Sunday, June 04, 2023

Sunday Scripture


 I'm sure you all remember that 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 (and this week I did), I'll do so right after the SOAP part.

Today's study is from Psalm 143.  The verse to focus on was verse 8, but I chose to look at verses 5-6, 8, and 10.

S= "I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands.  I stretch forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee, like a thirsty land.  Selah.
"Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust.  Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto Thee ... Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God.  Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness." (Psalm 143:5-6, 8, 10)

O= This is a psalm of David.  C.I. Scofield gives it the title, "An urgent appeal for help."  

David looked back at what God had done in the past: "I remember the days of old"; "I meditate on all Thy works"; "I muse on the work of Thy hands."   

He thirsted after God each day.  He asked God to show him the way in which he should walk.  He wanted to be led by God's Spirit, and so he lifted up his soul to God on a regular basis for direction and comfort.

Cross-reference for "I remember the days of old" --

"I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times ... And I said, This is my infirmity, but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.  I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Thy wonders of old."  (Psalm 77:5, 10-11)

Spurgeon writes, of the phrase "the days of old":

"When we see nothing new which can cheer us, let us think upon old things.  We once had merry days, days of deliverance, and joy and thanksgiving; why not again?  Jehovah rescued His people in the days which lie back, centuries ago; why should He not do the like again?  We ourselves have a rich past to look back upon; we have sunny memories, sacred memories, satisfactory memories, and these are as flowers for the bees of faith to visit, from whence they may make honey for present use."

I like that thought!

Of the phrase "I muse on the work of Thy hands", Spurgeon writes:  

"This he had done in former days, even in his most trying hours.  He repeats his perusal of the page of nature, and counts it a balm for his wounds, a cordial for his cares, to see what the Lord has made by His skillful hands.  When the work of our own hand grieves us, let us look to the work of God's hands.  Memory, meditation, and musing, are here set together as the three graces, ministering grace to a mind depressed."  Spurgeon notes that here David is chasing away gloom from his own soul by communion with God.

Of the phrase "cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness", W. Abbot wrote in 1870,  

"[This voice] speaks every morning, but many ears are deaf to it.  But while others are indifferent to it, cause me to hear it; let me not lose the opportunity: waken my ear morning by morning, so that I may hail the season and enjoy the privilege." 

Spurgeon said,

"A sense of divine love is to the soul both dawn and dew; the end of the night of weeping, the beginning of the morning of joy.  Only God can take away from your weary ears the din of our care, and charm them with the sweet notes of His love.  Our plea with the Lord is our faith; if we are relying upon Him, He cannot disappoint us: 'in Thee do I trust' is a sound and solid argument with God.  He who made the ear will cause us to hear; He who is love itself will have the kindness to bring His lovingkindness before our minds."

For the phrase "in the morning":

"The morning is a season often spoken of by [David], and as a time of devotion is much prized by him.  'My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.' (Psalm 5:3)  It is well to have a subject like [lovingkindness] to occupy our waking thoughts.  Prayer and praise, reading and meditation, will be sweet with such a subject occupying and influencing our minds." -- W. Abbot

Cross-reference for "cause me to know the way wherein I should walk" -- 

"Lead me, O LORD,  in Thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make Thy way straight before my face."  (Psalm 5:8)

For the phrase "I lift up my soul unto Thee" --

 "When David was in any difficulty as to his way he lifted his soul toward God Himself, and then he knew he could not go very far wrong.  If the soul will not rise of itself we must lift it, lift it up unto God.  This is a good argument in prayer: surely the God to whom we endeavor to lift up our soul will condescend to show us what He would have us to do.  Let us attend to David's example, and when our heart is low, let us heartily endeavor to lift it up ... to the Lord Himself." -- Charles Spurgeon

Cross-reference for "Thy Spirit is good" -- a reminder that this is the Holy Spirit being spoken of here -- 

"And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD."  (Isaiah 11:2)

A= When we urgently need help, we must do as David did and turn to God.  Looking back at what God has done in the past encourages us to trust Him for the future.

Musing on the work of His hands in creation is a tremendous blessing, for it reminds us of His power and creativity -- and how He can bring those qualities to bear on the uncertainties of our lives.  

As we lift up our souls to Him,  we are comforted by His lovingkindness and can be led by His Spirit in the way He would have us to walk.

P= "Lord, I thank and praise You so much that it is even possible to have a relationship with You!  Meditating on all that You have done in the past and musing on Your power and design in creation gives me every reason to trust You for my day and for my future.  I praise You that I hear Your lovingkindness every morning, and that I have the privilege of lifting my soul up to You.  Guide my steps today, I pray in Jesus' name, Amen."

The reflection question asks, "What is your morning routine?  Are you turning to God and being reminded of His steadfast love at the start of the day?  How would this change your life if you did this daily?"

My response: My morning routine begins with coffee, Bible reading and study, and prayer.  It's such a comforting and instructive time, something I look forward to every morning.  I believe this practice would change any believer's life for the better if done every day.

And that is today's Sunday Scripture!

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