APRIL 1 – THE PRESENCE OF GOD

The righteous shall give thanks…the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Psalm 140:13

 

The spiritual giants of old were those who at some time became acutely conscious of the presence of God. They maintained that consciousness for the rest of their lives.

How otherwise can the saints and prophets be explained? How otherwise can we account for the amazing power for good they have exercised over countless generations?

Is it not that indeed they had become friends of God? Is it not that they walked in conscious communion with the real Presence and addressed their prayers to God with the artless conviction that they were truly addressing Someone actually there?

Let me say it again, for certainly it is no secret: We do God more honor in believing what He has said about Himself and coming boldly to His throne of grace than by hiding in a self-conscious humility!

Those unlikely men chosen by our Lord as His closest disciples might well have hesitated to claim friendship with Christ. But Jesus said to them, “You are my friends!”

 

Lord, my prayer this morning is that I will become “acutely conscious of the presence of God.”[1]


13 At the time of the intervention and vindication, “the righteous” (plural of ṣaddîq; see 1:6) will change their prayers for deliverance (cf. vv. 1, 4) to songs of triumph. The “upright” (yāšār) in heart (see 32:11) will enjoy the presence of the Lord (cf. 23:6; 27:4). How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord![2]


140:12, 13 The Psalm closes with quiet confidence in the righteous Lord. Whatever happens, David knows that right will prevail—that the Lord is on the side of the afflicted and the poor. And the righteous shall always have reason to thank the Lord for His help. The upright shall dwell in His presence forever, and that makes all the sufferings of this life seem like pin-pricks.[3]

140:12, 13 David expresses unshakeable confidence in the character of God and the outcome for the righteous (cf. Pss 10:17, 18; 74:21; 82:3, 4).[4]

140:12–13 I Am Confident that the Lord Will Protect Me. The psalm closes, as many laments do, by expressing confidence in the Lord (he will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice; cf. note on vv. 9–11) and by guiding the faithful in what they can expect (give thanks to your name and dwell in your presence).[5]

140:12–13 The psalmist casts his confidence in terms of Yahweh’s general help for the afflicted, who praise Yahweh when He aids them. While the psalmist certainly presents himself as afflicted in Psa 140, his portrayal of a wider view of Yahweh’s justice is more than humble self-effacement. The closing statement (v. 13) portrays the just society that the psalmist desires for all Israel in contrast to the evil system that would result if the wicked gained power (see vv. 8, 11).[6]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 969). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 773). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 140:12). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1118). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 140:12–13). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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