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Psalm 53

A Contemplation of David.

The word the New King James Version has translated “Contemplation” is the Hebrew maskiyl, which The Companion Bible suggests means “Instruction.” This psalm is for public instruction regarding the wicked, for the people of Israel to learn of them and to learn to avoid their ways.

This psalm is very similar to Psalm 14. Why this near repetition, we might ask? First of all, note the superscription and the subscription. Psalm 14 has only a superscription, proclaiming it a “Psalm of David.” Psalm 53 is called “Instruction,” and is dedicated in the subscription “To the Chief Musician.” These two facts mark this psalm out for public performance and instruction. Psalm 14, however, appears to be David’s own private version of the psalm, intended more for David’s own private use rather than for public performance. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 52

A Contemplation of David when Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, and said to him, “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.”

This Psalm is called “A Contemplation” in the New King James Version. The old King James had a transliteration of the Hebrew as “Maschil,” although a better transliteration might be maskiyl. The Companion Bible suggests that this Hebrew word means “Instruction.” In this Psalm, we are going to be instructed about the destructive man and his end. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 51 Continued

9. Hide Your face from my sins,

He calls upon God once again, as he has been doing repeatedly in these verses. This time, his appeal to god is to hide His face from his sins. Of course, if His face was hidden from them, He would not be looking on them and remembering them, which is what David is asking Him to do.

And blot out all my iniquities.

Again this is a repetition of the same thought as in the previous line. He does not just want God to hide His face from his sins, but also to blot out his iniquities. If God blots them out, he is sure they will be blotted out and gone from then on. Read the rest of this entry »

confess02Psalm 51

A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Here we have another Psalm by David, the great king and psalmist of Israel. This psalm was written at a most critical moment in David’s life: when, after his terrible sin of adultery with Bathsheba and his equally terrible murder to cover up her subsequent pregnancy, Nathan the prophet went to David to convict him of his sin. In II Samuel 12, we read of this.

1. Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. .4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
5. So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! 6. And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”
7. Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 50

A Psalm of Asaph.

Psalm 50 is the first of twelve psalms credited to the man Asaph.

1. The Mighty One, God the LORD,

In Hebrew, this Psalm is introduced by three names of God: El, Elohim, and Jehovah. El is the singular name of God, and it emphasizes His might and strength, as the New King James has rendered it “The Mighty One.” Elohim is the plural name of God, as we would make it “Gods,” and yet it always takes a singular verb, as “Gods is.” There is always an ongoing argument as to whether this is merely the “plural of majesty,” as when kings speak using the royal “we,” or whether it is an indication of plurality within the Godhead. The plural name Elohim is particularly used of God as Creator, and yet the One Who created us is also the One Who has the right to judge us, so it speaks of God as Judge as well. Jehovah (or Yahweh) is used of God in relationship with His people. It is used when the relationship has developed, so that it is more than the relationship between the Creator and His creature, but between two, a person and God, who have established a closer relationship on another footing (as by a covenant, or by some other means). Read the rest of this entry »

music02Psalm 50 is the first of the Psalms credited to the man Asaph, and is the only Psalm so credited in the second, Exodus book of Psalms. The remaining Asaph Psalms are all found in the third book of Psalms. There are in total twelve psalms credited to Asaph.

The name “Asaph” means “Gatherer” or “Collector.” He is first introduced to us among the musicians who served in the house of the LORD in I Chronicles 6.

31. Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after the ark came to rest. 32. They were ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they served in their office according to their order.
33. And these are the ones who ministered with their sons: Read the rest of this entry »

mobi02I Timothy 6 Part 3

New King James Version 15. which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

The Resultant Version 15. Which He will show in its own fit seasons, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of those who reign and Lord of those who rule as lords,

The Lord Jesus Christ will manifest His blazing forth in His own time. The word “manifest” means that He will give evidence or show to the eyes His blazing forth. This will not be a hidden thing, like all the works of God are in the dispensation of the grace of God in which we live. Instead, it will be an evidential thing, an open and obvious thing, when Christ will blaze forth to this world. He will do this in His own time. The word is actually plural in Greek, “times.” The idea of the Greek word kairos seems to be of the right times, fixed times, or some definite times. Indeed, the kingdom of God and the blazing forth of Jesus Christ that accompanies it will come at the right time, the time God has fixed for it, and the definite time He has planned for the start of His kingdom. These are the times which we eagerly await even now. Read the rest of this entry »

greed01I Timothy 6 Part 2

New King James Version 9. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

The Resultant Version 9. But they who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts such as sink men in extermination and destruction.

Yet there are those whose desire is to be rich. They are not satisfied with what they have in this world, and instead of willing to increase in Godliness, their will is to increase in possessions. Yet their will to be rich leads them astray into temptation, a snare, and many foolish and harmful lusts.

The “desire” here is the Greek word boulomai, which has to do with the will as it is related to the desires. A desire like this could and often does lead to a determination to carry out some kind of plan in order to bring the desire to fruition, but this word does not have to do with the decision to act, but only on the desire that can lead to it. “To be rich” could also mean to have abundance. In this context, it would refer to those who want far more than the necessary things they need and should have been content with, as Paul suggested in the previous verse. Read the rest of this entry »

I Timothy 6

New King James Version 1. Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.

The Resultant Version 1. Let as many of you slaves as are under the yoke consider their own masters fit for all honor, in order that the name of God and His teaching may not be blasphemed.

Now Paul speaks to the slaves. This is not “bondservants,” as in the New King James Version, but is the Greek word doulos, which means “slaves.” Slaves were a very crucial element of the economy in the Roman Empire. A large portion of what we would call the “blue collar work force” was slaves. In Israel this was regulated by God, Who did not allow any Israelite to enslave his fellow Israelite for longer than a set period of time, unless that slave chose voluntarily to bind himself to that master for his lifetime. Thus slavery in Israel really was much more like employment than the slavery we know of in the American South in times past. Read the rest of this entry »

leadership02I Timothy 5 Part 3

New King James Version 17. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

The Resultant Version 17. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and teaching.

He urges them to let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor. “Elders” here is the Greek word presbuteroi, and refers to the representative men in the Ephesians’ community. Again, they had no separation of church and state in their communities, so these elders decided matters both religious and secular. The elders were expected to rule, and did rule. Yet it was important for those who ruled to rule well. The Lord urges them moreover to count those who do rule well as being worthy of double honor, or to value them at twice the assessment. Indeed, for an elder, ruling well was the doubly important thing. Read the rest of this entry »