PM August 31st Psalm 139

August 31st

Psalm 139

A Psalm of David

All powerful, All knowing God

1: O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2: Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3: Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4: For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. 5: Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6: Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8: If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9: If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10: Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11: If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12: Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13: For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15: My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16: Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17: How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18: If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. 19: Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20: For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. 21: Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22: I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. 23: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

To the chief musician

Psalm 140

A Psalm of David

Relief from persecution
1: Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; 2: Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. 3: They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah. 4: Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. 5: The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. 6: I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. 7: O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. 8: Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. 9: As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. 10: Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. 11: Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. 12: I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. 13: Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
Today we are reading Psalms 139 & 140. Psalm 139 is a Psalm of David in which he gives an autobiographical account of his deliverance from sin and self. He begins and ends his Psalm telling the Lord that he knows that he knows everything about him. Then he bring three thoughts followed by his personal application of each thought. His thoughts are the Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence of God.
A. Divine searching
   B. Omniscience
      C. Admiration
   B. Omnipresence
      C. Admiration
   B. Omnipotence
      C. Shame
A. Divine searching

David begins says O LORD you have shone your searchlight into my soul and discovered everything about me.

You know when I stand up to work
You know when I sit down to rest
You know everything I think about
You know everywhere I go when I am awake
You know where I go in my dreams
You know everything about me.
You know every word I utter and the thoughts behind them
You know where I came from and where I am going
You put your hand on my life

All of this is too wonderful to think about. It is the highest thoughts that I can have of you and I cannot fully understand it all. Where could I go to separate myself from your presence? If I went up into heaven you are there. If I make by bed in the grave you are there. If I took a plane and flew to the farthest Island – even there your hand leads me and your right hand supports me. If I tried to hide myself in the darkness of the night, even there the night is bright in your presence. The daylight and the darkness are both the same to you. You can see me in the dark. You control the strings of my mind. You covered me with flesh in my mothers womb. I will praise you because my body is fearfully complicated and wonderfully made. All the things you do are amazing to me and I know this for sure. My body is not hid from your sight when I was conceived in the secret place of the womb. Your eyes saw my yet unformed body and in your book all the parts of my flesh were catalogued even while they were transforming from cells into a foetus. All of these things that I think about are precious to me and there are so many of them to think about. If I tried to count all my thoughts they would be as great in number as the grains of sand in the Sahara Desert. And when I awake from my thoughts you are still with me. There is no doubt that you will destroy the wicked and deliver me from men of murder. They speak against you terrible things. And all they say is pointless. I hate those that hate you, O LORD and those that rise up against you grieve me. My hatred for them is a perfect hatred. They are numbered as my enemies. Search me O God and know my mind, test me and know all my thoughts. And search out any wicked way in me and lead me in the righteous path of law keeping forever.

Psalm 140 is a Hymn of praise to the Lord. A Psalm of David in which he prays for deliverance from wicked men.

A. Prayer – preservation from his enemies v1
   B. The evil man – his purposes – Selah v2-3
A. Prayer – preservation from his enemies v4
   B. The evil man – his purposes – Selah v4
A. Prayer – preservation from his enemies v6-7
   B. The evil man – his desires – Selah v8
A. Prayer – destruction of his enemies v9-11

David begins saying deliver me from the evil man and deliver me from the violent man. David’s mortal life was crucial if he was to reign and have children and provide security and prosperity for Israel. They constantly plan traps to catch me and they are always at war with me. The say sharp words and poisonous words at me. Think about that. David prays that the Lord will keep him from safe from the hands of wicked men and murderous men. They want to destroy all that David does. The secret of David’s kingdom was the spiritual battle that raged And David knew where the victory was to be found. It was found in the deliverance of the Lord. The proud set traps for David. Think about that. David turned to the Lord who was his deliverer. He says O GOD you are the strength of my deliverance. David did not know a salvation as Christians understand salvation. His salvation was the saving of his life from the hand of his enemies in battle. David therefore prays for the destruction of the wicked. David has confidence that the Lord will support his cause and the rights of the poor. David says surely the law abiding Jews will live to give thanks to the Lord and the upright will live in the presence of the Lord in peace.

