August 11, 2009
Psalm 86: →Something that I'm finding interesting here is how form affects understanding. If you have both an NASB and ESV, you can look and see what I mean. The NASB breaks this Psalm into 2 parts: vv. 1-10 & vv. 11-17. The ESV breaks it into 3 parts: vv. 1-7; vv. 8-13; vv. 14-17. When I look at the NASB, the first thought is how vv. 1-10 are a crying out to God for help, and vv. 11-17 are a commitment to God. But, then you dig into the verses and you see it's all mixed up anyway.
Another thing is that this a Psalm of David. He knew what it was to be attacked by enemies on all sides, and what it meant to be in a day of trouble. This is actually the only Psalm ascribed to David in this section of Psalms.
Psalm 85:8-13 →(Devotional reading: Psalm of Response for this week) verse 8: Will we hear what the Lord God will say? He brings a message of peace and restoration, of a right relationship with Him. Or will we turn to folly?
Psalm 85:9 →With His salvation will come glory. Not man's glory, but the Glory of God. Much better
Psalm 85:10 → Here's one for us to remember these days: that lovingkindness (one of my favorite Bible words. Not just love, but active love and kindness mixed and dependent on each other!) is not exclusive of truth, nor truth exclusive of lovingkindness. That righteousness and peace don't live in an uneasy tension, but kiss each other! There is no truth without love, but also no love without truth. Peace in the body of believers cannot exist where there is no righteousness. It just doesn't work.
Psalm 85:13 righteousness is necessary for the places where God is going. We cannot hope to bring God's presence in His word without bearing also His righteousness with us.
James 3:3-6 →James makes the point that we people use small things to control large things, like rudders on ships or bits on horses. Today you might add steering wheels in cars or control yokes in airliners. We've long known how to control the larger with the smaller, and yet we need to learn much about controlling the smaller that is within us: the tongue, our speech, words. That what we say can destroy us no matter what other good is in us. It's an important follow up to James 2, where he instructed on faith and works. Here he's pointing out that the works should include controlling our tongues, and that what we say is to be counted as evidence for or against our faith.
Proverbs 11:1 →Business with integrity is approved by God. Not whether or not people know they're being taken advantage of, but if God knows.
Proverbs 11:2 →Pride causes us to neglect our weaknesses. Then, our weaknesses bite us in the end!!
Proverbs 11:4 →None of that money will buy off the anger of those you harmed to get it. Neither will it appease the Lord God for your sins.
Proverbs 11:11 →Likewise a country. Or a family. Be upright and build up those around you. Be righteous and bless your city and your country. And don't let the talking of the wicked cause its destruction.
Proverbs 11:13 →Keep those things which are entrusted to you. Confidences are to be kept as if they will never be revealed. It's also untrustworthy to ask someone to divulge a confidence. Don't ask your pastor what people have told him about! Don't pressure someone to give up info. And when you have info, don't share semi-vague “prayer requests” to spread the info or to show off that you know and others don't.
Proverbs 11:14 →Yet when we get in trouble we don't seek guidance! We lock up. I have a strong need for guidance in my life, am I willing to seek it? I hope so. Note, though, that the wise seek out wise counsel. Not the wise will accept the advice of every random person with a thought.
Proverbs 11:31 →Sometimes, the righteous aren't repaid on earth. They are repaid in eternity. Then how much more the wicked and sinful!! Let us repent and ask others to do the same!