Friday, June 3, 2016

PSALM 86 continued...

""In the day of my trouble I shall call upon Thee,
For Thou wilt answer me.
There is no one like Thee among the gods, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Thine.
All nations whom Thou hast made shall come
 and worship before Thee, O Lord;
And they shall glorify Thy name.
For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds;
Thou alone art God....
O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,
And a band of violent men have sought my life,
And they have not set Thee before them...
Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it, and be ashamed,
Because Thou, O Lord, hast helped me and comforted me."
(verses 7-10, 14, 17)

"Give me a sign for good" could refer as a mark put upon a slave to identify his owner.
"Give me, from the influence of Thy Spirit in my heart, a pledge that the blessings which I now ask shall be given in due time.  But he wished for such a sign as his enemies might see; that they might know God to be His Helper, and be confounded when they sought his destruction."
We know that our Helper is the Holy Spirit.  May others see the mark of His Spirit upon us.
"In the day of trouble..."

"Men are barbarous, but God is gracious;
men are false, but God is faithful....
and in Him mercy rejoiceth against judgment."
Matthew Henry
Trouble, any ol'tears.  I seen troubles, name them one by one,
Troubles till my day is done. Any ol'tears..."
(An old Calypso song sung by Harry Belafonte that my mom used to play on the record player console.  In their later years they found one again, bought it and brought it home to enjoy.)

One thing about our recent travels, is it reminded us of the nation's history of troubles, our ancestors bloody conflicts: Indian wars, battles against France, Spain, and Britain, neighbor against neighbors-Tories against those for Independence, the bloodiest being the war against slavery.  Then to realize how few, if truly any, generations in all the history of mankind, since Cain killed Able, have enjoyed a trouble free existence outside of Eden: the wickedness at Noah's time, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah seeking to molest and murder even the very angels of God, the Ishmaelites against the Jews, the whole world turned against each other in World Wars.  Don't we cry out with David, "Show me a sign for good."  What is that sign?  It is that still we can say with the Psalmist, "Thou, O Lord, hast helped me and comforted me." The Comforter has come!


"Teach me your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Thy truth;
Unite my heart to fear Thy name.
I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God,
with all my heart,
And will glorify Thy name forever.
For Thy lovingkindness toward me is great,
And Thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol....
But Thou, O Lord, art a God
merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant
in lovingkindnes and truth.
Turn to me, and be gracious to me;
O grant Thy strength to Thy servant,
And save the son of Thy handmaid."
(verses 11-13,15-16)

"Unite my heart to fear Thy name.
I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God,
with all my heart."

"Join all the purposes, resolutions, and affections, of my heart together, to fear and to glorify Thy name.  This is a most important prayer.  A divided heart is a great curse: scattered affections are a miserable plague...Indecison of mind and division of affections mar any work.  The heart must be one, that the work may be one.  If this be wanting, all is wrong.  This is a prayer which becomes the mouth of every Christian...When my heart is united to fear Thy name, then I praise Thee with my whole heart." 
Have you known someone with a divided heart, the wishy-washy soul that has no foundation, tossed to and fro in the waves?  (James 1:6-8)  They are even difficult to have a conversation with, Lord forbid that one should marry such a one, a divided heart with no faithfulness.  They leave that dirty foam behind of useless blather.
"But Thou, O Lord, art a God..."
"What a wonderful character of God is given in this verse!  'Adonai, the Director, Judge, and Support; ...Yehovah, the self-existent and eternal Being: El, the strong God; rachom, tenderly compassionate; channun, the Dispenser of grace or favour; erech aphim, suffering long,--not easily provoked; chesed, abundant in blessings; and emeth, faithful and true.'  Such is the God who has made Himself more particularly known to us in Christ.

"And thu driht God gemildsiend, and mildheort, gethyldig and mucel mildheortnesse and sothfaest.'  "And Thou, Lord God, art mild, and mildhearted, patient, and of much mild-heartedness, and soothfast,; steady in truth."
"In the old Psalter, 'And thou Lorde God mercifer, and merciful, sufferand, and of Mykel mercy, and sothefast.' The word 'merfer is interpreted, do and dede of mercy.'"
Do you get the picture?  That's your God! It is in His very name, His character, His intention towards us. 
"Give Thy strength unto Thy servant."
"The Vulgate renders, give Thy empire to Thy child."

The old Psalter, "guf empire to thf barne, and make safe the son of thf hande mayden.  Thi barne--Thy tender child.

Rest in your Father as His barne, His tender child,
all because there was a Son of a handmaiden given to us.


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