  • How does David describe the knowledge of the Lord?
  • What does David ask the Lord to do to him?
  • In the second Psalm list the things that the Psalmist asks the Lord to do for him.   

AM August 31st Galatians 2

August 31st Galatians 2 Jerusalem

1: Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2: And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3: But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. 6: But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 7: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8: (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9: And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10: Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Peter was wrong!

11: But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12: For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13: And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14: But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

C. Doctrinal – Justification by Faith Justification by Faith not Law

15: We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17: But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18: For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Paul continues his testimony regarding his ministry, showing that it was not based on men or even based on the teaching of those who were apostles before him. He says, fourteen years later l went to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus. This visit was because of a revelation that he had received from the Lord. And while he was there he explained to the Apostles the gospel he was preaching among the Gentiles. The Judean Apostles had focused primarily on the Jews with a small work among the Gentiles, but Paul’s ministry was almost completely among the Gentiles while speaking to Jews as opportunity arose. When Paul outlined his theology he did it in private to those of reputation. He did this to check his ministry with theirs to be sure that they were in unanimity. Paul brings out the point that Titus who was a Gentile was not forced to be circumcised, he was a Greek. And that this conference was due to Judaisers who came in, without raising any suspicions, among the Churches. Their aim was to try to compel the Gentile Christians to convert to Judaism. They came to spy out the freedom which they enjoyed in Christ Jesus and to try and bring them into the bondage of the Mosaic law. Paul says, We did not give in to them for a second, so that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you. Paul is saying in effect we dare not concede any of their heresy, because if we did it would destroy the Gospel. Those who seemed to be prominent among them (Whoever they are means nothing to me – God gives no respect to status men have among themselves) Those who seemed to be important when we talked seemed to be nothing special to me. On the contrary when they saw that the Gospel to the Gentiles was my God given ministry (just as the Gospel to the Jews was committed to Peter. The same God who effectively ministered through Peter to the Jews, ministered powerfully through me to the Gentiles.) And when James, Peter and John, who were rock solid apostles, When they saw that the gracious ministry of God was also given to me. They gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship that we should go and preach to the Gentiles of the empire while they continue with the Jews of Judea. They did ask for a special request says Paul, that we remember the poor in our ministry, which we had already remembered to do. After this, when Peter came to Antioch I stood up to him, face to face, because he was at fault. There were certain men that came from James and they ate with Gentiles. (which was no problem) However when the Judaisers came Peter, withdrew from the Gentiles because he was afraid of the Jews. Others believers were carried away with this hypocrisy including Barnabas. Paul when he saw what they were doing was not righteous according to the truth of the Gospel he rebuked them sharply. He said to Peter publically, ‘If you who are a Jew live like a Gentile then why do you compel the Gentiles to live as Jews?’ Paul continues, We who are Jews in the flesh and not Gentiles know that a man is not declared righteous before God by keeping the Mosaic law, but by Faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be declared righteous and not by the keeping of the Law, because by the keeping of the Mosaic Law no human being will be declared righteous. Now if while we say that we are forgiven we are still found to be sinners, Is Christ in the process of making us sinners? God forbid the thought. If l continue to build the things which l destroyed then l have become a sinner. In other words if l teach law keeping to those who are saved then l am a sinner. My law-keeping only separated me – in death from the Lord. So the law killed me that l might live a new life unto God. I am crucified with Christ. (When Christ died l died in him) nevertheless l live. Yet it is not me living my life by Christ who lives in me. And the human life l now live l live by trusting in the Son of God – who loved me and gave himself for me. I will not abuse the grace of God (by going back to Law-keeping) because if a man were able to be made right with God by law-keeping, then Christ what did Christ die for? This passage is the end, for all believers who teach law-keeping for the Christian. It is completely out of place in the believers life. The believer is In Christ. He is dead in Christ – crucified with Christ and now alive in a totally new resurrection life. The Mosaic law could not save him and now that he is saved he will not return to the Mosaic law.

