 1:23-25 (KJV) 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Life here is brief, but there is more than this life. If we are striving only for what this world has to offer, we will be disappointed. No matter how famous, no matter how wealthy, no matter how outwardly successful we seem to be, none of that will matter when we face the Lord.
James 1:9-11 (NASB) But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
In light of this, what is the main thing we need to cultivate in our time here on earth? Foremost, our relationship with Jesus, trusting Him for salvation. And secondly, our relationship with others, sharing Jesus with people and developing loving bonds with other believers. These are the only things that will transfer with us to Heaven, the only things of importance to the Lord. These are the only eternal investments we can make.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NASB) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; 18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
Those who trust, rely on, and submit to Jesus receive God’s mercy forever. As our earthly shell fades, we will enter the glorious presence of the Lord. In the day of resurrection, these earthly faded bodies will finally be transformed into something more fantastic than we can imagine. God’s mercy outlives our lives on earth when we have trusted Him. It extends to our successive generations as long as they, too, trust in Him. This promise is contingent upon the future generations continuing to commit themselves to the Lord and follow in His way, which is why it is so important for us to train our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4 (KJV) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Reformation Study Bible
103:17 steadfast love . . . on those who fear him. There is a reciprocal relationship between divine initiative and human response. God first loves us, then we love Him in return as shown in the faithful obedience of our lives (Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10).
Questions: Do you continue to let Satan beat you up over past failures? God knows you are basically mud. Follow the instructions of 1 John 1:9 and be cleansed. Are you caught up in worldly success to the neglect of your spiritual well-being? Remember to lay up treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
|Posted on September 13, 2016 at 6:15 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 103:1-5 (KJV)
Bless the Lord!
103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Throughout Psalm 103 the Hebrew word translated “blessed” is the same.
Bârak – to kneel – to bless God as an act of adoration, and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit), praise, salute, thank
When we bless God, we are kneeling, praising, adoring Him. When He blesses us, He is benefiting us, doing good on our behalf – i.e. benevolence. Are we to bless God half-heartedly? Every cell of our being should vibrate with praise, adoration, and celebration of God. Our entire heart should be completely, intimately engaged in the worship of our Father. What is the psalmist declaring by describing God’s name as “holy". God’s name is set apart and distinguished above every other name. God is without defect and without fault, sinless and perfect. Therefore, He is completely worthy of our praise.
Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Have you ever heard of “self-talk” as a way of reminding yourself of what is important? The psalmist is saying, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Perhaps the hymn lyricist, Johnson Oatman, Jr., had this psalm in mind. In this world it is too easy to get caught up in the challenges and complexities of this life if we do not intentionally focus in, zoom in, on the blessings instead of having tunnel vision about our day to day problems. Any benefit, any good thing we experience on earth is a gift from God.
James 1:17 (NASB) Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Psalm 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
An iniquity is a sin of commission – a deliberate, premeditated act of wrongdoing. This is not just an “oops, I messed up.” As believers, our iniquities along with our lesser transgressions and sins of omission have all been forgiven. Bless the Lord!
Does this verse indicate that every believer will be healed of every disease here and now? God is the Healer, and no believer who is diseased or disabled will enter heaven that way because there is no limitation in Heaven. God has the power to heal ANYTHING, but the timing is up to Him. He may choose to heal this side of heaven in order to bring glory to His name and draw people to Him; but He may choose to give grace to continue despite illness or challenges until He heals a person all the way home to be with him. It’s His sovereign call. The man who was born blind and had lived that way into adulthood was left blind until Jesus entered his life in order to bring glory to God.
John 9:3 (NIV) “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Susan is nearing her golden decade, and she still has cerebral palsy. In addition to that, she had to have both legs amputated above the knee in the summer of 2015. However, I have been healed from the inside first. I eagerly await the day when my body will be in sync with my spirit, and I will enjoy the freedom of movement that most people take for granted! Whether the Lord chooses to perform a miracle for Susan now, or she must wait until Heaven for complete healing, God will be glorified in and through her life as she is completely submitted to Him. I feel fulfilled because I am now enabled to live out the purpose God always intended for me – to spread His Good News near and abroad through the internet. I am satisfied in this life through my spiritual growth and closeness to the Lord.
Deuteronomy 32:39 (VOICE) Eternal One: Now do you see that I am the One, and there is no other God besides Me? I have power over life and death; I wound, and I heal; no one can resist My power!
Psalm 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Many times God had protected David from a premature death, especially at the hands of King Saul. In another sense, God secures believers under His protection, and we will not taste complete death but will be immediately with Him when our earthly bodies shut down.
God loved David and called him a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). David was not perfect. We know about his sin of adultery and having the husband killed. But David was attuned to God and repented. Because of His great love for us, God sent His Son Jesus to purchase our forgiveness on the cross. This was His demonstration of lovingkindness, grace, and mercy to all who believe.
103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
After reading in a commentary that the word translated “mouth” in the King James Version, usually was translated finery or ornament, we looked a bit further. It is not our physical mouth, but our desires as symbolized by the mouth. Let’s look at another translation:
Psalm 103:5 (VOICE) When your soul is famished and withering, He fills you with good and beautiful things, satisfying you as long as you live. He makes you strong like an eagle, restoring your youth.
Susan, many people would look at you and pronounce you “helpless.” in what way are you strong like an eagle? They absolutely would and do define me by what they see. Therein lies the problem. They presumptuously define me by my challenges rather than taking the time to know me. Just as the Holy Spirit bestows gifts on all believers, Susan has been given a gift of teaching and prophecy. God has given her an incredible mind and huge vocabulary. We all have weaknesses and strengths. God supplies what we need in this life in order to honor Him and is the source of our strength to obey Him.
Psalm 28:7 (KJV) The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Challenge: Have you counted your blessings lately? Take a few moments and begin writing down the benefits God has provided you in just the last week. You may be amazed enough to kneel and “Bless the Lord!”