Well, I got way more out of this psalm than I expected. That’s bad, isn’t it? To not expect to get much out of the psalm you picked to study. And I call myself a Bible study teacher. But it is true. This psalm surprised me so much. I got so many different things from it. Here they are.
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Are we commitment-phobes? I think yes, we are, generally speaking. It’s called gamophobia, the fear to commit. This isn’t just about relationships, although I think that is the big one. It’s also about just not sticking to something. Helen and I have talked about this before (Episode 20: Decisions, Decisions June 27, 2022). We all have a hard time even choosing a salad dressing. We spend so much time being afraid of what we might miss. That’s even a suggestion to just trying out God. What if what they say about God and Hell is true. Might as well try God to avoid eternal damnation. Right? That’s not to say that starting there can’t lead to a deeper relationship with the Lord. My own testimony comes from that. When I was 6 we had a revival at church. The visiting preacher was all fire and brimstone. He was telling a story of a car wreck where the person had died, and they didn’t know the Lord and were burning in hell for all eternity. I was like no thank you. I don’t want to burn in hell. I better ask Jesus into my heart. That was my beginning, but I didn’t stay there. I have grown and I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Episode 65: Taste and See July 5, 2023). I have committed.
As I read through this psalm over and over again, I remembered the things I had learned from inductive study. If there is a word or phrase that is repeated, chances are it’s important. “Dwell in the land” or “inherit the land” is mentioned 9 times. Must be something I should take note of. “Do not fret” is used 3 times. “Wait on the Lord” or some form of it is used 3 times. “Wicked destroyed” 10 times and righteous saved 10 times. So, what seems important? Fret and wait go along with the wicked being destroyed and the righteous being saved. It is cool to me that each time the wicked are destroyed the next verse is about the righteous inheriting or dwelling in the land. That is why the message of do not fret and wait on the Lord is there. It’s that reminder that God is aware. “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.” (Verse 12-13)
Refer to this article: Patience is an Action Word
Now, let’s talk about the Land. This refers to the Promised Land we started hearing about back in Genesis with Abraham. Remember, that is where God promised a son and a nation for Abraham. (Episode 25: Friends of God: Abraham September 7, 2022 if you want to know more about ol’ Abe.) The land was promised to Abraham; journeyed to with Moses; conquered by Joshua; re-conquered by David. David is the one that got the boundaries back as God had designed. This is a whole different story, but obviously it is important to acknowledge this history since the land is mentioned 9 times in 40 verses. (Refer to this article: David Fulfills Abraham’s Land Promise (Again)).
The knowledge of the land was something David’s audience knew. The Israelites were brought up hearing this story of the Promised Land. My friend Carrie Strickland talks about the idea of a promised land often in the ministry she runs with her husband, Truth Spring. (www.truthspring.org and episode 86 Let’s Talk with Carrie and Rob Strickland December 2,2022) This is how she defines the Promised Land: The significance of the land was that it was the place where God’s presence, power, and provision would overflow in the life of his people. See why it’s important? That is exactly what God promises to his people. Don’t think that this does not pertain to you, too. This is where the commitment comes in. When we commit and trust the Lord we can rely on him to fulfill his promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says “For all of God’s promises find their yes of fulfillment in him. And as his yes and our amen ascend to God we bring him glory.” His promises are yes. Our response is Amen. May it be so.
Are you committed? Are you among the wicked or the saved?
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