Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part IV

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Final Plea and Praise


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. The second part of the series was entitled petitioning for His assistance, and yesterday we explored Praying to God for othersToday we close the series by looking at the final 4 verses with the theme of a Final Plea and Praise. 


Breakdown

v.7Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

We have all had moments when life seems hopeless, like we have one foot near the grave. When nothing seems to be cohesive, nothing seems to be able to go in our favor, life is like a bunch of splitters of wood  cast about haphazardly. 

v.8 But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. 

What to do when life seems so desperate? David’s response, Praise and  focus on God,  mine eyes are unto thee,  have faith in God,  in thee is my trust, focus on the eternal, leave not my soul destitute.  This last one to me is most significant. In times of trouble we have a tendency to focus on the present storm, when our eternal destiny is really much more important. 

Mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord. If you would keep your mind fixed in prayer, keep your eye fixed. Much vanity comes in at the eye. When the eyes wander in prayer, the heart wanders. To think to keep the heart fixed in prayer, and yet let the eyes gaze abroad, is as if one should think to keep his house sate, yet let the windows be open.—Thomas Watson.

v.9 & 10Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.  Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape. David makes a final plea for safety from his persecutors. 

Snares, Gins, Nets. The usual method of capturing or killing the lion in Palestine was by pitfalls or nets, to both of which there are many references in the Scriptures. The mode of hunting the lion with nets was identical with that which is practised in India at the present time. The precise locality of the lion’s dwelling place having been discovered, a circular wall of net is arranged round it, or if only a few nets can be obtained, they are set in a curved form, the concave side being towards the lion. They then send dogs into the thicket, hurl stones and sticks at the den, shoot arrows into it, fling burning torches at it, and so irritate and alarm the animal that it rushes against the net, which is so made that it falls down and envelops the animal in its folds. If the nets be few, the drivers go to the opposite side of the den, and induce the lion to escape in the direction where he sees no foes, but where he is sure to run against the treacherous net. Other large and dangerous animals were also captured by the same means. Another and more common, because an easier and a cheaper method, was, by digging a deep pit, covering the mouth with a slight covering of sticks and earth, and driving the animal upon the treacherous covering. It is an easier method than the net, because after the pit is once dug, the only trouble lies in throwing the covering over its mouth. But it is not so well adapted for taking beasts alive, as they are likely to be damaged, either by the fall into the pit, or by the means used in getting them out again. Animals, therefore, that are caught in pits are generally, though not always, killed before they are taken out. The net, however, envelops the animal so perfectly, and renders it so helpless, that it can be easily bound and taken away. The hunting net is very expensive, and requires a large staff of men to work it, so that none but a rich man could use the net in hunting. Besides the net, several other modes of bird catching were used by the ancient Jews, just as is the case at the present day. Boys, for example, who catch birds for their own consumption, and not for the market, can do so by means of various traps, most of which are made on the principle of the noose, or snare. Sometimes a great number of hair nooses are set in places to which the birds are decoyed, so that in hopping about, many of them are sure to be entangled in the snares. Sometimes the noose is ingeniously suspended in a narrow passage which the birds are likely to traverse, and sometimes a simple fall trap is employed.—J. G. Wood.


APPLICATION

If you are a Truly Converted Christian and actively engaged in the biblical mandate to share the Good News you will experience difficulties in this life for like Christ the world will HATE us.    

We have choices, give up, fight on our own or like David, fight with Fragrant Prayer to the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Conqueror of Death.

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

All my bones shall say, “O LORD, who is like you!” Psalm 35:10(ESV) For you keep the bones, and not one of them is broken. Psalm 34:20(ESV)

I lay down and sleep, for you, LORD, make me to dwell in safety. Psalm 3:5(ESV)

You have commanded your angels concerning me, to guard me in all my ways; to bear me up in their hands, lest I strike my foot against a stone. Psalm 91:11-12(ESV) And they are all ministering spirits, sent out to serve for the good of those who are to inherit salvation. Hebrews 1:14(ESV)

When perhaps there has been but a step between me and death, 1 Samuel 20:3(ESV) and when I have felt that I have received the sentence of death, 2 Corinthians 1:9(ESV) and have been ready to say, “In the middle of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years”; Isaiah 38:10(ESV) yet in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction and cast all my sins behind your back. Isaiah 38:17(ESV)

When the snares of death have encompassed me and the pangs of Sheol have laid hold on me, I have called on the name of the LORD and have found that gracious is the LORD, and righteous, yes, my God is merciful; I have been brought low, and he has saved me, Psalm 116:3-6(ESV) and has delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling. I will therefore walk before the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 116:8-9(ESV)

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/01/2020

Praise God now and experience His power! Amen.

PSALM 22 

PRAISING GOD

Many modern translations of the bible have headings and my Amplified Bible haA Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise for Psalm 22, the CSB has From Suffering to Praise and the NKJV The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah. All are appropriate titles, but I think the NKJV captures the entirety of the Psalm. 

 This Psalm clearly written by David begins with maybe the most tormented cry ever My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?  Luke 16:19-31 gives us but a small glimmer of what it must be like to be separated from God, to have Him truly forsake us.  Imagine the despair David must have felt v.1-2 as he feels God has abandoned him.  I will not get into the clear Messianic overtones of this Psalm today. 

Yet even in his despair, David makes a remarkable declaration, v.3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. Another way of saying this might be ‘You are The Holy Holy, the One who can be found where Israel raises it’s voices in praise.’ 

In the midst of the worst of troubles Davis recognizes God is still worthy of all the Glory and Praise that can be heaped upon Him.  He makes this abundantly clear in v.22; I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.

The question today is what are you doing? Are you on that mountain praising God great, hopefully you are just as prepared and willing to praise Him in the valley’s of life too. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/29/2020

Margin notes: Psalm 11 | ResponsiveReiding

PSALM 11

FINDING HOPE IN HOPELESS TIMES


According to Theodoret, and other early church Fathers this Psalm was written when David was being persecuted by Saul, and was was told to get out, escape for his own safety. 

We have all been in situations when things seem desperate maybe even hopeless but how we react is what really matters. Do we go to God with our problems, seek His wise counsel find our refuge and Hope in His promises our drown our sorrows in worldly affairs (alcohol, drugs, etc.) of hopelessness. 

David’s response is worth copying: 

v.1 Face with persecution David responds that The Lord is his refuge, how can you (his counselors) even suggest he run anywhere but to the Lord. 

v.2 To emphasize the gravity of the situation David says, bows are locked and cocked against him and aimed at his heart.

v.3 But if I (David) forget the basic tenets of my faith (foundations) in times of trouble how much of a pretender am I?

v.4 Contrasting the temple and heaven David appears to show strength gained from the knowledge God is watching and testing all men. 

v.5-7  David makes his closing argument for putting his trust in God here. First the righteous will be tested and approved of God so David’s hope is secure. Second the wicked, David’s enemies fate is not so pleasant but just as assured and David can take solace in that. Finally he notes how much God loves those that are upright (do virtue, moral, and just deeds) they are approved workers of God. 

We always have a choice when facing difficult situations. We can trust God and allow our faith in him to quell and comfort our feelings of hopelessness. We can pray and ask Him for guidance and courage. Or we can run and try and do it on our own, hiding panic-stricken that life is over taking us. The choice is ours to make. 

Lord help me to always trust in you when difficulties arise. Let me find shelter and comfort in your promises and strength and wisdom in your Spirit. Amen.