Psalms 122-123

Psalms 122-123

Chapter 122: Give Thanks unto Him.

A Song of degrees of David

                David tells his audience to go to the house of the Lord and seek God. There you will find peace.

Chapter 123: Plead for mercy.

A Song of degrees

                David tells his audience to look up to the Lord and plead for his mercy. If you do something wrong, you should be filled with contempt.

Psalms 103-104

Psalms 103-104

Chapter 103: The Lord Shows Mercy

A Psalm of David

                David is most likely addressing the saints, by telling them to bless the Lord for His mercy. He writes: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide (scold or ‘tell someone off’): neither will he keep his anger for ever.” (Psalms 103:8-9). Essentially the Lord is very patient and only gets angry when he absolutely has to. Even if we are bad, He won’t always punish us with His hand… He likes to let us learn from our own mistakes.

We learn that “…heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” (Psalms 103:11) If we fear the Lord, he will be more merciful to us.

Chapter 104: Honor and Majesty of the Lord

The Lord is clothed with honor and majesty, Him and His angels or ministers are as a flaming fire. The Lord created everything and lives in the heavens. He has created everything; plant life, animal life and the foundations of the earth. He dwells forever!

 

Psalms 57-58

Psalms 57-58

Chapter 57: David Pleads for Mercy

To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Mitcham of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.

                As David is now fleeing from Saul and hiding in a cave he writes this Psalm. He pleads with the Lord to have mercy on him and gives glory unto Him!

He explains his situation like this; “My soul is among lions: and I lie… among them… the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue is a sharp sword.” (Psalms 57:4)

                David asks the Lord to prepare a net for his steps, for his protection.

Chapter 58: The Wicked Speak Lies

To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Mitcham of David..

                David asks the Lord to not only save him from his enemies, but also for the Lord to destroy his enemies. He tells the Lord to “Break their teeth… break out the great teeth of the young lions…” (Psalms 58:6)

He tells us that by having the Lord kill these wicked men that intend to harm David that the people can see that the righteous are rewarded and the Lord will judge the earth.

 

Psalms 5-6

Psalms 5-6

Chapter 5: The Lord Hates “Workers of Iniquity”

To the Chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.

“Nehiloth – is the general term for perforated wind-instruments of all kinds (flutes for example)”

“Give ear unto my words… Hearken unto my voice… My voice shalt thou hear in the morning…” (Psalms 5:1-3). In the first three verses, David is desperately asking for God’s attention. David uses a Hebrew method of repeating his words (in this case, 3 times).

David goes on with his prayer and tells God, the obvious. “…thou art not a God that hath please in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” (Psalms 5:4)

David meditates on the righteous character of God. What we do before God, matter. God does not like workers of iniquity and will not have them in his presence.

“…there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness… they flatter with their tongue.” (Psalms 5:9)

Here, David points out that those who are wicked will flatter you with their speech, but in reality, he focuses on what the wicked say as evidence of their wickedness. Jesus taught something similar in Matthew 12:41; “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” In other words our righteousness or wickedness will sooner or later show up in our speech. The true intentions of our heart, good or bad will slip in our words.

Chapter 6: David Cries Mercy to God

To the chief Musician on Heginoth upon Sheminith (eight stringed Harp), A Psalm of David.

“Neginoth – Hebrew for Stringed Instruments”

“Sheminith-  Is a musical term, a similar direction is found in the title of Psalms 12:1 and in 1 Chronicles 15:21. Although we don’t know for sure, it seems that Sheminith denotes a certain air known as the eighth, or a certain key in which the psalm was to be sung.”

Psalm 6 is known as the first of seven penitential psalms – songs of confession and humility before God. It was a custom in the early church to sing these psalms on Ash Wednesday, the Wednesday before Easter.

“O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger… Have mercy upon me… for I am weak… heal me for my bones are vexed (worried/troubled).” (Psalms 6:1-2)

We don’t know what sin David was praying about, but because of his sin David sensed he was under the condemnation from God. Here he calls out for God to kindle his anger with him and hear his plea.

