Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Psalm 28:6-9

6 Blessed be the Lord,
for He has heard the sound of my pleading.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to Him with my song.
8 The Lord is the strength of His people;
He is a stronghold of salvation for His anointed.
9 Save Your people, bless your possession,
shepherd them, and carry them forever.

The Original Intent

1) Who is the object of this song of blessing? (verse 6)

Blessed be the Lord”. It’s something often glossed over by regular readers of God’s Word, but it’s impossible to read through a book of the Bible and not see mention of worship to the Lord God.

Only the Lord is worthy of worship, it’s Him we praise. It’s our most fundamental calling and purpose in life. “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) See how each of those commands are anchored in relationship with the God of the Universe?!

Rejoice in Him, Pray to Him, Praise Him always, constantly, and in everything! If it happens, or doesn’t happen, we are made to connect with the Lord God about it. At all times, regarding all things, we are designed to be in humble relationship with the Lord, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” (Psalm 34:1)

The true worshipper of the Lord understands it is the LORD alone who is worthy of our praise. The psalmist uses words and comparisons we wouldn’t in our modern age, but his message transcends the ages as it points to the True Source of all things.

Now I know that the Lord gives victory […] with mighty victories from His right hand. Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand firm.” (Psalm 20:6-8)

Note the result of humble adoration rightly placed on the Lord. “They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand firm.” Mary’s song worshipped the Lord, calling herself His slave. (Luke 1:48) She knew the sweetest secret: all who trust in the Lord are hidden in His shelter. (Psalm 34:22)

The Everyday Application

1) Who is the object of this song of blessing? (verse 6)

It’s not our strength or business prowess, not our quick wit or our ability to manage people or multi-task, it’s the Lord who accomplishes work, sustains us in our frailties, and provides the means and zeal to do anything.

From waking in the morning, to pouring coffee, to hugging your child, driving to work, chatting with a friend, making a decision, sleeping, and everything in between, it’s all because of the Lord God. (Colossians 1:16-17)

When I was an early teenager, my friends and I were being driven around by a couple of moms since we were too young to drive. One of the moms pulled into a parking spot and shouted exuberantly, “Praise You, Jesus, for a close parking spot!” My mouth hung open and I was quite uncomfortable. Who was this lady?! Praising Jesus for parking spots?! What did He care about a parking spot? Wasn’t it just coincidence? Surely, it wasn’t even worth mentioning to anyone, let alone GOD!

My friends’ mom was clearly passionate about her praise, and it didn’t matter who was present, her regular habit was to praise the Lord in all things. She probably never thought about that moment again, and likely, she couldn’t recall that moment today if she tried because it was just another moment in the millions where she had practiced worshipping the Lord for all things. For me, however, her example of everyday praise has shaped my life and challenged me to a deeper walk with the Lord from that moment forward.

What kind of worshipper will you be? Does your example birth praise to the Lord in others? Is your praise focused solely on the Lord who sustains and supplies everything?!

The Original Intent

2) What does this song celebrate? (verses 7-8)

One of my favorite things to notice in Scripture is small words because they point to monumental truths. In verse 7, the small word is also the repeated word, which carries even more significance. In Scripture, repeated words are like red flags calling out, “Don’t miss this truth! It’s crucial!”.

Go read this single verse to find the small, repeated word! #HisWordsBeforeOurs “My” is used FIVE times in just ONE verse! If you add verse 6, the count goes up to SIX! Think about when you’ve used “my” repeatedly. A single use would convey clarity on possession, “That’s my red cup”, but to repeatedly emphasize my possession deepens the significance. Imagine speaking to a child and emphasizing the red cup as yours. It would become clear that the cup carried significant value to you. If you talked about your red cup enough, one could infer that your identity was wrapped up in your cup!

This is precisely the idea conveyed by David as he sang. The value of the Lord’s relationship was invaluable to David. The Lord was David’s God. This is what the Lord desires for each of us! He longingly pursues each person on the planet that we might know Him and call Him our own.

The depth of this shared relationship as the crown jewel of God Almighty’s desire is astounding! He wants us so we can know and enjoy Him! Such beauty!

