1 (To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David.) Hear me when I call, O Elohim of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
It may be a little difficult to decide whether this Psalm is the expression of David's individual sentiments, or the out-pourings of the spirit of Christ which was in him in common with the other prophets. The probability is, that as in other cases, it is both. There can be little question that when David appeared in the courts of the Most High, to "praise him upon the harp," he threw intense emotion into what he did.
His prayers and his praises were ex animo, though moulded by the Spirit dwelling in him. He was no mere automaton or inanimate instrument in the hands of the power that made his words prophetic.
The spirit of God spake by him, but his own mind was in the highest sympathy with what the spirit made use of him to say, and hence there was a double influence impelling him to the composition of the Psalms; which accounts for the fact that in almost every instance, the Psalms are double in their hearing, having a primary significance as the expression of David's thoughts and experiences, and a secondary and more comprehensive reference to him of whom it is said that he is the "root and offspring of David."
3 But know that Yahweh hath set apart him that is Godly for himself: Yahweh will hear when I call unto him.
We shall never attain salvation without developing a godly mind. A godly mind does not come naturally. It comes only by great effort and dedication and desire. We could be "in the Truth" one hundred years, and still not have a godly mind.
A godly mind is full of God, ALL the time. And it is not just sentiment, though that is vitally important. It is godly KNOWLEDGE, deep knowledge from His Word reverently studied and pondered, which is equally important. A godly mind lives in the atmosphere of God. It sees God everywhere.
Every creature has its natural habitat -- the surroundings where it is comfortable, and healthy, and happy. The natural habitat of the godly mind is God Himself: here only it is at home and at peace.
Bro Growcott - Search Me O God
Him that is Godly
The world rushes by and around him, but it all has the unreal atmosphere of a dream. God has called him aside out of the throng into the quiet sanctuary of divine favour, and has shown him the plans for the eternal building that is to be erected on the site of all the present purposeless bustle and strife.
For peace of mind, and for the single-minded and effectual accomplishment of the work to which he is divinely appointed, the godly man does well to remember that he has been set apart. But still, he is not a cold, unfeeling spectator, hardly regarding the world's troubles and, like Jonah, impatient for its destruction. Repeatedly we are told that Christ was moved with compassion for the vast droves of shepherdless sheep and was never far away from tears when he contemplated the benighted misery of the world, but still v7Bro Growcott - The Psalms
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in Yahweh.
It is Christ's will that we should regularly-on the first day of the week-gather together to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of him (1 Cor. 11:2, 25, 29; 16:2).
New Testament history tells us that many of our first century brethren were faithful in this matter-
"they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42; 20:7).
It likewise tells us that some were disobedient-forsaking the assembling of themselves together (Heb. 10:25). Let us ever emulate the first and shun the second of these examples. To forsake, for trivial reasons, the meeting for breaking of bread is undoubtedly a step in the wrong direction. This is evinced both by Scripture and experience.
Christ is the author of the institution, hence it must be based upon consummate wisdom. When the inclination to absent ourselves from the meeting arises, let us think of Christ's statement-
"If any man love me he will keep my words."
The ability to partake of the memorial feast intelligently and scripturally is a blessed privilege. Let us never partake of it as a mere formal observance. Such service is unacceptable and highly displeasing to God. The Jews are a solemn warning to us in this respect. Let us hear the denunciation against them-
'Your appointed feasts my soul hateth" (Is. 1:14).
If we would please God, we must be obedient not only in letter, but in spirit. We must, with pure hearts, thoughtfully and appreciatively remember Christ.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, June 1888
7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
Gladness is our true foundation. The deepest layer of the life of the righteous is pure gladness. Underneath and surrounding the transient sorrows of the present, God has put an all embracing gladness in his heart. It is not a shallow gladness that ignores sorrow, but one that sees through and beyond it. This is real. All else is passing.
This is God's gift of peace in the midst of storm -- received and enjoyed in direct proportion as it is perceived and drawn upon.
