Today on Tuesday Tea-ology, we tackle the translation and canonicity of Scripture; how did we get the Bible, anyway?
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18-19, ESV).
The latter half of Psalm 33 declares the futility of other sources of deliverance, and counsels the wise to seek the Lord for salvation. Worldly power is vain (vv.16-17), but God watches over His people and rescues them (vv.18-19). We all live in the sight of God (vv.13-15, 18), and should look to Him, rather than trusting in ourselves or the things of this world.
God never falters or fails. He may allow us to endure hardships, sorrows, and dangers, but at the last His salvation is assured. Whatever life brings your way, you can depend upon God. Look to Him for deliverance, and your hope will be secure in all things.
“The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11, ESV).
Psalm 33 calls on God’s people to lift up their voices in praise (vv.1-3), for God is worthy and has done mighty deeds (vv.4-9), especially in His wondrous work of creation. And the Creator is sovereign over His creation. He accomplishes His purposes, and overrules the will of men (v.10). In this context, we look with awe on the sureness and permanence of God’s design. This is a great comfort to those who rely on the Lord.
God’s will accomplish His design for this world. When life seems uncertain, we can take comfort in the sureness and security of God’s unshakable wisdom and almighty power. What He has promised, He will bring to pass. Redemption is absolutely assured for all who trust in Jesus Christ. God’s Word is the rock of security amid the storms of this life.
“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:10-11, ESV).
This concludes David’s psalm of gratitude for God’s deliverance. He has traced his gratitude for God’s forgiveness (vv.3-5), and offered the wise advice that others should turn to the Lord (vv.6-9), the exhortation to repentance and faith which comes from an experience of God’s redeeming love. Here follows the moral, the message of life in returning to the Lord—and it is a message of joy.
God invites us to know the comfort and protection of His love, and the joy that comes from a right relationship with Him. In Christ, He forgives all our sins and makes us clean and holy in His sight; He shelters us and blesses us; He promises us a home forever with Him. Whatever challenges you face today, take joy and hope in the wonderful love of God.
“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7, ESV).
In Psalm 32, David reflects gratefully on the loving mercy of God. He declares how blessed it is to know God’s forgiveness (v.1), and describes the freedom he found in confession and repentance before the Lord (vv.2-5). God is a refuge, and we should seek Him (v.6), and echo the wonderful words of comfort of this verse.
Take refuge in the mercy of God. When you are afraid, when you are in danger, when you are troubled, take refuge in God. His strength is invincible, His compassion is unfathomable, His wisdom is uncontestable. He can shield you from harm, and give you peace in the midst of trouble. Shelter in the arms of the Almighty.
“I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place” (Psalm 31:7-8, ESV).
These verses follow David’s declaration in verse 6 that he is loyal to God, and has enmity towards idolaters. The people of God trust in God, and find the Lord faithful to His own. Thus the emphasis follows naturally upon God’s “steadfast love” and faithfulness. He redeems His people from danger, and gives them peace.
God sees the suffering of His people. God cares for His children, and lifts them up in His way, in His time. When you are bearing a heavy load, lift up your soul to the Lord; entrust your cares to Him, and wait for His deliverance. May the redeeming love of God Most High bless His people with peace.
“For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God” (Psalm 31:3-5, ESV).
In this psalm, David moves between pleas for God’s deliverance and recognition of God’s protecting power. He begins with the petition that God would save him, making particular use of the image of a fortress or place of defense (vv.1-2). The following verses carry a tone of confidence, recognizing that God is indeed his place of safety, his protector—and so he entrusts himself to the Lord’s care.
Entrust yourself to God. He cares for His children; for them, He is a stronghold of safety, a trustworthy guide, a mighty deliverer. Against the dangers and uncertainties of the world, God is the faithful defender of His own. Let us rest ourselves in Him, and embrace the peace that comes from praying to God, “Into your hand I commit my spirit”.
“Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:4-5, ESV).
Psalm 30 lifts up praise to God for His wonderful mercy. David reflects gratefully on God’s gracious deliverance in the past, in protection and healing and salvation from death (vv.1-3). The following verses urge all of God’s people to join the praise, with a focus on the gracious character of God (vv.4-5). The latter half repeats these same themes, recalling God’s deliverance and rejoicing in His kindness (vv.6-12). Verses 4-5 set the focus of the whole thing firmly on the divine mercy.
God is loving and merciful. In the midst of trouble, God’s people can still praise Him and declare the wonders of His grace. Marvelous is His mercy, wonderful His love. When we have turned away into temptation and sorrow, we can return with good hope, and find welcome again in the loving arms of our heavenly Father.