  • Why did Paul 14 years afterward go to Jerusalem?
  • What did the Apostles agree with Paul about in the Jerusalem Confrerance?
  • What happened in the clash with Peter?
  • How does Paul contrast obedience to the Law and faith on Christ's work? 


PM August 30th Psalm 137

August 30th

Psalm 137

The sadness of the exiles
1: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2: We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3: For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4: How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? 5: If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 6: If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. 7: Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. 8: O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. 9: Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Psalm 138

A Psalm of David

A Prayer of thanksgiving
1: I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. 2: I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. 3: In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. 4: All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. 5: Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD. 6: Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. 7: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. 8: The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Today we are reading Psalms 137 & 138. Psalm 137 is a Psalm which describes the sadness and weeping of being captive in Babylon. There is no name attached to this psalm but is probably was composed by Hezekiah. This psalm probably commemorates the captivity of the people of Judah who were taken away during the siege of Jerusalem but the psalmist is now back in Jerusalem and remembers those sad days. (There is no need to make this Psalm refer to the post-exilic times.) The captives of Judah are those taken away by Shalmaneser and Sargon who took 27,280 from Samaria. 1Chron 5v6. The Psalmist says, we remember when we sat by the river of Babylon and wept our hearts out whenever we remembered Zion. He looks back saying we hanged our harps on the willows in the middle of the river because our captors required us to sing and to be jolly. So we hung our harps high up from the floods, but so that we would not be required to play, when they asked us to entertain then with songs of Zion. We replied, how can we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land? Then the psalmist says, if I forget you Jerusalem then let my right hand forget how to play the harp and if I do not remember Jerusalem then let my tongue refuse to sing. Jerusalem is my greatest joy now. Remember those of Edom who wanted to raise Jerusalem to the ground. Then he speaks to the mothers of Babylon saying you will be destroyed one day and happy will be the man who rewards you for your atrocities. He will happily destroy your little children. This horrendous language was uttered under law and has no relation to Christianity. Psalm 138 is a hymn of David selected by Hezekiah to follow the previous Psalm.
We see the relation of these Psalms in this diagram
A. Psalm 120 – 134 Deliverance from Sennacherib (15 Psalms of the Degrees)
   B. Psalm 135 – 136 Praise two Psalms linked by a similar structure
A. Psalm 137 Deliverance of the captives of Sennacherib
   B. Psalm 138 Praise
A. Psalm 139 Deliverance from an evil heart
   B. Psalm 140 Praise and Prayer

So the Psalmist David has three thoughts addressed to the Lord in praise which are divided by two thoughts regarding the Lord.

A. To Jehovah – Praise v1-4
   B. Of Jehovah v5-6
A. To Jehovah v7
   B. Of Jehovah v8
A. To Jehovah v8

David says I will bring praise to the LORD with my whole heart. Even in the presence the Lords judges I will sing praise to you, O Lord. I will prostrate myself towards the holy temple and give praise to the name of the Lord because of his loving kindness and faithfulness. Because you have made you promises greater than your name. In the day that I cried to you, you answered me giving me strength in my soul. I will speak to all the kings of the earth making them praise you. They will join me to sing in obedience to the LORD because great is the glory of the LORD. David says, though the LORD is very high, yet he has respect to the very lowly. But the proud he removes far away from his presence. David says that though I walk right through the middle of trouble yet you will revive me and you will stretch out your hand against the anger of my enemies. And by your right hand you will deliver me. The Lord will bring to fruition all his promises to me. And the mercy of the Lord will endure forever toward me. He will not forsake the things that he has done.

  • How would you describe the sadness of the first psalm?
  • Why did they hang their harps?
  • How does the psalmist in the second Psalm look forward to better days?

