Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Psalms

This morning, poor and needy, I crept to the Psalms (my reading for today was Psalm 106-110). It was, in God's providence, a feast for the soul. I was instructed in righteousness, I was reproved for my hard heart, my thinking and affections were corrected, and the true doctrine of God and his Son were expounded more fully and clearly to my mind.

Christ was throughout. In Psalm 106 his mighty deeds for the rebellious children of Israel were recounted. Psalm 107 taught of his mysterious ways in dealing with the children of men, and exhorted his church to to "attend to these things," and to soberly consider his steadfast love described therein. Psalm 108 described the salvation from God's right hand, the salvation of the Christ, the anointed one! Psalm 109 revealed the sufferings of Christ at the hands of evil men: his betrayal by Judas, his cries to God for help, as mentioned in Hebrews 5:7-8, and his anticipation of the victory in which he would praise God in the midst of the throng, the congregation. And finally, Psalm 110 shows Christ's exultation, the reign of the ascended Lord, his being given the mighty scepter by which to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and the promise of his complete conquest when he returns as King.

After reading and seeing all this, I was conquered and subdued. My heart and mind were better aligned with his purposes, rather than my own. I desired to be more prayerful, to seek after and pursue those things during the day that would better incline me to thoughts after his thoughts, rather than baser desires. I was enabled to pray accordingly and with real desire for his ways, more so than in a while.

Will I return to hard-heartedness and carelessness in prayer and thinking? More than likely, after a time. Will I return to the Psalms for reproof, correction, doctrine and instruction in righteousness? By the grace of God, yes. Not every morning in the Psalms brings such a satisfying and heart-softening encounter as this morning's did, but most often (if I am at all attentive) I am corrected and recalibrated and realigned in very real ways. Too often I get up and go about the day, quickly forgetting what I saw, but this just shows that my habits need working on.

I commend the Psalms! All of Scripture is profitable for the kind of training spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:16. But the Psalms are unique in their usefulness in these ways as I believe they are meant for our every day use, our morning and evening use, our use in all the times and circumstances and cares and joy of life. Our Shepherd is very visible throughout, speaking to, leading, and guiding his sheep through all the hills, valleys, travails and joys of this pilgrim life.

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