Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sunday Scripture


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 142.  The verse to look closely at is verse 3, but I chose to look at verses 1-3a.

S= "I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.  I poured out my complaint before Him; I showed before Him my trouble.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path."  (Psalm 142:1-3a)

Verses 4-5 jumped out at me also:

"I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me.  Refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

O= C.I. Scofield has titled this psalm "An experience of deliverance."  Its title in the Bible is "Maschil of David, A Prayer, when he was in the cave."  (Maschil means "instruction".)  Psalm 57 has a somewhat similar inscription: "A Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave."  (Michtam may possibly be a musical term indicating how the psalm should be sung, but its meaning is unknown.)

So David composed more than one psalm while hiding in a cave.  Two cross-references are given for  "cave" -- 

"David, therefore, departed from there, and escaped to the cave, Adullam; and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him."  (1 Samuel 22:1)

"And he came to the sheepcote by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to cover his feet; and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave."  (1 Samuel 24:3)

A cross-reference for "overwhelmed" is Psalm 77:3 -- "I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.  Selah."

 I found a couple of wonderful quotes in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.

"[David] was in one of his many lurking places, either Engedi, Adullam, or some other lone cavern wherein he could conceal himself from Saul and his bloodhounds.  Caves make good closets for prayer; their gloom and solitude are helpful to the exercise of devotion.  Had David prayed as much in his palace as he did in his cave, he might never have fallen into the act which brought such misery upon his later days." -- Charles Spurgeon

"The Lord is not withdrawn to a great distance, but His eye is upon you.  He sees you not with the indifference of a mere spectator, but He observes with attention, He knows, He considers your path; yea, He appoints it, and every circumstance about it is under His direction.  Your trouble began at the hour He saw best ... and He has marked the degree of it to a hair's breadth, and its duration to a minute.  He knows likewise how your spirit is affected, and such supplies of grace and strength, and in such seasons as He sees needful, He will afford in due season." -- John Newton

David says here in Psalm 142 that he: 1) cried to the Lord; 2) made supplication to Him; 3) poured out his complaint before Him; 4) showed Him his trouble.  Part of that trouble (verse 3b) was that his enemies had laid a snare for him.  As we see in verses 4-5, any sort of human refuge or comfort failed David.  But God was his refuge -- and even when his spirit was overwhelmed within him, God knew David's path!  

A= We may not be hiding in a cave, as David was, but we often face difficult situations in which we feel trapped.   We can follow these same steps that David took.  We can cry out to the Lord and make supplication to Him, pouring out our troubles to Him.  Of course God already knows what trouble is touching our lives, but He wants us to pour our hearts out to Him.  Often, our spirit feels overwhelmed.  I know many people who are feeling that way right now.  It's comforting to remember that God knows our hearts and our path.  In fact, He is traveling that path with us!

P= "Lord, I am so thankful that we can know You!  What a blessing it is to have that personal relationship with You so that we are able to pour our hearts out to You and know that You will act on our behalf.  I love knowing that You already know every twist and turn our path will take and that You are walking it with us.  What a comfort in these troubling times!  I praise You for how David documented Your working in his life, and that You preserved his songs to encourage believers through the ages.  I thank You for comforting my overwhelmed spirit today, in Jesus' name, Amen."

The reflection question for this time asks, "Are you tired and weary today?  Do you feel unsure of your future?  Tell God how you feel.  How does knowing that God is with you every step of the way and that He already knows the path you will take, give you peace and strength to press on for another day?"

My answer: I am tired and weary today.  Tired of people and their problems, mostly.  Not really unsure of my own future, but concerned about what the future may hold.  Knowing for sure that God knows my way even when "my spirit faints within me" is incredibly comforting and strengthening.

And that's the Sunday Scripture for this week!

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