AM August 30th Galatians 1

August 30th B. Personal – Paul, Apostle of Christ

Paul’s Testimony

11: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12: For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13: For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15: But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16: To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18: Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19: But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 20: Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21: Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22: And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 23: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24: And they glorified God in me.

Paul testifies that the Gospel he preaches is not from man. In other words it is not a man made theology nor is it from him – Paul. Some people speak of ‘Pauline theology’ yet Paul says there is no such thing. He continues saying that he neither received it from any man nor was he taught it. The Gospel he preached was given to him by direct revelation from God. Paul is using the word ‘Gospel’ to mean not only how a man is saved but the whole theology of the NT. So Paul sets out the whole history of his conversion and revelations to prove his point. First he starts off reminding the believers that he was steeped in Judaism from his childhood and that he persecuted the church far beyond what was reasonable. At this time he says he rose above many of his fellow Jews through the zealous observance of the Jewish traditions. However it was Gods pleasure, who brought him to birth, to call him by his Grace and to reveal his Son in him, so that he might preach him among the heathen. When he was saved he did not confer with any man, nor did he go to Jerusalem to those who were apostles already, but he went off into Arabia (the site of Mt Sinai) and after a long time returned to Damascus. Only after three years did Paul go to Jerusalem to see Peter and he stayed with him for two weeks. Pauls says he saw none of the other Apostles except James the Lords brother. Then Paul emphasises his point saying, I am telling the truth – l am not lying. This record of Paul confirms the truth that Paul was not a disciple of the Jerusalem Church or of those who were Apostles before him. After this Paul went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. (In the far north of Israel). Paul says his face was unknown to the churches of Judea but they had only heard that he that had destroyed the churches now preached the faith and they praised God for his conversion.

  • Where did Paul get his gospel from?
  • How does he describe his preconversion life and conversion?
  • Why didnt Paul go to judea to learn the gospel from the Apostles?


PM August 29th Psalm 135

August 29th

Psalm 135

The One True Lord
1: Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD. 2: Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, 3: Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. 4: For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. 5: For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6: Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. 7: He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. 8: Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast. 9: Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants. 10: Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; 11: Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan: 12: And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people. 13: Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations. 14: For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants. 15: The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. 16: They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; 17: They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. 18: They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. 19: Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron: 20: Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD. 21: Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 136

The Mercy is for ever
1: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2: O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3: O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. 4: To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. 5: To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. 6: To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. 7: To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: 8: The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: 9: The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever. 10: To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever: 11: And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever: 12: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. 13: To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever: 14: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever: 15: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. 16: To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever. 17: To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: 18: And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: 19: Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever: 20: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever: 21: And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever: 22: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever. 23: Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever: 24: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. 25: Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. 26: O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Today we are reading Psalms 135 & 136. Both of these Psalms are hymns of Praise. In fact they can be compared as follows…
Psa 135
A. Praise to the Lord v1-5
 B. God created wonders v6-7
  C. Deliverance from Egypt v8-9
   D. Deliverance on the journey v10-11
    E. The gift of the land v12-13
     F. Goodness to the people v14
      G. False gods v15-18
       H. Praise v19-21

Psa 136
A. Praise to the Lord v1-3
 B. God created wonders v4-9
  C. Deliverance from Egypt v10-15
   D. Deliverance on the journey v16-20
    E. The gift of the land v21-22
     F. Goodness to the people v23-24
      G. False gods v25
       H. Praise v26

