Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Accomplishing What Concerns Me - Psalm 138 (part 3)

"I will give Thee thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to Thee before the gods.
I will bow down toward Thy holy temple,
and give thanks to Thy name
for Thy loving-kindness and Thy truth;
for Thou hast magnified Thy word
according to all Thy name....

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
Thou wilt revive me;
Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand
against the wrath of my enemies,
and Thy hand will accomplish what concerns me;
Thy loving-kindness, O LORD is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Thy hands."
(Psalm 138:1-2, 7-8)

This is the final section of Psalm 138 and the last in this group of psalms of hallelujah. This psalm of David encourages us - as do all the hallelujah psalms - to thanksgiving and praise. In the opening verses we are challenged to give wholehearted thanksgiving ("with all my heart") and whole-worldly praise ("before the gods"). There is no part of us that should not be worshipful and there is no place where we should not be worshipping! As has so often been the case in these psalms, the glorious loving-kindness and tested truth of our God are held before us as a grand catalyst for all of these things.

In the next group of verses we were exhorted to become humble humans and not haughty ones! "For though the LORD is exalted, yet He regards the lowly; but the haughty He knows from afar."

Pride goeth before a fall.
Humility is a guarantee of grace.

This morning, in the final two verses of the psalm we are reminded of the care that God takes for His precious people in the midst of awful affliction and of His providential dealings to make them more Christ-like in the process.
Two main things grab my attention.

1. Troubles come and God revives us in them frees us from them.
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble;Thou wilt revive me;
Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and Thy right hand will save me."

I turn to Henry's comments:

"David walks in trouble but encourages himself with hope. 'When my spirit is ready to sink and fail, Thou wilt revive me and make me easy and cheerful in my troubles.' God would protect him. He would stretch out His hand against the wrath of his enemies - to restrain them and set bounds for their actions. God would in due time work deliverance for him; 'Thy right hand will save me.' Christ is the right hand of the Lord that shall save all those who serve Him."
 What comfort and consolation is found in our caring, compassionate and conquering Christ!

2. Troubles come and God has a good purpose in them and through them.
"The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Thy loving-kindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
do not forsake the works of Thy hands."

Whatever has come to us has come to us from Him! His fingers sift all of the sands of suffering and funnel them with perfect faithfulness into our lives. It is our great and gracious God, it is our all-wise and loving Father who orchestrates the hands of providence to stoke the flames of refining fire to just the right temperature in order to conform us more and more to the image of Christ. Christian, what you are facing this day and what you are enduring this season are all part of His accomplishing that which concerns you.

Do you trust Him?
Do I?
And are we leaning on His strength or on our own to survive the strife?

Turning once again to Mr. Henry:

"Our hopes that we shall persevere must be found not upon our own strength, for that will fail us, but upon the mercy of God, for that will not fail. It is well pleaded, 'Lord, Thy mercy endures forever, let me be forever a monument of it.' David turns his expectation into a petition, 'forsake not, do not let go of the work of Thy own hands. Lord, I am the work of Thy own hands, my soul is so, do not forsake me.'"

My fellow monuments of mercy go back and read it again.

What more is there to say than that which Henry has so eloquently stated?

Perhaps only "Thank You, LORD" with all of my heart!

In His glorious grace,


No comments:

Post a Comment