Things God will do: (action)
- Formed the earth and the world (v. 2)
- He will set our iniquities before us (v. 8)
- Teach us to number our days (v. 12)
- Satisfy us (v. 14)
- Make us glad (v. 15)
- Establish our works for his glory (v. 17)
- Apply my heart unto his wisdom (v. 12)
- Rejoice and be glad (v. 14)
- Work for God (v. 17)
Our dwelling place, the creator, everlasting, merciful, all-knowing of our sins (even the "secret" ones)
What should I take away from this?
God is the Creator. Verse 2 tells us that he formed the earth and the world. He has been our refuge in all generations... from the very beginning, and that will last to the very end. As Matthew Henry said in his commentary, "We are dying creatures, and all our comforts in the world are dying comforts, but God is an everliving God." That is awesome to know! I do believe that there are times when people suffer due to the consequences of their choices, and God allows that to take place in the hope that it will bring those people back to him (v. 3) I don't believe he does this without reason. I think sometimes we need a swift kick in the pants or a slap in the face to realize the choices we are making. And the fact is - our life is so short (v. 5,6) it's just a little "poof" in the existence of time. Sometimes God just needs to say, "Look at yourself. Look at where your choices are getting you. Here are your consequences, now work through them and come back to me." "Time passes unobserved by us, as it does with men asleep; and, when it is over, it is as nothing." (Matthew Henry).
This psalm does speak of God's wrath (v. 7). People want to think of God as a loving God, and he is, but I have heard him compared to a father who disciplines his children, which I believe is accurate. When your children step out of line, you certainly take steps to discipline them, but you love them the same. God's wrath on people is not without cause. At times we sin openly, and at times we think we can hide our sins, but the truth is we cannot hide anything from God. He will see all our "secret" sins. The wrath of God is not coming from someone who just wishes to punish people for the fun of it, or because he is that powerful. The wrath of God is the reaction against the distortion of the law of life. It is reestablishing the balance between God and man.
Lord, teach us to number our days (v. 12). We act like we have so much time left in this world when we really have no idea when our last moments will be. Verse 16 is something I must remind myself of - "let thy work appear until thy servants, and thy glory unto their children." We must constantly allow God to work in us and through us. Sometimes we don't want to change things, we are afraid, or we just keep messing up it seems like. But as long as we have the want to become more mature in our faith, we always have that opportunity to become a great servant of God.
Matthew Henry also wrote these beautiful words in regard to verse 17 - "We are so unworthy of divine assistance, and yet so utterly insufficient to bring any thing to pass without it, that we have need to be earnest for it and to repeat the request: Yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it, and, in order to that, establish us in it." We must be willing to serve him, and then call upon him to complete that work and establish it. Awesome!
I would love to know if you have any thoughts to add to this beautiful scripture! Something I missed? Something I misinterpreted? Something I should take note of?