In the Book of Mormon we have a similar story in a book called “Ether”, here the Lord tells us that “…if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble… for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27; The Book of Mormon)

                David knew that he must present to the Lord that he was weak and NEEDED the Lord to help him. In letters to the Corinthians, Paul explains that; “…my strength is made perfect in weakness… therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

                Paul, like David knew what the Lord had taught to Moroni and later to Ether in the Book of Mormon; that God gives men weakness so that they can be humbled. With this humility they can take joy in the unpleasant things of life, knowing that with this weakness they can be made strong!

David ends in this chapter by asking God to vex his enemies, that they might be ashamed of their wickedness.

Deuteronomy 7-8

Deuteronomy 7-8

Chapter 7: The Mercy of the Lord

When the Israelites go in among the nations of the; Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites the Lord commands them to not be afraid. All seven of these nations are much mightier than the Israelites. But the Lord commands them to not marry outside of their tribes and especially not to anyone from these nations. The Lord commands them to destroy the nations as he places them in their hands.

The Lord reminds the children of Israel that they were chosen for their actions, even though they numbered very few.  (see verse 7). Verses 3-4 talk about the importance of marriage within the covenant, because marrying outside of the covenant can lead to a loss of faith and is not approved by God.

The Lord promises that if the Israelites obey and are faithful to his commandments that he will show mercy on them, bless them and love them. He will also cure their diseases and make them prosperous. (Deuteronomy 7:12-15)

Chapter 8: Don’t Forget God

The Lord speaks to the Israelites regarding the 40 year experience in the wilderness and desert. The children of Israel wondered for over 40 years, and the purpose of this was to humble and prove the congregation of Israel whether they would follow the commandments or not. (verse 2)

“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

We learn that the Lord wanted to prove the worthiness and dedication of his chosen people, by teaching them this principle. Someone can be fat and have plenty of food and wealth, but that person can only live so long without the Lord. The Lord, our Heavenly Father is just like our earthly father or parents. Sometimes they do things that upset us.

Children often get upset with their parents for limiting their ability to be free, because they want to protect them. For example a parent will try and prevent their child from touching a hot stove, because they know that it will hurt them. But what happens? The child will usually do it anyways, and then when they do it they cry and think why do I have to suffer? The parent of course will come in and love them and make things better, but sometimes the parent will let them learn from their actions by not taking away the consequences.

“…that as a man chasteneth his son, so shall the Lord thy God chasteneth thee” (Deuteronomy 8:5)

Chasten means; to discipline or correct by punishment. Punishment doesn’t always have to be of a physical nature, it can be done in a variety of ways; including shame. For example, a parent can punish their child just be letting them know that they are disappointed in them for something that they knew was wrong, but did it anyways. The Lord, is our Heavenly Father he disciplines us, because he knows what is best for us and wants to give us anything that we need. Sometimes however he has to step back and let us learn from our own mistakes, just like a good parent. When God doesn’t offer his helping hand in our life, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love us. I am sure he is saddened and upset because he knows that he needs to step back, when really he wants to step in and make everything ok.

I look at the current situation of the world, not only from a distance, but also right in my own backyard. I see people complain and say that God cannot exist if he were to permit such violence and misfortunes in the world. But hasn’t God warned us about all of this? He has, and he continues to warn us. But like a good parent he steps back and lets us learn from our own mistakes. Think about it, let’s use the example of pregnancy, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases. God has warned us about the dangers of sex outside of marriage.

                “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2)

If everyone waited until marriage to have sex, and were faithful to their husband or wife than we would not have teen pregnancies, homes with single parents, sexually transmitted diseases or abortion issues. I would even say that we would have less crime and more productivity in the world. Think about it, if everyone came from a loving family with a loving father and mother, who chose to have children to love them and nurture them, would we have so much crime? I think not. Would we have so many emotional problems in the world? A lot less.

God, just like our earthly parents, warned us to not touch the stove, but we have and we continue to do it. There is only so much God can do, because after all we are free and able to make our own decisions. God gave us our agency and we must live with the consequences of not listening to his warnings.

The chapter ends with a warning, that if we do not follow the commandments of God and forget about him, then we will perish.  Look at the world today… and we can see why we are “perishing”.