Wednesday, 1 July 2020
Title: All Ye that Hope in the LORD
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, 8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. 9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. 11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13 For I hear the whispering of many; terror on every side; as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
The psalmist said he will “rejoice and be glad” because he had experienced the mercy and love of God in the past, and he anticipates that God will continue to be faithful and steadfast in the future. He joyfully celebrated in thanksgiving and praise even when he was in the midst of affliction. He was filled with joy because he trusted that God who had paid attention and taken notice of his hardship – vv7, and he believed that God intimately knew in detail of the anguish in him – vv7. The word “know – (Yada) in Hebrew” is also used in Genesis 4:1 “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…”
Verse 10 reveals to us psalmist’s profanest sin was the gnawing pain in his heart and it sapped away all his strength. He regretted the sin he had committed. He was well aware that God had every right to punish him by handing him over to his enemy for destruction. God was so merciful toward him that He did not worsen the situation he was in – vv8a. Instead, God gave him sufficient space and time for him to recover and recharge himself – vv8b. God did not forsake him like the people around him. They had abandoned him like rotten trash, increased his pains by slandering him, threatened him, conspired against him and plotted to kill him – vv11-13.
God is always faithful to us when others are even reluctant to associate with us in difficult time. He never thinks less of us when we become like broken vessels. He does not misjudge us and cast us off when the rest of the world despises us, or when our hearts are laden with despondency. Jesus can sympathize with us when no one else can fully understand our sorrow because He had incarnated to be in the flesh just like us. God’s love had led the psalmist to repent, rejoice, and shout praises to God. God had picked him up from where he was, comforted him, strengthened him, and allowed him to start life afresh.
Every one of us who follows Jesus will have our ups and downs; we will face trials and temptations, and experience setbacks in one way or another. Some are able to hide it well or to put up a brave face, but others might not. As Christians, we are children of God and members of His family; He has given immense mercy and grace to us. Despite whatever circumstances, we are able to praise and worship Him. When we see our brothers and sisters in Christ who are going through afflictions and suffering because of various circumstances, we should imitate our good Lord to be sympathetic and to walk with them with love and compassion. We should not add more grief and agony to them by discriminating against them especially by way of unkind words or slander. “Everyone who hates (do not love) his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1John 3:15)
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1John 4:16b-17, 19-21)
Dear Heavenly Father,
We praise You and thank You for what You have done for us, O Mighty God! Because of Your love and mercy, we can come into Your presence and worship You! Please forgive us if we have not loved our family, brothers and sisters in the church, and people around us as You have intended us to do. Help us, O Lord, to be compassionate to those who are suffering and have special needs. Teach us to follow the perfect example of our Lord Jesus Christ to love with sacrificial love for others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
诗篇 31： 7-13
诗人说，他将“高兴欢喜”，因为他曾经历上帝的怜悯和爱，他期望上帝会继续信实不变。即使他受苦，他仍然在喜乐与感恩中欢庆赞美。他充满喜悦，因为他信靠那关心并留意他苦难的上帝 （第7节），他相信上帝深知他内心的痛苦（第7节）。“知道” （希伯来语：Yada）这个单词也出现在创世记4：1——“亚当得知妻子夏娃怀孕并生了该隐……”