…Lingering on the Sunday Message… 11/8/09

November 9, 2009

General

Notes taken from the Sunday message at Mountain Bridge Bible Fellowship as delivered by Pastor Kevin Boling.

Gimel

17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellers

For those new to the blog, this series was initiated to provide a midweek point of reflection for those of us able to receive the previous Sunday message.  For those who weren’t able to sit with us, perhaps this will provide a little guidance and insight into this wonderful Psalm.  Honestly though, the subliminal, underarching motivational purpose for this series is probably in part an effort to bring back the long lost art of quiet reflection in the evening in America.  Without digressing, adding disturbing commentary, or basically just getting teary eyed consider the value of a cup of hot tea, a Bible and a comfortable chair and nothing else; just quiet.  Your soul will be well pleased.  [Of course I didn’t mention the internet connection with access to the message notes on this blog.  It just didn’t fit the rocking chair, fireside, dog-snoring picture I was trying to describe.  Of course, the blog notes are optional.]

To the Psalm… 

I think it’s worth noting this stanza’s structure as we start.  Herein we see that every verse is a small prayer to our Lord.  And within each prayer a reference is made to some form of God’s Word.  Christian, your walk in this life depends entirely on the Grace of God.  And in order to experience His grace and power we have to exercise the means he prescribes.  The two primary means, mentioned in this Psalm, are bible study and Prayer.  Simply put, one is God talking to us, and the other is us talking with God.

For the longest time I kept these two elements separate in their practice.  Now I realize that really puts me in a precarious position.  Bible study without prayer leads to dead orthodoxy.  Conversely, prayer without bible study can lead to mystical, emotional experiences.  These two keys are paired together and mixed into the body of the entire Psalm; so we see repeatedly that the exercise of praying while you study…it’s God working practically in our life. 

We note the Psalmist’s humility within the verses of Gimel.  He realizes that what God commands he has not the strength to accomplish.  The word servant in verse 17 would be better rendered slave.  He is grateful to be a slave and happy to serve God; he knows no right or priviledge in and of himself.  “Deal bountifully, allow me to do what you command.”  If you think about it, it is a priviledge for us to know God’s truth.  There is nothing that says the Holy God of the universe must share of Himself with us; it is grace. 

There are some other wonderful pictures in the remaining verses, but I’m going to leave off at this point.  If anyone has any thoughts please join in with a comment.  There is much fruit here for discussion, but there is also much more fruit here to meditate upon and pray over.  I would also encourage you to read the letter written by Samuel Rutherford displayed in the previous post and see the emphasis he places on prayer and meditation.  To exhort a person to pray and study is to walk in lockstep with God’s desires.

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