Read the Bible in 2011–2021* ◊ Week 17: Wednesday
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Wednesday’s Bible reading is Psalms 48–50.
I remind you to pray before you read, because God alone gives us understanding of His Word. He is always there and always able to teach you and help you from His Word.
Reading the Bible daily is not an in-depth Bible study, and neither is it a matter of hoping something in the text will immediately apply to your circumstances and then being disappointed when if does not. Remember I quoted Geoffrey Thomas as saying:
“The briefest regular perusal of Scripture has deep and largely unconscious effects upon us. So even if your achievements on certain days fall short of your desires, do not be discouraged, for ‘in due season we shall reap if we faint not’ [Galatians 6.9]…
“Let the Word break over your heart and mind again and again as the years go by, and imperceptibly there will come great changes in your attitude and outlook and conduct. You will probably be the last to recognize these.”
I want to walk you through my reading in Psalm 48–50. First, I prayed, and because I’m writing, I not only asked God to teach me, but I asked Him what He wants me to write and teach here. Since I’ve been a Christian for over 50 years, many times when I read something it is layered on top of reading and studies from the past.
Today I read through the Psalms, and as I was thinking and not sure what to write, I noticed some repeated words, and I also realized I needed to look at what these Psalms say about God, Himself. I printed out the three Psalms from the Legacy Standard Bible site. There are other Bible sites; one is Bible Gateway which I usually link to in my posts. I do this for Bible study, but infrequently for my posts here. (I did do this for several posts on Romans 8). If you have a Bible you’re comfortable marking in, use that. I try to use the same color (or use the same shape) throughout my readings for the same word.**
In the photo you can see where I started marking the text. I would have worked at this longer and in much more detail if it was a Bible study.
In Psalm 48 I noticed that God has made Himself known as a stronghold, (48:3) and His right hand is full of righteousness (48:10). That is who God is: a fortress and a righteous God. The psalm also says, We have thought on your lovingkindness, O God, (48:9), and speaks in verses 12–13 of walking around Zion and considering it that you may recount it to the next generation. It closes by saying,
Our God forever and ever;
He will guide us until death.
Psalm 49 calls everyone to hear, no matter our circumstances, and tells us the psalmist is going to speak wisdom (verse 3–4). Get ready to learn! There is a lot in this psalm about riches, and I did circle those references. Fear and being afraid is also mentioned and I marked that. What about God? Who God is and what He does is why we don’t need to be afraid. Let’s look at this for a minute.
When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me.
When the glory of his house is increased;
Why might we be afraid? When we feel surrounded by foes. The next verse defines those foes: those who are trusting in their riches. We can also be afraid when we see someone become rich. This is not about a good man who becomes rich, but the content of the psalm tells us he’s speaking of those who trust in their wealth, and boast about how much they have. Rich people have a lot of power and influence. We need to see their lives from God’s perspective.
What about God? Only God can redeem someone. Everyone is going to die, and wealth won’t do any good in keeping us from death. Not only that, but you literally can’t take it with you (verse 17).
Only God can redeem someone, and the psalmist says,
For He will receive me. Selah.
Psalm 50 says the God is judge (verse 6) and that the world is His (10–12). There are warnings, there is more about the wicked and some sober warnings. There are also commands. I mark commands with a large “C” around the first letter (I also marked these in Psalms 48 and 49). I noticed that sacrifice of thanksgiving is mentioned twice.
And pay your vows to the Most High;
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”
I work to be careful about the context of the verses and not presumptuous. Don’t be dismayed at the detail. It took far longer for me to write this than it did to do this!
Looking back at everything you’ve read today. Think about God being a fortress. Think about Him being a righteous God. Think on His lovingkindness. Think about the fact He will always guide you. Remember why you don’t need to be afraid. Consider the warnings given in these psalms and what you read about the arrogant and ask God to keep you from those sins. Ask Him to help you order your way according to His Word. Remember to call on Him when you’re in distress. These are things to dwell on. Thank Him for being so wonderful and good.
There is such a wealth in Scripture. If I read something I’ve studied many times, there is always something new for me to learn. John Owen wrote,
“The Holy Spirit hath so disposed of the Scripture that the mind of God in all things concerning our faith and obedience…is clearly revealed therein.
“…In those very fords and appearing shallows of this river of God where the lamb may wade, the elephant may swim. Every thing in the Scripture is so plain that the meanest [lowest] believer may understand all that belongs unto his duty or is necessary unto his happiness; yet is nothing so plain but that the wisest of them all have reason to adore the depths and stores of divine wisdom in it.”
Ask Him to help you remember what you’ve read during your day, use it to change you, and to help you love Him, be thankful to Him, and trust Him with whatever comes. You don’t have to know everything or understand everything. God will powerfully use His Word in your life. He will rescue us. Let us honor Him.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications. (Site has been deleted since posting).
Lamb: FreeFoto.com Site has now been deleted.
*In 2011 I started a year-long series of posts, “Read the Bible in 2011.” You can find the other posts in the navigation menu in the header. If a day doesn’t have a link to a post, the post was simply a brief reminder about the reading. I’m filling in some of those gaps with new posts with “Read the Bible in 2011 Redux” as a category.
**Years ago when I first started marking up a Bible passage this way, I knew it as manuscript Bible study. Since then I’ve been in numerous Bible studies of Precept Ministries, and marking key words is a hallmark of their studies.
Copyright ©2011–2021 Iwana Carpenter