The Psalm begins with Praise the LORD – Jehovah and then calls on all servants to Praise the name of the Lord. The servants are those Levites who attend on the service of the Temple. They are to praise the Lord for his goodness and sing hymns to his name because his name is pleasant. Then the Psalmist speaks of the LORD’s choice of Israel, who are his specific treasure. Then he contrasts the greatness of the LORD with all the false gods. He speaks of his sovereign will. He does whatever he pleases in heaven, earth and in the seas. Then he gives a few examples – He describes the water cycle from evaporation, lightening, precipitation and wind. Then he speaks of Gods intervention in history – He killed the firstborn of Egypt – men and beast. He gave the 10 signs to Egypt. He destroyed the nations and kings of Canaan for the children of Israel, including, Sihon, Og, And He gave all their territory to Israel. The name of the Lord will be remembered for ever. The Lord will judge his people and he will turn again to be their Saviour. Then he mocks the idols who have eyes but are blind etc. he says that those who make them are like them. This gives us a clue to Idolatry. Idolatry is the expression of men’s imagination and if men are bad then the idols are bad too. But the LORD is blessed and the children of Israel are blessed, And the children of Aaron and the house of Levi. The LORD is blessed in Zion. Praise the Lord. Psalm 136 is also a Hallelujah Psalm beginning with the three times repeated phrase ‘Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his mercy endures forever’. This phrase repeats right through the Psalm ‘his mercy endureth forever’. What the Psalmist is saying is that God will never get to a point in which he will never find mercy in his heart toward Israel. Even if Israel strays from the Lord and he punishes them ever so severely, yet in judgment there will always be mercy. So this Psalm is a history of the Lords dealings with his people under law and in all their struggles and trials they always find the mercy of the Lord.

  • What seems to be the chief characteristic of the those who will serve Christ in his kingdom?
  • What mighty works of God does he describe?
  • What is the main theme of the second Psalm and how does the Psalmist reiterate it?

AM August 29th Galatians 1

August 29th Galatians 1

In Christ we are free from the law 

A. Introduction Greetings & blessings

1: Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2: And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4: Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Another Gospel?

6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10: For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Paul begins his letter to the churches of Galatia with an introduction of himself. First of all we notice that in this letter he is keen to establish his apostolic authority. Secondly he points out right at the beginning that he has not been appointed by men or by any man except by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead. Paul is going to address the heresy of the Judaisers and so therefore his emphasis is on the resurrection (which the Jews consistently denied). Then we see that this letter is addressed not to one church but to the Churches of Galatia. This area of Turkey had been populated by people that had come from France. They were sensual, legalistic and prone to complete changes of mind. Pauls greeting is extended to say something about Christ’s ministry of deliverance from this present evil world. Then Paul begins straightaway by saying I am amazed that you have moved away from Christ who called you into the Grace of God into another ‘gospel’. Which actually is not good news at all, but there are some people who have confused you and who wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ. This letter addresses the question of legalistic obedience to the Mosaic Law. Paul calls this a perversion of the Gospel of the grace of God. Even if we, or even if an angel from heaven came to you and preached a different Gospel from what we preached unto you, We say in the name of the Lord – Let him be accursed. I want to say that again says Paul, to make sure you remember it, If any man preach any other Gospel than we preached to you then let him be accursed. Does it sound like l am trying to please Men or God? Am l seeking to please the brethren? Let me say says Paul if l were trying to please men then l would not be the servant of Christ. He is my master – and l seek to please him.

  • Where did Paul get his Ministry from?
  • What had happened at Galatia?
  • What does Paul say about those who preach another gospel? 

PM August 28th Psalm 132

August 28th

Psalm 132

A song of degrees

The Lord’s Temple
1: LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions: 2: How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; 3: Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; 4: I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, 5: Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. 6: Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood. 7: We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. 8: Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. 9: Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. 10: For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. 11: The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. 12: If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. 13: For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. 14: This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 15: I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 16: I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. 17: There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. 18: His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

Psalm 133

A song of degrees of David

1: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2: It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3: As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Psalm 134

A song of degrees

Those who serve at night
1: Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. 2: Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. 3: The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.
Today we are reading the last three Psalms No 132, 133 & 134. Psalm 132 describes Hezekiah’s zeal for the house of the Jehovah. Hezekiah when he came to his reign was the first to open the doors of the house of the Lord.
2Chron 29v3: He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.

