Notes for Bible Discussion, Gold Canyon Church of Christ, 16 Dec. 2018.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
A Psalm of David.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
v1… “Hear My Prayer”, Persuading God by emotional displays may look & feel good in the movies, but God wants us to care deeply about the things He cares deeply about, Yes the Almighty has an agenda as the lover of our soul. The prophet Isaiah spoke with sorrow about the lack of this in Israel:And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You (Isaiah 64:7). When prayer seems ineffective, it is worth taking a spiritual inventory to see if there is a reason for unanswered prayer. The Bible tells us there are many reasons why prayer may not be answered.
– Unbelief (Matthew 17:20-21)
– A Bad Marriage Relationship (1 Peter 3:7)
– Unconfessed Sin (James 5:16)
– Trusting in the Length or Form of Prayer (Matthew 6:7)
v2-3, Another contrast between the godly & ungodly. Christians can have confidence in being heard, basing that confidence on Christ, not our self, our education, our own righteousness or morality, but only on Christ and his righteousness. David didn’t have Christ, so what did he base his confidence for being heard upon? Where was his “godliness”? Compare John 15:5& 16:24. Do you recognize the significant role the “mercy seat” in the Temple fulfilled? Where is our mercy seat?
v4, Surely the apostle Paul was familiar with this song, when he wrote Ephesians 4:26. Usually strong resolve arrives in our heart when we stop to rest on the truth and re-align our priorities in order to sleep on them after we have prayed about them. It is consoling to know that we are cared for by The One whose eyes never close, Psalm 121:3-4. The word “Selah” is referring to a pause in lyrics.
v5, placing our trust in God’s abilities, but not your own ability to sacrifice, while at the same time making a sacrifice can be tricky business for the human heart. This forces us to think about our motive in sacrificing. Is it for a pat on the back, or is it to only benefit someone else,preferably God? This is why Peter reminds us of the faithfulness of our Creator God, in the face of suffering from making sacrifices, 1st Peter 4:19.
v8, “You Alone O Lord”, Paul experienced this depth of security and self-value,which is why he wrote Romans 8:35-39. God’s love for you and me in Christ is the only virtue that gives true confidence & peace