September 23, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 102-104.
Background: Psalm 99-101.
Concepts and Connections.
A cry of the afflicted: This psalm is a prayer of the afflicted who is pouring out his troubles and complaint before the Lord. The psalmist diligently seeks the audience of the Lord in the first stanza and asks for a speedy answer. Then he moves on to lay out his situation with great emotion, highlighting the trouble that he bears from day to day, even forgetting to eat because of his groaning. We can see the anguish that the psalmist is in as he is reaching out to the Lord. He withers away and says that the Lord has thrown him down in His anger. It should be noted here, that even in his anguish and lament, the psalmist uses the next stanza to exalt the Lord, giving Him glory, honor and praise. It is important to recognize who the Lord is and praise Him at all times, no matter what our situation is, and remember that He regards the prayer of the destitute. The psalmist goes on to say that the deliverance and help from the Lord should be recorded for generations to come, that they might know His mercy and praise His name. The psalmist cries out for deliverance, and then once again praises the name of the Lord, and puts his complete faith in Him, that He will remain forever and His children will dwell secure.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul”: A psalm ascribed to David of blessing and praise to the Lord. Here we see the psalmist bless the Lord with all that he has, for the Lord had been so good to him. He had forgiven iniquity, healed illnesses, redeemed life, shown steadfast love and mercy and satisfied with good. The Lord had been active among His people from the days of old, when Moses lead the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt, being merciful and gracious. Though the Lord did punish, His punishment did not last forever, and He does not pay us according to our sins and iniquities (praise be to the Lord for that!). His steadfast love is as high as the heavens for those who fear Him, and He has removed our transgressions as far as the east is from the west, for He remembers that we are but dust. Our life endures but for a short period of time, but the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever. All created things, all things in His domination, are called to bless the Lord.
The greatness of the Lord: This is a psalm of blessing to the Lord, describing in detail many of His great works and creation. The creation is first described in beautiful poetry, starting with light, and then stretching out the heavens (compare with Genesis 1). The earth was laid on its foundation (see Job 38:4) and waters covered the earth. The mountains then rise out of the deep and the waters are confined to their place. The Lord made the springs to bring water to the animals of the field, and the earth is satisfied with the fruit of His work. All creation is brought into the picture so as to show the mighty and wonderful power of the Lord, and to call all to give praise to His name. All creation looks to Him to give them food, and life is upheld by HIs Spirit. Let us join in with the psalmist here to sing praises to the Lord, for mighty are His deeds and wonderful is His power. May we all bless the Lord.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Proverbs 23-24.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
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