By James Boice on Jul 02, 2018 12:00 am
Psalm 65 is an extraordinary, exquisite poem about nature. But it is also predominantly about the God of nature, who is gracious to man, powerful in his acts and the source of all nature’s bounty—which is what we would expect of a song written by David, the great poet of Israel.
By James Boice on Jun 29, 2018 12:00 am
For five verses the wicked have been hatching their nefarious plots against King David. They have done it secretly, cunningly and with mutual bucking one another up and with encouragement. They have reached the point of congratulating themselves on their efforts, saying, “We have devised a perfect plan” and “Who will see us?” But suddenly, just when they think they have succeeded brilliantly, God, who has been watching it all from heaven, launches his bolt against them and quickly brings them down. Indeed, they have been in his sights all along, and it does not require a quiver full of arrows to destroy them. One arrow does the job.
By James Boice on Jun 28, 2018 12:00 am
Yesterday we were talking about two of the five different things that psalm 64 verses 2 through 6 examine. Today we’ll continue with the remaining three. Remember that we are called upon to fight the Lord’s battles with the Lord’s weapons, not the weapons of the world. The world’s weapons are money, power, influence. Our weapons are the Word of God and prayer. It is said of the warfare of the saints against Satan in Revelation, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Rev. 12:11).
By James Boice on Jun 27, 2018 12:00 am
As noted in the introduction, this psalm spends most of its time on the wicked who are attacking David, rather than on God. The result is that we are provided with a helpful study of this particular kind of evil. Looking carefully at verses 2-6, we find them analyzing: 1) the nature of this evil; 2) the weapons of these evil people; 3) their methods; 4) their plans; and 5) their fierce but complacent pride. We’ll look at the first two of these today and the last three tomorrow.
By James Boice on Jun 26, 2018 12:00 am
The psalm begins by David asking God to hear his complaint. In our ears the word “complaint” has a negative sound, because we associate it with complaining and we don’t like people who complain. But that is not the sense in which complaint occurs here. Here the word refers to a formal allegation, in this case against the wicked by one who is being unjustly treated by them.
By James Boice on Jun 25, 2018 12:00 am
It is not very often that David finishes a psalm without mentioning his enemies. There are exceptions, of course, but not many, and sometimes the references occur in the least expected places. Psalm 23 pictures God as David’s loving and wise shepherd. But do you remember verse 5? Verse 5 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The fact that David mentions his enemies so often gives some idea of how many enemies he had and what his life as the king of Israel was like.
By James Boice on Jun 22, 2018 12:00 am
The last three verses of the psalm look to the future and express David’s confidence that in time his enemies will be destroyed, the mouths of those who have slandered him will be silenced, and he will again be openly praising God with others who also love and seek him.
By James Boice on Jun 21, 2018 12:00 am
Let me suggest another way of looking at this section of the psalm. We can see it as statements, first, of David’s satisfaction in God and then of two results flowing from it.
By James Boice on Jun 20, 2018 12:00 am
About a thousand years after these words were written, David’s greater descendant Jesus Christ said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7). David did not know these specific words, of course. But he did know the reality of them since he elaborates this idea in the next section (vv. 2-8).
By James Boice on Jun 19, 2018 12:00 am
There are various ways of outlining the eleven verses of this psalm. They can be found in the various commentaries. The New International Version is probably right on track, however, when it sets verse 1 off as a stanza to itself. This is because the verse expresses the longing of David’s soul for God and because the next section (vv. 2-8) describes how that longing has been answered in the past and is being honored in the present.