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|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
Psalms 131; 138-139; 143-145 Listen
LORD, my heart is not haughty (Psalm 131)
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 ¶ LORD, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
Here's a very short Psalm written by David. The introduction to this Psalm says "Song of Ascents." The KJV says "Song of Degrees." Here's the entry from Easton's Bible Dictionary regarding the meaning of this introduction:
Song of Degrees: song of steps, a title given to each of these fifteen psalms, 120–134 inclusive. The probable origin of this name is the circumstance that these psalms came to be sung by the people on the ascents or goings up to Jerusalem to attend the three great festivals (Deut. 16:16). They were well fitted for being sung by the way from their peculiar form, and from the sentiments they express. “They are characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by epanaphora [i.e., repetition], and by their epigrammatic style...More than half of them are cheerful, and all of them hopeful.” They are sometimes called “Pilgrim Songs.” Four of them were written by David, one (127) by Solomon, and the rest are anonymous.
David uses an interesting simile here in these verses. He is content in the Lord just as a recently-fed baby in the presence of his mother - no fretting over sustenance - just contented fellowship.
A Psalm of thanks (Psalm 138)
A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ I will praise You with my whole heart;
Before the gods I will sing praises to You.
2 I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
3 In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD,
When they hear the words of Your mouth.
5 Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.
6 Though the LORD is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
You will notice in this Psalm of David a declaration of thanks, his reasons for thanks, a call to praise, and his expression of confidence in God. David was surrounded by nations that were polytheistic. He proclaims in verse 1, "I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You." He makes it clear that he'll not compromise the worship of the true God for political correctness. As a matter of fact, his world view is almost prophetic when he asserts in verse 4, "All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD, When they hear the words of Your mouth." He's convinced that there's coming a day when they'll acknowledge the one true God as well. That gives this Psalm a little of that Messianic Kingdom flavor.
A personal relationship with God (Psalm 139)
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm reveals how very personal his relationship with God is. David
displays the intense interest God has in every aspect of the lives of
his people. And when did God begin to display this interest in David's
life? There's the answer in verse 13, "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb." Let's face it, David was certain that his life began in his mother's womb.
Notice four attributes of God listed here by David:
I find verses 21-22 particularly interesting here: "Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies." Ouch! That's not very politically correct in today's Christian circles. The Hebrew word there for "perfect" means "complete/thorough." Hey! I don't make the news, I just report it. And...that's what David himself wrote in this Psalm with regard to his attitude toward those who have set themselves against God.
Deliver me from my enemies (Psalm 143)
A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ Hear my prayer, O LORD,
Give ear to my supplications!
In Your faithfulness answer me,
And in Your righteousness.
2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no one living is righteous.
3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in darkness,
Like those who have long been dead.
4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed.
5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your works;
I muse on the work of Your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.
7 Answer me speedily, O LORD;
My spirit fails!
Do not hide Your face from me,
Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies;
In You I take shelter.
10 Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
11 Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12 In Your mercy cut off my enemies,
And destroy all those who afflict my soul;
For I am Your servant.
Psalm 143 was written by David and is one of the seven penitential psalms, the others being Psalm 6 (see notes), Psalm 32 (see notes), Psalm 38 (see notes), Psalm 51 (see notes), Psalm 102 (see notes), Psalm 130 (see notes). David
is asking God for his favor and deliverance. He's obviously going
through some adversity as he is writing this Psalm. He longs for the
good ol' days in verse 5.
Following is a brief outline of this Psalm:
Blessed be the LORD my strength (Psalm 144)
A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ Blessed be the LORD my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle—
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.
3 LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?
4 Man is like a breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.
5 Bow down Your heavens, O LORD, and come down;
Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6 Flash forth lightning and scatter them;
Shoot out Your arrows and destroy them.
7 Stretch out Your hand from above;
Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,
From the hand of foreigners,
8 Whose mouth speaks lying words,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
9 I will sing a new song to You, O God;
On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,
10 The One who gives salvation to kings,
Who delivers David His servant
From the deadly sword.
11 Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners,
Whose mouth speaks lying words,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood—
12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth;
That our daughters may be as pillars,
Sculptured in palace style;
13 That our barns may be full,
Supplying all kinds of produce;
That our sheep may bring forth thousands
And ten thousands in our fields;
14 That our oxen may be well laden;
That there be no breaking in or going out;
That there be no outcry in our streets.
15 Happy are the people who are in such a state;
Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!
David prays for the Lord's help and the Lord's blessings upon his people. He credits his accomplishments to God. When God's people are dependent on God, what is their attitude? Psalm 144:15 says it all, "Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!"
Following is a brief outline of this Psalm:
A very poetic Psalm (Psalm 145)
A Praise of David.
1 ¶ I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.
6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
And I will declare Your greatness.
7 They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
And shall sing of Your righteousness.
8 The LORD is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
9 The LORD is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,
And Your saints shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
14 The LORD upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
20 The LORD preserves all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh shall bless His holy name
Forever and ever.
David was waxing very poetic when he wrote this one. This is an acrostic Psalm like Psalm 119 (but much shorter). Each verse begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. There is one deviation from this acrostic style - no "nun," the equivalent to our letter "n." Without Hebrew manuscript evidence to do so, the NIV and the New Living Translation add a verse for this letter of the Hebrew alphabet and append the verse to the end of verse 13. Their reasoning for doing so apparently lies in its entry into the Greek Septuagint and a recent discovery of its presence in one of the documents discovered among the Dead Sea scrolls. Of the commonly used translations today, no other Bible translation with which I am familiar makes any attempt to enter it into the text with such weak textual evidence. This Psalm is all about praising God.