Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday Night Bible Study - Psalm 27

Bible Study on Wednesdays at Andover Baptist and other thoughts

  You have said, “Seek my face.”
 My heart says to you,
  “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
  Hide not your face from me.
 Turn not your servant away in anger,
  O you who have been my help.
 Cast me not off; forsake me not,
  O God of my salvation!
 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
  but the LORD will take me in.
  Teach me your way, O LORD,
  and lead me on a level path
  because of my enemies.
(Psalm 27:8-11 ESV)

What does it mean to seek His face?

This is likely a reference to desiring deep and personal knowledge.  There are passages which reference Israel turning their backs or turning away from God to indicate their heart turning away from God.  The relationship of Moses with God was so close that he was said to have spoken face-to-face with Him in the tent of meeting although he was not permitted to look on God's face when he was hid in the rock.  This is language of desire for a deep and loving relationship.  I also think there is an aspect of loving favor implied by this.  We are seeking the loving favor of God and not simply an abstract knowledge.  When we obtain God's loving favor, He reveals himself to us in mind blowing beauty.

One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in His temple

What are some things that help us turn to God?

Singing or listening to Christian music.  Listening to sermons.  Reading the word of God.  Contemplating how we are such terrible failures and wretched people in the context of God's saving grace.  How often do we fail, make mistakes, misunderstand, and otherwise mess things up?  Not to mention we're constantly sinning.  When we fail to see our wretched estate, we cheapen grace. But when we rightly recognize the reality of our utter lowness, we magnify the grace of God in saving us. And yet He loves us and takes us as His own. Also, God's word says, "forget not all His benefits."

Why might God turn away His servant in anger?

If David does not keep God's statutes. In the beginning of Psalm 119 David says, "I will keep your statutes, do not utterly forsake me!" We see the link in David's mind between principled, heart obedience to God, and His loving favor.  However, it was pointed out that God never fully turns His servant away in anger.  Which made me think of the below poem I wrote a few years ago.

This poem is incomplete as it sits unbalanced without the wonderful redemption of God calling back His bride.  That will be something to fix later. This is the bad news side from Ezekiel 16 and Hosea 1 and 2:


“Lo-ruhama, Lo-ammi,”
God has spoken let it be
I wait for judgment
And humbly plead

The people play harlotry
With a cavalier air
Can our holy God
Find anyone to spare?

While we lay bloody
Squirming in the dust
Our God took pity
And chose to love us

He picked us up
The unwanted child
And protected us
From becoming defiled

“Lo-ruhama, Lo-ammi,”
God has spoken let it be
I wait for the judgment
Why can’t they see?

We perverted our path
And became a curse
Lovers didn’t pay us
We did the reverse

His indignation is just
I feel it acutely
I must speak, I must
And do so resolutely

I can see Jerusalem
As it is razed
I cry out loud
They aren’t even fazed

“Lo-ruhama, Lo-ammi,”
God has spoken let it be
“You are not my people
I will show no mercy.”

But in Hosea 2:19-20 we see this:
"And I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness and you shall know the LORD."

What is this about David's mother and father forsaking him?

This is not likely a reference to Jesse and David's mother literally.  This seems to be more of a figure of speech or statement for effect.  But it could refer to an incident that we're not aware of. When we are without our parent’s protection and love it hurts.  But God "takes us in."  That language reminds me of a family finding a stray dog and taking it in and making it comfortable and at home.  And I am a gentile dog, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." Matthew 15:27

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