9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
It is my joy and privilege to speak and sing of God’s faithfulness and salvation, His steadfast love and righteousness, every Sunday before “the great congregation.” We get to do that with each other, too, as we address “one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19, see also Col. 3:16). These are truths that we need to hear and speak/sing every day, but we get a special joy and encouragement when we do this in “the great congregation.” Don’t forget, too, that there is an evangelistic aspect to our worship. (See 1 Cor. 14:24-25)
My excitement is stirred afresh to go to the house of the Lord. Remember, dear saints, that you are that house (Eph. 2:19-22).
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
I have always loved this verse. It speaks to me of what I call the upward spiral of delighting in the Lord.
I think of it this way. As I delight in the Lord, He gives me more of Himself through the fellowship of the Spirit. So, I am filled with love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. As I am encouraged and refreshed by this fellowship with Him, it awakens in me a greater desire for *more*. God delights in giving us more of Himself, so He fulfills that desire. So then, I delight in Him afresh and all the more. So I am stirred to yet more Godly desires and leanings, and I pray to Him for them. And, He gives me *more*.
So I am on an upwardly ascending spiral, ever-reaching for Him and for my heavenly home, which becomes more and more my desire…
From Psalm 36
5 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.
7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
Is the Psalmist trying to tell us something of the steadfast love of the Lord? How will you respond to His steadfast love today?
Ps. 42: 1 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
Ps. 43:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
I love the bookends of Ps. 42:1-2 and 43:5. In one of the most vivd word pictures of the Christian’s longing for fellowship with God, the psalmist speaks of his soul-thirst (Ps. 42:1-2). It is a poignant, powerful observation that God alone will satisfy the deepest thirst that we have: the thirst for living water.
Psalm 43 ends with the psalmist directly addressing his soul. It has been often said, perhaps best by Martin Lloyd-Jones, that we spend too much time listening to ourselves and not enough time talking to ourselves. The psalmist picks up this challenge and speaks directly to the very disquiet of his inmost being. It’s as if he is saying, “soul, don’t you remember who you were thirsting for and longing for just a short while ago? You were thirsting for the *living God*. You knew that only He could satisfy the deepest longing, the deepest appetite for nourishment and fulfillment. This same God is the One in Whom you will again find your hope. You will praise Him! Oh, remember!”
May God grant us the grace today to hope in Him.