Isa 37v14: And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

2Kings 20v8: And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?
Isa 38v20: The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD. 21: For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover. 22: Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?

In this Psalm Hezekiah says, Oh LORD remember David and all his troubles. David vowed to the Lord that he would not go into the tabernacle or even go to his bed, nor sleep until he found a place for the LORD - a place for the ark. David heard of the ark in Bethlehem when he was in the wood with his men. He said, we will go into the tabernacles and we will worship at his throne. He calls for the Lord to bring the ark into the place where it should rest. Let the priests be ready and may the people sing to the Lord. Hezekiah says, remember David and do not turn away you face from me your anointed king. You promised to David that one of his children would sit on his throne. And if his children were teachable then his royal house would continue forever. You promised that this city would be your place of rest. And that you would abundantly provide - giving bread to the poor and clothes for the priests and joy for the saints. There David’s sons would grow and flourish. The Lord would ordain a means of light for the king. And his enemies would be covered in shame but his crown would blossom. In Psalm 133 we have the childlessness of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was sick and he had no heir. The promise of 2Sam 7v12 seemed to be about to fail. He trusted in God not only to deliver him from his enemies but also to keep his promise that there would always be a man of David’s line to sit on the throne of Israel. The Lord sent Isaiah to Hezekiah with the promise of a son.

2Kings 20v18: And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

Isa 39v7: And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 8: Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
After three years Manasseh was born. So this Psalm of David is placed here by Hezekiah and Hezekiah had insisted that the northern kingdom should also come down to celebrate the Passover so he says, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Hezekiah says it is like the anointing oil of Aaron which came down his beard to the skirts of his garments. Unity is like the dew of Hermon, and like the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, because there the LORD commanded the blessing, eternal life. Unity of brethren is like the joy of the anointing of the Lord and the blessing of God on the mountains of the Lord. But disunity is like the helplessness of the priesthood and drought in Israel. In Psalm 134 we have the last of the fifteen Psalms of the degrees. The Passover was always the symbol of Israel’s spiritual revival. When Israel was away from the Lord the people did not celebrate the Passover but now they are delivered and they want to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt. The time of Passover had already gone but Hezekiah resolved to celebrate it in the second month instead. See Num 9v1-11 2Chron 30v1-3. Hezekiah insisted that it would be for all Israel so the northern tribes came down to celebrate it. 2Chron 30v5,6,11,18, 25,26. Psalm 133 celebrates this great event in Israel’s history. It was a Psalm of David when he also managed to unite all Israel as one man. How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together as one. Again this last Psalm is very short. Hezekiah says, bless the LORD all you servants of the LORD. (the priests) who stand all night in the tabernacle. Lift up your hands and bless the Lord. And the LORD who is creator of heaven and earth will bless you from out of Zion.

  • What did David want to do for the Lord and how does this mark a sea change in the culture of Israel?
  • What is the beauty that the Psalmist describes?
  • Who is blessed in the last Psalm?

AM August 28th 2 Corinthians 13

August 28th 2 Corinthians 13 I will visit you again soon

1: This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2: I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: 3: Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4: For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 5: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 6: But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 7: Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 8: For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9: For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection. 10: Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.