Bro Growcott - The Psalms
The triumphant Song of Moses on the banks of the Red Sea is the first song-the first mention of human singing-in the Bible. The Song of Moses and the Lamb is the last. This is not coincidence. It is marvellous Divine design. (The angels sang together at Creation).
We do well to realize the great importance of singing in the service of God. And not just singing, but-what is more important-the spirit of singing. A basic disposition of thankful joyfulness is absolutely essential to make our service acceptable.
This is emphasized time and time again in the Psalms as the only reasonable, acceptable, possible frame of mind in view of the infinite goodness and mercy and love of God toward us.
Psalm 100 is a good example-
"Serve the Lord with GLADNESS: come before His presence with SINGING . . .
"Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING, and into His courts with praise. BE THANKFUL unto Him, and bless His Name."
Paul emphasized this same essential frame of mind- Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in your hearts to the Lord (Eph. 5:19).
That is what we MUST HAVE-"Melody in our hearts".
If we get enough of this spirit of thanksgiving into us (and we must get it into us), then it will overflow into all our relationships, and make all our contacts with our brethren and sisters
a joy and a blessing. It will heal many heartaches and solve many ecclesial problems.
Singing and joy are not reserved solely for the future. In a deep and beautifiil passage in Job, Elihu says-
"God, my Maker, Who giveth songs in the night."
When we think of songs in the night, we cannot help but turn our minds to Paul and Silas in the midnight darkness of the Philippian jail, their bodies wracked with pain and their feet
clamped in stocks-
"At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God" (Acts 16:25).
Bro Growcott - 144 000 on Mount Zion
8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Yahweh, only makest me dwell in safety.
All men agree on the need for -Nature's sweet restorer" that mysterious and healing suspension of consciousness that takes place, or ought to take place, when we lay our heads on the pillow.
All are agreed as to the advantage of recurring seasons of holiday rest. But there is a weariness of which the world in general is not so directly conscious, and of which the rest that Christ speaks is the remedy. God said to Israel, in reference to their efforts to keep up style to please the neighboring nations, -Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way." So it may be said to the world in general, that it is weary in the emptiness of its way. It knows nothing of the sweet restfulness that belongs to Christ.
Rest naturally belongs to his ways. -Learn of me," says he, -for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." There is a -rest that remaineth for the people of God" a rest that will, as Isaiah says of Christ's rest, -be glorious in that day," but this is not the rest of which Christ here speaks. He is speaking of a present rest, which he otherwise speaks of as -my peace" a peace, he says, which the world cannot give, a peace which Paul speaks of as -the peace of God that passeth all understanding, filling the heart and mind." -Let the peace of God dwell in your hearts, and be ye thankful."
-Learn of me, I am meek and lowly of heart." This belongs to rest and peace. The violent and the arrogant do not and cannot know peace. It is not in the nature of things for the service of the lower faculties to bring rest and peace, but rather the reverse - unrest, unhappiness and fear. A contemplation of our own mental constitution will show us this (and we must remember that we are of divine workmanship notwithstanding the abortive state in which we live).
All the faculties to which Christ appeals are of a restful action. The worship of God; what peace there is in this. The love and service of neighbour; what sweetness is like it. It is well said that -the merciful man doeth good to his own soul; but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh."
Then take the action of faith and hope; no faculties are more calming and soothing to the mental man. So with conscientiousness or the sense of duty to which the law of Christ is one prolonged appeal. There is no satisfaction so pure and lasting as that which comes from the habit of doing things because they ought to be done - because they are right to be done and because we ought to do that which is right - quite apart from any other considerations.
So also with the cultivation of the understanding. The pursuit of knowledge, the love of wisdom, there is no peace like the peace that comes with these. To all these Christ invites us in asking us to learn of him, and under the power of all these we are brought when we surrender to the full obedience of his law, with the result that we -find rest."
In the world there is no rest. Ambition distends the mind with more gas; emulation is a feverish competition that leaves no joy behind; avarice is an appetite never satisfied. The life of the world as a picture may be bright, many- hued, and gaudy, but it is all a vain show that cheats and wounds the heart of every one that follows it. In Christ there is perfect peace, even in the midst of the tribulation that is inseparable from the life of faith.