Thursday, April 21, 2016
“With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.” (Psalm 18:25-27)
Nearly everyone is familiar with the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is the basic principle of the Old Testament Law, as Jesus explained in Matthew 7:12. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Unfortunately most people do not stop to think about the obvious corollary, that you are willing to be treated the same way you treat others. In effect, if you hit me, you have given me permission to hit you if I choose to.
Matthew 25 40 tells us that what we do to others is effectively done to God. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” David says God will treat us just as we have treated other people. If we were merciful and willing to forgive others, God will forgive us. Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 6:14-15. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. If we kept ourselves pure, not taking advantage of others, he will do the same for us. If we were rebellious and refused to do what he asked, he will refuse to give us what we want. He will protect those who have been victimized, but he will destroy those who are proud and think they are better.
“For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” (Psalm 18:28-29)
II Corinthians 10:18 tells us, “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” David was not trying to show off what he had done, but was depending on God to let others know. It was God’s power that had enabled David to defeat his enemies and accomplish the things he had done. The glory should go to God.
“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?” (Psalm 18:30-31)
By his very nature God is perfect and everything he does is also perfect. His word and commands have been tested and prove to be valid. He will protect all who trust in him, and there is no other God. There is no other foundation on which we can stand.
“It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.” (Psalm 18:32-36)
God has provided the strength and guided David, enabling him to move through life without stumbling, like a deer. He brought David into a place of respect and taught him how to win victories and given him the power to succeed. He has also given him assurance of his salvation and kept him from falling into sin. His care and support have made David great, and kept him from slipping.
“I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. Ps 18:38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.” (Psalm 18:37-42)
David is remembering all the things God has done for him. By doing so, he will maintain his love for the Lord. As we saw in the previous lesson, when we forget what God has done for us, our love begins to fade. It is crucial that we review what he has done regularly if we are to maintain our love for him.
“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.” (Psalm 18:46-50)
As David has reviewed the different things God has done for him, his feelings of love swell and he is impelled to praise God for all the things he has done for him, thanking him for each one.