E. Personal Farewell & Blessing

11: Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 12: Greet one another with an holy kiss. 13: All the saints salute you. 14: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Lastly Paul says that when he comes to Corinth again this will be the third time that he will have come to them. He also says that everything he says will be confirmed by two or three witnesses. (In the Law every word had to be conformed by two or better three witnesses. This is why Christ sent the Apostles out in pairs and this is why Paul went out with a partner in the gospel.) He says l have mentioned this before and now l tell you this before l arrive, as if l were already with you. He says, l am writing to those who have sinned and to everyone else that if he comes to Corinth in a Spirit of judgment then he will be unsparing in his apostolic authority. He says because you have sought proof of ministry in the name of Christ, which you think is weak in me, yet is will be powerful toward you. When Christ died he died in weakness but in resurrection life he demonstrates the almighty power of God. And we are weak in Christ, but we shall demonstrate the power of God toward you. So examine yourselves carefully as to whether you are in the faith. Prove your standing before God to yourselves. Don’t you know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you have already turned away from Christ having failed the test of holiness. My prayer to God is that you no nothing that is evil. Not just to be seen by men but seen as honest before God. We do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. We are glad when we are weak and you are strong and we want you to go on to ‘perfection’ i.e. complete salvation in Christ. (This in part is the same message as the Letter to the Hebrews, where the writer addresses those who attend the ministry of the Word but who are not saved yet, which the writer calls ‘perfection’) It is for this reason that l have written this letter to you, because if l were present l might use sharpness in my ministry to you. This would be according to the power of the Lord which he has given me both to strengthen you believers in the faith and not the destruction of the ungodly in judgment. (The Apostles especially when dealing with the Jews used apostolic miracles, (which were Messianic signs to Israel,) of power to heal and to make sick or even to die those who hear the Gospel. This was in accord with the Old Covenant which promised life and health to those who feared God but cursed those who rejected God with sickness and death. Paul didn’t want to come to Corinth to decimate the congregation in the Power of the Lord) Lastly he says, I bid you to fare well. Be complete, Be cheered in the Lord, Be united in heart, Live in peace with one another and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet each other with a kiss of holiness. All the saints here send their respects. May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all – Amen.

  • How will Paul come to the church it Corinth next time?
  • How is Paul trying to balance his Apostiolic discipline with Apostolic blessing?
  • What Are Pauls closing exhortations? 


PM August 27th Psalm 130

August 27th

Psalm 130

A song of degrees

Hoping for deliverance
1: Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. 2: Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 3: If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 4: But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 5: I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 6: My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. 7: Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. 8: And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Psalm 131

A song of degrees of David

1: LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. 2: Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. 3: Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.
Today we are reading the 11th and 12th Psalm of the Degrees, No 130 & 131. In this Psalm Hezekiah is described as shut in the city like a ‘bird in a cage’. Sennacherib had surrounded Jerusalem and held the whole city captive. But the Lord had enabled Hezekiah and thousands with him to escape like birds from a cage. This expression is found on the Cylinder of Sennacherib 607-583BC which can be found in the British Museum. This cylinder of clay describes the eight military expeditions of Sennacherib and it contains these words, quote..I fixed upon him And of Hezekiah (the king of) Jews, who has not submitted to my yoke… …(Hezekiah) himself like a caged bird within Jerusalem his royal city, I shut in etc.
See Psa 124v7 ‘Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare is broken, and we are delivered’. This Psalm of David is taken by Hezekiah to describe his day but originally it described the time when David was shut up into the high fortresses of the mountains.
Hezekiah begins saying out of the depths of my distress I cried to the LORD. He says Lord hear my voice and let your ears listen carefully to the sound of my prayers. He says if the Lord took specific notice of every sin then were would any man stand? But you forgive men so that they will fear you. He says, I will wait on you and in your promises I have hope of deliverance. I long for you more than those who long for the dawn to break. May all Israel hope in the LORD because in the Lord there is mercy and he has plenty of redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. Apart from the immediate deliverance there is a prophetic hint to the salvation of Israel prior to the kingdom. In Psalm 131 we have the city of Zion held captive by Sennacherib, but some have escaped. 200,150 were taken captive when they made a bid to escape but the rest eventually were delivered. This little Psalm of only three verses is a Psalm expressing Hezekiah’s humility. He says, Lord my heart is not proud nor do I have a superior attitude. Nor do I do ‘great things’. I have been quite, like a child that is now weaned of his mother. No more crying for milk. So let all Israel set their hope in the LORD from this time forward and forever.

  • How does the Psalmist hang on for God?
  • What does he hope in?
  • Why does the Psalmist refer to himself as a weaned child?