Tuesday June 16, 2020
Paul quotes PSA 116:10 in 2CO 4:13, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” which in context was in the face of great opposition.
I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death encompassed me,
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
"O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!"
His only hope in life-threatening peril was the “name of the Lord.” Name - reputation, character, ability.
Psa 113-118 is the Hallel. Jesus and His disciples sang it in the upper room.
And after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
113-114 were sung before the feast, while 115-118 were sung after drinking the last cup. It was sung at Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
Now there is a dramatic shift in the psalm from the terrifying to the glorious nature of the Lord. This indicates just how quickly the believer can move from terror when viewing his circumstance to peace when his faith in the Lord fills his soul.
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.
6 The Lord preserves the simple [pethiy = young and naïve];
I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For Thou hast rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.
9 I shall walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
The purpose of God’s deliverance: “that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” = a life of close harmony and careful obedience.
10 I believed when I said, ["I believed, therefore I spoke,"]
"I am greatly afflicted."
His faith made him speak of the glory of God in a world full of liars, vs. 11, meaning, he will be persecuted, which is exactly Paul’s instruction in 2Co 4. “Death works in us, but life in you.” In that world of fallen men, some will hear and see believe and see life. God has commissioned all His sons to do this.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth,
Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens!
2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast established strength,
Because of Thine adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
The power of the truth is displayed again and again, no matter how numerous or powerful God’s adversaries. Even from the moth of babes, the truth from God reveals its strength. We believe, therefore we speak.
Then David, in view of God’s majestic power, ponders why God would even care for him or for anyone else.
3When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?
And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?
5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God,
And dost crown him with glory and majesty! [David was anointed king and then returned to his humble profession for some time]
6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands;
Thou hast put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth!
I believed when I said, ["I believed, therefore I spoke,"]
"I am greatly afflicted."
I said in my alarm,
"All men are liars."
ROM 3:9-10, 13
both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written,
"There is none righteous, not even one;
"Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,"
"The poison of asps is under their lips";
Since all believers are still sinners, meaning that the sin nature can rule them, there is consistently temptation and therefore always the potential to lie, to deceive, to judge others. However, the good news is that the believer, though capable of any sin, has been blessed with the power to overcome the old self and conform to the image of Christ, which is the whole point of Paul’s prayer in EPH 3:14-20, and our current subject for the last several months, being strengthened in the inner man, rooted and grounded in love in the inner man, comprehending the full scope of God’s purpose for humanity and the future, and being filled up with the fulness of God in the inner man.
When the temptation, or the urge, comes upon us to judge someone or lie to someone, we conclude it to be wrong and reject it, and why? because we have seen the truth of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
And God has made it clear, and therefore it is important to know and understand, that all men in this world are sinners, and no one particular group, either segregated by gender, socio-economic status, age, race, ethnicity, etc. are exempt, making none one group better than another.
But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
God so loved the world, and so we, His sons and daughters, of His name and family, love all men as well and so love and do good to our enemies.
may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; 13 so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
I personally think that Paul had the entire psalm in mind.
By following God fully, Paul has put himself at the mercy of the world and its wickedness and wicked people, and this in order to serve them life, and yet his faith was in the Lord for everything.
Paul understood that such faith and suffering was not for him alone, but for all believers.
12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me? [rhetorical: nothing to be given back but thanksgiving]
[The contrast between men and God is striking as he moves from vs. 11 to 12]
13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people [may I serve others with this revelation! (as Paul states in 2Co 4)].
“lift up the cup of salvation” - likely a libation offering of wine. Vows were voluntarily made. Offering to God out of thankfulness.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His godly ones [the end of their striving on the earth].
In vs. 3 the chords of death encompassed him, and here he shares with us that God is not indifferent or hands off when it comes to the death of His saints. He prayed, “Save my life,” (vs. 4) and he was “brought low and He saved me.” (vs. 6)
I believed, therefore I spoke, "we also believe, therefore also we speak; 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.
God does not treat the death of His saints with indifference - they are highly valued by Him. Therefore, He is indifferent about nothing concerning us.