Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Enjoying What God Had Given

Psalm 60:1-12

“To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.

Once again we are reminded that the titles and comments were added later, based on tradition rather than being part of the Psalms.   I Chronicles 18:12 tells us, “Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand.”  It was Joab’s brother, Abishai who slew the Edomites and he slew eighteen thousand rather than twelve thousand.     Such errors are easily corrected by comparing other scriptures, and do not discredit the scriptures.  They emphasize the importance of the statement in II Peter 1:19-21.  “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”  No passage of scripture can be interpreted without being compared to other scripture. 

“O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.  Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.  Thou hast showed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.” (Psalm 60:1-3)

God had allowed Israel to be defeated because of their rebellion against God.   The psalmist, asks that God would turn back to them.  The whole earth was shaken by Israel’s defeat, and God was teaching Israel a hard lesson about disobedience.  They had been shocked that God had not come to their rescue. 

“Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.  That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.” (Psalm 60:4-5)

At the same time, God had given a sign of his power for those who trusted in God.  Their faith would show like a banner, and ultimately his people would be delivered by his power. 

“God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.  Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.  Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?” (Psalm 60:6-10)

Because of God’s power, the David would control Shechem and the area around Bethlehem, as well as the land on the east side of Jordan, known as Gilead, of which Succoth was a part.  He would control the areas that had chosen Ishbosheth as king after Saul’s death, including Ephraim and Manasseh.  Judah was the tribe who anointed David king and became the ruling tribe.  The Moabites, on the east side of the Dead Sea became tributaries of Israel under David, working with him.  The Edomites would rebell at first, but after Abishai’s attack would finally surrender, to avoid complete destruction.   The Philistines worked with David and retained much of their power through David’s reign.  It would be same God who had given the Philistines victory over them at Saul’s death who led them to victory over the Edomites. 

“Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:11-12)

He recognizes that any human alliance would be wasted.  With God’s help, victory was assured, because it is God who defeats all the enemies.  

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