Whew! We made it through Job and now we get a reward: the book of Psalms, one of the favorite books in the Bible.
Most of the psalms were written by David, and most of them were actually sung. This great king developed his gift as a singer and songwriter when he was out in the field, tending sheep as a young boy. That’s also when he developed his attitude of praise. As he looked around at the heavens, the mountains, and the beauty around him, David recognized his Creator as a great and mighty God.
That attitude of praise and worship stayed with him throughout his life. Thus the prolific book of Psalms which has strengthened and encouraged millions since .
David was also a prophet. Even though he didn’t sit in the office of a prophet, many of his psalms are clearly prophetic of the eventual Savior and God’s overall purposes. So often we can gain insight into how our God is operating in this present day by reading some of David’s psalms. Clearly God’s anointing operated in this man’s life as he composed his songs and poems.
We will see several themes laid out throughout the book. One is the significance of God’s Word and a life lived accordingly. Another is the faithfulness of God to those who are faithful to Him. A third is how important it is to have a heart that is circumcised unto God. In many ways, David was a foreseer of our present day covenant with our God.
Many of these concepts are introduced in the first three psalms. David starts with the importance of God’s Word and the life lived accordingly. He even understands the idea of meditating in the Word and allowing it to permeate one’s existence. That life will be flourishing even when those around it are not. (Even in periods of drought).
David goes on into the 2nd psalm with an amazing prophetic statement concerning our Savior. In fact, this scripture is quoted by Paul in Acts 13:33 as he is introducing Jesus to the Jews at Antioch. This Word is fulfilled in the Messiah.
The third psalm shows David’s remarkable humility throughout his life. This psalm is written when he is fleeing from his own son, who is trying to take over the kingdom. When David was fleeing from Saul for eight years, a king who was trying to find him and kill him, David trusted the Lord for his defense. We see the same when Absalom is trying to overthrow his father. David leaves the city and gives up his throne until the time when the Lord would make a way to bring him back.
Such humility! Such a trusting attitude! Oh we would do well to follow in these footsteps.
“These men who have upset the world have come here also.”(V. 6) As Paul and Silas preach Jesus to the Jews at Thessalonica, that’s the response from the leaders. In fact, they bring out the man, Jason, who has allowed them to stay with him, and accuse him before the city authorities. Thus, Paul and Silas have to leave by night and go to Berea.
The Bereans are “more noble-minded than those at Thessalonica,” (V. 11), in that they search the scriptures to see if these things be so. The Bereans are a good example for us today. Our understanding of God and His Word are progressive. The longer we live and walk with Him, if we continue to study and allow Him to teach us, we will grow in our understanding.
Being like the Bereans is a noble attribute, indeed. If we hear a teacher of the Word bring out some light we have never seen before, we need to search the Word to see if these things be so. Otherwise, we crystalize our understanding and never grow in our knowledge of God’s plan and purpose.
I want to be learning more from God all the days of my life. That means that sometimes what I think I know will be challenged. At those times, it is important to be teachable and willing to listen, looking to the Word for the final decision.
I will give an example of what I’m suggesting. About 200 years ago a “cessation” theology came onto the scene. This doctrine says that many of the gifts of the Spirit which came with the introduction of Christianity have ceased. Over the years, many Christians have subscribed to that doctrine, and have become crystalized in their thinking.
Today there are many Christians operating in these gifts, which others have said are no longer in existence. When confronted with the possibility that their doctrine may be wrong, these “cessationists” hold firm to their beliefs without looking to the Word. There is no Word which says the gifts are no longer here.
To be like a Berean would be to go to the Word and decide. Let the Lord teach you through His Word. You may be taking a giant leap forward in the new information which is given.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us through His Word, we will never go wrong.
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