Devotional Thought for Today – 11/19/2020

Psalms 51 | NKJV Reading - YouTube

AMP and RVR 1960

CONTEXT:  There is little doubt or argument among scholars that this is both a Psalm of David and one of repentance and praise. Some interesting things (at least to me) the title says To the Chief Musician so this was never meant to be a private calling out for repentance and reflection. David intended it for a public worship service.  The Psalm is divided into two parts with v. 1-12 the prayer of repentance and the remaining six verses, v.13-19 praising God for anticipated forgiveness and restoration. 

Of course  the “Model Prayer” in the Bible is the one prayed by Jesus found in Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4.  That does not preclude us however from looking for other patterns or examples of righteous prayers in the bible as examples we should follow. Here in Psalm 51 David provides just such an example. 

This Psalm is often and fitly called THE SINNER’S GUIDE. In some of its versions it often helps the returning sinner. Athanasius recommends to some Christians, to whom he was writing, to repeat it when they awake at night. All evangelical churches are familiar with it. Luther says, “There is no other Psalm which is oftener sung or prayed in the church.” This is the first Psalm in which we have the word Spirit used in application to the Holy GhostWilliam S. Plumer.

This is the most deeply affecting of all the Psalms, and I am sure the one most applicable to me. It seems to have been the effusion of a soul smarting under the sense of a recent and great transgression. My God, whether recent or not, give me to feel the enormity of my manifold offences, and remember not against me the sins of my youth. What a mine of rich matter and expression for prayer! Wash, cleanse me, O Lord, and let my sin and my sinfulness be ever before me. Let me feel it chiefly as sin against thee, that my sin may be of the godly sort. Give me to feel the virulence of my native corruption, purge me from it thoroughly, and put truth into my inward parts, that mine may be a real turning from sin unto the Savior. Create me anew, O God. Withdraw not thy Spirit. Cause me to rejoice in a present salvation. Deliver me, O God, from the blood guiltiness of having offended any of thy little ones; and so open my lips that I may speak of the wondrous things thou hast done for my soul! May I offer up spiritual sacrifices; and oh! let not any delinquencies of mine bring a scandal upon thy church; but do thou so purify and build her up, that even her external services, freed from all taint of corruption or hypocrisy, may be well pleasing in thy sight. Thomas Chalmers.

As many of you know I am not much for “Modern” worship music. I just feel it falls short on context. But Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right and steadfast spirit within me is a prayer worthy of repeating daily by all of us, so today I will make an exception. 

Biblical Contentment, Part II

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Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. (ESV)

Restitúyeme el gozo de tu salvación,
y sostenme con un espíritu de poder[a](LBLA)

Yesterday we looked at what Biblical Contentment was, the facts that most Americans are not content, the biblical reasons for this and the fact that all true Christians should be content. 

One of the other things pointed out yesterday was the fact that not all “Christians” are content. So today I thought we would take a quick look at how as a Christian to renew that contentment in us. 

Let us look at out main text for today: Restore to me the joy of your salvation, do you remember the unbridled enthusiasm you felt as a new young believer? The was a joy a happiness that is really indescribable to the outside world. Our sin burden has been lift away and we for the first time in our lives feel free. 

I have seen this many time in the confines of a prison when a truly (there are lots of fakers and shakers out there) repents and declares Christ as Lord and Savior he is really set free. The walls, barbed wire, guards all mean nothing they are just part of the background noise as it were for he is now living for Christ. He is perfectly biblically content where he is because  Christ is uphold{ing} me {him} with a willing spirit.

That my friends is the key getting back to basics. Sounds simple, well it is, Christianity is simple, One God, One Savior, One Surrender All, One Salvation, it’s humanity that complicates it. 

Let us as always look at some context here. Psalm 51 is (although some modern scholars try to deny it) a Psalm of David. Most bibles have some heading like (ESV)  “To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.”  David had sinned and was very convicted of that sin (the mark of a believer) so he writes this Psalm crying out to God for forgiveness and renewal. A note before I move on To the choirmaster” may seem insignificant but it is not. It tells us this was a public declaration of the Psalm not something David kept just between him and God.

I will skip the first 9 verses where David declares his sinful ways and get to verses 10-11: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right[b] spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  David was not content with what he had so he went after something more than was rightfully his. David understood that the only way to change his sinful ways, to be content again was to renew the right (righteous) spirit in him. He is telling God I need to get back to basics please help me.

Here are the 7 things the Bible teaches us are key basics for everyday Christian life: 

Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 

Study: Psalm 119:11

Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25

Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10

Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29

Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Walking: 1 John 2:6

Starting Monday we will take a closer look at each.