As I've mentioned, I'm finishing up a One Chapter a Day study of Psalms 101-150 from Good Morning Girls.
Although I love working on more in-depth Bible studies, these
simpler ones are also a blessing to do, and I think they are working out quite well for my Sunday Scripture posts.
As I've noted before, I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the journal from GMG uses a very similar method. I find this method a real blessing especially when I am studying shorter passages, and I hope others will give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or praise for what it means to you.
This study also includes a reflection question for
each passage. Sometime I answer this in my study, and sometimes not. Whenever I do answer it, I'll do so right after the SOAP part.
Today's study is from Psalm 138. The verse to focus on was verse 8, but I chose to look at verses 3, 7, and 8.
S= "In the day when I cried, Thou answeredst me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul ...
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me. Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me.
"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me. Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever; forsake not the works of Thine own hands." (Psalm 138:3, 7-8)
O= This is a psalm of David. C.I. Scofield gives it the title "praise for answered prayer". David testifies that when he cried to the Lord, God answered him and strengthened his soul. Even though David walked in the midst of trouble, he knew that God would revive him and would perfect all that concerned him.There is an interesting word picture in verse 7, of God pushing back on David's enemies with one hand, while plucking David out of danger with the other. God would fulfill His perfect plan for David in spite of his enemies, and he will do the same for us.
J.W. Burgon, quoted in The Treasury of David, wrote: "His creating hands formed our souls at the beginning; His nail-pierced hands redeemed them on Calvary; His glorified hands will hold our souls fast ... forever. "
Spurgeon wrote regarding "and strengthened me with strength in my soul": "Strength imparted to the soul is an inestimable boon: it means courage, fortitude, assurance, heroism."
There are several cross-references here.
For "though I walk in the midst of trouble ":
" He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. ". (Psalm 23:3-4)
For " The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me":
"I will cry unto God most high; unto God who performeth all things for me." (Psalm 57:2)
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)
A couple of wonderful quotes regarding verse 8:
"God's work is perfect; man's is clumsy and incomplete. God does not leave off till He has finished. When He rests, it is because, looking at His work, He sees it all as 'very good'. -- Alexander Maclaren, 1879
"God is concerned in all that concerns His servants. He will see to it that none of their precious things shall fail of completion: their life, their strength, their hopes, their graces, their pilgrimage, shall each and all be perfected. Jehovah Himself will see to this, and therefore it is most sure." -- Charles Spurgeon
A= Just as David did, we're also to be praising the Lord for answered prayer. I can look back and see so many times when I cried out to God and He answered me and gave me the "strength in my soul" to navigate the trials. I absolutely love the word picture of God dealing with David's enemies -- holding them back with one hand while rescuing David with the other. Yes, He will do the same for me. Even while walking in the midst of trouble, God refreshes and comforts me.
I can rest in the fact that God has a plan and purpose for my life. He will complete the work He has begun!
P= "Lord, I thank and praise You so much for all that You have done and are doing in my life! Things are so uncertain in our world today, but I can trust You to perfect that which concerns me. I have seen You work through incredibly hard trials in my life. You have sustained me in the midst of trouble. You have held my enemies back while keeping me safe. You have strengthened my soul to deal with hard things. Because of this, and because of Your promises, I know I can trust You for whatever the future holds. I thank You in Jesus' name, Amen."
The reflection question for this lesson includes the following:
"God has a perfect plan for you and while the twists and turns of life may not always feel perfect, God is good and we can trust in His perfect plan for us. Philippians 1:6 says, 'Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.' How does this truth give you hope?
"This gives me hope not only for my own life but also for the lives of others I'm praying for who are believers. Sometimes the present can look pretty ugly, in any of our lives. It's so comforting to remember that it is God who has begun the good work; He is the One who is doing the work; and He will continue to do the work 'until the day of Jesus Christ'. Not just until the end of our earthly lives, but 'until the day of Jesus Christ'. What a wonderful promise!
And there's the Sunday Scripture for this week!