There were much needed reminders to be found in the psalms which we mined last week. They are such a treasure of comfort for these days we are living.
The study (Seek, by The Daily Grace Co.) titles this chapter – A Call to Listen.
We truly do need a call to listen, a call to still ourselves, and a call to quiet our hearts and minds.
The study reminds us that when we do still ourselves, we remember. We remember He is the same God who has always cared for His people.
We remember He is the same God who delivered His people from their enemies, who provided for them in the wilderness.
We remember He is the only One who can satisfy our souls.
Hear the voice of God as He calls to His people:
“I, the Lord, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” (verse 10, NASB)
“Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!” (verse 13, NASB)
The study asks: This psalm reveals Israel’s idolatry. How does idolatry sometimes take root in your own heart?
God calls us to open our mouths wide and He will fill them. He promises to fill us with the finest wheat and honey from the rock. He longs to give us what He knows is best for us. Why?
Because He is the same God!
This song has been such a reminder that He is the same God, today and is faithful to His people.
In verse 4, we see words still being uttered today: “Let’s wipe this nation from the face of the earth”, they say; “scratch Israel’s name off the books” (from The Message)
This psalm, the last one written by Asaph, recalls the history of Israel’s enemies whom God defeated in the past.
But this is not a man who is full of hatred and vindictive. Instead, from him, we can learn how to pray.
“Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O Lord.” (verse 16, NASB)
“And let them be humiliated and perish, That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” (verse 18, NASB)
He was praying that even in the midst of God coming to the defense of His people, He would move to be sought after and known by their enemies.
He was praying for their enemies to turn to the one true and living God.
This is the way to lasting peace – when both friend and foe come to know God.
The study asks: How does who God is bring us comfort in our everyday lives?
As I read through this psalm, taking note of how Asaph prayed, a verse came to mind:
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, NASB)
This is how God is bringing comfort in my life in this day. As I pray for the lost, I take comfort in knowing He is patient, He is waiting, He is not wanting any to remain lost.
The study calls this chapter a “lament with confidence” and I think that is a fitting description.
At times, we do remember and lament the past. It moves us to pray and plead with God for the present.
“I will hear what God the Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to his godly ones.” (verse 8, NASB)
We are not only to lament and pour out our complaints to the Lord, but we are to hear what He has to say. For He will speak, if we will take the time to pause and listen.
The psalmist also exhorts us: “But let them not turn back to folly.” (verse 8, NASB)
Folly – that we would not return to our foolishness, our sin, our unwise behaviors.
The end of this psalm read like promise after promise to me.
- “Lovingkindness and truth have met together.”
- “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
- “Truth springs from the earth.”
- “Righteousness looks down from heaven.”
This is what God will bring to us as we humble ourselves before Him, as we hear and obey His Word.
The study asks: What is the importance of remembering in this psalm and in our lives?
As we remember the past, we allow God’s Word to reveal the sin in our own lives. We confess and find forgiveness and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we change. We find ourselves renewed and filled with a resolve to be devoted to God’s Word and God’s ways.
He is the same God today that He was then,
wanting to be known by all,
as we take time to pause and listen.