They will be My people, and I will be their God.” (Jeremiah 32:38)

“You will be My own possession […]”. (Exodus 19:5)

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9)

The Everyday Application

2) What does this song celebrate? (verses 7-8)

When we slow to deeply read God’s Word, His Spirit makes the Word come alive; there is nothing like engaging with the living Word! (John 1:14) The psalmist, David, declares precious truths he has personally experienced (note the word “my”) in his relationship with God.

Words carry meaning; they reveal what stirs around in our hearts. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (Matthew 12:34) In speaking of the mouth’s connection with the heart, Jesus taught “A good person produces good things from his storeroom (his heart)”. (Matthew 12:35) What we “feed” our hearts will be the kinds of things we pull from our “storeroom” when our mouths open.

David focused his heart on the “feast” of the Lord. He chose worship. He chose to engage in relationship with God. He watched for God to make Himself known, and when He did, David took note and rejoiced through song. He celebrated God’s strength, recognizing his rescue (verse 1) didn’t come from himself. David celebrated God as shield, as he surveyed his situation and understood he was being protected by the Lord.

We’ve all experienced times when situations could have been “much worse”; this is God as our shield. David’s witness to the Lord’s work, and his right understanding that the Source of protection came from God not himself, others, or “chance”, gave him great cause to sing! His heart had found a resting place, a safe haven, in the Lord. As is always true in our deepening walk with the Lord, what we see evidenced in our own lives makes us more alert to what God is doing in the broader scope of His people. He is faithful to be the same God at all times. As David celebrated God’s strength and sheltering in his own life, he could look outward to God’s people and recognize the same God at work! (verse 8)

The Original Intent

3) If the song already celebrates what the Lord has done, why close it by asking for more? (verse 9)

If we limit our mindset to human parenting, this closing refrain from David can seem selfish, greedy, or even un-grateful. Yet, he closes with four major requests from the Lord, “Save Your people, bless Your possession, shepherd them, and carry them forever.” (verse 9)

David had come to experientially know God a little deeper, and with every step of knowing the Lord God, as Christ-followers across the ages can attest, we find His heart to be sweeter, kinder, and more tender than before.

Far from stingy, the Lord is deeply generous. His love is of extravagant quality and like a perfect Father, He gives good gifts. Jesus said of the Father’s generosity, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:11)

The Lord loves to be asked within the context of a relationship with Him, for it’s a relationship with our hearts that He is after! David’s song reflected this understanding as he asked the Lord for good gifts that mirrored God’s desire for His people. David wasn’t asking for more chariots, extra gold and silver, or an easy life, he asked God to be generous with the things that stirred God’s heart!

God wants to save His people, providing them shelter and security. He wants to bless them as His own possession. He wants to shepherd them and care tenderly for them in whatever ails them. He wants to carry them safely home to be with Him forever.

When we ask according to His heart, which we will know the more time we spend with Him, we can be absolutely assured of a generous yes! “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

The Everyday Application

3) If the song already celebrates what the Lord has done, why close it by asking for more? (verse 9)   

Perhaps you’ve experienced this strange, parent phenomenon. I have noticed myself, busy with real life things, saying to myself inside, “If they (my kids) ask to go for a walk right now, I will say yes.” Even though I was busy, I had heard them talking about a walk with the dog, and my mama heart knew that, if they asked, I would say yes because I knew the delight it would bring them. Our relationship was worth it. At the same time, I also knew I was busy enough and if my children occupied themselves with other things, I wasn’t going to chase after them begging for a walk with the dog.

This is similar with the Lord. He pursues a relationship with us because He longs to be in relationship with us, to call us His people and for us to call Him our God. But once we are His, we must cultivate the relationship.

We are instructed to “draw near to God” and then the gift is given “and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) Jesus first instructs those who are already His, “Remain in Me” before following with the reward of choosing to stay in close, connective relationship with Him, “and I will remain in you.” (John 15:4)

In my home life example, I didn’t chase down my kids and invite them for a walk, but based on their relationship with me, they experientially knew that if they came to ask me, even though I was busy, I would probably say yes.

With the Lord, He is never too busy for us, but He does reserve gifts of intimate friendship and joy for the children who will come to Him with confident expectation and desire to meet with Him, knowing He is ready to give us Himself!

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