What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
About two hundred pounds a year,
And that which was proved true before
Proved false again? Two hundred more.
—Samuel Butler (1600-1680), in Hudibras. Part 3. Canto 1.

—Treasury of David—Psalm 26

Spurgeon quoted this verse, and nothing else, in his comment on Psalm 26.10, about sinners “who are always ready to do wrong or offer a bribe.” Remember that the pound is the UK’s currency.

Money changes what many people will preach as the truth. The Greek orators took up any argument for pay. That idolatry is found in religion today and in some places even in the church of God.

While we pray that the Lord of the harvest may send more workers into his fields, we pray also that they may be people of integrity and righteousness, people of conviction and loyalty to “the grace of God in all its truth” Col 1.6 (as rendered by the Brazilian NVI version).

Praise the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are magnificent. You are robed in splendor and majesty. He covers himself with light as if it were a garment. He stretches out the skies like a tent curtain, and lays the beams of the upper rooms of his palace on the rain clouds. He makes the clouds his chariot, and travels along on the wings of the wind. He makes the winds his messengers, and the flaming fire his attendant.

From Psalm 104.

On what basis can I ask for God’s help? Does some condition exist, before I can go to him to request help?

May your hand help me,
for I choose to obey your precepts.
Psalm 119.173 NET

“I choose.” The decision is individual. In the end, it doesn’t matter what others do. I hope they’ll also choose to obey God’s precepts. But their decision doesn’t determine mine. Mine has been made and won’t change. Continue reading

(Read Psalm 2.) Some believe that, from its structure, Psalms 1 and 2 compose a single unit. Blessed would then form an inclusio, at the beginning, 1.1, and end, 2.12.

The psalm deals with the rebellion of the nations against the Lord and his anointed, calling them to submission. The covenant with David is behind the psalm (see 2.6). The whole world is his domain, pointing to fulfillment in Jesus. There is no resisting his authority. True happiness is in submission to the Sovereign. The final appeal shows God’s goodness in giving opportunity to repent, signaling hope and victory of the king. Continue reading

Psalm 1. The psalm serves as an introduction to the book. It emphasis the joy, pleasure, success, and divine approval of the righteous, functioning as a recommendation to everyone of the way of the righteous. It presents two ways, that of the righteous and of the wicked, showing the end of each one and how each end is tied to the choice that one makes. The end is determined and carried out by God. We are either righteous or wicked, in God’s eyes. No other option exists. Choosing the good way means rejecting association with, and influence of, sinners, besides constantly concentrating on God’s law. The figure of the tree suggest both stability and security, as well as the permanent connection to the source of spiritual nutrition. In the end, the psalm calls to mind God’s action, which reveals the good way through the law, offers satisfaction to man through it, judges without encountering resistance, and guarantees the success of the righteous.

To be blessed/happy, we must choose the way of the righteous, remove ourselves from the influence of sinners, concentrate upon God’s word, connect to the source of blessing, and recognize that God invites us to the pleasure of his fellowship and grants to all the proper reward.

This is a partial translation of the new series on the first book of Psalms, begun today on the “Deus Conosco” devotional site.

Praise God who blesses his people richly, in every way, for every good work and purpose, who saves eternally, who strengthens daily, who shows his goodness constantly. Blessed be the Lord, the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

Psalm 72.18-19. Subscribe!

Glory to God for his great deeds in all of history for the good of man and the recovery of that original communion in the garden of Eden, for his holiness that does not look upon evil, for his patience with his people who soon forget their redemption! Blessed be the God of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose acts are beyond counting and whose praiseworthy deeds are beyond relating!

Psa 106. Subscribe!