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. Just a few more posts in Psalms and I will be likely switching to something else -- still praying about what to share next!
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 145. The verse to focus on was verse 18, but I chose to look at verses 17-18.
S= "The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works.
"The LORD is near unto all those who call upon Him, who call upon Him in truth." (Psalm 145:17-18)
I also looked a bit at verses 3-4:
"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Thy name to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts."
O= My Bible titles Psalm 145 thusly: "David's psalm of praise." Scofield has given it the title "Praise to the gracious God." All 21 verses of this psalm are filled with praise to God for all that He is and all that He has done and is doing. These particular verses list two of God's attributes and one fact about Him -- * He is righteous in all His ways; * He is holy in all His works; * He is near to all those who call upon Him in truth. We could also say that the verses actually list three of God's attributes: His righteousness, His holiness, and His omnipresence.
Spurgeon wrote concerning the Bible's title of Psalm 145 as "David's psalm of praise":
"It is David's, David's very own, David's favorite ... It is altogether praise, and praise pitched in a high key. David had blessed God many a time in other psalms, but this he regarded as peculiar, his crown jewel of praise."
Because I also wrote out verses 3-4, I looked at a few cross-references in them. For "great":
"For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods." (Psalm 96:4)
For "greatness is unsearchable":
"[God] doeth great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number." (Job 5:9)
"[God] doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number." (Job 9:10)
"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33)
Concerning verse 17 -- "The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" -- John Calvin wrote,
"The ground upon which praise is here ascribed to God may seem a common one ... but in nothing is wisdom shown more than in holding fast the truth, that God is just in all His ways, so as to retain in our hearts an unabated sense of it amidst all troubles and confusions."
Spurgeon said, "His ways and works are both worthy to be praised. Jehovah cannot be unjust or impure. Let His doings be what they may, they are in every case righteous and holy. This is the confession of the godly who follow His ways, and of the gracious who study His works. Whatever God is or does must be right. In the salvation of His people He is as righteous and holy as in any of His other ways and works. He has not manifested mercy at the expense of justice, but rather He has magnified His righteousness by the death of His Son."
A cross- reference for "near" in verse 18 --
"For what nation is there so great, that hath God as near unto them, as the LORD our God is, in all things that we call upon Him for?" (Deuteronomy 4:7)
"Not only near by His omnipresence, but to sympathize and favor. He does not leave praying men, and men who confess His name, to battle with the world alone... 'All' who place themselves beneath the shield of His glorious name by calling themselves by it, and by calling upon it in supplication, shall find Him to be a very present help in trouble." -- Charles Spurgeon
"The nearness or remoteness of a friend is very material and considerable in our troubles, distresses, wants, dangers, etc. I have such a friend, and he would help me, but he lives so far off ... But it is not thus with you, O Christians! who have a God so nigh unto you, who have the signal presence of God in the midst of you. Yea, who have a God always standing by you." --Thomas Brooks
A cross-reference for "truth" --
"God is a spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)
"To call upon God in truth is, first, to repose an implicit confidence in the faithfulness of His promise, and to look for unlimited answers to prayer from the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus. But it is also to feel our own urgent need of the things for which we supplicate, and to realize an earnest and unfeigned concern to obtain them." -- Thomas Dale, 1853
"To pray in truth, we must have a true heart, and the truth in our heart; and then we must be humble, for pride is a falsehood; and be earnest, or else prayer is a lie. A God of truth cannot be nigh to the spirit of hypocrisy; this He knows and hates; neither can He be far removed from a sincere spirit, since it is His work, and He forsakes not the work of His own hands." -- Spurgeon
A= "God is great, and greatly to be praised. Not only should we be praising Him verbally, but I believe that our very lives should be hymns of praise and glory to Him. Verses 17-18 praise God for His righteousness, His holiness, and His omnipresence.
The nearness of God is a special blessing and one that I am particularly thankful for. Knowing that He is with me and will never leave me is the most incredible comfort.
P= "Lord, I am so thankful that You make it possible for us to know You and have a personal relationship with You! I am thankful for Your nearness to Your children and that I may speak to You at any time. I pray that You will help me to be able to share with others how they also may have this relationship with You. I pray also that You will help me to encourage other believers to cultivate the closeness to You that You want for all of us to have. Help my very life to be a hymn of praise to You. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen."
The reflection question this time asks, "What does it mean to you to know that God is always near to you? How can you practice the presence and nearness of God more in your life?
My response: It is incredibly comforting and strengthening to know that God is always near to me. I think one of the best ways to practice His presence and nearness is simply to speak with Him often: "Thank You, Lord!" when we see Him act or give wisdom; arrow prayers when we need help or guidance; words of praise and awe when we observe His glorious creation.
And there is this week's Sunday Scripture! I hope it was a blessing!